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Forum on governing the District; year-end fundraising

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Many education advocates have been calling for the end to the School Reform Commission for years, contending that the five-member panel has outlived its usefulness.

On Dec. 8, the Notebook, Philadelphia Media Network, and Drexel University’s School of Education will sponsor a public forum called “Who Should Run Philadelphia’s Schools?” It will feature state, city, and civic leaders discussing the issue of School District governance, including other models besides the SRC to consider, such as an elected school board or a panel controlled by the mayor. The forum will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Drexel University’s Behrakis Grand Hall in Creese Student Center. The discussion will be moderated by Dale Mezzacappa, contributing editor for the Notebook, and Kristen Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter. Panelists will include:

  • Dr. Kenneth Wong, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair for Education Policy at Brown University. He has conducted extensive research in the politics of education, federalism, policy innovation, outcome-based accountability, and governance redesign.
  • Darrell Clarke, City Council president.
  • Wendell Pritchett, former SRC member and Presidential Professor of Law and Education at University of Pennsylvania.
  • Jerry Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
  • Adam Schott, special assistant to the Pennsylvania secretary of education.
  • Donna Cooper, executive director, Public Citizens for Children & Youth.
  • Dr. Robin Roberts, District school parent and organizing member of Parents United for Public Education.

Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Visit thenotebook.org or email maria@thenotebook.org to register. A new campaign

The Notebook , gave away 1,000 water bottles to middle school students at the High School Fair in October as part of a new campaign. The water bottles are meant to serve as a reminder that the Notebook is the go-to resource for public education in Philadelphia. They have become very popular among students and school staff, and have come in handy since the District has begun the process of installing hydration stations in every school. As part of the campaign, which is sponsored by Health Partner Plans, the Notebook will give out 5,000 bottles. To make the giveaway fun for all, we ask that you post to our Facebook page a photo of your District or charter school’s staff or students with the Notebook’s print edition, along with a comment about why you are readers. Those who do so can have 100 reusable bottles delivered to their schools by Notebook staff members. So far, the schools where the Notebook has delivered bottles include Kensington Health Sciences Academy, William Cramp Elementary School, Jenks Academy for the Arts & Sciences, Mifflin Elementary School, Discovery Charter School, John Hancock Demonstration Elementary School, and Kirkbride Elementary School.

Year-end fundraising As the year draws to a close, the Notebook will celebrate its members – compassionate, dedicated citizens who value independent journalism, quality education, and equity in our public schools. The Notebook has grown and thrived as an invaluable community resource for more than 20 years because of financial support from people like you. We look forward to working with you on behalf of all of our children, parents, and teachers in the coming year. To support our work, visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/thenotebook or mail a donation to 699 Ranstead St., 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

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