Monday, July 4, 2011

What Works: Philadelphia Futures helps disadvantaged students reach college

Happy Fourth of July

Liquor stores, vouchers, drilling fees to top fall agenda

By Brad Bumsted TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Monday, July 4, 2011
HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett plans to pick up where he left off: His top priorities when the fall legislative session begins are another push for tuition vouchers and a new effort to privatize liquor stores, a spokesman says.

Central Bucks OKs 'groundbreaking' contract

The Intelligencer, Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
By Christina Kristofic  Staff Writer
The Central Bucks school board and the Central Bucks Education Association have approved a four-year contract that breaks up the infamous salary matrix, freezes all teachers' salaries for the first year, reduces future pay raises and increases teachers' health care contributions.

What Works:
Philadelphia Futures helps disadvantaged students reach college
By Kia Gregory, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted on Mon, Jul. 4, 2011
For Philadelphia Futures, the mission is simple: get students to and through college. The work begins as early as ninth grade through long-term mentoring, academic enrichment, college guidance, and financial help as part of its Sponsor-a-Scholar initiative. The motto is, "Make it happen, no matter what."
"We want these students to have a vision for themselves," executive director Joan Mazzotti said.  Since the initiative began in 1990, about 895 students have completed the high school portion of the program. Of those, 370 have earned postsecondary degrees, 328 from four-year schools. That graduation rate represents 41 percent of Futures scholars, a rate much higher than the national average for low-income, first-generation college students.

More Info from Philadelphia Futures website:
Mission Statement: Philadelphia Futures prepares students from low-income families to enter and succeed in college by providing mentoring, academic enrichment, college guidance, and financial incentives. Working with volunteer mentors, donors, and school and college personnel in direct service to students, in partnership with educational institutions, and in advocacy activities in the broader community, Philadelphia Futures increases the percentage of Philadelphia graduates prepared for higher education, while simultaneously reducing the institutional barriers to their academic success. Our organization operates on the belief that a college education is the portal to economic self-sufficiency and a satisfying life.

Firing Line - The Grand Coalition Against Teachers

Dissent Magazine Joanne Barkan - June 29, 2011

IN A nation as politically and ideologically driven as ours, it's remarkable to see so broad an agreement on what ails public schools. It's the teachers. 
This article will investigate the fix-the-teachers campaign of today's "education reformers." It's not their only project. They also want public schools run with the top-down, data-driven, accountability methods used in private businesses; they aim to replace as many regular public schools as possible with publicly funded, privately managed charter schools; some are trying to expand voucher programs to allow parents to take their per-child public-education funding to private schools. All this will reshape who controls the $540 billion that taxpayers spend on K-12 schools every year. It endangers the democratic nature of public education as well. 

PSBA seeking school directors for NSBA grassroots advocacy program
The National School Boards Association is inviting school directors to join the Federal Relations Network, its grassroots advocacy program that brings local board members on the front line of pending education-related issues before Congress.

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