Education

Philadelphia District Plays Out Three Dramas

August 24, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Philadelphia is an interesting place these days, so interesting in fact, that it’s hard to know where to start.

First, Arlene Ackerman, a veteran urban superintendent who just over a year ago left a cushy academic position at Columbia University to run the district, is in the middle of negotiating a four-year contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers that has the potential to upend some traditions. Seniority transfers could be scrapped and cohorts of proven teachers could be assigned to work together in high-needs schools. Stay tuned for a full story on that in our next issue of Education Week.

Second, the Philadelphia Inquirer had a fascinating story over the weekend about strained relations between Dr. Ackerman and Heidi Ramirez, a member of the appointed School Reform Commission who recently resigned from the panel. The city’s ed and political community has been buzzing ever since, speculating that Ackerman might have bristled at some challenges from Ramirez, who has some real education chops: she runs a teacher training program at Temple University.

Finally (and this is of course getting disproportionate amounts of attention), the School Reform Commission voted last week to allow (washed-up?) actor Tony Danza to film an A&E reality show at Northeast High School. Danza is slated to co-teach a sophomore English class with a credentialed teacher while cameras roll to capture what Ackerman called the “joys, rewards and challenges” of being a first-year teacher in an urban school system. Um, really? What happens to the lucky 10th graders who get to be part of this little entertainment, er, education experiment? Does anyone think they’ll take Mr. Danza seriously as an instructor? Of course, the 15- and 16-year-olds he’ll be “teaching” may not know much about Mr. Danza since the last time he was a bona fide TV star was during his run as a male housekeeper on “Who’s the Boss?” which aired on ABC from 1984 to 1992. Most of his students were born in 1994.

Until now, Northeast High School was most famous for its depiction in the seminal 1968 Frederick Wiseman documentary, High School, which until 1991 was officially “banned” from being publicly screened in the city of Philadelphia.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read