Kristen Graham is the urban education writer, with a focus on the Philadelphia School District and issues facing schools in cities across the region and beyond.

Latest Stories

Philadelphia teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan fends off challengers; wins re-election

Jordan’s slate, known as the Collective Bargaining Team, appeared to win 62% of the vote, with the early tally 4,453 votes for Jordan's team to 2,761 for the Caucus of Working Educators.

Philly schools overpaying charters millions of dollars for special-education students, district says

The payment rate for charters is inflated, according to the district, because charters are serving a smaller share of students with severe disabilities, but are compensated based on the district’s average costs to educate its larger population of needier, more expensive special-education students.

Students will get back inside Ben Franklin High, SLA after a long delay, $50M in renovations

The Ben Franklin project laid bare problems not only with asbestos and other environmental issues, but also with district processes and communications writ large. The district’s Inspector General is investigating what went wrong. “We learned a lot over over the past several months,” Hite said.

Asbestos delays students’ return to Feltonville school

On Friday, officials determined that damaged insulation in the school’s boiler room represents an imminent hazard and must be closed off and abated, effectively cutting off the school’s heat.

Parents, teachers push Gov. Tom Wolf to declare Philadelphia schools a ‘disaster’ area due to asbestos

Their push came as district officials closed two more city schools — Barton Elementary in Feltonville and Sullivan Elementary in Frankford — because of damaged asbestos.

Marvin Schuman, former PFT president, dies at 94

Some labor leaders are fiery; Mr. Schuman was the opposite ― low-key and calm, a good listener who earned the respect of his members and even people on the other side of the negotiating table.

New faces on the Philly school board? Mayor’s nominating panel submits 27 names.

Kenney has 10 days to request more names from the board; after he makes his final choices, City Council weighs in, a new step in the school board process.

Which are the best, most improved Philly schools? District reveals them.

As a group, district and charter schools in 2018-19 scored a 44 out of 100 on the School Progress Report, or SPR, a system-created assessment, weighted heavily on improvement.

Trump used Philly girl’s story to attack ‘failing government schools.’ But she’s at one of the city’s most desired charters.

Fourth grader Janiyah Davis this fall began attending MaST III, part of a charter network that attracts thousands of applications for scarce numbers of seats.

Hopkinson Elementary closed indefinitely for asbestos, lead paint cleanup

The closure will allow the district to remediate asbestos problems throughout the building at L and Luzerne, but also allow it to prepare for a lead-paint stabilization project, a district spokesperson said.