Another cold one today as the forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-30s.

We’re leading off with a story on the inequities that parents say are in the new admissions process designed to make getting into Philly’s top schools more equitable.

Also, we examine the massive $125 million gift to Penn’s nursing school, which aims to ensure underserved communities receive high-quality care.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

Philly parents say ‘every step has been unfair’ in new school selection process

Amid an effort to bring even greater access to a diverse group of qualified students, many School District of Philadelphia parents suggest the new admissions process is doing the exact opposite.

Rather than allowing schools to choose the students, the new policy created a lottery for criteria-based school admission. But in doing so, parents contend that the system is shutting out some of the very students it was supposed to help. One parent even called the process “inhumane.”

“Every step has been unfair. Every step has provided some level of emotional and psychological damage to children,” said Sherice Sargent, parent of an eighth grader at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says the district was prepared for vitriol from both parents and students, citing “the process.” And while admissions data for 2022 have not been released, school district officials have said that 62% of the students who met the criteria are Black and Latino.

That number this time last year? 40%.

Makeup magnate gives $125 million to Penn nursing to help underserved patients

It was a pretty good day around the halls of the University of Pennsylvania’s nursing program. The school announced the receipt of a $125 million gift from Leonard Lauder, a Wharton graduate listed by Forbes as the 43rd richest person in the world.

Lauder, 88, a chairman emeritus of the Estee Lauder line of signature beauty products, has tasked Penn’s nursing school with using the money to recruit, train, and deploy nurse practitioners to work in underserved communities across the country.

Nurses accepted into the two-year graduate program will finish completely debt-free, as Penn will provide money to students upfront rather than through a loan forgiveness program. In addition, the school says it will contribute some funding to the community-based health sites in the region that will assist in training these students.

The need for qualified nurses was already dire before the pandemic. Now, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. could be looking at a shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034, in both primary and specialty care.

Our reporter Susan Snyder has more on Penn’s new gift, the philanthropist behind it, and its potential long-term value to nurses and their patients.

What you should know today

  • Immigrants from across the region joined Philly’s “Day Without Immigrants” protest at Love Park and City Hall.

  • Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb are both running in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat, but their approaches to campaigning couldn’t be more different.

  • Conestoga High School moved to virtual learning after racially charged and insensitive threats drew concerns about student safety.

  • James Harden practiced yesterday but won’t suit up for the Sixers until after the NBA’s All-Star break.

  • Police have charged a 35-year-old Kensington man with shooting a SWAT officer who was delivering a search warrant to a home in Fairhill.

  • A second lawsuit has been filed against former Philly cop Joseph Bologna, who was filmed beating a Temple student during protests in 2020.

  • Passenger traffic at Philadelphia International Airport remains down more than 40% from pre-pandemic levels.

  • And a city youth sports organizer says that if we truly want the best for Philly kids, we need to give them more places to play.

  • Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Philly has a renowned jazz history, but one jazz legend’s Strawberry Mansion home and mural are becoming a thing of the past. Today’s question: Do you know this musician? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. Bobby Timmons

b. John Coltrane

c. Clifford Brown

What we’re…

📹 Watching: This video of new Sixers star James Harden at team practice yesterday. Also, we continue to compile his many memes, and these barbers say his beard is Philly-approved.

💰 Reading: Why rich people aren’t concerned about COVID-19 and why, for some, it feels like the pandemic is over.

🍸 Trading in: Our Ben Simmons jersey to Stateside Vodka in exchange for a $25 gift card. The Fishtown distillery plans to collect, package, and mail all the Simmons jerseys it receives to Brooklyn.

Photo of the day

Before I head out I wanted to offer a mea culpa for our trivia question yesterday, which misquoted Cherry Hill curriculum director Farrah Mahan. He told our reporter Melanie Burney that “there is no history without Black History,” in a story noting the school district’s move to include African American History as a prerequisite for graduation.

That’s all for today. Have a good one. 💯