A look back at the first two weeks of Philly classes [photos + audio]

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The resource-starved Philadelphia School District has now finished its second full week of classes.

In the above link, WHYY education reporter Kevin McCorry speaks with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller about a variety of issues facing Philadelphia Schools, including:

Excessive class size

“I walked past a class second period and there was 40-some students, and they had to move it into the auditorium because there weren’t enough seats. And I know there have been classes that I’ve been in where there’s kids standing and taking notes like at the teacher’s desk or taking notes on somebody else’s back because they don’t have any room.” – Katherine Klenk, Central High School junior.

The grassroots push to disband the School Reform Commission

“If it’s a city thing, especially about our kids, I think the city should be more about their kids before the state even has to get involved.” – David Bango, Central High School sophomore.

“As soon as [district Superintendent William] Hite has the resources he needs, we’re happy to turn this back over to the city, but until Dr. Hite has the resources he needs, it is a very bad idea to take away responsibility from Harrisburg for the Philadelphia School District. It is because of that responsibility that we have attention from the legislature and the governor with respect to the things that we’re getting through there this year.” –Bill Green, School Reform Commission chairman.

The sale of some of the district’s shuttered buildings. Selling 11 buildings will net just $2 millon because of debt costs.

“You too oftentimes give away, give away, give away, without getting anything in return, and it’s appalling to me to see the amount of money that you’re selling these buildings for, and I should say, giving these buildings away for.” — Gail Clouden, aka Mama Gail, at this week’s SRC meeting.

“If through due diligence, different issues arise, we might be in a different place, but obviously we made this recommendation hoping that we wouldn’t be.” – District CEO Fran Burns on how community input could influence the sale process.

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