Philadelphia Metropolis

September 2010 Archives

People Can't Be Erased

By Jessica Stamis» Everyone has seen or come into close contact with that girl.  That bitchy, has-to-have-everything-her-way, let's-you-know-if-she-doesn't-like-you type of girl. I personally know that girl very well because that girl is me I've gone through not just my fair share of friends,... (Comments)

Pink Like Me

For two years, we couldn't get John Street to say a word.  Now we can't get him to shut up. The former Mayor has been making the rounds recently, trash talking his successor, Michael Nutter.  Among other things, he has... (Comments)

Your Trash is My Treasure

By Charlie Isaacs» Melissa was serious when she told me not to accelerate towards a red light. But so far I hadn't caught a single break. Greens went yellow at the sight of me; stop signs seemed to sprout up unexpectedly. So I... (Comments)

What Would You Do?

By Sefton Eisenhart» A month ago, I was walking through North Philadelphia when a woman came up to me bawling hysterically about how she was from New Jersey and stranded.  She had never lived in Philadelphia and claimed to be completely lost. ... (Comments)

Weekly News Q & A

Question: Who is the "Tiger Woods of public housing" (Really, that's what they called him)? Answer Question: So, how come we don't (officially) feel better? Answer Question: Name someone you definitely don't want to invite to the post-election celebration party? Answer.... (Comments)

Center City Means Jobs

If Philadelphia is a car, then Center City is the engine. I know folks in the neighborhoods like to dis Center City and why not? It's where the rich people live and it's the locale that seems to get a... (Comments)

We're (Barely, Nearly, Almost) Getting There

By Marc Lomax» "We're Getting There." I doubt a more fitting and honest a slogan ever existed. In this age of shameless self-promotion, where everything is the best, the most, SEPTA's humble catchphrase stands out like one shining example of truth in advertising. Instead of aggrandizing themselves, the transit agency chose a clever double-entendre to describe their mediocrity. (Comments)

Prisoner of the Schuylkill Expressway

By Christopher Hershberger-Esh» The idea of a car-centered country is one based on independence and freedom, but sitting in traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway a few weeks ago, I felt neither free nor independent. The sun was swelteringly hot outside, so everybody... (Comments)

The Race to Save Catholic Schools

At long last, there is a glimmer of hope for the future of Catholic education in Philadelphia. A group of advocates for Catholic schools - inside and outside the church - are working to staunch the loss of schools and students that has hit the system in the last decade: with enrollment down 40 percent in the city's elementary schools and 26 percent in the city's eight surviving archdiocesan high schools. At the same time, these reformers are looking to reshape the schools, looking to give them new forms of governance, a revived sense of purpose and the tools to seek new students and outside financial support. (Comments)

Santorum Takes on JFK

 If we are lucky, the world will little note nor long remember former Sen. Rick Santorum's speech made earlier this month at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.  It was delivered to mark the 50th anniversary of John F.... (Comments)

A New Way to Save Catholic Schools

It would be ironic if Catholic schools in Philadelphia were saved by a Quaker, but that may end up being the case. The Quaker in question is Letitia Biddle, a woman with tremendous energy and a passion for education. Biddle is executive director of the Churchill Institute for Leadership Development (CHILD), the non-profit founded in 2007 with a mission to bring new ways to an old system, the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Biddle has had some practice in resuscitating Catholic schools. She was among the (Comments)

Weekly News Q & A

Question: Remind me again, who is he running against? I thought it was the guy named Onorato.  Answer Question: Could we call this fighting over the scraps? Answer Question: Does anyone out there have any other nominees for "Boneheaded Idea of the Year"... (Comments)

Confessions of an (Ex) Quizzo Champion

By Jo Ann Zimmerman» Forget Susan--I am desperately seeking the first character to die in Romeo and Juliet. Also the name of the horse that cost Barbaro the Triple Crown. At least I was until about a year ago, when the weekly Quizzo... (Comments)

How One School Saved Itself

In 2003, the DePaul Catholic School in Germantown had a problem - enrollment had dwindled to just 181 students. Since the school received no subsidy from its parish, it had to find a way to pay for itself. Many Catholic schools - faced with the same dilemma - cut budget and staff to the bone. The people who ran DePaul went in the other direction - they decided to expand and experiment. They lowered class size, hired math and reading classroom assistance and eventually added teachers for Spanish, art, music, gym and computer science. They also re-branded and re-aligned the school. Today, the school is a success story and a model on how to survive in Catholic education. (Comments)

Arlene Ackerman's Smile

 Arlene Ackerman must have been smiling through gritted teeth as she sat next to President Obama on Tuesday, listening to him wax poetic about the wonderfulness of Philadelphia's Masterman School. Later, Ackerman professed to reporters "I love the school," though... (Comments)

Lady Gaga Is My Secret Vice

By Brooke Hoffman» As you get farther away from your teens your priorities shift.  For me there was less emphasis on cool or street cred'. Instead, it was more like: "Shit, where did my twenties go?" Is this where I wanted to be... (Comments)

We Want Newt

I know this is wrong because it is so selfish, and I know that he really belongs to the entire nation, but sometimes I pray that Newt Gingrich will give up his ambitions to become President of the United States... (Comments)

Bare, Ruined Choirs

The decision to allow the demolition of the Church of the Assumption at 11th and Spring Garden Streets made news last week, mostly because the church, built in 1845, is historically certified and has connections with two Catholic American saints:... (Comments)

Family Matters

By J.A. Blake» I was one of two kids in my family and we always had the oldest parents. I remember being in second grade and thinking that my friends' parents looked more like their older brothers and sisters than they did their... (Comments)

Life Under the Golden Arches

By Antonio Stallings» I woke up at 6 a.m. everyday in my dorm building at Neumann University; the alarm abruptly snatching me out of whatever dream I was having. Though I scheduled myself for all evening classes at school, I still had to... (Comments)

Weekly News Q & A

Q: Is anyone in Philadelphia over the age of 12 surprised by this? Answer Q: Who's making up for a lot of time he spent asleep at the wheel? Answer. Q: The best good news/bad news headline of the week?  Answer... (Comments)

Why I Am 'Going Bamboo'

By Greg Pfeffer» I'm not sure which aspect of corporate America can be credited as the straw that broke the camel's back and made me decide to "go bamboo." Maybe it was the chorus of co-workers wishing me things like "Happy Friday"... (Comments)

Return to Eden

By Julia Glowacki» September is rolling in and stores across the nation are selling stacks of backpacks and lunch boxes in preparation for a new school year. Children are counting the days till classes start with a little trepidation and a lot of... (Comments)

New Look, New Logo

Regular Metropolis readers will notice a different look to the site.  We've changed our flag, some of our logos and tweaked the design, based upon reader input.  Our goal is the make the site more attractive and easier to navigate.... (Comments)

The New Home Schooling

Like many Pennsylvania children, eight-year-old Venus Kennedy has just begun third grade, but not in a new and unfamiliar classroom. She is doing all of her schooling from the comfort of her family home near Temple University. Kennedy is among the thousands of youngsters in the Philadelphia region for whom the start of school this year means pulling up a chair in their living room, dining room or bedroom and logging on to a computer. They are attending virtual schools - a fast-growing trend in K-12 education, enrolling about 175,000 students nationwide and estimated 23,000 in Pennsylvania. (Comments)

Finding the Right Cyber Charter

In the new world of public education - where choices abound - parents have to do their homework before picking a school for their child. That's doubly true for cyber charters, which promise a lot but sometimes don't deliver the goods when it comes to quality education. In this installment of The New Home Schooling, reporter Connie Langland offers tips and a list of sources on how to find the cyber charter that best fits your child's needs... (Comments)

A Cyber Future for Education

The John Paul II High School in suburban Montgomery County has all the bells and whistles of a brand-new school--including two cyber learning labs. Advanced Placement courses, once the bragging right of the highest functioning, best funded schools in the region, are becoming commonplace - thanks to the Internet. Students who once were on the verge of dropping out in the Octorara Area School District in Chester County are now making up lost ground - taking so-called credit recovery courses using school computers. (Comments)

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