Dale Mezzacappa

Senior Reporter, Chalkbeat Philadelphia

Dale Mezzacappa is a Senior Reporter for Chalkbeat Philadelphia. She most recently served as contributing editor of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, an independent nonprofit news site, which in August 2020 merged with Chalkbeat. She joined the Notebook in 2008 after 27 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she was a senior education writer. Earlier in her career she reported on government and politics from Trenton and Washington, DC for The Inquirer and The Record of Hackensack, N.J. Her writing has earned awards from the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the New Jersey Press Association, the Keystone Press Association, and the Columbia University School of Journalism. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and for 15 years has taught a journalism course at Swarthmore College. Dale graduated from Vassar and is a past president of the Education Writers Association. Contact her at dmezzacappa@chalkbeat.org or @dalemezz.

Last school year, 199 Philadelphia students were victims of gun violence, and 33 died.
The settlement with Aspira will end a disagreement over funding for two schools that didn’t follow student enrollment limits.
Voluntary busing for desegregation, labor peace, standardized curriculum: Clayton left a palpable legacy but, like others, could not significantly move student achievement in one of the nation’s poorest school districts
The commission will deliver a report to Gov. Josh Shapiro in November to guide development of a fairer, more adequate funding system.
The new school year will also feature new curriculum materials and a revamped plan to make students safer.
Watlington said this coming school year he’s focused on accelerating reading and math performance, school safety, and high-impact tutoring.
The number of schools with elementary-age children that have play equipment has risen in recent years, the district said.
Many are still pursuing certification as they embark on new careers in the classroom.
Under the revised system, selective schools will still use minimum test scores for admissions, but individual schools’ requirements are still being worked out.
The district will get $2.5 million to help with data collection and support from the city to complete their required facilities inspections.
Math teachers will use the materials in the upcoming school year as part of what Superintendent Tony Watlington called an “historic investment.”
Instead of waiting until their 22nd birthday, Pennsylvania allows districts to end services during the school year in which a student with disabilities turns 21, a lawsuit alleges.
Pennsylvania House Democrats’ refusal to pass a budget bill with a school voucher program halted negotiations but Shapiro vowed to line-item veto the voucher program when a budget bill hits his desk.
Republicans are leaning into an education agenda that targets comprehensive sex education and LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and boosts school-choice policies
At a six-hour meeting, the board also nixes a charter renewal, spends $205 million, and mandates Juneteenth instruction
Corinne Scioli’s vision is in sync with the school district’s strategic plan, which calls for accelerating academic achievement and increasing students’ ‘global awareness.’
The district said the decision to close schools to students was made “out of an abundance of caution.” Staff are still expected to report to school buildings on Friday.
Superintendent Tony Watlington wants new incentives for educators to work at schools that are difficult to staff, a $70 million overhaul to curriculum materials, and more.
Although asbestos is only considered a health hazard when it starts to flake, several school closures linked to the material this year have caused serious concern among Philadelphia parents and others.
Superintendent Tony Watlington has been promising to release a five-year strategic plan since he took office. Almost one year and a $450,000 consulting contract later, that plan is set to go to a vote May 25, but the public knows next to nothing about it.
Cherelle Parker and Tony Watlington haven’t shared details about how big changes to the academic calendar would work.
Parker — who is poised to become the first woman to serve as Philadelphia’s mayor — has big ideas for schools, but the teachers union and other power players will help determine their fate.
Frankford High School students staged a production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” at another school, after their building was one of several in the district to close recently due to damaged asbestos.
Councilmember Isaiah Thomas wants to discuss creating a new authority to manage school construction and repairs, although a similar approach in New Jersey has fared poorly.
Lillian Izzard and Amanda Jones have won the school district’s prestigious Lindback Award for principals.
C.W. Henry is the fourth school building to close in recent weeks and district officials anticipate more closures could be looming.
The district has come under fire for failing to present a long-term plan for students if more schools shut down.
The mayor has no direct control over the schools, but does have the power to appoint all of the school board members who can then carry out the mayor’s vision regarding charter schools, the lottery admission process, and other education issues. Here’s where the candidates stand.