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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.

Nearly 1,000 participants at a Philadelphia gathering discussed the importance of a diverse teacher workforce and the challenges facing Black male educators.
Mayor Jim Kenney and others stressed that early education is crucial to children’s development and academic success
Superintendent Tony Watlington said the program will get $1.7 million from the district’s budget on top of $2.5 million in pandemic aid already committed.
She applauds the city’s efforts and said they should be replicated around the country.
$40 million facility aims to create more job opportunities that pay well, especially for local Philadelphia graduates.
Black and Hispanic students less likely to have access to quality teachers, good school climate and rigorous courses
After 110 days in office, Superintendent Tony Watlington said Philadelphia schools district must do better.
Doug Mastriano wants a big cut in state school aid, while Josh Shapiro wants more — and more equitable — funding for public schools.
The school board also approved a contract with its service workers at its Sept. 22 meeting.
The 21st Century Schools Model will focus on the entertainment, development, and transportation industries.
Tony Watlington announces 100 schools will close three hours early on Tuesday and Wednesday due to concerns about severe heat.
The district’s agreement with the union representing support staff could avert a strike.
The district’s top safety official stressed that schools remain “the safest place” for students.
Superintendent says “there is a place” for test scores in selective admissions, but that cutoff scores will be reevaluated.
The district also announced COVID protocols covering vaccinations and a “mask to stay” policy.
District officials say the training will help teachers work in a district where most students are Black or Hispanic.
In Pennsylvania, fewer than 4% of teachers are Black, compared to 14.5% of students. In Philadelphia, the percentage of Black teachers is about a quarter, compared to two-thirds of the students.
Teacher Evin Jarrett says a summer program in which students get hands-on lessons about construction is their capstone.
Attorneys battle one more time over whether academic outcomes and funding gaps matter to the state constitution.
Post-trial oral arguments in the battle over the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s K-12 funding system begin July 26.
District’s top financial official says schools need more revenue in the long term.
A Philadelphia official warns the spending deal doesn’t do as much for schools as it should.
Current and former Nashville school officials say Shawn Joseph’s tenure precipitated a “morale crisis.”
The $60 million shortfall is a small share of the district’s overall budget, but officials are worried about the long-term impact.
Career and technical education programs show worth through high graduation rates, student satisfaction.
After ten years leading the district, Hite says his accomplishments constitute a strong “body of work.”