Nonprofit news outlet celebrates 25 years watching Philly schools

Mike DeNardo
June 04, 2019 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A nonprofit education watchdog Tuesday night celebrates a quarter century of covering Philadelphia schools. 

In 1994, a group of concerned parents, including journalist Paul Socolar and now-City Councilwoman Helen Gym, founded the Notebook, a free newspaper with the mission of telling stories from Philadelphia schools that were largely uncovered by the major media.  

Over the years, the Notebook has added the voices of students, parents and teachers to the education debate and launched investigations that exposed issues including widespread cheating on state testing.  

Former Inquirer education reporter and current Notebook contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa says the Notebook has changed the way the media writes about Philadelphia education.

"The coverage is much more about teaching and learning, it's much more about opportunity. It's much more about the quest of students to get a meaningful education that leads to postsecondary opportunities. And these issues really weren't on the front burner when the Notebook started," Mezzacappa said. 

On Tuesday evening at 4.30 p.m., the Notebook celebrates its anniversary with a reception at the National Museum of American Jewish History.