Skip Navigation

Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Dale Mezzacappa is a journalist who has spent most of her career with the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since 1986, her primary area of coverage has been education and her work has won many local and national awards. Among those cited were stories in a series spanning 13 years that followed the travails of 112 inner city sixth graders promised a free college education by a wealthy philanthropist, and a package commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education that detailed continued racial separation and the vast inequality of educational opportunity in the Philadelphia area. Prior to taking over the education beat, she worked in Trenton and Washington covering politics and government for The Inquirer and The Record of Hackensack, N.J. She is currently contributing editor at The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a bimonthly independent and non-profit publication with a mission to draw attention to injustices facing students in urban schools. A graduate of Vassar and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she teaches a journalism course at Swarthmore College and is a past president of the board of the national Education Writers Association. Contact her at or @dalemezz.

Latest by Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Emergency fund to save Philadelphia child care gives out $1.5M in grants

The application process opened April 6, and within the first weeks, it had received 418 responses. The grants range from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on a center’s size and the number of children served.

By Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Pa. school district leaders call for moratorium on new charters until law is changed

More than 30 superintendents and other school district leaders are calling for a moratorium on new charter schools and charter seats until Harrisburg thoroughly revamps the 23-year-old charter law.

By Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

New year opens with protests, concerns about health conditions in Philadelphia schools

Lou Fantini, a social studies teacher, said safe buildings were a social justice issue and that Philadelphia students deserve safe buildings “like in the suburbs.”

By Avi Wolfman-Arent/Keystone Crossroads and Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

Indonesian parents arrested after two decades in Philly, freed on bond after ICE detention

It has been a long ordeal for the family and for their supporters, a case that particularly angered immigrant advocates.

By Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook

‘Revolutionary’ principal goes all-in on quest for more black teachers

In Pennsylvania, as of 2018, less than 3 percent of teachers are African American, and barely 1 percent are African American males.

By Dale Mezzacappa/Philadelphia Public School Notebook