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Ed. Sec. Zahorchak heading for Allentown

By Anonymous on Apr 24, 2010 08:32 PM

Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak has resigned, effective May 7. Gov. Ed Rendell is expected to name a successor by that date to fill out his term, which ends in January.

On July 1, Zahorchak will take over as superintendent of the Allentown School District.

Zahorchak has served as education secretary since 2005. He also served as deputy secretary for elementary and secondary education and superintendent of the Greater Johnstown School District.

Notes from the news, Apr. 23

By Anonymous on Apr 23, 2010 07:10 AM

Immigrant students find school system didn't have them in mind The Notebook
Immigrant students often " often wind up in inappropriate settings, receiving inappropriate instruction."

Clout: Williams, Hoeffel tangle on school-voucher issue Daily News
At a gubenatorial candidates' forum argued about the definition of school vouchers.

Charter school spared a move to avoid chemicals The Inquirer
Discovery Charter's neighbor was found to have hazardous chemicals on site, but since it promises to clean them up within 48 the school will not have to move.

Beeber: An ArtsZone hub The Notebook blog
The ArtsRising collaboration is starting out in five schools, including Beeber. Eighth grader Precious Lee wrote about what art and this new arts program mean to her.

A Radical Notion Practical Theory blog
That notion is that national standards "be written by successful people not of that field. Poets writing math standards, etc..."

Floating Biology and Blueberries blog
A District science teacher wrote about her experience convincing a student who nearly dropped out to come back to school.

New Traveling AAMP Exhibit Opens History to Middle Schoolers KYW

ASD chooses Zahorchak, state education secretary, as its new superintendent The Morning Call

SRC contrató a nuevo asesor de educación Al Día

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Notes from the news

Beeber: An ArtsZone hub

By Samuel Reed III on Apr 22, 2010 12:39 PM

Community partners, business leaders, artists, parents, and students of Beeber Middle School will meet on April 28th at 5 p.m. to plan for a newly launched Art Zone. The program was established in collaboration with ArtsRising, a comprehensive youth initiative supported by the Philadelphia Education Fund, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, and Fleisher Art Memorial.

Beeber is one of the five inaugural ArtsRising ArtZone hubs. ArtsZone hubs are geographical areas anchored by schools that are linked integrally to their surrounding neighborhoods and arts resources within communities and the larger city. Other inaugural ArtZone hubs will be located at:

  • Warren G. Harding Middle School
  • John B. Stetson Middle School
  • Grover Washington Middle School
  • C.A.A. Baldi Middle School

What follows is a guest blog contribution written by Precious Lee, an 8th grader at Beeber Middle School. She is one of Beeber’s leading student journalists. She has written about her views on art and the launching of the ArtsRising ArtsZone hubs.

Please spread the word about Beeber's ArtZone and encourage Precious with comments and questions about what role art should play in schools.

Notes from the news, Apr. 22

By the Notebook on Apr 22, 2010 09:51 AM

Budget forecast: Another year of growth The Notebook blog
The District anticipates additional dollars from stimulus funding and an increase in state funding.

See also: School district reveals budget; eyeing $163M in federal aid Daily News
Phila. School District proposes $3.2B budget The Inquirer

Supporters of charter criticize Butkovitz report The Inquirer
People testified in support of expansion of KIPP and People for People Charter School, among other charters.

How much is a buck worth? Why a District land deal needs more scrutiny The Notebook blog
The deal for land behind Duckrey Elementary raises questions about the SRC's decision making and the District's capital budget.

Longtime Philadelphia educator is now a Hall of Famer Daily News
Erlene Bass Nelson, a retired teacher of 51 years, was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

In Latin, he's what we could describe in English as perfect Daily News
Boys' Latin student Ameer Purdie received a perfect score on the National Latin Exam.

Mastbaum School leading students to successful careers Philadelphia Tribune
Students receive vocational education and with their diploma, a certificate in their vocation.

The #140 Character Conference Philly Teacher blog
Philly teacher participated in a panel discussion about teaching social media to students.

See also: #140Conf Talk and Telling Our Story Practical Theory blog

Campaign for Nonviolent Schools Flash Mob a Success Philly Education Justice blog

Union protests pay disparity for school janitors WHYY

Discouraging Parents from the Get Go: Why Restricting Pre-K and K is a Bad Idea A Very Public Education blog

Frankford: Celebrating 100 Years at Frankford High School Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Auditor General Jack Wagner Asks Philadelphia School District to Finally Provide Swaps Details PRNewsWire

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Notes from the news

Budget forecast: Another year of growth

By Paul Socolar on Apr 21, 2010 10:56 PM

Unlike districts across the country that are grappling with teacher layoffs and harsh cutbacks, the School District of Philadelphia, in its $3.2 billion draft budget for 2010-11 released Wednesday, projects a third consecutive year of new and expanded offerings.

jQuery testing

By May Truong on Apr 21, 2010 04:53 PM

April 2010 Focus on Dropouts, Disconnected Youth, & Diplomas

Looking out for the most vunerable

by Sheila Simmons and Lynne Blumberg

How much is a buck worth? Why a District land deal needs more scrutiny

By Helen Gym on Apr 21, 2010 01:12 PM

When is a dollar not worth a dollar? Take a look at last week’s media stories (Daily News  and Inquirer), which blew open a District land transfer deal for a politically connected development group. The story raises serious questions not only about the SRC’s secretive decisionmaking process, but also the wheeling and dealing behind the District’s new land management policy and its enormous – and almost entirely unscrutinized – capital budget. And as the SRC votes today on the sale of six more properties, public concern and oversight is more necessary than ever.

Notes from the news, Apr. 21

By Anonymous on Apr 21, 2010 08:52 AM

A 'flash' of peaceful inspiration Daily News
About 100 students held a demonstration in Rittenhouse Square as part of a campaign against school violence and to show that "we are not a flash mob."

See also: Campaign for Nonviolent Schools Flash Mob a Success PSU Blog
City students campaign against school violence The Inquirer
Phila. Students Show the ''Flash'' Without the ''Mob'' in Rittenhouse Square KYW

School accountability bill clears committee hurdle WHYY
The bill would be renewed, and expanded to include a four-tier system for low performing schools.

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, III The Notebook blog
The final installment in a series by Dr. Caroline Ebby. This guest blog post describes alternatives to Corrective Math.

Monica Yant Kinney: A musical score for a city school The Inquirer
The picture accompanying this column looks like a still from Glee, but it's actually Welsh Elementary music teacher Maura DiBerardinis in action.

Karen Heller: A peace kept by the students themselves The Inquirer
A look at George Washington High's peer mediation program.

School District of Philadelphia Parents invited to Third Annual Autism Expo UC Review
The expo takes place this Friday. It was started by Howe Elementary special education teacher Mona Cohen.

Happy 100th Birthday, Frankford High School! The Frankford Gazette

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Notes from the news

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, III

By Guest blogger on Apr 20, 2010 02:15 PM

This guest blog is the final installment in a three-part series about Corrective Math from Dr. Caroline Ebby, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Dr. Ebby already went over the current math curriculum in the District and issues with Corrective Math. This week Dr. Ebby describes alternatives to Corrective Math.

Notes from the news, Apr. 20

By Anonymous on Apr 20, 2010 09:18 AM

Janitors threaten strike at 22 Philadelphia schools WHYY
The janitors have been working without a contract since December and are trying to negotiate one that will bring their pay in line with District-employed janitors.

See also: Group of Janitors in Phila. Vote to Authorize Walkout KYW

'Everyday Math' gripes aired Daily Review
Parents in Canton are unhappy with the curriculum, but the program's website cites Philly as a success story.

Monday musings: School District shenanigans, new study shows gamblings' benefits are few, and more on S. Philly High Young Philly Politics
A study about Bensonhurst High had striking similarities to South Philly High.

"We are family!" When charter schools can hire family members of the CEO Lexology
A corporate lawyer's view of Philly's charter woes.

A teacher network rooted in service learning The Notebook blog
A guest blog from Need in Deed describing their Teacher Network professional development program, which is accepting applications now.

Board rejects SEIU's appeal of UNITE HERE representation of District aides The Notebook blog

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Notes from the news

Board rejects SEIU's appeal of UNITE HERE representation of District aides

By Ron Whitehorne on Apr 19, 2010 05:04 PM

Last October Philadelphia School District food service workers and noon-time aides voted by a two-to-one margin to remain with UNITE HERE Local 634. The election was a consequence of the earlier split in the national union. The Philadelphia Joint Board, which affiliated with SEIU, sought to take control of the local, but their bid was rejected in a heated campaign.

A teacher network rooted in service learning

By Guest blogger on Apr 19, 2010 04:44 PM

Today we have a guest blog from Kimberly Kirn at Need in Deed (NID). She has information about their Teacher Network program.


Each year Need in Deed accepts 30 Philadelphia public school teachers in grades 3-8 into our Teacher Network. We're accepting applications for next year's cohort now. Applications are due this Friday, April 23.

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to Friday, May 7. Also, there will be another information session Wednesday, May 5 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Bache-Martin School (2201 Brown Street).

Notes from the news, Apr. 19

By Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 09:35 AM

Can Philadelphia learn from Lafayette High? The Inquirer
Lafayette High in New York City experienced a shift in racial demographics similar to South Philly High, and found that a focus on social and emotional learning helped improve things.

Not Just a Philly Thing: Addressing Inequities in School Funding Across Pennsylvania Philly Education Justice blog
PSU has gathered stories about how last year's state funding increase, a first step in addressing the costing out study gap, has helped students and teachers.

Editorial: It takes parents The Inquirer
A positive spin on the influence involved parents can have on a school.

My TEDxNYED Talk - Creating School 2.0 Practical Theory blog
You can watch Chris Lehmann's speech, which was filmed by SLA students.

Protests revived over school land The Inquirer

Computadoras gratis en Clemente Al Día

Students Stand with Temple Nurses on the Picket Line PSU Blog

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Apr. 16

By Anonymous on Apr 16, 2010 09:11 AM

For teachers, a question about a question Daily News
The PFT is challenging, citing privacy concerns, a new question in the District hiring process online that asks about prior unsatisfactory performance or disciplinary issues.

Put that census money to better use, in the Philly schools The Notebook blog
This guest blog is of the speech that won second place in the Citywide Student Government Census Oratorical Contest.

Who's responsible for the charter school oversight fiasco? It's Our Money
The Daily News' editorial yesterday argued that carelessness with public money didn't start with the District.

District's Imagine 2014 plan includes focus on dropout prevention The Notebook
New programs include Crossroads, which targets over-age middle school students.

Fairhill: Art and Literacy for Kids Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Temple's Attack on the Middle Class Young Philly Politics

SOS: Save Our Schools! Philadelphia Student Union blog

He lost out to schools' Ackerman, now she's hired him at 180G Daily News

Phila. 8th grader detained for knife in school 6ABC

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Notes from the news

Put that census money to better use, in the Philly schools

By Guest blogger on Apr 15, 2010 12:54 PM

Another guest blog this week. This is from the April 14 SRC meeting where Shaquille McKnight of E. Washington Rhodes High School spoke about the importance of investing in District schools. She was the second place winner in the Citywide Student Government Census Oratorical Contest. Here's the speech that earned her 2nd place: 


The United States Government census will take place this year. A census counts the current population in each state to determine how much government funding each state will receive. The 2010 census money will go to jobs, schools, health, buildings, transportation, and education.

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