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Strong reactions at West: Outrage, weariness

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 26, 2011 06:12 PM

West Philadelphia High School is set to experience another dramatic shakeup, but there will be no repeat of last year’s tumultuous Renaissance match process.

On Tuesday, District officials announced that West will become a Promise Academy – an outcome that was bitterly opposed by some teachers, parents and community members during West’s ill-fated Renaissance experience last year.

Notebook radio piece on Ren. Schools

By the Notebook on Jan 26, 2011 12:17 PM

You will hear the Notebook on  WHYY again today reporting on Renaissance Schools. This piece describes more about Tuesday's press conference and the impact of the announcement of 18 additional turnaround schools.

Notes from the news, Jan. 26

By Anonymous on Jan 26, 2011 11:02 AM

notes from the news imageUPDATE: Schools will be dismissed at noon.

Second group of Renaissance Schools announced The Notebook blog
Turnaround strategies, including two new "Promise" models, have already been decided for the 18 schools.

See also: Announcing 18 more Renaissance Schools, District questioned on cost, community input The Notebook blog
Radical restructuring for 18 chronically failing Phila. schools The Inquirer
District sets 'turnaround' for 18 more schools Daily News
16 'Renaissance alert' schools also revealed The Notebook blog
Olney East y West serán ‘Escuelas Renacimiento’ Al Día
Year II Renaissance Schools Announced Today A Broad View blog
Big changes coming to S. Phila. High The Inquirer
Arlene Ackerman Screws South Philly High … Again The Philly Post blog

7 Renaissance provider finalists named The Notebook blog
The District also named the seven outside provider organizations eligible to be matched with schools under the Renaissance (Match) Charter model.

West Philly student sits with first lady Daily News
Brandon Ford is a member of the Hybrid X Team and attended last night's State of the Union address.

See also: West Philly Student to Witness State of the Union A Broad View blog

Hundreds Rally For School Choice. Capitol Ideas blog
Most of the students at the rally came from Philadelphia in support of Senate Bill 1, to bring vouchers to Pennsylvania.

See also: School choice debate heating up CBS 21
Agenda for Senate Education Committee Public Hearing Senate Bill 1 February 16, 2011 Keystone State Education Coalition

McCall School displays diversity in action Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key profiles McCall, looks at an After School Activities Partnership program, introduces a Hill-Freeman's new IB program, and more.

See also: Chess Day shows how game solves problems Philadelphia Tribune
Hill-Freeman students going international
Philadelphia Tribune
Day school welcomes Eagles staff to pep rally
Philadelphia Tribune
Build-A-Bear Workshop awarding $10,000 to 10 kids Philadelphia Tribune

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

Announcing 18 more Renaissance Schools, District questioned on cost, community input

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 26, 2011 12:08 AM

Despite controversy about a looming budget shortfall, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman – citing progress with her first cohort of 13 turnaround schools – is moving ahead with plans to dramatically overhaul a second, even larger group of low-performing schools.

Her announcement of this next phase coincided with the release of financial figures by the District showing a much higher price tag for the first round of schools than previously reported.    

7 Renaissance provider finalists named

By Paul Socolar on Jan 25, 2011 08:09 PM

Three current Renaissance School managers are joined by four newcomers as the approved provider finalists who will be vying to turn around this year's cohort of six "Renaissance Match" schools, the School District announced Tuesday evening. The seven successfully completed a request for proposal process. They include:

16 'Renaissance alert' schools also revealed

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 25, 2011 04:17 PM

In addition to the 18 schools announced Tuesday that will undergo turnaround treatment next year as Renaissance Schools are 16 other schools that may be targeted in the future.

As with the Renaissance Schools, these assignments were not strictly on the basis of having the lowest scores on the  School Performance Index.

They are:

Notes from the news, Jan. 25

By Anonymous on Jan 25, 2011 11:01 AM

Renaissance Schools II: Coming [today] The Notebook blog
The names of the second round of Renaissance Schools will be announced this afternoon. Watch our site for updates.

Kenny Gamble's redevelopment plan gets a U.S. grant The Inquirer
Front-page story about Gamble and the federal planning grant his Universal Companies received to create a Promise Neighborhood in Grays Ferry and Point Breeze.

See also: Launch of S. Philly Promise Neighborhood The Notebook blog
$1M grant helps South Philly children Philadelphia Tribune
Promise Neighborhood Created In Philly Fox 29
$1M investment in Grays Ferry, Point Breeze Daily News

Four suspended Philadelphia School District administrators are back on the job The Inquirer
Four of the six administrators who were suspended with pay returned to work on Monday. The administrators were suspended during an investigation into the contracting controversy prompted by an Inquirer investigation.

See also: Four district whistleblowers return The Hall Monitor blog

Ackerman: Philly Schools Must Cut Costs Fox 29
Ackerman spoke about the Promise Neighborhood, facilities master plan, and her plan to stay in Philly during a 10-minute segment.

Philly parents' long-anticipated date with Ackerman approaching The Notebook blog
ACTION United parents have a Feb. 4 meeting with Ackerman, and interested parents and community members are welcome to attend.

White House Invites Philly Teen to State of the Union NBC Philadelphia
Brandon Ford, a student at West Philly High and member of the Hybrid X Team, will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during tonight's State of the Union address.

Notes from the field-School Vouchers and Smear Campaigns City School Stories
A look at the proposed school voucher legislation.

See also: State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams To Introduce School Choice Bill PhillyNow
TONIGHT: Families to Seek School Scholarships at National School Choice Week Event (1/25/2011) PR Newswire

Ravitch at PSBA Keystone State Education Coalition

Police probe 'aggressive' teen behavior in W. Phila. The Inquirer

School gets $10,000 to aid recovery from fire The Inquirer

Local Public Schools Receive Recognition From State Mt. Airy Patch

Parents Camp Out for Kindergarten Spots A Very Public Education

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

Launch of S. Philly Promise Neighborhood

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2011 11:17 PM

Mayor Nutter, Superintendent Ackerman, and Universal Companies founder Kenny Gamble formally launched the Promise Neighborhoods initiative on Monday with an event at Audenried High School. Last fall Universal Companies was awarded a federal grant to create a plan for a Promise Neighborhood in Grays Ferry and Point Breeze.

Ackerman spoke of the initiative and how schools in the neighborhood will benefit  - as well as other education issues - on Fox 29's Good Day Monday morning.

Second group of Renaissance Schools announced

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 24, 2011 11:08 PM

UPDATED 6:00 pm: The District has announced two new turnaround models and a total of 18 new Renaissance Schools.

In a departure from its process during the first year of the Renaissance initiative, the District has already assigned each of the schools to one of four turnaround models, including two new variations on the District-managed Promise Academy model.

The schools:

Renaissance Schools II

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2011 07:29 PM

This post is your quick annotated reference for news and resources on the second cohort of Renaissance Schools.

Philly parents' long-anticipated date with Ackerman approaching

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 24, 2011 02:22 PM

Arlene Ackerman has agreed to a February 4 date for a public forum/meeting with interested parents and community members sponsored by ACTION United.

Notes from the news, Jan. 24

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2011 11:04 AM

notes from the news imageSpeculating on likely Renaissance Schools The Notebook blog
The District hasn't said how it will identify Renaissance Schools this year, but we can use the School Performance Index results and the process the District used last year to speculate on which schools may be on the list.

Pursuing an elusive prize: valid school choice NewsWorks (opinion)
The state senate bill to fund vouchers for low-income students in Pennsylvania needs "serious improvements," but it is a starting place for conversation about real school choice.

See also: WITF Video "The School Choice Debate" Keystone State Education Coalition

Inquirer Editorial: Some schools must close The Inquirer
With a budget deficit looming, "the District needs to close and consolidate schools."

Education and Labor - Pensions Practical Theory blog
Prompted by a post about states declaring bankruptcy to get out of pension obligations, this piece discusses the role of benefits and union contracts.

Kindergarten Registration A Very Public Education
Registration opens today.

Charter schools expand with public, private money AP via Philadelphia Tribune

Dissent Magazine: Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools Keystone State Education Coalition

Modern Schools Practical Theory blog

Perspective - The Autodidact and Khan Academy Practical Theory blog

Black History Month Science Field Trip Brings Science to the Forefront A Broad View

Substitute Teacher Hell Metropolis

Students Run Philly Style A Very Public Education

Inside-out school reform The Workshop Blog

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

Speculating on likely Renaissance Schools

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 21, 2011 03:34 PM

Which low-performing schools will be slated for turnaround in round two of the District’s Renaissance Schools initiative?

While there is still no official word from the District, recently posted School Performance Index (SPI) data provide some possible clues.  

Notes from the news, Jan. 21

By Anonymous on Jan 21, 2011 11:04 AM

notes from the news imageController: School district owes $20M in taxes to feds, state and city Daily News
The city says a method the District has been using to avoid paying taxes on money paid to retired and resigned employees is illegal.

Inquirer Editorial: Charter feud must end The Inquirer
Instead of fighting, charters and the District should "come together" and weigh the issues of charter enrollment.

Voucher bill lists eligible schools The Notebook blog
There are 144 schools throughout the state on the list and of those 88 are from Philly.

Displaced students make the rounds of city's cultural spots NewsWorks
As Global Leadership Academy students adjust to a new building, they have also explored other parts of the city on field trips.

Imagine Great Schools A Very Public Education
An update from the District provides the dates and times of the next round of facilities master plan community meetings.

Have you seen Chelsea Ramsey? The Hall Monitor blog

Green Woods Charter School will relocate by 2012 NewsWorks

Krashen & Ohanian:protect children from poverty before we discuss pedagogy Keystone State Education Coalition

Choice Cuts Week Ending 2011-01-21: We Made the Cut! Philly School Search

This is Why I Blog/Tweet/Use Social Media Philly Teacher blog

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

In case you missed it: Truancy, NCLB, tiger moms

By Lauren Goldman on Jan 20, 2011 05:49 PM

Suit targets Lebanon School District's fines for truancy The Patriot-News
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and NAACP have filed suit against the Lebanon School District for unjust truancy policies with fines and jail time that have exceeded state law. 

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