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Notes from the news, Apr. 14

By Anonymous on Apr 14, 2010 09:17 AM

District chooses 6 nonprofits as potential Renaissance school operators The Inquirer
All six were finalists in the preliminary process, and now School Advisory Councils at the nine Renaissance Schools will get to recommended managers from this pool, for final approval by the SRC in May.

See also: Six providers to vie for Renaissance schools The Notebook blog
6 finalists in running of Renaissance schools Daily News
Lista oficial de administradores para Escuelas Renacimiento Al Día

Philadelphia schools' service workers finalize new contract WHYY
The new contract for 3,000 of aides, bus drivers, and other support staff includes a pay raise.

See also: District support staff gets raise in new contract The Inquirer

Parents work to rejuvenate a public school The Inquirer
The parents are working to prepare Jackson Elementary in South Philly for their toddlers.

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, II The Notebook blog
Part two in the three part series details issues with the Corrective Math curriculum.

Philadelphia: Parent Organizations Seek Accountability in Schools Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Profile of the Parent Power group.

SRC to get earful today over $1 land transfer Daily News

Pact OKd for Wakisha Charter School teachers The Inquirer

Childs Elementary focuses on creating life long learners The 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

Six providers to vie for Renaissance schools

By Paul Socolar on Apr 13, 2010 08:51 PM

Six organizations have sought and received the District's stamp of approval to vie for contracts to manage one or more schools in the first cohort of nine Renaissance Schools effective next fall.

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, II

By Guest blogger on Apr 13, 2010 01:02 PM

This week's guest blog is the second installment in a three-part series about Corrective Math from Dr. Caroline Ebby, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Last week we learned about the math curricula the District uses. This week focuses on issues with Corrective Math. Next week, we'll learn about alternative options.

Notes from the news, Apr. 13

By Anonymous on Apr 13, 2010 09:29 AM

Charter school scandals in Philadelphia WHYY
Interviews with City Controller Alan Butkovitz about his charter school report, Superintendent Ackerman, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools.

Looking out for the most vulnerable The Notebook
There are specific programs in place to help pregnant and parenting, homeless, adjudicated, and foster teens graduate.

Buckling down, measuring up, and bubbling to the finish line. Time for the PSSA. The Notebook blog
So much emphasis is placed on test-taking skills, but what about content knowledge?

Using Web Based Media to Foster Positive Collaboration with Youth: Getting Started The After School Hip Hop Project

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

Buckling down, measuring up, and bubbling to the finish line: Time for the PSSA

By Timothy Boyle on Apr 12, 2010 01:14 PM

The PSSA has descended upon Philadelphia. While my 4th graders don't take the science section until the 26th, we've been prepping for over a month now.

Notes from the news, Apr. 12

By Anonymous on Apr 12, 2010 10:15 AM

Putting a new focus on science The Inquirer
Science is the theme of this year's Report Card on the Schools. You'll also find stats for schools in Philly and throughout the region.

New law planned to boost Pa. charter oversight The Inquirer
The law would strengthen financial oversight to respond to "charter greed."

See also: More Charter Control Metropolis

'I will fight,' says girl, but denies report The Inquirer
The Inquirer found and interviewed the "Cambodian female" referenced as a fight instigator in the Giles Report about violence at South Philly High.

Weingarten at West Philly High: A model community school? The Notebook blog
AFT President Randi Weingarten visited West where she learned about the significant improvements in community relationships at the school.

See also: Walnut Hill: What is Best for West High? Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Why three big donors got behind Williams The Inquirer
Big donations are nothing new to school-choice supporter donors who gave $1.5 million to Williams' campaign.

Letters: The Inquirer
Readers write in about Williams and Penn Alexander's principal. 

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

Weingarten at West Philly High: A model community school?

By the Notebook on Apr 9, 2010 05:16 PM

by Bill Hangley Jr.

The head of the national teachers' union was at West Philadelphia High this week to ask, “How can I help you?” For many of the teachers at West, any help she provides may come too late.

Notes from the news, Apr. 9

By Anonymous on Apr 9, 2010 09:21 AM

Butkovitz: Charter schools spending like it's their money Daily News
The city controller also found that the District is not doing an adequate job of oversight of the $350 million spent on 67 charter schools.

See also: City Controller report blames District for lack of charter oversight The Notebook blog
Report faults oversight of Philadelphia charter schools WHYY
Phila. Controller Says There's No Oversight of Charter Schools KYW
Charter-school report puts blame on School District The Inquirer
Charter Schools Had Blank Checks Fox 29
Fraude y abuso en Escuelas ‘Charter’ Al Día
Report: Philly charter schools risk taxpayer money AP via Atlanta Journal Constitution

Large, varied system of alternative schools serves returning students The Notebook
Students at the Re-engagement Center find "multiple pathways," a variety of programs, to help them graduate, get a GED, or build skills.

Getting Started Series: The Parent Talk Philly School Search blog

A letter from a J.S. Jenks Alumna This Year at Jenks blog

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Notes from the news

City Controller report blames District for lack of charter oversight

By Wendy Harris on Apr 8, 2010 11:08 PM

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz held a press conference yesterday to release a 94-page report of the findings from an in-depth investigation into 13 Philadelphia charter schools, while aiming much of his criticism at the School District for its failure to keep abuses of the charter law in check.

Notes from news, Apr. 8

By Anonymous on Apr 8, 2010 10:01 AM

Sebelius calls for a wider role for city schools The Inquirer
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the Coalition for Community Schools forum taking place in Philly this week.

See also: Parley discusses role of schools Daily News
High School Students Will Debate Benefits of Community Schools UC Review

After schools are chosen, District discloses some Promise Academy details The Notebook blog
The Promise Academies will have a variety of supports and enrichment activities but will need to "earn" autonomy.

City controller cites charter-school profiteering The Inquirer
The controller's final report on charter schools is to be released today. It will include suggestions on tightening loopholes in the state charter school law.

Bala Cynwyd investors donate $1.5M to Williams The Inquirer
The candidate for governor received the money from school choice PACs.

See also: Big contribution, seemingly a record-breaker, fueled Williams’ money haul PA2010.com

Renaissance Schools and Croyden Apartments Top Agenda for Neighborhood Associations UC Review

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Notes from the news

QuickTakes April 2010

By May Truong on Apr 7, 2010 01:42 PM

quicktakes
_________________________________________________


After five years of public attention & millions of dollars directed at the dropout crisis, what have been the biggest changes for students & families?

 
 

After schools are chosen, District discloses some Promise Academy details

By Dale Mezzacappa on Apr 7, 2010 12:46 PM

It has taken a while, but finally, the School District has elaborated somewhat on what a Promise Academy will look like. 

As schools were submitting applications last month indicating whether or not they wanted to be Promise Academies, there was little in writing about the model. When the District announced on March 30 which schools would be turned over to outside providers as Renaissance Schools and which were selected as Promise Academies, the draft press release said a fuller description of the Promise Academy would be attached, but it was not. 

Notes from the news, Apr. 7

By Anonymous on Apr 7, 2010 09:52 AM

Dropped out? No, pushed out The Notebook
There's a national push to reframe the discussion of dropping out to one of students being pushed out of school by a variety of factors. Youth United for Change started a new chapter for pushed out students.

See also: Dropouts, Disconnected Youths, & Diplomas The Notebook

Williams' jaw-dropping coffers for Pa. top post The Inquirer
Governor candidate State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has received $1 million from two school choice PACs.

Letters: Don't overlook the good that Harambee does The Inquirer
Harambee's CEO responds to the recent night club news.

FCC loses key ruling on Internet 'neutrality' AP via the Bulletin
This ruling could have far reaching consequences. The Notebook and several other organizations in Philly are part of the Digital Justice Coalition, which is working to expand Internet access in Philly.

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Apr. 6

By Anonymous on Apr 6, 2010 09:23 AM

Correcting the Corrective Math problem The Notebook blog
This is the first in a three-part series about Corrective Math by guest blogger Caroline Ebby. Part one explains how Corrective Math fits with the District's other math curricula.

Ronnie Polaneczky: A fed probe and a suddenly shy Veronica Joyner Daily News
Joyner founded the Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School and her school is now facing questions about its finances.

Editorial: Fighting failure The Inquirer
Cautions Superintendent Ackerman not to rely too heavily on charters for her Renaissance Schools turnaround program.

Penn neighborhood blooms around a top school The Inquirer
Penn Alexander Elementary School is luring Center City families west.

Letters: Flash-mob students need something to lose The Inquirer

The Times Are A-Changing Philly Teacher blog

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Notes from the news

Correcting the Corrective Math problem

By Guest blogger on Apr 5, 2010 12:54 PM

This week's guest blog is from Caroline Ebby, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. This is the first in a series of three guest blog posts by Dr. Ebby about Corrective Math. This post will give you a little background on the District's current math curriculum and how Corrective Math fits in with that. The second will analyze Corrective Math specifically, and the final post will describe alternatives to the Corrective Math program.


As a mathematics educator and consultant for two Empowerment schools in Philadelphia, I am acutely aware of and concerned about the effects of the Corrective Math program on the achievement gap and students' access to higher-level mathematics. While the need for intervention in mathematics is paramount, the fact remains that Corrective Math reflects an instructional model that is outdated, overly simplistic, and counterproductive.

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