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Student activists, allies head to DC July 19

By Guest blogger on Jul 12, 2010 01:59 PM

This week's guest blog comes from Anand Jahi of Youth United for Change.


At 8:00 a.m., on Monday, July 19, three buses carrying 150 students, parents, and community members will set out from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. 

We won’t be alone. 

Community members and organizers from across the country will converge in D.C. as part of the Alliance for Educational Justice’s national day of action. 

Notes from the news, July 12

By Anonymous on Jul 12, 2010 09:00 AM

Philadelphia: After decades of effort, a decade of progress Hechinger Report
The Washington Monthly focused an edition on the dropout crisis, and this piece by Dale Mezzacappa tells Philly's story. 

In a district not far away… WHYY (opinion)
An audio essay on the positive work of adults in the Philly schools.

Schools can't avoid tax hikes The Inquirer
Many Philadelphia-area districts will need to raise taxes to make up for budget shortfalls.

A candid conversation with Gregory Thornton Journal Sentinel
Thornton was just sworn in as Milwaukee's new superintendent.

The Power of Words Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher challenges readers to stop themselves and try to phrase statements in a positive way.

In case you missed it: Funding, study time, internships, dropout rate The Notebook blog
Weekly roundup of national stories finds more reporting and blogging on the fight between Congress and the White House over RttT funding.

Painting Parents With a Broad (Offensive) Brush A Very Public Education blog

Brainstorm: Reading A Year in the Life of a Teacher blog

Penn State board approves tuition increase The Inquirer

Small Nonprofit Philadelphia Business Journal

Are libraries unnecessary? The Inquirer

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: Funding, study time, internships, dropout rates

By Jamie Raver on Jul 9, 2010 01:03 PM

Obama's education program faces $500M cut despite veto threat The Washington Post
House Democrats passed the bill to cut funding to Obama's "Race to the Top" program last Thursday. Despite a veto threat from the White House, the representatives believe the bill will preserve education jobs in areas where budgets are floundering.

Notes from the news, July 9

By Anonymous on Jul 9, 2010 09:21 AM

Ackerman, Nutter tout District gains The Notebook blog
Mayor Nutter and Superintendent Ackerman told an audience of 70 local leaders about the strides the District is making in test scores and the positive impact of Imagine 2014.

See also: Ackerman, Nutter fault media reports on school progress The Inquirer
Numbers look good in Philly schools report on student achievement WHYY

Chicago election signals new direction for teacher unionism The Notebook blog
Philly's union could learn some lessons from CORE, the new leadership of the Chicago Teachers' Union.

Another Reason to Push for Post-Secondary Education Biology and Blueberries
Interesting report on lifetime earnings sparks new thoughts about the importance of going to college.

SLAM; A Good Thing Philly Teacher Talks blog
This teacher likes the summer enrichment program and wants to know what you think.

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

Ackerman, Nutter tout District gains

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jul 8, 2010 05:47 PM

Mayor Nutter and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman held a meeting with about 70 business, civic, and political leaders Thursday morning to tout gains on the state PSSA and brag that the District is moving in the right direction under her Imagine 2014 reforms -- but that this progress is not being recognized by the public or in the media.

Chicago election signals new direction for teacher unionism

By Ron Whitehorne on Jul 8, 2010 01:22 PM

The election of CORE, a social justice union slate, to lead the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union is reverberating across the labor movement and sending a signal that teachers are no longer willing to be the punching bag for corporate-inspired school reformers.

CTU President Elect Karen Lewis put it this way in her acceptance speech

Notes from the news, July 8

By Anonymous on Jul 8, 2010 08:52 AM

Confessions of a 5th year teacher The Notebook blog
Teacher Molly Thacker has made it to the five-year mark, which many teachers never do, and she has some starkly honest reflections.

Students Stand with Taxi Workers Philly Education Justice blog
PSU members stood vigil with taxi drivers and other allies in response to the recent ICE raid on drivers. Shania Morris of PSU drew parallels between the structural violence faced by taxi drivers and young people.

Tax amnesty nets $60M for city, schools Daily News
Of that $60 million, $20 million will go to the District.

Inquirer (partially) wins disclosure request on Ackerman bonus The Notebook blog
The District has 30 days to appeal the ruling, but has not decided if it will.

Clear Channel Philadelphia hosts Digital Youth Summit RBR.com
The summit is today from 5:30-6:15 p.m. Mayor Nutter will answer questions from students and the event will be hosted by Loraine Ballard Morrill.

Community Organizing and the Algebra Project Practical Theory blog
Robert Moses helped register voters in Mississippi in the '60s. He began The Algebra Project on the premise that math literacy is key to success in life.

Turning Words into Action: Part 2--Be Heard Philly Teacher blog
As Philly Teacher posted on the Notebook's Facebook page, she encourages people to write to their federal representatives to support 21st century schools.

A Perversion in Philadelphia Biology and Blueberries
Another voice chimes in about West Philly High.

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

Inquirer (partially) wins disclosure request on Ackerman bonus

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jul 7, 2010 02:13 PM

The Inquirer filed a request with the state Office of Public Records to see the the criteria used to award Superintendent Arlene Ackerman a $65,000 bonus. It also sought a copy of the evaluation itself.

Confessions of a 5th year teacher

By Molly Thacker on Jul 7, 2010 11:38 AM

As I completed my fifth year of teaching this June, it occurred to me that I had survived the curse and beaten the statistic of half of all new teachers quitting within their first five years

Although I find it much more honorable to recognize teachers who have made education their life’s work and have put in 25, 30, 35 years in public schools, I sighed a breath of relief at five years under my belt and took time to reflect on what I have learned in the past five years that will sustain me in the next 25. 

Notes from the news, July 7

By Anonymous on Jul 7, 2010 08:17 AM

Governor Rendell signs budget, touts education funding increases The Notebook blog
The budget includes a $250 million increase in education funding, which was $100 million less than Rendell originally planned for education.

See also: Schools to adjust budget in wake of $ shortage Daily News

Editorial: Parents want more The Inquirer
The ed board urges Superintendent Ackerman to look closely at the recent Pew study on school options.

Heat closes South Philly elementary school WHYY
Scenes of students leaving school with their parents in yesterday's heat.

Teachers' jobs vs. Race to the Top? The Notebook blog
Democrats in Congress want to take funding from RttT and use it to help save teachers from layoffs.

Evolution or Revolution... or something else Practical Theory blog
Chris Lehmann reflects on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the "fourth R."

See also: Is ISTE Still Relevant for Young Educators? Philly Teacher blog

Finally, We're Getting Somewhere A Very Public Education
Public Ed Mom finds some hope in recent bills affecting school lunches.

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook Philly Teacher blog
Shout out to the Notebook. Thanks, Philly Teacher!

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

Governor Rendell signs budget, touts education funding increases

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Jul 6, 2010 04:13 PM

Just a few hours ago, Gov. Rendell signed the last state budget of his eight-year term. During a signing ceremony held at a school near Harrisburg, Rendell touted the budget's $250 million increase in education funding, telling the assembled children "...this budget is for you." He also acknowledged that difficult cuts are inevitable this recession-battered year.

Teachers' jobs vs. Race to the Top?

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Jul 6, 2010 12:09 PM

"When a ship is sinking, you don't worry about redesigning a room; you worry about keeping it afloat."

This is what Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said of "Race to the Top (RttT)" money he wants to reroute to save teachers' jobs across the country. 

Notes from the news, July 6

By Anonymous on Jul 6, 2010 09:27 AM

Cruz removed from West Philadelphia The Notebook blog
Unexpected news that broke just before the holiday weekend continues to reverberate--56 comments on our post and counting.

See also: In a surprise, Ackerman replaces principal Saliyah Cruz at West Philly High The Inquirer
West Philly High gets new principal Daily News
Did Saliyah Cruz Steal Arlene's Thunder? A Good Day Teaching blog

Phila. School District Programs: Early Dismissal Tuesday Fox 29
Programs will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. today

School District must release Ackerman criteria The Inquirer
The state's office of open records ruled that the District must release the criteria used to evaluate Superintendent Ackerman for her $65,000 bonus.

The passing of a champion of civil rights The Notebook blog
Bill Taylor was a longtime member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Karen Heller: School hero not taking job loss quietly The Inquirer
Violet Sutton-Lawson protected students during the violence at South Philly High on Dec. 3, but she was recently laid off from her position at the school.

New Media charter school satisfies SRC conditions for operating charter The Inquirer
The school has satisfied all 23 conditions the SRC set for it to retain its charter.

A New Pennsylvania, For All Pennsylvanians The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
Interview with Gov. Rendell where he reiterates his commitment to education.

Why School? Practical Theory blog

Frustration fuels march to charter schools Delaware Online

Broadband stimulus grant to provide $6.4 million for public computer centers  Technically Philly

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

The passing of a champion of civil rights

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jul 5, 2010 12:30 PM

I had been looking for a way to note the passing of Bill Taylor, a lifelong civil rights activist, colleague of Thurgood Marshall and longtime member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Inky ran a short obit of him Monday.

In case you missed it: Test scores, job markets, and cutting the numbers

By Jamie Raver on Jul 2, 2010 11:39 AM

Lawmaker wants to shift some 'Race to the Top' funds to prevent teacher layoffs Washington Post
Democrats disagree over federal funding for schools - should priority go to maintaining jobs for teachers or favoring schools with better performance?  Although a law is a long way from going in to effect, the Race to the Top initiative may face large budget cuts.

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