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Notes from the news, Nov. 24

By Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 10:55 AM

notes from the news imageTeachers' union chief pushes for funding for school libraries Daily News
More than half of Philly's schools don't have libraries. PFT president Jerry Jordan said "a library is one of the best investments" you can make in a school.

See also: Teachers union chief pushes for libraries in Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
Re-open libraries, says PFT prez Hall Monitor blog

Wagner Middle turns the good into the best Philadelphia Tribune
The Tribune's weekly education feature, the Learning Key, comes out every Tuesday. These are this week's pieces about the Philly schools.

See also: Grammy-winner’s visit inspires music students Philadelphia Tribune
Sen. Williams empowers Alcorn students to read
Philadelphia Tribune
City kicks off campaign for healthier schools
Philadelphia Tribune

'A Community Concern,' cinematic counterpoint to 'Superman' The Notebook blog
The Notebook and Teacher Action Group are sponsoring a screening of "A Community Concern" Dec. 1.

What We Can Do - New Teachers Practical Theory blog
The first in what SLA principal Chris Lehmann hopes will be a series addresses what education leaders can do immediately.

Christie: I won't leave this place the way I found it Daily News
Pennsylvania's governor-elect has indicated he sees Christie as a model. Schools in New Jersey have had drastic cuts in state aid.

City prisoners' low reading and math levels surprise officials The Inquirer

Mayor Nutter Waits for Superman at the National Constitution Center Phillyist

GSA’s Link Straight and LGBT Communities Out in Jersey

Cole and Heidi Hamels talk about baseball, education, and poker KY3

The Notes will be back on Monday. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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

'A Community Concern,' cinematic counterpoint to 'Superman'

By Ron Whitehorne on Nov 23, 2010 06:17 PM

Davis Guggenheim’s "Waiting for 'Superman'" documentary has quickly become the media narrative about what’s wrong with public education and how to fix it. It boils down to the argument that bad teachers and their unions are the culprits and charter schools are the solution.  

The documentary “A Community Concern” tells a different story and points us in a different direction when it comes to solutions.

Notes from the news, Nov. 23

By Anonymous on Nov 23, 2010 09:03 AM

notes from the news imageEx-student grateful for College Access Philadelphia Tribune
Current teacher and former Philly public schools student Shanee Garner tells how the Philadelphia Education Fund's College Access program helped her get to college.

Where are teacher evaluations getting us? Part 1 The Notebook blog
Timothy Boyle outlines how teacher evaluations are supposed to function in Philly.

PFT prez calls for a library in every public school The Hall Monitor blog
Jerry Jordan will hold a press conference today to press the District into prioritizing well-resourced libraries.

Next week, parents report to school, and bring your homework The Hall Monitor blog
Next week are parent-teacher conferences.

Feelin’ the Love A Year in the Life of a Teacher blog

Notes from the field: Strong Adults Draw Strength From Powerful Ideas City School Stories

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

Where are teacher evaluations getting us? Part 1

By Timothy Boyle on Nov 22, 2010 03:34 PM

What decides whether a teacher is doing a satisfactory or unsatisfactory job? How do we as teachers know if we are meeting the teaching standards the School District of Philadelphia has decided upon, and what they are? Where does the common language come from that is used to facilitate the most important conversations administrators and teachers can have? Do evaluations lead to better student outcomes?

In part one of this series, we'll review what teacher evaluation looks like now.

Notes from the news, Nov. 22

By Anonymous on Nov 22, 2010 10:02 AM

notes from the news imageThanks to Lauren for her work on the Notes over the past two weeks!

TEDxPhilly continues tech’s momentum in the city Technically Philly
The talk included educators: SLA principal Chris Lehmann and Simon Hauger, the advisor for the West Philly hybrid car team.

See also: A Philly spin on the TED conference The Inquirer
TEDxPhilly Practical Theory blog
Take the Power Back: Teacher-Run Schools Philly Teacher blog
Monica Yant Kinney: Philly's creative class gathers for unconventional convention The Inquirer

Agresión en escuelas de Filadelfia Univision
Video about violence at Edison High School.

YesPhilly helps dropouts get back on track Philadelphia Tribune
This year is YesPhilly's 10th anniversary, and every year it teaches 250-300 students multimedia skills and helps them get their GED.

Reform commission to lobby for summer school Philadelphia Tribune
Due to the success of SLAM this year, two commissioners said they would make an effort to make sure the program is funded, even with a budget crisis looming.

5 Emerging Trends That Give Hope for Public Media 2.0 MediaShift
Our partnership with WHYY is one of those trends!

Officers Injured In Brawl Outside Lincoln High KYW

Elementary School Diversity Reconsidered Philly School Search

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

Notes from the news, Nov. 19

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 19, 2010 11:38 AM

Annette John-Hall: More relaxed, refocused, Supt. Arlene Ackerman says she's learned from last year's mistakes The Inquirer
Superintendent Ackerman expresses regrets over the handling of violence at South Philadelphia High.

Ackerman & union join in effort to end violence against teachers The Daily News

Local charter schools reach out to parents The Philadelphia Tribune

District summer school report: Incomplete The Notebook
A District report on the 2010 summer program was lacking important information about how many students actually showed up.

See also: 58,000 Philly students took part in expanded summer-school program Philadelphia Daily News 
Reform commission to lobby for summer school The Philadelphia Tribune

Chris Lehmann & Science Leadership Academy Philly blog
Shadowing the principal of SLA for a day reveals what is happening at the high school.

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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District summer school report: Incomplete

By Paul Socolar on Nov 18, 2010 01:58 PM

Getting detailed and accurate numbers for summer school participation in Philadelphia has long been a challenge, and yesterday was no exception.

Notes from the news, Nov. 18

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 18, 2010 11:37 AM

Philadelphia schools attribute gains to summer school The Inquirer According to Philadelphia School District officials, a record number of students have improved their academic performance because of summer school.

Report: Less than half of Phila. high graduates go to college The Inquirer

Letters: A response on Philadelphia school closings The Philadelphia Daily News
Leroy Nunery responds to Notebook blogger Helen Gym's column on how to handle school closings

'Excellence- no excuses' is local educator's motto Chesnut Hill Local
The Mastery model for schooling and its success is explained.

Save Our Schools: Black Men at Penn Reach Out to South Philly High PW Blogs
Two men believe the solution to racial tension in schools is social work.

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

10 Renaissance provider prospects named

By Paul Socolar on Nov 17, 2010 12:30 PM

The District has named 10 finalists from the 20 respondents to its request for potential providers to run schools in a second cohort of Renaissance Schools. The list of "RFQ finalists" includes some national players in school turnaround that would be new to Philadelphia.

Notes from the news, Nov. 17

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 17, 2010 11:31 AM

City panel says hearings on school violence heard of problems and also promise The Inquirer
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations panel is concluding its hearings with discussions of solutions to school violence.

6 local schools get Blue Ribbon excellence awards The Inquirer

Musician spreads lesson of safe listening to children The Inquirer
Musician
Oran Etkin spoke at John Hancock Demonstration School in Northeast Philadelphia about hazards of loud music.

Strawberry Mansion expands kids’ worlds The Philadelphia Tribune 
In addition to the everyday curriculum, the school offers various programs and opportunities to help students grow.

School Partnership seeks another leader The Notebook
The Philadelphia School Partnership is looking for a new executive director after Nicholas Torres resigned.

Drexel design students make Magical Spaces happen at West Phila. school The Inquirer
With help from Drexel design students, Blankenburg School in West Philadelphia has a newly renovated playground.

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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School Partnership seeks another leader

By Paul Socolar on Nov 17, 2010 01:04 AM

The Philadelphia School Partnership, the city's latest, high-profile school reform initiative, is looking for a new executive director.

The position was vacated by Nicholas Torres, formerly of Congreso de Latino Unidos, who stepped down two weeks ago, a mere four weeks after the group’s October 7 unveiling at the National Constitution Center. At that official launch, the organization highlighted its pledge to raise $100 million to support high-performing charter, district and parochial schools in the city.

A peek inside Community Partnership School

By Peak Johnson on Nov 16, 2010 03:05 PM

Last time, Peak Johnson reflected on his experience at Douglass Elementary school. This week Johnsons visits a private school a few blocks away that is based out of Project H.O.M.E.'s Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs.


It's Wednesday morning, and the students of Beth Vaccaro’s 5th grade class arrive after eating breakfast with their peers.

“Where is my teacher?” asks one student, who notices me sitting in a corner, scribbling down notes. “Good morning,” he quickly adds.

Education Fund celebrates 25 years tonight

By Paul Socolar on Nov 16, 2010 11:53 AM

The Philadelphia Education Fund will celebrate its 25th year annniversary Tuesday night with its annual Eddy Awards. The event starts at 5:30 with a reception at Drexel University's Edmund D. Bossone Research Enterprise Center at 31st and Market Streets.

Notes from the news, Nov. 16

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 16, 2010 11:17 AM

Pa. House passes bill to rescue state pension systems The Inquirer
The retirement costs of state and public-school employees have skyrocketed; the House has approved a bill to address the issue.

How the new Pa. pensions law redistributes dollarsThe Inquirer
The new pension law is an attempt to solve the cost issue and prevent a fiscal disaster.

Pa. House overrides Rendell veto of school-code bill The Inquirer
Gov. Rendell vetoed a school-code bill which he believed gave unfair tax breaks to certain charter-school landlords; the state House voted to override him. 

Shift of funds endangers instrumental music The Notebook
Guest blogger Peter Schneider talks about the impact that the District's weighted student funding formula could have on instrumental music programs.

Media: Nonprofit News Sites & NPR Stations Banding Together This Week in Education
The Notebook and three other education sites recently met to discuss creating a network in which they can share resources.

Moms sue Pa. school over 'boobies'-bracelet ban Daily News
Two mothers filed a free-speech lawsuit against a Pennsylvania school district after their daughters were suspended for wearing the "I (heart) boobies!" bracelets.

We Totally Heart The Kids From Teach Philebrity

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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Shift of funds endangers instrumental music

By Guest blogger on Nov 15, 2010 02:46 PM

This week's guest blog post is from Peter Schneider, a public interest lawyer and parent of a 10th grader at Masterman and a Central graduate.


The School District has been investigating proposals for “weighted student funding” that would change the way schools receive their funding from the District. As a public school parent whose children have benefited greatly from music in the schools, I am very concerned that proposed changes to the instrumental music program, shifting some funding decisions from the central office to individual schools in the name of increasing equity, would damage the program irreparably.

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