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Teachers march on D.C. July 30

By the Notebook on Jul 5, 2011 05:25 PM

The Notebook recently began sharing content with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared.

Education Week logo

by Erik W. Robelen

Thousands of educators, parent activists, and others are expected to convene in the heat and humidity of Washington this month for a march protesting the current thrust of education policy in the United States, especially the strong emphasis on test-based accountability.

Notes from the news, July 5

By Anonymous on Jul 5, 2011 09:27 AM

notes from the news imageCorbett budget ushers in a new reality The Notebook NEWSFLASH
The state budget included more money for K-12 schools than Gov. Corbett originally proposed, but the funding still went down since last year.

See also: With Corbett’s Budget Comes Center City Protest PhillyNow blog

Last-minute dispute hangs up passage of Pa. budget The Inquirer
Gov. Corbett wanted to remove exceptions from the bill that governs when school districts can raise taxes.

See also: New Pa. law to put many school-tax hikes in hands of voters The Inquirer

Bill would use student performance to rate teachers The Inquirer
The bill would require test scores be included as a part of teacher evaluations.

Public-school parent asks SRC members' philosophies The Inquirer
At Friday's special SRC meeting, Commissioner Irizarry said fairness is key to him and Chairman Archie reflected on how much school has changed since he was a student.

See also: Parents Voice Concerns Over Teacher Layoffs As Philadelphia School Budget Cuts Continue CBS Philly
School kitchens cut to the bone? Daily News

Thank you! We met our goal. The Notebook blog
With your help we met our $8,000 member campaign goal. Thank you! If you're not a member, it's not too late to join.

City Council members perturbed by facilities closures that are detailed in leaked School District document Plan Philly
Council members had mixed reactions to the document and that it was not included with the requested documents turned over to the mayor.

Phila.'s New Media charter school contends it's not a public school The Inquirer
The school is using the argument it's a private company to fight a unionization push at the school.

Group helps disadvantaged students reach college The Inquirer
A look at Philadelphia Futures' Sponsor a Scholar program.

ISTE Keynote - Process and Impressions Practical Theory blog

When I Become a Teacher - Sinnea Douglas Practical Theory blog

DN Editorial: Summer jobs needed for teens Daily News

Olney’s Central High School Robolancers team makes case for STEM Technically Philly

Notes from the Field- Cyber Schools from All Angles City School Stories

Travel and Education Making the Grade 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

Thank you! We met our goal.

By Anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 03:03 PM

Thank you to all of the Notebook's more than 500 members! During our member match campaign over 140 people contributed more than $8,000. Thank you for your generosity and for helping us spread the word about membership with the Notebook.

Council members react to confidential facilities document

By the Notebook on Jul 1, 2011 01:15 PM

by Patrick Kerkstra for PlanPhilly

The already dysfunctional relationship between City Hall and the School District of Philadelphia was further complicated this week when the Public School Notebook published a leaked draft version of the district's "rightsizing" plan, which calls for closing as many as two dozen schools over the next two years.

From a political point of view, the timing could not have been worse.

Notes from the news, July 1

By Anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 08:51 AM

notes from the news imagePhilly school district eases off threat to cancel union contracts The Inquirer
The District issued a press release Thursday saying it would not recommend to the SRC to cancel collective bargaining agreements.

See also: More Philly School Layoffs Possible Fox 29
Philly SD won't cancel contracts [today] Philly School Files blog
Will the School District cut the specific programs Council fought for? It's Our Money blog
District: 'Positive conversations' with unions The Notebook blog
Philadelphia School District Says It Won’t Impose Terms On Unions Just Yet CBS Philly

Another top Philadelphia school official leaves for New York  The Inquirer
Tomas Hanna will be leaving his post as associate superintendent for the Chief of Innovation position in the New York City public schools.

See also: Hanna leaving for post in NYC The Notebook blog
Another Ackerman top aide quits Daily News

Nutter, biz leaders: Jobs for teens imperative Philadelphia Tribune
The WorkReady program has 14,500 applicants for 5,500 summer job slots.

See also: Funding cuts hurt youth jobs program Philadelphia Tribune

Immigrant students and families to rally against ed cuts for English language learners The Naked City blog
Advocates plan to testify at the special SRC meeting this morning about cuts in bilingual counseling assistance, ESOL and ESL teachers, and other services for ELLs and immigrant students.

Small programs also victims in Philly school budget cuts The Inquirer
Small programs can have a big impact at schools, like Project Bridging Cultures at South Philly High, but many have been ended due to the budget deficit.

Ackerman earns but defers $100,000 bonus The Inquirer

PSEA: Corbett Education Cuts 'Historic' Fox 29

Can Young Families Trust City Schools? [CHAT TRANSCRIPT] Philly School Search

Reflections of an Author- Toxic Tornado City School Stories

Tuition At Pennsylvania State-Owned Colleges To Rise 7.5 Percent CBS Philly

District scores continue to improve amid budget crisis Philadelphia Tribune

Fattah extends college-prep resources with GEAR UP Philadelphia Tribune

Early Literacy becomes a Top Priority Nationwide Research for Action 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

District: 'Positive conversations' with unions

By Anonymous on Jun 30, 2011 01:56 PM

The District issued a press release this afternoon saying that as a result of "positive conversations" with unions, "the District will not be making a recommendation to the SRC to cancel any union contracts on July 1." The SRC meets Friday at 11 a.m.

UPDATE: But Kristen Graham at the Inquirer reports that Nadine Bonner, a Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' spokesperson, said, "We are not aware of negotiations."

UPDATE: Graham also reports that Michael Lodise of the school police officers union says he is not in negotiations with the District.

UPDATE: ">Graham reports that Local 1201 says they are having "continuing discussions" with the District. Local 1201 represents bus drivers, building engineers, and cleaners.

We made our goal!

By Paul Socolar on Jun 30, 2011 12:00 PM

Become a member today!Our member match campaign ends ended tomorrow Thursday at 11:59 p.m. We have just hours left to raise $810 $300 toward achieved our goal of raising $8,000 in contributions, which is being matched dollar for dollar... $16,000 has been raised to support the Notebook's reporting work.

Nearly 100More than 140 people contributed a total of $7,190 more than $8,000 toward our campaign, including dozens of first-time contributors. Thank you to all of our members for helping us pull off such a successful campaign.

Notes from the news, June 30

By Anonymous on Jun 30, 2011 09:17 AM

notes from the news imageToday is the FINAL day to become a member and help us reach our goal of $8,000 in new and renewing memberships being matched dollar for dollar! Please join today.

State leaves District with $35M more to cut The Notebook blog
The state budget did not include funds for charter school reimbursements that the District was counting on.

See also: Philly schools need to save $35 million more The Inquirer
State budget leaves school district with $35 million hole to fill Daily News
DN Editorial: State budget: blast from a sad past Daily News
Philly Schools Short Another $35 Million Fox 29
A $57 million School District assumption that hasn't panned out It's Our Money blog
Public School Cuts Hit Philly The Hardest Fox 29
More Financial Troubles for the School District Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
General Assembly Pass Budget Where Children are the Biggest Losers Education Voters PA blog

School unions not willing to budge for budget Daily News
The District is counting on union contract changes to help balance the budget, but the unions are reluctant to agree to changes.

See also: Are school union leaders being too stubborn? Daily News

Eleventh-Hour Voucher Plan Dies For Lack of Support Keystone State Education Coalition
A last-minute push by Gov. Corbett to pass the voucher bill before summer recess did not succeed.

See also: Just say no to tuition vouchers The Inquirer (opinion)
Fwd: Education Chair Issues Statement on School Choice Legislation Keystone State Education Coalition

Inquirer Editorial: Grading Ackerman The Inquirer
If Ackerman stays, there's still a lot of work left to be done.

Bringing in the union at Multi-Cultural Academy The Notebook blog
Teachers at Multi-Cultural voted to join a union for charter school teachers.

NWT Full Show, June 29, 2011 WHYY/NewsWorks
Reporter Benjamin Herold was on the show to discuss the draft facilities document the Notebook published Saturday.

Final day to double your gift The Notebook blog
We're less than $1,000 away from our goal. Please join the Notebook today!

Technology-in-education conference reaches out to tweeters The Inquirer
The International Society for Technology in Education conference was in Philly this week.

See also: ISTE Roundup Making the Grade blog

Dr. Milicia leaves GAMP South Philly Review

Suburban Flight for Schools Not Default Choice Philly School Search

26 Philadelphia schools losing full-service kitchens The Inquirer

DeLissio Stands Alone on Education Vote Roxborough-Manayunk Patch

Grant Expands City's Summer Programs. Roxborough-Manayunk Patch

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

State leaves District with $35M more to cut

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 29, 2011 06:59 PM

The state budget likely to be approved by Wednesday will mean that the School District must find another $35 million in cuts on top of those already made, District officials said Tuesday.

Bringing in the union at Multi-Cultural Academy

By Ron Whitehorne on Jun 29, 2011 03:33 PM

Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School, located in the Logan section of North Philadelphia, was named a "distinguished school" this year and the school says that 100 percent of its graduating classes have been admitted to college for the past 11 years. Opening in 1998, the school touts strict discipline, small classes, and academic rigor.  Founding CEO Vuong Thuy cited “collective decision-making” as one element of the school's success.

But MACS teachers thought otherwise. Frustrated with Thuy’s refusal to respond to staff grievances, they voted last month by a two to one margin to join the Alliance of Charter School Employees (ACSE).

Notes from the news, June 29

By Anonymous on Jun 29, 2011 09:18 AM

notes from the news imagePhilly school district likely to get back its safety watchdog The Inquirer
The office would move from the Department of Education to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Pennsylvania Senate puts Gov. Corbett's state budget on track to passage The Inquirer
It looks like the budget will be passed by the June 30 deadline.

See also: 2011-12 State Budget Highlights Third and State blog
Pa. budget unfolds amid drilling, higher ed debate AP via Forbes
Corbett links budget to vouchers and removing Act 1 exceptions Keystone State Education Coalition
John Baer: Corbett's message needs work Daily News

Draft List Of Philadelphia Schools Targeted For Closure Has Parents Upset CBS Philly
The confidential document the Notebook released this weekend has draft suggestions about schools, which parents have been asking about for months.

Dream Act Gets First Senate Committee Hearing Fox 29
The U.S. Senate committee heard from an undocumented high school valedictorian.

When the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers isn't up to the job Daily News (opinion)
Philly teacher Gabriel Huffs writes about issues with the layoffs process.

What Top Chef says about teacher evaluation The Notebook blog
What if teachers were evaluated by a start panel of top teachers, how would that process look?

Schools a key to keeping young families in Philadelphia The Inquirer
More families with young children are stay in Center City, and many families are working to improve their neighborhood public schools rather than move.

Math, reading scores are up Daily News
The District released preliminary PSSA scores Monday evening.

See also: Teaching To Test Behind Higher Test Scores? Fox 29

A few ideas on how Ackerman could spend the bonus Daily News

Letters: Philadelphia school crossing guards vs. real danger Daily News

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

What Top Chef says about teacher evaluation

By Timothy Boyle on Jun 28, 2011 03:01 PM

I've been watching a lot of "Top Chef All-Stars" recently. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it pits chefs against each other in a series of challenges rated by some of the most famous chefs in the world. Each episode, the chefs are challenged by the ingredients, style, preparation time, and evaluators they are given.

The evaluation panel includes names that even a little-cooking, non-foodies like myself recognize. The contestants clearly admire and respect those judging their food. Each contestant gets to answer the panel's questions about the dish before the master chefs deliberate over whose food was the best. Even the losing chefs get told exactly where their dish went right, and where it went wrong.  

How do you think a "Top Educator" show would compare?

Notes from the news, June 28

By Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 09:01 AM

notes from the news imageMore leaked details on facilities plan The Notebook blog
Additional documents provide details that were not in the confidential documents released Saturday about school closures and consolidations.

See also: What the school district may have in store for NW Philly schools WHYY/NewsWorks
Notebook Publishes List of Possible School Closings, Some in the Northwest
Chestnut Hill Patch
Big changes ahead for West Philly schools? New insight into school closure options West Philly Local

At this time, is Left Bank the right move? Daily News
At yesterday's SRC meeting Ackerman denied rumors that she is quitting, but did say she is going on vacation. Sources say she's off to France.

See also: Ackerman: I'm here to stay The Notebook blog
Ackerman dismisses rumors that she's job-hunting The Inquirer
Ackerman Denies Rumor, Defends Vacation Fox 29
Ackerman: ‘I’m not going anywhere’
Philadelphia Tribune
Ackerman: Rumors I'm leaving aren't true
A look at Pennsylvania's budget status and Ackerman's plans to stay
Video: Ackerman Says She Won't Leave Her Job, Discusses Imagine 2014
Mt. Airy Patch
Arlene Ackerman Says She’s Not Trying To Bail Out
CBS Philly
Arlene Ackerman, dream girl Attytood blog
Ackerman's Final Act Metropolis 
Notes from the Field - Let's Get It Right After Ackerman Leaves City School Stories

Schools, city lose in budget The Inquirer
The proposed budget restores $269 million of the $1.1 billion Gov. Corbett sought to cut from K-12 education.

See also: Wage-freeze refusal dismaying Daily News
Pa. schools chief says few districts froze wages
Philadelphia Tribune
BUDGET DETAILS TODAY? Keystone State Education Coalition

Philadelphia school test scores are up The Inquirer
Preliminary PSSA results show a 3 percent increase in math and a 2 percent increase in reading.

See also: PSSA scores climb for 9th straight year The Notebook blog
Philly Student Test Scores Up Again Fox 29

Philly School District's spending under control The Inquirer (opinion)
Op-ed from District CFO Michael Masch describes how this year's budget crisis is different from crises in the past.

Have charter schools fulfilled their promise? Radio Times
Discussion of the CREDO study results comparing brick and mortar charters, cyber charters, and district-run public schools.

See also: DN Editorial: Charter school reform: This isn't it Daily News
Letters: To Philadelphia Daily News columnist Elmer Smith: Cyber charter schools fill a very important niche Daily News

School District Approves Tax Levy Increase Chestnut Hill Patch
The SRC met yesterday to consider allowing a city tax levy increase.

See also: Anger and Accusations at SRC Meeting Chestnut Hill Patch

Mifflin insiders say racial discrimination suit was act of retaliation WHYY/NewsWorks

Philadelphia Elementary School Students Treated to a New iPad Lab THE Journal

Learning history outside of class (opinion)

International Society for Technology in Education debuts ‘Say Hey (I Love School)’ music video that is actually pretty good Technically Philly

Lehmann Outlines New Approach to Education [Video] Philly School Search

Choosing Sides on Charters [Audio] 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

PSSA scores climb for 9th straight year

By Paul Socolar on Jun 27, 2011 08:46 PM

The School District's streak of consecutive years of rising state test scores has grown to nine, with preliminary results released Monday showing modest overall gains of 2-3 percent in reading and math on the PSSA exam, with gains at nearly every grade level.

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