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Notes from the news, Mar. 9

By Anonymous on Mar 9, 2010 10:59 AM

Schooling parents Daily News
A look at the variety of reasons parents aren't involved in the schools, and ways the District is trying to engage them.

Latest Auth Cartoon The Inquirer (opinion)
A political cartoon of South Philly High's principal's office.

Education takes a back seat The Notebook blog
Mayor Nutter gave his budget address last week, but only made brief mention of schools.

State senator wants school named for Rivera The Inquirer
State Sen. Tartaglione wants Olney HS renamed for Joaquin Rivera, who was a bilingual counselor there.

Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB The Notebook blog
Legislation at both the state and federal level is up for reauthorization, and Len Rieser suggested that the state wait for the feds to move first.

Computers and Education: How Much is Too Much? A Very Public Education blog

School Success Criteria Vol 2: Teachers Philly School Search 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

Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB

By Len Rieser on Mar 9, 2010 10:27 AM

Picture yourself walking into a huge, noisy factory that makes education. We won’t stop right now to talk about the quality of the product. Instead, we’ll just take in, for a moment, the commotion, the people racing around, the machines rising and falling and clanking and crashing. We’ll call this factory the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Education takes a back seat

By Helen Gym on Mar 8, 2010 01:21 PM

Last week Mayor Nutter delivered his budget address – highlights of which you can find at It’s Our Money – but left out a central message: public education. Not once did the mayor talk about public schools or public education. He didn’t even mention the word dropout.

Notes from the news, Mar. 8

By Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 10:57 AM

Adults' missteps detailed in S. Phila. High violence The Inquirer
This front page story examined the report on the violence and how school administrators reacted.

See also: Confusión y errores de adultos en South Philly High Al Día
Things that make me want to go . . . . UGH Young Philly Politics

Only six providers approved for 'turnaround' The Notebook blog
Of 28 lead applicants to run Renaissance Schools, six were approved including ASPIRA, Johns Hopkins, Mastery Charter, and others.

See also: 6 applicants qualify to run Renaissance schools Daily News
Candidates to run Phila. schools cut to 6 The Inquirer

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils The Notebook blog
The deadline for parents, teachers, and others to join the school councils has been extended to tomorrow.

Editorial: Reaching for a dream The Inquirer
Congress is urged to pass the DREAM Act to help undocumented students go to college.

Allegheny/Strawberry Mansion: After a Century, Library Still Serves its Community Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Danza says class act isn't just for show The Inquirer

Local Kids Sharpen Decision-Making Skills in Class KYW

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

Only six providers approved for 'turnaround'

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 5, 2010 07:31 PM

The School District has approved just six of 28 providers who applied to lead "turnaround" efforts under the Renaissance Schools initiative at low-performing schools:

  1. ASPIRA, Inc., of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  2. Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Philadelphia
  3. Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now, Baltimore, Md.
  4. Mastery Charter Schools, Philadelphia
  5. Universal Companies, Philadelphia
  6. Young Scholars Charter School, Philadelphia

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils

By Paul Socolar on Mar 5, 2010 06:48 PM

Tuesday, March 9 is the new deadline for applications for individuals who want to be part of the new School Advisory Councils at 14 Renaissance-eligible schools. The application is available here.

Justice in the classroom

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 5, 2010 03:24 PM

"Justice in the Classroom" is the title of a workshop Teacher Action Group is sponsoring next Saturday, the 13th. The plan is for teachers to share their experiences and get some training in conflict resolution methods from Nate Terrell, an experienced trainer on the faculty at Temple.

In the era of Leaving No Child Behind while we are Racing To The Top, it’s easy to forget that the mission of public education is not reducible to generating ever-higher standardized test scores. 

Notes from the news, Mar. 5

By Anonymous on Mar 5, 2010 10:30 AM

Pa. clears a hurdle in race for school grant The Inquirer
Pennsylvania made the first cut for the competitive Race to the Top Funds, which could bring in about $400 million for the state. Sec. Duncan cited collaboration as a key feature of the top applications.

See also: Pa is RttT finalist The Notebook blog
PA and DE in line to receive education grants WHYY

S. Philly High violence: Time to clear the record about Dec. 2 The Notebook blog
The Giles report could not verify Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's claim that Asian students beat a disabled African American student on Dec. 2.

Editorial: Hard lesson The Inquirer
The Obama administration's supportive response to the wholesale firing of teachers in a district in Rhode Island shows its determination in turning around schools.

Auditor General Jack Wagner calls for General Assembly to ban municipal use of interest-rate swaps The Examiner
The risky swaps have also been used by school districts including Philadelphia -- a practice Wagner would also like to see stopped.

All You Need is Love Philly Teacher blog

Who Are "THESE" Kids?? A Good Day Teaching 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

S. Philly High violence: Time to clear the record about Dec. 2

By Helen Gym on Mar 4, 2010 02:11 PM

I am deeply troubled by one particular finding in Judge Giles report released last week about the violence last December 3 at South Philadelphia High School. The report indicates that it could not substantiate a highly publicized allegation that Asian students had attacked a disabled African American student the day before.

It should be noted that this explosive allegation was first uttered by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman in her very first remarks on the violence at South Philadelphia High School, almost a week after the incident:

"What began as an unwarranted off-campus attack on a disabled African American student, quickly escalated into a retaliatory multi-racial attack on primarily Chinese students at the school the following day.” (School Reform Commission hearing, Dec. 9, 2009)

PA is RttT finalist

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 4, 2010 12:51 PM

Pennsylvania is one of the 15 states and D.C. that were selected as finalists for a share of $4 billion in Race to the Top funding, and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman credits the Philadelphia teachers' contract with helping the state make the cut.

The state now has a better chance to get up to $400 million in additional federal dollars, although Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the first round of winners is likely to be small. Forty states and DC applied initially. The first round winners will be announced in April.

Notes from the news, Mar. 4

By Anonymous on Mar 4, 2010 10:58 AM

Coming to grips with violence Daily News
Tonight there is a symposium at Drexel on school-age violence, which will include a panel with high school students talking about bullying.

Ronnie Polaneczky: I feel terrible about Webcamgate ... and terrible about why Daily News
Lower Merion spends over twice as much per student as Philly does, which allows it to send students home with the laptops that started all the trouble.

RttT finalists out Thursday - but not PA? The Notebook blog
States find out today if they may win some of the first round of grants, and PA is one of the finalists.

Letters: Early schooling can help reduce crime in the city The Inquirer
Philly's DA wrote in to support early childhood ed.

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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

RttT finalists out Thursday - but not PA?

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 3, 2010 08:20 PM

UPDATE: Pennsylvania is one of the finalists. Local leaders shared their reactions.

Well, Thursday is the day that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will announce the ten finalists for the coveted Race to the Top pot of gold at 2:30 p.m. States will be notified several hours earlier. Five of these states soon will be chosen as the first round of awardees.

In case you missed it: teacher quality, outside managers

By Anonymous on Mar 3, 2010 05:17 PM

Building a Better Teacher New York Times magazine
Teacher quality is all over the news the days, and Elizabeth Green of GothamSchools.org gives the topic a thorough look in this cover story.

Obama's unfortunate comments on teacher firings The Answer Sheet
Teacher quality also arose in reference to the Rhode Island district that fired all of its teachers. This blog post does a great job of explaining why advocates for wholesale firing "have it all wrong."

See also: School Fires Its Teachers In The Name Of Progress NPR

L.A. School Board Snubs Charter School Operators AP via Education Week
The school board turned the schools over to nonprofit groups of teachers and administrators.

Former 'No Child Left Behind' Advocate Turns Critic NPR
Diane Ravitch has become a vocal critic of NCLB. This piece also includes an excerpt from Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

Every weekday you can find a roundup of the local education news, but we're working to make In case you missed it a regular place to catch up on national news. Thanks to Angela Chan and Timothy Boyle for the suggestions for this week's post. Please email us if you have any suggestions, too.

Notes from the news, Mar. 3

By Anonymous on Mar 3, 2010 11:08 AM

Editorial: Now take the next step The Inquirer
The major dailies weighed in on the South Philly High report and both urge further investigation.

See also: School report gets an "incomplete." The Daily News

Students work with pros. The Inquirer
Theatre professionals produce and perform student work this week.

See also: Young Playwrights showcased this week The Notebook blog

Renaissance School provider applicants await the first cut Notebook NEWSFLASH
Twenty-eight groups have applied to run Renaissance schools and over 300 have applied to offer support services.

Reconsider preschool cuts The Inquirer (opinion)
Gov. Rendell's proposed budget includes a $1 million cut to Pre-K Counts.

Science and tech conference in Hershey The Notebook blog
New teacher blogger Timothy Boyle wrote about ideas he learned at a conference in February.

Zero Tolerance & Luzerne County School Stories blog

Distrito Escolar solicita su participación para renacer escuelas Al Dia

Pa. joins a push to boost college graduation The Inquirer 

Mirror, Mirror: Fashion's threatened hoodies 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

Young Playwrights showcased this week

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 2, 2010 10:40 AM

In all my years covering education, some of my favorite stories have been about Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

I wrote several articles in the early years of the program, which was founded by the late Adele Magner nearly a quarter century ago. Most of these stories were about how English teacher Marsha Pincus and her professional playwright-collaborators were able to coax powerful works of art from students at Simon Gratz High School who were otherwise often considered underachieving.

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