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Notes from the news, Nov. 25

By Erika Owens on Nov 25, 2009 10:41 AM

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. See you back here on Monday.

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane WHYY
Interview with Laurence Steinberg about risky behavior and the adolescent mind.

Helping Philabundance Daily News
Students at Rhoads Elementary collected more than 300 pounds of food.

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, Nov. 24

By Erika Owens on Nov 24, 2009 10:56 AM

Things are a little quiet this Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Today is the final Renaissance Schools community feedback session. Tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Boys Latin Charter School,  5501 Cedar Ave.

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.

In case you missed it: Choice, evaluation, war, charters and segregation

By Erika Owens on Nov 23, 2009 04:22 PM

School choice series: High school search frustrates ambitious student The Times-Picayune
The final installment in a series about school choice in New Orleans, the current home of Philly's former CEO Paul Vallas.

Mr. Goldfarb’s Evaluation The Core Knowledge Blog
This post urges readers to check out Jay Mathews' piece that details Mr. Goldfarb's experience with the new evaluation system in place in D.C.

The War on Kids: What Ails Public Schools? Better Ask, What Doesn’t? The New York Times
The new documentary "suggests a system regulated by fear and motivated by the desire to control." But Alexander Russo is skeptical.

Push for charter schools sparks segregation concerns Montgomery Advertiser via JCCF
Alabama, and nine other states, do not currently have charter school laws, but the Race to the Top application is pushing states to quickly change that.

Notes from the news, Nov. 23

By Erika Owens on Nov 23, 2009 11:38 AM

Phila. School Students Create New Anti-Truancy Campaign KYW
Members of Citywide Student Government received $50,000 from the District to plan the campaign.

School district won't shift per-diem officers to save $ Daily News
The District's chief safety officer said that the District would rotate the officers just before they met a benchmark to get health and other benefits. The shift would have saved $550,000.

Cyber school founder gets $3 million to cut ties The Inquirer
June Brown founded the Agora Cyber Charter School, which is now under federal investigation.

See also: Charter founder's pension benefits cut The Inquirer

The Renaissance Schools Process and Community Engagement PSU Blog
Daniel Jones wrote about the necessity of strong community involvement in the process.

Major Grant Awarded to Temple, Phila. School District KYW
The groups received the grant to plan the just-announced early-college high school.

Community Practical Theory blog
Science Leadership Academy held its first "huge" fundraiser. It was a big success.

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.

The power of youth voice: Kids and digital media

By Erika Owens on Nov 20, 2009 05:03 PM

Teachers from across the country are in Philly this week for the National Writing Project's annual meeting, and Wednesday evening, the focus was on youth voice and digital media.

Kiosks showcased 18 projects involving youth and digital media. Half the projects were from Philly, including Youth Empowerment Services, several projects from the Science Leadership Academy, and the Temple U. Media Education Lab.

The evening's panel discussed how students interact with digital media, and emphasized how that learning takes place both within and outside of school. Just as the physical boundaries of learning have broken down, so have the boundaries on who, or what, fills the role of gatekeeper or teacher.

Notes from the news, Nov. 20

By Erika Owens on Nov 20, 2009 11:07 AM

Elmer Smith: Temple's close, can take you far Daily News
Smith praised Temple and its just-announced early-college high school program.

See also: Temple, district plan college-track high school in N. Phila. The Inquirer
Temple Seeking To Open New High School Fox 29

Philadelphia Education Fund Bestows EDDY Awards KYW
Honorees included Acel Moore, Philadelphia Student Union, and Youth United for Change.

See also: Phila. Education Fund bestows Eddy Awards The Inquirer

Learning the hard way South Philly Review
A look at the persistently dangerous schools in South Philly.

Choosing the public they school The Inquirer (opinion)
A former teacher writes that the opt-in nature of charter schools leaves behind some kids.

Free Tutoring Service Begging for Students to Teach 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.

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

Wondering where they got all this money?

By Paul Socolar on Nov 19, 2009 10:17 AM

You may have been expecting grim news, but this is how Superintendent Ackerman summarized Wednesday’s briefing on the District’s revised 2009-10 budget of $3.084 billion, now $100 million smaller than it was back in May:

“It’s not a reduction in the services or programs that we’ve been able to provide to the schools. It’s not the same level of increase that we had anticipated. But having an 11 percent increase still means good things can happen for children.”

Notes from the news, Nov 19.

By Erika Owens on Nov 19, 2009 09:20 AM

Teacher-prep high school to open in Kensington The Inquirer
The fourth small school Kensington HS will open even though Superintendent Ackerman is not a small schools proponent.

See also: Kensington to get a fourth small school with urban education theme The Notebook blog

Temple, district plan college-track high school in N. Phila. The Inquirer
Students would earn college credits while still in high school.

The Charter-School Pop Quiz Daily News (opinion)
Support for state and city lawmakers who "are paying attention and hoping to strengthen oversight of charters."

Katie Zimring, 68, teacher in W. Phila. The Inquirer
Zimring was a teacher for 27 years at Powel and very active in the Teacher's Learning Cooperative.

DREAM Act: Student activist makes it personal The Notebook blog
The first post from new blogger Gustavo Martínez. The DREAM Act would help undocumented students who were raised in the U.S. attend college.

Daniel Rubin: Leading city kids to classical awareness The Inquirer
"One-third of the schools have no music." Volunteers are working to fill in the gap.

Wondering where they got all this money? The Notebook blog
The District unveiled a revised budget that is $100 million less than it was in May, but is still an 11.8 percent increase over last year's budget.

See also: School District's revised budget Daily News

Pa. School Districts Accused of 'Gambling' with Public Funds KYW
Pennsylvania Auditor General tells districts to stop investing in risky interest rate "swaps."

Today: Renaissance schools community feedback session, students only. School District of Philadelphia, 440 N. Broad St., Auditorium, 3-5 p.m.

Also, Historically Black College and University Fair at Benjamin Franklin HS, 550 N. Broad St. from 3:30-7 p.m.

And, tonight is the Philadelphia Education Fund's annual Eddy Awards, which will honor Phila Student Union, Youth United for Change, Acel Moore, and more.

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.

DREAM Act: Estudiante activista lo toma personal

By Gustavo Martínez on Nov 18, 2009 06:43 PM

La estudiante-activista María Marroquín está íntimamente involucrada en la lucha para que se apruebe la denomindada DREAM Act. Se puede decir que es un asunto vital para ella, una inmigrante indocumentada que estudia Ciencias Políticas. 

Su participación fue fundamental para que el Senador Arlen Specter apoyara publicamente la versión 2009 del DREAM Act, una propuesta de ley que aún espera por llegar al pleno de ambas cámaras y ser votada.

DREAM Act: Student activist makes it personal

By Gustavo Martínez on Nov 18, 2009 01:36 PM

Student activist María Marroquín is deeply involved in the fight for getting the DREAM Act approved. This is a vital issue for her, an undocumented student majoring in political science.

She was instrumental in Senator Arlen Specter's public support of the 2009 DREAM Act, a bill that has yet to make its way down to the floor for a vote.

Notes from the news, Nov. 18

By Erika Owens on Nov 18, 2009 11:15 AM

City Council questions limits on charter school growth The Inquirer
Council gave charters a sympathetic ear and one member got into a testy exchange with Superintendent Ackerman.

See also: Charter schools: Give us a fair shake Daily News

Straight talk for kids on the brink Daily News
Students at Shallcross, a disciplinary school, heard about alternatives to violence to resolve disputes.

Kensington to get a fourth small school with urban education theme The Notebook blog
The school will open in the fall. A community planning process in 2005 had suggested four small schools replace the single Kensington HS.

New coats for students 6ABC
Kids at five schools will receive new coats as part of the "Keeping Kids Warm Program."

Hidden college scholarships 6ABC

Today: Renaissance Schools community feedback meeting at Benjamin Franklin High School, 550 N. Broad St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.

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.

Kensington to get a fourth small school with urban education theme

By Eric Braxton on Nov 17, 2009 11:58 AM

I am very pleased to report that a fourth Kensington small school will open next year.

At a meeting of the Kensington School and Community Coalition last week, School District Chief of Staff Tomas Hanna announced that in the fall when Kensington CAPA moves into its new building, a new small school will open in KCAPA’s place in the old building. 

This is great news for many in the Kensington community who had been concerned that the District might decide to use the space created by KCAPA’s move to make Kensington Business into a large school again.

Notes from the news, Nov. 17

By Erika Owens on Nov 17, 2009 10:30 AM

Charter schools to sound off on district policy change The Inquirer
Charter school operators can voice their concerns at a City Council meeting today. Council doesn't have oversight of the District, but has "some oversight" of the budget.

Karen Heller: A tightly focused mission: To make Girls High work The Inquirer
A look at Girls High, Principal Dr. Ruffin, and how the school, unlike its neighbor Central, needs support from alumnae.

Listen Now! On Blast Radio Show for November Philadelphia Student Union blog

Today: Renaissance schools community feedback session from 6-8 p.m. at McClure Elementary School, 4198 N. 6th St., 19140

In case you missed it: Race to the top, orchid kids, union CEO?

By Erika Owens on Nov 16, 2009 05:38 PM

Rules Set for $4 Billion 'Race to Top' Contest Education Week
States will be judged on a 500-point scale. This article outlines the details behind the three most important factors: that states "make a persuasive case for their education reform agenda, demonstrate significant buy-in from local school districts, and develop plans to evaluate teachers and principals based on student performance."

See also: Education Department to Demand School Pay Data Education Week

The Science of Success The Atlantic via This Week In Education
A new theory suggests that while most of us are dandelions, hardy  and able to deal with most anything, some of us are orchids. Orchid children can thrive in great environments or wither in less supportive circumstances.

Teacher union's Randi Weingarten for next D.C. schools chief The Washington Post
Jay Mathews' thought experiment is provocative. I like it! A union leader as a district leader would be an interesting change of pace. A commenter on the article notes that in her district, the union-leader-turned-superintendent has done a great job.

Additional Renaissance Schools feedback meetings scheduled Nov. 17, 18, 19, 24

By Erika Owens on Nov 16, 2009 12:26 PM

Due to the SEPTA strike, more community feedback sessions will be held this week.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m. McClure Elementary School, 4198 N. 6th St., 19140

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Benjamin Franklin HS, 550 N. Broad St., 19130

  • Thursday, Nov. 19, 3-5 p.m. School District of Philadelphia, 440 N. Broad St., Auditorium, 19130 (Students only. Students will be in the auditorium without a parent or guardian present.)

  • Tuesday, Nov. 24, 6-8 p.m. Boys Latin Charter School,  5501 Cedar Ave., 19143

Refreshments, dinner, and childcare will be provided. RSVP to reserve your seat. Call 215-400-7272.

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