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Notes from the news, May 3

By Anonymous on May 3, 2011 09:59 AM

notes from the news imageNearly 400 Phila. teachers plan to leave as school year ends The Inquirer
Employees have until July 1 to tell the District if they want to take an early retirement offer.

See also: On Philly SD layoffs: an early indicator Philly School Files blog

Cheating allegations at Roosevelt school stir up teachers, parents WHYY/NewsWorks
Some teachers affirmed what The Inquirer's story reported, while some expressed doubts.

See also: District: Most 'security breaches' in test taking are unfounded The Hall Monitor blog

Philly teacher on Jeopardy! The Notebook blog
This week and next are Jeopardy! Teachers' Tournament. Last night, School of the Future teacher Elisabeth Raab appeared on the show.

In Philly, an incubator for students' start-up ideas The Inquirer
StartupCorps holds weekly entrepreneurship classes for 85 Philly public school students.

Corbett calls Chester Community Charter one of the models for school choice Delaware County Times
The school is the biggest charter school in the state and Corbett says it is a role model to other schools.

Letters: Should we believe Ackerman this time? The Inquirer
Questions about Ackerman's knowledge of the events related to King High.

Notes from the Field- Cutting Full Day Kindergarten is a Bad Idea City School Stories

Learning vs. Achievement through Technology Making the Grade blog

Less than 8% of SB1 vouchers expected to go to “poor kids in 144 failing schools” Keystone State Education Coalition

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

Reaction from Roosevelt on cheating story

By the Notebook on May 2, 2011 06:38 PM

by Patrick Cobbs

Emotions were high for parents and teachers at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Germantown as they faced the first school day after allegations of test manipulation came to light over the weekend.

Teachers interviewed were split about the allegations in the Sunday Inquirer article.  One said he didn't believe that the school principal and some teachers conspired to cheat on state PSSA tests, and that the charges were intended to make the school staff look bad. But another teacher said he thought the article was accurate. Neither teacher was willing to be quoted by name.

The Inquirer article cited several Roosevelt teachers who said school leaders encouraged teachers and students to review PSSA test materials days before the test was to be given, in violation of test taking rules. Teachers wrote answers to questions on blackboards and students were seen carrying test booklets prior to the test period, according to the article. 

This story continues on the NewsWorks website; it is a product of a reporting collaboration between the Notebook and WHYY.

Philly teacher on Jeopardy!

By Guest blogger on May 2, 2011 02:37 PM

This guest blog post comes from Jeopardy! contestant and School of the Future 9th grade English educator Elisabeth Raab.


I’ve been looking forward to Teacher Appreciation Week for quite a while because this is the week I will be seen by an estimated 15-17 million viewers as a contestant in the first-ever Jeopardy! Teachers’ Tournament. In the midst of such negative media portrayals of teachers, Jeopardy! is making an important statement that teachers deserve recognition and handsome rewards. Without revealing the final results, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my experience.

Notes from the news, May 2

By Anonymous on May 2, 2011 09:55 AM

notes from the news imageCity school's fast-rising test scores questioned The Inquirer
Teachers recount ways cheating happened on the PSSA tests at Roosevelt Middle School.

See also: Too good to be true? Philly School Files blog
The Tragedy Of Cheating Scandals A Good Day Teaching blog

Experts: Half-day kindergarten a 'disaster' The Inquirer
Education experts, parents, and advocates have major concerns about rolling back to half-day kindergarten.

Corbett says U.S., not Pa., to blame for school funding cuts The Inquirer
Federal funding, not decision-making in Harrisburg is to blame for the cuts.

See also: Karen Heller: The prince and Pa. paupers The Inquirer
Corbett's bad math on school funding The Inquirer

'For the first time in almost 12 weeks, we can breathe a little.' The Notebook blog
The chair of King's SAC discussed recent events.

See also: Inquirer Editorial: Usual politics The Inquirer
Letters: It is naive to expect integrity in the Philadelphia school contract deal Daily News

KIPP charter schools open up to invite credibility The Inquirer
A look at KIPP Philadelphia's Open Book project, which makes a variety of information about the school, its staff, and students public.

Philly high school standout, a child of Darfur, wins prestigious scholarship The Inquirer
Emi Mahmoud won the Lenore Annenberg Scholarship, which provides $250,000 for four years of college.

SRC vote on Community Academy charter questioned by both sides The Inquirer

The Big Jump at Lea West Philly Local

Debate set today on bills to remove Act 1 exemptions Keystone State Education Coalition

Charter Schools Knocked Down a Peg Philly School Search

Green Woods Accepting Applications for Supplemental 1st and 2nd Grade Lottery Philly School Search

District Budget Hearings The Inquirer

Residents talk school choice bill at town hall Philadelphia Tribune

Live chat with Kristen Graham noon May 2 Philly School Files

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

'For the first time in almost 12 weeks, we can breathe a little.'

By the Notebook on Apr 29, 2011 02:12 PM

by Bill Hangley Jr.

By declining to approve any charter operators for Germantown’s Martin Luther King High, the School Reform Commission has left the 1,000-student school in District hands for at least another year.

But King’s School Advisory Council (SAC) now faces a watershed decision: should the school remain permanently under District control?

Notes from the news, Apr. 29

By Anonymous on Apr 29, 2011 09:58 AM

notes from the news imageYoung teachers feel the heat with district cuts looming Daily News
The budget deficit may require laying off teachers and it is likely that teachers with less than five years experience will be among the first to be cut.

See also: Philly schools may cut nearly 1,300 teachers' jobs Philadelphia Tribune
School woes Blinq blog
Anger over Phila. school budget plan 6 ABC
If busing ends, Philly district would have to transport charter students WHYY/NewsWorks
Phila. School District proposes massive cuts
Philadelphia Tribune

City Council trying to help keep full-day kindergarten in Philadelphia WHYY/NewsWorks
Council will hold hearings about the prospect of ending full-day kindergarten due to the budget.

See also: Parents decry Phila. district decision to end full-day kindergarten The Inquirer
Philadelphia Schools Put Kindergarten, Middle School Sports On Chopping Block CBS Philly
Council resolution urges Corbett to continue full-day kindergarten funding Daily News
Say Goodbye to Full Day Kindergarten, and Much More
 Philly School Search

Annette John-Hall: After fight over King High, what about the students? The Inquirer
What message does it send to involve parents in the turnaround process and then have their choice get lost in politics?

See also: Political cartoon Daily News

Growth in: Distribution The Notebook blog
We're celebrating the Notebook's work on June 7. This post looks at the growth in our distribution network.

Lawmakers push for safety advocate Daily News
State lawmakers are trying to get the safe schools advocate position brought back.

See also: House Bill on reporting incidents moves forward The Hall Monitor blog

Despite Objections, Audenried High School Converted To Charter CBS Philly
Audenried will be a Promise Neighborhood Partnership managed by Universal Companies.

See also: Panel assures parents on plans for schools The Inquirer

Comprehensive plan needed for school violence The Notebook blog
One of the suggestions that came out of the Inquirer's violence series is for city police officers to be stationed in schools, but there are other options.

SRC OKs Audenried charter Philadelphia Tribune

Students Rally for National Youth Investment on May 19th PSU 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.

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

Notes from the news

Growth in: Distribution

By Ron Whitehorne on Apr 28, 2011 04:51 PM

“Where’s My Notebook?” by Ron Whitehorne, distributor and Notebook board chair

On June 7 the Notebook community will gather to celebrate 17 years of independent publishing for Philadephia's education community. This is the second in a series of blog entries exploring the exciting growth we are experiencing.

I had just swung a bundle of 100 copies of the latest edition of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook on to the office counter at Forrest Elementary School in the Northeast. The school security guard came in right behind me. “Where’s my Notebook?” she exclaimed. “Put them right out here on my desk, I’ll make sure all the parents get one. I tell them the Notebook tells the truth!”

Comprehensive plan needed for school violence

By Frank Murphy on Apr 28, 2011 03:48 PM

The Inquirer’s recent series on school violence has sparked comment from many quarters. The response of Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Ramsey, in particular, has provoked some controversy. They have suggested that it might be time to place Philadelphia police officers in some of our more dangerous schools.

Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers was quoted as favoring this idea. Jordan cited his own experiences as a teacher at University City High School where at one time city police officers were assigned.

Notes from the news, Apr. 28

By Anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 10:01 AM

notes from the news imageDistrict: 3,800 positions may be eliminated The Notebook blog
District Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch presented the 2011-12 District budget and outlined likely areas for cuts if the District funding situation doesn't change.

See also: What gets cut, what gets spared The Notebook blog
Phila. schools to see 16 percent layoffs The Inquirer
Philly schools may cut nearly 1,300 teachers AP via Bloomberg Businessweek
School District Calls for Big Budget Cuts Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
Philly School District Plans 3,820 Job Cuts NBC Philadelphia
DN Editorial: Killing charter reimbursements could be deadly to school district Daily News
A token of school cuts' disaffection: End of free bus rides Daily News
District budget slashes deep: Nearly 4,000 could lose jobs The Hall Monitor blog
Phila. schools may cut jobs to close budget gap 6 ABC

SRC approves Universal plan for Audenried, Vare The Notebook blog
The SRC approves Universal as a charter turnaround provider for Audenried and Vare.

See also: Universal plan for Audenried, Vare okayed The Notebook blog
Gamble group gets control of Audenried, Vare schools Daily News
Archie champions charter firm he's linked with for contract WHYY/NewsWorks

Most feeling safer at S. Phila. High Daily News
Pedro Noguera presented a report on the climate at South Philly High to the SRC yesterday.

Calling all student journalists! The Notebook blog
Every year the Notebook honors journalists from Philadelphia public high schools at its June event. Submit your students' work now.

WATCH: Children's March to Save Education Philly Education Justice blog
More on Tuesday's rally against budget cuts in Harrisburg.

See also: Locals Head to Harrisburg to Protest Budget Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
Philly NAACP Bashes Gov. Corbett Over Education Cuts, Then Admits to Waste [VIDEO] PhillyNow blog

Reflections: Then and Now-The Question Not Asked In Charter School Controversy City School Stories

How a Community Can Change a School [EVENT] Philly School Search

Safety at Philly Schools G Philly 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.

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

Notes from the news

SRC approves Universal plan for Audenried, Vare

By Benjamin Herold on Apr 27, 2011 10:30 PM

The School Reform Commission voted Wednesday to allow Universal Companies to operate Audenried High and Vare Middle schools as charter schools beginning next year.

The vote was 3-0, with SRC Chairman Robert Archie abstaining. Because of his longstanding ties to Universal, Archie recused himself from the vote – but not before publicly championing the organization.

What gets cut, what gets spared

By Paul Socolar on Apr 27, 2011 06:58 PM

[Updated, 10:50 p.m.] The District's just-released "Budget in brief," in a detailed section on expenditures, identifies a long list of areas where school budgets will be cut:

Universal plan for Audenried, Vare okayed

By Paul Socolar on Apr 27, 2011 06:08 PM

After a lengthy, sometimes testy public discussion, the School Reform Commission approved an amended plan Wednesday to grant charters to Universal Companies to run Audenried High School and Vare Middle as "Promise Neighborhood Partnership Charter Schools."

District: 3,800 positions may be eliminated

By Paul Socolar on Apr 27, 2011 02:55 PM

[Updated 11:30 p.m.] Cutting back to half-day kindergarten across the city, eliminating transportation services for most District students, and slashing school discretionary budgets by nearly one-third are just a few of the grim new District budget measures announced Wednesday.

District Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch outlined the 2011-12 District budget at an afternoon press briefing and again at a special budget hearing after Wednesday's regular meeting of the School Reform Commission. Faced with the unhappy task of closing a $629 million gap representing a full 20 percent of the system's budget, he repeatedly expressed his openness to any ideas for a better way to deal with the financial predicament.

Notes from the news, Apr. 27

By Anonymous on Apr 27, 2011 10:11 AM

notes from the news imagePa. senator calls for state investigation of King charter award WHYY/NewsWorks
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says the Department of Education should investigate the situation with King.

See also: Karen Heller: Maneuvering over King school deals out students The Inquirer
MLK High council to be heard in probe Daily News
Buzz Bissinger: I have a dream, and I hope it becomes a reality Daily News
Newsworks school investigation prompts mayoral action, but is it enough? WHYY/NewsWorks

SRC vote on Audenried, Vare to move forward despite Archie controversy The Notebook blog
Today the SRC is scheduled to vote on two other charter contracts with ties to Archie.

See also: April 27th: SRC Meeting A Broad View blog

Teachers, students bring their fears against budget cuts to NAACP-sponsored rally in Harrisburg The Inquirer
Buses left Philly early Tuesday morning to bring hundreds to Harrisburg for the rally.

See also: What a $629 million budget gap means to a seventh grader Philly School Files blog
Education Rally on Capitol steps The Patriot-News
Students Rally On State Capitol Steps Fox 29
Students, Parents Come Together to Protest Public Education Cuts Mt. Airy Patch
This is what democracy (and community) looks like. Practical Theory blog

Students excel with Robeson’s real-world training Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key looks at programs at three high schools.

See also: Strawberry Manson High holds health forum Philadelphia Tribune
CAPA kids make beautiful music — professionally
Philadelphia Tribune

4 Philly teachers to attend Yale program The Notebook blog
Four teachers were selected to attend a professional development workshop at Yale this summer.

District bans school police union head from central control room after comments on safety to Inquirer The Inquirer

GSE Teaching Award Almanac

BEN-FM A+ Education Fair Fox 29

The Biggest Bully in Schools The Workshop Blog

Three Cups of School Reform Tea The Workshop 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.

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

Notes from the news

SRC vote on Audenried, Vare to move forward despite Archie controversy

By Benjamin Herold on Apr 26, 2011 07:02 PM

The School Reform Commission plans to vote Wednesday on a South Philadelphia charter school deal that stands to benefit not one, but two nonprofits with ties to Chairman Robert Archie.

The scheduled vote comes amid controversy over Archie's behind-the-scenes conduct in a similar deal involving Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Germantown. There, Archie took part in pivotal private meetings about the future of the school despite having recused himself from public votes because of his law firm's prior representation of Foundations, Inc., one of the operators vying to manage the school.

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