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Notebook Blogger to present Teacher Leadership Institute for Urban Schools

By Samuel Reed III on Aug 1, 2011 11:06 PM

A summer institute for urban teacher leaders is being hosted this week at
Swarthmore College.

Teacher Leadership for Urban Schools will provide teachers who have been instructors for 3-11 years with an opportunity to:

LA Times: Education (including in PA) "takes a beating"

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 1, 2011 12:49 PM

The Los Angeles Times has a roundup on the massive budget cuts imposed on education around the country. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are featured, including quotes from a Vietnamese bilingual counseling assistant who lost her job, and Gov. Corbett on why the cuts happened.


Notes from the news, August 1

By April Lin on Aug 1, 2011 07:34 AM

notes from the news imagePa. joins states facing a school cheating scandal The New York Times
Michael Winerip looks at the Notebook's role in bringing the scandal to light.

Teachers march on Washington Education Week
Full coverage of the Save Our Schools march that took place on July 30.

SOS march calls for teacher-backed reform The Huffington Post
The Save Our Schools march The Washington Post

In grading teachers, Pa., N.J. to count students' scores The Inquirer
States plan to overhaul system of teacher evaluation.

The misguided idea of 'merit pay' The Inquirer 

Ackerman rumor mill still swirling The Inquirer
Contrary to prior reports, the superintendent's departure is "imminent," says radio host.

Ackerman se queda Al Día

Bounced checks add insult to injury for laid-off District employees The Inquirer

SLAM graduates recognized in ceremony The Notebook blog
High school diplomas were issued to 600 students who completed the District's summer school program.

Charter school program reverses summer reading "slide" The Inquirer
Summer programs keep students on track for the fall.

Germantown students touch Love Park, New Orleans Chestnut Hill Patch
Students' stained glass art is on display around the city.

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

SLAM graduates recognized in ceremony

By Wendy Harris on Jul 29, 2011 02:59 PM

It was all pomp and circumstance at the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center today, as 600 young men and women received their high school diplomas through the District’s Summer Learning and More (SLAM) program.

SOS march and rally this weekend

By Anonymous on Jul 29, 2011 01:35 PM

The four-day Save Our Schools conference kicked off on Thursday. This Saturay a rally will be held at noon. Teachers and supporters from across the country, including Philly, will head to D.C.

Education Week created a collection of related stories and a single page to track their coverage of the rally. They've reported that rally organizers declined a meeting with Obama administration officials and gave some curious looking boxes to Education Sec. Arne Duncan.

Notes from the news, July 29

By Anonymous on Jul 29, 2011 07:56 AM

notes from the news imageConfession of a cheating teacher The Notebook blog
A School District of Philadelphia teacher describes her experience helping her students with questions during the PSSA exam. She didn't do it to help make AYP, but to make the "farce" of testing a learning opportunity.

Elmer Smith: Freedom from public education? Daily News
A discussion of school vouchers had supporters and opponents taking familiar positions, but at this point it looks like the Senate Bill 1 that would bring vouchers to this state isn't moving.

Daryl Gale: Ackerman: The final chapter unfolds Philadelphia Tribune
Without the political support she once enjoyed, many people now feel more free to criticize Ackerman and the negative chorus continues to grow louder. Ackerman should, like other public officials, be allowed to negotiate the terms of her departure.

Changes coming to the Newsflash The Notebook blog
We're re-working our monthly e-newsletter and need your feedback on how to improve it.

School officer on disability leads pro-Ackerman rallies The Inquirer
It's unclear if Pamela Williams was working at Daroff when she was injured at the school.  

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Invests $10.2 Million in Federal Grants to Create More Than 2,000 Community Service Opportunities PR Newswire
Several programs in Philadelphia with AmeriCorps positions received funding including City Year, Communities in Schools, and the teacher residency program.

School District of Philadelphia Hosts Back to School Extravaganza Philly School Search
The big fair will take place next Friday at South Philly High.

Video Footage from 2009 workshops… A Blast From the Past! The After-School Hip Hop Project

News roundup 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.

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Notes from the news

Changes coming to the Newsflash

By Wendy Harris on Jul 28, 2011 01:40 PM

The Notebook has been publishing its e-newsletter, the Newsflash, for nearly a decade. We wanted to alert you to some changes to the Newsflash and ask for your feedback on the best way to share our hard-hitting news stories with you.

Confession of a cheating teacher

By Benjamin Herold on Jul 28, 2011 10:06 AM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook/NewsWorks


[UPDATED: 7/29, 1:10 PM]

Reporter Benjamin Herold will be discussing this story on WHYY Radio (90.9 FM) this evening between 6:00 and 6:30.  Tune in to NewsWorks Tonight to hear more.

She said she knows she's a good teacher.

But she still helped her students cheat.

"What I did was wrong, but I don’t feel guilty about it,” said a veteran Philadelphia English teacher who shared her story with the Notebook/NewsWorks.

Notes from the news, July 28

By Anonymous on Jul 28, 2011 07:51 AM

notes from the news imageSchool officer faces probe after backing Ackerman while on disability Daily News
Pamela Williams, who has organized two rallies in support of Ackerman in the past week, is a school police officer who has been out on disability since January.

Inquirer Editorial: Action! The Inquirer
Ackerman should have made sure that the cameras installed at 46 persistently dangerous schools were being monitored and used effectively.

See also: Cameras won't make schools safe The Inquirer (opinion)

When districts break up The Notebook blog
A move in Milwaukee to deconsolidate, or break into smaller school districts, got Ryan Bowers thinking about the pros and cons of past efforts and future possibilities in Philly.

Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action The Notebook blog
The rally is Saturday afternoon in D.C. and teachers and supporters from across the country, including Philadelphia, will be there.

See also: Root Causes and the Save Our Schools March Practical Theory blog

Rep. O'Brien Talks Schools, Ackerman Fox 29
State Rep. Michael O'Brien discussed Ackerman, possible cheating on standardized tests, the budget deficit, and more.

West Philly Education Notes: UC Review
The West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is running a book drive and donation campaign to help support Lea elementary.

School Vouchers Have No Strong Effect on Student Achievement According to Review of 10 Years of Voucher Research and Action Keystone State Education Coalition

“No le echen dinero a Ackerman” Al Día

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

Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action

By Frank Murphy on Jul 27, 2011 03:57 PM

This Saturday, the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action will take place in Washington D.C. The rally, which will be staged at the ellipse, starts at noon.  Around 1:30 p.m., participants will march to the White House where the demonstration will continue.

Many readers will recognize that most, if not all, of the issues that we regularly discuss in the comments of the Notebook blog are represented in the march's guiding principles.

When districts break up

By Ryan Bowers on Jul 27, 2011 01:16 PM

A few weeks back I stumbled on an unusual proposal by the Wisconsin teachers’ union (WEAC) to deconsolidate, or break up, Milwaukee’s public schools.

It appears that deconsolidation’s coming back in vogue as a "when-all-else-fails" strategy for district reform.

Notes from the news, July 27

By Anonymous on Jul 27, 2011 08:19 AM

notes from the news imageNo easy way out The Notebook blog
Ackerman supporters rallied again yesterday. If their allegations are true and there is a plan to oust Ackerman, it would be a tough move given her contract and its automatic extension earleir this year.

See also: Karen Heller: After Ackerman, school district needs a new type of leader The Inquirer
John Baer: Don't buy out Ackerman - fire her, state rep says Daily News
Readers Cameraphone: Dr. Ackerman Is A True Leader (To About A Dozen People) Philebrity

After a Weekend-long Wait, Former School Employees Experience More Delays in Receiving Paychecks PhillyNow blog
District employees were told to pick up their checks at 3 p.m. but some had to wait till 5 p.m. till their checks were available.

Report outlines trends in foundation grants to reform teaching The Notebook blog
A report analyzed foundation grantmaking in education from 2000-8 and found that 10 organizations got a majority if the grants and 10 foundations made half of the grants.

School voucher debate comes to Philadelphia Philadelphia Examiner
The Association for Separation of Church and State is holding a public hearing on the school voucher bill.

Mastery Charter School Looks to Build The Frankford Gazette
Judging from a zoning application, it looks like Mastery wants to build an addition to Smedley elementary.

PSBA: Two Hundred PA School Districts Have Now Agreed to Some Type of Wage Freeze for 2011-2012 Keystone State Education Coalition

Pennsylvania Department Of Education Open To Four-Day School Weeks CBS Philly

Escuela charter en “north Philly” no violó leyes de ética Al Día

Letters: Global Leadership Academy Charter rises from the ashes in Philadelphia 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

Report outlines trends in foundation grants to reform teaching

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jul 26, 2011 04:26 PM

The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss draws attention to a new report tracking and analyzing foundation investments in reforming the profession of teaching.

Not surprisingly, much of the $684 million granted from 2000-8 went to organizations promoting alternative routes to teaching that bypass traditional education schools, particularly Teach for America. TFA received over $200 million, 31 percent of the total funds dispersed. The Philadelphia Foundation received the ninth largest amount of grant funds, $10 million.

No easy way out

By the Notebook on Jul 26, 2011 11:05 AM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook/NewsWorks

UPDATED: While a small group of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman supporters rallied at City Hall Tuesday, members of the School Reform Commission remained silent and aides to Mayor Michael Nutter sidestepped questions about the embattled superintendent's future.

"The politicians have decided to ask Dr. Ackerman to pack her bags and leave," alleged Pamela Williams, addressing about a dozen supporters who attempted to block traffic outside City Hall.

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