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Unfinished business at S. Philly High

By Paul Socolar on Mar 17, 2010 10:28 PM

Through more than two hours of emotional statements by Asian students from South Philadelphia High School and their allies, the School Reform Commission heard again and again Wednesday that Asian students who were victims of large-scale attacks at the school in December are still not happy with the District's response.

Student Ming Chen testifies about being attacked on Dec. 3 at South Philly High. Video by Gustavo Martinez.

5 providers outline their Renaissance plans

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 17, 2010 05:46 PM

Several of the 14 potential Renaissance schools have more than one suitor among the six approved outside providers, while others, at least publicly, so far have none.

Five of the six successful Renaissance applicants – all but Universal, which did not respond to interview requests – talked to the Notebook about what schools they were interested in managing and what they thought they brought to the table.

All but one plan to convert their school to charters.

QuickTakes External

By May Truong on Mar 17, 2010 03:40 PM

quicktakes
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What are you doing to get preschoolers ready for kindergarten?

 
 

An ounce of prevention

By Michelle Welk on Mar 17, 2010 12:51 PM

Maybe the first hearing held by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) focusing on school violence was cathartic because it presented an opportunity for victims and those who care about them to open up about their experiences and allow others to see what they’ve gone through. 

And that’s a good thing. 

Healing is a hard process if you never acknowledge the pain. Finding solutions can be difficult, too, if you aren’t sure what the problem is.

Notes from the news, Mar. 17

By Anonymous on Mar 17, 2010 09:24 AM

Students give perspective on school violence The Inquirer
Students testified at a Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations hearing on school violence. Fels principal Eileen Coutts described how her school dealt with racial tension.

See also: 'No Peace' at Phila. Schools KYW

New plan to change way schools receive funding: Based on need, not size of enrollment Daily News
The District will present details of the weighted student funding formula at today's SRC meeting.

See also: School administration to propose new funding formula The Inquirer

262 school council members come aboard The Notebook blog
All applicants to serve on the Renaissance Schools advisory councils were accepted, and parents are still needed at eight schools.

A push for healthier school meals The Inquirer
A bill reautorizing federal funding is up for a vote soon, and the Obama administration is taking the opportunity to advocate for healthy meals.

Physics as a practical matter Daily News
SLA's Rosalind Echols will present how she connects physics to daily life at a science teacher conference in Philly this week.

Obama's "A" word: Throwing teachers under the bus? The Notebook blog
Accountability is focused on teachers right now, but what about other factors?

See also: Karen Heller: Phila. teacher: 'The city's gotten harder' The Inquirer
What went wrong with school reform, with Diane Ravitch Radio Times

Specter gets PSEA nod PA2010.com

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Notes from the news

262 school council members come aboard

By Paul Socolar on Mar 16, 2010 06:41 PM

In a reversal, the School District has announced that it is accepting all 262 individuals who applied by the March 9 deadline to serve on the School Advisory Councils at the 14 Renaissance Eligible schools.

The District is continuing to seek parent members for the councils at the eight schools where parents do not yet make up the requisite majority of the membership - Bluford, Daroff, Douglass, Smedley, Stetson, University City, Vaux, and West Philadelphia.

Obama's "A" word: Throwing teachers under the bus?

By Samuel Reed III on Mar 16, 2010 02:10 PM

The “A” word is becoming the key buzzword in education reform. President Obama’s sweeping education reform plans are anchored on accountability. But does accountability mean some deserving and undeserving teachers will be thrown under the bus?

Notes from the news, Mar. 16

By Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 10:04 AM

'Well-intentioned laws can end up hurting...' Daily News
State Sen. Anthony Williams got a lot of feedback at a hearing to discuss his proposed bill to punish parents if their kids are repeatedly in the court system.

See also: Panel is told parents are key to stopping violence The Inquirer

West Philly HS - Dissing the community The Notebook blog
The community came out to support West's new principal, but her team was not picked to lead West if it becomes a Renaissance School.

Obama plan overhaul of No Child Left Behind WHYY
The plan is receiving criticism from teachers' unions; PA AFT's Ted Kirsch is quoted.

Schools in Kansas City, Missouri are being shutdown PSU Blog
From PSU's On Blast radio show, students connect school closures with last year's plans to shutter libraries, also proposed to make up for a budget deficit.

See also: How to get out of the recession? Close schools and cut 12th grade. Philly Education Justice blog

Editorial: Teach tolerance The Inquirer
A reflection on race, violence, and South Philly High.

Pennsylvania Officials to Make Case for Federal 'Race to the Top' Education Reform Funding PRNewsWire via Earth Times

H.S. students exchanging images with counterparts in Afghanistan WHYY

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Notes from the news

West Philly HS – Dissing the community

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 15, 2010 01:07 PM

Last month upwards of fifty people came out to West Philadelphia High to tell School District officials they wanted to keep the current team in place and build on the progress the school has made over the two years. Parents, teachers, students, and community leaders all went on record praising the dramatic improvement in school climate and expressing confidence that Principal Saliyah Cruz and a newly energized staff could deliver academic gains as well. 

Notes from the news, Mar. 15

By Anonymous on Mar 15, 2010 09:58 AM

Students say assault report is lacking The Inquirer
The report on South Philly High lacks "crucial portions" of the students' accounts of the violence, doesn't put the violence in the context of years of assaults, and doesn't include 26 separate assaults from the 2008-09 school year.

See also: Giles defends report on Phila. school attacks The Inquirer

Editorial: Teachable moment The Inquirer
A change in federal funding could leave Teach for America without federal support for a year. The Inquirer urges corporations and foundations to fill in the gap.

Letters: Story on parental failings is the real deal Daily News
Reader said story on parental involvement in the schools made that the "most important issue" he ever read.

School police officers say cars are a menace The Inquirer
Their patrol cars have many problems, according to the officers' union.

Phila. SRC Beats Quota for Hiring Women, Minorities KYW
The District beat its own goals for hiring women and minority owned businesses.

Bring Your Own Epiphany Practical Theory blog
Chris Lehmann wrote about his TEDxNYED experience.

Jr. Executive Music Program to Work With Phila. Schools KYW

Thousands of Science Teachers Converge on Philadelphia for Annual Conference KYW

Pa. Lawmaker Wants Review of School Bus Driver Licensing Regulations KYW

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Mar. 12

By Anonymous on Mar 12, 2010 10:44 AM

Are Some Races More Equal Than Others? The American
This piece, from the journal of the American Enterprise Institute, asked how Sec. Duncan's new civil rights push will deal with the situation surrounding South Philly High.

SRC outrage: Cartoons but not violence? Young Philly Politics
South Philly principal LaGreta Brown testified at the SRC for the first time in response to the Tony Auth political cartoon.

See also: In solidarity with Tony Auth Attytood

Phila. science fair winners anounced Philly.com
The best in fair winners of the George Washington Carver Science Fair include a student at Girls', Central, and Penn Alexander.

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

Notes from the news, Mar. 11

By Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 11:33 AM

Phila. principal defended; cartoon denounced The Inquirer
An Inquirer political cartoon that showed South Philly Principal LaGreta Brown asleep at her desk caused quite a stir at the SRC meeting.

See also: Cartoon attacking principal ripped at SRC meeting Daily News
Phila. School Officials Irate Over Newspaper's Cartoon Portrayal KYW

Opportunity to learn, rush to equity The Notebook blog
In this guest blog post Herbert Kohl laid out things we should think about when considering reauthorizing NCLB.

Teachers’ union endorses Onorato PA2010.com
The PSEA endorsed the Allegheny County Executive in the Democratic primary for governor.

Parent Teacher Conferences A Very Public Education blog
The tightly scheduled conferences don't leave much time to really discuss any issues students may be having.

Make Every School a Charter? Philly School Search blog

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Notes from the news

Opportunity to learn, rush to equity

By Guest blogger on Mar 10, 2010 04:30 PM

This week's guest blog post comes from Herb Kohl, who continues to be an educator and writer. His most recent book is The Herb Kohl Reader (New Press, 2009). He's also a Notebook Member.


Some suggestions for educational reform: I suggest we replace the Race to the Top with a Race to Equity, and find a way to introduce Opportunity to Learn articles into the ESEA reauthorization.

Notes from the news, Mar. 10

By Anonymous on Mar 10, 2010 10:00 AM

Making progress, West. Phila. High wary of district move The Inquirer
West's application to be an Innovation School, where a team of current school leaders would run it as a Renaissance School, was rejected. But the District may manage it as a Promise Academy, run out of central office.

Save the National Writing Project Practical Theory blog
The project lost federal funding, so now SLA Principal Chris Lehmann is suggesting NWP supporters write to their federal representatives.

Benchmark time again The Notebook blog
How do you use the results from benchmark tests in your classroom?

Attn. South Philly High: You Are Probably Screwed And The Rest Of Us Are Probably Psyched Philebrity
The federal Dept. of Education moved to reinvigorate the civil rights office. The move involves opening 38 cases, one being about “’major urban school district’ and its treatment of students who speak English as a second language.” That district is LA.

Shame on You, Newsweek Philly Teacher blog
Teacher quality is big in the news right now and this week's cover story "appalled" Philly Teacher.

National Coming Out Day for Undocumented Youth Young Philly Politics

Phila. School Children Learn Laws of Motion Through Septa KYW

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Notes from the news

Benchmark time again

By Timothy Boyle on Mar 9, 2010 02:37 PM

This week teachers across the School District will administer the benchmark tests.

This process doesn't always yield great results. There have been questions on material that was well ahead on the planning and scheduling timeline. Reconciling different curricula leads to concepts being displayed differently on the benchmark than I have taught them. I believe this is the reason that benchmarks are always a hot topic whenever a group of science educators gets together at professional development.

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