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10 hours of testimony on voucher bill

By the Notebook on Oct 22, 2010 02:49 PM

by Patrick Gailey

The state Senate’s Education Committee held a hearing on Oct. 13 to discuss the future of proposed Senate Bill 1405, which would amend current state law to allow for a publicly funded voucher program in Pennsylvania. The bill was proposed by Sen. Anthony Williams who, along with Sen. Andrew Dinniman and Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, led the hearing.

Ackerman honored for urban school leadership

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 22, 2010 11:50 AM

Is Arlene Ackerman the best urban school superintendent in America?

The Council of the Great City Schools has just awarded her that status at its annual conference in Tampa, FL Thursday evening.

Notes from the news, Oct. 22

By Anonymous on Oct 22, 2010 09:41 AM

notes from the news imageSuperintendent Arlene Ackerman named top urban school leader in the U.S. The Inquirer
The Council of Great City Schools gave Ackerman the Richard R. Green award, which is given every two years to a top superintendent from 65 of the biggest districts.

See also: Ackerman awarded for leadership Philadelphia Tribune

At West, students and staff say they fear reprisals for speaking out The Notebook blog
Some say staff have been stripped of leadership roles and students have been transferred out of the school for speaking out about problems at West Philly High.

On school reform, by Philadelphia's mayor and superintendent The Answer Sheet
"Comprehensive and respectful community participation" in the Renaissance Schools process made Philly's version of turnaround less tense, Nutter and Ackerman write in a column distinguishing their approach from Michelle Rhee's.

Racial violence spurred Asian students to take a stand CNN
Part of coverage about bullying, CNN recounts students' struggles and activism at South Philly High.

See also: ACTIVISM/WATCHDOGS: South Philadelphia High Asian Student Advocates City Paper

Rendell expected to veto school-code bill over tax break provision The Inquirer
The bill would exempt nonprofits that rent to charter schools from paying property taxes, which Rendell thinks is unconstitutional because not all nonprofits fit the definition of a public charity.

High school applications due Oct. 29 The Notebook blog
Check out the Notebook's Fall Guide and new school search tool to help with applications, which are due in one week.

Annette John-Hall: Pennsylvania School for the Deaf students take anti-bullying pledge The Inquirer

Taskforce’s drop-out report submitted to SRC Philadelphia Tribune

Germantown Settlement fails to file $3 million in audits Daily News

My First Experiment with Checking for Understanding Philly Teacher blog

School bus flips on side in Philadelphia 6 ABC

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At West, students and staff say they fear reprisals for speaking out

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 21, 2010 01:34 PM

West Philadelphia High School senior Marie Hines told the School Reform Commission on Wednesday that students are scared to speak up about the sudden return of the climate problems that used to plague the school.

“We feel as though no one can speak out, or you could be transferred,” Hines told the SRC in public testimony. “I was concerned about speaking today.” Hines came with a group of nine students from West who then met with District officials about a range of concerns about the school.

High school applications due Oct. 29

By Anonymous on Oct 21, 2010 11:56 AM

The application deadline is just over a week away tomorrow, and the Notebook has provided new tools to search for schools along with lots of helpful tips about high school selection in its second annual Fall Guide.

Profiles of each District and charter high school are available, as well as data about school performance  - data you will not find in the School District's 2011 high school directory.

What you can only access online is our new school search page. You can search for things like specific AP classes or types of sports or activities and find which schools match your query. Each profile includes data about enrollment, answers from a survey of the principal about key features of the school, SEPTA routes that serve the school, and more.

Notes from the news, Oct. 21

By Anonymous on Oct 21, 2010 09:48 AM

notes from the news imageWest students take concerns to SRC The Notebook blog
Nine students told the SRC about the disarray at West Philly High. They then met with District administrators in a private meeting, which left them hopeful.

See also: Students air issues of violence, leadership at West Philly High Daily News

School district's budget balanced for now, but tough choices loom The Inquirer
One challenge was that the District is spending $6.8 million more than expected on the Renaissance charter conversions due to increasing enrollment at the schools.

Will GradeSpeed Gradebook be a game changer? The Notebook blog
The District is training teachers on a new online gradebook that will allow instant snapshots of student progress, and next year parents may have access to the info.

Guv hopefuls sit & chat, in a 'nonpartisan' way Daily News
Mayor Nutter criticized Corbett's education plan, but both Corbett and Onorato agreed about the value of early childhood education.

See also: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Debate 2010 Part 1 Education Voters PA

15 laptops worth $25,000 stolen from Girard Academic Music Program magnet school The Inquirer
A District document obtained by The Inquirer showed that last year $615,000 in computer equipment was stolen from District schools.

See also: $25,000 in laptops stolen from Phila. school 6 ABC

Ooh La La A Very Public Education
Public Ed Mom puzzles over why parents wouldn't want their kids to learn a foreign language.

New program aims to create future string teachers, performers Temple University

Potter Thomas estrena biblioteca Al Día

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West students take concerns to SRC

By Paul Socolar on Oct 20, 2010 08:40 PM

A group of nine students from West Philadelphia High School painted a vivid picture of disarray at the school in testimony at the School Reform Commission meeting today and in a follow-up conversation with reporters. But after a closed-door meeting for more than an hour with Associate Superintendent Tomás Hanna and new West Principal John Chapman, the students emerged more hopeful.

Will GradeSpeed Gradebook be a game-changer?

By Timothy Boyle on Oct 20, 2010 02:03 PM

This year the School District of Philadelphia has made dramatic changes to report cards in elementary grades. Instead of three report card periods, we now have four. This adds one report card conference for families and teachers. How teachers submit final grades to the report card system has changed as well. Teachers will be able to put all student grades over the course of a marking period into an online gradebook that will in turn send the final averages to the report card system. 

Notes from the news, Oct. 20

By Anonymous on Oct 20, 2010 09:40 AM

notes from the news imageMastery Charter Schools Crosses the River Into Camden NJ Spotlight
Mastery was approved by NJ to bring one new charter school to Camden, and Mastery founder Scott Gordon said that he'd like to see Camden grow to have "multiple campuses."

Obama signs order aimed to improve achievement among Hispanic students The Notebook blog
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics will work on improving high school and college graduation rates.

Negotiating the high school admissions maze The Notebook blog
Frank Murphy offers a case study on how the Meade school helped its students through the high school application process.

Common Surprises Some Philadelphia High School Students, Talks Higher Education [Video] Hip Hop Wired

School police officer hurt while trying to arrest student at Frankford High The Inquirer

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Negotiating the high school admissions maze

By Frank Murphy on Oct 19, 2010 04:07 PM

In 2005, when Meade School’s first 8th grade class moved up to high school, less than 10 percent of those students were accepted to schools other than their neighborhood high school. This was a disappointing result for the many students who had sought admission to special admission schools. It was also disappointing for our teachers. Our staff decided that this was not an acceptable outcome. We resolved to do better in future years.

Obama signs order aimed to improve achievement among Hispanic students

By Gustavo Martínez on Oct 19, 2010 01:37 PM

When President Barack Obama renewed the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics today, he did it having in mind that many of those students are undocumented immigrants who find obstacles when trying to attend college, education officials said.

Notes from the news, Oct. 19

By Anonymous on Oct 19, 2010 10:09 AM

notes from the news imageApplause for Ackerman nationally, but locally rhetoric doesn't match reality The Notebook blog
In Superintendent Ackerman's rebuttal to the manifesto she mistakenly signed onto, she says connecting with communities is key, but her actions in Philly don't always match what she wrote.

Obama: Future depends on science, math education Philadelphia Tribune
Obama spent time with science fair winners from across the country, including some students from Philly.

See also: Philly-area students honored in White House Science Fair The Inquirer

Lessons on school reform from Chicago: Like baking a cake The Notebook blog
Research from Chicago shows that like baking a cake, you can't remove any of the essential ingredients of school reform and still have success.

The day of the community colleges is here Daily News (opinion)
President of CCP says that even though the school is a vital part of the education ecosystem in Philly, it is "called to do more with less."

Philadelphia really needs former Washington, D.C. school superintendent Michelle Rhee Daily News (opinion)
Since the "
ignorance-industrial complex" has forced Rhee out of D.C., she should come here.

The independent contractors of higher education Philly Labor blog
A group of adjuncts at Temple is organizing to become part of the AFT.

Furness students urged to spread word about CHIP The Inquirer

School bus hits car; eight students on board OK The Inquirer

Reflections of an Author: Bullies City School Stories

Going Local for Education Movement Escalates to…Lawn Signs? Philly School Search blog

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Applause for Ackerman nationally, but locally rhetoric doesn't match reality

By Helen Gym on Oct 18, 2010 02:32 PM

I want to be the first to applaud Superintendent Arlene Ackerman for her recent letter to the editor in the Washington Post, which distanced herself from a controversial op-ed fronted by NYC Chancellor Joel Klein and D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Ackerman’s letter was not only a thoughtful critique of the Klein/Rhee op-ed, but the first step on the national stage by a major superintendent to challenge the bad teacher/good charter stereotype now making the national media rounds.

The drawback? I guess I’m disappointed how Ackerman’s rhetoric has not quite made it to reality here in Philadelphia.

Lessons on school reform from Chicago: Like baking a cake

By Ron Whitehorne on Oct 18, 2010 01:38 PM

Penny Bender Sebring and her colleagues at the Consortium on Chicago School Research have been studying school reform in the Windy City since the 1980s. Last month at a symposium sponsored by the Public Interest Law Center she drew out some of the lessons of decades of exhaustive research, aided by panelists Deborah Meier and Torch Lytle.

Notes from the news, Oct. 18

By Anonymous on Oct 18, 2010 09:36 AM

notes from the news imageSupt. Ackerman's critique of 'manifesto' The Answer Sheet
Superintendent Ackerman sent her own version of an education reform manifesto signed onto by more than a dozen leaders for districts across the U.S. Ackerman removed her name from that list.

See also: Ackerman removes name from 'manifesto' The Notebook blog

Education Voters of Pennsylvania On Onorato Endorsement PhillyNow
Ed Voters called Onorato the "education candidate" and warned that Corbett has said that the state can't afford an increase in basic education spending with the looming deficit.

'Inviting Families Into the Classroom' The Notebook blog
Notebook member Lynne Strieb turned her decades in the classroom into a "practitioner's guide" on how to engage families in your teaching practice.

EduPunks Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher invites everyone to become positive "EduPunks" to counter all the negativity in the discussion about education.

Huffington Post - Rule of Law Practical Theory blog

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