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Teacher aid revived in US Senate

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Aug 5, 2010 11:11 AM

A state fiscal aid package once considered dead was revived yesterday when the US Senate voted to send states $16.1 billion to meet Medicaid payments and $10 billion to prevent layoffs of public school teachers.

ACTION United says Race to the Top is misguided

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 5, 2010 10:32 AM

The Obama administration's strategy for turning around low-performing schools doesn't give communities real power -- which is the only sustainable reform strategy in impoverished neighborhoods, according to the Philadelphia chapter of ACTION United.

Notes from the news, Aug. 5

By Anonymous on Aug 5, 2010 08:57 AM

PFT and District give new teachers a strong start to the school year The Notebook blog
The Strong Beginnings program is taking place this week at Fels High School and is designed to help first-year teachers handle many of the challenges of their new career.

Philadelphia public school system doles out high salaries to staff Daily News (opinion)
A Republican running for the PA House adds his voice to the chorus of criticism of District salaries saying, the high salaries make it clear that we don't need more money for education, we just need to use our money better.

First Friday reception for Notebook photog. The Notebook blog
Bread & Roses is holding a reception for Harvey Finkle's Justice Behind the Lens exhibit Friday evening. 

We Did It! PFT blog
The Senate voted for cloture on the bill that would save thousands of teachers' jobs.

Letters: Philadelphia's Germantown High sends a mixed message on food-poaching Daily News

Shire and Philabundance Announce First Region-Wide High School Food Drive UC Review

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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PFT and District give new teachers a strong start to the school year

By Wendy Harris on Aug 4, 2010 01:19 PM

More than 124 new teachers, many just out of college, are getting lessons all this week on how to survive their first year in an urban classroom.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia, is helping these new teachers through PFT’s Strong Beginnings program, a professional development initiative that focuses on the critical beginning-of-the-year issues that often make or break a new teacher.

First Friday reception for Notebook photog.

By Anonymous on Aug 4, 2010 12:33 PM

Bread & Roses Community Fund is holding a First Friday reception for Harvey Finkle. Finkle's Justice Behind the Lens exhibit runs at the Painted Bride till August 13, and features work from his career documenting social justice issues, including photography for the Notebook.

Notes from the news, Aug. 4

By Anonymous on Aug 4, 2010 08:52 AM

Karen Heller: In Philadelphia, public service pays The Inquirer
Superintendent Ackerman isn't the only public employee with a nice salary; Carl R. Greene, in charge of the city's public housing, makes over $300,000 too.

See also: Tony Auth political cartoon The Inquirer

Mastery Charter summer school dilemma The Notebook blog
Even with a savvy, proactive parent to support him, Samuel Reed's son Kagiso was unable to get Mastery to reconsider requiring him to take a summer school course.

Last chance to save education jobs! PFT blog
Supplemental education funding will be up for vote in the U.S. Senate.

City employees in Philly to get discounts at some colleges The Inquirer

I Miss My Old Brain Philly Teacher blog

College isn't common stock The Inquirer (opinion)

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

Mastery Charter summer school dilemma

By Samuel Reed III on Aug 3, 2010 12:41 PM

If you have followed my posts about charter schools you may surmise that I am both a supporter and detractor of charter schools. Now, I have a personal dilemma with Mastery Charter Schools' summer school program and I am asking my readers for some advice.

Notes from the news, Aug. 3

By Anonymous on Aug 3, 2010 08:42 AM

Criteria for Ackerman bonus released, evaluation withheld The Inquirer
News on the bonus makes the Inky's front page.

District hopes changes boost dismal alternative ed graduation rates The Notebook NEWSFLASH
Mathematica released a study of the alternative school system in Philly that found that few students who spend time in an alternative school ever graduate.

Teaching new teachers for success 6 ABC
The District and PFT are hosting a training this week for new teachers.

Progress on vacancies at Promise Academies The Notebook blog
As of August 1 there are far fewer vacancies at Promise Academies: zero at three schools, and 10 spread out across the other three.

Military Push in Schools Metropolis
As part of NCLB, public schools must provide students' contact information to military recruiters, but students can opt out.

Smedley School is on the road to Mastery MyCommunity

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

Progress on vacancies at Promise Academies

By Paul Socolar on Aug 2, 2010 01:26 PM

Those teacher vacancies at Promise Academies, still open in late July, are not going unfilled.

District officials reported last week that they were “in the final stages of the hiring process” at the District’s six Promise Academies, and that the large numbers of openings posted on the District’s online vacancies list had been filled. 

UPDATE: Tuesday, August 3, District spokesperson Fernando Gallard reported the following numbers of vacancies:

Notes from the news, Aug. 2

By Anonymous on Aug 2, 2010 08:31 AM

South Philly High’s Protesters Philadelphia Magazine
The magazine names South Philly students who protested and boycotted treatment at their school as heroes.

Criteria for Ackerman's bonus released The Notebook blog
The District released the evaluation rubrics on Friday. They lay out the goals and objectives Superintendent Ackerman is to be evaluated on for her annual bonus.

Doing the math on school district salaries Daily News (opinion)
The issue of high salaries "is who's accountable to the public for explaining why these are sound investments, and when they will pay off?"

See also: Talking about Ackerman's compensation on Fox It's Our Money
Letters: School district: Big pay, but still big problems Daily News

Skipping schools: 15,300 kids transferred last year Daily News
Bullying drives many students to transfer schools.

Pair posing as painters steal computers from Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
They stole $13,600 in equipment over the weekend. Within the past school year $615,000 worth of equipment has been stolen.

Are three principals better than one? The Notebook blog
Saliyah Cruz's replacement at West Philly High, Ozzie Wright, will be joined by LaVerne Wiley as co-principal and supported by a "turnaround principal specialist."

Leadership Day 2010: Be The Best Version of Yourself Practical Theory blog
Leadership Day was last Friday, a day blogger Scott McLeod started because many school leaders "need help when it comes to digital technologies."

See also: My Top 10 To-Do List for Administrators Philly Teacher blog
My Call to Educators for Leadership Day Philly Teacher blog

On Blast Radio Show for July Philly Education Justice blog
PSU members reflect on the past school year in their monthly radio show.

NAACP needs to reset sights on education The Inquirer (opinion)
Op-ed from State Sen. Anthony Williams about how the current problem of segregated education is one that protects adults' jobs at the expense of quality education.

In case you missed it: Teachers, teachers, teachers The Notebook blog
The firings of teachers in D.C. for failing to measure up to a new evaluation tool sparked a lot of discussion.

Peirce College Selected by School District of Philadelphia’s Parent University to Help Increase Access to College Education for Philadelphia Families BusinessWire

Letters: 'Race to the Top' forces school districts to cheat The Inquirer

Toward sounder nonprofits The Inquirer (opinion)

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

Criteria for Ackerman's bonus released

By Anonymous on Aug 1, 2010 02:06 PM

On Friday the District released the criteria used to evaluate Superintendent Ackerman for her $65,000 bonus after a judge granted the Inquirer's open records request.

The documents released include:

In case you missed it: Teachers, teachers, teachers

By Jamie Raver on Jul 30, 2010 01:33 PM

Rhee dismisses 241 D.C. teachers; union vows to contest firings The Washington Post
When her newly implemented IMPACT evaluation revealed a startling number of teachers to be ineffective and unlicensed, Michelle Rhee immediately let them go - and warned 737 others ranked "minimally effective" that they will face similar fates if they do not change their scores within a year.

See also: Fire Hot In DC Eduwonk
Math Quiz The Core Knowledge Blog
The D.C. teacher firings The Washington Post Editorial
School Chief Dismisses 241 Teachers in Washington The New York Times
So my elderly aunt was talking about Michelle Rhee the other day... The Educated Reporter

Are three principals better than one?

By Benjamin Herold on Jul 30, 2010 11:18 AM

West Philadelphia High School will have two co-principals and the support of a “turnaround principal specialist” this year, according to District officials.

LaVerne Wiley will join Ozzie Wright as co-principal, said District spokesperson Fernando Gallard. Wiley most recently held the job of regional superintendent in the Southwest Region after serving as principal at the John Welsh School and a brief stint as the chief learner/principal at School of the Future.

Notes from the news, July 30

By Anonymous on Jul 30, 2010 09:04 AM

More fun with school district #s It's Our Money
Superintendent Ackerman and her administration continue to receive scrutiny of high salaries.

See also: Ackerman Gives Big Money To New Hires Fox 29
Rumblings: Who’s Afraid of Arlene Ackerman? Philebrity
Because She’s Worth It? Superintendent Ackerman’s Ridiculous Salary PhillyNow
For what it's worth, the Boston Superintendent turned down a pay raise earlier this month It's Our Money
Penny Wise and Pound Foolish? A Good Day Teaching blog

Early-learning center, 40 jobs are budget casualties Daily News
The District will close half of its early-learning centers and demote or lay off support staff in order to make up for a budget shortfall.

Calling student activists: A leadership training opportunity The Notebook blog
PSU grad Candace Carter writes about Building a Youth Movement, PSU's annual summer leadership institute. 

New Work Flow with Tech Practical Theory 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.

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Notes from the news

Calling student activists: A leadership training opportunity

By Guest blogger on Jul 29, 2010 11:42 AM

This week's guest blog post comes from Candace Carter a PSU graduate of Sayre High School class of ‘09 and Youth Strategy Team member, Alliance for Educational Justice.


The Philadelphia Student Union is preparing for our annual Summer Leadership Institute, Building A Youth Movement (BAYM). BAYM is a free, weeklong gathering designed to help discover and support the emerging leader in every young person.

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