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Notes from the news, Apr. 13

By Anonymous on Apr 13, 2010 08:29 AM

Charter school scandals in Philadelphia WHYY
Interviews with City Controller Alan Butkovitz about his charter school report, Superintendent Ackerman, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools.

Looking out for the most vulnerable The Notebook
There are specific programs in place to help pregnant and parenting, homeless, adjudicated, and foster teens graduate.

Buckling down, measuring up, and bubbling to the finish line. Time for the PSSA. The Notebook blog
So much emphasis is placed on test-taking skills, but what about content knowledge?

Using Web Based Media to Foster Positive Collaboration with Youth: Getting Started The After School Hip Hop Project

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Notes from the news

Buckling down, measuring up, and bubbling to the finish line: Time for the PSSA

By Timothy Boyle on Apr 12, 2010 12:14 PM

The PSSA has descended upon Philadelphia. While my 4th graders don't take the science section until the 26th, we've been prepping for over a month now.

Notes from the news, Apr. 12

By Anonymous on Apr 12, 2010 09:15 AM

Putting a new focus on science The Inquirer
Science is the theme of this year's Report Card on the Schools. You'll also find stats for schools in Philly and throughout the region.

New law planned to boost Pa. charter oversight The Inquirer
The law would strengthen financial oversight to respond to "charter greed."

See also: More Charter Control Metropolis

'I will fight,' says girl, but denies report The Inquirer
The Inquirer found and interviewed the "Cambodian female" referenced as a fight instigator in the Giles Report about violence at South Philly High.

Weingarten at West Philly High: A model community school? The Notebook blog
AFT President Randi Weingarten visited West where she learned about the significant improvements in community relationships at the school.

See also: Walnut Hill: What is Best for West High? Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Why three big donors got behind Williams The Inquirer
Big donations are nothing new to school-choice supporter donors who gave $1.5 million to Williams' campaign.

Letters: The Inquirer
Readers write in about Williams and Penn Alexander's principal. 

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Weingarten at West Philly High: A model community school?

By the Notebook on Apr 9, 2010 04:16 PM

by Bill Hangley Jr.

The head of the national teachers' union was at West Philadelphia High this week to ask, “How can I help you?” For many of the teachers at West, any help she provides may come too late.

Notes from the news, Apr. 9

By Anonymous on Apr 9, 2010 08:21 AM

Butkovitz: Charter schools spending like it's their money Daily News
The city controller also found that the District is not doing an adequate job of oversight of the $350 million spent on 67 charter schools.

See also: City Controller report blames District for lack of charter oversight The Notebook blog
Report faults oversight of Philadelphia charter schools WHYY
Phila. Controller Says There's No Oversight of Charter Schools KYW
Charter-school report puts blame on School District The Inquirer
Charter Schools Had Blank Checks Fox 29
Fraude y abuso en Escuelas ‘Charter’ Al Día
Report: Philly charter schools risk taxpayer money AP via Atlanta Journal Constitution

Large, varied system of alternative schools serves returning students The Notebook
Students at the Re-engagement Center find "multiple pathways," a variety of programs, to help them graduate, get a GED, or build skills.

Getting Started Series: The Parent Talk Philly School Search blog

A letter from a J.S. Jenks Alumna This Year at Jenks blog

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City Controller report blames District for lack of charter oversight

By Wendy Harris on Apr 8, 2010 10:08 PM

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz held a press conference yesterday to release a 94-page report of the findings from an in-depth investigation into 13 Philadelphia charter schools, while aiming much of his criticism at the School District for its failure to keep abuses of the charter law in check.

Notes from news, Apr. 8

By Anonymous on Apr 8, 2010 09:01 AM

Sebelius calls for a wider role for city schools The Inquirer
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the Coalition for Community Schools forum taking place in Philly this week.

See also: Parley discusses role of schools Daily News
High School Students Will Debate Benefits of Community Schools UC Review

After schools are chosen, District discloses some Promise Academy details The Notebook blog
The Promise Academies will have a variety of supports and enrichment activities but will need to "earn" autonomy.

City controller cites charter-school profiteering The Inquirer
The controller's final report on charter schools is to be released today. It will include suggestions on tightening loopholes in the state charter school law.

Bala Cynwyd investors donate $1.5M to Williams The Inquirer
The candidate for governor received the money from school choice PACs.

See also: Big contribution, seemingly a record-breaker, fueled Williams’ money haul PA2010.com

Renaissance Schools and Croyden Apartments Top Agenda for Neighborhood Associations UC Review

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QuickTakes April 2010

By May Truong on Apr 7, 2010 12:42 PM

quicktakes
_________________________________________________


After five years of public attention & millions of dollars directed at the dropout crisis, what have been the biggest changes for students & families?

 
 

After schools are chosen, District discloses some Promise Academy details

By Dale Mezzacappa on Apr 7, 2010 11:46 AM

It has taken a while, but finally, the School District has elaborated somewhat on what a Promise Academy will look like. 

As schools were submitting applications last month indicating whether or not they wanted to be Promise Academies, there was little in writing about the model. When the District announced on March 30 which schools would be turned over to outside providers as Renaissance Schools and which were selected as Promise Academies, the draft press release said a fuller description of the Promise Academy would be attached, but it was not. 

Notes from the news, Apr. 7

By Anonymous on Apr 7, 2010 08:52 AM

Dropped out? No, pushed out The Notebook
There's a national push to reframe the discussion of dropping out to one of students being pushed out of school by a variety of factors. Youth United for Change started a new chapter for pushed out students.

See also: Dropouts, Disconnected Youths, & Diplomas The Notebook

Williams' jaw-dropping coffers for Pa. top post The Inquirer
Governor candidate State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has received $1 million from two school choice PACs.

Letters: Don't overlook the good that Harambee does The Inquirer
Harambee's CEO responds to the recent night club news.

FCC loses key ruling on Internet 'neutrality' AP via the Bulletin
This ruling could have far reaching consequences. The Notebook and several other organizations in Philly are part of the Digital Justice Coalition, which is working to expand Internet access in Philly.

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Notes from the news, Apr. 6

By Anonymous on Apr 6, 2010 08:23 AM

Correcting the Corrective Math problem The Notebook blog
This is the first in a three-part series about Corrective Math by guest blogger Caroline Ebby. Part one explains how Corrective Math fits with the District's other math curricula.

Ronnie Polaneczky: A fed probe and a suddenly shy Veronica Joyner Daily News
Joyner founded the Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School and her school is now facing questions about its finances.

Editorial: Fighting failure The Inquirer
Cautions Superintendent Ackerman not to rely too heavily on charters for her Renaissance Schools turnaround program.

Penn neighborhood blooms around a top school The Inquirer
Penn Alexander Elementary School is luring Center City families west.

Letters: Flash-mob students need something to lose The Inquirer

The Times Are A-Changing Philly Teacher blog

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Correcting the Corrective Math problem

By Guest blogger on Apr 5, 2010 11:54 AM

This week's guest blog is from Caroline Ebby, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. This is the first in a series of three guest blog posts by Dr. Ebby about Corrective Math. This post will give you a little background on the District's current math curriculum and how Corrective Math fits in with that. The second will analyze Corrective Math specifically, and the final post will describe alternatives to the Corrective Math program.


As a mathematics educator and consultant for two Empowerment schools in Philadelphia, I am acutely aware of and concerned about the effects of the Corrective Math program on the achievement gap and students' access to higher-level mathematics. While the need for intervention in mathematics is paramount, the fact remains that Corrective Math reflects an instructional model that is outdated, overly simplistic, and counterproductive.

Notes from the news, Apr. 5

By Anonymous on Apr 5, 2010 08:48 AM

Report cites questionable charter-school practices The Inquirer
The draft report from City Controller Alan Butkovitz states "taxpayer money is at risk."

Marci Resnick Teacher Fund: Paying it forward The Notebook blog
The deadline for the fund's scholarships, in memory of longtime teacher and Philadelphia Writing Project administrator, is this Friday.

As Rachael Ray delivers a new kitchen, school culinary program shifts direction Daily News
Frankford High will see its new kitchen today, but school culinary programs are shifting focus from cooking to prep for better paying front-of-the-house jobs.

See also: Food Star Rachael Ray Outfits Philly HS Culinary Class KYW

Personalized Learning Plans – The next big thing The Notebook blog
Some 9th grade classrooms are piloting plans meant to encourage and document individualized instruction for students, but how can that be captured in the tiny boxes on the form?

Don't shortchange the students by cutting back on 180 school days The Inquirer (opinion)
State senators write in opposition of the state department of education's decision to waive makeup days for some of the snow days in February.

Germantown Settlement files for bankruptcy The Inquirer

Families Find Ways to Pay for College Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philly kids get dental exams WHYY

"Beat China!" Schools and the Global Economy Philly Education Justice blog

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Marci Resnick Teacher Fund: Paying it forward

By Samuel Reed III on Apr 2, 2010 12:37 PM

In life Marci Resnick was a dedicated educator who continuously gave of herself without expecting big fanfare.

Marci taught at Mitchell in Southwest Philadelphia and at Emlen in Northwest Philadelphia. She joined the Philadelphia Writing Project in 1990 and became the director in 1995. In 2001 she went to work as associate director of the National Writing Project.

Notes from the news, Apr. 2

By Anonymous on Apr 2, 2010 08:52 AM

Is Renaissance plan the right medicine for all 14 schools? Notebook NEWSFLASH
Experts interviewed question the efficacy of disruptive turnaround, which will take place at all Renaissance Eligible Schools, including ones with school reviews that showed strong leadership.

Connecting the disconnected The Notebook April edition
A variety of programs are up and running this year to help out-of-school youth get a diploma. Check for the print edition out next week.

Philadelphia student leaders Dan Jones & Zakia Royster Radio Times
PSU members will talk about student activism and recent portrayals of Philly youth in the news.

Philly Teachers Miffed Over Leave Jewish Exponent
The snow makeup days meant Jewish teachers had to work on Passover.

Can Charter Schools Compete On A Level Playing Field? A Good Day Teaching blog
A teacher blogger's response to the Renaissance Schools announcement.

Creative and Performing Arts: ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ The Inquirer
Review of a "breathtaking" CAPA production.

Night club in school was supposed to be reviewed in 2003 WHYY

Boy, 12, accused of knife threat against schoolmate The Inquirer

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