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By May Truong on Apr 21, 2010 03:53 PM

April 2010 Focus on Dropouts, Disconnected Youth, & Diplomas

Looking out for the most vunerable

by Sheila Simmons and Lynne Blumberg

How much is a buck worth? Why a District land deal needs more scrutiny

By Helen Gym on Apr 21, 2010 12:12 PM

When is a dollar not worth a dollar? Take a look at last week’s media stories (Daily News  and Inquirer), which blew open a District land transfer deal for a politically connected development group. The story raises serious questions not only about the SRC’s secretive decisionmaking process, but also the wheeling and dealing behind the District’s new land management policy and its enormous – and almost entirely unscrutinized – capital budget. And as the SRC votes today on the sale of six more properties, public concern and oversight is more necessary than ever.

Notes from the news, Apr. 21

By Anonymous on Apr 21, 2010 07:52 AM

A 'flash' of peaceful inspiration Daily News
About 100 students held a demonstration in Rittenhouse Square as part of a campaign against school violence and to show that "we are not a flash mob."

See also: Campaign for Nonviolent Schools Flash Mob a Success PSU Blog
City students campaign against school violence The Inquirer
Phila. Students Show the ''Flash'' Without the ''Mob'' in Rittenhouse Square KYW

School accountability bill clears committee hurdle WHYY
The bill would be renewed, and expanded to include a four-tier system for low performing schools.

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, III The Notebook blog
The final installment in a series by Dr. Caroline Ebby. This guest blog post describes alternatives to Corrective Math.

Monica Yant Kinney: A musical score for a city school The Inquirer
The picture accompanying this column looks like a still from Glee, but it's actually Welsh Elementary music teacher Maura DiBerardinis in action.

Karen Heller: A peace kept by the students themselves The Inquirer
A look at George Washington High's peer mediation program.

School District of Philadelphia Parents invited to Third Annual Autism Expo UC Review
The expo takes place this Friday. It was started by Howe Elementary special education teacher Mona Cohen.

Happy 100th Birthday, Frankford High School! The Frankford Gazette

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

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, III

By Guest blogger on Apr 20, 2010 01:15 PM

This guest blog is the final installment in a three-part series about Corrective Math from Dr. Caroline Ebby, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Dr. Ebby already went over the current math curriculum in the District and issues with Corrective Math. This week Dr. Ebby describes alternatives to Corrective Math.

Notes from the news, Apr. 20

By Anonymous on Apr 20, 2010 08:18 AM

Janitors threaten strike at 22 Philadelphia schools WHYY
The janitors have been working without a contract since December and are trying to negotiate one that will bring their pay in line with District-employed janitors.

See also: Group of Janitors in Phila. Vote to Authorize Walkout KYW

'Everyday Math' gripes aired Daily Review
Parents in Canton are unhappy with the curriculum, but the program's website cites Philly as a success story.

Monday musings: School District shenanigans, new study shows gamblings' benefits are few, and more on S. Philly High Young Philly Politics
A study about Bensonhurst High had striking similarities to South Philly High.

"We are family!" When charter schools can hire family members of the CEO Lexology
A corporate lawyer's view of Philly's charter woes.

A teacher network rooted in service learning The Notebook blog
A guest blog from Need in Deed describing their Teacher Network professional development program, which is accepting applications now.

Board rejects SEIU's appeal of UNITE HERE representation of District aides The Notebook 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

Board rejects SEIU's appeal of UNITE HERE representation of District aides

By Ron Whitehorne on Apr 19, 2010 04:04 PM

Last October Philadelphia School District food service workers and noon-time aides voted by a two-to-one margin to remain with UNITE HERE Local 634. The election was a consequence of the earlier split in the national union. The Philadelphia Joint Board, which affiliated with SEIU, sought to take control of the local, but their bid was rejected in a heated campaign.

A teacher network rooted in service learning

By Guest blogger on Apr 19, 2010 03:44 PM

Today we have a guest blog from Kimberly Kirn at Need in Deed (NID). She has information about their Teacher Network program.


Each year Need in Deed accepts 30 Philadelphia public school teachers in grades 3-8 into our Teacher Network. We're accepting applications for next year's cohort now. Applications are due this Friday, April 23.

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to Friday, May 7. Also, there will be another information session Wednesday, May 5 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Bache-Martin School (2201 Brown Street).

Notes from the news, Apr. 19

By Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 08:35 AM

Can Philadelphia learn from Lafayette High? The Inquirer
Lafayette High in New York City experienced a shift in racial demographics similar to South Philly High, and found that a focus on social and emotional learning helped improve things.

Not Just a Philly Thing: Addressing Inequities in School Funding Across Pennsylvania Philly Education Justice blog
PSU has gathered stories about how last year's state funding increase, a first step in addressing the costing out study gap, has helped students and teachers.

Editorial: It takes parents The Inquirer
A positive spin on the influence involved parents can have on a school.

My TEDxNYED Talk - Creating School 2.0 Practical Theory blog
You can watch Chris Lehmann's speech, which was filmed by SLA students.

Protests revived over school land The Inquirer

Computadoras gratis en Clemente Al Día

Students Stand with Temple Nurses on the Picket Line PSU Blog

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Apr. 16

By Anonymous on Apr 16, 2010 08:11 AM

For teachers, a question about a question Daily News
The PFT is challenging, citing privacy concerns, a new question in the District hiring process online that asks about prior unsatisfactory performance or disciplinary issues.

Put that census money to better use, in the Philly schools The Notebook blog
This guest blog is of the speech that won second place in the Citywide Student Government Census Oratorical Contest.

Who's responsible for the charter school oversight fiasco? It's Our Money
The Daily News' editorial yesterday argued that carelessness with public money didn't start with the District.

District's Imagine 2014 plan includes focus on dropout prevention The Notebook
New programs include Crossroads, which targets over-age middle school students.

Fairhill: Art and Literacy for Kids Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Temple's Attack on the Middle Class Young Philly Politics

SOS: Save Our Schools! Philadelphia Student Union blog

He lost out to schools' Ackerman, now she's hired him at 180G Daily News

Phila. 8th grader detained for knife in school 6ABC

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Notes from the news

Put that census money to better use, in the Philly schools

By Guest blogger on Apr 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Another guest blog this week. This is from the April 14 SRC meeting where Shaquille McKnight of E. Washington Rhodes High School spoke about the importance of investing in District schools. She was the second place winner in the Citywide Student Government Census Oratorical Contest. Here's the speech that earned her 2nd place: 


The United States Government census will take place this year. A census counts the current population in each state to determine how much government funding each state will receive. The 2010 census money will go to jobs, schools, health, buildings, transportation, and education.

Notes from the news, Apr. 15

By Anonymous on Apr 15, 2010 09:08 AM

Happy tax day. Also, don't forget to fill out your census form.

Ackerman creates new 'chief' position at $180,000 The Notebook blog
Leroy Nunery is a former Edison Schools executive and was a finalist for District superintendent. He'll work on fundraising and outside partnerships.

Parent voices concern over school changes The Inquirer
A Stetson parent testified about the Renaissance Schools overhaul plan that would convert many District schools to charters.

See also: New info on provider interest in schools The Notebook blog
Full Renaissance Schools coverage The Notebook

Charter oversight: failure Daily News (opinion)
Comparing the charter school financial scandals to the California gold rush.

Neighbors to be heard on school building sales Daily News
The District will now include community feedback in decisions to sell closed schools.

See also: Neighbors to be heard on school building sales Urban Direction blog

Students warned on dangers of flash mobs The Inquirer
Students were gathered at Hospitality Education Day.

See also: Head of public safety lectures students on "flash mobs" WHYY
Phila. Students Discuss Flash Mob Tourism Impact KYW

What Do Your Kids Know About Climate Change? Philadelphia Weekly

Five Local Early Childhood Educators to be Honored KYW

School Success Criteria Volume 3: Leadership Philly School Search 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

New info on provider interest in schools

By Paul Socolar on Apr 14, 2010 06:14 PM

It appears that two of the nine planned Renaissance Schools will have only one choice of  potential outside manager, based on new information from the provider proposals about their plans to be suitors for these low-performing schools slated for turnaround.

Ackerman creates new 'chief' position at $180,000

By Dale Mezzacappa on Apr 14, 2010 05:57 PM

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has created a new high-level post in her administration and hired Leroy Nunery, a former executive at Edison Schools and a finalist for Ackerman's position when she was hired nearly two years ago.

Notes from the news, Apr. 14

By Anonymous on Apr 14, 2010 08:17 AM

District chooses 6 nonprofits as potential Renaissance school operators The Inquirer
All six were finalists in the preliminary process, and now School Advisory Councils at the nine Renaissance Schools will get to recommended managers from this pool, for final approval by the SRC in May.

See also: Six providers to vie for Renaissance schools The Notebook blog
6 finalists in running of Renaissance schools Daily News
Lista oficial de administradores para Escuelas Renacimiento Al Día

Philadelphia schools' service workers finalize new contract WHYY
The new contract for 3,000 of aides, bus drivers, and other support staff includes a pay raise.

See also: District support staff gets raise in new contract The Inquirer

Parents work to rejuvenate a public school The Inquirer
The parents are working to prepare Jackson Elementary in South Philly for their toddlers.

Correcting the Corrective Math problem, II The Notebook blog
Part two in the three part series details issues with the Corrective Math curriculum.

Philadelphia: Parent Organizations Seek Accountability in Schools Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Profile of the Parent Power group.

SRC to get earful today over $1 land transfer Daily News

Pact OKd for Wakisha Charter School teachers The Inquirer

Childs Elementary focuses on creating life long learners The Philadelphia Tribune

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

Six providers to vie for Renaissance schools

By Paul Socolar on Apr 13, 2010 07:51 PM

Six organizations have sought and received the District's stamp of approval to vie for contracts to manage one or more schools in the first cohort of nine Renaissance Schools effective next fall.

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