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Education Not Incarceration gathering Sat.

By Anonymous on Jan 28, 2010 06:44 PM

Education Not Incarceration-Delaware Valley is holding a public gathering on school climate and discipline this Saturday.

The event is from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at El Centro de Estudiantes, 2010 N. Mascher St.

The Notebook's Winter edition focused on school climate, and the panel discussion will include some topics covered in that edition.

Here's some information about the event from its organizers:

EduCon 2.2 This Weekend

By Molly Thacker on Jan 28, 2010 02:44 PM

I can't think of a better - or more necessary - time than late January to generate discussion, ideas, creativity, collaboration, and energy around issues of education.  Which is I am so looking forward to attending the EduCon 2.2 conference this weekend hosted by Science Leadership Academy.

Check back after the weekend for a recap of events and to continue the conversation!

Note: The event is sold out, but there is a wait list and an option to "attend digitally."

District FAQs for Ren. Schools' staff

By Anonymous on Jan 28, 2010 11:36 AM

The District has Frequently Asked Question sheets with timelines for instructional staff, instructional support staff, and CASA employees (school administrators) at Renaissance Schools.

You can also contact the Hotline for Renaissance School Staff with questions not covered in the FAQ. Someone will respond within 24 hours to a call at 215-400-5999 or email at

Some highlights from the FAQs:

Notes from the news, Jan. 28

By Anonymous on Jan 28, 2010 10:25 AM

Under new management: Struggling schools? Daily News
The District announced the pool of potential Renaissance Schools turnarounds.

See also: The list of schools, the basics, profiles of the pool, call for your reaction, and union fallout The Notebook blog
14 Phila. schools eligible for improvement program The Inquirer
District ready for its school ‘Renaissance’ Metro Philadelphia
Overhauls Ahead for Phila. School District's Worst Schools KYW
Phila. Schools targeted for turnaround announced WHYY

SRC OKs teacher contract Daily News
Other business from yesterday's SRC meeting.

Penn Hosting 9th Graders From West Philadelphia, FitzSimons High Schools on Shadowing Day Feb. 2 Media-News wire

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

Call for Renaissance reaction

By the Notebook on Jan 27, 2010 03:56 PM

Here at the Notebook, we’ve anxious to hear from parents, teachers, and school staff who may be affected by the District’s Renaissance plan.

Renaissance Schools list announced

By the Notebook on Jan 27, 2010 03:52 PM

The District just released the 14 "Renaissance Eligible Schools" and the 12 "Alert Schools" for 2010-11. The Notebook has published a FAQ about the Renaissance Schools, as has the District.

UPDATE: Each school name now links to a fact sheet with its School Performance Index data.

The Renaissance Eligible Schools are:

Renaissance Schools: The basics

By Paul Socolar on Jan 27, 2010 03:51 PM

What is the purpose of Renaissance Schools?
This is a new District program to transform some of its chronically underachieving schools into high-quality schools. The District has committed to accomplishing these “school turnarounds” while serving the same students at these schools.

Union likely to lose some schools

By Paul Socolar on Jan 27, 2010 03:51 PM

One component of the new teachers' contract that has stirred the most passions is the provision that teachers at Renaissance Schools are "forced transfers" who must reapply to stay at the same school. As details of the Renaissance Schools initiative were released on Wednesday, another blow to the union status of Philadelphia teachers came to light.

Renaissance Schools timeline

By the Notebook on Jan 27, 2010 03:49 PM

The District has released the Renaissance Schools Timeline, also outlined below.

Jan. 27: Announce Renaissance Alert and Renaissance Eligible Schools and release RFQ (Request for Qualification from Lead Applicant turnaround teams) and RFI (Request for Information from Support Applicant turnaround teams)

Profiles of the Renaissance pool

By Paul Socolar on Jan 27, 2010 03:49 PM

Even a quick look at the school profiles for the 14 Renaissance Eligible Schools makes clear that one of the central issues the School District and its turnaround teams will have to tackle in its Renaissance Schools plan is the effects of concentrated poverty.

Here's what the typical Renaissance Eligible School looks like (using median figures and the data provided for 12 of the 14 schools):

Public hearing on school violence Thursday

By Anonymous on Jan 27, 2010 01:17 PM

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is holding a public hearing on school violence tomorrow, Thursday, from 4-7 p.m. at Guerin Recreation Center, 2201 S. 16th street (16th and Jackson Streets).

This is the first of a series of hearings the PCHR will hold. It's a chance for "students, parents, faculty, police, community members, and youth-service organizations" to discuss violence in Philadelphia public schools.

Fliers with further details are available in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Khmer. You can also find information online, submit testimony via email, and register to testify by contacting Naarah' Crawley via email or phone at 215-686-4674.

Notes from the news, Jan. 27

By Anonymous on Jan 27, 2010 11:20 AM

Activist group sees flaws in teachers' contract The Inquirer
The Effective Teaching for Every Child campaign gave the contract grades averaging a B-, with an A- for standards and evaluations and a D for teacher incentives.

See also: Effective Teaching Campaign grades contract The Notebook blog
Dueling protests fault teacher pact: For different reasons, they have doubts Daily News

Plan for schools coming to a head Metro Philadelphia
Today the District will outline the plans for turning around low-performing schools as Renaissance Schools.

See also: Potential Ren. Schools announced Wed. The Notebook blog

School Days II: Fiasco at South Philly High Metropolis
The second and final installments of School Days from Dale Mezzacappa. The final piece is about educating immigrant students.

Successful March!!! Philly Teacher Talks
A group of teachers were also at the School District building yesterday afternoon to march against the contract.

Phila. Teachers Ratify New 3-Year Contract Ed Week
National coverage for the contract and for the complaint about harassment of Asian students at South Philly high.

Drexel to create 250 scholarships for low-income city graduates The Inquirer

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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

Effective Teaching Campaign grades contract

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 26, 2010 06:36 PM

The Effective Teaching for Every Child campaign gave the new teachers' contract mostly high marks in a report card, but said that it does not provide enough incentives to recruit and keep teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

Potential Ren. Schools announced Wed.

By Anonymous on Jan 26, 2010 04:32 PM

The District has announced that it will release a list tomorrow of schools being considered for the first cohort of Renaissance Schools. The schools are likely to be drawn from a larger pool of 76 low-performing schools, which were mentioned in the state's application for Race to the Top funding.

Here's a PDF that lists the 76 schools.

Guest blog: Site selection victory in contract

By Guest blogger on Jan 26, 2010 01:54 PM

Welcome to the guest blogger section of the Notebook blog.

This week's post comes from Jonathan Cetel, who is a regional organizer with Good Schools Pennsylvania and serves as a consultant to the Teacher Action Group. He previously taught middle years reading and social studies in the Olney section of Philadelphia. 

In the midst of our collective efforts to digest all of the reforms proposed in the new teacher contract, let’s take a moment to celebrate two clear and decisive victories: the expansion of site selection in the lowest-performing schools and the modification of the site selection process. 

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