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Obama's "A" word: Throwing teachers under the bus?

By Samuel Reed III on Mar 16, 2010 01:10 PM

The “A” word is becoming the key buzzword in education reform. President Obama’s sweeping education reform plans are anchored on accountability. But does accountability mean some deserving and undeserving teachers will be thrown under the bus?

Notes from the news, Mar. 16

By Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 09:04 AM

'Well-intentioned laws can end up hurting...' Daily News
State Sen. Anthony Williams got a lot of feedback at a hearing to discuss his proposed bill to punish parents if their kids are repeatedly in the court system.

See also: Panel is told parents are key to stopping violence The Inquirer

West Philly HS - Dissing the community The Notebook blog
The community came out to support West's new principal, but her team was not picked to lead West if it becomes a Renaissance School.

Obama plan overhaul of No Child Left Behind WHYY
The plan is receiving criticism from teachers' unions; PA AFT's Ted Kirsch is quoted.

Schools in Kansas City, Missouri are being shutdown PSU Blog
From PSU's On Blast radio show, students connect school closures with last year's plans to shutter libraries, also proposed to make up for a budget deficit.

See also: How to get out of the recession? Close schools and cut 12th grade. Philly Education Justice blog

Editorial: Teach tolerance The Inquirer
A reflection on race, violence, and South Philly High.

Pennsylvania Officials to Make Case for Federal 'Race to the Top' Education Reform Funding PRNewsWire via Earth Times

H.S. students exchanging images with counterparts in Afghanistan WHYY

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Notes from the news

West Philly HS – Dissing the community

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 15, 2010 12:07 PM

Last month upwards of fifty people came out to West Philadelphia High to tell School District officials they wanted to keep the current team in place and build on the progress the school has made over the two years. Parents, teachers, students, and community leaders all went on record praising the dramatic improvement in school climate and expressing confidence that Principal Saliyah Cruz and a newly energized staff could deliver academic gains as well. 

Notes from the news, Mar. 15

By Anonymous on Mar 15, 2010 08:58 AM

Students say assault report is lacking The Inquirer
The report on South Philly High lacks "crucial portions" of the students' accounts of the violence, doesn't put the violence in the context of years of assaults, and doesn't include 26 separate assaults from the 2008-09 school year.

See also: Giles defends report on Phila. school attacks The Inquirer

Editorial: Teachable moment The Inquirer
A change in federal funding could leave Teach for America without federal support for a year. The Inquirer urges corporations and foundations to fill in the gap.

Letters: Story on parental failings is the real deal Daily News
Reader said story on parental involvement in the schools made that the "most important issue" he ever read.

School police officers say cars are a menace The Inquirer
Their patrol cars have many problems, according to the officers' union.

Phila. SRC Beats Quota for Hiring Women, Minorities KYW
The District beat its own goals for hiring women and minority owned businesses.

Bring Your Own Epiphany Practical Theory blog
Chris Lehmann wrote about his TEDxNYED experience.

Jr. Executive Music Program to Work With Phila. Schools KYW

Thousands of Science Teachers Converge on Philadelphia for Annual Conference KYW

Pa. Lawmaker Wants Review of School Bus Driver Licensing Regulations KYW

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Mar. 12

By Anonymous on Mar 12, 2010 09:44 AM

Are Some Races More Equal Than Others? The American
This piece, from the journal of the American Enterprise Institute, asked how Sec. Duncan's new civil rights push will deal with the situation surrounding South Philly High.

SRC outrage: Cartoons but not violence? Young Philly Politics
South Philly principal LaGreta Brown testified at the SRC for the first time in response to the Tony Auth political cartoon.

See also: In solidarity with Tony Auth Attytood

Phila. science fair winners anounced Philly.com
The best in fair winners of the George Washington Carver Science Fair include a student at Girls', Central, and Penn Alexander.

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Mar. 11

By Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 10:33 AM

Phila. principal defended; cartoon denounced The Inquirer
An Inquirer political cartoon that showed South Philly Principal LaGreta Brown asleep at her desk caused quite a stir at the SRC meeting.

See also: Cartoon attacking principal ripped at SRC meeting Daily News
Phila. School Officials Irate Over Newspaper's Cartoon Portrayal KYW

Opportunity to learn, rush to equity The Notebook blog
In this guest blog post Herbert Kohl laid out things we should think about when considering reauthorizing NCLB.

Teachers’ union endorses Onorato PA2010.com
The PSEA endorsed the Allegheny County Executive in the Democratic primary for governor.

Parent Teacher Conferences A Very Public Education blog
The tightly scheduled conferences don't leave much time to really discuss any issues students may be having.

Make Every School a Charter? Philly School Search blog

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Opportunity to learn, rush to equity

By Guest blogger on Mar 10, 2010 03:30 PM

This week's guest blog post comes from Herb Kohl, who continues to be an educator and writer. His most recent book is The Herb Kohl Reader (New Press, 2009). He's also a Notebook Member.


Some suggestions for educational reform: I suggest we replace the Race to the Top with a Race to Equity, and find a way to introduce Opportunity to Learn articles into the ESEA reauthorization.

Notes from the news, Mar. 10

By Anonymous on Mar 10, 2010 09:00 AM

Making progress, West. Phila. High wary of district move The Inquirer
West's application to be an Innovation School, where a team of current school leaders would run it as a Renaissance School, was rejected. But the District may manage it as a Promise Academy, run out of central office.

Save the National Writing Project Practical Theory blog
The project lost federal funding, so now SLA Principal Chris Lehmann is suggesting NWP supporters write to their federal representatives.

Benchmark time again The Notebook blog
How do you use the results from benchmark tests in your classroom?

Attn. South Philly High: You Are Probably Screwed And The Rest Of Us Are Probably Psyched Philebrity
The federal Dept. of Education moved to reinvigorate the civil rights office. The move involves opening 38 cases, one being about “’major urban school district’ and its treatment of students who speak English as a second language.” That district is LA.

Shame on You, Newsweek Philly Teacher blog
Teacher quality is big in the news right now and this week's cover story "appalled" Philly Teacher.

National Coming Out Day for Undocumented Youth Young Philly Politics

Phila. School Children Learn Laws of Motion Through Septa KYW

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Notes from the news

Benchmark time again

By Timothy Boyle on Mar 9, 2010 01:37 PM

This week teachers across the School District will administer the benchmark tests.

This process doesn't always yield great results. There have been questions on material that was well ahead on the planning and scheduling timeline. Reconciling different curricula leads to concepts being displayed differently on the benchmark than I have taught them. I believe this is the reason that benchmarks are always a hot topic whenever a group of science educators gets together at professional development.

Notes from the news, Mar. 9

By Anonymous on Mar 9, 2010 09:59 AM

Schooling parents Daily News
A look at the variety of reasons parents aren't involved in the schools, and ways the District is trying to engage them.

Latest Auth Cartoon The Inquirer (opinion)
A political cartoon of South Philly High's principal's office.

Education takes a back seat The Notebook blog
Mayor Nutter gave his budget address last week, but only made brief mention of schools.

State senator wants school named for Rivera The Inquirer
State Sen. Tartaglione wants Olney HS renamed for Joaquin Rivera, who was a bilingual counselor there.

Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB The Notebook blog
Legislation at both the state and federal level is up for reauthorization, and Len Rieser suggested that the state wait for the feds to move first.

Computers and Education: How Much is Too Much? A Very Public Education blog

School Success Criteria Vol 2: Teachers Philly School Search blog

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Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB

By Len Rieser on Mar 9, 2010 09:27 AM

Picture yourself walking into a huge, noisy factory that makes education. We won’t stop right now to talk about the quality of the product. Instead, we’ll just take in, for a moment, the commotion, the people racing around, the machines rising and falling and clanking and crashing. We’ll call this factory the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Education takes a back seat

By Helen Gym on Mar 8, 2010 12:21 PM

Last week Mayor Nutter delivered his budget address – highlights of which you can find at It’s Our Money – but left out a central message: public education. Not once did the mayor talk about public schools or public education. He didn’t even mention the word dropout.

Notes from the news, Mar. 8

By Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 09:57 AM

Adults' missteps detailed in S. Phila. High violence The Inquirer
This front page story examined the report on the violence and how school administrators reacted.

See also: Confusión y errores de adultos en South Philly High Al Día
Things that make me want to go . . . . UGH Young Philly Politics

Only six providers approved for 'turnaround' The Notebook blog
Of 28 lead applicants to run Renaissance Schools, six were approved including ASPIRA, Johns Hopkins, Mastery Charter, and others.

See also: 6 applicants qualify to run Renaissance schools Daily News
Candidates to run Phila. schools cut to 6 The Inquirer

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils The Notebook blog
The deadline for parents, teachers, and others to join the school councils has been extended to tomorrow.

Editorial: Reaching for a dream The Inquirer
Congress is urged to pass the DREAM Act to help undocumented students go to college.

Allegheny/Strawberry Mansion: After a Century, Library Still Serves its Community Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Danza says class act isn't just for show The Inquirer

Local Kids Sharpen Decision-Making Skills in Class KYW

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Only six providers approved for 'turnaround'

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 5, 2010 06:31 PM

The School District has approved just six of 28 providers who applied to lead "turnaround" efforts under the Renaissance Schools initiative at low-performing schools:

  1. ASPIRA, Inc., of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  2. Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Philadelphia
  3. Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now, Baltimore, Md.
  4. Mastery Charter Schools, Philadelphia
  5. Universal Companies, Philadelphia
  6. Young Scholars Charter School, Philadelphia

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils

By Paul Socolar on Mar 5, 2010 05:48 PM

Tuesday, March 9 is the new deadline for applications for individuals who want to be part of the new School Advisory Councils at 14 Renaissance-eligible schools. The application is available here.

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