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Reality check: The midterm elections and Philadelphia schools

By Helen Gym on Nov 11, 2010 04:18 PM

In the week following an election that dramatically changed the political landscape in Harrisburg and DC, local education observers shared a grim sense of reality about what Philadelphia public schools are likely to face.

School closings, increased privatization, and reduced spending on education are themes echoed by a number of observers. Those possibilities demand even greater activism, focus, and community engagement, noted others.

Notes from the news, Nov. 11

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 11, 2010 11:28 AM

Philadelphia district begins public meetings on the future of school buildings The Inquirer 
The Philadelphia School District begins to discuss how to fix the problems with its facilities.

     See also: District unveils facilities planning process The Notebook

Her girls are locked in bully 'hell' Philadelphia Daily News
A mother and her daughter are struggling with school bullying, and the mom is outraged that nothing is being done.

Noguera to parents: work to change student attitudes and school culture The Notebook
Pedro Noguera discusses the achievement gap and Black boys.

Philadelphia School District's Parent U Fox News
The Philadelphia School District has started up a one-of-a-kind effort to educate parents so they can help their kids and help themselves get that diploma.

Save Our Schools: Philly Students Host Youth Power Summit To Campaign for Non-Violence PW Blogs 

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District unveils facilities planning process

By Paul Socolar on Nov 11, 2010 01:57 AM

At Wednesday’s School Reform Commission meeting, a first look at the School District’s efforts to develop a facilities master plan offered new information about the public’s role in the planning process.

Noguera to parents: work to change student attitudes and school culture

By the Notebook on Nov 10, 2010 06:49 PM

by Katherine Saviskas

 "We have a big problem on our hands," Pedro Noguera told about 30 parents at a lecture in Philadelphia on Tuesday November 9. "In every category associated with success, Black and Latino males are underrepresented, and in every category associated with failure, they're overrepresented."
 
The next day the Council of the Great City Schools published a study that found, among other disparities, that low-income White males outscore higher income African-American boys on math and reading standardized tests. Alarmingly, it found that in only 12 percent of African American boys read on grade level and that, according to 2008 data, just 5 percent of college students are Black males

Notes from the news, Nov. 10

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 10, 2010 11:39 AM

Officials, students look at school violence The Inquirer
Leaders, advocates, and students gathered on Tuesday to discuss ways to reduce violence in schools

         See also: District convenes panel to create safer schools Daily News  

                          'Blue Ribbon Commission' on safety meets The Notebook     

Students Get Crash Course in Pakistan History, Politics WHYY                                       

Drew Elementary opens doors in and out of classroom The Tribune

Media literacy in the classroom and community The Notebook

Erika is away, the Notebook's Drexel Co-op student Lauren Goldman is filling in.

 Please take our quick survey about the Notebook, our site, and our Renaissance Schools coverage. Thank you.

 

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Media literacy in the classroom and community

By Molly Thacker on Nov 9, 2010 03:19 PM

While watching Reel Injun at the Community Cinema event co-sponsored by the Temple Media Education Lab, I thought a lot about what I should and should not be teaching my students. 

This is a nagging concern for me actually. It is a pedagogical dilemma particularly persistent for English teachers, I think, to consider what counts in a curriculum. 

Should I be focusing on the endless grammar issues my students struggle with? Should I be sure to teach Shakespeare, Hemingway, and “classic” canonical literature? Does assigning vocabulary lists make me a real English teacher? 

'Blue Ribbon Commission' on safety meets

By Wendy Harris on Nov 9, 2010 03:15 PM

Taking over the auditorium at District headquarters this morning, the newly formed Blue Ribbon Commission on Safe Schools, a cross-section of the city’s leaders, convened for the first time to introduce and discuss its plans for tackling violence in and outside of the District’s schools. 

Notes from the news, Nov. 9

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 9, 2010 09:53 AM

notes from the news imageAnnette John-Hall: Why is the district trying to thwart a successful charter school? The Inquirer                    Palmer is involved in a legal battle that could determine whether his dream charter school lives or dies. 

Jamilah Fraser named communications chief for Philadelphia schools The Inquirer

New chief, new staff in Communications The Notebook

Knowles Fellowships encourage teachers to think outside the box The Inquirer Knowles asks its fellows to take more initiative to develop innovative teaching methods. Then, it funds their ideas.

A new beginning for Philadelphia high school drop outs WHYY                       Philadelphia's dropout rate is about 50 percent, but more than 200 students are being given a chance to earn a diploma.

Turnaround responses shaping district plans The Notebook
The Nov. 2 deadline for potential Renaissance Schools managers to respond to a Request for Qualifications for turnaround teams has passed.

Philadelphia Education Leaders Debate “Superman” [Video] Philly School Search

Erika is away, the Notebook's Drexel Co-op student Lauren Goldman is filling in.

Please take our quick survey about the Notebook, our site, and our Renaissance Schools coverage. Thank you.

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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New chief, new staff in Communications

By Paul Socolar on Nov 8, 2010 11:00 PM

The School District beefed up its communications office with the addition today of a new chief, Jamilah Fraser, and two new staff members for the department.

Standing room only at film on Black male students

By the Notebook on Nov 8, 2010 01:20 PM

by Patrick Gailey

Beyond the Bricks Project, a national effort to support Black male academic achievement, made its seventh stop of a 10-city tour at the Community College of Philadelphia on Saturday. Seating for 350 turned into standing room only in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building.

TAG wants to hear from classroom teachers

By Ron Whitehorne on Nov 8, 2010 10:24 AM

The Notebook is not the only group asking for responses to a quick survey on its website this week. Once you've filled that one out, take a look at the Teacher Action Group's brief survey on conflict in the classroom.

The TAG survey, aimed at local classroom teachers, will be up till next Monday. Here is a letter introducing the survey:

Notes from the news, Nov. 8

By Lauren Goldman on Nov 8, 2010 09:46 AM

notes from the news imageHighball bidder wins schools applicant tracking The Inquirer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission awarded a $1.1 million contract for a job applicant-tracking system.

Delegation of Japanese educators visits Upper Dublin schools Montgomery Media
In an effort to create a cross-cultural exchange on the topic of education, school leaders from Japan visted the Upper Dublin School District.

Teaching drives Danza to tears The Notebook
Danza experiences the struggles a first year teacher deals with and has a break down in front of his students.
 

Erika is away, the Notebook's Drexel Co-op student Lauren Goldman is filling in.
 
Please take our quick survey about the Notebook, our site, and our Renaissance Schools coverage. Thank you.

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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Teaching drives Danza to tears

By the Notebook on Nov 5, 2010 11:35 PM

by Margaret Ernst and Lauren Goldman

You may be used to watching Tony Danza tap-dance.  But you’re probably not used to seeing him cry in front of 10th graders.

Tonight on "Teach," Danza feels just how tough being a first-year teacher is and it shows. Kids are talking, poking each other, and joking around as he tries to get a lesson started. “I can’t fight this battle any more,” he says—and leaves the room in tears.

Film and forum will explore the challenges of Black male students

By Guest blogger on Nov 5, 2010 01:54 PM

We have another guest blog this week. This one comes from Ouida Washington and is about the film screening and event taking place at CCP tomorrow.


Black male students are in crisis in America.

Notes from the news, Nov. 5

By Anonymous on Nov 5, 2010 08:16 AM

notes from the news imageProvider responses in; Innovation model out The Notebook blog
In the second year of the Renaissance Schools process, the Innovation model is no longer an option. Now Promise Academies are the only within District option.

Film looks at challenges African-American students face Daily News
There will be a screening of "Beyond the Bricks" tomorrow at CCP. The film follows two boys trying to stay in school in Newark, NJ. The screening will be part of a daylong event.

Hunger in Philadelphia: The Safety Net Is Torn The Inquirer
The third installment in the "Portrait of Hunger" series about poverty in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District.

More Adventures in Checking for Understanding Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher tried the "assessment" method and was amazed by what her students said they learned in a quick check in after a lesson on MS Paint.

Two Philadelphia Students Get Surprise “At-Risk” Scholarships CBS Philly

Time to Work Together Education Voters PA blog

Superintendent Ackerman-Urban School District MVP? Philly School Search blog

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