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Notes from the news, June 7

By Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011 08:29 AM

notes from the news imageToday is the Notebook's Turning the Page for Change celebration! Please join us from 4:30-7 p.m. at University of the Arts. You can purchase admission online till noon or pay at the door. Look forward to seeing you there!

Judge stops teacher layoffs The Notebook blog
A judge suspended teacher layoffs till a June 14 hearing on a PFT lawsuit against the District over the layoffs and exemption of Promise Academies teachers. Over 3,000 layoffs for teachers, central office, and other staff were issued yesterday.

See also:Philadelphia's school district faces a court fight over some layoffs The Inquirer
Judge halts teacher layoffs, for now Daily News
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers files Complaint in Equity PRNewswire
Education Nation comes to Philly just in time for budget crisis, layoffs The Notebook blog
Layoff Notices for Teachers Sent Out and Rescinded Chestnut Hill Patch
Laid-off Philly teachers get temporary reprieve WHYY/NewsWorks
Teacher Layoffs on Hold in Philly NBC Philadelphia
Layoffs Devastate Philly School District Fox 29
Judge Stays Philly Teacher Layoffs Fox 29

School District has a management deficit The Inquirer (opinion)
City Councilman Bill Green writes that taxes are not the solution to the District's budget deficit. Dave Davies also comments on the budget and Elmer Smith compares Ackerman's handling of the budget to a messy divorce.

See also: Diaries of a crisis WHYY/NewsWorks (opinion)
Elmer Smith: School kids the losers in joint-custody game Daily News

Pennsylvania State Education Association backs use of test scores in evaluating teachers The Inquirer
The PSEA is the largest teachers' union in the state, and it shared the stance as part of a new proposal.

Boys' Latin graduates its first class amid hoopla The Inquirer
Governor Corbett spoke to the first graduating class from the charter school.

Fattah announces grants Daily News
Pennsylvania will receive $21.5 in School Improvement Grants, these dollars support different types of turnaround.

Notes from the Field- Unpacking STEM City School Stories
Notebook blogger Timothy Boyle looks at the concept of STEM--science, technology, engineering, and math.

Nutter chief of staff Armbrister headed to Hopkins The Inquirer
Armbrister is married to SRC member Denise McGregor-Armbrister.

Primary document: Green letter to Nutter on school district oversight It's Our Money blog

Phil Goldsmith flashback: School district administrative salaries It's Our Money blog

Charter Mix Keystone State Education Coalition

Chris Matthews And Andrea Mitchell To Broadcast Live From National Constitution Center Philebrity

Beyond the Usual Suspects II Philly School Search

StudentNet: Access to Success A Broad View blog

Education Nation Visits Philly! A Broad View blog

Entrepreneurship Practical Theory blog

Nutter Seeks School Funds In Harrisburg Fox 29

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

Judge stops teacher layoffs

By the Notebook on Jun 6, 2011 04:54 PM

by Dale Mezzacappa and Benjamin Herold

Common Pleas Court Judge Idee C. Fox granted a temporary restraining order Monday sought by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers that stops any teacher layoffs at least until a hearing on June 14.

Education Nation comes to Philly just in time for budget crisis, layoffs

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 6, 2011 01:51 PM

NBC NewsEducation Nation couldn’t have picked a better – or worse – time to arrive in Philadelphia for a week of special events and coverage meant to draw attention to what is needed for improved academic achievement for all students.

Notes from the news, Jun. 6

By Anonymous on Jun 6, 2011 08:07 AM

notes from the news imageNutter tells Philadelphia School District to open its books The Inquirer
Mayor Nutter sent the SRC a letter saying that in order to get additional money from the city, the District must open its books and give the city greater say in how it spends the money.

See also: Phil Goldsmith: If it's really about the kids, then we need some controls Daily News
Nutter seeks role in school oversight Daily News
Inquirer Editorial: Tax hike a tough sale The Inquirer
Squeezing some answers from the School District WHYY/NewsWorks (opinion)
District spent its way into massive shortfall The Inquirer (opinion)
Are City, Schools On The Same Page? Fox 29

Phila. school district saves full-day kindergarten from budget ax The Inquirer
Superintendent Ackerman took credit for saving full-day kindergarten by using Title I funds for it. Mayor Nutter also lobbied for help.

See also: District finds funding to keep all-day kindergarten Daily News
Ackerman left Nutter out of the loop on kindergarten-funding solution Daily News
DN Editorial: Kindergarten save looks like kid's play Daily News
District budget: Full-day kindergarten, TransPasses back The Notebook blog
Officials: Full-day kindergarten restored in Phila. 6 ABC
Philly Restores Full-Day Kindergarten Fox 29
UPDATED: School District Restores Full-Day Kindergarten Chestnut Hill Patch Philadelphia district to preserve full-day kindergarten WHYY/NewsWorks

TransPasses for students: SEPTA's aboard Daily News
The District and SEPTA announced a "basic framework" to continue providing TransPasses for next school year. This agreement does not affect planned cuts to District-provided busing.

See also: Busing cuts the latest worry for Philly's parents Daily News
School District and SEPTA Agree on Terms to Keep TransPass Program Roxborough-Manayunk Patch

Commissioner Dworetzky to move to West Coast, plans to stay on SRC The Notebook blog
Dworetzky is moving to California with his wife, but will travel at his own cost to Philly every month for SRC meetings.

See also: Dworetzky to stay on SRC despite long haul from Calif. Daily News

Diploma in hand, but unprepared for college The Inquirer
Nearly 45 percent of community college students have to take at least one remedial class.

Where will all the teachers have gone? Making the Grade blog
Layoff notices go out today.

MSNBC giving Nutter a soapbox for schools The Inquirer
Education Nation is in town for the week.

See also: NBC's weeklong education summit focuses on Philly AP via Beaver County Times
NBC educating Philly Daily News

MLK High gets a new principal WHYY/NewsWorks
William Wade will join King from Vaux Promise Academy High School.

New Race to the Top funds available Education Week via The Notebook blog

It is time for a new era for education in Philadelphia Education Voters PA blog

Teachers meet in Philadelphia to look at direction of schooling The Inquirer

Daniel Rubin: A viral approach to ending violent relationships The Inquirer

Keep Bars Open 'Til 3 To Fund Schools? Fox 29

Letters: A mishandled school closing Daily News

It is time for a new era for education in Philadelphia Young Philly Politics

It's Big Business Taxes That Should Go Up to Fund Our Schools Young Philly Politics

My, myself and Arlene Attytood 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.

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

Notes from the news

Commissioner Dworetzky to move to West Coast, plans to stay on SRC

By Helen Gym on Jun 3, 2011 04:33 PM

School Reform Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky, who has served on the SRC since October 2009, is moving to San Francisco but still intends to remain with the School Reform Commission.

District budget: Full-day kindergarten, TransPasses back

By Anonymous on Jun 3, 2011 02:33 PM

UPDATE: SEPTA and the District released a joint statement that they have a "basic framework" to continue providing TransPasses for one year.

The District announced at an afternoon press briefing that full-day kindergarten has been restored. 

A press release from the District details the announcement. According to the release, "Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Education today to request a waiver allowing the District to use Title I funds to augment this half-day offering to provide a full-day program."

Superintendent Ackerman said she personally lobbied in Harrisburg for flexibility to use funds for full-day kindergarten. She said that as a parent, she could not let other parents go into summer without knowing about kindergarten. The Title I funds will be used to finance full-day kindergarten moving forward, and cuts will have to be made in other areas to free up the funds.

New Race to the Top funds available

By the Notebook on Jun 3, 2011 01:54 PM

The Notebook recently began sharing content with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared.

Education Week logo

by Michele McNeil

For U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, handing out hundreds of millions in federal money isn’t as easy as it once was.

The May 25 announcement that he’ll divvy up $700 million in new Race to the Top funding between the nine states that narrowly missed out last year and a $500 million early-childhood education competition has drawn a mixed—and, in at least one case, almost hostile—response.

Notes from the news, June 3

By Anonymous on Jun 3, 2011 07:55 AM

notes from the news imageVeteran Philadelphia educator named to lead Martin Luther King High The Inquirer
William Wade, current principal at Vaux Promise Academy High School, will be principal at King Promise Academy next year.

See also: MLK High gets new principal The Hall Monitor blog
New King HS principal named The Notebook blog

Annette John-Hall: Hurdles and helpers en route to college degree The Inquirer
Catching up with the students Benjamin Herold profiled in his First Person documentary.

District contracts: Who's getting paid The Notebook blog
A look at how much is being spent on contracts in 2011 year-to-date budget documents.

See also: The key to budget health: Just seven little cuts Daily News
New tax options could help fund School District Philadelphia Tribune
Mayor's three-pronged proposal for school funding 6 ABC
Does the mayor want to attach any strings to additional school money? UPDATE: No It's Our Money blog
How Can Anyone Oppose A Soda Tax To Fund Schools? Phawker
Notes from the Field- The School Budget and The Voice of Reason City School Stories

After schools are closed, who decides their fate? The Notebook blog
The District's updated proposed Adaptive Reuse Policy has a narrow role for community members in deciding what will happen with closed schools.

School district demands renegotiations with teachers’ union Philadelphia Tribune
The District wants to renegotiate a raise that is to go into effect in January as a cost-saving measure.

See also: District transportation head retiring, PFT and AFT in talks The Hall Monitor blog

CNS Students Call on City Council to help fund District Programs Campaign for Nonviolent Schools blog
Students urged Council to save programs that " improve school climate and increase graduation rates."

See also: Students Ask City Council To Keep Anti-Violence Programs In Schools CBS Philly

School Cuts And 'Reforms' Feed The Prison Pipeline Campaign for America's Future

Estudiantes se irritan con las políticas de seguridad Al Día

Live chat on Philly schools June 6 Philly School Files blog

Curbing school violence hinges on caring, not rules or rhetoric WHYY/NewsWorks

Taxing College Students to Help Public Students Metropolis

SB1 voucher bill throws the poor kids under the bus Keystone State Education Coalition

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

New King HS principal named

By Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 12:04 PM

The District just sent a release naming William Wade, current principal at Vaux Promise Academy High School, as the new principal for Martin Luther King High School.

District contracts: Who's getting paid

By Helen Gym on Jun 2, 2011 11:03 AM

(This post has been updated)

Despite all the budget hoopla, one area consistently downplayed by the School District has been private contracts.

Since the budget hearings began, Parents United  for Public Education has been asking questions and requesting public information on contracts - how much is being paid out and to whom. Weeks ago, tired of the wait, we made our own "right-to-know" request. To the District's credit, they delivered on our request, and we've posted their list of the 2011 year-to-date payments to contractors and vendors here.

If you follow us on Twitter (@ParentsUnitedPA), you would have seen some of the outtakes of our findings. We dubbed our outtakes "fun facts," but the questions here are very serious.

Notes from the news, June 2

By Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 07:59 AM

notes from the news imageNutter pitches more taxes to aid schools The Inquirer
Mayor Nutter proposes ways to raise revenue for the schools including the soda tax and increased parking fees.

See also: Taxes a real kick in the class for Philly Daily News
Should They Just Call It Tax-Adelphia?
Fox 29
Council at a loss without schools stats Daily News
DN Editorial: The fire this time: New tax hikes Daily News
Nutter’s Soda Tax: Redux! PhillyNow blog
Tax Hike Possible To Help Philly Schools Fox 29

Philadelphia students urge funding for programs that have helped The Inquirer
The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools called for alternative schools, bilingual counseling assistants, and student success centers to be saved in the budget.

A special opportunity for our readers The Notebook blog
Until June 30 every new and renewed membership to the Notebook will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $1,000). Please, become a member today!

Controller urges 'enhanced measures' in auditing of Philadelphia School District The Inquirer
Controller wants expanded authority in overseeing District's finances.

See also: IRS Releases School District’s Audit Amid Budget Woes PhillyNow blog

There could be a striking development with Philly schools Daily News
Will the  teachers' union strike?

NWT Full Show, June 1, 2011 WHYY/NewsWorks
Reporter Ben Herold was on the show to discuss the budget.

Driver's Seat: Local team wins honors for fuel-efficient vehicle The Inquirer
More on West Philly's auto team.

The 1st Annual Philadelphia Education Conference Philly Teacher blog
The event takes place at Temple University Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Philly Schools In Hot Water With Parents Fox 29
Parents are upset that school was closed early yesterday with very little notice.

Cuts to schools spur fightback Workers World

Letters: Baer column stops short Daily News

Early Education & Race to the Top Education Voters PA blog

Follow-up on Chester Upland, Privatizing PA Public Education and Vahan Gureghian Keystone State Education Coalition

Advocate sees opportunity in Pa. for education reform via school vouchers The Inquirer

Education Nation On-The-Road Comes to Philadelphia PRNewswire

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

A special opportunity for our readers

By Paul Socolar on Jun 1, 2011 01:40 PM

The Notebook has a rare opportunity for organizational growth in the month of June, and it's also an opportunity for our readers to double their impact.

We have received a generous "matching gift" from an anonymous donor aimed at increasing the number of readers who are also members of the Notebook community. From now until June 30, every new and renewed membership in the Notebook will be matched by this donor dollar for dollar up to $8,000. Each individual gift of up to $1,000 will be matched.

Notes from the news, June 1

By Anonymous on Jun 1, 2011 08:00 AM

notes from the news imageSRC passes budget despite public outcry The Notebook blog
After hours of discussion and testimony, the budget passed as well as resolutions exempting Promise Academies teachers from layoffs and authorizing the District to cancel union contracts.

See also: 'Interim' school budget adopted The Inquirer
SRC seeks more from PFT, votes to reopen contracts Daily News
Budget bulletin: More on Promise Academies The Notebook blog
School Reform Commission Approves Budgets With Cuts Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
Massive Cuts Expected for Philly Schools NBC Philadelphia
School District Expected To Pass Provisional Budget PhillyNow blog
For the SRC, today is B-day Philly School Files blog
Jordan Blasts SRC's Union-Busting Resolutions PFT News
#Funfactsabouttheschooldistrictbudget It's Our Money blog

Before Philly business leaders, Corbett reiterates his budget-cutting vow The Inquirer
Corbett said the state budget isn't just affecting Philly, but that communities across the state "feel the same way" about the "fiscal reality."

See also: Pennsylvania school districts grapple with dramatic budget cuts Radio Times
Notes from the Field- Those Who Would Block the School House Door City School Stories
Corbett to friendly Phila. crowd: 'Keeping the promises I made' Daily News
Corbett riffs on the 2012 election, golfing and government dress code Commonwealth Confidential blog

Ackerman stays on point WHYY/NewsWorks
By Dave Davies' count Ackerman "used the words I, me, my or mine 118 times in a speech of a little over ten minutes."

Student: El Centro is hope The Notebook blog
Joandaly Chavez of El Centro de Estudiantes, one of the alternative schools slated for closure, describes how the school has revived her education.

Karen Heller: School district's missteps undercut whole city The Inquirer
Today is Superintendent Ackerman's third anniversary in Philly, and at this point the District is facing investigations and a huge budget gap.

Despite successes, charter school takeovers draw protests CNN
A look at the Renaissance Schools process this year.

Elverson brings the best out of students Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key includes stories about the Philadelphia Military Academy-Elverson, A. Philip Randolph Career Academy, and a scholar-athlete from Franklin Learning Center.

See also: Hands-on experience forms future dentists Philadelphia Tribune
FLC student surprised to be senior of the month
Philadelphia Tribune

Research for Action Releases Report on Start-up of Renaissance Schools Initiative RFA blog

Ending the Year on a Positive Note Philly Teacher blog

Thinking Ahead (Part 1): Artifacts vs. Activities Making the Grade blog

Why the "why" is so important Making the Grade blog

Senator Leach: Public Ed in Jeopardy Keystone State Education Coalition

Privatizing PA Public Ed? Keystone State Education Coalition

FreedomWorks, Rhee, Gureghian Keystone State Education Coalition

City Year among groups awarded AmeriCorps grants Philadelphia Tribune

Letters: Thanks for the revealing article on pro-voucher financing Daily News

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

SRC passes budget despite public outcry

By Dale Mezzacappa on May 31, 2011 06:30 PM

The School Reform Commission passed a $2.75 billion budget Wednesday that was roundly criticized by a roomful of students, parents, advocates, and others for cutting essential services like full-day kindergarten and most free student transportation while preserving other programs that many speakers said were unproven or unessential.

Student: El Centro is hope

By Guest blogger on May 31, 2011 01:07 PM

This guest blog post comes from Joandaly Chavez. Chavez attends one of the alternative schools slated to be closed.

I want to start off by saying that every day I fight for my future, whether it’s in school or out of school. To me, El Centro de Estudiantes is my high school, my pride, my integrity, and most importantly, my education.

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