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TFA alums don't vote, and other half-truths

By Anna Weiss on Jan 15, 2010 01:11 PM

A week or so ago, I clicked on a link on a teacher friend's Facebook page and ended up on a New York Times article.  The article was informing me of something very strange. Apparently, working in education is no longer a civic duty!

Notes from the news, Jan. 15

By Anonymous on Jan 15, 2010 09:31 AM

Ackerman defends response to S. Phila. turmoil The Inquirer
She commented after meeting with the Inquirer editorial board to talk about the past 18 months on the job, saying she "lost sleep" over South Philly.

See also: Letters: S. Philly High students speak Daily News

Arbitrator: District improperly demoted principal Philly.com
An arbitrator sided with South Philly's former principal who must be reinstated at another school in the District.

Nutter Admin. Gives Itself High Marks on Education Effort KYW
The mayor's Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr said, "I'm giving us a B-plus, A-minus."

Piccola: School empowerment goes beyond local control Patriot News opinion
Piccola, the chairman of the PA Senate Education Committee, wrote in support of state takeovers and EMOs.

Olney High sees fewer spectators after brawl The Inquirer
A brawl happened after a game with rival Frankford on Jan. 7, and now spectators, other than pre-approved parents, are banned from games.

A program that changed students’ lives Chestnut Hill Local
One casualty of state education budget cuts is the ACT 101 program, which helps low income and minority college students.

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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Today's symposium with Noguera is full

By Paul Socolar on Jan 14, 2010 11:42 AM

Pedro Noguera of New York University headlines a symposium on school climate here this afternoon, sponsored by the Notebook and Need in Deed.

The event, at the Comcast tower, filled up weeks ago ... only people with confirmed RSVPs will be able to attend. It is a secured building so there is no way to show up and be admitted if you are not on the RSVP list.

As many people as possible have already been admitted from the long waiting list. We apologize that we weren't able to accommodate all the demand to participate in this event.

Notes from the news, Jan. 14

By Anonymous on Jan 14, 2010 11:12 AM

Show of support for the superintendent The Notebook blog
Parents and State Rep. Tony Payton testified at yesterday's SRC meeting in support of Superintendent Ackerman.

See also: Students, parents voice support for Ackerman The Inquirer 

Phila. Teachers Union Talks Continue, Contract Ends Friday KYW
Ackerman say she is optimistic.

Daniel Rubin: A superhero's way of coping The Inquirer
An art exhibit displays the work of students participating in dropout prevention programs.

Gubernatorial candidates to gather at education forum PA2010.com
The forum will be broadcast on the PSEA's website.

Pennsylvania cuts another $161M from budget Philadelphia Business Journal
Education received $27.8 milion in cuts.

Off With Their Heads Metropolis
Summary of recent news about Ackerman.

New Pa. tests to assess high school competency WHYY

State system could get Phila. campus The Inquirer

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Notes from the news

Show of support for the superintendent

By Paul Socolar on Jan 13, 2010 06:32 PM

A series of nine speakers at Wednesday's School Reform Commission came to the defense of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, praising her Imagine 2014 agenda, while members of a group of parents raised signs saying, "We support our superintendent," and "Dr. Ackerman's way or no way!"

The speakers directly and indirectly alluded to the fact that the superintendent has come under criticism recently, particularly for her handling of the recent violence at South Philadelphia High School.

Notes from the news, Jan. 13

By Anonymous on Jan 13, 2010 11:15 AM

Phila. teachers' union boosts Pa. chances for grant The Inquirer
The PFT and District signed a memo that allows Philly to be included on the state's application for stimulus funds.

See also: Phila. School District, state in running for federal grant money Daily News
PFT and District sign RttT memo The Notebook blog

A District in Denial Metropolis
Wei Chen, a leader of Asian students, feels safer in the school because of new friendships with African-American classmates.

Education and economy talk from Knox and Onorato PA2010.com
Candidates for governor talked mostly about higher ed.

2010 Young Voices High School Monologue Festival UC Review
The Young Playwrights received a recordbreaking number of entries.

Notes From The J-Lab Findings Event Frankford Gazette
The Notebook and several other regional media makers heard the results of a study of Phily's journalism landscape, and a proposal on how foundations can better support it.

Cheers to Helen Young Philly Politics
More congratulations for Helen Gym on her Unsung Hero award. Check the comments for a super-cute pic.

Grand jury for youth worker? Daily News

Charlenni Ferreira's wounds cataloged at hearing The Inquirer

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Notes from the news

PFT and District sign RttT memo

By Anonymous on Jan 12, 2010 01:28 PM

The School District and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan have signed a "memorandum of understanding" for Race to the Top stimulus funds. With both parties signed on, the School District of Philadelphia is eligible to be part of the state's application for the competitive grants.

If Pennsylvania is awarded grants, it could bring $400 million into the state. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said, “The District is delighted to work hand-and-hand with the PFT to take advantage of this historical opportunity to secure competitive grant dollars for the improvement of public education for all children in Philadelphia."

Jordan said the funds will “help to provide our students with the kinds of opportunities that suburban students already enjoy. Such programs can help close the achievement gap and increase the graduation rate."

We'll post any further information as it becomes available.

Notes from the news, Jan. 12

By Anonymous on Jan 12, 2010 11:04 AM

Ackerman's dithering has shaken confidence The Inquirer (opinion)
Inquirer deputy editorial page editor summarized the missteps in Ackerman's response to incidents at South Philly High.

See also: Angst Still Felt at South Philly High Pacific Citizen

Editorial: Educating higher The Inquirer
Praise for Mayor Nutter's education agenda.

New art-oriented high school in Phila. praised The Inquirer
A look at school choice through lens of a new Arts Academy at Rush High School.

Karen Heller: An early start, a big step ahead The Inquirer
Praise for Pennsylvania and Philly's increased investment in early childhood ed since 2002.

Number of free, noncredit courses on Web increasing The Inquirer

N.J. legislature denies in-state tuition for illegal immigrants The Inquirer

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Notes from the news

In case you missed it: Unsung hero, TFA, teacher quality

By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2010 04:52 PM

Top Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Unsung Hero 2009 - Helen Gym Asian Pacific Americans for Progress blog
Congrats to Helen! She was nominated for her ongoing activism, including her work with students at South Philly High. Part of the group who co-founded the Notebook, she's still involved on our Leadership Board and as a blogger.

Teach for America: Icon with Feet of Clay? Blue Avocado
A thorough overview of the many debates and discussions TFA inspires.

What Makes a Great Teacher? The Atlantic via The Educated Reporter blog
To try to answer that question reporter Amanda Ripley studied data TFA has collected since it began in 1990. The data point to several personal factors that affect success in the classroom including perseverance, grit, and "life satisfaction."

See also: Thompson: How We Feel about Urban Education This Week In Education

Study shows how dumb we can be Class Struggle
Jay Mathews highlighted a study that tracked how teachers use classroom time.

Race to the Top, contract deadlines converging

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 11, 2010 12:50 PM

As if contract negotiations with the PFT are not difficult enough, this year they are complicated by the competition among states for the $4 billion in Race to the Top (RttT) funds being handed out by the US Department of Education.

More than 130 Pennsylvania districts, including Philadelphia, have indicated they want to be in on the state's application, which could bring the state as much as $400 million. The deadline for interested districts to submit a "memo of understanding" (MOU) that is signed by the administration, governing body and teachers' union is Wednesday, January 13.

UPDATE: The PFT and District have signed an MOU.

Notes from the news, Jan. 11

By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2010 10:54 AM

Ax falls on two District PR staffers The Notebook blog
On Friday, Vincent Thompson and Felecia Ward "were laid off due to a reorganization," according to Evelyn Sample-Oates, District chief communications officer.

See also: Two school-district press aides laid off in personnel reorg Daily News

It's everyone's problem The Inquirer (opinion)
Op-ed from Superintendent Ackerman, which places the events in South Philly as part of a violent "larger social phenomenon."

Race to the Top, contract deadlines converging The Notebook blog
The District and PFT must sign a "memorandum of understanding" for the District to sign on to RttT application.

Inqlings: School musical worthy of a Tony The Inquirer
Northeast High is staging a musical for a fundraiser. It will take place Jan. 21 with Tony Danza and students from Northeast, Washington, and Furness.

Area districts ponder using $460 million stimulus The Inquirer
Philly and other local districts are eligible for low-interest bonds for construction or renovation projects.

Letters The Inquirer
Writer calls for Ackerman's resignation.

Would-be teachers flock to info sessions 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.

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Notes from the news

Ax falls on two District PR staffers

By Paul Socolar on Jan 10, 2010 01:18 AM

At the end of a difficult news week for Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, two veteran media relations specialists in the District's communications office were abruptly terminated Friday, effective immediately.

Notes from the news, Jan. 8

By Anonymous on Jan 8, 2010 10:58 AM

City schools contract with PFT nearing deadline The Inquirer
The contract deadline is next Friday, but by next Wednesday the District and union must come to an agreement over the Race to the Top grant app.

Former Phila. education secretary grades Nutter It's Our City
Debra Kahn also offers the Nutter administration some advice, such as continuning to foster partnerships with nonprofits.

Guest blog: Theory of action The Notebook blog
What approach does the District take to leadership? This analysis shows that approach to be very top-down and centralized.

Letters: Early education can put kids on a path to college The Inquirer
Notebook board member Christie Balka writes about the value of early ed.

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

Guest blog: Theory of action

By Guest blogger on Jan 7, 2010 03:00 PM

Welcome to the guest blogger section of the Notebook blog.

This week's post comes from James H. Lytle, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (GSE).

Notes from the news, Jan. 7

By Anonymous on Jan 7, 2010 09:15 AM

Another city agency keeps watch at S. Phila. High The Inquirer
The Mayor's Commission on Asian American Affairs will also monitor the situation.

See also: Sixth agency to probe racial violence at high school Philly.com
Hearings, and not hearing Young Philly Politics

Girard College is focal point for MLK day of service Daily News
Tens of thousands of people across the region will volunteer with day of service.

See also: MLK Day promises even more service WHYY
Area Schoolkids Preparing for 15th Annual MLK ''Day of Service'' KYW
MLK Day: A Call to Witness and Action Philadelphia Student Union's Facebook

Saving for College When It’s Around the Corner UC Review

Girls doing well in math WHYY

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Notes from the news

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