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Archie sheds light on bonus situation

By Paul Socolar on Aug 19, 2010 09:48 AM

Asked to expand on remarks that appeared in a Sunday letter to the editor, SRC Chair Robert L. Archie told reporters Wednesday that Superintendent Arlene Ackerman won't be eligible for another performance bonus from the District until after June of 2011, at the end of her third year with the District.

Notes from the news, Aug. 19

By Anonymous on Aug 19, 2010 08:42 AM

School commission is back in session Daily News
Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School asked for official approval for grade and enrollment expansion. Montessori Charter asked for its charter to be renewed after its students' showed progress this past year.

See also: Graduation rate inches upward to 63% The Notebook blog
Archie sheds light on bonus situation The Notebook blog
Philly charter school set to open with more students than allowed The Inquirer

Pa. will lay off fewer than expected AP via The Inquirer
To help make up a $282 million shortfall in the state budget, the state subsidy for education will be reduced, but districts will get a one-time influx of federal dollars that will more than make up for it.

Banking Secretary Congratulates PA High School Student Awardees in National Financial Capability Challenge PRNewswire
Jamal James of West Philly High won a $1,000 scholarship from the Charles Schwab Foundation.

Beeber ArtsRising poetry extravaganza The Notebook blog
Poetry workshops will take place at Wynnefield branch library, with a final showcase at Village Coffee House.

EduCon 2.3: Call For Conversations Practical Theory blog
Session ideas are due October 20.

Back to School The Frankford Gazette

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Beeber ArtsRising poetry extravaganza

By Jamie Raver on Aug 18, 2010 10:29 AM

The talented students of Beeber Middle School are proud to announce their 10th annual Poetry Café Extravaganza. The students work with Notebook blogger and teacher Samuel Reed. Beginning August 19, slam poet Lamont "Napalm" Dixon will conduct poetry workshops at the Wynnefield Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Notes from the news, Aug. 18

By Anonymous on Aug 18, 2010 09:37 AM

Education will lead children to success Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)
Children's Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman writes, "Legal segregation is over, but inequality is alive and well."

What Is Wrong In The Ackerman Regime – and The Real Meaning of DRPA The Larry Kane Report
Insiders say Superintendent Ackerman is "a leader with a decisive and determined strategic plan for the city’s schools." Kane has suggestions on how Ackerman needs to communicate in this town--"be clear and candid with the media, and certainly,  not defensive."

The semantics of Race to the Top The Notebook blog
Why is education funding being described as a race, which implies winners and losers?

Daniel Rubin: Masterman student a crosswords-writing whiz The Inquirer
He has had puzzles published by the New York Times and picked up by the LA Times syndicate.

Black Data Processing Associates seeking help for student mentoring Technically Philly blog
The organization works with high school students to help them prepare for a national computer competition.

Get Ready for Kindergarten [Video] Philly School Search blog

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The semantics of Race to the Top

By Molly Thacker on Aug 17, 2010 01:37 PM

I have been thinking a lot about Race to the Top lately, as I’m sure many of us have. I’ve been thinking so much about the complexities and implications of the program that I almost don’t know where to start. 

I could start by discussing Arne Duncan’s recent interview on NPR, in which he praised the “amazing results” of the program; or by reviewing the formal criticism recently put forth by leading civil rights organizations, including the NAACP; or compare my own ideas to those of Diane Ravitch, posited in a recent article. For me, though, perhaps the most troubling aspect of the entire policy is a very fundamental one: language.

Notes from the news, Aug. 17

By Anonymous on Aug 17, 2010 09:59 AM

After two weeks on job, district official resigns The Inquirer
Lisa Mastoon was the District's chief communications officer. Superintendent Ackerman says she will consult the SRC and Mayor Nutter in the search for a new communications chief.

See also: Another communications chief out The Notebook blog
Ackerman's PR Person Quits Suddenly Fox 29
Philadelphia School District communications boss quits after 2 weeks Daily News

Dr. Ackerman, actions speak louder than words The Notebook blog
A reflection on the 2009-10 school year and how Ackerman needs "constructive criticism" from citizens.

Charter Schools KYW
A brief overview of charters in Philly, with a note that you can learn more in our Summer edition.

Onorato’s illusion of school choice PA2010.com
While analyzing Onorato's policy paper for education, blogger Adam Lang finds that school choice advocates would be disappointed with Onorato's stance.

Letters: SRC backs Ackerman's performance and pay The Inquirer
SRC Chair Robert Archie writes that it is the SRC's job to hold Ackerman accountable, and that the public should hold the SRC accountable.

When School Choice is Not About School Philly School Search blog

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Another communications chief out

By Paul Socolar on Aug 16, 2010 05:22 PM

Before completing two full weeks on the job, Lisa Mastoon, the District's chief public information officer, resigned Friday.

Dr. Ackerman, actions speak louder than words

By Frank Murphy on Aug 16, 2010 12:09 PM

The 2009-2010 school year was not such a good year for Dr. Ackerman. Problems developed as soon as the schoolhouse doors opened. The hurried implementation of the Corrective Reading and Math programs did not unfold smoothly. Materials were late arriving to schools, rosters assignments were repeatedly reshuffled, and there was little professional development.

Notes from the news, Aug. 16

By Anonymous on Aug 16, 2010 09:54 AM

Phila. police veteran is new school security chief The Inquirer
Chief Inspector Myron Patterson will remain on the police department payroll, but he'll report to Superintendent Ackerman and Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

See also: Phila. Public Schools Have New Chief of Security KYW
Veteran Philadelphia cop named school district's new safety boss Daily News

Ackerman's raise was deferred The Inquirer (letters)
Letter from Notebook editor Paul Socolar clarifying that Superintedent Ackerman's raise in May 2010 was retroactive to July 2009.

Low-ranking Pennsylvania schools seek School Improvement Grants The Inquirer
The School District of Philadelphia has applied for grants for 50 of its 98 low-performing schools, including all Renaissance Schools. The grants require tying student performance to teacher evaluations and the money comes from stimulus funding.

Ackerman critics quick to judge Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)
Where's the outrage about illegal bonuses to the head of the library? Several local leaders offer words of support for Ackerman and the work she's done to earn her bonus.

U.S. Dept. of Education Tells Philly Students: You Need College to Succeed PhillyNow
The National Youth Listening Tour visited Arise Academy Charter School last week.

Ronnie Polaneczky: For Vallas, losing to Blagojevich turned out to be dumb luck Daily News
Before Vallas came to Philly to lead the School District, he narrowly lost to Blagojevich in the Democratic primary for governor of Illinois. Since leaving Philly, Vallas has headed the New Orleans Recovery School District and helped with relief efforts in Haiti.

SLA Named One of the Ten Most Amazing Schools in US (and other news!) Practical Theory blog
Great August already for SLA. Principal Chris Lehmann was on Radio Times last week with Bodine principal Anne Gardiner.

See also: Small high schools in Philadelphia Radio Times

Group seeks to clean up Philadelphia's charter-school image Daily News

House right to OK state aid legislation Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Aug. 13

By Anonymous on Aug 13, 2010 09:56 AM

Clearing the record on Ackerman's raise The Notebook blog
A week ago the Inquirer said Ackerman agreed to forgo a raise last year, but a raise she got in May of this year was retroactive back to July 2009.

Group forms to promote Philadelphia charter schools The Inquirer
Nineteen charter schools have joined the group so far, and schools that join must agree to follow ethical standards such as board members not benefiting financially from the school.

Obama signs state aid bill, PA prepares to adjust budget The Notebook blog
Rendell has agreed to a $50 million decrease in the $250 million increase in state funding for education and is proposing more cuts and revenue raising to make up the rest of what is now a $280 million shortfall.

Schools’ audit to be reviewed Philadelphia Tribune
Former CEO Vallas said the review of federal funds distributed while he was still in Philly is about documentation, but "not about fraud."

Vote for 2 Great South by Southwest (SXSW) Panels Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher is a part of two proposed SXSW panels, and Practical Theory blogger and SLA principal Chris Lehmann would join her on one. Voting ends August 27.

Teachers union not wild about Onorato's education proposal Morning Call

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Obama signs state aid bill, PA prepares to adjust budget

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Aug 12, 2010 01:42 PM

Just hours after the House of Representatives passed the state fiscal aid bill on Tuesday, President Obama signed it into law sending $26.1 billion to recession-battered states. $16.1 billion is allocated to support state Medicaid programs and $10 billion is earmarked to avert layoffs in public schools across the country.  

Clearing the record on Ackerman's raise

By Paul Socolar on Aug 12, 2010 11:24 AM

(Updated 12:15 pm) Despite the recent flurry of coverage of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's $338,000 salary and her receipt of a $65,000 performance bonus, some of the facts continue to be muddied in all the media spin.

Notes from the news, Aug. 12

By Anonymous on Aug 12, 2010 09:48 AM

It's time for the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to step up on accountability Daily News (opinion)
Phil Goldsmith writes that the responsibility rests with the SRC to take the lead on setting "high standards for transparency to build public trust" for the District.

Access to District payroll records restored for some The Notebook blog
City Controller Alan Butkovitz' office again has access to the records, but District staffers will need to explain why they need global access to salary and other "sensitive" data.

See also: Deal afoot to restore access to school salary files WHYY

Onorato supports school vouchers for low-income families The Inquirer
Onorato's support for vouchers earned him the endorsement of school choice supporter State Sen. Anthony Williams, who ran against Onorato for the Democratic nomination for governor.

See also: Onorato claims Williams’ mantle… will he get the money? PA2010.com
Onorato Backs State Grants For Private Schools AP via KDKA

Editorial: Feeding their brains The Inquirer
The Senate passed a childhood nutrition bill that includes a provision to continue the Universal Feeding Program in Philadelphia.

Charter battles Philly district over its expansion The Inquirer
Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School did not get official SRC approval for additional seats or to permanently expand to serve high school grades, and now it is urging the SRC to act so that hundreds of students won't have to find new schools for the fall.

Diplomas Now Wins $30 Million Education Department Grant PR Canada

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Access to District payroll records restored for some

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 11, 2010 06:33 PM

Access to School District payroll records has been restored to key people in Controller Alan Butkovitz's office, while employees within the District whose access was cut off are being asked to justify why they need the records to do their jobs.

Notes from the news, Aug. 11

By Anonymous on Aug 11, 2010 10:19 AM

Golden resigns as Philadelphia schools' safety chief The Inquirer
Golden abruptly left for another opportunity amid speculation that he was not consulted enough about safety issues, including the safety response at South Philly High.

See also: District's school-security chief quits Daily News

In wake of DN column, Ackerman locks down school salary data Daily News
Even though the salaries should be a matter of public record, Ackerman severely restricted staff access to the school salary data due to a "security breach."

US Department of Education Visits PSU Wednesday PSU blog
This afternoon PSU members will meet with Alberto Retana from the Dept. of Ed. as part of a National Youth Listening Tour to get students' perspectives on school turnaround.

A school choice governor? PA2010.com (opinion)
Corbett has made his feelings on vouchers known, but Onorato supports school choice via the EITC, which helps fund private and parochial schools.

House passes bill that saves thousands of teachers' jobs The Notebook blog
All it needs now is Obama's signature to send out $10 billion for teachers' jobs.

Philadelphia School District terminates longtime contract with CEP WHYY

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