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Equal time for AFT's Randi Weingarten

By Paul Socolar on Oct 5, 2010 01:30 PM

Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, is a central figure in a segment of the new film "Waiting for 'Superman'" that describes teacher unions as a "menace" - a major obstacle to improving schools that are performing poorly.

Given the film's unflattering portrayal of Weingarten, whose union represents Philadelphia teachers, it was good to get to see her and hear her message unedited at Saturday's One Nation Working Together rally in Washington that aimed to shift national priorities toward education, jobs, and peace.

More chances to meet the Notebook

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 11:08 AM

Notebook blogger Samuel Reed is speaking at this month's NetSquared event and Wednesday Notebook friends are gathering for the 7 p.m. screening of "Waiting for 'Superman.'" Please, join us if you can!

Notes from the news, Oct. 5

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 09:36 AM

notes from the news imageStaffing shift at West Philly High, Clymer The Notebook blog
LaVerne Wiley "completed what she needed to do at West Philadelphia" and has been reassigned to Clymer.

See also: District assigns coprincipal as investigation of Clymer Elementary leader continues The Inquirer

Bullying is a barrier to education The Inquirer (opinion)
Mazzoni Center Director Nurit L. Shein writes that the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which is cosponsored by Senator Casey, would help schools prevent bullying and harassment. 

Rendell: Education investments 'moved the ball forward' The Notebook
Gov. Rendell sat down with the Notebook to discuss his legacy as a strong supporter of education funding.

Reflections of an author: The test begins. CitySchoolStories
The first month is over; how are things coming together at your school?

Can 'Portfolio Management' Save Urban Schools? Education Week
Three researchers argue that the diverse provider model "is not a way to sidestep the challenge of creating and sustaining smart bureaucracies."

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Staffing shift at West Philly High, Clymer

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 4, 2010 01:33 PM

District officials confirmed this morning that after just months at West Philadelphia High School, veteran principal LaVerne Wiley is being reassigned to George Clymer Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

The move comes in response to ongoing controversy surrounding embattled Clymer principal Kevin W. Parson, District spokesperson Fernando Gallard said. The District is continuing to investigate allegations reported by the Inquirer that Parson's job performance was compromised by his run for elected office in Maryland, where he currently lives.

Notes from the news, Oct. 4

By Anonymous on Oct 4, 2010 09:46 AM

notes from the news imageNew data: only 10% of Philly students earn a degree Notebook NEWSFLASH
The study tracked the class of students who entered 9th grade in 1999 and found that only 10% had earned an associate's or bachelor's degree by 2009.

Emanuel Freeman: The Man Who Duped City Hall Philadelphia Magazine
Freeman managed Germantown Settelement, which took in about $100 million in taxpayers' money and ran a now-closed charter school.

See also: Ringside: Another Phila. example of clout, incompetence The Inquirer (opinion)

Inquirer Editorial: Keep tabs on charters The Inquirer
Charter oversight "should be shifted to the state Department of Education."

One Nation Rally: Movement for jobs, justice, and peace fills the Mall The Notebook blog
A counter-rally to Glen Beck's August rally brought out tens of thousands of union members and other activists.

Philadelphia district keeping charter schools from flexing their muscle The Inquirer (opinion)
Naomi Johnson Booker of Philadelphia Charters for Excellence says charters are the ones changing public education, "succeeding where traditional schools fail."

See also: A Charter for Superman NBC Philadelphia

Meet the Notebook at the HS Expo! The Notebook blog
We handed out more than 1,000 copies of the Notebook Fall Guide and past editions of the paper. Thanks to Frank, Paul, Patrick, Corey, and Peak for staffing the table and to all the students, parents, teachers, and others who stopped by to say hello.

See also: Philadelphia High School Expo Fox 29

Elevating the Education Reform Debate Practical Theory blog
SLA Principal Chris Lehmann is participating in the virtual discussion today at 5 p.m. He has also started blogging on Huffington Post.

See also: Huffington Post - This Is Not an Education Debate Practical Theory blog

Philadelphia district sues school and state The Inquirer
The District has sued Walter D. Palmer charter for violating the District's enrollment cap.

Inquirer Editorial: The answer is jobs The Inquirer

Schoolnet Launches Respond™, RTI Software Leveraging Data to Help Struggling Students PRWeb

Review of Intel's Classmate PC Philly Teacher blog

Tony Danza's reality TV show "Teach" debuts WHYY

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One Nation Rally: Movement for jobs, justice, and peace fills the Mall

By Ron Whitehorne on Oct 3, 2010 02:20 PM

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Washington on Saturday for jobs, justice, and education, an effective counterpoint to the right-wing Glen Beck affair in August.  

Unfortunately the media mostly played down the event or missed its significance. The Inquirer, for example,did not have a reporter at the event and ran a wire-service article on page 4 of Sunday's edition, characterizing it alternately as a Democratic election rally and a protest around a “grab bag of issues”  ranging from “universal health care”… to “vegetarianism.”

Meet the Notebook at the HS Expo!

By Anonymous on Oct 1, 2010 06:20 PM

The District's High School Expo is this weekend at Temple's Liacouras Center. We'll be handing out copies of our Fall Guide all weekend. Come say hi to Notebook staff, volunteers, and interns.

The deadline for high school applications is Oct. 29 and this event is a great opportunity to get additional information as you make your selections--or for 7th graders to get a head start on the process. Counselors: if you would like copies of the Guide for use with your students, please visit us our table to pick up copies.

Notes from the news, Oct. 1

By Anonymous on Oct 1, 2010 10:04 AM

notes from the news imageInquirer Editorial: Some teachers need to go The Inquirer
Teachers' unions can help support education reform by agreeing to merit pay, closure of low-performing schools, and adding more school options in areas where neighborhood schools are bad.

For actor Tony Danza, 'Teach,' was a good career move; principal praises him Daily News
Danza says he really wanted to help his students and that he "wasn't pimping Philadelphia's kids."

Shuttered school may get a second chance Philadelphia Business Journal
The District is working with city economic development officials to figure out how to use William Penn High.

What's our message? The Notebook blog
The PILCOP Symposium on Equality ended with a discussion of next steps and how to organize for education reform in Philadelphia.

Entrepreneur's Local Partnerships Help Kids Play NPR
KaBOOM! helps build playgrounds and last June they built one at Imani Education Circle Charter School.

Hunting Park: Local Center Gives Students a ‘Dream’ Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Reflecting on Tech Integration Philly Teacher blog

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Notes from the news

What's our message?

By Anonymous on Sep 30, 2010 04:39 PM

The concluding discussion of  the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia's (PILCOP) Symposium on Equality Thursday returned to the keynote address earlier in the day, by Warren Simmons. Simmons urged attendees to look at who is "drawing the maps" of the current education debate.

He said those "cartographers" are a narrow group of leaders and corporate philanthropies. Communities are not dictating the agenda. Simmons said, "We have to build a community-centered platform for reform."

Notes from the news, Sept. 30

By Anonymous on Sep 30, 2010 09:36 AM

notes from the news imageExperts Take On 'Waiting For Superman' Fox 29
Superintendent Ackerman, Scott Gordon of Mastery Charter, and others attended a screening of the film and gave feedback.

See also: Applying to A Charter School In PA Fox 29

Ronnie Polaneczky: Yet another round of hearings on school violence Daily News
Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations hearings continued this week, but we've had hearings many times before, and what comes of them?

Parents are our partners after all The Notebook blog
Teachers often see parents only a few times a year, but there are ways at home that parents can support teaching

Philadelphia district to investigate Clymer Elementary principal's job performance The Inquirer
The District will see if living and running for office in Maryland has affected the principal's job performance.

Focus 46 school names released The Notebook blog
These schools will be the focus of a new school safety program.

Jonathan Storm: Teach: Tony Danza' on A&E: A sensitive teacher and a fine, rare look at high school reality The Inquirer
The show is "serious and uplifting."

See also: Ellen Gray: Tony Danza & 'Teach': On a learning curve Daily News

Philly Is Number One The Philly Post
But not for positive reasons.

Hearing postponed on charter-school dispute The Inquirer 

Oprah rewards Mastery South Philly Review

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pa. name new CEO Philadelphia Business Journal

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Focus 46 school names released

By Anonymous on Sep 29, 2010 01:14 PM

Here are the schools that will be part of the new District school safety campaign announced last week:

Parents are our partners after all

By Frank Murphy on Sep 29, 2010 12:03 PM

This piece originally appeared on CitySchoolStories.com.

Right now schools throughout the city are hosting back-to-school nights. At these events, parents and teachers are provided with the opportunity to meet one another for the first time. This occasion, in addition to report conference nights, is usually the only time that most parents will have face-to-face contact with their children’s teachers. 

Notes from the news, Sept. 29

By Anonymous on Sep 29, 2010 10:06 AM

notes from the news imageKey senator sides with charter school against Phila. enrollment limits The Inquirer
State Sen. Piccola, head of the Senate Committee on Education, says that Philadelphia's enrollment caps go against the state charter law.

Mastery Charter Schools, Phila. district get U.S. aid for reforms The Inquirer
Mastery gets $5.1 million more in federal funds to expand and the District gets $3.8 million to create small learning communities in five neighborhood high schools.

See also: More grants for schools  Daily News

Pittsburgh, Philadelphia schools tout education innovations Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State senate education leaders point to Philly and Pittsburgh teachers' union contracts as good examples of coming to agreement on tough issues like merit pay and evaluation.

Big names in education in town Thursday The Notebook blog
PILCOP is holding a Symposium on Equality and Deborah Meier, Warren Simmons, and others will be in town to speak on education issues.

Principal's availability called into question The Inquirer
Kevin W. Parson is principal at Clymer, but he is a resident of Baltimore and was running for state-wide office there.

School bus involved in SW Phila. crash 6 ABC

Students: Danza made the grade as English teacher TODAY Show

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Big names in education in town Thursday

By Anonymous on Sep 28, 2010 03:18 PM

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) is hosting its third annual Symposium on Equality on Thursday. The symposium is from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Arch Street Meeting House, and will be followed by the Thaddeus Stevens Award cocktail reception and dinner from 5-9 p.m. at The Down Town Club. Tickets are only on sale for a few more hours.

Warren Simmons, current director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and former executive director of the Philadelphia Education Fund will give the keynote address titled "What is Washington doing and does it help or hurt?"

Deborah Meier and James H. (Torch) Lytle will discuss what it takes to produce quality education in racially isolated, high poverty schools. Other topics include special education, the legal framework for education, and what contributes to students leaving school.

Notes from the news, Sept. 28

By Anonymous on Sep 28, 2010 09:31 AM

notes from the news imageMayor Nutter launches SERVE Phila. 6 ABC
The new volunteer initiative includes opportunities to tutor, help with afterschool programs, be a graduation coach, and more.

See also: Philadelphia looking for volunteers WHYY
SERVE Phila. volunteers plan announced Philadelphia Business Journal

Bok and South Philly High: What's different and what hasn't changed The Notebook blog
Helen Gym explains how the District's response to another case of violence against Asian students has been problematic, but that leadership and communication at Bok is very different than South Phily.

Get all children schools they deserve Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)
Excerpts from Justin Hudson's speech to his graduating classmates at Hunter College High School about the disparities in a system that prepares some students well and discards the rest "like refuse."

Charter School Sues District For $1.7M Fox 29
Walter D. Palmer Charter has taken the dispute over enrollment caps to the courts.

See also: Philadelphia School District Sued for Illegal Enrollment Caps, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools Supports Lawsuit Marketwire

Charter Teachers Talk Accountability Fox 29

More on teachers' addresses as public information It's Our Money

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