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Asian group files federal civil rights complaint over South Philly violence

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 19, 2010 03:56 PM

The School District of Philadelphia failed to protect Asian students in South Philadelphia High School from harassment and violence, displaying "intentional disregard" for their welfare, according to a complaint filed today by Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund with the federal Department of Justice.

Contract agreement "a win-win"

By Paul Socolar on Jan 19, 2010 01:34 PM

Both parties see today's contract agreement as "a win-win,"  according to a source knowledgeable about the contract settlement reached today between the School District and the 17,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

"Both sides got a lot," the source said.

Notes from the news, Jan. 19

By Anonymous on Jan 19, 2010 11:08 AM

Contract agreement "a win-win" The Notebook blog
Ratification vote scheduled for Thursday on the multi-year agreement.

See also: Tentative agreement reached in PFT contract talks The Notebook blog
Schools, union close to deal Daily News
Phila district, teachers close to contract deal The Inquirer

Phila. Students Call for Peace at Schools KYW
Hundreds marched along Broad St. from the District building to celebrate Dr. King's birthday and to call for an end to school violence.

See also: Hundreds march for end to school violence The Notebook blog
Marchers demand end to Philadelphia school violence The Inquirer

Much talk of unity at South Philly High The Notebook blog
A "Gathering of Unity" was held at South Philly, and it brought together student, political, religious, civic, and District leaders.

See also: At S. Philly High, a good student mix Daily News

Service Day volunteers paint W. Philadelphia school The Inquirer
One of the many Dr. King Day events held throughout the day.

See also: Local day of service, an eye to the world Daily News
A King Day message of aid and interfaith tolerance The Inquirer
Orchestra Plays Free Concert In Honor Of MLK Jr. CBS 3
Taking King day on, not off The Inquirer (opinion)

Editorial: Dropouts cost money The Inquirer
Cutting Philly's dropout rate in half would bring in $18 million in taxes and generate $125 in earnings.

Letters: Ackerman attackers don't know the facts The Inquirer

Phila. Elementary School Library in Need of Books KYW 

Actor Tony Danza to Hold Show-Stopping School Fundraiser KYW

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

Hundreds march for end to school violence

By Paul Socolar on Jan 18, 2010 11:00 PM

A youthful, multiracial crowd of several hundred honored Dr. Martin Luther King's memory Monday with a short march down N. Broad Street and a rally calling for united action to stop school violence.

Much talk of unity at South Philly High

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 18, 2010 07:27 PM

On a day when students marched against violence on North Broad Street on North Broad Street, South Philadelphia High School was the site Monday of eloquent talk about peace and nonviolence as civic, religious, and School District leaders came together with students to  invoke the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King.

Events on Martin Luther King day

By the Notebook on Jan 17, 2010 05:16 PM

Several organizations are holding events on Martin Luther King Day. For a list of other upcoming events, check our events page.

10:45 a.m. Gathering of Unity at South Philly High School, convened by Superintendent Ackerman
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. An MLK Day of Action: Stop Trying Youth as Adults in PA!, organized by the Youth Art Self-empowerment Project
3-5 p.m. A Call to Witness and Action, organized by the Philadelphia Student Union
3 p.m. Concert at King High School, from the Philadelphia Orchestra
All day: Day of Service, including events at Philly schools and a Philadelphia READS book drive.

Tentative agreement reached in PFT talks

By the Notebook on Jan 15, 2010 03:41 PM

UPDATE 1-19 12:35 p.m.

Both parties see agreement as "a win-win."

UPDATE 1-19 10:22 a.m.

Tentative, multi-year agreeement reached; ratification vote meeting is Thursday night. The agreement comes after negotiations over the weekend and throughout Monday night.

Text of statement from PFT president Jerry Jordan:

Quick tip- Ed Week free til Jan. 21

By Anonymous on Jan 15, 2010 03:00 PM

Education Week is having an "open house" til next Thursday. Usually most of their content is behind a paywall, but for this week you can access it all for free. Ed Week is an amazing resource--check it out!

Thanks to Ronald Cowell of the Education Policy and Leadership Center for the alert about this on Facebook.

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
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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Notes from the news

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
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

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

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
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

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

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.

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