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Notes from the news, Jan. 19

By Anonymous on Jan 19, 2011 10:58 AM

notes from the news imageTop 10 Philadelphia school stories for 2010 Daily News (opinion)
The Daily News republishes a version of Helen Gym's blog post of top stories.

DIY movement: Teachers and students as makers The Notebook blog
The National Writing Project and MAKE magazine have created a pilot project to help students explore writing and making.

Classroom meets real world at Lincoln High Philadelphia Tribune
This week's learning key looks at the variety of programs offered at Lincoln, the Musicopia String program, and the Keystone Achievement Award.

See also: High school students find ‘good crowd’ at Musicopia Philadelphia Tribune
94 district schools receive top academic honors from state Philadelphia Tribune

King Day observances tout service, education Philadelphia Tribune
At a luncheon hosted by Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence education was a theme. Mayor Nutter urged the news media to focus on improvements in the District.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding: The Divisive Language of School Reform City School Stories
A second look at two recent quotations about education.

Philly School Search: Choice Cuts Week of 2011-01-14 Philly School Search
Philly School Search shared some news items and new features over the long weekend.

See also: Social School Search On YouTube and Facebook Philly School Search
Teacher Salaries USA vs. the World [Infographic] Philly School Search

Lights...Camera...Action! A Broad View
The high school film festival is now accepting applications.

Education news nuggets The Hall Monitor blog

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day A Broad View

RockTheCapitol: Is School Choice the right formula for Pennsylvania Keystone State Education Coalition

More on the PISA results..... Keystone State Education Coalition

Charming Shoppes Spreads Abundance of Warmth and Cheer A Broad View

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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DIY movement: Teachers and students as makers

By Samuel Reed III on Jan 18, 2011 03:37 PM

Imagine a learning space where teachers and students collaborate on making stuff, document their tinkering, and disseminate their knowledge to a community of other makers. Could this type of learning be a viable alternative to the dominate test preparation culture found in many schools? Would engaging students in Do It Yourself (DIY) culture provide better context to improve reading, writing, and critical thinking skills?

No more Ms. Nice Mom

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 18, 2011 02:53 PM

So back to the issue of parenting – from the standpoint of a “guest teacher,” the 21st century term for a substitute teacher.

Last week I had my first day working for the District at a high school in North Philly, and it was quite an adventure. I subbed for a Biology teacher and assumed that a science class would yield eager, attentive kids seeking to untangle the wonders of the life sciences.

During the first period that notion was dispelled quickly.

Notes from the news, Jan. 18

By Anonymous on Jan 18, 2011 11:17 AM

notes from the news imageFatimah Ali: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett plans belt-tightening for Philadelphia's public schools Daily News
Our new governor will be sworn in today, and with the state and District facing big budget deficits the disparities between well funded and poorly funded districts may grow.

Some second thoughts on the Ackerman contracting controversy The Notebook blog
There's been a lot of focus on Ackerman's actions, but the underrepresentation of minority businesses hasn't been getting as much attention.

See also: Clymer presses Philadelphia School District for answers The Inquirer

UPDATE: Philadelphia Public Schools, Others Delayed Tuesday Morning; Roads Slick Mt. Airy Patch
Good list of closings and delays. Philly public schools are on a two hour delay.

Six students knifed in brawl at West Philadelphia El stop The Inquirer
Five of the students are from Boys' Latin Charter and one is from West Philadelphia Catholic.

See also: Uniforms, jealousy to blame for school fights? Daily News
Charter school students: targets or violent participants? The Hall Monitor blog
6 Students Stabbed In West Philly Fight Fox 29
Students slashed in West Philadelphia fight 6 ABC

DN Editorial: CAN EDUCATION be reformed without lawsuits? Daily News
The DN says "it's hard to see how" the recent suits by charter schools will lead to "meaningful reform."

What happens when you light a bulb? The Notebook
Science teacher Timothy Boyle describes the fun and discovery students experience during an experiment with getting a light bulb to light.

Student Push Schools On Zero-Tolerance Policy Fox 29
State Rep. Tony Payton discussed the study on zero tolerance.

A bad formula Daily American (opinion)
Last week State Sen. Piccola announced plans to introduce a bill to fund vouchers, but that funding would come from the basic education subsidy.

Rendell on Rendell NewsWorks

Volunteering for those affected by school fire 6 ABC

Digitally excluded: Separate & unequal Daily News (opinion)

School officials offer temporary home for W. Phila. charter destroyed in fire The Inquirer

Worldview: U.S. must compete with China in the classroom The Inquirer (opinion)

Jesse Jackson: Don't use MLK Day to make up snow days Philadelphia Tribune

Data Shows Smedley Mastery Charter School Turning Around The Frankford Gazette

There were a lot of blog posts over the long weekend. I'll gather those and post them in tomorrow's Notes.

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

Some second thoughts on the Ackerman contracting controversy

By Ron Whitehorne on Jan 15, 2011 05:24 PM

When I read the front page article in The Inquirer in late November charging Arlene Ackerman with questionable and possibly illegal behavior in relation to the awarding of contracts for installing cameras at city high schools, I wanted to jump up from my morning coffee and high-five my wife. As may be clear by my posts on this website, I'm not a big fan of the superintendent, so public exposure of her apparent missteps was like an early Christmas present.   

What happens when you light a bulb?

By Timothy Boyle on Jan 14, 2011 02:50 PM

Today my students will solve a problem.

On the board will be the focus question from FOSS's Magnetism and Electricity lesson 2.1: "How do you get electricity from a source to a receiver?"

Some of my students won't know what is meant by source and receiver, and I don't want them to; we'll label what we experienced later. At each of the tables in the classroom will be D-cell batteries, pairs of wires, and light bulbs. I'll turn out the lights and 40 minutes later each child will figure out how to get their light bulb aglow.

Notes from the news, Jan. 14

By Anonymous on Jan 14, 2011 11:34 AM

notes from the news imageYUC report says zero tolerance a failure The Notebook blog
The report found that Black and Latino students are often targeted for discipline and that the policy makes schools less effective at educating students.

See also: Report says zero-tolerance discipline makes Philly schools less safe The Inquirer
Zero Tolerance in Schools: Good Or Bad? Fox 29
New report blasts school zero tolerance policies NewsWorks

Corbett Nominates Tomalis to lead Education Department The Inquirer
Reaching back into the Ridge administration, Governor-elect Corbett makes his selection for the state's education secretary.

See also: Corbett Opts For 'No Child' Enforcer Fox 29
 Corbett names Tomalis education secretary The Notebook blog

Getting more Philly students to file for financial aid NewsWorks
Video of Superintendent Ackerman and Mayor Nutter discussing the value of filing the FAFSA.

See also: City program to help with college-aid applications The Inquirer
Ayuda financiera puede llegar a todos los estudiantes Al Día

Mastery wants a 6th grade at Smedley, Mann The Notebook blog
Parents are happy with Mastery's turnaround of their elementary schools so far and Mastery would like to create a K-12 pipeline, but currently there is a gap with 6th grade.

Philadelphia Charter Schools Sue Over Enrollment Caps Education Week
The Notebook and Education Week recently entered a content sharing agreement. This is the first Notebook piece to be re-published on Education Week's site.

Charter School students have temporary new home 6 ABC
Global Leadership Academy will share Turner Middle School with KIPP West Philadelphia for the balance of the school year.

See also: New home for charter school, says district The Hall Monitor 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.

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YUC report says zero tolerance a failure

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 13, 2011 10:54 PM

The School District’s zero-tolerance discipline policy does not make school safer, creates a prison-like culture,  costs money - and it keeps students “one minor mistake away from having their life turned upside down,” according to a new report.

In case you missed it: States' grades, NCLB, teacher rankings

By Lauren Goldman on Jan 13, 2011 07:56 PM

Weighing States' School Performance, Policymaking Education Week
Gov. Rendell has been heralding Pennsylvania's "top ten" Quality Counts ranking. The state earned a B-, compared to a national C average.

Corbett names Tomalis education secretary

By Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011 05:17 PM

Governor-elect Tom Corbett nominated Ron Tomalis to be education secretary. Tomalis was an top aide in the Ridge administration's education department and a counselor to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. He is currently director of Dutko Worldwide/Whiteboard Advisers where he works with education companies.

Mastery wants a 6th grade at Smedley, Mann

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 13, 2011 02:41 PM

Mastery Charter is seeking to add a 6th grade at two of its new K-5 Renaissance schools, Mann and Smedley.

Delighted with the recent changes at their school, parents and community members on the School Advisory Council (SAC) at Mastery-Smedley are lining up in support of the move.

Notes from the news, Jan. 13

By Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011 11:31 AM

notes from the news imageMemo to Philadelphia School District officials: You're not dealing with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange here Daily News (opinion)
Another column from Phil Goldsmith who says that leaked information about District finances doesn't "justify acting as if national security is being compromised."

More charters file suits on enrollment caps The Notebook blog
Six of the 11 charters that recently received renewals of their charter have sued the District saying it is illegally capping their growth.

See also: Six more Phila. charter schools sue over enrollment caps The Inquirer

Progress report on renaissance schools NewsWorks
Benjamin Herold's reporting on data from Renaissance charter schools. If you missed his piece on WHYY yesterday, you can still listen online.

See also: The Notebook hits the airwaves The Notebook blog

Officials kick off financial-aid form completion campaign NewsWorks
The mayor and other city leaders will kick off the campaign to help raise the number of people who finish filling out the FAFSA.

Local community pitches in to help burned W. Philly charter school NewsWorks
Other charter schools are helping Global Leadership Academy gather the items they need to re-open at a new location.

Resource Centers Provide Vital Services A Broad View

Another Attempt at School Vouchers WDUQ

Notes from the field:Chicago, Philadelphia: All the Same in The Bull’s-Eye of Reform City School Stories

Research: One of the Hardest Things You'll Ever Do Philly Teacher 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.

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Notes from the news

More charters file suits on enrollment caps

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 12, 2011 01:35 PM

The city’s charter community, citing long waiting lists and an inability to plan, is ratcheting up pressure on the School District to approve schools’ expansion plans.

Six of the 11 charters that received renewals this year have each sued the District, claiming that it is illegally imposing caps on their growth. And at least eight of the 11 have refused to sign their charter renewals because they include enrollment caps the charter operators say they never agreed to.

The Notebook hits the airwaves

By the Notebook on Jan 12, 2011 01:18 PM

As part of the Notebook's partnership with WHYY and NewsWorks, reporter Benjamin Herold has begun preparing radio news spots on the District's Renaissance Schools

In this piece Herold discusses Mastery-Smedley Elementary, Young Scholars-Douglass, and data about how the Renaissance charters are doing so far.

Notes from the news, Jan. 12

By Anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 11:02 AM

notes from the news imageRendell assails proposed school-voucher plan The Inquirer
Rendell praised the state's investments in education and urged new state leadership not to decrease funding or pursue vouchers.

See also: Press Release: Williams, Piccola Unveil School Choice Plan Keystone State Education Coalition

Just 25 District teachers rated unsatisfactory The Notebook blog
The District has a new evaluation system, but that hasn't led to a big change in the number of teachers who ultimately get rated unsatisfactory.

How to make Philadelphia even better, one idea at a time Daily News
This new feature will run every week through Nov. 11 and starts with Mayor Nutter recommending that Philadelphians become graduation coaches.

Turnaround charters: Positive data so far The Notebook blog
Progress reports for the Renaissance Schools that are run by charter operators show improved attendance and fewer serious incidents.
Note: As part of the Notebook partnership with NewsWorks, an audio version of the story by Benjamin Herold will air in news segments at WHYY 91FM today.

Famous Black astronaut visits Taggart students Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key looks at activities at three schools and reminds students to submit their work to the Learning Key.

See also: Day Elementary boosts diverse activities Philadelphia Tribune
Art classes help Harding students rise
Philadelphia Tribune
Learning Key seeking student writing, art submissions Philadelphia Tribune

Our least-consulted experts on education The Inquirer (opinion)
District administrators have been asked for ideas on how to make up a major District budget deficit, but teachers should be asked too.

"A New Year, A New You" Inspires Parents A Broad View
Photos and more from the Les Brown talk to Parents' University.

The Good Things (and they DO exist) A Good Day Teaching blog

Schools get OK to reopen Daily News

Healthy Food Tasting at Drew K-8 School for the Let’s Move Recipe Challenge PENN Almanac

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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