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Notes from the news, Mar. 12

By Anonymous on Mar 12, 2010 09:44 AM

Are Some Races More Equal Than Others? The American
This piece, from the journal of the American Enterprise Institute, asked how Sec. Duncan's new civil rights push will deal with the situation surrounding South Philly High.

SRC outrage: Cartoons but not violence? Young Philly Politics
South Philly principal LaGreta Brown testified at the SRC for the first time in response to the Tony Auth political cartoon.

See also: In solidarity with Tony Auth Attytood

Phila. science fair winners anounced Philly.com
The best in fair winners of the George Washington Carver Science Fair include a student at Girls', Central, and Penn Alexander.

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

Notes from the news, Mar. 11

By Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 10:33 AM

Phila. principal defended; cartoon denounced The Inquirer
An Inquirer political cartoon that showed South Philly Principal LaGreta Brown asleep at her desk caused quite a stir at the SRC meeting.

See also: Cartoon attacking principal ripped at SRC meeting Daily News
Phila. School Officials Irate Over Newspaper's Cartoon Portrayal KYW

Opportunity to learn, rush to equity The Notebook blog
In this guest blog post Herbert Kohl laid out things we should think about when considering reauthorizing NCLB.

Teachers’ union endorses Onorato PA2010.com
The PSEA endorsed the Allegheny County Executive in the Democratic primary for governor.

Parent Teacher Conferences A Very Public Education blog
The tightly scheduled conferences don't leave much time to really discuss any issues students may be having.

Make Every School a Charter? Philly School Search blog

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Notes from the news

Opportunity to learn, rush to equity

By Guest blogger on Mar 10, 2010 03:30 PM

This week's guest blog post comes from Herb Kohl, who continues to be an educator and writer. His most recent book is The Herb Kohl Reader (New Press, 2009). He's also a Notebook Member.


Some suggestions for educational reform: I suggest we replace the Race to the Top with a Race to Equity, and find a way to introduce Opportunity to Learn articles into the ESEA reauthorization.

Notes from the news, Mar. 10

By Anonymous on Mar 10, 2010 09:00 AM

Making progress, West. Phila. High wary of district move The Inquirer
West's application to be an Innovation School, where a team of current school leaders would run it as a Renaissance School, was rejected. But the District may manage it as a Promise Academy, run out of central office.

Save the National Writing Project Practical Theory blog
The project lost federal funding, so now SLA Principal Chris Lehmann is suggesting NWP supporters write to their federal representatives.

Benchmark time again The Notebook blog
How do you use the results from benchmark tests in your classroom?

Attn. South Philly High: You Are Probably Screwed And The Rest Of Us Are Probably Psyched Philebrity
The federal Dept. of Education moved to reinvigorate the civil rights office. The move involves opening 38 cases, one being about “’major urban school district’ and its treatment of students who speak English as a second language.” That district is LA.

Shame on You, Newsweek Philly Teacher blog
Teacher quality is big in the news right now and this week's cover story "appalled" Philly Teacher.

National Coming Out Day for Undocumented Youth Young Philly Politics

Phila. School Children Learn Laws of Motion Through Septa KYW

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Notes from the news

Benchmark time again

By Timothy Boyle on Mar 9, 2010 01:37 PM

This week teachers across the School District will administer the benchmark tests.

This process doesn't always yield great results. There have been questions on material that was well ahead on the planning and scheduling timeline. Reconciling different curricula leads to concepts being displayed differently on the benchmark than I have taught them. I believe this is the reason that benchmarks are always a hot topic whenever a group of science educators gets together at professional development.

Notes from the news, Mar. 9

By Anonymous on Mar 9, 2010 09:59 AM

Schooling parents Daily News
A look at the variety of reasons parents aren't involved in the schools, and ways the District is trying to engage them.

Latest Auth Cartoon The Inquirer (opinion)
A political cartoon of South Philly High's principal's office.

Education takes a back seat The Notebook blog
Mayor Nutter gave his budget address last week, but only made brief mention of schools.

State senator wants school named for Rivera The Inquirer
State Sen. Tartaglione wants Olney HS renamed for Joaquin Rivera, who was a bilingual counselor there.

Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB The Notebook blog
Legislation at both the state and federal level is up for reauthorization, and Len Rieser suggested that the state wait for the feds to move first.

Computers and Education: How Much is Too Much? A Very Public Education blog

School Success Criteria Vol 2: Teachers Philly School Search blog

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Notes from the news

Avoiding a legal pileup: The Education Empowerment Act and the reauthorization of NCLB

By Len Rieser on Mar 9, 2010 09:27 AM

Picture yourself walking into a huge, noisy factory that makes education. We won’t stop right now to talk about the quality of the product. Instead, we’ll just take in, for a moment, the commotion, the people racing around, the machines rising and falling and clanking and crashing. We’ll call this factory the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Education takes a back seat

By Helen Gym on Mar 8, 2010 12:21 PM

Last week Mayor Nutter delivered his budget address – highlights of which you can find at It’s Our Money – but left out a central message: public education. Not once did the mayor talk about public schools or public education. He didn’t even mention the word dropout.

Notes from the news, Mar. 8

By Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 09:57 AM

Adults' missteps detailed in S. Phila. High violence The Inquirer
This front page story examined the report on the violence and how school administrators reacted.

See also: Confusión y errores de adultos en South Philly High Al Día
Things that make me want to go . . . . UGH Young Philly Politics

Only six providers approved for 'turnaround' The Notebook blog
Of 28 lead applicants to run Renaissance Schools, six were approved including ASPIRA, Johns Hopkins, Mastery Charter, and others.

See also: 6 applicants qualify to run Renaissance schools Daily News
Candidates to run Phila. schools cut to 6 The Inquirer

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils The Notebook blog
The deadline for parents, teachers, and others to join the school councils has been extended to tomorrow.

Editorial: Reaching for a dream The Inquirer
Congress is urged to pass the DREAM Act to help undocumented students go to college.

Allegheny/Strawberry Mansion: After a Century, Library Still Serves its Community Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Danza says class act isn't just for show The Inquirer

Local Kids Sharpen Decision-Making Skills in Class KYW

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Notes from the news

Only six providers approved for 'turnaround'

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 5, 2010 06:31 PM

The School District has approved just six of 28 providers who applied to lead "turnaround" efforts under the Renaissance Schools initiative at low-performing schools:

  1. ASPIRA, Inc., of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  2. Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Philadelphia
  3. Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now, Baltimore, Md.
  4. Mastery Charter Schools, Philadelphia
  5. Universal Companies, Philadelphia
  6. Young Scholars Charter School, Philadelphia

Still time to apply for Renaissance councils

By Paul Socolar on Mar 5, 2010 05:48 PM

Tuesday, March 9 is the new deadline for applications for individuals who want to be part of the new School Advisory Councils at 14 Renaissance-eligible schools. The application is available here.

Justice in the classroom

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 5, 2010 02:24 PM

"Justice in the Classroom" is the title of a workshop Teacher Action Group is sponsoring next Saturday, the 13th. The plan is for teachers to share their experiences and get some training in conflict resolution methods from Nate Terrell, an experienced trainer on the faculty at Temple.

In the era of Leaving No Child Behind while we are Racing To The Top, it’s easy to forget that the mission of public education is not reducible to generating ever-higher standardized test scores. 

Notes from the news, Mar. 5

By Anonymous on Mar 5, 2010 09:30 AM

Pa. clears a hurdle in race for school grant The Inquirer
Pennsylvania made the first cut for the competitive Race to the Top Funds, which could bring in about $400 million for the state. Sec. Duncan cited collaboration as a key feature of the top applications.

See also: Pa is RttT finalist The Notebook blog
PA and DE in line to receive education grants WHYY

S. Philly High violence: Time to clear the record about Dec. 2 The Notebook blog
The Giles report could not verify Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's claim that Asian students beat a disabled African American student on Dec. 2.

Editorial: Hard lesson The Inquirer
The Obama administration's supportive response to the wholesale firing of teachers in a district in Rhode Island shows its determination in turning around schools.

Auditor General Jack Wagner calls for General Assembly to ban municipal use of interest-rate swaps The Examiner
The risky swaps have also been used by school districts including Philadelphia -- a practice Wagner would also like to see stopped.

All You Need is Love Philly Teacher blog

Who Are "THESE" Kids?? A Good Day Teaching blog

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Notes from the news

S. Philly High violence: Time to clear the record about Dec. 2

By Helen Gym on Mar 4, 2010 01:11 PM

I am deeply troubled by one particular finding in Judge Giles report released last week about the violence last December 3 at South Philadelphia High School. The report indicates that it could not substantiate a highly publicized allegation that Asian students had attacked a disabled African American student the day before.

It should be noted that this explosive allegation was first uttered by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman in her very first remarks on the violence at South Philadelphia High School, almost a week after the incident:

"What began as an unwarranted off-campus attack on a disabled African American student, quickly escalated into a retaliatory multi-racial attack on primarily Chinese students at the school the following day.” (School Reform Commission hearing, Dec. 9, 2009)

PA is RttT finalist

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 4, 2010 11:51 AM

Pennsylvania is one of the 15 states and D.C. that were selected as finalists for a share of $4 billion in Race to the Top funding, and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman credits the Philadelphia teachers' contract with helping the state make the cut.

The state now has a better chance to get up to $400 million in additional federal dollars, although Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the first round of winners is likely to be small. Forty states and DC applied initially. The first round winners will be announced in April.

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