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Notes from the news, Sept. 17

By Anonymous on Sep 17, 2010 09:20 AM

notes from the news imageSchool starts later to give teens more zzz's The Inquirer
Research shows teens benefit from more sleep. School of the Future starts at 9 a.m.

Annette John-Hall: Masterman was the right choice The Inquirer
It would have been a morale boost for Obama to speak at a struggling school, but high achieving students deserve a boost too.

See also: Letters: Obama visit would have meant more to West The Inquirer

Philadelphia Tribune Names City’s 10 Most Influential African Americans PRWeb
SRC Chair Robert Archie and Superintendent Ackerman make the list.

See also: Tribune hosts Most Influential African Americans ceremony Philadelphia Tribune

A Million Stories: Go Do This Philadelphia City Paper
The Joaquin Rivera Scholarship Fund Committee is holding a fundraiser Sunday at noon at the New Palladium. The scholarship will benefit college-bound Olney East and West students. Rivera was a bilingual counselor at Olney HS.

How to Opt Out of High School Military Recruitment PSU blog
The School District releases student contact information to military recruiters, but students can opt out by mailing in a form.

Reflections: Then and Now. AN IRONIC “PROMISE” OF SCHOOL REFORM City School Stories
Notebook blogger Frank Murphy recently launched his own blog. This post looks at Vaux High's new incarnation as a Promise Academy.

Audenried promotes girth control South Philly Review
The school will host a workshop about childhood obesity on Saturday.

North Central: Community Group Hosts First Annual School Supply Drive Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Southern teacher sues district South Philly Review

DOJ investigates tensions at Southern South Philly Review

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

One Philly student's high school application experience

By Peak Johnson on Sep 16, 2010 03:32 PM

The Notebook would like to welcome its new blogger, Peak (Dominique) Johnson. Peak interned with us last year, and begins his blog by reflecting on his experience with the high school selection process.

I am a graduate of Delaware Valley Charter High School, class of 2007. I attend the Community College of Philadelphia where I am finishing up the requirements for my liberal arts degree.

The only problems that plagued me when trying to get into a good high school were the irresponsible actions of my middle school counselor, which limited me from getting into the school of my choosing.

Notes from the news, Sept. 16

By Anonymous on Sep 16, 2010 10:05 AM

notes from the news imageJobs bill helps district balance budget The Inquirer
Money from the bill will be used this school year and next. This year it closes a gap left by the state contributing less than the District expected.

See also: Federal jobs bill averts needs for cuts The Notebook blog

Candidates for guv talk school choice The Notebook blog
At a conference convened by a school choice PAC, the Democrat and Republican candidates were largely in agreement about choice, but differed on whether they thought the public school system is part of the solution or a problem.

What can the president's words of encouragement mean for students? The Notebook blog
Masterman students were excited to hear from the president, but his words could have had more force at a struggling school.

See also: Phillyist Gallery: President Obama Visits Masterman Phillyist

SRC will vote next week on tougher anti-bullying rules Daily News
SRC member Johnny Irizarry suggested that with the changes to reporting rules, the District should track abuse by demographic categories so that we can "know where the problem is."

Arlene Ackerman's Smile Metropolis
Obama chose to speak from a magnet school, but Ackerman is not a fan of the schools.

Magnet school students shocked by teacher's marijuana arrest The Inquirer
The teacher worked at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science for nine years.

See also: Armed Philadelphia Teacher Accused of Dealing Drugs KYW

Phila. Schools Review Cell Phone Policies for Students KYW
Superintendent Ackerman and the new schools safety chief are starting with persistently dangerous schools to see if there should be any adjustments made to the policy.

Unintended Consequences of School Choice Reality Check blog

Phila. police car, school bus involved in crash 6 ABC

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Notes from the news

Federal jobs bill averts needs for cuts

By Paul Socolar on Sep 15, 2010 03:12 PM

The District's budget is still balanced despite recent state funding cutbacks, Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch told the SRC Wednesday - mostly thanks to the August adoption of a federal education jobs bill that will send $98 million to Philadelphia.

What can the president's words of encouragement mean for students?

By Wendy Harris on Sep 15, 2010 12:58 PM

Standing at the podium in front of a blue background emblazoned with the words “My Education, My Future,” President Barack Obama delivered his second back-to-school speech in front of 600 students at Julia R. Masterman High School.

For 20 minutes Obama talked to the wide-eyed students – chosen randomly from the total student population of 1,205 to sit in the auditorium to hear the speech while the rest of the students listened in their classes via live Web stream – about education being the key to success and the importance of working hard, staying focused, and embracing challenges.

As I sat in the packed auditorium I wondered why he chose to deliver his inspirational message of hard work and hope for the future at this particular school, already a shining example of a school doing great things. I wondered what students thought about Obama’s choice, and if they were thinking what I was thinking – that maybe Obama should have delivered his educational pep talk to students at an underperforming school. After all, aren’t they the ones who need it most? 

And so I asked.

Candidates for guv talk school choice

By the Notebook on Sep 15, 2010 12:34 PM

by Paul Jablow


Joe Watkins, chairman of Students First, yesterday described the 2010 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race as the only such contest in the country in which both candidates supported school choice.

Whether or not this was the case, the joint appearance at the National Constitution Center of Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato was marked not by strong policy differences - both generally backed Watkins' school choice advocacy group's “wish list” - but by emphasis and nuance.

Notes from the news, Sept. 15

By Anonymous on Sep 15, 2010 09:39 AM

notes from the news imageHard work will pay off, Obama tells Masterman students Daily News
President Obama shared words of encouragement and anecdotes from his own experience as a teen in his second back to school address.

See also: Obama tells students ‘nothing is beyond your reach’ The Inquirer
Obama encourages students at Masterman, nationwide Philadelphia Tribune
Obama's speech at Masterman The Notebook blog
Obama gives back-to-school speech at Masterman Voice of Philadelphia
Obama Urges Students to Strive in School Phillyist
and 990 other stories

Gubernatorial hopefuls back school vouchers Daily News
The Daily News credits State Sen. Anthony Williams with injecting vouchers into the governor's race debate. The candidates spoke at a forum convened by a pro-school choice PAC.

See also: Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates address school choice WHYY
Corbett, Onorato, Press Conflicting School Agendas AP via CBS3

Philadelphia-area schools gain in math, reading tests The Inquirer
Test scores went up statewide, in the region, and in Philadelphia where 61 percent of schools made AYP.

New South Phila. High principal faces daunting challenges with confidence The Inquirer
Otis Hackney is making changes including allowing students to write complaints about harassment in their first language.

See also: South Philadelphia: Fight Against Racial Discrimination Continues into New School Year Philadelphia Neighborhoods 

After-school activities guide Daily News
You can sort after-school activities by ZIP code in this guide from After School Activities Partnership.

The Trouble With Scripted Curricula (part I) A Good Day Teaching blog
Kristin Luebbert reflects on the first full week with scripted curricula in the primary grades of Empowerment Schools.

Phila. teacher arrested on gun, drug charges 6 ABC

"But Would You Send Your Kids to School with Them?" UC Review

Smith Playground Event A Very Public Education 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

Obama's speech at Masterman

By Anonymous on Sep 14, 2010 11:01 AM

In case you missed the big news, President Obama is giving his back to school speech this afternoon at Masterman. We'll have coverage of the event later today.

The text of the speech is already available. Much of the speech is bland, but a more personal and reflective passage offers important reminders about the value of diversity.

The speech starts predictably. Obama makes no mention of the fact that Masterman is a magnet school. He starts with praise:

Notes from the news, Sept. 14

By Anonymous on Sep 14, 2010 10:15 AM

notes from the news imageRonnie Polaneczky: Prez at Masterman: Unreal choice Daily News
A White House spokesperson said Masterman was chosen as an example of "what's possible" in a school, but Polaneczky calls the choice disingenuous.

See also: President Obama to welcome U.S. students back to school with speech at Masterman in PhiladelphiaThe Inquirer
Obama to deliver speech at Masterman Philadelphia Tribune
Masterman prepares for President Obama WHYY
Obama picked wrong school to give speech The Answer Sheet blog
Dream big, Obama to tell students Politico
Obama Picks Philly for Back-to-School Speech Phillyist
Read Obama’s School Indoctrination Speech, Year II PhillyNow blog
A.M. Top News: Obama to urge students to 'dream big' during back-to-school speech in Philadelphia The Star-Ledger

Phila. schools to get $96 million The Inquirer
The money must be used to hire, retrain, or rehire teachers or other school employees. Superintendent Ackerman says it will save 524 jobs.

See also: Briefly... CITY/REGION Daily News

Corbett, Onorato, Press Conflicting School Agendas AP via CBS3
The candidates will discuss their agendas at a conference at the National Constitution Center today.

A new year begins at South Philly High The Notebook blog
South Phila. High Asian Student Advocates conducted a training on how to deal with harassment as students start a year with a new principal and many new programs.

New Phila. campaign aims to increase college graduation rate The Inquirer
The Graduation Coaches Campaign will train mentors to help students make it to postsecondary education.

See also: Recruiting coaches for Philadelphia students WHYY

Are things so bad in Harrisburg that the city might cut kindergarten? It's Our Money

Across Oceans and Across the Street Philly Teacher blog

Plan ahead to aid low literacy issue Temple News (opinion)

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Notes from the news

A new year begins at South Philly High

By Helen Gym on Sep 13, 2010 01:43 PM

As the school year approached, I got my children ready in the annual tradition – buying uniforms and supplies, planning lunch meals, and rushing through the waning days of summer. I also helped get another set of students ready for school but in a far different way.

SASA (South Phila. High Asian Student Advocates) – which includes the core organizations and individuals who have been actively working with students and families at the school around anti-Asian/anti-immigrant harassment – conducted a three-hour training for nearly 40 incoming students to South Philadelphia High School. 

It was a deeply moving event, with students and adults sharing their experiences of harassment, intimidation, and even violence. It was a safe place, where students could express their fears and frustrations and ask questions. And it was an empowering space – co-led by current and former students who had challenged the District to fulfill its responsibility to stop the abuse of Asian immigrant youth.

Notes from the news, Sept. 13

By Anonymous on Sep 13, 2010 10:11 AM

notes from the news imageTeachers: Back to school Daily News (opinion)
Just how big of an issue is it for scores of teachers to miss the first and second days of school?

Masterman, Obama, and Ackerman. Part I The Notebook blog
President Obama will give his back to school address at Masterman tomorrow and former Masterman teacher Marsha Pincus reflects on that choice.

Teach the Children Well WHYY (opinion)
Chris Satullo remembers his teachers and how teachers and students are at the center of public education.

City schools' trust problem The Inquirer (opinion)
Former Safe Schools Advocate Jack Stollsteimer says that reopening that office, which was closed last year, would help instill trust in the District.

The doctor's Rx for Philadelphia school violence Daily News (opinion)
To address school violence we need parental responsibility and leadership from the School Distirct.

Editorial: Failure is the rule The Inquirer (opinion)
Philly should look to other urban districts such as Chicago for best practices about how to handle the dropout crisis, particularly among Black and Latino males.

Test scores not increased solely by spending, group finds Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A study by the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education found that test scores were "nearly identical" in districts that spent the least and the most per student.

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

Masterman, Obama, and Ackerman. Part I

By Guest blogger on Sep 10, 2010 03:52 PM

This week's guest blog post comes from former teacher Marsha Pincus. This piece was originally published on her blog, Her Own Terms.

Ever since I heard that President Obama had decided to make his "Back to School" speech to the nation from the auditorium of J.R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, the place where I spent the final ten years of my 34-year teaching career before retiring in 2008, my head has been spinning with questions.

test photos

By Gloria Wang on Sep 10, 2010 02:26 PM

Last week, I wrote about how the District had spent a million dollars on turnstiles and miscellaneous security equipment. The authorizing resolution, which the SRC passed at its August meeting, came months after installation. Despite the delayed approval and exorbitant price tag, the resolution passed with no questions or debate.

Notes from the news, Sept. 10

By Anonymous on Sep 10, 2010 10:07 AM

notes from the news imageObama to give back-to-school speech Tuesday at Masterman The Inquirer
Big splash for the Philly schools! President Obama is giving an address during the school day again this year.

See also: Obama Chooses Phila. School for Speech Site KYW

Philadelphia is our city - and they're our schools Daily News (opinion)
The legislative director of ACTION United writes about how the community is a "substantial resource" for the District.

False goals for city schools The Inquirer (opinion)
Chalk and Talk blogger Christopher Paslay draws on the work of The Bell Curve author Charles Murray in arguing that not every student will get high test scores.

Changing Skyline: Philadelphia learns a lesson in school design The Inquirer
A look at the new Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, which YUC students were heavily involved in designing.

Filling the Need for Skilled Workers Requires Smarter Education Huffington Post
Philadelphia Education Fund board chair Diane Melley writes about "the pressing need to keep students in school."

What Comes Before Filtering, Fearlessness and Foresight Practical Theory blog
Those are the top three leadership skills, which SLA principal Chris Lehmann describe in a Technology and Learning magazine article.

Superintendent Ackerman to make first visit to Imhotep Institute Charter High School The Examiner

Training for School Cops WHYY

public school teacher bashing in local media Young Philly Politics

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Sept. 9

By Wendy Harris on Sep 9, 2010 09:47 AM

notes from the news imageOn 2nd day, even more teachers are truant Daily News
The District's Chief Talent Development Officer Estelle Matthews said that 201 teachers did not report for work yesterday, a number of them not following the proper procedure for an excused absence. There were 171 absences the day before.

See also: Hundreds More Phila. Schoolteachers Fail to Show Up KYW

South Phila. High teacher sues administrators, alleging retaliation Inquirer
Former South Philly High social studies teacher William Aitken has filed a lawsuit against the District claiming that administrators treated him unfairly when last October he warned then Principal LaGreta Brown that students were using cell phones to coordinate attacks on Asian students.

Opinion: Spend the Philadelphia school money first, then get the OK Daily News
In August, the School Reform Commission approved more than $1 million to install turnstiles at 440, but this was months after the security equipment had already been put into place.

See also: Turnstiles: Delayed approval not unusual The Notebook blog

Teenage activist will see if Philadelphia school has changed, too The Dallas Morning News
The Texas newspaper is the latest to pick up the AP dispatch about student Duong Nghe Ly that has also run in the Washington Post, confirming that the violence against Asians in South Philadelphia High and its aftermath is a story of national importance. 

The First Week  A Very Public Education blog
One mom's perspective on what she calls a odd first week of school.

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