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Notes from the news, Jan. 5

By Anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 10:56 AM

City commission announces school violence hearings Philly.com
The Commission on Human Relations will hold a series of hearings. The first is Jan. 28 in South Philly.

Charters: Social innovation hit or miss? The Notebook blog
Teacher blogger Samuel Reed wrote about his sons' mixed experiences at charter schools, and the Obama administration's interest in charters.

Groping trial gets under way Daily News
Man accused of assaulting girls at Cooke Middle School faces trial.

Fifth teen sentenced in subway killing 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

While we were gone...

By Anonymous on Jan 4, 2010 04:34 PM

Here's a summary of coverage from over winter break:

Notes from the news, Jan. 4

By Anonymous on Jan 4, 2010 10:51 AM

Welcome back! Hope you had a great break. We'll summarize what happened over break, but here are the articles from this weekend.

Nutter to focus on increasing college admissions The Inquirer 
Nutter and his administration spoke about 2009 and their plans for this year, both for higher ed and K-12.

Editorial: Top-notch citizens The Inquirer 
South Philly High teacher Dean Coder was among the nominees for Citizen of the Year. The co-winners are lawyers at the Juvenile Law Center.

Interim BRT leader says staff supportive Philly.com

Teaching the diary fittingly The Inquirer

Nepalese refugees blaze a trail in Phila The Inquirer

'Philly Fellows' Program Helps Recent College Grads 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

See ya Jan. 4th!

By the Notebook on Dec 23, 2009 08:04 PM

Thanks for your support, comments, questions, and readership during 2009! The blog will be on vacation till January 4.

In the meantime, check out our coverage of South Philly High School, most recent edition on school climate, or just scroll back through the blog archives.

District wants security officer in Jeffione Thomas case fired

By the Notebook on Dec 23, 2009 07:11 PM

After an investigation, the School District has recommended that one of the two security officers involved in an incident with Frankford High football player Jeffione Thomas be fired "for use of excessive force." The president of the police union is upset.

Remarks from NAACP chapter induction at South Philly High

By the Notebook on Dec 23, 2009 06:52 PM

On Tuesday, the local chapter of the NAACP, headed by J. Whyatt Mondesire, held a ceremony to induct students at South Philadelphia High School into a new NAACP chapter. The inductees received a one-year membership to the NAACP and a trip to a 76ers game. They included a number of the students involved in the 8-day boycott of South Philadelphia High School following attacks against Asian immigrant students at the school Dec. 3rd.

Helen Gym, a board member of Asian Americans United, gave the following remarks:

Notes from the news, Dec. 23

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 23, 2009 10:38 AM

Ex-head of charter school appeals fraud sentence Inquirer
Retired police officer had pleaded guilty

Logan charter-school staff votes to unionize Daily News
Staffers at Delaware Valley Charter join AFT

Recent study confirms Settlement Music School Kaleidoscope Pre-school Program outperforms other pre-school programs in school readiness scores University City Review
Low-income children at arts-rich preschool show vocabulary gains way beyond peers in nearby program

Temple University is raising its standards Inquirer
Ambition to become "one of the best universities in the world has a price
            See also Temple campus upgrade to cost $1.2 billion Inquirer

Students return, with some exceptions Daily News
A few lingering effects of the storm

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Dec. 22

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 22, 2009 10:35 AM

Racially Charged South Phila. High School Gets NAACP Chapter KYW Radio
African American and Asian students are members

Snow's not gone, but school's back on, with some delays Daily News
School started up again after the snowstorm

Do a Good Thing: Help a Mighty Writer out Citypaper blog
A program that helps students improve their writing is looking for help

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

In case you missed It

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 21, 2009 02:01 PM

Two interesting articles from opposite ends of country for your Christmas-week perusal:

Bar set low for lifetime job in LA schools LA Times
Another big city struggles with teacher evaluation, a big item on the national (and Philadelphia) agenda

Notes from the news, Dec. 21

By Anonymous on Dec 21, 2009 10:33 AM

School’s Out for Snowstorm NBC 10
Woohoo! 

Stepped-up security at S. Phila. High thwarts attacks Philly.com
Rumors at the school were that a student was told he would be jumped, but added security kept it from happening. 

See also: Security measures keep S. Phila. High calm The Inquirer
Band of teenagers blamed in assault on Chestnut St. The Inquirer

Standing up for victimized students The Inquirer
A profile of Wei Chen, founder and president of South Philly's Chinese American Student Association.

Amended $3.1 billion school budget includes spending jump The Inquirer
The SRC approved the budget, which though it included less than expected from the state, includes an overall spending increase. 

26 Phila. Middle Schools Now Equipped with AED Machines KYW
Middle schools get defibrillators

 

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Notes from the news

Guest blog: Schooling leaders

By Guest blogger on Dec 18, 2009 01:46 PM

Welcome to the guest blogger section of the Notebook blog.

This week's post comes from Zach Blattner, MGA student at Penn's Fels Institute of Government. This post originally appeared on Fels' Sam's Parlor blog.


The recent violence at South Philadelphia High School has again thrust the School District of Philadelphia into the spotlight.  Bloggers, politicians and advocacy groups are all lashing out in an effort to process the troubling situation and affix blame. To me, the attacks at South Philly High underscore the most significant struggle of American education: attracting, building, and retaining strong school leadership. 

Notes from the news, Dec. 18

By Anonymous on Dec 18, 2009 10:26 AM

Attacking immigrant students not new, say those involved The Inquirer
This thorough piece includes a graphic showing the rates of violence at Philly's neighborhood high schools.

Investigation of Jeffione Thomas case continues, more protest planned The Notebook blog
Thomas was allegedly beaten by school truancy officers, which brings up more concerns about how school security staff are trained and supervised.

Back to school South Philly Review
Asian students at South Philly High have suspended their boycott and returned to class.

If voters approve, BRT will end on Sept. 30 The Inquirer

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA!!! PSU blog
PSU members suggest the District work on ending the school-to-prison pipeline, invest in schools, improve the curriculum, and more.

They're on the bus Green Space blog
Another topsy-turvy school bus is making the rounds.

Nine Philadelphia schools are on US News & World Report's top high schools list. The methodology ranks schools based on if: the school serves all students well, students test scores show proficiency, and the students are prepared for college..

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

Investigation of Jeffione Thomas case continues, more protest planned

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 17, 2009 07:44 PM

Overshadowed by the news of South Philadelphia High School has been the continuing controversy about an incident in which a Frankford High School student has alleged he was beaten by two District security officers who were on truancy detail. The issue was aired before the School Reform Commission for the first time this week.

Jeffione Thomas, a star running back on the Frankford football team, was late for school on Oct. 29 when he sustained injuries to his face in a scuffle with two officers. Thomas said that he rebuffed the officers when they tried to get him into a truancy van and went into the school instead. The officers followed him and the altercation was caught on school surveillance cameras.

Footage of the altercation starts at 1:30 on this video

Notes from the news, Dec. 17

By Anonymous on Dec 17, 2009 11:05 AM

Asian students back at school, seeking peace The Inquirer
At the SRC meeting yesterday Superintendent Ackerman "deeply apologized" for the emotional harm of the assaults.

See also: Ackerman apologizes, says all students hurt in S. Philly The Notebook blog
Ackerman defends district; apologizes to beaten students Philly.com
Ackerman is OK with officer at S. Philly High Daily News
Asians Back At S. Philly High Metropolis
Arlene Ackerman's 'elephant in the room' The Notebook blog

Parent tells SRC she was pressed not to testify The Notebook blog
Ackerman said the District tries to deal with parents' concerns outside of SRC meetings, but SRC Commissioner Irizarry sensed the parent's "fear was legitimate."

See also: SRC hears of more woes of non-English-speaking pupils The Inquirer

A citywide call for action The Examiner
A community meeting will be held Friday to discuss school safety.

Ex-Phila. Academy leader gets prison term The Inquirer

South Philly grad's immigrant experience The Notebook blog

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Notes from the news

Parent tells SRC she was pressed not to testify

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 16, 2009 09:50 PM

A parent of a student at the Jackson Elementary School in South Philadelphia told the SRC Wednesday that school and South Region officials tried to intimidate her from testifying before the commission.

Angelica Viceriana, accompanied by Zac Steele, a community organizer from the community organization JUNTOS, said that while she was talking to her daughter's teacher at the school Tuesday, other school staff interrupted and asked specifically to say what she planned to testify about. Staff yelled at her, then repeatedly called her after she went home, she testified.

"They told me to call other parents and not to come to the SRC meeting," she said in Spanish through a translator. She said she was told that if she complied, "they would pay more attention to my child’s concerns." 

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