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Take a stand. Speak up. Insist on being included in the discussion.

By Frank Murphy on Oct 11, 2010 01:46 PM

During the third annual Symposium on Equality hosted by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) I kept thinking: if only there were more of these types of events being offered to a wider audience of participants within our city.

The event was a model of what civic engagement in educational policy discussions should look like. 

Notes from the news, Oct. 11

By Anonymous on Oct 11, 2010 09:57 AM

notes from the news imageTeach, Tony Danza, Teach The Notebook blog
Former teacher Marsha Pincus says the show is better described as watered-down student teaching, but it still presents an opportunity to talk about education.

A Portrait of Hunger The Inquirer
The stories of three families describe the impact of hunger on families and kids in Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district.

School leaders' manifesto hits poor teaching The Notebook blog
Superintendent Ackerman joined other leaders in signing onto an op-ed that said how changes in policies for teachers will improve education.

See also: How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders Washington Post

A Philadelphia gathering remembers gay teen suicides The Inquirer
The District has a new antiharassment policy, but activists say the District's LGBT advisory board has been unable to get a meeting with Superintendent Ackerman.

'Structured recess' tried at Ogontz school to prevent bullying The Inquirer
Instead of open recess Pennell Elementary students participate in organized activities.

See also: Sen. Casey Backs New Anti-Bullying Act Fox 29

Teachers' book bank in danger of closing Daily News
The Philadelphia Reads Book Bank has provided thousands of free books in its five-year history, but without $40,000 it will close.

A story about kids' futures The Inquirer (opinion)
Guy Ciarrocchi, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, says the Walter D. Palmer charter school dispute is an example of the problems with enrollment caps.

What I Ask of SLA Teachers Practical Theory

Monica Yant Kinney: Fighting for the education she cannot live without The Inquirer

The Science of Studying Radio Times

Kent McGuire to Lead Southern Education Foundation KansasCity.com

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Notes from the news

School leaders' manifesto hits poor teaching

By Paul Socolar on Oct 10, 2010 05:34 PM

Sixteen Fifteen heads of school districts, including Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, weigh in forcefully on current education debates in a statement in Sunday's Washington Post, titled "How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders."

Teach, Tony Danza, Teach

By Guest blogger on Oct 8, 2010 03:39 PM

This week's guest blog is again from Marsha Pincus. Marsha taught for decades and reflects on the new A&E series about Tony Danza's time at Northeast High School.


I watched Teach: Tony Danza three times.

I must admit. The first time I watched it, I cried like a baby, right along with the 59-year-old actor who is facing his mortality and wanting to travel down the “road not taken” by becoming a teacher. Being close to this age myself, recently retired from 34 years as a teacher, and staring down my own roads not taken, I found myself cheering for him. I cringed as he sweated through his shirt in front of the unrelenting eyes of his 10th grade students, and I cried with him as he let his insecurities be seen by a very unflattering camera.

Notes from the news, Oct. 8

By Anonymous on Oct 8, 2010 09:30 AM

notes from the news imageGroup vows to create good schools for thousands The Notebook blog
The Philadlephia Schools Partnership yesterday officially launched their effort to raise $100 million for excellent schools, of any type.

See also: Philadelphia School Partnership pledges financial aid for turnarounds The Inquirer
New group, Phila. School Partnership, hopes to put $100M into schools
Philadelphia Business Journal

4 more students suspended for fighting at West Philly High Daily News
Students say they are unhappy with the climate at the school this year: "They're demanding our respect, but enforcing different rules that are unnecessary."

Pedro Noguera at Parent University The Notebook blog
Noguera was the first speaker in the university's lecture series. He shared suggestions about how to involve parents in schools.

Autism conference targets Latino community WHYY

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Group vows to create good schools for thousands

By Dale Mezzacappa on Oct 8, 2010 12:51 AM

A group of high-powered philanthropists, business leaders, public officials, and educators say they have the financial and political clout – and the determination to support schools that “work” and close down schools that don’t – to make Philadelphia the highest-performing urban district in the nation within five years.

Pedro Noguera at Parent University

By the Notebook on Oct 7, 2010 12:22 PM
by Katherine Saviskas

On Oct. 5 the District kicked off its second year of Parent University, an initiative led by the Office of Parent, Family, Community Engagement & Faith-Based Partnerships, with a talk by Pedro Noguera, urban education scholar and professor at New York University.

Noguera, who delivered the keynote for the Notebook's panel on building a positive school climate, said that parent involvement is crucial to student success.

Notes from the news, Oct. 7

By Anonymous on Oct 7, 2010 09:56 AM

notes from the news imageWagner urges moratorium on new Pennsylvania charter schools The Inquirer
PA Auditor General Jack Wagner said no new charter schools should open until an improved funding system is in place.

Fights bring on pugnacious atmosphere at West Philly High Daily News
Teachers say school climate has gotten worse since former principal Saliyah Cruz was transferred and that the school is being run as a de facto Promise Academy.

'Has special education lost its way?' The Notebook blog
A court case laid out new standards for use of inclusion in special education, but a study of the five years since the ruling went into effect showed that districts have not quickly implemented changes.

A princlpled principal South Philly Review
Dr. Angelo Milicia has lead GAMP for 14 years.

Philadelphia School Partnership Launches Business Wire
The organization that seeks to raise $100 million for schools of any type that do well officially launches today.

See also: Asociación Escolar de Filadelfia por una mejor educación Al Día

Authentic Writing Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher's students created their own websites and learned about web design and netiquette in the process.

Reflections: Then and Now-It Takes Time to Build a Successful School City School Stories

School District of Philadelphia Celebrates “Parent Appreciation Month”! The Frankford Gazette

Safety stressed on 'Walk to School Day' WHYY

'Green' training for teachers Daily News

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Notes from the news

'Has special education lost its way?'

By the Notebook on Oct 6, 2010 06:12 PM
by Patrick Gailey

One panel at PILCOP’s Symposium for Equality last week was called “Has special education lost its way?” Martin Elks, chairman of the advisory group charged with monitoring compliance with a settlement agreement requiring Pennsylvania districts to educate all special education students in a “least restrictive environment,” thinks that in this respect the answer is yes.

Notes from the news, Oct. 6

By Anonymous on Oct 6, 2010 10:07 AM

notes from the news image11 charged after fights at West Philadelphia High The Inquirer
Two fights broke out at West Philly, but teachers say there were dustups earlier in the day, too.

See also: Two fights, 11 arrests at W. Philly HS The Notebook blog

More chances to meet the Notebook The Notebook blog
Come see "Waiting for 'Superman'" with us today at 7 p.m. at the Ritz East.

Yale National Initiative Models Teacher Training The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine
Notebook blogger Sam Reed participated in the Yale National Initiative again this year where he participated in a seminar on Latino culture.

Equal time for AFT's Randi Weingarten The Notebook blog
Video of Weingarten's speech to the One Nation Working Together rally gives a different picture of the union president from the negative portrayal in "Waiting for 'Superman.'"

Renaissance Schools year 2 begins The Notebook blog
The District issued a press release saying a Request for Qualifications has been released for turnaround teams for year two of the Renaissance Schools process.

Hard to Tell Who’s the Boss in 'Teach' Philadelphia Weekly
PW watched the show with four teachers who, like Danza, were also new to the job last year.

Crunch Time Philly School Search blog

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Two fights, 11 arrests at W. Philly HS

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 5, 2010 10:58 PM

A chaotic day at West Philadelphia High School ended Tuesday with 11 students under arrest - including one girl who assaulted the school's parent ombudsman.

Renaissance Schools year 2 begins

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 06:05 PM

A School District press release says that the process for year two of the Renaissance Schools process starts today with their Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for turnaround teams.

Equal time for AFT's Randi Weingarten

By Paul Socolar on Oct 5, 2010 01:30 PM

Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, is a central figure in a segment of the new film "Waiting for 'Superman'" that describes teacher unions as a "menace" - a major obstacle to improving schools that are performing poorly.

Given the film's unflattering portrayal of Weingarten, whose union represents Philadelphia teachers, it was good to get to see her and hear her message unedited at Saturday's One Nation Working Together rally in Washington that aimed to shift national priorities toward education, jobs, and peace.

More chances to meet the Notebook

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 11:08 AM

Notebook blogger Samuel Reed is speaking at this month's NetSquared event and Wednesday Notebook friends are gathering for the 7 p.m. screening of "Waiting for 'Superman.'" Please, join us if you can!

Notes from the news, Oct. 5

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2010 09:36 AM

notes from the news imageStaffing shift at West Philly High, Clymer The Notebook blog
LaVerne Wiley "completed what she needed to do at West Philadelphia" and has been reassigned to Clymer.

See also: District assigns coprincipal as investigation of Clymer Elementary leader continues The Inquirer

Bullying is a barrier to education The Inquirer (opinion)
Mazzoni Center Director Nurit L. Shein writes that the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which is cosponsored by Senator Casey, would help schools prevent bullying and harassment. 

Rendell: Education investments 'moved the ball forward' The Notebook
Gov. Rendell sat down with the Notebook to discuss his legacy as a strong supporter of education funding.

Reflections of an author: The test begins. CitySchoolStories
The first month is over; how are things coming together at your school?

Can 'Portfolio Management' Save Urban Schools? Education Week
Three researchers argue that the diverse provider model "is not a way to sidestep the challenge of creating and sustaining smart bureaucracies."

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