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Notes from the news, Dec. 9

By Anonymous on Dec 9, 2009 11:30 AM

Schools chief to address South Phila. High tensions The Inquirer
For the first time, Superintendent Ackerman will comment publicly on the incidents. She is expected to announce the creation of a diversity committee.

See also: Officials, parents meet at South Philly High Philly.com
'We want them to feel safe' The Notebook blog
Philadelphia Student Union's statement about the violence at South Philly HS The Notebook blog
 Asian students boycott Philadelphia Tribune
Asian students protesting alleged racism from African-American students The Grio

Philly does poorly on NAEP math tests The Notebook blog
Philly ranked below the national average of urban districts on 4th and 8th grade math scores. The NAEP scores showed much lower levels of proficiency than PSSA results.

See also: Phila. students score at bottom on national test The Inquirer

Council Moves Forward on Property Value Overhaul KYW
Council is "expected to give preliminary okay" to a plan to abolish the BRT.

You bring out the Latin-Caribbean in me... The Notebook blog
Teacher Samuel Reed wrote about his lesson on Latin-Caribbean culture. The post includes several students' poems.

Phila. project uses classes to reach parents The Inquirer

E-mail: Student held, beaten by school cops Daily News

Help Identify Science and Math Teachers for Philly Schools! PSU 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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Philly does poorly on NAEP math tests

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 8, 2009 07:26 PM

Just 16 percent of 4th graders and 17 percent of 8th graders in Philadelphia scored proficient or better in math on the Nation's Report Card. The Report Card is also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam, or the NAEP. Results on the exam, released today, put the city below the average for students in big districts across the nation.

In addition, those numbers differ wildly from proficiency rates on the PSSA, the state standardized tests. In 2009, more than 60 percent of Philadelphia 4th graders and 51 percent of 8th graders scored proficient or better -- raising issues about the rigor of state standards and the PSSA.

Philadelphia Student Union's statement about the violence at South Philly HS

By Guest blogger on Dec 8, 2009 06:02 PM

Members of the Philadelphia Student Union are outraged and saddened with the violence at South Philadelphia High School. We believe that young people need to come together to get the root causes of these issues and put in place real solutions.

Edublog nominations

By Anonymous on Dec 8, 2009 05:11 PM

This year is our first opportunity to participate in the Edublog Awards! Readership of our own blog has grown steadly since it launched in February due to the consistently fabulous work of our bloggers, and the engaging feedback of our commenters. Thank you so much to everyone involved.

The Core Knowledge blog alerted me to the awards, and I already bookmarked several of the blogs they nominated. What do you think of our nominees? Who else would you suggest? We'll let you know when the voting opens.

You bring out the Latin-Caribbean in me...

By Samuel Reed III on Dec 8, 2009 02:22 PM

Why should I teach a predominately African American class about Latin-Caribbean culture?

My school, like many schools in Philadelphia is racially isolated. Consequently, tensions exist regarding meeting the School District’s expectation of promoting multicultural studies.

'We want them to feel safe'

By Anonymous on Dec 8, 2009 01:07 PM

Comprehensive High School Regional Superintendent Michael Silverman responded to questions about the student boycott, but students say the District is downplaying the attacks.

Roughly a third of South Philly High's Asian students did not attend school yesterday, but met with community groups. The boycott and community organizing meetings are planned for the whole week.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

Notes from the news, Dec. 8

By Anonymous on Dec 8, 2009 10:58 AM

Try telling them crime is falling Metro Philadelphia
The assaults at South Philly High are front page news on the Metro. Other outlets covered the first day of the students' boycott. 

See also: Some black South Philly High students resent being lumped with attackers Daily News
Asian students vow to continue school boycott The Inquirer
Attacked Asian Students: We Are Afraid NBC 10
Asian students protest violence at South Philly High 6 ABC
Asian students boycott Phila. school WHYY
Editorial: No room for racism The Inquirer

Charter-law overhaul introduced in Pa. Senate The Inquirer
Lawmakers cited The Inquirer's reporting on fiscal abuses at some charter schools as one reason for the proposed law changes.

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, Dec. 7

By Anonymous on Dec 7, 2009 10:51 AM

Asian students plan walkouts Daily News
Dozens of students have committed to not attending school at South Philly High this week. They are planning to spend the time planning ways to improve safety at the school where Asian students were attacked last week.

See also: Philly students plan walkout in wake of attacks AP via York Daily Record
Asian students boycott S. Phila. High Philly.com
Asian students protest violence at South Philly High 6ABC
Attacked Asian Students Afraid to Go to School NBC10
Fear and loathing in South Philadelphia Attytood blog
Students won't go back to S. Philly Monday The Notebook blog
And several others.

Joaquin Rivera remembered as a caring mentor The Inquirer
Rivera was a beloved counselor at Olney High School.

See also: Olney students plan protest of ER death The Notebook blog
Activists protest Rivera’s treatment Philly.com
Activists protest ER death of beloved Latino Daily News
“Muchas preguntas y pocas respuestas” AL DÍA

Ackerman: Discipline has "gray areas" The Notebook blog
District and state education leaders held a press conference last week to publicize a report on school violence.

Renaissance Schools to be named in January The Notebook blog
The announcement was pushed back from late November, but the District is optimistic that the new timeline is doable.

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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Students won't go back to S. Philly Monday

By Paul Socolar on Dec 6, 2009 11:01 PM

According to a press statement released Sunday, dozens of students have committed to not go back to school at South Philadelphia High School this week due to on-going concerns for their safety, in the wake of attacks on Asian students at the school.

Olney students plan protest of ER death

By Paul Socolar on Dec 6, 2009 09:34 PM

Students at Olney High School have organized a "Rally in honor of the life of Joaquin Rivera and in Demand For Justice" for Monday, December 7, at 9 a.m. in front of Aria Frankford Hospital emergency room on Frankford Avenue and Harrison St.

The ER is where Rivera, a popular bilingual counseling assistant at Olney who was also a musician and activist, died of a heart attack while waiting for care.

Ackerman: Discipline has "gray areas"

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 4, 2009 08:10 PM

Just as the Notebook’s edition on school climate was hot off the press, District and state education leaders held a press conference Thursday to declare that school violence has not diminished in Pennsylvania – and to outline their response.

Statewide, serious incidents over the past five years have stayed the same, state officials said. In Philadelphia, they have declined, but the city is still the only district in the state to have “persistently dangerous” schools.

State Board of Education Chairman Joseph Torsella declared, “We are … overall failing” on school safety.

Renaissance Schools to be named in January

By Paul Socolar on Dec 4, 2009 07:03 PM

January 2010 is the new target date for the announcement of the first cohort of Renaissance Schools - low-performing District schools that will be reorganized under new management by next fall.

Racial assaults at S. Philly: What went wrong

By Helen Gym on Dec 4, 2009 02:29 PM

The latest beatings of Asian students reported at South Philadelphia High School are an outrage.

The ordeal began Wednesday, Lin said, when a Vietnamese student was jumped by 14 students across the street from the school.

Yesterday, the attackers were roaming the halls "searching for victims class by class during school," he said.

Services for Joaquín Rivera

By the Notebook on Dec 4, 2009 12:52 PM

Joaquín Rivera, Sr., worked as a Spanish bilingual counselor assistant for 26 years at Olney High School. Rivera died tragically while waiting for care at an ER last week. Rivera was also a community activist and a musician with the group Los Pleneros del Batey.

Joaquín's family extended an invitation to all his School District colleagues to attend services that are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday:

Notes from the news, Dec. 4

By Anonymous on Dec 4, 2009 11:00 AM

Pa. schools have not gotten safer, state says The Inquirer
The state announced plans to create formal expectations of districts for school safety and support for Senate Bill 56, which "calls for closer collaboration between police and school districts."

See also: Leaving no child in danger The Inquirer (opinion)
State: After 5 years, classrooms no safer Philly.com
New guidelines urged for Pa. school safety WHYY
Winter 2009-10: Focus on School Climate The Notebook

Asian students under attack at S. Phila. High Daily News
Yesterday 26 Asian students were attacked by other students. 

Despite progress, problems keeping enough qualified teachers The Notebook
This year Philadelphia hired 1,700 new teachers and counselors. There are concerns that new teacher supports are spread thin and that many new teachers are not fully certified.

Pa. auditor urges end to interest-rate swaps The Inquirer
The state auditor found that the School District of Philadelphia has "more than $1 billion in debt tied" to the risky swaps.

Editorial: Work with charters The Inquirer
The editorial encourages Superintendent Ackerman to amend proposed changes to charter rules so that successful charters can "expand to accommodate more children."

You Close the Deficit: Shelly Yanoff It's Our Money
PCCY Executive Director gives her suggestions on how to close the city's deficit.

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