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Notes from the news, Sept. 29

By Anonymous on Sep 29, 2010 10:06 AM

notes from the news imageKey senator sides with charter school against Phila. enrollment limits The Inquirer
State Sen. Piccola, head of the Senate Committee on Education, says that Philadelphia's enrollment caps go against the state charter law.

Mastery Charter Schools, Phila. district get U.S. aid for reforms The Inquirer
Mastery gets $5.1 million more in federal funds to expand and the District gets $3.8 million to create small learning communities in five neighborhood high schools.

See also: More grants for schools  Daily News

Pittsburgh, Philadelphia schools tout education innovations Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State senate education leaders point to Philly and Pittsburgh teachers' union contracts as good examples of coming to agreement on tough issues like merit pay and evaluation.

Big names in education in town Thursday The Notebook blog
PILCOP is holding a Symposium on Equality and Deborah Meier, Warren Simmons, and others will be in town to speak on education issues.

Principal's availability called into question The Inquirer
Kevin W. Parson is principal at Clymer, but he is a resident of Baltimore and was running for state-wide office there.

School bus involved in SW Phila. crash 6 ABC

Students: Danza made the grade as English teacher TODAY Show

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Notes from the news

Big names in education in town Thursday

By Anonymous on Sep 28, 2010 03:18 PM

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) is hosting its third annual Symposium on Equality on Thursday. The symposium is from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Arch Street Meeting House, and will be followed by the Thaddeus Stevens Award cocktail reception and dinner from 5-9 p.m. at The Down Town Club. Tickets are only on sale for a few more hours.

Warren Simmons, current director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and former executive director of the Philadelphia Education Fund will give the keynote address titled "What is Washington doing and does it help or hurt?"

Deborah Meier and James H. (Torch) Lytle will discuss what it takes to produce quality education in racially isolated, high poverty schools. Other topics include special education, the legal framework for education, and what contributes to students leaving school.

Notes from the news, Sept. 28

By Anonymous on Sep 28, 2010 09:31 AM

notes from the news imageMayor Nutter launches SERVE Phila. 6 ABC
The new volunteer initiative includes opportunities to tutor, help with afterschool programs, be a graduation coach, and more.

See also: Philadelphia looking for volunteers WHYY
SERVE Phila. volunteers plan announced Philadelphia Business Journal

Bok and South Philly High: What's different and what hasn't changed The Notebook blog
Helen Gym explains how the District's response to another case of violence against Asian students has been problematic, but that leadership and communication at Bok is very different than South Phily.

Get all children schools they deserve Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)
Excerpts from Justin Hudson's speech to his graduating classmates at Hunter College High School about the disparities in a system that prepares some students well and discards the rest "like refuse."

Charter School Sues District For $1.7M Fox 29
Walter D. Palmer Charter has taken the dispute over enrollment caps to the courts.

See also: Philadelphia School District Sued for Illegal Enrollment Caps, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools Supports Lawsuit Marketwire

Charter Teachers Talk Accountability Fox 29

More on teachers' addresses as public information It's Our Money

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Bok and South Philly High: What's different and what hasn't changed

By Helen Gym on Sep 27, 2010 02:17 PM

I, like many people, felt my stomach drop when I first heard that two Chinese immigrant youth had been sent to the emergency room after an assault by multiple classmates at Bok High School. It wasn’t just that youth had been attacked, though that was certainly crushing.

It was the language out of the School District just a few days later: Based on an initial review, race was not a factor. Moreover, it was the sense that some were treating this attack as a case of "kids being kids" rather than as the horrific incident that it was.

Notes from the news, Sept. 27

By Anonymous on Sep 27, 2010 09:46 AM

notes from the news imageParallel worlds: Two schools a short journey apart The Notebook
The October edition is focused on school funding and this article compares Overbrook High School to Lower Merion High School, which are just a few miles apart, but in different districts.

NBC Steals the Cake Philly Teacher blog
NBC is airing Education Nation, "a nationally broadcast, in-depth conversation about improving education in America," but in-depth conversations have already been taking place at #edchat on Twitter.

See also: What Randi Weingarten Should Have Said Practical Theory

Inquirer Editorial: Lessons in violence The Inquirer
The District has tried many ways to decrease violence in the schools, but let's hope the Focus 46 plan works.

Introducing City School Stories The Notebook blog
Notebook blogger Frank Murphy now has his own blog to promote his book about being an urban principal and share thoughts about working in urban schools.

Palmer charter school sues Philadelphia School District over disputed funding The Inquirer
Palmer says the charter enrollment cap violates state law, and their lawyer says he won two similar prior cases.

If DREAM Act fails, America will suffer Philadelphia Tribune (opinion)
The DREAM Act was blocked last week, but why don't we "embrace [undocumented students] as future Americans?"

2 unions favor tuition proposal Daily News
The unions favor State Sen. Anthony Williams voucher bill, which is in the state legislature now.

Should teachers' addresses be public information? It's Our Money

Daily Walkthroughs with GoogleApps and the iPad Practical Theory blog

Sustainability and Gadgetry Philly Teacher blog

Awaiting Release: "Waiting For Superman" Fox 29

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Notes from the news

Introducing City School Stories

By Frank Murphy on Sep 24, 2010 03:56 PM

Evaluating the success of America’s public schools has become a national focus. Elected officials, business leaders, wealthy philanthropists, and a host of educational entrepreneurs are typically the individuals who have been most active in characterizing the performance of today’s public schools for the American media.  These non-educators generally do not speak well of the effectiveness of our public schools and systems.

In August of this year I launched my own blog cityschoolstories.com

Notes from the news, Sept. 24

By Anonymous on Sep 24, 2010 09:43 AM

notes from the news imagePhiladelphia schools, agencies receive millions in federal grants The Inquirer
Congressman Chaka Fattah's office announced the awards to Mastery, CORE, JEVS, Chestnut Hill College, and others.

See also: Fattah Announces Major Grants for Philadelphia Education Including $21 million for Children's Literacy, $7 million for Mastery Charter PRNewswire
Mastery gets $7 million from feds The Notebook blog

Universal gets Promise Neighborhood grant The Notebook blog
Universal Companies won $500,000 to study the possibility of making Gray's Ferry and Point Breeze a Promise Neighborhood like the Harlem Children's Zone.

Pennsylvania Education Department schedules hearing over Philadelphia district's dispute with charter school The Inquirer
The hearing is about the dispute with Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners, which has been operating with more grades and students than the SRC officially approved.

Gimme Three Steps Philadelphia City Paper
The steps to respond to a problem like the students assaulted at Bok: 1. de-emphasize race, 2. invoke zero tolerance, 3. issue a vague report.

See also: Bok students attacked in school South Philly Review

Plan for school security rapped as 'same old' Daily News
Critics say the plan will criminalize students and not address the root cause of truancy and school violence.

See also: District to install safety plan in schools Philadelphia Tribune

Principal keeps promise as Dobbins makes AYP Philadelphia Tribune
The barbering students gave their principal a new haircut. 

Finding the Strength to Write Practical Theory blog
Loud voices with lots of money are making Chris Lehmann feel a bit defeated. He realized you still have to make your voice heard, so please chime in on his (or our) blog.

See also: TEDx speakers to spread the knowledge in Pennsylvania The Inquirer

Philadelphia Arts in Education gets $1M grant Philadelphia Business Journal

Frankford High School is Hosting “Back to School Night”! The Frankford Gazette

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Mastery gets $7 million from feds

By Dale Mezzacappa on Sep 23, 2010 03:02 PM

Mastery Charter Schools has been awarded $7.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education from the Teacher Incentive Fund, which is used towards developing new systems of teacher compensation that reward performance rather than just longevity and education level.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah announced the award, which Mastery CEO Scott Gordon called "a game changer" in a press release from the congressman's office.

Get on the bus Oct. 2: Join the One Nation action in D.C.

By Ron Whitehorne on Sep 23, 2010 02:56 PM

On October 2 the AFL-CIO, NAACP, and a broad coalition of progressive organizations are holding a rally in Washington. The AFT is one of the unions actively organzing for the action.  Termed “One Nation…Working Together,”  marchers will demand:

Universal gets Promise Neighborhood grant

By Dale Mezzacappa on Sep 23, 2010 12:16 PM

The work of another educational entrepreneur in Philadelphia has been recognized by the federal government.

Universal Community Homes, part of music legend Kenny Gamble's South Philadelphia development empire, is one of 21 organizations nationwide awarded a $500,000 planning grant to create a Promise Neighborhood -- or a full-service, cradle-to-grave web of health and social services and schools modeled on Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone.

Notes from the news, Sept. 23

By Anonymous on Sep 23, 2010 10:02 AM

notes from the news imageSchool Reform Commission hears plans to curb violence in 46 Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
"Focus 46" schools have a disproportionate number of violent incidents, and the District plans to focus on those schools to improve school climate.

See also: Focus 46: New District safe school campaign The Notebook blog
Task force offers host of recommendations to improve relations at S. Phila. High Daily News
Security chief to run schools like a police department Daily News

From inside and out, a push for better fiscal oversight The Notebook blog
The SRC and District say they are increasing oversight; one ongoing issue is contract ratification votes for work that was already underway or completed.

See also: At the SRC: Business as usual The Notebook blog

Asian student from Bok was chased, attacked in May, records show The Inquirer
Bok principal Larry Melton said the earlier attack was not reported to the school and that he's "remaining open to the whole situation."

See also: Were South Philly high school attacks racially motivated? WHYY

The Alliance for Educational Justice: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline Philly Education Justice
PSU members and activists from across the country went to D.C.to speak out against the school-to-prison pipeline.

Poetry vs. Violence at South Philly High PhillyNow blog

Across the country, school districts experiment with superintendent merit pay MinnPost.com

Reflections: Then and Now: Parents are our partners after all. Philly School Stories

Philly to be home of next Urban Youth Academy MLB.com

Federal Grants Helping PennSERVE to Create More than 2,200 Community Service Opportunities TMC News

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Notes from the news

Focus 46: New District safe school campaign

By Paul Socolar on Sep 23, 2010 12:46 AM

A new District school safety campaign, announced at Wednesday's School Reform Commission, is a comprehensive one, involving a wide-ranging set of initiatives that include everything from improved attendance-taking to developing detailed plans at each school. The campaign homes in on 46 schools that account for about half of all violent incidents in the School District and nearly three-fourths of all expulsions.

At the SRC: Business as usual

By Helen Gym on Sep 22, 2010 12:55 PM

Despite promises for greater transparency, this month’s School Reform Commission meeting continues a troubling trend in “contract ratification,” the approval of contracts after the work is underway or, in some cases, already completed.

Fourteen of the 43 contract-related resolutions – one-third – on today’s SRC docket are ratifications (this number does not count resolutions that accept grants or approve policies).

From inside and out, a push for better fiscal oversight

By Paul Socolar on Sep 22, 2010 12:11 PM

This piece is from our October edition focused on school funding.


Philadelphia has no shortage of critics, particularly in the Pennsylvania legislature, who are eager to argue that city schools don’t deserve additional funds. The last thing that District officials want to do is to give these critics ammunition. That makes the job of overseeing Philadelphia’s $3.2 billion schools budget a high-stakes task.

Notes from the news, Sept. 22

By Anonymous on Sep 22, 2010 09:52 AM

notes from the news imageMastery chief speaks about Oprah The Notebook blog
Mastery is not planning to go national. They want to work on turnaround in Philly, and plan to open a school in Camden next year.

See also: Oprah gets on the education reform bandwagon -- but will it do any good? New York Post
How will Mastery use $1M from Oprah? WHYY
The Success Of Philly's Mastery Schools Fox 29

Philly's top cop and top prosecutor want to fight crime using Pre-K classrooms WHYY
Pre-K Counts released a report that said investments in early childhood ed can help prevent crime.

Key day for DREAM Act goes awry The Notebook blog
Senate Republicans blocked debate and vote on a defense appropriations bill that included a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the DREAM Act.

GAMP sees success with music and the three ‘Rs’ Philadelphia Tribune
GAMP students excel in music and academics, and one student said, “If you love music, I would say this is the perfect place to be.”

Dos estudiantes asiáticos fueron atacados en Bok High Al Día
Two recent Asian immigrant students were beaten so badly they were sent to the hospital.

See also: Here We Go Again: More Violent Attacks On Asian Kids At A South Philly School Philebrity

Book Bags and Homework A Very Public Education

Youth steer social change South Philly Review

If It's Not Difficult, It's... Biology and Blueberries

J.S. Jenks Kindergarten Tea: Come learn about the school This Year at Jenks

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