This week the Education First Compact and Cross City Campaign started a campaign for effective teaching.
At Thurgood Marshall elementary school in Olney, a K-8 school with an enrollment of about 600, more than nine out of ten students eat breakfast in school every day. Compare that to Andrew Morrison elementary just a few blocks away, a school with similar demographics -- a mostly African American and Latino population, 85 percent of which are poor enough to qualify for free and reduced price lunch -- where only about 30 percent of the students eat breakfast at school.
Helen’s and Len’s blogs on lack of transparency in the SRC process are on point. Philadelphia has always had a Jurassic Age system of an appointed board, unlike most other places in the country where the school board is democratically elected.
The three people whose appointments to the SRC were unveiled last week are, by all accounts, excellent choices. But why was there absolutely zero public input into the selection process?
As I have said in nearly all of my posts, I am of the opinion that our neighborhood high schools need a major transformation, not just some small reforms.
The culture and climate in these schools is just not conducive to learning. Many people argue that creating this new culture requires replacing either all or some of the teachers in the building with a fresh staff that is on board with the school’s mission.
Patting themselves and others on the back for progress made over the last six years in the city schools, Mayor Nutter and Gov. Rendell nevertheless announced that it was time for a change in the leadership of the School Reform Commission.
A celebratory groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited replacement of Willard School in Kensington took place in December, after years of promises and many frustrating delays. As recently as last month, District officials were saying its target date for opening the new school was Fall 2009.
In Philly the big news is the change in leadership at the SRC. We blogged about the breaking news that Sandra Dungee Glenn was ousted from the SRC.
In a shocking turn of events, both the Inquirer and the Daily News are reporting that School Reform Commission Chair Sandra Dungee Glenn may be off the SRC. Media reports say that she may be replaced by attorney Robert Archie.
Last Sunday, The Baltimore Sun reported that the Baltimore School District may sever contracts with two of three schools run by the former Edison Schools Inc. (now Edison Learning).
[Update: The district voted to end Edison's contract for the two schools March 24, the Sun reports - The Editors]
Children need breakfast
(a) every day
(b) only on days they go to school
(c) only on days they take standardized tests
It seems like some Philadelphia principals think the answer is (c). Which is beyond the understanding of child advocates who have been pushing Philadelphia school officials for decades -- with success -- on child nutrition.
Quick segue back to testing…there’s an interesting piece out of FairTest analyzing the “Dangers and Opportunities in Federal Stimulus Law.”
This week the SRC decided to renew the Teach For America and The New Teacher Project contracts.
I went to the meeting at School of the Future last week to learn more about the District’s strategic plan, Imagine 2014. The most controversial part of the plan is the part about Renaissance Schools. The Renaissance Schools plan calls for the transformation of some of the city’s lowest performing schools.
The School Reform Commission has just voted to renew contracts for The New Teacher Project and Teach for America, a month after tabling similar resolutions. The two programs, aimed at placing new teachers in challenging schools, are part of an ongoing attempt to recruit and certify teachers in non-traditional ways.