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Notes from the news, Nov. 10

By Anonymous on Nov 10, 2009 10:59 AM

Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation Center for American Progress
The report is a joint effort between CAP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and American Enterprise Institute. Pennsylvania scored mostly Cs, but got an A for removing ineffective teachers.

West Philly high school team builds hybrid The Temple News
The team has garnered national attention as it competes for millions of dollars in prize money for building a hybrid car.

Four college fairs scheduled in Philadelphia Philly.com

Today: Greater Philadelphia Cares "Principal for a Day" brings business and civic leaders to the principal's offices of over 100 Philadelphia public schools.

In case you missed it: Merit pay, youth violence, Halloween

By Anonymous on Nov 9, 2009 03:55 PM

The Debate Over Differentiated Pay: The Devil is In the Details Rethinking Schools
Great, multi-faceted look at merit pay and the ideas swirling around on how to improve teacher compensation.

A Powerful Idea on Youth Violence The New York Times (opinion)
The Times praises Chicago's public schools chief for his ideas on how to curb violence. But, Alexander Russo cautions praising a plan that is not fully public yet.

Thompson: The Edusphere This Week In Education
John Thompson reflects on NCLB and "cyberpolarization" in the education blogosphere.

The demise of Halloween Washington Post, Great Pundit Contest
One of the contestants is Kevin Huffman, an executive with TFA. This entry is pretty funny, and looks at the changing expectations for Halloween, inside and outside of the classroom.

Many unanswered questions at Renaissance meetings

By Helen Gym on Nov 9, 2009 12:33 PM

The last community feedback session of the Renaissance Schools Advisory Board is being held tonight at Audenried High School, from 6-8 p.m. Dinner and child care are provided.

What to expect: The meetings are being chaired by Lee Nunery, a former executive with Edison Schools, Inc. and current consultant with the District for the Renaissance Schools plan. A 21-page PowerPoint on the Renaissance Schools Initiative is available here.

Last week, I attended a Renaissance Schools meeting at the High School of the Future. With the SEPTA strike and rumored low attendance at two previous meetings, I wasn’t expecting a lot of turnout. I was pleasantly surprised – not so much by the 30 people or so in attendance but in the scrutiny and questions being asked.

Notes from the news, Nov. 9

By Anonymous on Nov 9, 2009 10:57 AM

Editorial: A new course for charters The Inquirer
The Inky praises the proposed changes to Pennsylvania's charter law. It hopes that the state will do a better job at monitoring charters than districts have.

Better development The Notebook blog
Teacher Molly Thacker reflects on the Nov. 3 professional development session and what can be done to improve development in general.

The 'reform math' problem The Inquirer (opinion)
High-functioning autistic students are often good at math, but new math programs introduce more social and verbal elements to the subject. These are the exact areas autistic students struggle with.

Teen held after shooting on Philadelphia school bus The Inquirer
A teen shot another student on the way to CEP Miller school. 

See also: Coverage of the incident on Friday 

 

Better development

By Molly Thacker on Nov 6, 2009 05:47 PM

When reading over some comments made by teachers on the Notebook blog regarding the full day professional development offered this past Tuesday, I found that some pretty potent words were used. In fact, if the commentary on the November 3rd PD were a Twitter feed, in which teachers could give instantaneous feedback in 140 characters or less, it would read something like this:

"mind numbing"

"a waste of taxpayers' dollars"

“a catastrophe”

Student shot on school bus in West Philly

By Anonymous on Nov 6, 2009 02:19 PM

This morning a 15-year-old student on a school bus to CEP Miller, an alternative high school, shot another student. The shooter was apprehended a short time later.

Local media are covering the incident: Philly.com, 6 ABC, CBS 3, NBC Philadelphia, KYW, The Examiner, and Delaware County Times.

We'll post any updates as they become available.

Notes from the news, Nov. 6

By Anonymous on Nov 6, 2009 10:38 AM

Elmer Smith: West Philly High takes center stage - for a day Daily News (opinion)
Smith celebrates the star-studded event on Thursday, but also reflects on West's history and plans for the new school.

See also: Activists seek more than a new building for West Philly High The Notebook NEWSFLASH

Cable Giant Comcast Donates Complete Library to a Kensington School KYW
Fairhill Elementary will receive 1,700 books and four computers for a new library.

See also: A boost for library at Fairhill School Daily News

Call Me Mister meeting, Thursday November 12 at 4 p.m. PSU blog
PSU is working with the Cheney University-based program to expose young men to the teacher training program.

Annette John-Hall: Putting a bit of pizzazz in Civics 101 The Inquirer (opinion)
Reality-show contestant, activist, and aspiring politician Will Mega visited students on Tuesday to share the excitement of civic engagement.

Authorities say con man fleeced retired teachers The Inquirer
The financial adviser stole at least $4.6 million dollars, largely from Philly and Bucks County teachers.

Editorial: More bungling at the BRT The Inquirer

Letters: The case for black teachers Daily News

Letters: Hire teachers who actually know things The Inquirer

Notes from the news, Nov. 5

By Anonymous on Nov 5, 2009 10:52 AM

Ford Foundation gives $100 million to reform urban high schools LA Times
The Foundation is funding efforts in seven cities, including Philadelphia.

Strike fallout: Attendance down at some city schools Philly.com
Teacher attendance was normal, but several magnet schools reported a big dip in attendance.

At Northeast, no uniform, no classroom: Parents' ire as students detained in auditorium Daily News
A new uniform policy went into effect yesterday. Students and parents protested the policy outside, while students in street clothes spent the day in the auditorium.

See also: Northeast High uniform policy protested The Inquirer

The ABCs of choosing gifts for teachers University City Review

Happening today: Service event at West Philly High School with Wyclef Jean, Mayor Nutter, Councilwoman Blackwell, Sixers players, and others joining students to enhance the school and talk activism.

Notes from the news, Nov. 4

By Anonymous on Nov 4, 2009 10:50 AM

Phila. Students Struggle to Get to School Sans Septa KYW
35,000 School District of Philadelphia students use SEPTA, and 12,000 charter school students use it, too.

See also: Schools brace for strike fallout The Inquirer
Tens of thousands of students affected by SEPTA strike Daily News
Bike the Strike Plan Philly

School nurse urged exam of Charlenni's limp The Inquirer
The nurse at Charlenni's most recent school noticed the limp, but at her previous school the school nurse noticed signs of abuse and filed complaints with DHS.

Teachers need World Series ... for contract help The Notebook blog
The World Series was an important piece of the SEPTA negotiations. Teachers would benefit from a similar degree of pressure on the teachers' contract talks.

School District of Philadelphia celebrates groundbreaking for new West Philadelphia High School University City Review

Teachers need World Series ... for contract help

By Samuel Reed III on Nov 3, 2009 08:25 PM

Hopefully, SEPTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 234 will be able to “play ball” and resolve their pending contract negotiations. I give credit to the transit union for leveraging the Phillies and Yankees World Series while it was in town. 

Notes from the news, Nov. 3

By Anonymous on Nov 3, 2009 10:36 AM

Today is Election Day, don't forget to vote!

SEPTA Transit Workers On Strike in Philadelphia KYW
School is out for a professional development day today, but tomorrow it's up to parents to get their kids to school.

PhillyDeals: Stimulus money unlikely for city Internet plans The Inquirer
The Notebook and other local nonprofits were a part of applications for stimulus money for broadband Internet, but Comcast and telephone companies may be standing in the way.

Teen in truancy spat had eye on college Daily News
More on the incident between a junior at Frankford High and two truancy officers.

Wilma Theater Welcomes Local Students For Special Matinee of COMING HOME 11/4 Broadway World

High stakes testing arrives in PA

By Helen Gym on Nov 2, 2009 12:52 PM

Ways of tackling the drop-out crisis that raise awareness and engage youth and others in creative solutions:

Philly Student Union members cut a CD addressing the dropout crisis to raise attention to the issue and raise funds for a great organization whose 99% graduation rate is testimony enough of their success. Oh, and PSU did groundbreaking on the new West Philly school too. Check out Koby's pitch below, listen to the CD, and donate to PSU here.

Ways of tackling the drop-out crisis that do anything but:

This month the state Board of Education approved new state graduation exams for all high school students in Pennsylvania.

In case you missed it: Teacher ed, ELL, God in the stands

By Anonymous on Nov 2, 2009 12:22 PM

Teach Your Teachers Well New York Times (opinion)
The director of Williams College's teaching program, Susan Engel, suggests treating teaching like a craft, with intensive mentoring.

Students remaining in English language classes too long, study shows Los Angeles Times
Even though nearly 70% of students in ELL classes were born in the U.S., nearly 30% remain in ELL classes in high school.

Barred From Field, Religious Signs Move to Stands New York Times
Fearing a lawsuit, a Bible-belt school barred religious signs from the football field, but that did not silence revelers.

The Answer Sheet: The feuding is getting in the way Washington Post
Moving past a polarized debate is an important point to keep in mind as contract negotiations and major reform continue here, too.

Notes from the news, Nov. 2

By Anonymous on Nov 2, 2009 10:57 AM

Pa. charter school overhaul legislation proposed The Inquirer
Charters were once again front page news this weekend. A bipartisan committee recommended changes include increasing financial oversight and limiting the hiring of relatives.

Clash between truancy officers & Frankford High junior is probed Daily News
A student has accused two truancy officers of leaving him with a black eye, a bloody nose, and cuts that required stitches.

Group says transgender teen was abused in Philadelphia agency's custody The Inquirer via Allentown Morning Call
The agency is DHS, but the mistreatment took place at the Youth Study Center.

Flu absences present challenges to schools The Inquirer

The real story at West Philly High

By Eric Braxton on Oct 30, 2009 04:57 PM

West Philadelphia High School has been in the news a lot in the last few weeks. The Inquirer did a story on the turnaround at West  and Tuesday was the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building

While West still has a long way to go, there have been some great strides made in the last two years. 

The media reports, however, often miss the intricacies of what it takes to make this kind of change. 

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