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Second group of Renaissance Schools announced

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 24, 2011 11:08 PM

UPDATED 6:00 pm: The District has announced two new turnaround models and a total of 18 new Renaissance Schools.

In a departure from its process during the first year of the Renaissance initiative, the District has already assigned each of the schools to one of four turnaround models, including two new variations on the District-managed Promise Academy model.

The schools:

Renaissance Schools II

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2011 07:29 PM

This post is your quick annotated reference for news and resources on the second cohort of Renaissance Schools.

Philly parents' long-anticipated date with Ackerman approaching

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 24, 2011 02:22 PM

Arlene Ackerman has agreed to a February 4 date for a public forum/meeting with interested parents and community members sponsored by ACTION United.

Notes from the news, Jan. 24

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2011 11:04 AM

notes from the news imageSpeculating on likely Renaissance Schools The Notebook blog
The District hasn't said how it will identify Renaissance Schools this year, but we can use the School Performance Index results and the process the District used last year to speculate on which schools may be on the list.

Pursuing an elusive prize: valid school choice NewsWorks (opinion)
The state senate bill to fund vouchers for low-income students in Pennsylvania needs "serious improvements," but it is a starting place for conversation about real school choice.

See also: WITF Video "The School Choice Debate" Keystone State Education Coalition

Inquirer Editorial: Some schools must close The Inquirer
With a budget deficit looming, "the District needs to close and consolidate schools."

Education and Labor - Pensions Practical Theory blog
Prompted by a post about states declaring bankruptcy to get out of pension obligations, this piece discusses the role of benefits and union contracts.

Kindergarten Registration A Very Public Education
Registration opens today.

Charter schools expand with public, private money AP via Philadelphia Tribune

Dissent Magazine: Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools Keystone State Education Coalition

Modern Schools Practical Theory blog

Perspective - The Autodidact and Khan Academy Practical Theory blog

Black History Month Science Field Trip Brings Science to the Forefront A Broad View

Substitute Teacher Hell Metropolis

Students Run Philly Style A Very Public Education

Inside-out school reform The Workshop 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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Notes from the news

Speculating on likely Renaissance Schools

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 21, 2011 03:34 PM

Which low-performing schools will be slated for turnaround in round two of the District’s Renaissance Schools initiative?

While there is still no official word from the District, recently posted School Performance Index (SPI) data provide some possible clues.  

Notes from the news, Jan. 21

By Anonymous on Jan 21, 2011 11:04 AM

notes from the news imageController: School district owes $20M in taxes to feds, state and city Daily News
The city says a method the District has been using to avoid paying taxes on money paid to retired and resigned employees is illegal.

Inquirer Editorial: Charter feud must end The Inquirer
Instead of fighting, charters and the District should "come together" and weigh the issues of charter enrollment.

Voucher bill lists eligible schools The Notebook blog
There are 144 schools throughout the state on the list and of those 88 are from Philly.

Displaced students make the rounds of city's cultural spots NewsWorks
As Global Leadership Academy students adjust to a new building, they have also explored other parts of the city on field trips.

Imagine Great Schools A Very Public Education
An update from the District provides the dates and times of the next round of facilities master plan community meetings.

Have you seen Chelsea Ramsey? The Hall Monitor blog

Green Woods Charter School will relocate by 2012 NewsWorks

Krashen & Ohanian:protect children from poverty before we discuss pedagogy Keystone State Education Coalition

Choice Cuts Week Ending 2011-01-21: We Made the Cut! Philly School Search

This is Why I Blog/Tweet/Use Social Media Philly Teacher 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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Notes from the news

In case you missed it: Truancy, NCLB, tiger moms

By Lauren Goldman on Jan 20, 2011 05:49 PM

Suit targets Lebanon School District's fines for truancy The Patriot-News
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and NAACP have filed suit against the Lebanon School District for unjust truancy policies with fines and jail time that have exceeded state law. 

Voucher bill lists eligible schools

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 20, 2011 02:36 PM

Senate Bill 1, the voucher bill that is the top educational priority of the new administration in Harrisburg, lists 144 schools whose students will be eligible for vouchers if they meet certain income limits.

Of that total, 88 are in Philadelphia.

The list is interesting:

Notes from the news, Jan. 20

By Anonymous on Jan 20, 2011 11:05 AM

notes from the news imageMasch: 'We do not have a budget crisis' The Notebook blog
The District CFO would not put a number on the estimated deficit for next year. He explained the District is taking "corrective actions" to address the shortfall much earlier than usual.

See also: School district says it can balance budget Daily News
School District of Philadelphia Outlines Financial Road Map Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
Philly Schools Map Out Financial Future Chestnut Hill Patch

70,000 empty seats in Philadelphia School District classrooms The Inquirer
A new analysis raised the number of empty seats from 45,000.

See also: New estimate: District has 70,000 empty seats The Notebook blog
Filadelfia tiene 70.000 asientos vacíos en las escuelas Al Día

Corbett appears set to push school vouchers The Inquirer
A line in the new governor's inaugural address seems to spell out his voucher plans: "we must embrace innovation, competition, and choice in our education system."

See also: Voucher opponents ready for a fight in Pennsylvania NewsWorks
RFA Contributes to Discourse on Educational Vouchers RFA blog
Inky and PPG: Vouchers Keystone State Education Coalition

PA House Standing Committee Assignments Announced Keystone State Education Coalition
A few new names on the education committee. State Rep. Clymer is chair.

Notes from the field-An Empowerment School Struggles to Make Its Mark City School Stories
A post from a teacher in an Empowerment School who is dealing with the Corrective Reading curriculum.

Letters: Philadelphia Daily News editorial misses the boat on charter-school reform Daily News

Employee Focus: Justin Green A Broad View

School Reform Commission Meeting [Wednesday] A Broad View

Philly School Search Featured on Local News [Video] Philly School Search

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

Masch: 'We do not have a budget crisis'

By Paul Socolar on Jan 20, 2011 12:35 AM

Presenting a "second quarter financial report" to the School Reform Commission on Wednesday, District Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch stuck with the District's recent stance and declined to estimate the size of an anticipated massive budget gap facing the system next school year.

New estimate: District has 70,000 empty seats

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 19, 2011 06:42 PM

There are now 70,000 empty seats in District schools, according to data presented to the School Reform Commission Wednesday - more than are in Lincoln Financial Field.

With a current student population around 155,000, this means that buildings currently being owned and maintained by the District are nearly one-third empty.

Everybody's children; Other people's money

By Frank Murphy on Jan 19, 2011 03:32 PM

In the 2011 school year and going forward, the probability that a major financial shortfall will cripple the operations of the School District of Philadelphia is increasingly becoming a certainty.

Circumstances beyond the control of the District’s money managers will soon significantly reduce the operational income needed to fund essential instructional programs.

In order to balance a much-diminished budget, it is likely that services will be slashed. These cuts will be deep. It may be necessary to increase class sizes, reduce staff, and close schools in order to cope with the impact of this impending crisis.

Notes from the news, Jan. 19

By Anonymous on Jan 19, 2011 10:58 AM

notes from the news imageTop 10 Philadelphia school stories for 2010 Daily News (opinion)
The Daily News republishes a version of Helen Gym's blog post of top stories.

DIY movement: Teachers and students as makers The Notebook blog
The National Writing Project and MAKE magazine have created a pilot project to help students explore writing and making.

Classroom meets real world at Lincoln High Philadelphia Tribune
This week's learning key looks at the variety of programs offered at Lincoln, the Musicopia String program, and the Keystone Achievement Award.

See also: High school students find ‘good crowd’ at Musicopia Philadelphia Tribune
94 district schools receive top academic honors from state Philadelphia Tribune

King Day observances tout service, education Philadelphia Tribune
At a luncheon hosted by Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence education was a theme. Mayor Nutter urged the news media to focus on improvements in the District.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding: The Divisive Language of School Reform City School Stories
A second look at two recent quotations about education.

Philly School Search: Choice Cuts Week of 2011-01-14 Philly School Search
Philly School Search shared some news items and new features over the long weekend.

See also: Social School Search On YouTube and Facebook Philly School Search
Teacher Salaries USA vs. the World [Infographic] Philly School Search

Lights...Camera...Action! A Broad View
The high school film festival is now accepting applications.

Education news nuggets The Hall Monitor blog

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day A Broad View

RockTheCapitol: Is School Choice the right formula for Pennsylvania Keystone State Education Coalition

More on the PISA results..... Keystone State Education Coalition

Charming Shoppes Spreads Abundance of Warmth and Cheer A Broad View

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

DIY movement: Teachers and students as makers

By Samuel Reed III on Jan 18, 2011 03:37 PM

Imagine a learning space where teachers and students collaborate on making stuff, document their tinkering, and disseminate their knowledge to a community of other makers. Could this type of learning be a viable alternative to the dominate test preparation culture found in many schools? Would engaging students in Do It Yourself (DIY) culture provide better context to improve reading, writing, and critical thinking skills?

No more Ms. Nice Mom

By Deborah Russell... on Jan 18, 2011 02:53 PM

So back to the issue of parenting – from the standpoint of a “guest teacher,” the 21st century term for a substitute teacher.

Last week I had my first day working for the District at a high school in North Philly, and it was quite an adventure. I subbed for a Biology teacher and assumed that a science class would yield eager, attentive kids seeking to untangle the wonders of the life sciences.

During the first period that notion was dispelled quickly.

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