Click Here
view counter

The superintendent's contract extension: Another misstep for the SRC

By Helen Gym on Mar 1, 2011 02:27 PM

The announcement by the School Reform Commission that it will extend Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s contract through June 2014 sends a terrible message about the SRC’s approach to the most serious financial disaster the District has seen in recent memory.

The move effectively preserves one of the most lucrative pay packages for a public employee in the state, flying in the face of a national bipartisan trend toward curbing exorbitant compensation for school chiefs.

Notes from the news, Mar. 1

By Anonymous on Mar 1, 2011 10:46 AM

notes from the news imageReport: Phila. school violence cuts learning The Inquirer
The city's Commission on Human Relations' report found that violence is "a system-wide problem." The report is based on 11 community meetings the commission held after the violence at South Philly High.

See also: Human Relations Commission to release findings on violence in schools The Hall Monitor blog

ACLU wants to hear about retaliation for speaking out Daily News
The ACLU wants to hear from teachers who have witnessed or experienced retaliation for speaking out about planned school reforms.

Is Friday's rally the beginning of a new movement? The Notebook blog
Hundreds of people rallied for public education on Friday, and this energy and organization could signal a revived movement.

See also: Students and Teachers Demand their Concerns about Schools "Reforms" Be Heard Philly Education Justice blog
Notes from the Field-TAG Speaks Up: Can You Hear Us Now? City School Stories
Proud To Be A Philadelphia Teacher A Good Day Teaching blog

The Ackerman renewal: Just another financial misstep Daily News (opinion)
Helen Gym writes that the automatica one-year extension on Ackerman's contract sends a "terrible message" during a time of fiscal crisis.

Notebook bloggers win national award The Notebook blog
The Notebook blog won an Education Writer's Association award for community blogging. Congrats to Notebook staff and bloggers!

At conference, education, labor secretaries warn about declining college graduation rate The Inquirer
A town-hall meeting on community college took place at CCP yesterday.

See also: Community college summit The 1600 Report blog
Harnessing community colleges The Inquirer (opinion)
Secretaries of Education, Labor visit Community College of Philadelphia WHYY/NewsWorks
Duncan, Solis promote job-college collaborations CNBC

Meetings with turnaround teams start Tuesday The Notebook blog
The Renaissance Schools provider finalists will start giving presentations to Renaissance Match schools today.

Students Accused Of Stealing 60 Laptops Fox 29
The students are accused of stealing 60 laptops from West Philly High.

See also: Teens nabbed for selling school computers on Craigslist The Inquirer
Cops Nab Teens Trying to Sell Stolen Laptops on Craigslist NBC Philadelphia
Thieves arrested in West Philadelphia High theft
Philadelphia Tribune

Lawmakers to vote on voucher bill  [today] The Hall Monitor blog

SB1 - A Taxpayer Funded Bailout of Struggling Parochial Schools? Keystone State Education Coalition

Annette John-Hall: Ganging up at an anti-bullying event The Inquirer

How renaissance status could benefit Audenried The Workshop blog

City could lose $150M in federal aid, Nutter says Daily News

Philly students lagging in science survey Daily News

Young Scientists Explore Their World A Broad View

A Great Week Indeed, For People Who Read NBC Philadelphia

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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

Meetings with turnaround teams start Tuesday

By Dale Mezzacappa on Feb 28, 2011 06:25 PM

School Advisory Councils and community members at six schools designated for outside management as part of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's Renaissance Schools turnaround initiative will have the chance to meet with prospective providers starting tomorrow.

A series of forums at the six "Renaissance Match" schools starts with Olney East High School tomorrow night and concludes Wednesday, March 9 at Birney Elementary.

Notebook bloggers win national award

By Anonymous on Feb 28, 2011 04:26 PM

The Notebook has won second prize in the community blogging category of the Education Writers Association National Education Reporting Awards.

The winning entry included 10 posts written by both regular Notebook bloggers and guest bloggers: Ron Whitehorne, Molly Thacker, Caroline Ebby, James "Torch" Lytle, Shania Morris, Marsha Pincus, and Helen Gym.

It also acknowledges the editorial staff for the blog: Erika Owens, web editor, who compiled the prize-winning entry, along with Paul Socolar, Dale Mezzacappa, and Wendy Harris. Congratulations to the Notebook staff and blogging team!

Is Friday's rally the beginning of a new movement?

By Ron Whitehorne on Feb 28, 2011 02:23 PM

Video from Nuala Cabral, independent filmmaker and educator

Last Friday’s demonstration, which brought over 500 people to District headquarters on the heels of student walkouts at three city high schools and an outpouring of community opposition at an Audenreid community meeting, signals the emergence of a new level of opposition to the District’s school reform process.

Notes from the news, Feb. 28

By Anonymous on Feb 28, 2011 11:08 AM

notes from the news image'More collaboration. No intimidation.' The Notebook blog
The rally for public education, organized by the Teacher Action Group, brought hundreds to 440 N. Broad on Friday afternoon.

See also: Teachers, students, parents rally against plans in Philadelphia The Inquirer
Rally for public education, [Friday] at 4 The Notebook blog
Teachers, students to rally at District HQ The Notebook blog

Ackerman’s contract extended to 2014 Philadelphia Tribune
The SRC announced the automatic contract extension Friday evening.

See also: Contract extension for the superintendent The Notebook blog
Se extiende el contrato de superintendente Al Día
Philadelphia schools chief set to receive automatic contract extension The Inquirer

Day 4 in isolation: Teacher Hope Moffett gets some air Daily News
Opening a window made the Moffett's reassignment center more pleasant. She also attended and spoke at the rally for public education.

See also: Teacher removed for supporting students UPI

Inquirer Editorial: Voucher bill doesn't pass The Inquirer
The state senate education committee is expected to vote on the voucher bill this week.

See also: SB1 Vote Tomorrow; Voucher coverage and opinion around PA Keystone State Education Coalition

Seeking stability at Germantown High WHYY/NewsWorks
Germantown High's principal is optimistic about the school's Renaissance turnaround.

Keeping standards high at Boys Latin The Inquirer
Boys' Latin Charter School will graduate its first class this year and already more than half of the students have been accepted to college.

Duncan visits Philly for community college summit AP via Centre Daily Times
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will host the first of four town-hall forums at community colleges around the country at CCP today.

See also: U.S. secretaries of Labor and Education come to Philadelphia WHYY/NewsWorks
Solis and Duncan to visit city Monday Voice of Philadelphia

New coalition launches campaign to preserve education funding The Notebook blog
The coalition includes a variety of partners helping to make the case for adequate funding for Philly schools.

Giving 3d graders the reading habit The Inquirer

Technology and the Whole Child Practical Theory blog

It's Time to Take Our Schools Back Philly Teacher blog

Abbottsford, Allegheny leaders desperate to halt violence Daily News

Kindergarten open houses March 1 West Philly Local

Charter Schools: Public Education With a Twist Mt. Airy Patch

Taking a Hands-On Approach to Water A Broad View

College aid is an economic engine The Inquirer (opinion)

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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

Contract extension for the superintendent

By Paul Socolar on Feb 25, 2011 11:40 PM

Shortly after crowds dispersed from what may have been the largest organized protest ever at the School District's current headquarters, a statement issued by the School Reform Commission Friday afternoon announced that Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's contract has been extended for a year - through June 2014.

'More collaboration. No intimidation.'

By Paul Socolar on Feb 25, 2011 08:25 PM

Braving a bitter wind on Broad Street, a diverse and vocal crowd of hundreds of demonstrators tried to send a message to District officials Friday - they're tired of being excluded from important decisions and angry that they see the District  squelching dialogue about its plans instead of encouraging it.

The protest action at District headquarters Friday follows a series of student walkouts and heated community meetings this month in response to District proposals to radically overhaul 18 schools as part of its Renaissance Schools plan.

New coalition launches campaign to preserve education funding

By Wendy Harris on Feb 25, 2011 06:24 PM

A new local coalition called “Our Students, Our Philly, Our Futurelaunched a campaign at District headquarters Thursday that will call on state legislators to continue investing in public education.

The coalition – now at 12 members, but growing – consists of state representatives, business leaders, parents, clergy, and students, and has several sponsors, including SEPTA, Clear Channel Outdoors, Independence Blue Cross, PRWT Services, Inc., and the School District of Philadelphia.

Teachers, students to rally at District HQ

By Benjamin Herold on Feb 25, 2011 02:39 PM

Hope Moffett's stay in so-called "teacher jail" will be extended til next Wednesday, when she will have a hearing with District officials that could result in a recommendation that she be fired.

But with teachers and students planning to rally at District headquarters this afternoon, Moffett remained adamant that the larger issue is not about the District's reassignment of her and another teacher out of the classroom and into "solitary confinement" in a basement room in a District administrative office.

Germantown hopes for smooth 'Renaissance'

By the Notebook on Feb 25, 2011 12:41 PM

by Bill Hangley, Jr.

In some city schools, the Philadelphia School District’s so-called Renaissance process has been anything but smooth. In recent weeks, students at West Philadelphia, Martin Luther King and Audenried High Schools have walked out in protest of the District’s Renaissance plans.

A teacher at Audenried was reassigned to the District’s “rubber room” because of her role supporting her school’s walkout. An advocate organization has scheduled a rally at District headquarters today to call for an end to “intimidation” of teachers and students who are critical of Renaissance policies.

But if the process has roiled emotions elsewhere in the city, so far the transition has been quiet at Germantown High, and principal Margaret Mullen hopes it stays that way.

This story continues on the NewsWorks website; it is a product of a reporting collaboration between the Notebook and WHYY.

Rally for public education, today at 4

By Guest blogger on Feb 25, 2011 11:27 AM

This guest blog comes from Mary E. Del Savio a former teacher and current graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate school of education.

Today, Friday, February 25 at 4 p.m., when teachers, students, and community members rally at District Headquarters to protest the lack of voice they have been given in the school reform process, I will be in attendance.


Notes from the news, Feb. 25

By Anonymous on Feb 25, 2011 11:02 AM

notes from the news image10 essential questions on school vouchers Daily News (opinion)
Outline of the key questions and issues surrounding the voucher discussion.

See also: DN Editorial: The case against the voucher bill Daily News
Superintendents, School Choice and Budgets PoliticsPA
PENNSYLVANIANS OPPOSED TO VOUCHERS - 17 organizations Keystone State Education Coalition

Coalition fights for Phila. school funding The Inquirer
Former SRC Chair Sandra Dungee Glenn presided over the debut of a new education coalition, Protect Public Education.

See also: Coalition to lobby Harrisburg, seeking to spare Philly schools from funding cuts Daily News

On Day 4 of detention, still not giving up Hope Daily News
Hope Moffett's scheduled "investigatory conference" yesterday was postponed to next week. She remains assigned to the High School Academic Division.

Black students’ sciences scores lagging Philadelphia Tribune
The Nation's Report Card test score results for science show a racial achievement gap and that Philly students are behind other urban districts.

See also: How Philly Ranks On Science Report Card Fox 29

Standing up for teachers, standing up for our schools Young Philly Politics
The rally for education is today at 4 p.m. at 440 N. Broad.

An afterschool experience The Notebook blog
Peak Johnson writes about his experience as a participant and a teacher in Project H.O.M.E.'s afterschool program.

Let Them Do it Their Way Philly Teacher blog
A student's unconventional response to an assignment is an opportunity to rethink doing everything "just like teacher."

Math, History and Marginal Tax Rates Practical Theory blog

Inside Ackerman's gulag Attytood

Student Scientists Show Off Their Skills A Broad View blog

School raises money for equipment after devastating fire Philadelphia Tribune

Stetser Elementary kids provide food to homeless, elderly Philadelphia Tribune

Self-Doubt in the Workplace Making the Grade blog

The Biggest Embarrassment in Philadelphia? West Philly Local

Burglars hit West Philly High Philadelphia Tribune

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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

An afterschool experience

By Peak Johnson on Feb 24, 2011 02:58 PM

Sometimes I think of what my life would be like, or how it would have turned out, if I had not attended and ultimately become a teacher assistant with Project H.O.M.E.'s afterschool program, located at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs.

Notes from the news, Feb. 24

By Anonymous on Feb 24, 2011 11:11 AM

notes from the news imageThe Biggest Embarrassment in Philadelphia The Philly Post
In the past two weeks, students walked out of West Philly High, a program that placed Penn students as tutors at the school withdrew, and 60 computers were stolen from the school.

See also: Thieves steal 60 computers from Phila. high school
60 Computers Stolen From High School Fox 29
West Philly High—Up for another Makeover UC Review

District allegation against Moffett: 'Endangering safety and welfare of children' The Notebook blog
Exiled Audenried teacher Hope Moffett received a letter explaining more about why she is being disciplined and to schedule a hearing.

See also: Teacher sent to 'solitary confinement' after ripping school district Daily News
No talking out of school Daily News
A tale of two free-speaking teachers Attytood
Fighting For A High School Community's Right To Be Heard The Huffington Post
Letters: What's really going on with the Audenried High School transformation in Philadelphia? Daily News

TalkChalk: In education, “If you take the approach that Facebook is evil, you will lose,” says David Simnick Technically Philly
Simnick is a teacher at Young Scholars Charter School and TalkChalk is a platform to help turn social media into an educational tool.

Pennsylvania auditor general won't probe no-bid contract flap The Inquirer
The auditor general said he's not pursuing the no-bid contract allegations against the District because he "has reason to believe" that two other government agencies are investigating the issue.

Mastery ascends to national stage The Notebook blog
This piece was originally published by Politics Daily and was produced by the Notebook with support from The Hechinger Report.

Dr. Ackerman Honored By Peers With The Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award UC Review
Ackerman received the award from the American Association of School Administrators.

ACTION United meets with top District staff The Notebook blog
Ackerman was unable to attend a scheduled meeting with ACTION United's parent organizers, but the organizers did meet with other staff and rescheduled a time to meet with Ackerman.

Notes from the field-“We will NOT be intimidated!”  City School Stories
A rally for public education is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. at 440 N. Broad.

Philadelphia School District backs out of contract for $1.1 million applicant-tracking system The Inquirer

Questions, Curiosities, Concerns Surrounding Germantown High's Changing Status Chestnut Hill Patch

Education Law Center's Position on SB1 Keystone State Education Coalition

JROTC Competition Displays Discipline, Determination A Broad View blog

Teachers May Be Souring On Career Fox 29

Teens Worldwide Use the Web to Connect A Broad View 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.

Click here to get Notes from the news in your inbox every day.

Notes from the news

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy