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State budget passes, on Rendell's desk; unknowns remain

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Jul 1, 2010 11:27 AM

To the surprise of all pundits and observers, the legislators in Harrisburg actually passed the state budget last night, June 30. The House and Senate kicked the budget to Gov. Rendell, who is due to sign it this week.

Notes from the news, July 1

By Anonymous on Jul 1, 2010 09:56 AM

f goes public The Notebook blog
F reveals his identity: just retired Meade School principal, Frank Murphy.

Small schools still in flux The Inquirer
Second installment in a two-part series reflecting on the small high schools in Philly.

What Philadelphia parents think of and want from their children's schools Radio Times
Contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa spoke on Radio Times about the recent Pew study on school choices.

Former South Philadelphia High principal leaves district payroll The Inquirer
More than a month after resigning from South Philly, LaGreta Brown leaves the payroll. Superintendent left the door open for her to return at a lower-paying position, with proper certification.

Pennsylvania budget passes but hinges on federal support WHYY
An ontime budget! Check out posts from our new blogger Rajiv for more news on the budget.

See also: Blogging the state education budget The Notebook blog
Budget updates: Basic ed. subsidy for Philly $30 million less than expected? The Notebook blog

For students, ringing bells all mean liberty The Inquirer
The National Liberty Museum has the liberty bells students created on sale, which include a bell by Notebook blogger Samuel Reed's students.

My ISTE Reflections Practical Theory blog

Charters Kill Private Schools and Add to Taxpayer Burden Cato @ Liberty

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

Budget updates

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Jun 30, 2010 04:13 PM

John Micek, the Morning Call’s state house reporter, just posted the House Appropriations Committee’s district-by-district breakdown for basic education subsidies in the 2010-11 state budget.

In this breakdown, the Philadelphia School District is slated to receive a $64,189,949 increase in its basic education subsidy, which is approximately $30 million less than the District had projected it would receive this fiscal year: $94,905,000.

How will Philly deal with this shortfall? What planned reforms or projects now have to be reconsidered?

f goes public

By Frank Murphy on Jun 30, 2010 01:59 PM

In May of this year, I became the newest blogger with the Notebook, under the name of “f”.  

As a School District principal with an insider’s perspective on school reform efforts for the last 17 years, I was happy to be offered this opportunity. My acceptance of this offer was made under the condition that I remain anonymous until I officially retired.  Signing blog posts is an important part of the credibility and transparency of the Notebook blog, so I agreed to blog under my real name, like other Notebook bloggers, after retiring.

In my last months as a principal, it was important to me that my children, parents, and staff be removed from any distractions or retributions that could have been generated as a result of a principal publicly critiquing the school reform efforts of his School District.

Blogging the state education budget

By Rajiv Venkataramanan on Jun 30, 2010 01:20 PM

I'm Rajiv Venkataramanan and I’ll be adding my voice to the conversations taking place on the Notebook blog. I am currently the Fels Fellow at the Notebook, focusing my research and writing on the politics and economics of education funding in Pennsylvania.

Through this blog, I’ll do my best to keep an eye on funding and budget related issues, and specifically how they will affect education across the state. Today's post is about the biggest funding/budget related issue currently on everyone’s mind: the state budget.

Notes from the news, June 30

By Anonymous on Jun 30, 2010 09:58 AM

Talking About Schools Metropolis
Tom Ferrick, Jr. reflects on the Pew study on school choice, which he helped write.

See also: Pew Report: Options are growing, but parents want still more The Notebook blog
Pew: padres necesitan más opciones escolares para sus hijos Al Día
Phila. schools get poor marks in new survey 6ABC
Philly Schools From A Parents' Point Of View Fox 29

Phila. summer school kicks off with almost 58,000 enrolled The Inquirer
The $47 million SLAM program started yesterday, with more students enrolled than the original goal of 50,000.

See also: The True Cost Of Summer School Fox 29

Small Philly schools with big hopes The Inquirer
First part of a two part series looking at Philly's small high schools, four of which graduated their first classes this year. This piece compares SLA and School of the Future.

Here's what's in the state budget deal It's Our Money
Tentative budget deal still has some big unknowns, but it still includes an increase for education funding, which is $100 million less than Gov. Rendell wanted.

Retiring Franklin Institute science educator leaves behind 'legacy' Daily News
Educator Wayne E. Ransom taught museum staffers and teachers how to teach science to students.

Philadelphia youth groups come together for 2nd nonviolent flash mob The Notebook blog
Members of the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools gathered at Love Park to share their message against violence and reiterate that "We are not a flash mob."

School District, You Got It Twisted Philebrity

Fighting fat in Philadelphia schools WHYY

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Notes from the news

Pew Report: Options are growing, but parents want still more

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jun 29, 2010 05:14 PM

Those of us who have been following the education world in Philadelphia for any length of time know that it has changed drastically just in the past decade. Catholic schools are on the wane. Charter schools are on the rise. And the public school system itself has undergone huge upheavals -- a state takeover, the advent of private management in some low-performing schools, the creation of dozens of additional high schools under Paul Vallas.

Philadelphia youth groups come together for 2nd nonviolent flash mob

By Brad Gibson on Jun 29, 2010 03:09 PM

Speaking only through their T-shirts, which read “We Are Not A Flash Mob,” a group of over 30 students descended quietly and purposefully around the fountain at Love Park on Monday at 4:30 p.m. 

Notes from the news, June 29

By Anonymous on Jun 29, 2010 09:13 AM

Study: Phila. parents want more school-choice options The Inquirer
Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative polled more than 800 parents of District public, charter, and Catholic school students and found that school safety was a top concern.

See also: Pew study; Charters' boom sitting well with parents Daily News
District, nonpublic, and charter enrollment in Philadelphia The Notebook

West Philadelphia High auto-design team falls a bit short in competition The Inquirer
The team failed a qualifying test for the next round of the $10 million competition. Congrats on making it this far!

See also: Ronnie Polaneczky: Despite loss, road ahead bright for W. Philly High car team Daily News

Sen. Anthony Williams steps in at West, but still no clear resolution The Notebook blog
Williams tried to mediate tensions after the upheaval at West Philly.

Charter teachers unionize The Inquirer
Teachers at Khepera Charter School voted to unionize on Friday.

The gender gap trickles into public schools The Notebook blog
More girls are going to college, and they are graduating high school in greater numbers than boys, too.

Growing the Movement Practical Theory blog
Maybe EduCon can help; let's replicate it in cities across the country.

See also: Dissecting the 21st Century Teacher Philly Teacher blog

Crowd Sourcing and Problem Solving at ISTE 2010 Philly Teacher blog

Summer Plans A Year in the Life of a Teacher

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

Sen. Anthony Williams steps in at West, but still no clear resolution

By Benjamin Herold on Jun 28, 2010 05:38 PM

With no end in sight for the District's ongoing investigation into an alleged conflict of interest among parents on the School Advisory Council (SAC) at West Philadelphia High, State Senator Anthony H. Williams stepped into the breach last week to help mediate the lingering tensions between factions of the West community and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

The gender gap trickles into public schools

By Jamie Raver on Jun 28, 2010 04:57 PM

As the school year comes to a close and anxiety mounts for the fall, administrators, educators, and politicians focus their attention on how to increase their percentages of students who make it to the next grade. What will those classrooms look like?

Notes from the news, June 28

By Anonymous on Jun 28, 2010 09:15 AM

Giving Ackerman her due The Inquirer (opinion)
Superintendent Ackerman's friends in high places--Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, State Rep. Evans--share their support for her "outstanding progress" in her two years in Philly.

Continued shake-up for Ackerman team in Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
Several current District officials will have new positions, and a state education official returns to the District.

See also: More movement in Ackerman's cabinet The Notebook blog

South Philadelphia High aide who protected students from attack is laid off The Inquirer
The lay off is a cost saving measure. Eleven community engagement workers were laid off, and a worker with longer tenure was able to displace Violet Sutton-Lawson.

Study finds childhood obesity may be declining The Inquirer
The study, out of Temple University, finds a decline in obesity amongst kids who participated in a school-based program that encouraged physical activity and eating lower calorie foods.

See also: School-Based Efforts May Help Curb Obesity in High-Risk Kids BusinessWeek

After troubled beginnings, Camelot Schools graduates look forward to bright futures The Notebook blog
Ackerman spoke at the graduation of 272 students from Camelot's accelerated and discipline schools.

Subsidizing The Digital Divide Philly Teacher blog
Ideas about how to deal with the digital divide from the EdubloggerCon.

First ever Parent University graduates celebrate a year of hard work The Notebook blog
Parent University is a District initiative that offers free enrichment and academic classes to parents.

Philly Teenshop program encourages abstinence, education, and goals The Inquirer

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

First-ever Parent University graduates celebrate a year of hard work

By Brad Gibson on Jun 27, 2010 10:45 PM

“When you have an opportunity to better yourself and your children, take it,” said Nicola Byfield, as she spoke to her fellow graduates of Parent University.

More movement in Ackerman's cabinet

By Anonymous on Jun 25, 2010 02:28 PM

The District just published a press release detailing more movement in top District administration. The changes are effective as of July 1.

According to the press release:

  • Diane Castelbuono will return to the District as Associate Superintendent of Strategic Programs, including charter, multiple pathways, turnaround, and Renaissance Schools.
  • Tomás Hanna, who is now Chief of Staff, will be Associate Superintendent of Academics, including oversight of Academic and Accountability Office, Parent and Community Engagement, Student Support Service, and Truancy.
  • David Weiner, who is currently Chief Accountability Officer, will be Chief Academic & Accountability Officer.
  • Lucy Feria, who is currently Superintendent of the North Region, will be Deputy Chief of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs.
  • Karen Kolsky, who is currently Assistant Superintendent of the Northeast Region, will be Deputy Chief of Professional Development.

After troubled beginnings, Camelot Schools graduates look forward to bright futures

By the Notebook on Jun 25, 2010 01:58 PM

By Brad Gibson and Monika Zaleska

“You decided to become part of the solution. You decided not to become a dropout statistic,” Superintendent Arlene Ackerman told the graduating class of four alternative schools run by Camelot Wednesday morning during their commencement at Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania.

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