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Notes from the news, Jan. 14

By Anonymous on Jan 14, 2011 11:34 AM

notes from the news imageYUC report says zero tolerance a failure The Notebook blog
The report found that Black and Latino students are often targeted for discipline and that the policy makes schools less effective at educating students.

See also: Report says zero-tolerance discipline makes Philly schools less safe The Inquirer
Zero Tolerance in Schools: Good Or Bad? Fox 29
New report blasts school zero tolerance policies NewsWorks

Corbett Nominates Tomalis to lead Education Department The Inquirer
Reaching back into the Ridge administration, Governor-elect Corbett makes his selection for the state's education secretary.

See also: Corbett Opts For 'No Child' Enforcer Fox 29
 Corbett names Tomalis education secretary The Notebook blog

Getting more Philly students to file for financial aid NewsWorks
Video of Superintendent Ackerman and Mayor Nutter discussing the value of filing the FAFSA.

See also: City program to help with college-aid applications The Inquirer
Ayuda financiera puede llegar a todos los estudiantes Al Día

Mastery wants a 6th grade at Smedley, Mann The Notebook blog
Parents are happy with Mastery's turnaround of their elementary schools so far and Mastery would like to create a K-12 pipeline, but currently there is a gap with 6th grade.

Philadelphia Charter Schools Sue Over Enrollment Caps Education Week
The Notebook and Education Week recently entered a content sharing agreement. This is the first Notebook piece to be re-published on Education Week's site.

Charter School students have temporary new home 6 ABC
Global Leadership Academy will share Turner Middle School with KIPP West Philadelphia for the balance of the school year.

See also: New home for charter school, says district The Hall Monitor 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

YUC report says zero tolerance a failure

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 13, 2011 10:54 PM

The School District’s zero-tolerance discipline policy does not make school safer, creates a prison-like culture,  costs money - and it keeps students “one minor mistake away from having their life turned upside down,” according to a new report.

In case you missed it: States' grades, NCLB, teacher rankings

By Lauren Goldman on Jan 13, 2011 07:56 PM

Weighing States' School Performance, Policymaking Education Week
Gov. Rendell has been heralding Pennsylvania's "top ten" Quality Counts ranking. The state earned a B-, compared to a national C average.

Corbett names Tomalis education secretary

By Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011 05:17 PM

Governor-elect Tom Corbett nominated Ron Tomalis to be education secretary. Tomalis was an top aide in the Ridge administration's education department and a counselor to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. He is currently director of Dutko Worldwide/Whiteboard Advisers where he works with education companies.

Mastery wants a 6th grade at Smedley, Mann

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 13, 2011 02:41 PM

Mastery Charter is seeking to add a 6th grade at two of its new K-5 Renaissance schools, Mann and Smedley.

Delighted with the recent changes at their school, parents and community members on the School Advisory Council (SAC) at Mastery-Smedley are lining up in support of the move.

Notes from the news, Jan. 13

By Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011 11:31 AM

notes from the news imageMemo to Philadelphia School District officials: You're not dealing with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange here Daily News (opinion)
Another column from Phil Goldsmith who says that leaked information about District finances doesn't "justify acting as if national security is being compromised."

More charters file suits on enrollment caps The Notebook blog
Six of the 11 charters that recently received renewals of their charter have sued the District saying it is illegally capping their growth.

See also: Six more Phila. charter schools sue over enrollment caps The Inquirer

Progress report on renaissance schools NewsWorks
Benjamin Herold's reporting on data from Renaissance charter schools. If you missed his piece on WHYY yesterday, you can still listen online.

See also: The Notebook hits the airwaves The Notebook blog

Officials kick off financial-aid form completion campaign NewsWorks
The mayor and other city leaders will kick off the campaign to help raise the number of people who finish filling out the FAFSA.

Local community pitches in to help burned W. Philly charter school NewsWorks
Other charter schools are helping Global Leadership Academy gather the items they need to re-open at a new location.

Resource Centers Provide Vital Services A Broad View

Another Attempt at School Vouchers WDUQ

Notes from the field:Chicago, Philadelphia: All the Same in The Bull’s-Eye of Reform City School Stories

Research: One of the Hardest Things You'll Ever Do 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.

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

Notes from the news

More charters file suits on enrollment caps

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 12, 2011 01:35 PM

The city’s charter community, citing long waiting lists and an inability to plan, is ratcheting up pressure on the School District to approve schools’ expansion plans.

Six of the 11 charters that received renewals this year have each sued the District, claiming that it is illegally imposing caps on their growth. And at least eight of the 11 have refused to sign their charter renewals because they include enrollment caps the charter operators say they never agreed to.

The Notebook hits the airwaves

By the Notebook on Jan 12, 2011 01:18 PM

As part of the Notebook's partnership with WHYY and NewsWorks, reporter Benjamin Herold has begun preparing radio news spots on the District's Renaissance Schools

In this piece Herold discusses Mastery-Smedley Elementary, Young Scholars-Douglass, and data about how the Renaissance charters are doing so far.

Notes from the news, Jan. 12

By Anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 11:02 AM

notes from the news imageRendell assails proposed school-voucher plan The Inquirer
Rendell praised the state's investments in education and urged new state leadership not to decrease funding or pursue vouchers.

See also: Press Release: Williams, Piccola Unveil School Choice Plan Keystone State Education Coalition

Just 25 District teachers rated unsatisfactory The Notebook blog
The District has a new evaluation system, but that hasn't led to a big change in the number of teachers who ultimately get rated unsatisfactory.

How to make Philadelphia even better, one idea at a time Daily News
This new feature will run every week through Nov. 11 and starts with Mayor Nutter recommending that Philadelphians become graduation coaches.

Turnaround charters: Positive data so far The Notebook blog
Progress reports for the Renaissance Schools that are run by charter operators show improved attendance and fewer serious incidents.
Note: As part of the Notebook partnership with NewsWorks, an audio version of the story by Benjamin Herold will air in news segments at WHYY 91FM today.

Famous Black astronaut visits Taggart students Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key looks at activities at three schools and reminds students to submit their work to the Learning Key.

See also: Day Elementary boosts diverse activities Philadelphia Tribune
Art classes help Harding students rise
Philadelphia Tribune
Learning Key seeking student writing, art submissions Philadelphia Tribune

Our least-consulted experts on education The Inquirer (opinion)
District administrators have been asked for ideas on how to make up a major District budget deficit, but teachers should be asked too.

"A New Year, A New You" Inspires Parents A Broad View
Photos and more from the Les Brown talk to Parents' University.

The Good Things (and they DO exist) A Good Day Teaching blog

Schools get OK to reopen Daily News

Healthy Food Tasting at Drew K-8 School for the Let’s Move Recipe Challenge PENN Almanac

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

Just 25 District teachers rated unsatisfactory

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 11, 2011 06:43 PM

Despite steps to improve the District’s teacher evaluation system, only a tiny fraction of one percent of the School District’s nearly 11,000 teachers were rated unsatisfactory during the last two years, and fewer still were dismissed as a result, according to District data.

Turnaround charters: Positive data so far

By Benjamin Herold on Jan 11, 2011 02:37 PM

At the District’s seven new Renaissance charter schools, big changes have been met with a mostly warm reception, according to District documents recently obtained by the Notebook through the right-to-know law.

Progress reports compiled for the School Reform Commission (SRC) by the Office of Charter, Partnership and New Schools show that enrollment and average daily attendance are up at all seven schools, while the number of reported serious incidents at each school is down. 

Notes from the news, Jan. 11

By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2011 10:47 AM

notes from the news imageSchool-choice proposal will be on Senate fast track The Patriot-News
State Sen. Jeffrey Piccola plans to introduce school choice legislation this week and would like to see it in effect for next school year.

Judge tells school embezzler: Get a job, or go to jail Daily News
Former Home and School Council president Greg Wade must start paying back more of his restitution for embezzling over $100,000 from the group.

See also: Phila. embezzler gets a choice: Get a job or go to jail The Inquirer

Pitching you the news The Notebook blog
Spot.us is a service that helps readers support journalism. Would you spend a few minutes to complete two surveys and apply the credits (which then turn into cash!) to support Ben Herold's coverage of West Philly High?

Notes from the field-The School Performance Index: It Doesn’t Add Up City School Stories
The SPI rankings of District schools were posted online, but the final rankings don't make sense to Meade Elementary's former principal.

Advanced Placement courses new norm for college Philadelphia Tribune
The number of students taking AP tests has grown by 50 percent in the past five years.

Uncertain future for W. Phila. school after fire 6 ABC
Classes are suspended till next Tuesday. The District offered a school building in Graduate Hospital, but most Global Leadership Academy students live in West Philly.

See also: After fire, West Philly charter school looking for new home NewsWorks

Students Sold on Roxborough Web Design Class Roxborough-Manayunk Patch

Reach Back, Push Forward At Phila. High School Fox 29

Philadelphia School District Urges Employees to Keep Mum New America Media

No excusing teacher-pupil affairs The Inquirer (opinion)

Fordham Institute:What's the Place of Accountability in School Voucher Programs?/Research for Action: Vouchers - Facts, Figures, and a Summary of the Research/Univ.of Arkansas:New Report Finds Little Difference Between Charters, Regular School Achievement Keystone State Education Coalition

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

Pitching you the news

By Gustavo Martínez on Jan 10, 2011 03:15 PM

Recently, Notebook reporter Benjamin Herold reached out to the Spot.Us community to help fund the coverage of the West Philadelphia High School turnaround saga.

You, mis amigos, are very familiar with the fine work Ben produces here in this space. His stories dig deep and help the public understand what is happening at West and with the Renaissance Schools process. And that is the kind of work the Spot.Us community helps fund.

Yet, you might not be familiar with our friends at Spot.Us.

Notes from the news, Jan. 10

By Anonymous on Jan 10, 2011 11:21 AM

notes from the news imageAckerman is seeking to intensify lobbying The Inquirer
Ackerman wants to hire a lobbying firm to "help educate" state legislators about the Districts programs and successes.

Fire destroys West Philadelphia charter school Daily News
Global Leadership Academy Charter School caught fire Sunday morning. Later that day the District issued a statement that they are readying a vacant District school building for the academy to use temporarily.

See also: Charter School Burns In Parkside Fox 29
Fire rips through West Philadelphia charter school The Inquirer
School 'Can't Be Salvaged' After Fire Fox 29
En llamas escuela charter del oeste de Filadelfia Al Día
5-alarm fire at West Philly charter school AP via Centre Daily Times

How did the School District get into this budget mess? NewsWorks
Phil Goldsmith discusses the budget in the weekly It's Our Money podcast.

See also: Phila. School District face budget shortfall 6 ABC
Philly Schools Face Up To $430M Deficit Fox 29

Do you have any tips for us? The Notebook blog
Last week an anonymous commenter posted the staff memo reiterating the District's ethics policy. We welcome tips and information from our readers.

Youths need a Civics 101 in Pa. schools The Inquirer (opinion)
A yearlong, required civics class for all Pennsylvania students would help students learn how government works and follow current events.

Summary of Key Features of Proposed Senate Bill 1 - "Opportunity Scholarship Act"; Public Hearing scheduled for Feb. 9th Keystone State Education Coalition blog
This group covers issues of interest to state legislative politics.

See also: Two new reports from the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education Keystone State Education Coalition blog
Pennsylvania leaders push plan for school vouchers/Pittsburgh mentors, money fuel education/Rethinking Advanced Placement/Voucher Studies/Zero Tolerance Keystone State Education Coalition blog

Fattah busca que estudiantes de Filadelfia sean exitosos Al Día

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

Do you have any tips for us?

By Anonymous on Jan 7, 2011 01:26 PM

Last night a Notebook reader anonymously posted as a comment on our website an image of the memo to 440 staff reiterating the District's ethics policy. Thanks to that reader for sharing a copy of the memo. We welcome the exchange of materials and tips in the comments on our blog,  so if you have other materials or tips to share, please do.

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