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Clearing the record on Evans' comments

By the Notebook on Mar 23, 2011 02:19 PM

On Tuesday, Rep. Dwight Evans told the Philadelphia Daily News that the Notebook misquoted him in reporting that he had “taken credit” for convincing Mosaica to turn down an opportunity to run Martin Luther King High as a charter. He also denied ever confirming that he had continued to lobby on behalf of King’s current nonprofit manager, Foundations Inc., even after the School Reform Commission voted on March 16 to replace Foundations with Mosaica.

Notes from the news, Mar. 23

By Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 09:03 AM

notes from the news imageWas Evans bully in MLK charter-operator choice? Daily News
State Rep. Dwight Evans now says he "had nothing to do with Mosaica backing out" after the SRC awarded it King High and denies telling the Notebook that he was "like a bulldog with a bone" in continuing to make the case for Foundations.

Phila. students draft rules for safety and a voice on policy The Inquirer
The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools released its platform yesterday, which includes recommendations on how to improve climate in Philly schools.

See also: Campaña para Escuelas sin Violencia lanza su plataforma Al Día

Pa. bills would ease district mandates Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via
State Senator Piccola says the budget deficit is "an opportunity to unshackle public schools" from some state mandates.

Kearny students strive for excellence Philadelphia Tribune
This week's Learning Key includes a look at Kearny Elementary, the regional spelling bee, and the CORA afterschool program.

See also: Local kids are champs in Spelling Bee Philadelphia Tribune
Program offers ‘real world’ experience
Philadelphia Tribune
School district announces inclement weather make-up days
Philadelphia Tribune

Top five myths about Senate Bill 1 Daily News (opinion)
State Senator Anthony Williams responds to some of the common reactions to the voucher bill.

See also: Learn all about Pennsylvania school vouchers at informational event March 24 Daily News

TAG community budget forum Wednesday The Notebook blog
The event is tonight at 48th and Baltimore and will include a panel discussion with people from several organizations.

See also: Teacher group to host community budget mtg The Hall Monitor blog

2011 Philly Spring Cleanup A Broad View blog

Standardized Tests Challenged by PA Mom A Very Public Education blog

Mandate Relief Keystone State Education Coalition

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Notes from the news

Charter School Invade and Retreat; Another Helps a Turkish Personality While A Teacher Talks Trash

By Deborah Russell... on Mar 22, 2011 09:42 PM

Parents have a lot to think about this week as it relates to charters.

Georgia Charter-School Operator Nixes Martin Luther King; Sticks w/Birney

The company - Mosiac Turnaround Partners - were awareded two schools to turn charter by the SRC, MLK high school and Birney Elementary. On the day of the announcement the company abruptly dropped its plans to work with MLK and instead said it would only work on the elementary level.

TAG community budget forum Wednesday

By Guest blogger on Mar 22, 2011 11:37 AM

This guest blog post comes from Philadelphia public school teacher Joe Ciesielski of the Teacher Action Group.

With the recent announcement of Governor Corbett's budget plan, the School District of Philadelphia is anticipating a deficit of $456 million next year. Drastic changes are on the way. Many observers anticipate school closings, massive layoffs, significant cuts to school budgets, and an increase in class sizes. On March 23 several groups are coming together for a community budget forum to discuss how to deal with the deficit.

Why teachers like me support unions

By Timothy Boyle on Mar 22, 2011 09:22 AM

Today is EduSolidarity Day. The idea behind this action is for teachers across the nation to answer the question “Why do teachers like me support unions?” Here is my answer.

Notes from the news, Mar. 22

By Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 09:00 AM

notes from the news imageMiss Moffett's return to the classroom Daily News
Yesterday was Hope Moffett's first day back in her Audenried classroom and students greeted her with a special lunch and presents.

See also: Audenried teacher has "an ideal teaching day" on her return from suspension The Inquirer
Elmer Smith: Hope is free. And that makes a difference how? Daily News
Ronnie Polaneczky: Hope, you did the crime, now lose the time Daily News
Philadelphia ‘Rubber Room’ Teacher Heads Back To School, District Seeks Suspension CBS Philly
Reprimanded teacher returns to classroom
Philadelphia Tribune
Outspoken Philly Teacher Back On Job Fox 29

Is it time for the SRC to go? The Notebook blog
With the state takeover, Philly got an appointed School Reform Commission rather than an elected school board. It may be time to rethink that governance structure.

In Support of Teachers Unions Practical Theory blog
Today is EduSolidarity day, a day where teachers across the web stand up in support of unions.

See also: Why teachers like me support unions The Notebook blog
Solidarity Forever Making the Grade blog

Campaign for Nonviolent Schools' platform launch Tuesday The Notebook blog
The campaign will share its platform at an event at the United Way building this afternoon.

See also: Fund Our Schools, Not Prisons PSU Blog

Notes from the Field-TAG Sponsors Community Budget Forum City School Stories
This post includes the list of panelists for the forum tomorrow.

See also: Important school reform meeting set for Wednesday in West Philly West Philly Local

More on Foundations and King High The Notebook blog

District: Violent, underperforming schools must change Philadelphia Tribune

PA auditor to Philly schools: how'd you lose so much? PhillyDeal$

Philly School District Standardized Test Promo Video Channels… Fabolous! Philebrity

Vouchers news roundup Keystone State Education Coalition

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Campaign for Nonviolent Schools' platform launch Tuesday

By Anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 01:58 PM

The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools is a youth-led coalition that is launching its platform at the United Way Building Tuesday. The campaign's platform is organized around:

Is it time for the SRC to go?

By Ron Whitehorne on Mar 21, 2011 01:32 PM

This is the first installment in a three-part series about governance of the Philadelphia schools.

For almost 10 years Philadelphia schools have been governed by a five-member commission selected by the governor, who appoints the majority, and the mayor, who gets two appointments. The citizens of Philadelphia, unique in the commonwealth, have no say in the selection of this body and no way, short of discharging the governor, of removing its members.

More on Foundations and King High

By the Notebook on Mar 21, 2011 12:00 PM

by Bill Hangley, Jr.

This piece was published by NewsWorks Friday, March 18.

When John Henderson of Foundations Inc. walks into Martin Luther King High today, he knows he’ll meet some angry people. His message: don’t blame us.

“[People] have to entertain the notion that Mosaica withdrew,” said Henderson, Foundations’ chief spokesperson. “That put us all in the situation that I don’t think any of us were prepared for.”

Foundations is the nonprofit organization that has managed King, a neighborhood high school of about 1,000 students, since 2003. Wednesday, it appeared to have lost that job for good after the School Reform Commission (SRC) voted to hand King over to a competing charter operator, Mosaica Education, as part of the District’s Renaissance school turnaround program.

The SRC’s decision followed weeks of work by King’s volunteer School Advisory Council (SAC), which endorsed Mosaica over Foundations by an 8-1 vote.

But not 24 hours after Mosaica officially won the job, District officials made a surprise announcement: Mosaica was giving up King, saying it wanted to focus its energy on another school it was awarded, Birney Elementary.

It soon emerged that the moving force behind the decision was Rep. Dwight Evans, who responded to Mosaica’s apparent victory by lobbying hard on behalf of Foundations, his longtime partner in Northwest education projects. With Evans as an ally, Foundations has grown deep roots in the Northwest, running after-school programs and providing services to charter schools. Its executives have raised thousands of dollars in campaign funds for Evans over the years. Foundations considers King its “flagship” school.

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

Notes from the news, Mar. 21

By Anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 08:57 AM

notes from the news imageMoffett to return to Audenried Monday The Notebook blog
The District and the PFT settled the federal case and agreed to let Hope Moffett return. How Moffett will describe the situation to her students is still at issue since the settlement says she must tell her students she "failed" them.

See also:Moffett’s return to classroom faces possible complication The Inquirer
Audenried teacher back to work Monday 6 ABC
Hope Moffett heading back to Audenried classroom Daily News
District, restored teacher still differ The Inquirer
School District Agrees to a Settlement in Free-Speech Lawsuit Filed by the Teachers’ Union PRNewswire

Inquirer Editorial: Don't target good teachers The Inquirer
The bill currently in the state legislature is too flawed to help much, but it "makes sense" to think about other factors than tenure in laying off teachers.

Inquirer Editorial: City schools still too violent The Inquirer
An independent monitor of school violence and climate should return to the Philly schools.

See also: Schools are failing to keep students safe The Inquirer (opinion)

Philadelphia Public School Officials Meet With Community Members Over Budget Cuts CBS Philly
The second community budget meeting was held at South Philly High.

See also: Priorities or Chop Block? Making the Grade blog

Save the National Writing Project Practical Theory blog
The NWP is one of the programs cut in a federal budget bill.

U.S. charter-school network with Turkish link draws federal attention The Inquirer
The FBI and Departments of Labor and Education are investing a charter provider that may be sending kickbacks to a Muslim organization, Hizmet.

See also: Charter schools' foreign ties probed UPI

Corbett budget hurts health, education, Phila. official says The Inquirer

Prez reacts to Corbett's ed funding cuts  The Hall Monitor blog

Dafney Tales chats the Philadelphia School District  The Hall Monitor blog

Will Smith, Charlie Mack donate computers to West Philly High Philadelphia Tribune

PhillyInc: Wharton School launching website for high school students The Inquirer

Voucher news roundup Keystone State Education Coalition

Parent Asks, “Talk to me about city schools” Philly School Search

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Notes from the news

Moffett to return to Audenried Monday

By Benjamin Herold on Mar 18, 2011 07:42 PM

Hope Moffett is returning to Audenried High School Monday morning.

In a surprise development, both the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers have announced that Moffett will be back in the classroom teaching on Monday, and that her proposed termination has been reduced to a five-day suspension. The union is still planning to fight the suspension.

Notes from the news, Mar. 18

By Anonymous on Mar 18, 2011 08:32 AM

notes from the news imageMosaica out; Foundations to manage King The Notebook blog
Mosaica announced it was withdrawing its bid to manage King High School, and State Rep. Dwight Evans says he lobbied hard for that move.

See also: MLK update: Mosaica out, Foundations in - Evans claims credit WHYY/NewsWorks
Charter operator, facing opposition, withdraws from plan to convert MLK High The Inquirer
Charter school operator drops bid for MLK High
Philadelphia Tribune

 Ackerman bonus disturbingly generous, auditor general says The Inquirer
Auditor General Jack Wagner said he opposes bonuses for public employees, especially highly paid ones.

See also: The superintendent's contract extension: Another misstep for the SRC The Notebook blog
Pa. Auditor General ‘Disturbed’ By Bonuses Paid To Arlene Ackerman CBS Philly
Auditor Blasts Ackerman Bonus NBC Philadelphia

Voucher bill explained by its sponsor The Notebook blog
State Senator Piccola discussed Senate Bill 1, which would allow students at 144 low-performing schools to receive vouchers.

See also: Elmer Smith: School-voucher plan doesn't make the grade Daily News
Sweeney says he may allow Senate vote on school bill The Inquirer
School voucher bill dividing state’s Black caucus
Philadelphia Tribune

 Schools taking PSSAs face higher No Child standards this year The Inquirer
To meet NCLB adequate yearly progress standards this year 67 percent of students must be at grade level or above in math and 72 percent in reading, up 11 and 9 percent respectively from last year.

Pushouts blog up and running Voice of Philadelphia
This is one of the items from a pushout project funded by the Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund.

See also: Pushout Project — The First Day Voice of Philadelphia

 Will Smith Donating Computers to West Philly H.S. NBC Philadelphia
The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and Charlie Mack Cares organization are donating computers to replace the ones that were stolen.

See also: Will Smith Helps Philly School Replace Computers AP via ABC News

DN Editorial: School audit: Please improve math Daily News

Schools are failing to keep students safe The Inquirer (opinion)

Distrito Escolar tendrá hoy junta de Presupuesto Comunitario Al Día

Did you hear? Axe is coming down on non-union employees The Hall Monitor blog

Pa. college leaders warn of aid cuts' impacts The Inquirer

Letters: Philadelphia School District is being boneheaded on Hope Moffett Daily News

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Notes from the news

Voucher bill explained by its sponsor

By the Notebook on Mar 17, 2011 09:02 PM

by Paul Jablow

Senate Bill 1, which would provide taxpayer-funded vouchers for low-income children to attend non-public schools in Pennsylvania, has passed the Senate Education Committee and is now in the Appropriations Committee. The bill was sponsored by Sens. Jeffrey E. Piccola (R., Dauphin) and Anthony Hardy Williams (D., Phila).

The voucher concept is supported by Gov. Corbett, according to his nominee for secretary of education, though Corbett has reservations about some parts of the bill. There is no movement on voucher legislation in the state house of representatives.

The Notebook talked about the bill with Sen. Piccola, chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Mosaica out; Foundations to manage King

By the Notebook on Mar 17, 2011 03:26 PM

by Dale Mezzacappa and Bill Hangley, Jr.

Mosaica Turnaround Partners announced Thursday that they have withdrawn as the turnaround provider for Martin Luther King High School, less than a day after the School Reform Commission awarded them the school as part of the Renaissance Schools initiative.

State Rep. Dwight Evans took credit for the shift, saying that he continued to lobby Wednesday night on behalf of the school’s current managers, Foundations Inc., even after the SRC voted to approve Mosaica. Foundations will now take on that role.

Notes from the news, Mar. 17

By Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011 08:02 AM

notes from the news imageCharter operators named for six Philadelphia schools The Inquirer
The SRC approved Superintendent Ackerman's recommendation of charter school turnaround providers for six Renaissance Match schools.

See also: SRC vote okays 5 of 6 SAC first choice The Notebook blog
Differing opinions for the future of Olney West The Hall Monitor blog
When Is A Public Meeting NOT A Public Meeting? A Good Day Teaching blog

Councilwoman Blackwell: Don't fire Moffett The Notebook blog
Blackwell plans to introduce a City Council resolution to retain Moffett.

See also: Exiled teacher Hope Moffett e-mails students as they take state exams Daily News

Violent Philadelphia schools need independent watchdog, state audit says The Inquirer
Auditor General Jack Wagner says the independent Safe Schools Advocate position should be re-funded.

See also: Audit: District breaks safety rules Daily News
Wagner calls for security upgrades at Philadelphia school district WHYY/NewsWorks
Philly schools dilemma: Save money or stay safe? 6 ABC
Auditor General Jack Wagner Renews Call for Funding of Safe Schools Advocate for School District of Philadelphia PRNewswire

Nonunion school workers face firings, cuts Daily News
The SRC voted to revoke policies about guaranteed benefits and firing, in the face of the District budget deficit.

See also: SRC to vote on changing rules for layoffs of non-union employees The Notebook blog


WATCH: Fund Our Schools Citywide Mobilization Philly Education Justice blog
The Campaign for Non-Violent Schools released this video about its work.

Reflections: Then and Now-Budget Cuts Short Change Our Children City School Stories

PSEA To Teachers: Consider Pay Freeze Fox 29

Excited for Green Woods Charter in Chestnut Hill Chestnut Hill Local (opinion)

Morality vs. Legality Making the Grade blog

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Notes from the news

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