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Notes from the news, Oct. 19

By Anonymous on Oct 19, 2010 10:09 AM

notes from the news imageApplause for Ackerman nationally, but locally rhetoric doesn't match reality The Notebook blog
In Superintendent Ackerman's rebuttal to the manifesto she mistakenly signed onto, she says connecting with communities is key, but her actions in Philly don't always match what she wrote.

Obama: Future depends on science, math education Philadelphia Tribune
Obama spent time with science fair winners from across the country, including some students from Philly.

See also: Philly-area students honored in White House Science Fair The Inquirer

Lessons on school reform from Chicago: Like baking a cake The Notebook blog
Research from Chicago shows that like baking a cake, you can't remove any of the essential ingredients of school reform and still have success.

The day of the community colleges is here Daily News (opinion)
President of CCP says that even though the school is a vital part of the education ecosystem in Philly, it is "called to do more with less."

Philadelphia really needs former Washington, D.C. school superintendent Michelle Rhee Daily News (opinion)
Since the "
ignorance-industrial complex" has forced Rhee out of D.C., she should come here.

The independent contractors of higher education Philly Labor blog
A group of adjuncts at Temple is organizing to become part of the AFT.

Furness students urged to spread word about CHIP The Inquirer

School bus hits car; eight students on board OK The Inquirer

Reflections of an Author: Bullies City School Stories

Going Local for Education Movement Escalates to…Lawn Signs? Philly School Search 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

Applause for Ackerman nationally, but locally rhetoric doesn't match reality

By Helen Gym on Oct 18, 2010 02:32 PM

I want to be the first to applaud Superintendent Arlene Ackerman for her recent letter to the editor in the Washington Post, which distanced herself from a controversial op-ed fronted by NYC Chancellor Joel Klein and D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Ackerman’s letter was not only a thoughtful critique of the Klein/Rhee op-ed, but the first step on the national stage by a major superintendent to challenge the bad teacher/good charter stereotype now making the national media rounds.

The drawback? I guess I’m disappointed how Ackerman’s rhetoric has not quite made it to reality here in Philadelphia.

Lessons on school reform from Chicago: Like baking a cake

By Ron Whitehorne on Oct 18, 2010 01:38 PM

Penny Bender Sebring and her colleagues at the Consortium on Chicago School Research have been studying school reform in the Windy City since the 1980s. Last month at a symposium sponsored by the Public Interest Law Center she drew out some of the lessons of decades of exhaustive research, aided by panelists Deborah Meier and Torch Lytle.

Notes from the news, Oct. 18

By Anonymous on Oct 18, 2010 09:36 AM

notes from the news imageSupt. Ackerman's critique of 'manifesto' The Answer Sheet
Superintendent Ackerman sent her own version of an education reform manifesto signed onto by more than a dozen leaders for districts across the U.S. Ackerman removed her name from that list.

See also: Ackerman removes name from 'manifesto' The Notebook blog

Education Voters of Pennsylvania On Onorato Endorsement PhillyNow
Ed Voters called Onorato the "education candidate" and warned that Corbett has said that the state can't afford an increase in basic education spending with the looming deficit.

'Inviting Families Into the Classroom' The Notebook blog
Notebook member Lynne Strieb turned her decades in the classroom into a "practitioner's guide" on how to engage families in your teaching practice.

EduPunks Philly Teacher blog
Philly Teacher invites everyone to become positive "EduPunks" to counter all the negativity in the discussion about education.

Huffington Post - Rule of Law Practical Theory blog

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Notes from the news

Ackerman removes name from 'manifesto'

By Anonymous on Oct 15, 2010 04:24 PM

The Washington Post published an op-ed signed by several education leaders including Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and Superintendent Ackerman. But Ackerman has asked for her name to be removed.

'Inviting Families Into the Classroom'

By Timothy Boyle on Oct 15, 2010 02:41 PM

In my school I have seen:

  • My students' family members in the hallways and schoolyard.
  • Moms and dads getting on buses for field trips.
  • Parent volunteers taking quarters and wrapping pretzels in paper towels for our weekly Wednesday pretzel sale.
  • Parents lining the halls during report card conferences seeking information on how their children are performing.
  • The auditorium filled with the families of the performers for the annual talent show.
  • A standing room only crowd of proud families for our 8th grade graduation.

All of this participation seems natural and encouraging. But what happens when the school bell rings and students sit at their desks? The families disappear. If I were to walk into a classroom during instruction and find a parent in the room, I would wonder why. Honestly, my first thought would be what’s wrong?

But after reading Lynne Strieb’s Inviting Families Into the Classroom I have a very different perspective on the role of family members in the classroom.

Students, community to District: 'You broke it'

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 15, 2010 09:32 AM

The District’s handling of West Philadelphia High School has resulted in a sudden, dramatic return of the climate problems that used to plague the struggling neighborhood school, students from the school repeatedly told District officials during a community meeting held Thursday night at Kingsessing Recreation Center. 

Notes from the news, Oct. 15

By Anonymous on Oct 15, 2010 09:00 AM

notes from the news imageStudents, community to District: ‘You broke it’ The Notebook blog
The District held a community meeting last night and heard from students who are dealing with the upheaval at West Philly High.

See also: Principal at West Phila. High steps down for now The Inquirer
Top-job shake-up at West Philadelphia High Daily News

PA Passes Historic Resolution to Study School Libraries School Library Journal
The study will assess how many schools have lost libraries and librarians and what effect that has had.

Williams defends charter schools Philadelphia Tribune
State Sen. Williams says a moratorium on new charter schools would "disproportionally affect the Black community."

The defeat of Fenty and Rhee - What is the lesson? The Notebook blog
Superintendent Ackerman also favors a top-down leadership style, but it is unlikely that she'll be following Rhee out the door. The Answer Sheet lists the accomplishments Ackerman claimed when she too left D.C.

See also: Rhee’s big legacy: Being a whirlwind The Answer Sheet
Memo to Philly: At least give Michelle Rhee a call Attytood

Panel weighs obstacles to college success The Notebook blog
The city's chief education officer, Lori Shorr, described ways the city is working to meet Mayor Nutter's goal of 36 percent of Philadelphians having a college degree by  2018.

Reconciling Tech and Content Philly Teacher blog

Call for Stories City School Stories

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Notes from the news

The defeat of Fenty and Rhee in DC - What is the lesson for Philly?

By Ron Whitehorne on Oct 14, 2010 04:17 PM

The defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and the subsequent resignation of his schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is full of irony.

While Rhee is celebrated on Oprah's show and in the movie theatres as the poster child for fixing public education, the alleged beneficiaries of her reforms, low-income African Americans, repudiated her sponsor Fenty at the polls. A Washington Post poll taken right before the primary indicated that Fenty trailed his opponent among Black Democrats by a 64 to 19 percent margin while leading among Whites by a better than two-to-one ratio.  

Panel weighs obstacles to college success

By the Notebook on Oct 14, 2010 01:38 PM

by Katherine Saviskas

With 101 colleges and universities in the metropolitan area, Philadelphia is second only to Boston in the size of its higher education industry. Yet, just 21 percent of city residents have a college degree.

Lori Shorr, Mayor Nutter’s chief education officer, said at a forum on Oct. 12 that this number is up from 18 percent when Nutter took office in 2008 – but still far from his announced goal of 36 percent by 2018.

Notes from the news, Oct. 14

By Anonymous on Oct 14, 2010 09:56 AM

notes from the news imageWright steps aside at West Philadelphia High The Notebook blog
West Philly principal Ozzie Wright is taking an open-ended sick leave.

Public-education advocacy group endorses Onorato The Inquirer
Education Voters PA endorsed Democrat Dan Onorato for governor calling him "the education candidate."

See also: Education: Election 2010 Committee of Seventy
La educación de PA en materia de elecciones Al Día

'Data-mania' and its discontents The Inquirer (opinion)
Notebook freelancer Daniel Denvir says that the focus on statistics in the education reform debate has made the numbers more important than the skills they were supposed to measure.

Tardy school buses are driving some Philadelphia parents crazy Daily News
Parents testified at the SRC meeting and Superintendent Ackerman said she would look into the issue.

See also: Parents Complain About Late School Buses in Philly NBC Philadelphia
Ackerman vows to stop lateness of school buses The Inquirer
SRC Meeting Touches On Behavioral, Transportation Issues PhillyNow

Student Testifies on Harassment at Benjamin Franklin High PhillyNow
At the 10th public hearing on school violence held by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations students described more incidents of bullying.

‘Beloved Teacher’ rips off computers — District apparently clueless Voice of Philly
How didn't the District know that its "beloved teacher" was struggling with heroin addiction?

Speculation ends: 'Superman' star Rhee resigns The Notebook blog
D.C. schools leader Michelle Rhee announced that she is leaving at the end of her month and one of her deputies will take over for the rest of the year.

Fake grenade causes school scare in S. Philly Daily News

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Notes from the news

Wright steps aside at West Philadelphia High

By Benjamin Herold on Oct 13, 2010 05:40 PM

Barely two months into his tenure as principal at West Philadelphia High School, Ozzie Wright is stepping aside, taking an open-ended sick leave for unspecified health challenges.

Speculation ends: 'Superman' star Rhee resigns

By Anonymous on Oct 13, 2010 11:03 AM

Ending a month of speculation about whether D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee would stay without Mayor Adrian Fenty in office, Rhee announced her resignation today.

Washington Post education reporter Bill Turque will chat about the news at noon.

Notes from the news, Oct. 13

By Anonymous on Oct 13, 2010 10:09 AM

notes from the news imageUnion chief defends school foodworkers Daily News
Local 634 president Doris Smith cited few staff and limited supplies as possible issues with food service cleanliness.

See also: Most Philadelphia schools get an "F" in food safety Eat, Drink and Be

Teacher charged in theft of 42 laptops from Philadelphia school The Inquirer
The 5th grade teacher and her ex husband allegedly stole computers from Ethan Allen elementary and sold them to a pawnshop.

See also: Phila. teacher accused of stealing laptops 6ABC
Philly teacher, ex charged in laptop theft scheme AP via CBS 21

Southwark Elementary embraces diversity Philadelphia Tribune
The school has 30 percent English language learner students and a new principal, Margaret Chin, who was an administrator in central office.

What I would have said on national TV The Notebook blog
Notebook blogger and teacher Molly Thacker was contacted to be part of NBC's Education Nation. The segment fell through, but she wrote a simulated interview.

Fire at Central High School in Phila. ruled arson  6ABC
The fire caused damage to the auditorium. Classes were canceled yesterday.

Inquirer Editorial: Best choices for Senate The Inquirer
State Sen. Anthony Williams gets the Inquirer's endorsement to keep his seat.

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

What I would have said on national TV

By Molly Thacker on Oct 12, 2010 01:48 PM

Recently, I was contacted by a producer at NBC who wanted to set up an interview with me and Jenna Bush as part of the Education Nation coverage. The interview fell through, but I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would say if given the chance to discuss teaching live on national television. Here, I compose my would-be interview:

Simulated Jenna Bush: So, Molly, what keeps teachers going these days?

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