5 Unexpected Moments at Chip Fattah’s Trial. Philly Mag
State budget stalemate Day 122:
Gov. Wolf on budget impasse: “It’s not time for partisanship”. The PLS Reporter
McKeesport Area School District may have to borrow further funds, cut programming. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Thackston Charter afloat due to Wagner loan. York Daily Record
Paul Socolar has a respected track record of honest reporting, integrity, insight, and a strong commitment to social justice. He has had a huge impact on the local educational landscape and has made the Philadelphia Public School Notebook a must-read for just about everything related to Philadelphia public schools.
As editor and publisher of the Notebook, Paul has given teachers, parents, and students a voice. He has made their issues and concerns visible. The Notebook’s investigative journalism has put a spotlight on major issues, from standardized testing and teacher evaluation to school turnarounds and school closings. It has kept parents informed about opportunities for their children and about their rights.
The Notebook sat down with Jenny Bogoni of the Free Library, READ! by 4th’s executive director. In the interview, she outlines the mission of the campaign, its strategies, and challenges.
What is the READ! by 4th campaign’s main goal?
Ensuring all children can read on grade level by the time they enter 4th grade.
NAEP scores slip and spin ensues. Politico
Think about the value of homework. Inquirer
Letters: Hite: Classroom crisis improving. Daily News
State budget stalemate Day 121:
State Senate unable to override Wolf’s veto of stopgap budget bill. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Students nationwide showed a marked dip in math performance and a somewhat smaller decline in reading proficiency, according to 2015 results of the only standardized achievement test administered across the country by the federal government.
It was the first reversal of a steady upward trend that held for the more than two decades that U.S. students have been taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Philadelphia students continue to score below the national average for big cities, according to analysis of the scores from 21 urban areas. Both nationally and in the city, there are huge achievement gaps among racial and ethnic groups.
Here are some key facts on the NAEP and its significance.
It has been 32 years since "A Nation at Risk" was published. The report, issued in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education, established the beliefs that schools across the nation were failing and that we needed to demand more of our teachers and our students.
"A Nation at Risk" was the blueprint for our country's hyperfocus on "measurable growth" that education stakeholders experience today. It catalyzed a shift in the U.S. concept of education. Outcomes, not input, would determine the quality of instruction. Standards, not knowledge, would dictate what gets taught, how, and for how long. Students’ “seat time” would be favored over other activities that required physical engagement.
Students who take classes over the Internet through online charter schools make dramatically less academic progress than their counterparts in traditional schools, according to a sweeping new series of reports released today.
How stark are the findings?
Nutter on SRC: 'Time to go'. Daily News
Online-only schools show dismal performance. What can be done? Hechinger Report
Fattah Jr. expected to mount his defense today. Daily News
State budget stalemate Day 120:
As a college and career counselor, college fairs are a welcome high point. There’s little that can match the efficiency of having numerous college professionals under one roof. I always recommend a good college fair to any high school junior or senior, and I've even organized a few myself. When trying to decide which schools to apply to or how to differentiate between each institution’s unique value, you can’t go wrong by visiting a college fair.
Updated, 5:40 p.m. with additional quotes and reaction
In a major education policy speech this morning, Mayor Nutter called for the dissolution of the School Reform Commission and the return of a local board of education.
"Of all the policy recommendations I make today, none will have a bigger impact on Philadelphia than a return to local control," he told an audience of invited guests at WHYY.
After 15 years, Nutter said, "it's time for the experiment to end."
Black men become rare sight at medical schools. The Philadelphia Tribune
State budget stalemate Day 119:
State Senate takes out $9 million loan to pay its employees. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opinion: Their view | Pennsylvania budget must break status quo. Centre Daily Times
Poll results not expected to push either side to resolve state budget impasse. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter set an ambitious agenda for schools in his 2008 inauguration speech, promising to cut in half the number of dropouts while doubling the number of Philadelphians who hold college degrees — both by 2015.
"I'm asking you to join me in the greatest American city turnaround that anyone has seen in the last 50 years. Ladies and gentlemen, I've laid out for you: This is the new Philadelphia," said Nutter during that speech.
With more than 1,000 middle and high school students completing WHYY’s Youth Documentary Workshops each year, the program has outgrown its home at WHYY headquarters.
To help increase student access to media arts production, the School District has teamed up with WHYY to bring Media Labs to 27 schools over the next three years. This expansion will provide video storytelling workshops and professional training to more than 700 students throughout the District.
The Obama administration, which spent its first six years in office arguably upping the ante on standardized tests by calling for them to be a part of teacher evaluations, has instead spent the last year encouraging states and districts to make sure that assessments are of high quality and don't take up too much instructional time.
The shift has come as many parents have decided to opt their children out of standardized assessments, states have sought to rein in testing time, and the Common Core State Standards have faced serious political pushback, in part because of concern about the tests that go along with them. (More on changes to the administration's testing rhetoric here.)
Obama encouraging limits on standardized student tests. Washington Post
Study: Kids take 100-plus required tests through 12th grade. Washington Post
Philadelphia: “Reform” Is Killing Our Schools. Diane Ravitch's blog
Poll: Americans give high marks to community colleges for quality, value. Hechinger Report
State budget stalemate Day 118:
"No budget, no break". Daily News