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Stories tagged: standardized curriculum

Pennsylvania’s stops and starts over new classroom standards

By the Notebook on Oct 18, 2013 10:32 AM

by Sara Neufeld, The Hechinger Report

In the beginning, Pennsylvania was going to be like most other states, following a new set of national education standards and administering new national standardized tests.

But a lot has happened since 2010, when the state signed on to participate in what’s known as Common Core, an initiative designed to make the United States more globally competitive by ensuring students’ ability to meet basic benchmarks.

A Democratic administration turned Republican, and Gov. Tom Corbett took seriously conservatives concerned about the federal government infringing on states’ rights. In March 2012, Pennsylvania officials released their own document, known as the Pennsylvania Core Standards, which they call a hybrid between the national Common Core and the state’s own guidelines.

Pencils Down: It's time to rethink tests

By Samuel Reed III on Oct 30, 2012 12:44 PM

How reliable are tests in measuring what really matters for 21st-century learning? And should high-stakes tests really be used as a punitive evaluation of teacher quality? With all the controversy surrounding standardized tests and cheating, it’s time for teachers, parents, districts and policymakers to consider alternatives.

Navigating the digital world

By by Wendy Harris on Apr 2, 2012 02:53 PM
As a result of the big changes underway in the School District, teachers will soon be given more freedom to be creative. As part of our April print edition, the Notebook and NewsWorks took a multimedia look inside the classrooms of five exemplary Philadelphia teachers to get an on-the-ground perspectives of the great teaching and learning that is possible.

South Philadelphia senior Marcus Johnson stands at the front of his classroom eager to give his presentation on mammals. But there are no poster board cutouts here, no sketches across a blackboard, no pages borrowed from an animal encyclopedia. Johnson, with his back to a class that has iMacs and iPads, works the keys on his laptop computer with the focus of an engineer in a computer lab. After a few clicks, he turns to face his peers, and the website he designed – which gives vivid images and rich content about the animals he loves so much – fills the interactive projector at the front of the room.

Video: Kimberly Paynter for WHYY/NewsWorks

Lessons from teachers

By Anonymous on Apr 2, 2012 12:08 PM

Ask any teacher, whether at a neighborhood, magnet, or charter school, and most would agree that to keep students engaged and create meaningful learning, they need some autonomy – some room to be creative.

April edition cartoon

By by Eric Joselyn on Apr 2, 2012 09:45 AM

Literacy instruction under 4 District leaders...

By Anonymous on Mar 30, 2012 03:35 PM

Constance ClaytonConstance Clayton: 1982-1993

Engaging her students

By by Wendy Harris, photos by Harvey Finkle on Mar 30, 2012 03:34 PM

In Michele McKeone's autistic support classroom at South Philadelphia High School, students develop their communication skills and the abilities necessary for their transition to independence. McKeone, in her fourth year of teaching at Southern, uses digital media to keep the students engaged, as well as plugged in to what's relevant today. The Notebook talked with her about some of the exciting projects that students have created using digital media. 

Learn more about McKeon's classroom.

Education for Liberation Curriculum Fair set for April

By Anonymous on Mar 30, 2012 03:35 PM

Teacher Action Group, or TAG, will be hosting its third annual Education for Liberation Curriculum Fair and Citywide Summit on Saturday, April 28. The theme for this year's event is "Our Schools, Our Solutions."

Organizers say the all-day event seeks to give educators a chance to develop best practices and strategies for improving and reforming their schools from within, at a time when School District leaders say they are looking to shift away from a top-down management style. 

Delving into music's impact

By by Wendy Harris on Mar 30, 2012 03:34 PM
As a result of the big changes underway in the School District, teachers will soon be given more freedom to be creative. As part of our April print edition, the Notebook and NewsWorks took a multimedia look inside the classrooms of five exemplary Philadelphia teachers to get an on-the-ground perspectives of the great teaching and learning that is possible.

Johnny Oliver has no doubt about the best unit that he’s taught – and is still teaching – at Freire Charter School.

It’s on radio, recording, and music. Every year students mark it on their teacher evaluations as the most popular project.

Video: Kimberly Paynter for WHYY/NewsWorks

Reorganization is underway

By by Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 30, 2012 03:35 PM

Working with Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon to develop a new organizational blueprint for the School District, seven “academic design subcommittees” have been meeting since February.

Curriculum development: This committee is expected to develop a pre-K to 12 curriculum with outcomes for each grade level that are aligned to college and career program goals and the new Common Core State Standards.

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