by Benjamin Herold and Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner
On Wednesday, Mayor Nutter announced his plan to raise $95 million for Philadelphia's struggling School District, mostly through tax hikes on cigarettes and alcohol.
But even if that money comes through, city schools will still be looking for an additional $120 million from Harrisburg and $133 million in givebacks from the local teachers' union.
Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), who chairs the Senate's education committee, said the unions have to go first.
Today is National Teacher Day, and this afternoon 59 Philadelphia teachers, one from each District high school, will receive the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
The honorees will join Superintendent William Hite, School Reform Commissioner Wendell Pritchett, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, three trustees from the Lindback Foundation, and others for the celebration, which will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater.
Teacher Action Group Philadelphia and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools will hold the 4th annual Education for Liberation Curriculum Fair and Citywide Summit on Saturday, May 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Folks Arts and Cultural Treasures charter school.
The theme for this year’s curriculum fair and summit is “Flipping the Script in Philadelphia.”
Girls will read books about boys. Boys will not read books about girls. Yes, that is a generalization, but any astute educator will agree with me. We need to understand that boys can be fickle readers, and one of the best ways to attract a boy to a book is to put a corpse on the cover or 'diarrhea' in the title.
- Danny Brassell, “Ten Ways to Get Boys Reading"
Join me for an #engchat conversation at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, on the theme of getting reluctant adolescents to read.
Estos son días que se han convertido en semanas de incertidumbre para cientos de maestros en las 44 escuelas que serán cerradas o reubicadas bajo el plan maestro de la Comisión para la Reforma Escolar.
¿Cerrarán su escuela?
¿Van a ser cesanteados?
¿A dónde irán?
These are days stretching into weeks of uncertainty for hundreds of teachers in the 44 schools slated to be shuttered or relocated under the Facilities Master Plan before the School Reform Commission.
Will their school be closed?
Will they be laid off?
Where will they land?
While high-stakes testing continues unabated, educators skeptical of the annual assessments are not just experimenting, but making headway in finding better ways to evaluate – and improve – student learning and whole-school performance.
Heightened security measures are expected to again be in force throughout the School District of Philadelphia when state standardized tests are administered next spring. Changes are unlikely at least until current cheating investigations are brought to a close, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) spokesman Tim Eller.
Asked what “portfolio management” means to him, Jerry Jordan’s answer was swift and certain:
“Big business. Outsourcing. It’s literally getting rid of public service,” said the president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
But when asked about the PFT’s strategy for slowing a trend that has seen thousands of teaching jobs shifted to non-union charter schools, Jordan’s answer was more general: “We have to work more closely with the parents and the people in the community in order to make sure our schools are funded adequately. We can’t survive another billion-dollar cut.”
If you love stories, you should plan to attend TAG Philly's annual Teacher Story Slam. The back- to-school event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Zocalo Restaurant, 3600 Lancaster Ave.
Let me tell you a story…
Because the human brain is wired for stories, I bet you were all ready to follow a narrative with an attention-grabbing opening, a topsy-turvy plotline, and some satisfying ending or lesson to learn.