For more than four decades, Harold Jordan has seen the fight to improve public education take many forms, so he knows a vital tool when he sees one.
He's felt that way about the Notebook since he first saw it in the mid-1990s.
Jordan recalls spotting the newspaper for the first time while walking the halls of Powel Elementary School. An active parent of two children attending the school at that time, Jordan was frequently on site, and one day he saw the Notebook stacked against the wall.
Told that Martin Luther King High's multimillion-dollar charter school deal ran aground on a reef of Philadelphia politics, Jeffrey Henig could only joke: "I'm shocked! Shocked!"
Henig, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College, specializes in urban education reform. He won't say that cronyism and corruption are inevitable where charters and other "turnaround" models are concerned. But the risk is always there, he said, and the antidote is transparent, accountable governance.
UPDATE: The District is planning to develop a proposal to start School Advisory Councils at 115 of the lowest-performing schools.
The problem – students being bullied going to and from school – wasn't that unusual, but the school community's response was.
Editors' note: To give all of our readers, both on the web and in print, an opportunity to share their thoughts, we have changed the name and scope of our letters column.
We encourage readers to continue to mail, fax, or email letters to the editor (see box below). But we are also making space here for a variety of types of feedback – from comments via email, on blog posts, and through tweets. We will tell you how each came to us.
A hallmark of the Renaissance Schools initiative, the School Advisory Councils (SACs) created recently in Philadelphia distinguish the School District's turnaround efforts from others around the country.
Studies of school turnaround nationally are largely silent on the role of parents and community, and the turnaround models promoted by the U.S. Department of Education make scant mention of parent and community engagement.
This guest blog post is by Elaine Simon, a West Philadelphia resident and the director of the Urban Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania.
The ribbon-cutting for the new West Philadelphia High School will take place Tuesday in a formal ceremony that will feature the mayor, the new interim superintendent, the new principal, and other dignitaries whose participation marks the significance of this event.
Education Week created a collection of related stories and a single page to track their coverage of the rally. They've reported that rally organizers declined a meeting with Obama administration officials and gave some curious looking boxes to Education Sec. Arne Duncan.
This Saturday, the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action will take place in Washington D.C. The rally, which will be staged at the ellipse, starts at noon. Around 1:30 p.m., participants will march to the White House where the demonstration will continue.
Many readers will recognize that most, if not all, of the issues that we regularly discuss in the comments of the Notebook blog are represented in the march's guiding principles.
UPDATED: While a small group of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman supporters rallied at City Hall Tuesday, members of the School Reform Commission remained silent and aides to Mayor Michael Nutter sidestepped questions about the embattled superintendent's future.
"The politicians have decided to ask Dr. Ackerman to pack her bags and leave," alleged Pamela Williams, addressing about a dozen supporters who attempted to block traffic outside City Hall.
The Notebook recently began sharing content with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared.
Thousands of educators, parent activists, and others are expected to convene in the heat and humidity of Washington this month for a march protesting the current thrust of education policy in the United States, especially the strong emphasis on test-based accountability.