Two icons of the progressive education movement spoke in Philadelphia on Wednesday night to decry standardized testing and urge that a “justice-oriented framework” drive school reform instead.
“Test score gaps are used to label schools as failures without providing resources or strategies to eliminate the gap,” said Stan Karp of Rethinking Schools, an education journal and publisher.
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.
High school students in Philadelphia public schools transfer for two basic reasons: They are having problems at their current school or they hope for better educational opportunities elsewhere.
In either case, District officials are working to make the changes quicker and easier.
“We want to be able to streamline the process,” says Danielle Seward, deputy chief of student enrollment and placement.
By Benjamin Herold and Dale Mezzacappa
The disappointing results on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams are the product of less cheating and tight new test security measures, according to state Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis.
Los estudiantes de escuela superior en las escuelas públicas de Filadelfia se transfieren por dos razones básicas: porque stán teniendo problemas en su escuela actual o porque esperan recibir mejores oportunidades educativas en otra escuela.
En cualquier caso, los funcionarios del Distrito están trabajando para que la transferencia sea más rápida y fácil.
“Queremos poder simplificar el proceso”, dice Danielle Seward, subdirectora de matrícula y colocación de estudiantes.
This week's guest commentary about changes in the Philadelphia school landscape is from James M. "Torch" Lytle, a former Philadelphia administrator and Trenton superintendent, now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. The Notebook invites guest blog posts on current topics in Philadelphia education from its readers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a submission.
I finally had a face-to-face chat with Christopher Paslay at an end-of-the-school-year celebration with the Teacher Leadership Professional Learning Community (PLC). We agreed to put some padded gloves on and have a sparring match on education reform.
Christopher Paslay: Schools and education do not exist in a vacuum.
Everyone is part of schools and education — teachers, students, parents, administrators, community members, business leaders, clergy, lawmakers, etc. Yet somehow our society seems to think schools are cut off from all this, that they are some free-floating entity that operates independent of all these factors.
The Notebook has a content-sharing agreement with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared. Quibila Divine recently wrote a guest blog post for the Notebook about ideas for parental engagement in the Philadelphia schools, and this piece offers a national view.
Few would quarrel with the goal of increasing parents' and families' engagement in education in the name of school improvement. But there's far less consensus on what that engagement should look like—and on how educators and policymakers should be promoting it.
Those questions are evident in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires thousands of schools receiving Title I aid to set aside a portion of that money for family-engagement activities. The Obama administration, among others, would like to boost the amount of money devoted to parental outreach in reauthorizing the law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Earlier this week the District announced a shift away from mandated, scripted curricula in favor of autonomy for individual schools. Over the past decade, the amount of autonomy a school has over its curriculum has repeatedly changed as the District leadership changes. Let's review that recent history.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently announced that 57 organizations and districts will share $64.4 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center funds. The money will not help the School District of Philadelphia's financial crisis since the District will not receive any money directly. But, several organizations that serve Philadelphia public school students and charter schools will get grants.