News & Notes:  

“Zombies” Invade Strawberry Square for Halloween-themed Flash Mob

Oct31

New conservatory program allows students to put their own spin on a Halloween classic Local students showcased their own creative spin on a famous music video during their flash-mob performance in Strawberry Square on Halloween, as they recreated Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller performance before surprised by-standers.   Students at Commonwealth Connections Academy (CCA), a public cyber charter […] More »

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Expert to Philadelphia schools: Listen to parents

Oct31

An expert argues the Philadelphia public school system can get rid of charter schools entirely if officials listen to the reasons parents pull their children out of schools. CHARTER SCHOOLS are not draining money from public schools, says Bob Fayfich. About 30,000 Philadelphia students are on waiting lists to attend public charter schools, in addition to the […] More »

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Valley school leaders to fed official: Stop the mandates

Oct29

A top official from the U.S. Department of Education got an earful Monday from frustrated Lehigh Valley school superintendents and board members who feel they’ve been asked to do too much with too little for too long.   Continue reading at: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-bethlehem-asst-sec-education-20131028,0,2493927.story More »

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A $100 million offer for shuttered Phila. schools?

Oct27

A Washington real estate investment firm recently made an extraordinary offer to the School District of Philadelphia: $100 million to buy more than 30 shuttered school buildings.   Continue reading at: http://articles.philly.com/2013-10-27/news/43416791_1_clarke-school-buildings-mayor-nutter More »

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Bridging kids’ information gap

Oct27

The causes of the growing division between the “haves” and “have-nots” are hard to pinpoint. Is it wealth? Connections? Influence? After years of research, we believe the reason this division is growing may rest on one enviable commodity: information capital.   Continue reading at: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20131027_Bridging_kids__information_gap.html More »

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HB 618 and SB 1085 Comparison

Oct25

Click here for a comparison chart showing the major provisions in HB 618 as it passed the full House last month and SB 1085 as it passed the Senate Education Committee last week. More »

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Philadelphia school crisis not a question of choice

Oct25

Charter schools and tax-credit scholarships aren’t responsible for the crisis inPhiladelphia public schools, said Priya Abraham, senior policy analyst at theCommonwealth Foundation, despite claims of some public school proponents.   Continue reading at: http://watchdog.org/112535/philadelphia-school-choice/ More »

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Teachers union is wrong; Corbett didn’t cut $1 billion from education: PennLive letters

Oct24

Once again, the Pennsylvania State Education Association is making false claims about public education funding in order to garner support for raising taxes on Pennsylvania’s job creators. The Corbett administration did not cut $1 billion from basic education. But don’t take our word for it. PSEA’s own website confirms this. PSEA links to a study […] More »

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Nutter: Council won’t share info on schools plan

Oct23

AFTER CITY Council unanimously approved a plan to buy $50 million worth of shuttered school district buildings last week, Council President Darrell Clarke told reporters that there have been 11 “expressions of interest” from potential buyers.   Continue reading at: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131023_Nutter__Council_won_t_share_info_on_schools_plan.html More »

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Ramos resigns from SRC

Oct22

PHILADELPHIA Pedro Ramos resigned Monday from the School Reform Commission, throwing the Philadelphia School District into further turmoil. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20131022_Ramos_resigns_from_SRC.html More »

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Grants available to bolster school safety

Oct22

In the wake of the shooting that left 26 dead at a Connecticut elementary school in December,state legislators authorized $8.5 million in this year’s budget for school safety measures designed to curb school violence and enhance student safety.   Continue reading at: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/927025/Grants-available-to-bolster-school-safety More »

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Grant makes charter school dream purchase possible

Oct22

While Gillingham Charter School’s historic school building, built in 1895, features large classic windows, hardwood floors and slate chalkboards, its students are using some of the latest technology to supplement their learning.   Continue reading at: http://republicanherald.com/news/grant-makes-charter-school-dream-purchase-possible-1.1572225 More »

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Zogby – We never cut $1b from public education: Politics as Usual

Oct22

It’s one of the enduring narratives of the Corbett administration: Gov. Tom Corbett slashed $1 billion from state support for public education during his first year in office, prompting school districts to cut staff and programs in return.   Continue reading at: http://blog.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/2013/10/zogby_-_we_never_cut_1b_from_p.html#incart_river More »

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SRC Spares Selling Art Collection Worth up to 900G

Oct18

The School Reform Commission voted unanimously last night to oppose the sale of an esteemed art collection, prompting surprise and joy among advocates for the artwork. Also at the meeting, all four members voted to not renew two charter schools: Truebright Science Academy Charter School and Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School.   Continue reading at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20131018_SRC_spares_selling_art_collection_worth_up_to_900G.html More »

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As Council passes schools plan, will Nutter go along?

Oct18

IT WAS A battle of wills – and it’s starting to look as if City Council President Darrell Clarke will outlast Mayor Nutter in the standoff over competing plans to produce the $50 million the School District of Philadelphia says it needs to finish the school year. Continue reading at: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131018_As_Council_passes_schools_plan__will_Nutter_go_along_.html More »

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Philadelphia Great Schools Compact Update- Sept. 18, 2013

Oct17

Resolutions None   Discussion The meeting began by welcoming the newest member of the compact David Volkman. Volkman, the new representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, is the Chief of Staff to the Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq.   Common Core/Shared Services An update was given regarding the Shared Services and Common Core […] More »

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Consol to award $10,000 to lucky school

Oct17

One lucky school district in Pennsylvania will receive enough money to equip a chemistry lab or fill a few shelves in the library – all with a few clicks of the computer mouse. Each school participting in Consol Energy’s PowerUp Challenge has an equal shot at $10,000, but the school that receives the most online votes will […] More »

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Charter school appeal moving to Harrisburg

Oct17

The proposed Education for New Generations Charter School has cleared a hurdle in its quest to secure a charter and open its doors in the North Penn School District — a Montgomery Court of Common Pleas judge approved the school’s petition, signed by nearly 1,500 supporters — which allows the case to be sent to […] More »

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TED-Ed Clubs

Oct17

TED-Ed Clubs aims to introduce a school-friendly framework that supports students in meeting regularly to discuss, pursue and present their big ideas in the form of short TED-like Talks. We hope to celebrate exceptional student ideas by potentially featuring them at TEDxYouth events and the annual TEDYouth conference.  To learn more, visit ed.ted.com/clubs or emails tededclubs@ted.com. More »

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Corbett to Release $45M in Funding for Philadelphia Schools

Oct16

Gov. Tom Corbett says he’s releasing $45 million for the Philadelphia schools that his administration had held up as the state’s largest school district goes through its worst financial crisis in memory.   Continue reading at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Corbett-to-Release-45M-in-Sought-Funding-for-Philadelphia-Schools-228025001.html More »

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Live coverage: Press conference at New Hope Academy

Oct16

New Hope Academy officials plan to appeal Tuesday’s decision by the Pennsylvania Charter Appeals Board to deny a renewal of the school’s charter.   Continue reading at: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24320493/york-city-charter-school-plans-appeal More »

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Propel gets green light to open in Hazelwood

Oct16

Two charter schools were thrown lifelines by the state Charter School Appeal Board this week. Propel Schools won its appeal to open an elementary charter school in Hazelwood next fall. Career Connections Charter High School in Lawrenceville won permission to stay open while appealing its charter revocation to Commonwealth Court. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/10th-propel-schools-site-to-open-in-hazelwood-707770/ More »

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Cyber School Success

Oct16

I am writing in response to all of the negative things I have been reading in recent editions regarding cyber schooling in our area. I am a cyber mother and I absolutely love the experience. My child is in first grade this year, and she is enrolled in a cooking class, as well as a […] More »

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Education Failure in Philadelphia

Oct14

Education Failure in Philadelphia Only 40% of students can read to standard. Union says so what? Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has extended a lifeline to Philadelphia’s hemorrhaging schools attached to a requirement for modest education and fiscal reforms. No thanks, says the teachers union. Herewith a parable of education decline. Philadelphia’s schools are a textbook […] More »

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Our take: Charter school reform needed in Pa.

Oct10

State Rep. Dan Truitt, R-West Chester, made a very good point while issuing a pithy sound bite about the Legislature’s effort  to reform charter school funding. Continue reading at: http://www.ydr.com/opinion/ci_24282980/our-take-charter-school-reform-need More »

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Bill would save school districts $41M a year in cyber payments

Oct09

A bill heading to the Senate after passing the House in September would allow school districts across Pennsylvania to keep $41 million a year that they now pass along to cyber schools as part of the tuition for students who enroll online.   Continue reading at: http://meadvilletribune.com/local/x2112891599/Bill-would-save-school-districts-41M-a-year-in-cyber-payments More »

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Editorial: Gift offers long-term potential, short-term struggle

Oct09

The Issue: CNA donates its building at Fourth and Penn streets to the I-LEAD Charter School. Our Opinion: The gesture is generous but it comes with a cost. On a sunny early fall day, the future of Reading got an infusion of capital, if not spirit. CNA Insurance donated its five-story, 260,000 square foot building […] More »

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Submit a Session to the 2014 National Charter Schools Conference

Oct09

Share your knowledge and experience as a presenter at the 2014 National Charter Schools Conference. We’re seeking creative, thoughtful proposals for sessions on the topics most critical for charter school professionals. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools will be hosting this year’s conference from June 29-July 2, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las […] More »

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Education officials pleased with progress, confused with process in new evaluation system

Oct08

“I take it with a grain of salt right now,” Conneaut School District Superintendent Jarrin Sperry told the Tribune Monday. Sperry was delighted to hear that Conneaut Lake-Sadsbury Elementary School’s score topped the local list of public school results in Pennsylvania’s first-ever School Performance Profile — but he’s just not taking it too seriously at […] More »

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Fayfich elected first PA charter representative to Middle States Coalition

Oct08

Robert Fayfich, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, has been elected to a three-year term as commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools, the organization announced Tuesday.   Continue reading at: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2013/10/08/fayfich-elected-first-pa-charter.html More »

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Help promised for Pa.’s struggling schools

Oct08

Philadelphia schools and privately operated charter schools dominated a Department of Education list released Tuesday of Pennsylvania’s 92 lowest-performing schools that will be in line to get help under a new strategy to meet federal guidelines. Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/10/08/3828570/pa-to-identify-lowest-performing.html#storylink=cpy More »

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Fayfich Elected Middle States Commissioner

Oct07

King of Prussia, PA—October 7, 2013—Robert Fayfich, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools has been elected to a three-year term as commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. Founded in 1887, the Middle States Association serves as an accreditation agency for schools in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, […] More »

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Making Sure Teachers Are Classroom-Ready

Oct07

Most candidates for a teaching license in the United States have to pass written exams testing their knowledge of teaching theory and specific subject areas, such as English or biology. Now, a growing number of states and teacher preparation programs are focusing more on how an aspiring teacher performs in the classroom.   Continue reading […] More »

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Inquirer: Pa Test Results Woefully Incomplete

Oct07

Pennsylvania’s Department of Education released a massive new system Friday for evaluating public schools, but its own performance on how it executed that release was viewed as lackluster by some local school officials. Newly defined performance scores were excluded for more than 600 of the state’s 3,000 public schools, including charters, because of concerns about […] More »

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Schools Brace for Pension Rate Spikes

Oct06

Charter schools administrators are worried about the problem, too. They get a larger reimbursement in pension costs — the controversial “double dip” that lawmakers are also trying to address — but many say they have lean budgets that will also be hit hard by the rate increases. “Now instead of spending money on education, I […] More »

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Pa Statewide School Grading Data Released

Oct04

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania education officials released performance scores Friday for nearly all of the state’s 3,200 traditional, charter, cyber and technical schools, saying they will give parents, administrators and taxpayers the ability monitor student achievement, build on successes and better address failings. The performance scores were available online at paschoolperformance.org, and acting Education […] More »

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