News & Notes:  

Key Charter to try again in Harrisburg despite school district stance

Mar31

A charter school with nearly 400 children pre-registered – and plans to buy what was once a prominent Catholic high school – will again try to get permission to open from local public school district officials, despite their many concerns. Read more at: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/03/key_charter_to_try_again_in_ha.html#incart_river More »

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Pennsylvania’s charter school fund debate no closer to resolution

Mar30

The contract that ousted PA Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta brokered with its curriculum provider remains in place months after prosecutors indicted the former school chief on 11 counts of mail fraud, bribery, tax conspiracy and filing false tax returns.   Read more at: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5803146-74/charter-cyber-schools#axzz2xjnyniOl More »

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SRC to consider closing charter for foster students

Mar28

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission will hold a hearing Friday on closing the nation’s first charter school for students in foster care, and no one from the troubled school will present a case for keeping it open. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140328_Philadelphia_SRC_to_consider_closing_charter_for_students_in_foster_care.html More »

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SRC budget relies on $440 million that’s not assured

Mar28

The Philadelphia School District is forecasting a budget of $2.8 billion next year – a figure that is up from this year’s $2.4 billion outlay, but calls for $440 million in new money that the district is not assured of getting from the city or the state.   Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140328_SRC_adopts_budget_that_relies_on__440_million_that_s_not_assured.html More »

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Hazelwood’s Burgwin School sold, to become Propel charter

Mar26

On the third attempt, the board of Pittsburgh Public Schools tonight agreed to sell the closed Burgwin School to the Hazelwood Initiative for use as a Propel charter school and for community programs.   Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/26/Hazelwood-s-Burgwin-School-sold-to-become-Propel-charter/stories/201403260209 More »

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3 ‘innovative’ high schools coming to N. Phila.

Mar25

DESPITE unprecedented financial challenges, the Philadelphia School District is opening three new high schools in North Philadelphia in September as it seeks to redefine urban secondary education.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140325_3__innovative__high_schools_coming_to_N__Phila_.html More »

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Charter school pleads for time at West Chester schools hearing

Mar25

Representatives of the Sankofa Academy Charter School didn’t dispute testimony offered by West Chester Area School District personnel against the school, but asked for one thing in return — time. Read more at: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140325/charter-school-pleads-for-time-at-west-chester-schools-hearing More »

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Non-Profit & Charter School Board Training

Mar25

Free Workshop at Community College of Philadelphia RSVP for Location and Free Parking Details RSVP by emailing alisha@charterchoices.com, subject: RSVP – Board Training Saturday April 5 9:00 am – Noon   This free event will provide participants with access to industry experts and the opportunity to network with other Philadelphia area non-profit leaders. The agenda includes: […] More »

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Easton Area School Board denies charter application

Mar25

The Easton Area School Board denied an application for a charter school because its curriculum was not different than what the school district offers, school directors said. Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-area-strong-foundation-charter-school-vo-20140325,0,2274788.story More »

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Sen. Folmer: Give students, parents what they want in schools (column)

Mar25

I recently read an article that issued a “loud call for work on taxes; school funding.” I hope this effort includes listening carefully to students and parents. When I became chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Dinniman (Democratic Chair from Chester County) and I held public hearings designed specifically to listen to students, and […] More »

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Helping low-income children succeed

Mar24

Diverging incomes among families lead to diverging destinies among children, undermining the promise of equal opportunity.   Read more at: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/a-fair-chance-for-children/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=business&_r=1 More »

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Hite suspending seniority for September, seeking approval from Supreme Court

Mar24

With labor negotiations stalled, Superintendent William Hite said Monday that he intends to impose a system for assigning teachers to schools next year that eliminates seniority as the deciding factor and instead gives principals the power to fill all vacancies and assemble staff.   Read more at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/147039/hite-suspending-seniority-rules-september-going-supreme-court More »

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District, Philadelphia teacher’s union talks to go ‘nuclear’

Mar24

For the city’s 11,000-member teachers’ union, the clock is ticking. Budget season is closing in, the struggling Philadelphia School District has a $14 million hole to fill this school year, and it needs $440 million in new funds for next year.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-24/news/48528098_1_jerry-jordan-philadelphia-federation-commonwealth-association More »

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Closing in on proof of arts’ value to kids

Mar24

For four years, Ellie D. Brown has been trying to determine whether an early education in the arts enhances children’s ability to learn overall, and again and again she has turned to an unlikely tool of inquiry: a small swab of sponge.  Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-24/news/48495020_1_settlement-music-school-arts-classes-children More »

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Task force targets educational needs of homeless youngsters in Pa.

Mar23

A task force charged with studying the educational needs of homeless youth in Pennsylvania has issued a report that includes establishing a statewide advisory council as one of 13 recommendations on how to best serve homeless students.   Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/24/Task-force-targets-educational-needs-of-homeless-youngsters/stories/201403240073 More »

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Study: Black girls suspended at higher rates than most boys

Mar21

Six decades after the Supreme Court mandated school integration, racial and gender disparities in school discipline stubbornly persist, according to a new study by the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education.   Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/03/21/study-black-girls-suspended-at-higher-rates-than-most-boys/ More »

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Op-Ed: Special-interests block Pa. charter school reform

Mar21

Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law must be updated to reflect what we have learned in the past 17 years about the intelligent and effective operation and oversight of charter schools. Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20140323/op-ed-special-interests-block-pa-charter-school-reform More »

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Northwest Area told it has to pay cyber charters

Mar20

Northwest Area school officials said Wednesday night they received a swift answer from the state Department of Education about paying cyber charter invoices.   Read more at: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1270795/Northwest-Area-told-it-has-to-pay-cyber-charters More »

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Pa. bill gives school districts flexibility with snow days

Mar20

In yet another indication of how hard winter weather hit this year, the state Senate has approved legislation that would allow school districts to measure instructional time by hours rather than days and to use Saturdays for make-up sessions for days missed due to snow and extreme cold.    Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/21/Pa-bill-gives-school-districts-flexibility-with-snow-days/stories/201403210077 More »

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Pocono Mountain Charter School returns to court

Mar19

The latest development in the Pocono Mountain Charter School case may be stalled again, after a move that has “outraged” the Pocono Mountain School District, according to a statement.   Read more: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140319/NEWS/403190331/-1/NEWS More »

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Support for all good schools

Mar19

The great 19th-century reformer Horace Mann warned Americans that we all must be responsible for educating each other’s children. He was right. Each child deserves the chance at a successful and rewarding life. That starts with a good education. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20140319_Support_for_all_good_schools.html More »

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KIPP: Making the most of extra time

Mar19

It’s 3 p.m. on a Monday, and all around the city – or the country for that matter – kids are filing out of school, headed for waiting parents or the bus.   Read more at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/147025/kipp-making-most-extra-time More »

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CEO of Urban Pathways Charter School retires

Mar19

The CEO of Urban Pathways Charter Schools has retired. “Urban Pathways Charter Schools Board of Trustees has accepted the retirement of Dr. Linda Clautti,” said a statement from Saul Markowitz, a spokesman for the school. “UPCS will continue to make the education and needs of their students their top priority.”   Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/19/CEO-of-Urban-Pathways-Charter-School-retires/stories/201403190167 More »

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Illogical hostility toward charter schools

Mar17

In the war between the rich and the poor, I’m enlisting on the side of the underdog — the rich. What a drubbing they’ve been taking! Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-illogical-hostility-toward-charter-schools/2014/03/17/b3f1ae4e-adf2-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html More »

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Advocates debate charter school accountability at A.G. hearing

Mar17

Education advocates called for increased oversight and transparency of the state’s charter schools, while sparring over a state Senate proposal that would allow universities to authorize new charters during a public hearing yesterday at City Hall.   Read more: http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-17/news/48269284_1_palmer-leadership-authorizer-learning-partners-charter-school More »

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Hearing on charter schools brings out varied opinions

Mar16

Philadelphia State Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale got an earful during a daylong meeting in Philadelphia on Friday on ways to improve the accountability and effectiveness of charter schools.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-15/news/48247305_1_lawrence-jones-jr-charter-schools-paul-kihn#g0aUwcKuU1k7u5cM.01 More »

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Cyber charter schools competing for students

Mar16

Each morning, Ricky Molner walks down the stairs of his Blakely home to his father’s real estate office. The high school junior sits down in a quiet corner and opens his laptop.   Read more at: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/cyber-charter-schools-competing-for-students-1.1650277 More »

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Charter schools in tense unions with financially pinched districts

Mar16

Pennsylvania’s process for approving charter schools pits would-be school reformers against traditional school districts eager to protect their money and enrollments — a situation that isn’t likely to change soon, advocates on both sides say. Read more: http://triblive.com/news/education/5613016-74/schools-charter-districts#axzz2w1uJrgWA More »

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Teens step up to promote businesses at iPitch Competition

Mar15

Anyone who knew 10th-grader Shane Jones two years ago would have hardly recognized the 16-year-old on Saturday as he confidently introduced himself as owner of Shane’s Bakery Service. Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/03/16/Teens-step-up-to-make-their-pitch/stories/201403160159 More »

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Dumaresq talks education budget in Erie

Mar14

There’s a growing awareness that more pension reform is needed to help struggling schools across the state, Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq said. Read more at: http://www.goerie.com/article/20140313/NEWS02/303129355/Dumaresq-talks-education-budget-in-Erie More »

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Montessori classrooms could be eliminated

Mar11

Millcreek schools Superintendent William Hall is asking the Millcreek School Board to consider eliminating the district’s Montessori classrooms and reducing the number of classrooms in its childhood development program. Read more at: http://goerie.com/montessori-classrooms-could-be-eliminated# More »

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More Renaissance charter schools planned for the fall

Mar11

The Philadelphia School District plans to designate two additional schools, likely K-6 or K-8 elementaries, for conversion to charter schools in September, Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn said Tuesday, making this the fifth straight year of the so-called Renaissance Charter Schools Initiative.   Read more at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/147005/more-renaissance-charter-schools-coming-year More »

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New money, new plans for 2 troubled Phila. schools

Mar11

Khyrie Brown stood outside his school and enumerated the things he was going to tell School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green on a tour of Blaine Elementary on Monday.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-11/news/48122649_1_neighborhood-schools-philadelphia-school-partnership-paul-kihn More »

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Missing link to quality charter schools

Mar11

The theory behind public charter schools is simple: greater flexibility in exchange for increased accountability will produce more high-quality options for families. What’s proven to be the challenge is the “accountability” part of this equation. Read more at: http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/missing-link-to-quality-charter-schools/article_945bfc28-86c2-54f8-8c9c-350f17866b34.html More »

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New Hope hearing focuses on charters, student performance

Mar10

An appeals court hearing on New Hope Academy Charter School’s fate focused largely on whether charter schools are required to meet specific student performance marks in order to keep their charters, a discussion that led one judge to lament the “vague” nature of the charter school law.   Read more at: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25314694/new-hope-hearing-focuses-charters-student-performance More »

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Pittsburgh part of national conversation on education

Mar10

Mayor Bill Peduto is among 14 mayors nationwide whose cities were chosen for “community conversations” focusing on early childhood education, after school and postsecondary education. Read more at: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/03/10/Pittsburgh-part-of-national-conversation-on-education/stories/201403100136 More »

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‘Cyber Days’ get boos in Pa.

Mar10

While many of us are thinking spring, state Rep. Ryan Aument is thinking about how big snowstorms force the closure of public schools and disrupt students’ classtime. Read more at: http://lancasteronline.com/opinion/editorials/cyber-days-get-boost-in-pa/article_2b92dee6-a858-11e3-b3e5-001a4bcf6878.html More »

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West Chester charter Sankofa in disarray, district says

Mar09

When West Chester’s Sankofa Academy opened in 2005, its founders touted it as an African American charter school where students would excel under a curriculum infused with their history and culture.   Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140309_West_Chester_charter_Sankofa_in_disarray__district_says.html       More »

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Renaissance Academy Seniors College Scholarships Surpasses 3 Million Dollars!

Mar07

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Holly Mandia, Marketing Coordinator Renaissance Academy Charter School 610-983-4080 holly.mandia@rak12.org   Renaissance Academy Seniors College Scholarships Surpasses 3 Million Dollars! March 7, 2014 PHOENIXVILLE, PA – Faye Tiger Conquest, High School Counselor for the Renaissance Academy Charter School, proudly announced today that the seniors of the Renaissance Academy Class of 2014 […] More »

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Officials put focus charter funding

Mar07

Charter school officials and rural public school district superintendents had the attention of Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Thursday at the Cambria County Courthouse.   Read more at: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/579810/Officials-put-focus-on-charter-funding.html?nav=742 More »

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Tech-supported learning is focus of SXSWedu conference

Mar07

Is the term “ed tech” a dinosaur? While it defines a delivery system for education, it also has become fraught with nuances of meaning—advancing learning, making money, requiring devices, stretching budgets, and challenging the traditional teaching model. Read more at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2014/03/tech-supported_learning_is_focus_of_sxswedu_conference.html More »

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Charter, cyber schools appraised

Mar06

Mark Bower is the high school principal and superintendent at Rockwood Area School District, two positions he has to hold because of lack of funding. Read more at: http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/x415042622/Charter-cyber-schools-appraised More »

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Charter schools could fall under PIAA scrutiny

Mar04

The peace and calm that has marked the brief tenure of Dr. Robert Lombardi as executive director of the PIAA might be coming to an end.   Read more at: http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/sports/high-school/charter-schools-could-fall-under-piaa-scrutiny/article_7b5afe98-8a97-50b5-b49a-7bebae3f86af.html More »

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West Chester school may have charter revoked

Mar04

Out of options, the West Chester Area School Board is considering revoking the charter of the Sankofa academy, unless the Africa-themed charter school can prove it is holding up its end of the bargain.   Read more at: http://www.dailylocal.com/social-affairs/20140304/west-chester-school-may-have-charter-revoked More »

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Erie School Board votes to deny charter for Huxley school

Mar04

The Erie School Board denied a charter application from the proposed Huxley Charter School for the Liberal Arts and Sciences after the board’s lawyer outlined numerous problems with the application and plan for operation.   Read more at: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140304/NEWS02/303049969/-1/ETN More »

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The $1 Billion Lie Exposed

Mar04

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took out full-page, color ads in several major state newspapers last week proclaiming Gov. Corbett “closed neighborhood schools” and laid off teachers in Philadelphia through massive education funding cuts. In the western part of the state the ad warns, “Don’t let Allegheny County be the next Philadelphia.”   Read […] More »

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Educational equity

Mar02

James B. Stewart rightly challenges the Pittsburgh community to rededicate itself to closing the achievement gap in his Feb. 15 Forum piece (“Still Walking in Circles”).   Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/03/02/Educational-equity/stories/201403020099 More »

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Online classes multiply in state

Mar02

Nicole Rizzitano practices pirouettes at ballet school in Seattle, but she expects to graduate 2,500 miles away in May from the North Hills School District. Read more: http://triblive.com/news/education/5632769-74/online-students-district#axzz2utvhpPMi More »

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Pa. free lunches on the rise in poor economy

Mar01

From October 2005 to October 2013, state statistics show enrollment dropped by 663, but the number of students qualifying for free lunches rose by 418 and the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches rose from 25.9 to 41.2. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/02/More-Pennsylania-students-qualifying-for-free-lunches/stories/201403020112 More »

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