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3 schools named to receive redesign awards

By Paul Socolar on Dec 4, 2015 10:30 AM

Three Philadelphia neighborhood schools have been named by the School District to make up the second cohort of the District's School Redesign Initiative and will start planning now for changes to be implemented next fall.

South Philadelphia principal Hackney to be chief education officer, Kenney says

By Paul Socolar on Nov 13, 2015 11:09 AM

[Updated, 3:20 pm with Hite statement]

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has named Otis Hackney, the principal at South Philadelphia High School since 2010, to be his chief education officer. 

Hackney is widely acclaimed for turning around the high school, which had been plagued by racial tension and by violent attacks on Asian students.

Help the Notebook as we examine standardized testing in Pa.

By Paul Socolar on Nov 6, 2015 06:16 PM

The debate about standardized testing has taken center stage in recent weeks, with the Obama administration acknowledging that its policies have contributed to a climate of overtesting in schools.

Clearing the record on Source4Teachers pay rates

By Paul Socolar on Nov 2, 2015 07:07 PM

The embattled substitute teacher supplier, Source4Teachers, announced a boost in some of its pay rates last week. There's been confusion and inaccuracy in past press reports, including our own, about how much the company is paying to whom. So we held up our story on that news to make sure we're getting the details correct.

It has been a slow process, but the Notebook has finally gotten answers that may clear up some confusion.

Why Philadelphia needs a 'Citizens' Commission for Education'

By Susan Gobreski on Oct 30, 2015 04:00 PM

We need a better mechanism for authentic public participation in the governance of the state-controlled School District of Philadelphia.

Education Voters has launched a new effort calling for the creation of a “Citizens’ Commission for Education” in Philadelphia.

Our current structure is inadequate. “We the people” really don’t have a way to ask questions about what is going on with schools. We can go to School Reform Commission meetings and make comments or ask questions, but that is all – speakers have no certainty of a response.

Nutter to sum up 8-year effort to boost education outcomes in Tuesday speech

By Kevin McCorry for WHYY/NewsWorks on Oct 26, 2015 07:28 PM

Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter set an ambitious agenda for schools in his 2008 inauguration speech, promising to cut in half the number of dropouts while doubling the number of Philadelphians who hold college degrees — both by 2015.

"I'm asking you to join me in the greatest American city turnaround that anyone has seen in the last 50 years. Ladies and gentlemen, I've laid out for you: This is the new Philadelphia," said Nutter during that speech.

Why I'm going to 'Brunch with Paul'

By Vicki Ellis on Oct 16, 2015 11:43 AM

I have known Notebook editor/publisher Paul Socolar forever. I recall, years ago, the very first Notebooks being dropped off at my neighborhood school, E. M. Stanton Elementary. 

In the ensuing years, the Notebook told the E.M. Stanton School story twice as we fought for the school's very life (Stanton successfully averted closure in 2003 and again in 2012). There is no doubt that having the Stanton story covered by the Notebook made a difference in our successful efforts to keep Stanton open as a good neighborhood school option for our kids and beyond!

Over the years, I have often said, "The Notebook consistently provides the best coverage of public education of any newspaper in the region – hands down." The Notebook moved onto the digital and social media stage without missing a beat.  

PSSA scores for District, charter schools: Philly students struggled in math

By Paul Socolar on Sep 29, 2015 06:02 PM

As has happened across the state, math scores in grades 3-8 for both District and charter schools in Philadelphia sank this year on the new, tougher PSSA exam, which was aligned for the first time with Pennsylvania's more rigorous core standards.

The School District released test score results for each school weeks ago, but charter school results on the 2015 PSSA were released for the first time today by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Less than $11,000 to go – Donate today to help the Notebook!

By Paul Socolar on Jun 26, 2015 04:52 PM

Thanks to more than 100 contributions from our readers and a $10,000 matching gift, the Notebook has made it two-thirds of the way to the year-end fundraising target of $45,000.

Notebook kicks off year-end fund drive and announces matching gift

By Paul Socolar on Jun 10, 2015 10:58 AM

The Notebook celebrated 21 years of publishing and honored noted photographer Harvey Finkle on Tuesday before a packed house at University of the Arts.

The organization also kicked off a major, year-end fundraising drive at the event. Between now and June 30, the Notebook must raise $45,000.

Documentary depicts trauma in life of student now attending Penn

By Paul Socolar on Apr 28, 2015 07:50 PM

The Notebook and 5th Borough Films are proud to announce the release and screening this Friday, May 1, of Glen’s Village, a 30-minute documentary film about a University of Pennsylvania student, Glen Casey, and the challenging path he has followed to get there.

Directed and produced by journalists Dorian Geiger and Paul Jablow, the film will be shown at 5:30 p.m. at the Urban Studies Department on the University of Pennsylvania campus – in Room G17 of Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th St. 

Bill Green won't go to court to win back the title of SRC chair

By Paul Socolar on Mar 9, 2015 09:15 PM

Eight days ago, Bill Green was unceremoniously removed from his position as chair of the five-member School Reform Commission by Gov. Wolf, who named Commissioner Marjorie Neff to replace him.

Green responded that Wolf didn't have the authority to remove him and that he would contest the action in court, while continuing to serve as a commissioner.

A survey: Tell us about the educational technology at your school

By Paul Socolar on Mar 5, 2015 02:21 PM

The Notebook's upcoming April edition will take a look at the state of educational technology in Philadelphia's public schools -- District and charter. It's the first time the Notebook has made technology the focus of an edition.

To inform our reporting, we are inviting teachers, school staff, parents, and others who are closely involved with schools to share their view of the technology situation at their schools by completing a quick informal survey.

District study: Students in career and technical education programs do well

By Paul Socolar on Jan 15, 2015 11:00 AM

Philadelphia students who take part in career and technical education programs in District high schools are much more likely to graduate than their academically similar peers who do not participate in these programs, according to a new School District research study.

District researchers presented the findings at a public meeting at District headquarters on Wednesday. The results are a boost to proponents of career and technical education (CTE), once referred to as vo-tech and sometimes in the past derided as less rigorous than academic classes.

Be there for us - we'll be there for you

By Paul Socolar on Dec 23, 2014 08:42 PM

The Notebook staff is preparing for an exciting 2015 – another year of changes and challenges for the Philadelphia public school system ... and for our nonprofit news organization. Your voices, your concerns drive our coverage. We also depend on you, our readers, to help financially to maintain and expand this independent, comprehensive coverage. The Notebook could not exist if not for your support.

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