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Our coverage of the Renaissance Schools plan

Catching up with King High

By the Notebook on Dec 2, 2011 04:28 PM

by Bill Hangley, Jr.
for WHYY/NewsWorks and the Notebook


This story, a product of a reporting collaboration
between the Notebook and WHYY, was produced for radio and featured on NewsWorks Tonight. Bill Hangley reports from last week's annual Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Bowl" game in Germantown.

Philadelphia school officials have named a new principal for Martin Luther King High in Germantown. You may have heard the story of how a politically connected charter school operator almost took over King. Now the school has a new plan, but plenty of unanswered questions remain.

It's just a few minutes before kickoff and William Wade is the picture of optimism.

Autonomy within the District

By Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 04:12 PM

Amid all the debate about charters and vouchers, one glaring gap remains in the reform landscape: District turnaround schools that enjoy the same autonomy as Renaissance charters. The current options are highly autonomous charters and highly prescribed District Promise Academies.

There are great District principals who have turned around chronically low-performing schools. They should be encouraged to take on similar challenges today, provided that they can also prepare successors so their current schools continue to enjoy strong leadership.

Incomplete Renaissance data

By Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011 04:12 PM

In your October issue, a table presented figures to suggest that charter-managed Renaissance Schools recorded impressive gains in reading and math during the first year of the Renaissance initiative. In the weeks since, this table has been widely cited – from Education Week to the Huffington Post. We don't intend to contest the claim that the charter-managed Renaissance Schools are producing gains in student achievement; rather, our goal is to highlight that the way these data were presented raises more questions than it answers.

Proposed closure list has only 9 schools - for now

By by Benjamin Herold on Nov 23, 2011 04:12 PM

After months of bracing the city for the possibility of widespread school closings and consolidations, District officials recommended in early November that just nine schools be shuttered.

Five elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools are being targeted for closure.

District crafts plans to expand School Advisory Councils

By by Paul Jablow on Nov 23, 2011 04:12 PM

The School District is finalizing plans to expand and improve School Advisory Councils, with the aim of introducing them into additional schools and training members and school principals about their roles.

Despite gains, Renaissance expansion uncertain

By Benjamin Herold on Nov 17, 2011 01:05 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks
 

Despite encouraging signs of progress in their first cohort of 13 Renaissance Schools, District officials are not yet sure if they will attempt to turn around more low-performing public schools next year.

Thomas Darden, the District's deputy chief of strategic programs, said that “no decision has been made yet” about whether to hand more struggling public schools over to outside managers for conversion to charters.

RFA responds to Notebook's data presentation

By Guest blogger on Nov 15, 2011 04:04 PM

This guest blog post comes from Research for Action Executive Director Kate Shaw, and Principal Investigators Michael Norton and Eva Gold. This post was originally submitted in letter format.


With increased emphasis on “data-driven decision-making,” what is presented as data, and how it is presented, has become more important than ever.

In the October 2011 issue of The Notebook, a table entitled, “Turnaround providers report big test gains” presented figures to suggest that charter-managed Renaissance Schools recorded rather impressive gains in both reading and math during the first year of the Renaissance Initiative, the 2010-11 school year.

In the weeks since, this table has been widely cited—from Education Week to the Huffington Post, and beyond.

This response from Research for Action (RFA) is not intended to contest the claim that the charter-managed Renaissance Schools are producing gains in student achievement; rather, our goal is to highlight that the way these data were presented raises more questions than it answers.

Distrito quiere consejos de asesoria escolar en todos lados

By por Paul Jablow on Oct 5, 2011 05:07 PM

El problema (estudiantes que estaban siendo intimidados en el camino de ida y vuelta a la escuela) no era tan fuera de lo común, pero la reacción de la comunidad escolar sí.

En cuestión de semanas, todas las esquinas en un radio de cinco cuadras de la escuela elemental estaban siendo patrulladas por padres y miembros de la comunidad antes de comenzar el día escolar y después de la salida. Los padres también establecieron un programa de “pasillos seguros” dentro de la escuela. Toda la intimidación terminó.

In Philadelphia, 22 schools targeted for overhaul

By Anonymous on Oct 5, 2011 05:14 PM

KEY

Schools

Grades Served

Principal

Big test score gains at Renaissance charters

By Benjamin Herold on Sep 27, 2011 05:34 PM

For the Notebook’s October print edition on school turnarounds, we took a comprehensive look at the city's initial group of seven Renaissance charter schools. This article looks at test score gains at the schools . You can also read more about the extent to which the schools remained neighborhood schools.

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