July 19, 2012 |
When New Jersey approved nine new charter schools on Monday, it also announced a new accountability system aimed at setting uniform standards to evaluate the success of charters over time. The annual "Performance Framework" will examine academic achievement, financial performance, and governance in the state's 86 charter schools. Schools will do a self-review, evaluated by the state. Previously, the state simply relied on each school's initial application plan to hold the schools accountable, said Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.
July 1, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Four seventh-grade boys from upstate New York who were caught on video mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor have received their punishment. The school system in the Rochester suburb of Greece says it will suspend the middle school students from school and from using regular bus transportation for a year for bullying Karen Klein. The students will be transferred to a special alternative education program because the district is legally required to give the students an education.
June 14, 2012 |
THE FIRST DAY of classes at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School last fall had "kind of an Oprah moment," recalled Jason Corosanite. All 250 of the school's sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders were gathered at its Broad and Oregon location. Each was presented with an iPad to use throughout the school year. "You could hear the shrieks for blocks," said Corosanite. Clearly, it's not every student who gets to start (as opposed to end) the school term with the chant "no more books.
June 8, 2012 |
The Philadelphia School District has lost another legal battle over capping charter school enrollment. Commonwealth Court ruled Monday that the state Department of Education was correct when it decided to withhold more than $400,000 in state funding from the district and send the amount to the Freire Charter School in Center City in a dispute over the number of students permitted to attend. A 2008 state law prohibits districts from capping charter school enrollment unless the school agrees.
June 7, 2012 |
The American political dance has the tendency to transform even the most upstanding citizens into prepubescent teenagers. From Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner, Washington does weird things to those who run it. And, for the most part, the American public is used to our revered democracy functioning on adolescent principles. But Mitt Romney took the presidential brawl — I mean, race — to a new low with his commandment to supporters: Go forth and heckle. "If the president is going to have his people coming to my rallies, and heckling, why, we'll show them that, you know, we conservatives have the same kind of capacity he does," the imminent Republican nominee told supporters outside an event at Solyndra headquarters, according to CNN. Was I the only one who didn't realize that the savvy businessman-turned-governor was a 12-year-old in disguise?
May 31, 2012 |
Persistently low test scores placed one of Camden's six charter schools on the state's new "priority list" of the lowest-performing schools last month, and a recent review of Freedom Academy Charter School just landed it on probation status. The middle school, which opened in 2004, could have its charter revoked if it does not implement a remedial plan by mid-August and if its academic performance does not improve, according to a letter from the state sent to Freedom Academy officials last week.
May 22, 2012 |
TO THOSE familiar with his body of work, it should come as no surprise that Dean Grande fills the leadership role for George Washington High's baseball team. Even as a freshman, he was saying, in effect, "Yo, see those horns over there? I don't care if they belong to a bull. I'm gonna grab them. " The 5-8, 170-pound Grande is in his fourth season of starting at catcher. And that's exactly how long he has played the position. Not bad, right? "I always saw myself as a shortstop.
May 16, 2012 |
THREE COLLEGES based in Florida had been making overtures to Britton Lee because of his basketball skills. Monday night, however, the 5-10, 175-pound guard from Roman Catholic made an oral commitment to Robert Morris, in Pittsburgh. That might seem like a curious move, especially since Lee is a junior, but it makes every last bit of sense to him. "Why am I doing this? Because of all the loyalty they've shown," Lee said. "They've been after me since 2 years ago. And they were my very first offer.
May 10, 2012 |
UPON FIRST GLANCE, there's a strong temptation to think Oumar Diawara is cool only because he has participated in five sports this school year for Boys' Latin Charter. And, indeed, that's an amazing accomplishment. But Diawara, a 6-foot, 150-pound senior, also deserves praise for his classroom feats (cumulative 3.2 GPA through 4 years), especially with one very important variable in mind. As recently as 7 years ago, English was mostly a rumor to Diawara. Though he was born in Philly, at age 5 he'd been sent to Bamako, Mali, in Africa, to live with his grandfather/namesake, Oumar Diakara.
May 7, 2012 |
When Ben Simons was born at Chester County Hospital in May 1994, the doctor who delivered him told his parents he would be a soccer player - for a practical reason. Simons was born without his left hand and forearm. His mother, Katie Simons, initially thought she might leave her job to tend to her son full-time. "For the first few months I was home with him, I thought, 'This is ridiculous,' " she said. " 'Look at this kid. He's just smiling and growing; there's nothing else wrong with him. He can do whatever he sets his mind to.' And he's continued to prove that to us throughout his life.