Thursday, January 20, 2011
Voucher bill lists eligible schools
by Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 20 2011 Posted in Latest news
Senate Bill 1, the voucher bill that is the top educational priority of the new administration in Harrisburg, lists 144 schools whose students will be eligible for vouchers if they meet certain income limits.
Of that total, 88 are in Philadelphia.
The list is interesting:
- It includes every neighborhood high school in the city except for Northeast and Audenried, which didn't have an 11th grade to be tested.
- It includes several discipline schools, including Learning Academy North, where students attend after being expelled, raising questions of whether those students would also be eligible.
- It includes Renaissance Schools and Promise Academies, schools currently undergoing makeovers either by outside organizations or a District team. The ones now under outside managers are now charter schools, raising
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Are We Putting Kids in a Box or a Rocket?
My four year old loves to read David Shannon's Too Many Toys. In it, Spencer has too many toys and Mom wants to clear out all the ones he doesn’t use. At the end of the book he doesn’t care to keep the toys, but the box that holds them. He transforms it into a rocket and soars around the house.
Is impromptu creative play a concept of the past?
Skill and drill and standardized testing are the rigorous practices of our kids today, the driver for schools to be deemed successful. As I view the curriculum and walk into classrooms across my school district, I don't see the kind of activity that allows for students to create. The interactions with peers, where empathy, impulse control, problem-solving and risk taking are nurtured, are minimal or nonexistent. I see children lined up neatly in a row, learning their standards and preparing for assessments. They can regurgitate math facts, identify elements of a story but they don't know how to invent a game.
We do need to have a time where skills are developed and knowledge is enhanced. But we also need time to foster
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