All 4 Living Former First Ladies Decry Trump Border Policy That Separates Families
New York Times By Matt Stevens and Sarah Mervosh June 19, 2018
In the weeks since the Trump administration instituted a zero tolerance policy that seeks to criminally prosecute anyone who crosses the border unlawfully and effectively causes children to be separated from their families, criticism has poured in from advocacy groups, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and a host of political luminaries who are no longer in office. Now, in the span of about 24 hours, all four living former first ladies have added their voices to the chorus of public critique, calling the practice “immoral,” “disgraceful” and a “humanitarian crisis.” Even the current first lady, Melania Trump, took the somewhat unusual step of issuing a statement that appeared to align somewhat with her predecessors, while also avoiding assigning partisan blame. “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her office said in a statement on Sunday. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
“Our nation’s public school superintendents and the schools they serve are legally required to educate the children that come through their doors. We are deeply concerned with recent steps that result in the separation of children and parents at the border.”
AASA Issues Statement On Immigration
Alexandria, Va. – June 18, 2018 – AASA,The School Superintendents Association, released the following statement in response to the forced separation of children and parents at the U.S. border. “Our nation’s public school superintendents and the schools they serve are legally required to educate the children that come through their doors. We are deeply concerned with recent steps that result in the separation of children and parents at the border. “Immigration policy is not easy, but we are deeply troubled by the purposeful and aggressive implementation of a policy that is widely recognized as flawed, one that separates young children from their parents in a world they do not know. AASA is an organization that serves and represents education professionals. And while we won’t claim expertise in immigration policy, the nation’s public school superintendents are experts in what can and does work for students and young children, and we know that the separation policy is harmful, traumatic, and stressful, and these effects may follow these children for the rest of their lives. “Policy can be tough and fair without being inhumane, and we urge the administration to immediately cease this intentionally cruel policy.”
For additional questions, please contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, policy and advocacy, at email@example.com.
Here's what nearly every Pa. congressman said about Donald Trump's brutal border policy
Penn Live By John L. Micek firstname.lastname@example.org Updated Jun 18, 2:48 PM; Posted Jun 18, 12:57 PM
President Donald Trump's White House continued Monday to falsely blame Democrats for its own hardline policy of separating families and children at the border. Meanwhile, bipartisan anger at the policy continued to build on Capitol Hill. Amidst all that, here's what most members of Pennsylvania's U.S. House delegation, and its two U.S. Senators, have to say about the debate. A quick inspection will reveal a pattern. Democrats have been vocally critical, while Trump's fellow Republicans have either been supportive or notably silent. In cases where we could not reach lawmakers for comment, we will update once we hear from them.
Barletta defends Trump’s family separation policy
Citizens Voice BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK / PUBLISHED: JUNE 19, 2018
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta defended the Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents who enter the United States illegally from Mexico. Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, said Monday the policy amounts to enforcing federal law to deter illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants break the law and deserve the same treatment as citizens who commit other crimes in the United States and lose custody of their children, he said. “I’m not in favor of separating children from parents,” Barletta said in an interview. “But what I’m not in favor of is creating a separate law for people who come in to the country illegally with their family and American citizens who commit a crime in the United States and have to go through a criminal procedure.” Federal agents separated almost 2,000 children from their border-crossing parents between mid-April and the end of May, the administration said Friday.
Pat Toomey on border separations: Problem has been 'exaggerated significantly'
Inquirer by Katherine Nails, Staff Writer @katherinernails | email@example.com Updated: JUNE 18, 2018 — 4:42 PM EDT
Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Monday to discuss the separation of families at the U.S. border, saying he believes the problem has been “exaggerated significantly.” When Hewitt, a conservative radio host, defended the issue’s legitimacy, citing reports from the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC, Toomey — one of a number of Philadelphia-area lawmakers who has weighed in on the issue — followed up by stating that Congress should pass legislation to permit family-detention centers and that he was not an expert on the subject. “This is not my area of expertise, Hugh,” he said. “…Maybe this is happening with a higher frequency than I’ve been aware of, and it is certainly, it’s just not the right thing to be doing.” Toomey was not the only local politician to speak out about the detention centers. Area lawmakers across the political spectrum have voiced their opinions. Here’s what you need to know about the situation, and what local lawmakers have to say about it.
A secret recording captures the sounds of crying children separated from parents at the border
Inquirer by Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post Updated: JUNE 18, 2018 — 11:19 PM EDT
The practice of separating children from their parents, a result of the Trump administration’s new hard-line immigration enforcement policy, has unfolded largely in the dark, separated from the public and restricted to the media. But on Monday, the nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica published what it said was a recording taken inside one of the facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection where children taken from their parents are housed. The audio includes the sounds of a chorus of children sobbing and asking for their parents, some in what sounds like significant levels of distress. They call out “daddy!” and “mommy!” – in Spanish – repeatedly. Others sob so hard it seems they are gasping for air. In a country already driven by an emotional debate about immigration, the recording has landed with a thud, joining other reporting, photographs and documentation that have emerged in recent days showing how the hard right turn of federal immigration policy is playing out on a human scale along the border.
Pennsylvania House panel set to vote on gun bills
Morning Call by Steve Esack Contact Reporter Call Harrisburg Bureau June 18, 2018
A high school in Parkland, Fla. A nightclub in Orlando. A concert in Las Vegas.
Three places where large mass shootings killed a combined 124 people since June 2016. Now, the Pennsylvania House is taking its first votes on a series of bills aimed at preventing mass shootings here. One bill would ban mechanisms that make semi-automatic triggers faster. Another would require criminal background checks on all firearms purchases. Three others deal with domestic abusers and mental illness. It’s unclear if there’s enough political support for any of the bills to pass the chamber, where a large bloc of lawmakers closely vets anything it sees as encroaching on the Second Amendment. Retiring Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, doesn’t care. After conducting seven public hearings on gun bills, Marsico is calling for votes beginning at 9 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee. The committee handles gun legislation in the House, and for years Marsico, as chairman, was accused by critics of sitting on bills that would tighten the state’s gun laws.
The NRA wants to scare lawmakers out of supporting reasonable gun control. Don't let it happen
Penn Live By John L. Micek firstname.lastname@example.org Updated 7:59 AM; Posted 7:56 AM
Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
It's days like these that remind us of why it's nearly impossible for Pennsylvania to enact the kind of reasonable gun control measures that a majority of voters say they want their elected leaders to approve. With an election looming, the National Rifle Association is leaning hard on legislators to shoot down bills that would ban so-called 'bump stocks' and expand background checks to private gun sales. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. this morning in the House Majority Caucus Room to take up nine bills, many of them the product of days' worth of hearings the panel held on gun-control and safety measures this spring.
Among them is a measure sponsored by Rep. James R. Santora, R-Delaware, that would impose universal background checks on all gun purchases, including those at gun shows. In its email, the NRA warned that these "measures place undue burden on law-abiding gun owners when criminals, by definition, do not follow such laws."
The Rundown: State Senate Embraces Exam Alternatives
Reading Eagle, Pa. — Reading Eagle, Pa. June 18
Legislation that seeks to prevent the Keystone Exams from being a lone hurdle to graduation from high school in Pennsylvania passed the Senate Education Committee last week, to the applause of both the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the president of the state's largest teachers union. Senate Bill 1095 seeks to revise the high school graduation requirement calling for students to pass the state-developed Keystone Exams in literature, algebra and biology -- a mandate the General Assembly has delayed twice and is now scheduled to take effect for the 2019-20 school year. The bill offers four options for alternatives to passing all three Keystone Exams to graduate, including a student's: achieving equivalent scores on alternative tests; winning acceptance to an apprenticeship program after graduation; and being able to demonstrate competency through evidence specific to career and technical education. "This proposal allows various assessments and pieces of evidence to be used to show proficiency rather than using Keystone Exams as the sole consideration of student success," PSBA Chief Executive Officer Nathan G. Mains said in a news release Wednesday. "The proposal appropriately recognizes the achievement of knowledge and skills relevant to students' individual career pathways."
Future Ready Index: New state tool to evaluate schools to launch this fall
Citizens Voice by SARAH HOFIUS HALL / PUBLISHED: JUNE 17, 2018
In an effort to increase transparency and provide a better progress report on achievement, growth and other outcomes, the state plans to launch a new evaluation tool this fall. The Future Ready PA Index meets federal requirements and replaces the School Performance Profile system. The index comes after the Pennsylvania Department of Education received feedback from “thousands of stakeholders” on the best way to determine success and hold schools accountable, said Pedro A. Rivera, state secretary of education. “They were pretty clear,” he said. “They did not want to see a system of accountability tied to one single measure.” The index includes three main categories:
PA Department of Education: Future Ready Index Website
In looking at ways to create a more holistic school evaluation tool, the Pennsylvania Department of Education conducted dozens of feedback sessions to solicit recommendations from more than 1,000 stakeholders around a new measure. The proposed Future Ready PA Index will serve as Pennsylvania’s one-stop location for comprehensive information about school success, and will use a dashboard model to highlight how schools are performing and making progress on multiple indicators.
Philadelphia Charter School Performance Framework – District and Charter Ratings
Excellent Schools PA Website Posted 06.18.2018
The School District of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Office (CSO) has multiple responsibilities, one of which is that the CSO “monitors performance and promotes high standards in Philadelphia’s charter schools while preserving charter school autonomy and protecting the rights of students and families.” As was described in a previous blog post (What if every Philadelphia school was held to the same quality standards?), the CSO is carrying out this duty by utilize the Charter School Performance Framework (Framework) to inform charter renewal decisions. In January of 2018 an updated Framework and FAQ were released. These documents detail the Academic, Organizational and Financial scoring system, and answers many of the question one may have regarding the application of the Framework. The School Reform Commission has decided the Framework is the standard by which charters are evaluated to determine whether or not a school is meeting the needs of students and should continue operating. Which is why we thought it would be interesting to apply the Framework to all public schools in Philadelphia. We ran this calculation using raw data from the 2017 School Progress Reports, 2017 Keystone Exam results, and generating similar school groups from the Peer Group Demographics released by the District’s Performance Office.
Look up the average SAT score for every public high school in Pa.
By Sara K. Satullo email@example.com, For lehighvalleylive.com Updated 6:49 AM; Posted 6:48 AM
Taking the SAT is a rite of passage for college-bound Pennsylvania high schoolers. Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education releases a list of the average SAT score for every public high school in the state. We took a look at the 2017 average SAT scores -- the most recent available -- for students who were expected to graduate last year and compiled it into a search tool. The tool below allows you to compare the SAT score of any two Pennsylvania public high schools, including charter schools. A perfect score is 1,600 -- 800 for reading and writing and 800 for math. Pennsylvania's average state score for 2017 was 1,032. Scores may not add up exactly due to rounding.
“Collectively, we believe a curriculum oriented toward collaborative, experiential, and interdisciplinary learning will not only better prepare our students for college and their professional futures, but also result in more engaging programs for both students and faculty. We expect this approach will appeal to students’ innate curiosity, increase their motivation, and fuel their love of learning."
Rejecting AP Courses
Eight private schools in Washington area -- including St. Albans and Sidwell Friends -- announce they will stop offering Advanced Placement courses.
Inside Higher Ed By Scott Jaschik June 19, 2018
Eight elite private high schools in the Washington area this morning announced that they are dropping out of the Advanced Placement program. In a joint statement, they said that they were responding to "the diminished utility of AP courses and the desirability of developing our own advanced courses that more effectively address our students’ needs and interests. Collectively, we believe a curriculum oriented toward collaborative, experiential, and interdisciplinary learning will not only better prepare our students for college and their professional futures, but also result in more engaging programs for both students and faculty. We expect this approach will appeal to students’ innate curiosity, increase their motivation, and fuel their love of learning." The high schools making the announcement are institutions known for educating the children of the powerful of Washington. The schools are Georgetown Day, Holton-Arms, Landon, Maret, National Cathedral, Potomac, St. Albans and Sidwell Friends.
The joint statement says that the schools will phase out AP courses by 2022.
Bethlehem Area Superintendent: $281 million budget 'puts the money in the right places'
Jacqueline Palochko Contact Reporter Of The Morning Call June 18, 2018
The Bethlehem Area School Board passed a $281.3 million budget that raises taxes by 2.47 percent and adds American Sign Language to the high school curriculum, along with Spanish classes for elementary students. The board passed the budget 7-1 at its meeting Monday night. Director Tom Thomasik voted against it; Director Rogelio Ortiz was absent. After the meeting, Thomasik declined to explain his vote. The school district started budget talks earlier this year with a $10.7 million deficit, but was able to close that hole through cuts and borrowing from the fund balance. The tax millage rate will be 55.97 in Northampton County, and 18.37 in Lehigh County. Bethlehem Area straddles the two counties. Superintendent Joseph Roy praised the budget before it was voted on. He said the budget allows the district to continue to fund full-day kindergarten and the Reading By Grade 3 initiative the district has. The budget also continues the Project Lead the Way classes, a national nonprofit that develops STEM curriculum. “This budget is an investment in the district and in the community,” Roy said. “It really puts the money in the right places.”
Nazareth School Board passes budget with 2.3 percent tax hike
Kevin Duffy Special to The Morning Call June 18, 2018
The Nazareth Area School Board passed a budget that includes a tax increase for property owners in the district and a focus on student safety. The $88.8 million budget, representing a 4.82 percent increase over the current year, comes with a 2.3 percent increase in the real estate tax rate, or 1.23 mills more, taking the district to 54.49 mills overall. The increase means a homeowner with an average assessment of $70,500 will pay $86 more in property taxes next year, said Stuart Whiteleather, business administrator. The board voted 7-1 to approve the spending and tax plan, with Linda Stubits voting no. Jodi Mammana was absent. The district could have raised taxes by as much as 2.4 percent, or 1.28 mills, under the Act 1 index. The board was, in fact, looking at a 2.4 percent proposed increase as late as last week, before revisions to the spending plan, including a $7,500 reduction in legal consulting fees and $10,000 cuts to both the superintendent’s and facilities director’s budgets, were brought forth, Whiteleather said.
Salisbury OKs teachers contract with 2.5% raises
Margie Peterson Special to The Morning Call
Salisbury Township School Board last week approved a contract with the teachers union that grants raises of 2.5 percent each year of the four-year pact. The union, the Salisbury Education Association, which represents the districts’ approximately 135 teachers, approved the contract June 11, according to Salisbury Board President Frank Frankenfield. The school board’s Wednesday vote on the contract was 5-1, with George Gatanis voting no. Sam DeFrank was absent. Directors Carol Klinger and Audrey Frick abstained. Frick’s husband is a Salisbury teacher and Klinger is a retired teacher. The teachers will have one less work day, bringing the school year to 188 days. Medical coverage stays the same and there are no big changes in other aspects of the contract, Frankenfield said. The district and the union were in negotiations since January. The four-year pact goes into effect Sept. 1 and runs through Aug. 31, 2022.
Boyertown School Board cuts ‘pay-to-play’ fee in half
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 06/14/18, 6:56 AM EDT | UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO
BOYERTOWN >> As the result of a 6-3 vote Tuesday, it is now less expensive to participate in extracurricular activities in the Boyertown Area School District. After devoting more debate to the topic than to a $118 million budget that will raise property taxes by 5.4 percent, the board voted to reduce the activity fee, which was raised last year to $200 per student, with a $400 per-family cap. The new fee, which applies to those who participate in music programs as well as athletics, will go back to $100 per student and a family cap of $300. Voting against the fee reduction were board members Clay Breece, Ruth Dierolf and Christine Neiman. The vote and discussion came at a Tuesday night meeting packed with major issues including the approval of a decision to demolish Memorial Stadium and build a new one; extend the interim superintendent’s contract; approve a one-year $1.2 million teacher contract; and preserve the expiring per capita tax. But it was the subject of the activity fee reduction that garnered the most discussion.
PIAA making push to exclude high school athletics from sports gambling in Pennsylvania
Penn Live By Brian Linder | firstname.lastname@example.org on June 18, 2018 2:14 PM
Planning on placing a bet on a big-time high school game in Pennsylvania when the sports books open? Pump the brakes. At Monday’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee at the state capitol, PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi asked that the group “support our attempt to petition the Pennsylvania Gaming Board to exclude interscholastic activities.” Committee members, Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Ambridge), Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) and Senator Jay Costa, all said they would support the PIAA in that motion. “As the author of the original sports betting legislation, I’ll tell you that was not our intent to have interscholastic athletics,” Matzie said. “If there’s something we need to do legislatively, or if it’s as simple as making our thoughts known to the gaming control board, I’d be happy to do that.”
Apply Now for EPLC's 2018-2019 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program!
Applications are available now for the 2018-2019 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).
With more than 500 graduates in its first eighteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders. State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization. The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 13-14, 2018 and continues to graduation in June 2019.
Applications are being accepted now.
Click here to read more about the Education Policy Fellowship Program.
The application may be copied from the EPLC web site, but must be submitted by mail or scanned and e-mailed, with the necessary signatures of applicant and sponsor.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Fellowship Program and its requirements, please contact EPLC Executive Director Ron Cowell at 717-260-9900 or email@example.com.
Nominations for PSBA’s Allwein Advocacy Award due by July 16
PSBA Website May 14, 2018
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform. In addition to being a highly respected lobbyist, Timothy Allwein served to help our members be effective advocates in their own right. Many have said that Tim inspired them to become active in our Legislative Action Program and to develop personal working relationships with their legislators. The 2018 Allwein Award nomination process will begin on Monday, May 14, 2018. The application due date is July 16, 2018 in the honor of Tim’s birth date of July 16.
Download the Application
Join with EdVotersPA and PCCY for Capitol Caravan Days and fight for our public schools! When: 9:00-3:00 on June 12 or June 20 (your choice!)
Where: The Harrisburg Capitol
Why: To show state lawmakers that their constituents expect them to support public school students in the '18-19 budget
Education Voters of PA joining together with Pennsylvania Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) for a lobby day in Harrisburg. Join a team and meet with your state legislators and legislative leaders to talk about how the state can support K-12 students in the state budget.
Register Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdrk24gH61bp7Zjy_JFpIELPYcEvXx05Ld4-_CPltQYyqLSPw/viewform
Visits with legislators will be conducted earlier in the day. More information will be sent via email, shared in our publications and posted on our website closer to the event.
POWER 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM at the PA Capitol
On Wednesday, June 20th at 1 PM, students, parents, community activists, and faith leaders from different traditions will gather on the steps of the State Capitol Main Rotunda for POWER’s 100% SCHOOL FUNDING Day of Action to demand support for legislation to put 100% of the Commonwealth's Basic Education Budget through PA's Fair Funding Formula. We ask you to join us as we stand in solidarity with one another and continue demanding fair and fully funded education for Pennsylvania’s public school students. In addition to a large rally, we will march to Governor Tom Wolfe's office to pray for his support for 100% through the Formula. Join us as we hold meetings that day with our legislators asking each one to speak out in favor of POWER's 100% plan.
Our Public Schools Our Democracy: Our Fight for the Future
NPE / NPE Action 5th Annual National Conference
October 20th - 21st, 2018 Indianapolis, Indiana
We are delighted to let you know that you can purchase your discounted Early Bird ticket to register for our annual conference starting today. Purchase your ticket .
Early Bird tickets will be on sale until May 30 or until all are sold out, so don't wait. These tickets are a great price--$135. Not only do they offer conference admission, they also include breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Please don't forget room. We have secured discounted rates on a limited basis. You can find that link . Finally, if you require additional financial support to attend, we do offer based on need. Go and fill in an application. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Please join us in Indianapolis as we fight for the public schools that our children and communities deserve. Don't forget to . We can't wait to see you.