Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tail Wagging the Dog: Corbett School Choice Transition Team/NSBA:Report shows how all school districts can continue to improve/additional PISA reactions

 
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Here’s some commentary for this chilly morning:
Tail Wagging the Dog: Corbett School Choice Transition Team
Vouchers - Your Tax Dollars with Zero Accountability

Following up on the number of school choice advocates appointed to the Corbett Education Transition Team, I asked PSBA’s Research Department what percentage of school age kids in Pennsylvania attend public schools.
They got back to me with these 2008-2009 school year figures from the PA Department of Education:

SCHOOL TYPE
2008-09 ENROLLMENT
PERCENT
Public
1,773,062
87.4%
Private & nonpublic
256,617
12.6
TOTAL
2,029,679
100%

So it really is a case of the tail wagging the dog; of 33 transition team members only 1 could be characterized as a K-12 public school advocate.
Not one of Pennsylvania’s public school teachers, principals, PTO members, 4500 school board members, 500 superintendents or 500 business managers made the team.
However, five team members are current or former board members of the REACH Foundation or REACH Alliance, Pennsylvania’s leading voucher advocacy organization.

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NSBA School Board News Today for 12/08/10
Report shows how all school districts can continue to improve

Here’s the McKinsey & Company report referenced in the NSBA article above:
How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better
How does a school system with poor performance become good? And how does one with good performance become excellent?

More on the PISA results from Google News:
US falls to average in education ranking
By Karin Zeitvogel (AFP) – 2 days ago
WASHINGTON — The United States has fallen from top of the class to average in world education rankings, said a report Tuesday that warned of US economic losses from the trend.
The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

Western Nations React to Poor Education Results


NY Times By D.D. GUTTENPLAN Published: December 8, 2010
LONDON — A respected international survey that found teenagers in Shanghai to be the best-educated in the world has prompted officials elsewhere across the globe to question their own educational systems, and even led the British education minister to promise an overhaul in student testing.


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