Thursday, February 10, 2011

Voucher Editorials/ Act 1 Index may be as low as .88/ Keystone Exam Program may be scaled back/ NSBA Conference Notes

Public Opinion Online Editorial
It's the start of a new policy era in Harrisburg, led by a new supermajority controlling legislative agendas and executive functions.

The following commentary from cites the same Friedman Foundation report that I posted about yesterday (“no credible evidence”) as justification for vouchers.  
For the record, Charlotte Hummel's actual full quote was, "to prevent the privatization of education, I will be standing in the schoolhouse door.  Our kids are not for sale."

FORBES.COM Feb. 8, 2011
Commentary: It's Time For School Choice In Pennsylvania
School choice puts education back in the hands of parents, where it belongs.
By Dick Armey and Ana Puig

Pottstown Mercury
Pottstown School Board Members Oppose Voucher Plan
By Evan Brandt, Feb. 7, 2011
There are few members of the Pottstown School Board looking favorably on the state Senate proposal to establish a voucher system in Pennsylvania.

State’s budget planning worries Northern Tier schools February 8, 2011 - By CHERYL R. CLARKE
This article reports that the 2012-13 Act 1 index will be "much lower" than this year's 1.4 percent cap.
"They are talking about .88 for 2012-13”

Keystone Exam program may be scaled back
Palisades school director Steve Kunkel passed along this information yesterday.  I am working on getting confirmation and further details and will keep you posted.
This morning the Bucks County Intermediate Unit shared with us that a representative from PDE announced a change to the graduation requirements that will affect the class of 2017 (current 6th grade class) and beyond.  Our current 7th and 8th grade students will still need to demonstrate proficiency in Algebra I, Biology, English Literature and English Composition. No change. Our current 6th grade students will demonstrate proficiency in the following Keystone Exams: Algebra I, Biology, English Literature, English Composition and Civics and Government. There will be only 5 Keystone Exams, not 10, due to budget considerations. Algebra II, Geometry, Chemistry, US History and World History Keystones will not be developed or administered.

NSBA focuses on ESEA reauthorization, federal funding at FRN conference

I was able to join more than 800 school board members and state school board association leaders who came to Washington this week to learn about the most current issues in Congress and spend a day meeting with their representatives on Capitol Hill.  Speakers included author and historian Diane Ravitch and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

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