Friday, August 26, 2011

Not one legislative minute spent on promoting what works or on making schools safer

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Commentary: Not one legislative minute spent on promoting what works or on making schools safer

The PA Legislature has held numerous committee hearings on school choice issues this session.  Twenty years of education reform have shown no systematic better results for charters and vouchers except for those who profit from it.  Although we hear steady PR about "rescuing kids from failing, violent schools" there have been no hearings about identifying and promoting best practices that might be used to help all kids, or about making our schools safer for all kids.


Education reform discussion continues at the Pennsylvania state Capitol

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 9:25
The Senate Education Committee is up to bat today in the ongoing education reform discussion that have been a popular subject of legislative hearings this summer.
The panel will hear testimony onSenate Bill 904, sponsored by the committee chairmen Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin County, that calls for major reforms to Pennsylvania's charter school law.


For Senate Ed Committee testimony presented yesterday:


Allentown Board hires consultant, temporary academic chief

Vote comes week after district gave Allentown superintendent $250,000 to resign.

By Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call
10:51 p.m. EDT, August 25, 2011
The Allentown School Board on Thursday hired a temporary chief academic officer at $500 a day and renewed a $79,200 contract for another consultant to monitor the progress of former Superintendent Gerald Zahorchak's controversial Pathways to Success program.,0,6577599.story


Standardized tests: Time for a national opt-out

Parents have the power to break the stranglehold of standardized testing

Baltimore Sun By Shaun Johnson, 4:14 p.m. EDT, August 25, 2011
Here's an update to a clichéd philosophical question: If a test is scheduled and no one is around to take it, will this test matter?
The new school year for many public school teachers begins weeks before students arrive. Educators attend hours of workshops to discover that the newest acronym is simply a substitute for an older one. More importantly, piles of test data are pored over to both assess the previous year and to fully appreciate what is to come with a new crop of students.

Posted on Fri, Aug. 26, 2011
Hearing in Neshaminy blasts teacher strikes
By Bill Reed Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania must prohibit teacher strikes to ensure that children get the education they deserve and school districts are able to negotiate affordable contracts, lawmakers, school board officials, and parents told the state House Education Committee on Thursday.

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