Monday, August 8, 2011

PCN schedule/Vouchers: :No positive impact"/NCLB Override

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PCN coverage of recent school choice and budget impact hearings slated to run on Monday and Tuesday

9:30a School Choice Panel Discussion of August 2nd, PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee

12:05p Charter School Act and School Choice (Wednesday), PA House Education Committee Hearing of August 3rd

7:00p Charter School Act and School Choice (Thursday) PA House Education Committee Hearing of August 4th

10:25p School Choice Panel Discussion of August 2nd, PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee

9:00a Impact of PA Budget – Hearing held in Beaver County on August 3rd, PA House Democratic Policy Committee


Finding that vouchers have little impact on student achievement do not deter advocates
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer, August 8, 2011
A national education policy center says there was "no clear, positive impact on student academic achievement" for pupils who used money from publicly funded voucher programs to transfer to private schools.


When state cut school aid, poorer districts lost

By Marc Levy, Associated Press,  Published: Monday, August 08, 2011
HARRISBURG (AP) — Cutbacks in state aid for public schools hit Pennsylvania's poorer school districts the hardest, slashing nearly three times as many dollars in aid per student compared with wealthier districts, according to an Associated Press analysis of state data.
All told, the poorest 150 school districts, or 30 percent of the state's total, lost $537.5 million in five key program lines. That works out to $581 per student, the AP's analysis found. The wealthiest 150 school districts, as measured by the number of children who qualify for subsidized school lunches, lost $123 million, or $214 per student.


Overriding a Key Education Law

New York Times By SAM DILLON, Published: August 8, 2011
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced that he will unilaterally override the centerpiece requirement of the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, that 100 percent of students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.


Pennsylvania to try teacher evaluation pilot program
20 percent of schools will take part in program beginning this term
By Lauren Rosenthal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday, August 08, 2011

Read more:

Tim Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said the state is engaging schools in a three-part pilot program of a teacher evaluation system that relies heavily on value-added measures -- a controversial yardstick that uses student test scores to determine the "value" teachers add to student knowledge over the course of a year. 
Current legislation forbids schools from using student test performance to evaluate teacher effectiveness, but Mr. Eller said state lawmakers will consider a bill to overturn that restraint during the coming legislative session.
Read more:


Tests part of accountability

Scranton Times-Tribune August 7, 2011 Editorial
As the Legislature considers whether to establish a voucher program, it also must decide whether students who use public money to attend non-public schools should be subject to standardized testing.

Des Moines Register WILLIAM PETROSKI 3:57 PM, Aug 2, 2011
Perry, Ia. – Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum criticized early education programs on Tuesday as an effort to "indoctrinate your children," adding that parents, not federal bureaucrats, must be responsible for the success of students.

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