Friday, September 23, 2011

Legislative fight over vouchers may come to a head quickly

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Legislative fight over vouchers may come to a head quickly
The notebook by Paul Jablow September 22, 2011
Supporters and opponents of a state-supported voucher system in Pennsylvania agree on one thing: the fight over the issue in the new legislative session is likely to be quicker and more focused than it was in the last session, when no bill reached Gov. Tom Corbett's desk.
Rep. Paul Clymer (R., Bucks), chairman of the House Education Committee, said that by the start of October, he expected his committee to have a bill different from Senate Bill 1, which failed to gain sufficient support last session.
"It will be narrowly drawn to help kids in failing schools," he said.

Obama to Waive Parts of No Child Left Behind

New York Times By SAM DILLON, Published: September 22, 2011
President Obama on Friday will offer to waive central provisions of the No Child Left Behind law for states that embrace his educational agenda, essentially ending his predecessor's signature accountability measure, which has defined public school life nationwide for nearly a decade.

Obama Administration Sets Rules for NCLB Waivers

 Alyson Klein  
The Obama administration on Thursday afternoon said it will waive the cornerstone requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, including the 2014 deadline that all students be proficient in math and language arts, and will give states the freedom to set their own student-achievement goals, and design their own interventions for failing schools.
In exchange for this flexibility, the administration will require states to adopt college- and career-ready standards, focus on 15 percent of their most-troubled schools, and create guidelines for teacher evaluations based in part on student performance.

Posted on Fri, Sep. 23, 2011
Chester Upland students speak out about effects of budget cuts
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Only one music teacher in a district of 4,000 students.
Four school nurses rotating among eight buildings. Kindergarten and prekindergarten classes cut from full- to half-day, with more children in each classroom. High school class sizes hovering around 40.
These and other examples emerged at a meeting convened by state NAACP officials Wednesday night in Chester to take comments on the effect that stiff state budget cuts are having on the Chester Upland district since classes resumed.

NSBA webinar illustrates collective power of one

NSBA lobbyists are hard at work explaining to Congress the many challenges facing local school boards—and how federal policy should be shaped to help local officials do their jobs better.
But members of Congress also care what their constituents have to say, so it's vitally important that individual school board members make their voices heard by communicating personally with their elected representatives.

Do Teachers Have It Made? Hardly, a New Film Says

New York Times Sept. 20, 2011, 3:24 p.m. By ANNA M. PHILLIPS
Ms. Fidler is one of four featured teachers in a documentary that will debut in New York City this Sunday and open to the public next week. The film, "American Teacher," is a rebuttal of sorts to the pundits and politicians who are eager to battle unions and write teachers off as the over-protected recipients of Cadillac benefits, extended summer vacations and low expectations.

The Best Ideas For Fixing K-12 Education

Forbes Staff, 09.21.11, 12:00 PM EDT 
Forbes Magazine dated October 10, 2011

More than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year in the U.S. American children rank 31st in math among 65 industrialized countries. Sixty-eight percent of eighth graders can't read at grade level, and most will never catch up. We asked billionaires on The Forbes 400 list, as well as our own contributors, for their best ideas for fixing K-12 education in the U.S.

PA PASS (Parent Advocates for Public Education to Achieve Student Success)
Public Education Advocacy: Legislative Forum in Delaware County Thursday October 13th at 7:00 pm
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave. Drexel Hill
If you are in southeastern PA, please consider filling up a car with school parents and attending this meeting.  Those invited include Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph and House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer. Please ask attendees to RSVP in advance at    If you are not close by, consider joining with your neighboring school districts to hold a similar event.  If you are interested in helping out please contact Marian Rucci, Delco PA PASS County Coordinator at

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