Monday, September 26, 2011

Tomalis: “leaders of traditional public schools care more about the money they lose in tuition to charter schools than the students they lose.”

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Schools encouraged to sue Corbett over budget cuts
Friday, September 23, 2011
By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State Rep. Bill Kortz is encouraging school districts that have been hard hit by state education funding cuts of nearly $1 billion to join together in a class action suit against Gov. Tom Corbett to get funding restored.  Mr. Kortz said the lawsuit could be modeled after one filed against the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, which he said resulted in a judge's order in May for the state to restore $850 million for education in that state.
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Districts urged to sue over cutbacks
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Saying they are bristling at the injustice of cutbacks in funding to some school districts this year, two state House members are urging Mon Valley school districts to file a class-action lawsuit against the state to restore some of the millions of dollars lost.

Education chief: Variety is important
Friday, September 23, 2011
By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The competition that charter schools create for traditional public school systems is good and should help to improve educational quality, according to state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis.
He said now is the time to offer alternatives because a new generation of parents will be seeking choices in their children's education. He added that leaders of traditional public schools care more about the money they lose in tuition to charter schools than the students they lose.

Posted on Sat, Sep. 24, 2011
Pennsylvania undecided on waiver to No Child Left Behind
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania has not yet decided whether it will ask the federal government to grant changes in the No Child Left Behind law that would allow schools to delay meeting test-score and other requirements, an Education Department spokesman said Friday.
State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, who played a key role in enforcing the law when he was a Bush administration official, said he had "reservations" about the changes announced Friday.

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 09/26/2011

Obama's NCLB waivers: Do flaws outweigh benefits?

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by Monty Neill,  executive director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to ending the misuse of tests. He is writing about the newly announced plan by President Obama to provide conditional relief to states from key provisions of No Child Left Behind.
By Monty Neill
The Obama administration's new No Child Left Behind "flexibility" planoffers our struggling public schools a leap from the frying pan to the fire.

Obama revamps schools law

He bypasses Congress in offering carrot-and-stick fixes to No Child Left Behind Act.

By Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call
10:56 p.m. EDT, September 23, 2011
President Barack Obama, saying he has lost patience with a divided Congress, has changed the No Child Left Behind Act on his own, ending the mandate that all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014 and dropping the "failure" label slapped on schools even if a small group of students doesn't meet testing targets.
But Obama is taking a carrot-and-stick approach, allowing school districts to opt out of provisions that have long rankled educators if the districts implement administration-approved reform measures.
Those measures, outlined in Obama's Race to the Top grant program, include:
• Setting up new teacher evaluation systems that tie pay, in part, to test scores.
• Opening more charter schools.
• Fixing the lowest-achieving schools by either closing them, turning them into charter schools, firing the principal or getting rid of the majority of the teaching staff.,0,895715.story


Don't Believe the Hype: Obama's NCLB Waiver More of the Same

Daily Censored Blog Written by Adam Bessie, Sep 23, 2011
If you're a casual observer of the education debate, today might seem monumental: George W. Bush's controversial No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which created a system of extensive high-stakes testing for students and schools nearly a decade ago, is finally being "revamped" by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, according to a report in the Washington Post, and across the national press.


State Rep O'Neill speaks on property tax reform

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 5:00 am
By Gary Weckselblatt Staff Writer 
State Rep. Bernie O'Neill looked at the color-coded state map of school districts that showed property tax increases from 1991 to 2005.  Red showed districts that hiked taxes 151 percent to 200 percent. A deeper red is where homeowners dug even deeper.

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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