Monday, October 3, 2011

Although Pennsylvania raised the bar this year, 94% of school districts and 75% of public schools in the state met AYP targets.

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Philadelphia Daily News Editorial: Good teachers: What the research says
September 30, 2011
Charter schools, vouchers, teacher evaluations - all three are hot- button issues, not only in the realm of education reform, but in the larger national debate. All three are also the subject of bills that may soon pass in Harrisburg.
These are complicated and controversial issues, often sparking loud arguments that break along partisan lines. Like so many arguments, they can fester in the absence of deep research that provides a basic understanding of the real issues and what's at stake. Often, much of what passes for research is skewed to support one position or another.
So a new Philadelphia-based research effort that attempts to cull the best legitimate research on education topics is a welcome addition to these debates. Today, the firm Research for Action is launching the Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER), and releasing its first brief on teacher evaluations.

Read the Research for Action full report on teacher evaluations
Research for Action has published a report to help parents and policy-makers understand the many ways that teachers are measured - and which ones seem to work best. This brief is the first in a series on education topics that RFA will release as part of its new Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research. 
Download the full report by clicking here.

Posted on Fri, Sep. 30, 2011

Corbett names Pa. privatization panel

The group's membership is largely of people who believe privatization is a good idea.

By Tracie Mauriello
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A largely Republican cadre of business leaders and political power-brokers will have Gov. Corbett's ear as he develops policies about whether to sell the state's liquor stores, roads, bridges, and other assets to private industry.

A look at Corbett's privatization panel

Critics warn of conflict of interest: members could benefit if government does less.

By John L. Micek, Call Harrisburg Bureau
12:05 a.m. EDT, October 1, 2011
HARRISBURG— — Gov. Tom Corbett's new government privatization task force is studded with major political donors and executives from companies that could see financial gain if the state spins off government services to the private sector.

In Pennsylvania, 94% of state school districts make grade
In Allegheny County, four districts fail to measure up
Friday, September 30, 2011
By Mary Niederberger and Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Although Pennsylvania raised the bar this year, 94 percent of school districts and 75 percent of public schools in the state met performance standards known as adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Almost all children left behind? Three-quarters of central Pennsylvania schools could fail to meet next year's higher targets

Published: Sunday, October 02, 2011, 6:00 AM 
This year, about three-quarters of Pennsylvania schools hit all of their targets, even though they had to get about 10 percent more students at grade level in math and reading. 
If the 197 midstate schools in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and parts of York, Lancaster and Schuylkill counties show no improvement from this year, only 47 would hit the targets for all students, not counting the subgroups, next year.Next year, the targets move up to 78 percent in math and 81 percent in reading.

PSSA practice tests raise accuracy concerns

Educators from Lehigh Valley to Pittsburgh question validity of state-endorsed 4Sight practice tests.

By Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call, 2:02 p.m. EDT, October 2, 2011
A growing chorus of educators from the Lehigh Valley to Pittsburghare questioning the validity of the 4Sight practice exam, which is produced by Success for All, a Baltimore nonprofit with ties to Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Retooled AIU charter school focuses on career preparedness

By Jodi Weigand, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit's retooled cyber-charter school will work with local businesses to better prepare students for jobs, even if they are going to college before they join the work force.
The curriculum at STREAM Academy -- an acronym for the online school's core curriculum of "science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math" -- is designed to keep pace with the fields' changing needs. The AIU expects the school to open next fall.

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