Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Corbett Education Reform Agenda: "I haven't seen any grand plan for how this is going to move through the House and Senate to the governor," Mr. Piccola said.

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News for Immediate Release, Oct. 11, 2011
Governor Corbett Outlines Agenda for Education Reform
York – Governor Tom Corbett today outlined his agenda for education reform in Pennsylvania.

Here are some reactions noted in today's press coverage:

"I haven't seen any grand plan for how this is going to move through the House and Senate to the governor," Mr. Piccola said.

"If the majority of Pennsylvanians don't support school vouchers, I don't know why he does," said Susan Spicka, whose daughters attend Shippensburg Area School District
"He's bold and he's been upfront on this and we need to help him get it done," said House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny.
Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, who also spoke, said changes are needed to the current system to keep Pennsylvania economically competitive.
House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, called Corbett's proposal "thoughtful," but said it is likely to change before it ever reaches Corbett's desk.  "There's no perfect bill," he said.
State Rep. James R. Roebuck Jr., D-West Phila., said that 60 to 65 percent of state residents oppose vouchers, adding that schools can deny children entry.
"The critical problem in all of this is that it doesn't guarantee anyone anything," said Roebuck, who chairs the House Education Committee.
"The governor didn't provide many details," said Michael Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the largest teachers' union. "But I know for certain that the $860 million in state funding cuts have forced the public schools to increase class sizes and cut programs. We need to restore those cuts, not spend more money on initiatives that don't work."

Corbett bolsters agenda for education
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
By Laura Olson, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
YORK, Pa. -- Gov. Tom Corbett renewed his push for additional school choices for Pennsylvania parents Tuesday, outlining a four-part plan that he urged lawmakers to approve by December.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin, who spearheaded the school voucher efforts, said a measure could be passed this fall, but not without more details and direction from the governor.  "I haven't seen any grand plan for how this is going to move through the House and Senate to the governor," Mr. Piccola said.
"If the majority of Pennsylvanians don't support school vouchers, I don't know why he does," said Susan Spicka, whose daughters attend Shippensburg Area School District.

Corbett outlines plans for Pennsylvania schools

WHYY Newsworks October 11, 2011, By Mary Wilson
Governor Tom Corbett has announced his four-part plan for education reform in Pennsylvania.
Corbett wants to put a state commission in charge of approving and overseeing charter schools; he said school districts shouldn't hold all the power to approve new charters.

Corbett rolls out plan for school vouchers, teacher evaluations

Students in the state's worst-performing 5% of schools to qualify.

By John L. Micek and Marion Callahan, Of The Morning Call
10:48 p.m. EDT, October 11, 2011
YORK— — Gov. Tom Corbett introduced his retooled school reform plan Tuesday, calling for vouchers for students in the state's worst-performing schools, tougher evaluation standards for public school teachers and changes in the way that Pennsylvania regulates charter schools.

Critics Zing Corbett Over Voucher Speech Venue

PoliticsPA October 11, 2011 By Natalka Karaman, Contributing Writer
Reforming Pennsylvania's school system is one of Governor Corbett's priorities this fall. He will unveil hislong-awaited school reform package – which is widely expected to include a plan for vouchers, merit pay for teachers, and charter school reform – today at the Lincoln Charter School in York.
HypocrisyWatchPA, a liberal watchdog group, sent an email to reporters Monday mocking the Governor's choice of venue for his announcement.  The group points to Lincoln's below-average average math and reading test scores, and argues that the school is far from a success story.

Posted on Tue, Oct. 11, 2011
'Teacher evaluation': Real agenda appears to be school privatization Opinion BY GLORIA C. ENDRES
The message of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is that the adults immediately in charge of the classroom are most accountable. No one else has the same level of responsibility for student achievement; not parents, administrators nor the students themselves. And certainly not the politicians who vote to limit school funding while demanding high test scores from all children.

Bill Would Overhaul No Child Left Behind

New York Times by SAM DILLON, Published: October 11, 2011
A senior Senate Democrat released a draft of a sprawling revision of the No Child Left Behind education law on Tuesday that would dismantle the provisions of the law that used standardized test scores in reading and math to label tens of thousands of public schools as failing.

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011

NCLB bill: The problem with 'continuous improvement'

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by Richard Rothstein, a research associate at theEconomic Policy Institute, a non-profit organization created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. This appeared on the institute's website.
By Richard Rothstein
In education policy, Congress and President Obama's administration continue to seek an unrealizable national whip that will somehow transform American schools for the better. These efforts ignore both evidence and common sense.

If you are in southeastern PA and would like to help shape state education policy instead of simply reacting to it after the fact here's your chance.  RSVP for this legislative forum on October 13th and bring other public education stakeholders with you.
PA PASS (Parent Advocates for Public Education to Achieve Student Success)
Public Education Advocacy in Delaware County:
Public School Parents Legislative Forum in Delaware County
Thursday October 13th 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave. Drexel Hill
Moderated by the League of Women Voters
We've invited ALL state senators and representatives from Delco including Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph- Please call your legislators today and let them know that you hope to see them there.  Please ask attendees to RSVP in advance at   If you are interested in helping out please contact Marian Rucci, Delco PA PASS County Coordinator at

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