Sunday, October 9, 2011

Corbett’s Voucher Proposal Roundup

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On Tuesday the Governor is expected to kick off efforts to implement a voucher plan and expanded charter schools.  These initiatives could take another billion dollars out of public education.  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

Corbett's Voucher Proposal Roundup

Politics PA, By David Gerber, Contributing Writer 10/07/11
Gov. Tom Corbett is in the process of completing his school voucher proposal that will be reviewed by the the House and Senate as early as next week.
It's an interesting issue, namely because Republican support for the plan is unclear. It's still a priority in the PA Senate, where most possible proposals have favorable odds of passing. In the House, however, a number of Republicans (particularly rural ones) aren't too excited about it.

Corbett Voucher Proposal Could Focus On Worst-Performing Districts.
Allentown Morning Call Capitol Ideas Blog by John Micek
Gov. Tom Corbett's School Reform Plan which is set to be announced as soon as next week may include a vouchers proposal focusing on the state's worst-performing districts and call for tougher evaluation standards for public school teachers.

Corbett will kick off effort to improve education

York Dispatch By MARC LEVY Associated Press
Updated: 10/08/2011 02:00:30 PM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa.—Gov. Tom Corbett is expected Tuesday to put meat on the bones of a top priority—essentially, his vision for how to fix the ailments of public education—as his allies in the Legislature hope he will step more visibly into the battle to win over public opinion in Pennsylvania.
Corbett hasn't yet said exactly what he'll announce when he travels to a school in York. But lawmakers expect four main points:

Private schools keep eye on voucher debate

York likely to be one of the first areas to receive low-income vouchers if Senate bill becomes law.
By JOHN HILTON, York Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 10/08/2011 04:27:32 PM EDT
If a proposed voucher bill becomes law, more children will be able to attend parochial schools. But critics say it will further blur the line between church and state.

And here, for the past 58 years I thought they were called "public schools"……LAF
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness, October 3, 2011
As the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania gathered at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg Sept. 27 to concelebrate Mass for those who serve in public office, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told Catholic elected officials that God has given them a mission……
"Parents should have a choice and be helped by tax money to send their kids to school, especially those who for some reason or another aren't comfortable with the government school. They should have a choice to consider private education as well as government education."

U.S. public education: A race to the bottom?

Video: Education Historian Diane Ravitch tells CNN's Christine Romans that the U.S. should learn from top-ranked education systems and stop focusing on student testing. (Runtime 7:07)

G.O.P. Anti-Federalism Aims at Education

New York Times By TRIP GABRIEL, Published: October 8, 2011
Representative Michele Bachmann promises to "turn out the lights" at the federal Education Department. Gov. Rick Perry calls it unconstitutional. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, would allow it to live but only as a drastically shrunken agency that mainly gathers statistics……The Education Department dispenses a large share of its billions of dollars to states and local districts on the condition that they uphold two pillars of national law — that students who are economically disadvantaged and students who are disabled get extra classroom enrichment.

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 10/08/2011

Why school reform can't ignore poverty's toll

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
Some school reformers are fond of saying that "great teaching" can overcome the effects of living poverty on children, and that those people (me included) who insist that poverty matters are only supporting the status quo.
The critics of school reform that I know are hardly happy with the status quo, nor do they believe that poverty must be eliminated for public schools to be improved.
The bottom line is that pushing school reforms that are obsessed with standardized test scores and do nothing to address the emotional, physical and social needs of needy children are bound to fail.

Inquirer Editorial: Charters are no panacea
"Most parents truly want their children to attend a neighborhood school. More effort must be made to make those schools viable choices."
October 06, 2011
The New Jersey Department of Education approved four new charter schools last week, one in Camden, boosting the total approved this year to 27, the most ever in a year.
That flurry of activity exemplifies the Christie administration's preference for addressing failing public schools, but it's not the answer for the majority of children who don't choose charters.

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