Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marian Wright Edelman: “Something’s come loose,” she said. “We are normalizing poverty.”

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Marian Wright Edelman: "Something's come loose," she said. "We are normalizing poverty."


Poverty: Number of black children living in poverty called staggering

By  Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch Wednesday October 5, 2011 10:40 PM
The devastation is plain to see, in nearly every city and community across America. Less apparent is the outrage.  As many black children slide deeper into poverty, dysfunction and despair — nearly 46 percent of those younger than 5 are now poor — child-welfare advocates question whether the nation has gone numb to the problems.
"How is it that ordinary people of faith are not up in arms?" asked Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Washington-based Children's Defense Fund.
"Something's come loose," she said. "We are normalizing poverty."

Poverty: Schools Cannot Ignore Its Impact and Improve

The Principal Difference Blog by Mel Riddle
In PISA its poverty not stupid" I proved that we should seek to raise the achievement of all students, but that our national focus should be on our poorest, under-resourced schools and students, who are the reason for our "average" international ranking.
The following post includes excerpts from an article by Marcus Pohlman in the Washington Post and by my personal experiences leading two high-poverty schools:

Posted on Mon, Oct. 10, 2011
In global ranking of students, N.J. and Pa. fare better than nation
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
When math and reading test results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released late last year, they led to much hand-wringing about the United States' performance.

PISA, Poverty and Policy
International performance graphs and related articles on US performance

Ads target GOP state senators Vance and Yaw
By Brad Bumsted, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Tuesday, October 11, 2011
HARRISBURG -- Television and radio ads from a conservative group chaired by a former Republican lawmaker paint two GOP state senators as liberals, accusing them of "squandering" state tax dollars and siding with "left-wing special-interest groups."
It's unusual in Pennsylvania for a group with Republican backing to target other Republicans' voting records, said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. It appears to be an effort to "push centrist Republican senators to a more conservative position," he said.
The campaign coincides with Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to announce today his education reform plan, which includes tuition vouchers for school choice -- a priority for some conservatives. Tuition vouchers stalled in the Republican-controlled Legislature in June.

West Philly's Hybrid X team honored by Popular Mechanics

WHYY Newsworks October 7, 2011, By Jen Howard
West Philadelphia High School's Hybrid X team has won the Next Generation award from Popular Mechanics.  The honor is part of the magazine's Breakthrough Awards which acknowledge technological innovation, and the kids are in pretty good company. 
"James Cameron is also being honored," said Deirdre Darragh, spokeswoman for the School District of Philadelphia.

K-12 Education Funding: Most States At Levels Lower Than Pre-Recession, Cut Spending This Year

Huffington Post First Posted: 10/7/11 01:31 PM ET
Most states have cut state funding for schools this year, and a majority of states are funding K-12 education at levels lower than before the recession, after adjusting for inflation.
A survey published Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examined 46 states -- where 95 percent of the country's elementary and secondary students reside. Delaware, Idaho, Indiana and Washington were excluded because the way they report funding data makes historical comparisons difficult, the researchers note.
Of the states studied, 37 have trimmed K-12 educational funding since last year, after adjusting for inflation -- 19 of those states cut funding by more than 5 percent.

Pa. tightens rules for employment in schools

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 4:45 am, Associated Press 
HARRISBURG (AP) — A new Pennsylvania state law that overhauls criminal history disclosure rules for all public and private school employees also imposes a lifetime ban on working in a school for people who commit certain crimes.  The law, signed by Gov. Tom Corbett on June 30, took effect late last month, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported.
Current school employees must now report any arrests or convictions of serious crimes in their past by Dec. 27. They also must report any future arrest or conviction within three days.
Education Department spokesman Tim Eller told the Patriot-News that an employee who admits to having a conviction for one of 27 specific offenses must be terminated immediately.

Today 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 delcolegislativeforum.eventbrite.com   If you are interested in helping out please contact Marian Rucci, Delco PA PASS County Coordinator at .rucci.papass@live.com

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