Thursday, October 13, 2011

“Parents need to take on the responsibility of advocacy. We need to engage our policymakers and support those legislators who realize the importance of Pennsylvania public schools. “

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"Parents need to take on the responsibility of advocacy. We need to engage our policymakers and support those legislators who realize the importance of Pennsylvania public schools. "

Delco Times OPINION

Advocacy: Forum set by parents to talk about education funding

On Thursday, October 13, Delaware County parents from all 15 County school districts, who have created an advocacy group called PA PASS (Parent Advocates for Public Education to Achieve Student Success), will host a countywide legislative forum on public education.
The goal is to engage in a real discussion with local policymakers about the challenges facing our public schools. Now is the time for parents to become an active participant in the conversation on Public education and the value we place on local public schools in Pennsylvania.

"PSBA issued its recommendation for improving low-performing schools, and it's not the voucher program the governor proposed Tuesday."

What Works: Raising achievement in underperforming schools
State School Boards Association issues reform recommendation
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association today issued its recommendation for improving low-performing schools, and it's not the voucher program the governor proposed Tuesday.
The PSBA, which reviewed research on what works, recommended focusing on three key areas: recruiting, preparing and improving teachers; preparing students for academic success; and providing schools with tools for success.

Join this blog discussion on voucher research:

Vouchers No Magic Bullet: Researchers Split On Their Effectiveness.

Allentown Morning Call Capitol Ideas Blog by John Micek

Several key lawmakers not impressed with Corbett's education plan

Piccola: Nothing has changed since June
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
HARRISBURG — The more things change, the more they stay the same, apparently.
Gov. Tom Corbett announced a series of education reform initiatives Tuesday in York aimed at improving traditional public and charter schools. The governor's plan consists of a voucher program for students from low-income families in failing public schools, an expanded scholarship program, better accountability standards for charter schools and an overhaul of how state public school teachers are evaluated.
But key lawmakers in the state Senate, who have been pushing a school choice agenda since January, said the governor has done little to push the issue behind the scenes.

Corbett's school-voucher plan includes greater reliance on Pennsylvania charter schools

Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011,  By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News 
Gov. Tom Corbett set the destination of where he wants to move education, but some lawmakers say that he left out the directions on how to get there.

VIDEO From: pahousevideo  | Oct 12, 2011 (runtime 5:01)
Democratic Chairman of the Pa. House Education Committee James Roebuck discusses the agenda for education reform in the fall 2011 session, including GOP plans for tax-funded private school vouchers and Roebuck's legislation to change the way public cyber-charter and charter schools are funded by the state.

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 10/13/2011

Ravitch: Why Finland's schools are great (by doing what we don't)

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch for her Bridging Differences blog, which she co-authors with Deborah Meier on the Education Week website. Ravitch and Meier exchange letters about what matters most in education. Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is the author of the bestselling "The Death and Life of the Great American School System," an important critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement.
"Here's an interesting contrast: We claim to be preparing students for global competitiveness, and we reward mastery of basic skills. Our guiding principles: Competition, accountability, and choice. Finland has this singular goal: to develop the humanity of each child. Isn't that a shocking goal? Their guiding principles: equity, creativity, and prosperity."

Conservative group lodges fresh attack on Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Vance, calls her a free-spending liberal

Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 4:20
A little-known conservative advocacy group has lodged a fresh attack on state Sen. Pat Vance, painting the long-time moderate Cumberland County Republican as a free-spending liberal in conservative clothing. …..Among CAP's stated priorities are: repealing Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law; passing the House approved voter ID legislation; passing school vouchers; and enshrining Pennsylvania as a right to work state.

Duquesne City schools likely to close
By Patrick Cloonan, MCKEESPORT DAILY NEWS, Thursday, October 13, 2011
The chairman of the state-appointed board that manages the troubled Duquesne City School District said Wednesday the likelihood that Duquesne will survive as an independent district is, in his opinion, "nil."
Read more: Duquesne City schools likely to close - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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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