Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SB1 Update and Legislative Alert 10/26/11

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Statewide Press Coverage of SB1 Voucher Bill 10/26/11
On Tuesday an amended version of Senate Bill 1 was approved by the Senate Education Committee by a 9-2 vote.  It is expected to be debated in the full Senate as early as today.
To see coverage by Dan Hardy at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Benjamin Herold at the notebook, Eric Boehm at PA Independent and Jan Murphy at the Patriot News click here:

Students First PAC Return on Investment: Senate Education Committee Roll Call Vote on SB1
This link shows the roll call vote on SB1 along with the Students First PAC contributions reported for each member of the Senate Education Committee.
You will also be able to view the list of 143 failing schools in the bottom 5% of Pennsylvania schools that would qualify for vouchers under SB1, and the tentative voucher amounts for each school district in Pennsylvania

Full Senate May Consider SB1 Today - Use Education Voters PA website to contact your PA state legislators today asking them to oppose taxpayer funded vouchers:

For more info/background -  PSBA's Tuition Voucher Issue Page

NCLB: End It, Don't Mend It

 Diane Ravitch   | 
Have you been following the evolving story of the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind? I have, and it is disheartening. Instead of ditching this disastrous law, senators are trying to apply patches.  Most people now recognize that NCLB is a train wreck. Its mandates have imposed on American public education an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing.

Their spread comes despite a lack of any data about their impact on children from kindergarten through high school, the researchers found. "We're going whole hog into something that we don't have research on," Welner said.  "Private operators are gaining access to large streams of public revenue, but the public is not getting full information on the actual costs of these programs, so it's not clear if taxpayer money is being used properly," Glass said.

Study raises questions about virtual schools

Washington Post By Lyndsey Layton, Published: October 24

As an increasing number of cash-strapped states turn to virtual schools — where computers replace classmates and students learn via the Internet — a new study is raising questions about their quality and oversight.

Public Meeting/Panel Debate: School Vouchers – Necessary Education Reform or the Destruction of Public Education? Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:00 PM
Moral Issues Series at Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
1280 Clover Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17113 --- 717.564.4761    Child Care Provided
Tentative List of School Voucher Debate Panelists:
Otto V. Banks, Executive Director, REACH (Road to Educational Achievement through CHoice)
Dr. Jill Sunday Bartoli, Ph.D., Elizabethtown College
Matthew J. Brouillette, Commonwealth Foundation
Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Ed.D., NAACP
Senator Mike Folmer (R), PA Senate District 48
Andrew (Andy) Hoover, ACLU of PA
Dick Komer, Esq., Institute of Justice
Dr. Timothy Slekar, Ph.D., Penn State, Altoona Campus
The debate will be moderated by Scott Gilbert

House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Clymer and State Auditor General Jack Wagner are among those who have indicated that they plan to participate in this event.

RSVP for Bucks County PTO Legislative Forum on 10/27

Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Warminster, PA

William Tennant High School, 333 Centennial Road, Warminster, PA 18974
Please RSVP at:
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event.  Join us on Thursday, October 27th at William Tennent High School in Warminster from 7PM to 10PM for an evening with key state legislators from Bucks County.  Every legislator representing the Bucks County school districts is invited to attend and discuss their positions on public education and take questions from audience members.

Building One Pennsylvania Public Meeting: Advancing an Agenda for Regional Change, Thursday Oct. 27th in Lancaster

Thursday, October 27 – 11:30 am

More than 500 local elected, faith and civic leaders from the older, financially distressed boroughs, towns and cities in Pennsylvania who have already registered to attend Building One PA's October 27 meeting to call for state and federal policy changes that will stabilize our Main Street communities. 
The Building One Pennsylvania Public Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Bright Side Baptist Church, 515 Hershey Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603. Doors open at 10:30 for registration.
Leaders from throughout the state will convene to present an agenda for change to state and federal policymakers that will stabilize and revitalize our communities.
This event is free but you must register in advance to reserve your seat.  Register at or by emailing name, title and organizational affiliation (if applicable), address, phone and email to To defray the costs of the event, we are accepting donations. Suggested donation: $15. 

Making the Grade – Virtual  Town Hall Meeting on November 1st to Discuss New Teacher Evaluation Process
PA Partnerships for Children and the PA Association of Intermediate Units are hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on the new teacher evaluation process which was piloted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) earlier this year.   As PDE prepares to commence phase two of the pilot, you might be interested in hearing from the superintendents, principals and teachers who participated in the first phase. The town hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 pm at one of the Intermediate Units in your area.  The event will be video linked to 28 other locations across the state.
If you are interesting in attending, you can pre-register at the following link
The agenda with panelists can be accessed here:

Education Voters Video Contest - DEADLINE 10/30

Education Voters Institute of Pennsylvania (EVI) is conducting a video project to highlight both the impact of cuts to critical programs that serve kids, and the importance of education to our communities and our economy.

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