Tuesday, December 20, 2011

“We have to still do a reform package on charter and cyber charters,” said state Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, chairman of the House Education Committee

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Legislators spar over vouchers, spending for charter schools

By Ed Mahon — State College - Centre Daily Times Posted: 12:01am on Dec 19, 2011
A proposal to create taxpayer-funded school vouchers in Pennsylvania may have suffered a fatal blow for this legislative year. But Republican lawmakers hope they can revive another one of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed education initiatives in the coming months. “The issue is not dead. We have to still do a reform package on charter and cyber charters,” said state Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, chairman of the House Education Committee. “The whole idea is to have a fair and balanced package sometime this year that we can present to the committee and then to the General Assembly.”
Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/12/19/3024894/lawmakers-push-for-reform.html#storylink=cpy


"You absolutely must have accountability, and in some cases, it's not there," Patrick said.
That's starting to change. The Utah law that expanded students' online school options also set new compensation rules for online schools - they get half the money up front, but the rest only for those students who finish the courses. Florida also pays only for completed courses, not by students enrolled. Oregon set up a task force to come up with better governance for virtual schools, and Washington passed a 2009 law setting up an agency within the Department of Education to vet applicants wanting to set up online schools.
Dec 16, 2:15 PM EST
Virtual schools booming as states mull warnings

DENVER (AP) -- More schoolchildren than ever are taking their classes online, using technology to avoid long commutes to school, add courses they wouldn't otherwise be able to take - and save their school districts money.



With cyber charter competition, school districts start to advertise

Published: December 18, 2011
An electronic billboard on Business Route 6 in Dickson City flashes an image of smiling students and teachers.
The advertisement for the Mid Valley School District promotes student achievement and district accomplishments. At $900 a month, officials hope it saves thousands in lost tuition.
As online charter school enrollment continues to grow, public school districts across the region and state are facing competition like they never have before. When students leave public school districts, their state funding follows them to cyber schools. Districts are now advertising, holding recruitment nights and thinking about public relations.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/with-cyber-charter-competition-school-districts-start-to-advertise-1.1246396#ixzz1h1yLEXYY


Published Online: December 19, 2011

Indiana Schools Grapple With Voucher Law’s Impact

Education Week By Jaclyn Zubrzycki
Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org.
As the 3,919 students who participated in the first year of Indiana’s new, wide-reaching school voucher program near the end of the first semester in their new schools, the program faces up to its next challenge: A state court hearing opens today on a lawsuit arguing the program violates Indiana’s constitution.



Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Blog December 13, 2011

Ravitch: Whose Children Are Left Behind?

I thought testing would help diagnose the problem and help teachers identify kids' needs and that charters would serve the underserved and collaborate with public schools. I was wrong on all accounts, said Diane Ravitch in her Friday keynote speech at the Opportunity to Learn Summit, in Washington, D.C.



NY - 10 Years of Assessing Students With Scientific Exactitude

New York Times By MICHAEL WINERIP, Published: December 18, 2011
We have emerged from the Education Stone Age. No longer must we rely on primitive tools like teachers and principals to assess children’s academic progress. Thanks to the best education minds in Washington, Albany and Lower Manhattan, we now have finely calibrated state tests aligned with the highest academic standards



NY State Tests Extended to About Three Hours

New York Times By WINNIE HU, Published: December 19, 2011
New York State math and language arts tests for elementary and middle school students will each be lengthened to about three hours beginning this April.



Schools race teaches states a hard lesson

Losers reap nothing for time, money

By Ben Wolfgang The Washington Times, Sunday, December 18, 2011
Every race has losers, and the Obama administration’s Race to the Top education grant competition is proving to be no exception.  As nine states await their prize money after coming out on top late last week in the Education Department’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, the rest are left empty-handed, having spent thousands of hours carefully crafting plans that ultimately fell short.


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