Saturday, January 14, 2012

Latest on Chester Upland/Editorial on Chaput claims of discrimination/School Budgets/Misc.

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Latest Updates on Chester Upland
John Kopp @ Delco Times, John Micek @ Morning Call, Dan Hardy@ Inquirer and Post-Gazette, Amy Worden@ Inquirer, Valerie Strauss@ Washington Post

DN Editorial: Chaput's claims of discrimination are wrong
Philadelphia Daily News Editorial Posted January 13, 2011
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Philadelphia's announcement last week that it was closing 49 schools sparked intense emotion. Much of it was from the anguished students, parents and teachers of the parochial system, but certainly much from the community at large. Given the events of the last few years, such public sympathy for the Catholic Church is no small thing. In fact, it seemed we had, for a moment, general public recognition that educating kids was a task we all need to tackle together, whether public or private.
Then, yesterday, in a column on, Archbishop Charles Chaput uttered the "D" word, potentially undoing some of that general good will.
The "D" word he uttered was not a profanity, but the word "discriminate." Chaput urged parents upset with the blue-ribbon commission's report not to be mad at the Archdiocese, but at public officials and others who "discriminate" against Catholic students by not having public monies support their education.
It harkens to the old argument of the Archdiocese's "saving" taxpayer dollars by educating kids in their own system. (An argument rarely made by childless taxpayers who pay school taxes, or those who never use public services like fire.) Chaput's claim of discrimination adds a fighting edge - albeit an unfair fight.
Catholic parents choose to send their kids to Catholic schools; they are not forbidden to send their kids to public schools. The fact that the public doesn't pay Catholic children for their religious education is no more discriminatory than the public not paying Jewish students to attend Hebrew school, or Muslim kids to go to their madrassa, or Quaker kids to go to Friends' school. And that's the way the Constitution wants it.

Pennsylvania Constitution and Vouchers

PA School Districts Budget Updates January 14, 2011
West Shore, Bethlehem, Council Rick, Upper Dublin budget news

Khepera Charter ratifies union contract
THE NOTEBOOK by Will Treece on Jan 12 2012
The Board of Directors at Khepera Charter School and the year-old bargaining unit representing its teachers ratified their first contract Monday. The contract establishes a salary scale and regularizes procedures for labor-management communications and teacher evaluation.
Khepera is a K-8 African-centered academy in West Mount Airy that opened in 2004.
The teachers voted last June to be represented by the Alliance of Charter Schools and Employees, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania.

Another education candidate announces…..
Democrat announces bid for state House seat held by Gillespie
CHRISTINA KAUFFMAN -- The York Dispatch, Updated: 01/12/2012 03:56:32 PM EST
State Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Springettsbury Township, will have competition this year.
Democrat Shane Richardson, 27, of Hellam Township announced Thursday he plans to run for the 47th House District in northeastern York County.
Richardson said he's a substitute teacher in the Dallastown and Eastern York school districts, unable to find long-term work because of the education cuts "approved by Gillespie" and others in Harrisburg.
He has a bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Millersville University, he said.
Education, property tax reform and social programs would be his priority, he said, and he would work to save libraries and senior centers.

Review Finds Studies of Charter Schools Flawed, Problematic

 Sean Cavanagh  
Most studies of charter schools use unsophisticated methods and are flawed in ways that prevent researchers from accurately gauging those institutions' impact on student achievement, a new review concludes.
And while researchers have options for collecting more accurate information about charter school performance, they also face obstacles along the way—some of them related to the unwillingness among states and schools to provide crucial data, the analysis finds.
A meta-analysis of charter school studies revealed that about 75 percent of them do not meet rigorous research standards because they don't account for the differences in academic background and academic histories of students attending charters, when comparing them with those attending traditional public schools, according to the review, published in the renowned journal Science.

Why Is Congress Redlining Our Schools?
Linda Darling-Hammond January 10, 2012
This article appeared in the January 30, 2012 edition of The Nation.
Redlining was the once-common practice in which banks would draw a red line on a map—often along a natural barrier like a highway or river—to designate neighborhoods where they would not invest. Stigmatized and denied access to loans and other resources, redlined communities, populated by African-Americans and other people of color, often became places that lacked businesses, jobs, grocery stores and other services, and thus could not retain a thriving middle class. Redlining produced and reinforced a vicious cycle of decline for which residents themselves were typically blamed.
Today a new form of redlining is emerging. If passed, the long-awaited Senate bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would build a bigger highway between low-performing schools serving high-need students—the so-called “bottom 5 percent”—and all other schools. Tragically, the proposed plan would weaken schools in the most vulnerable communities and further entrench the problems—concentrated poverty, segregation and lack of human and fiscal resources—that underlie their failure.

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