Friday, January 27, 2012

Governor’s draft fiscal distress legislation: SRC-like boards could cancel teachers’ contracts and turn district schools into charters

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Governor’s draft fiscal distress legislation: SRC-like boards could cancel teachers’ contracts and turn district schools into charters
Draft of a Corbett plan for Chester Upland district stirs a debate
By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Fri, Jan. 27, 2012, 3:01 AM
As Delaware County's Chester Upland School District descended into insolvency this winter, the Corbett administration was largely mute on its plans for a solution.
A draft legislative proposal from the governor's office made public earlier this month by several state legislators sheds more light on his views.
It calls for state takeovers of distressed districts, starting with Chester Upland and Duquesne City, that would put Philadelphia School Reform Commission-type oversight boards in place.
Those boards could cancel teachers' contracts and turn all district schools into charters.

Latest Updates on Chester Upland - January 27, 2011

Chester Community Charter School and Chester Upland School District Jointly Propose Plan to Avert Funding Crisis

CUSD and CCCS host press conference to present new information that may avert a continuing educational crisis in the City of Chester, PA

WHEN: Friday, January 27, 2012  9:00am - 10:00am
WHERE: Chester Community Charter School East Campus Gymnasium 
Chester, PA (PRWEB) January 27, 2012
Representatives of media outlets are invited to attend a news conference wherein officials of the Chester Community Charter School (CCCS) and Chester Upland School District will provide information on their joint proposal for identifying previously budgeted state funding that might avert a continuing educational crisis in the City of Chester, PA, that has impacted both educational entities and nearly 7,000 school children.

Senator Piccola’s Weekly Column January 26, 2012:
Pennsylvania's Distressed Schools in Need of Financial & Educational Reform
The critical issue of fiscally distressed school districts in Pennsylvania is unfortunately and rapidly escalating in its severity.  In addition to their financial struggles, these districts are facing significant educational challenges as well, causing a few – such as the Chester Upland School District – to be on the brink of collapse.  As a result, our Commonwealth must step in and exercise bold leadership to structurally reform these districts and provide students and their families more choices in achieving a quality education.

City controller says Philly School District must cut $400,000 per day
By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Thu, Jan. 26, 2012, 8:37 AM
School district's fiscal future worries a doubting Butkovitz
City Controller Alan Butkovitz expressed serious concern Wednesday about the Philadelphia School District's continued financial viability.
And he estimated that the district would have to cut $400,000 per day between now and June 30 just to erase a projected deficit of at least $61 million as it wrestles with continuing problems in matching expenses to declining revenues.

NSBA’s School Board News
January 26, 2012 by Naomi Dillon
Interview with Kahn Academy’s Sal Kahn
It began innocently enough in 2004 as a way for Sal Kahn to tutor his young cousin, who was struggling with math and lived miles away. Within two years, those virtual lessons blossomed into a full-time career and the Kahn Academy, an online library of 2,600 YouTube videos and counting that currently draw more than 3 million viewers a month and fans like Google and Bill Gates, who sends his own kids to the free site for help with school work.

“Although every educator wants and deserves a good wage, no sane person goes into teaching to get rich. We go into teaching to make a difference in the lives of kids. That is what parents want. They do not want their child’s score to become part of a formula to determine someone’s bonus.”
Using Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers Is Based on the Wrong Values
Do test scores indicate teacher effectiveness?
New York Times Viewpoint By CAROL CORBETT BURRIS, Jan. 25, 2012, 12:17 p.m.
I should be a cheerleader for the New York evaluation system for educators known as the Annual Professional Performance Review system, or A.P.P.R. I am the principal of a very successful high school where students get great test scores. I have a wonderfully supportive superintendent. My personal “score,” in all probability, will be high.

WHAT WORKS:Early Education a Crime-Fighting Weapon?

 Julie Rasicot  
You'd expect educators and parents to be front and center advocating for early childhood education as state legislatures debate school funding for the next fiscal year. In New York and Maine, these advocates have another ally: top police officers.

Charter schools don't necessarily provide a better education
Charter schools under the microscope (Part 1/3) January 25, 2012 by Bob Geary @rjgeary
That picture you carry in your mind's eye of a public school system? Set it aside. In the world of charter schools, you won't find a lot of clocks on bell towers, yellow school buses or cafeterias, and there are no elected boards of education to uphold a community's vision. Typical charter schools, whether in North Carolina or elsewhere, rent space in office buildings, malls or churches. Instead of buses, most organize carpools for parents and the kids arrive with a bag lunch.

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