Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Latest on Chester Upland/State Leaders must step up and fix charter funding formula/Another education candidate announces for State House/Misc

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Advanced classes in Pittsburgh city schools no longer just for 'gifted' students
Monday, January 16, 2012
By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Forty high school students -- previously barred from taking the most rigorous courses because they haven't been classified as gifted -- are enrolled in such courses this school year at three Pittsburgh Public high schools.
By next fall, more such students could be enrolled in the advanced classes -- known as Centers for Advanced Study -- as the district's talent development initiative is expanded throughout the district.  The initiative is being piloted this school year at Pittsburgh Brashear, Langley and Perry and will be expanded districtwide in the fall.
High school students who are not classified as gifted but have strong grades and attendance can apply by Tuesday for CAS classes next fall. Applications from students new to the district will continue to be accepted after that. Students who have tested as gifted do not need to apply.

State's rating on charter schools slips

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
An advocacy group dropped Pennsylvania four spots in its ranking of how well states encourage quality, growth and accountability in charter schools.

Charter and Cyber Funding and Accountability Recap

Auditor General Jack Wagner Says State Leadership Must Step Up, Fix Flawed Charter School Funding Formula

Education Law Center
Talk to a lawyer about education issues in Chester-Upland
Individual parents and students can speak free of charge, confidentially, and one-on-one with a lawyer about legal problems with local schools – PreK to 12th grade.  CALL 888-434-1211 (TOLL-FREE) TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.  *Tuesday, January 17, 12 noon to 7 p.m.
*Wednesday, February 15, 12 noon to 7 p.m.  *Wednesday, March 14, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m

Latest Updates on Chester Upland
Last updated January 17, 2011 6:15 am

Parkland looks to allow advertising on school buses

School board will consider selling ads to raise revenue.

By Marion Callahan, Of The Morning Call 11:02 p.m. EST, January 16, 2012
The Parkland School Board is considering advertising on school buses, the latest dollar-digging strategy to raise money in a tough economic climate when officials are eyeing program cuts and tax hikes.  "We are trying to be creative and look at alternative sources of revenue," said district spokeswoman Nicole McGalla, who believes Parkland would be the first district in the state to go this route if the board approves the measure at Tuesday's 8 p.m. board meeting.

New York Times: Room for Debate
UPDATED JANUARY 16, 2012 7:00 PM

Can a Few Years’ Data Reveal Bad Teachers?

With years of data, it seems possible to distinguish good teachers from poor ones. Does that indicate that, after collecting two or three years’ data on each new hire, districts should be using test scores for decisions about firings, tenure and pay?

Education Funding for Foreign Languages Cut
US News By JASON KOEBLER, January 16, 2012
The Department of Education program that funded $27 million worth of foreign language education grants—which were split by a mix of 55 charter schools, school districts, and states—was cut in the recent budget bill, leaving the future of foreign language classes at these schools in jeopardy.
"What this cut does is pull the rug out from these programs," Martha Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFA), says. Because the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grants were awarded in three- or five-year increments, affected schools will have to scramble to find funding. "Some of them are in the middle of being funded; I think it'll be interesting to see how the communities react to this," Abbott says.  Besides FLAP, many foreign language programs are being cut by state legislatures, especially in elementary schools, where foreign language classes are often recent additions. "They've usually been added on, so it's easy to cut," Abbott says.

Another education candidate announces…..
Originally Published: 1/14/2012  
Exeter School Board member seeks state House seat
Democrat favors some new levies, replacing property taxes
By Mary Young, Reading Eagle
Education will be a filter through which decisions will be made if Russell J. Diesinger wins the two-year seat in the 130th Legislative District of the state House.
Most elected officials don't seem to understand that a direct link exists between education and economic recovery, he said. 
The Democrat said that as a teacher and Exeter School Board member he knows that Berks County never will attract employers unless it has a trained work force.

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