Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama in SOTU: ”Stop teaching to the test”. Duncan’s Race to the Top: teach to the test or risk losing your job.

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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Education Voters PA Statewide Call to Action for Public Education Today, Wednesday January 25th
Please consider taking a few minutes today to make a couple calls and forward this to other public education stakeholders.
Today, Wednesday, January 25, Education Voters of Pennsylvania is sponsoring a Statewide Call to Action for Public Education Click here to tell the Governor and your state legislators that Education is important to you!

PA House Education Committee to hold informational meeting on cyber charter school funding and operating issues
Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:00 AM, Room 60 East Wing

Corbett asked to aid poor schools
Bipartisan effort pursues workable plan for distressed districts
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG -- As 50 placard-holding students from the ailing Chester Upland schools looked on, Republican and Democratic senators urged Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday to develop a workable plan to aid financially distressed school districts.
"We need a plan, Mr. Secretary; we need a plan," Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin, told state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis. "It's time to end the finger-pointing and the blame game. Taxpayers are fed up with the increasing costs of public education. They see it every July when their school tax bill arrives."
Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester, was even more blunt. "This administration is trying to destroy public education in the poorest districts," such as Chester Upland [outside Philadelphia], Duquesne schools and others, he contended. "This administration isn't serious about education of the poor in Pennsylvania."

PA Dems on YouTube
Chester Upland SD is 16 miles from the Radnor SD.  In this year’s budget, Chester Upland got cut by $29K per class; compared to Radnor cut of $950 per class of 25 students.

Inspector General's office interviewing teachers in PSSA-test cheating probe
By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Wed, Jan. 25, 2012, 3:01 AM
The Pennsylvania Inspector General's Office is assisting the state Department of Education with its probe of allegations of cheating on 2009 state exams.
Agents arrived in Philadelphia this week to begin interviewing teachers at the 13 Philadelphia district schools and three charter schools that are part of the inquiry, according to educators and others with knowledge of the probe.
The Inspector General's Office has set up a hotline that teachers may call if they have information about cheating at their schools: 855-448-2435. The "PSSA test-integrity hotline" is operational statewide and allows callers to provide information anonymously about the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Posted at 09:53 PM ET, 01/24/2012

Obama on education in State of the Union address

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
Here’s the part of President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address that was about education, taken from a text prepared for delivery:
....To prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.
For less than one percent of what our Nation spends on education each year, we’ve convinced nearly every State in the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning – the first time that’s happened in a generation.

Obama in SOTU: ”Stop teaching to the test”.  Duncan’s Race to the Top: teach to the test or risk losing your job.

High Tech Testing on the Way: a 21st Century Boondoggle?

 Anthony Cody  
In my recent exchange with the Department of Education regarding President Obama's remarks critical of our obsession with testing, it became clear that there is a vast expansion of testing on the horizon. Few reports have emerged that describe this, and I fear the public may be unaware of the resources that soon will be diverted from our already decimated classrooms. I asked two of the nation's experts on this trend to share what they have learned about this recently. Here is their report.
“there is no evidence supporting the idea that tests to enforce national standards, no matter how subtle and refined, will have any positive impact on student learning. In fact, the evidence we have suggests that it will not: States that use more high-stakes tests do not do better on the NAEP tests than states with fewer…”
by Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian
When the plans to create Common Core Standards were announced, Secretary Duncan told us that it would be accompanied by assessments to enforce the standards. We were also told that developing standards would be relatively inexpensive, but developing assessments, by contrast, will be a "very heavy lift financially" (USA Today, June 14, 2009).

AP Exclusive: States weaken teacher tenure rights
AP Education Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's public school teachers are seeing their generations-old tenure protections weakened as states seek flexibility to fire teachers who aren't performing. A few states have essentially nullified tenure protections altogether, according to an analysis being released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

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