Friday, January 20, 2012

Philly SRC New Chief Recovery Officer/Tomalis briefs Ed Cmte/Chester Upland Commentaries/Dinniman says NO on Vouchers/Another pro-education candidate/Our failing schools…..


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In grave fiscal trouble, Philly SRC introduces big changes
Thomas Knudsen is going to be new "chief recovery officer" - chief financial officer and superintendent in one
Philadelphia Inquirer Philly School Files Blog by Kristen Graham, January 19, 2011
Facing a fiscal crisis of previously unimagined proportions — it must cut $61 million by June and isn’t sure how to get there — the Philadelphia School District’s governing body on Thursday moved to tear up its leadership structure and name a “chief recovery officer” to get the battered organization through the next six months.
In plainer, starker terms than it has ever used before, the School Reform Commission laid out the district’s financial woes to the public in a meeting Thursday night.

Tomalis Briefs Education Committee Members on Initatives for 2012

Pennsylvania Legislative Services January 19, 2012, 12:34 pm
The House Education Committee held an informational meeting this morning to hear from Secretary of the Department of Education, Ron Tomalis, on education initiatives.  Tomalis said the governor’s main priorities for 2012 remain reforming charter schools, school choice, EITC and an enhanced teacher evaluation system.

Ongoing Commentary and Coverage of Chester Upland Financial Crisis updated January 20th
Secretary Tomalis on YouTube, Senator Dinniman Press Release, Delco Times Editorial, Huffington Post by Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association
Huffington Post by Timothy D. Slekar, Associate professor of teacher education

 “That is why I will not vote for even limited vouchers or any other types of vouchers when SB 1 or any other voucher legislation is returned from the House to the Senate.  While I might have been fooled once I will not be fooled again after reviewing what I believe to be the true implications of the Corbett Administration’s approach to the Chester-Upland and Duquesne City School Districts and by implication all the other poor and fiscally distressed districts.”

Implications of the Corbett Administration’s Actions in the Chester Upland School District

Press Release WEST CHESTER (January 18) – Senator Dinniman issued the following statement on financial crisis in the Chester Upland School District:
“After months of asking the Department of Education and the Corbett Administration for their plan to address the precarious financial situation facing many of our Commonwealth’s school districts, I was surprised and taken aback by the recent actions of the Department in relation to the Chester-Upland School District.

PA Department of Education Press Release January 19, 2012
Department of Education Awards $64.4 Million to Promote Academic Achievement and Assist At-Risk Students in High-Poverty Schools
Harrisburg – Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis today announced the 57 schools and organizations that will receive a total of $64.4 million as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Challenge Grant.
“The purpose of these grants is to fund the establishment and sustainability of community learning centers that provide educational services to students in high-poverty and low-performing schools,” Tomalis said. “The entities which were selected to receive funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Challenge provide educational experiences that complement, supplement and fill-in the gaps of the work being done in the classroom.”

Another pro-education candidate announces……

Engineer to run for Democratic nomination for the 105th District state House seat

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 12:17
Kelly Jean McEntee of Lower Paxton Twp. is announcing her candidacy for the Democratic nomination of the 105th state House seat, potentially pitting her in the fall against veteran lawmaker Ron Marsico who is seeking re-election to his 12th two-year term.
"If elected, I will work from day one to improve the economy of Dauphin County and provide family-sustaining jobs, reform government, and ensure the state provides adequate funding to our public schools."

“Our failing public schools…..”
North Allegheny schools again achieve adequate yearly progress
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette By Sandy Trozzo
All 12 North Allegheny schools made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years, so representatives of those schools received Keystone Achievement Awards at the school board meeting Wednesday.

In California, Brown sharply differs from Obama on education policy

In his State of the State address, Brown calls for limits on standardized tests and wants reduced roles for the U.S. and state in local schools.

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2012
Deviating sharply from education reform policies championed by President Obama, California Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for limits on standardized testing and reduced roles for federal and state government in local schools.

Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2011
Center on Reinventing Public Education January 2012
By Robin Lake, Betheny Gross
Charter schools are public schools. Historically, however, the relationship between school districts and charters has been nonexistent at best, antagonistic at worst. As the charter sector continues to grow steadily, an analysis of the national landscape explores how that relationship needs to start changing—and where it already has.
This year's 6th annual edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality provides a clear roadmap for school districts and charter schools interested in working together to improve education options. The report explains the risks and technical challenges behind charter-district collaboration and provides powerful examples of how they can be overcome.

10 reasons to support public education

From the NSEA.org; from the Illinois Coalition for Public Education, June 1994.

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