Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shock and awe, coming to a school near you?

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Chester Community Charter School funding in jeopardy, too
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Tue, Jan. 31, 2012, 3:01 AM
A federal court order earlier this month sending money to the Chester Upland School District to keep it solvent threatens to put the Chester Community Charter School, home to about 2,750 Chester Upland students, in jeopardy, charter officials say.

Dinniman modifies stance on school vouchers
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012
West Chester Daily Local By ERIC S. SMITH esmith@dailylocal.com
WEST GOSHEN — Amid attacks on his prior support of limited school vouchers, state Sen. Andy Dinniman told the Chester County Democratic Committee at its endorsement convention that he no longer supports any vouchers.  Dinniman’s vote received some attention as Tom Houghton, who previously was running a primary challenge against the senator. Houghton is no longer running because the state Supreme Court ruled that the redistricting for state House and Senate seats are unconstitutional.

Commentary: Shock and awe, coming to a school near you
The notebook by Ron Whitehorne on Jan 27 2012 Posted in Blogger commentary
Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism lays out in considerable detail how right wing politicians have used natural and man made disasters to impose privatization and market-driven “reforms” while bypassing the messy business of democratic decision-making.
There seems little doubt that this is what we are seeing in public education in Pennsylvania. To a remarkable degree, the storyline follows the formula Klein describes in her book.

Education Policy and Leadership Center

Chester Upland School District Fast Facts from the Democratic Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, January 19, 2012
The Education Policy and Leadership Center reports that on January 24, the same day the Senate Education Committee held its hearing on fiscally distressed school districts, Democratic leaders in the House held a press conference and released this analysis of the financial condition of the Chester Upland School District.

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus calls for help for Chester Upland schools
HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 State Rep. Ronald G. Waters, D-Phila./Delaware, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and other members of the PLBC at a Capitol news conference on Tuesday called on the governor to release funds to keep Chester Upland School District in operation through the remainder of the school year.

Competition keeps youths in the robotics game
By Liz Gormisky, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Mon, Jan. 30, 2012, 6:57 AM
From the outside, 3851 Warren St. is an unfriendly, unremarkable warehouse that hardly merits a second glance.  But behind the white, unmarked door of the Powelton Village building, a freezing room that is home to the Atomic Robotics 4-H Club buzzed on a recent school night with the sounds of motors whirring, a heater sputtering to life, and table saws interrupting discussions on whether the computer coding would work this time.
Founded over the summer, Atomic Robotics meets four times a week, aided by 17 adult mentors, to work on building a robot that can shoot as many basketballs and score as many points as possible in two minutes and 15 seconds.  The group is part of a nationwide competition organized by FIRST, a nonprofit that sets the rules and guidelines for the contest each year, backed by corporate sponsors and notable celebrities, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, and crowd favorite Stephen Colbert.
The growth of Atomic Robotics, from a chance meeting between Biel-Goebel and Masterman math teacher Kate Smith, is all the more remarkable as Philadelphia School District budget cuts have forced the demise of 15 similar clubs in the city.

Latest Updates on Chester Upland - January 31, 2011

PA House Democratic Caucus Website
As districts consider their preliminary budgets and we await the Governor’s February 7th budget announcement, the PA House Democratic Caucus has begun daily tracking of press coverage on school district budgets statewide:

County Legislative Guides by Education Voters PA
These legislative guides list contact information, committee assignments and school districts for PA State Representatives and State Senators.  They also include tips on being an effective advocate for public education: contacting your elected officials and writing letters to the editor

Map of Pennsylvania School Districts and Intermediate Units

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