Tuesday, February 28, 2012

“Just when you think you’re watching a press conference about the fate of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it becomes a photo op for state legislators touting vouchers.”

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, members of the press and a broad array of education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg


School districts juggle proposed changes to Keystone exams, possible PSSA replacement

Schools have been aligning curriculum for the end-of-year tests, which could start next year.

By ANGIE MASON York Daily Record/Sunday News

Updated:   02/25/2012 09:14:01 PM EST

York, PA - School districts are sorting through more proposed changes for the implementation of the Keystone exams, end-of-year tests that will eventually be tied to students' graduation and could replace the 11th grade PSSA as early as next year.



“Just when you think you’re watching a press conference about the fate of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it becomes a photo op for state legislators touting vouchers.”

Editorial: Fundraisers, not politics, the focus of schools

Just when you think you’re watching a press conference about the fate of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it becomes a photo op for state legislators touting vouchers. In all fairness, they were obviously invited to last Friday afternoon’s media event at archdiocesan headquarters in Center City by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput.
After announcing that all four high schools originally recommended for closure by the archdiocesan’s Blue Ribbon Commission would now remain open, he segued into the importance of education improvement tax credits and “opportunity scholarships,” otherwise known as taxpayer-funded vouchers.



Chester Upland to make next payroll date

Delco Times By JOHN KOPP jkopp@delcotimes.com, @DT_JohnKopp
The Chester Upland School District has enough money to meet its payroll date scheduled for Wednesday, spokesman Joel Avery said Monday.


District consolidations not out of the question
By Eric Boehm, PA Independent Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
HARRISBURG — Ron Tomalis is fond of saying the state’s 500 school districts are not a magic number.  The state Secretary of Education indicated a willingness to discuss the possibility of consolidating some Pennsylvania school districts as a way to rescue some that are struggling financially and save money for other districts.  …..Tomalis told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday the administration wanted to give districts the tools to handle their own budgets without constraints from the state level.



Wikipedia: Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford University School of Education, where she launched the School Redesign Network, the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Darling-Hammond is author or editor of more than a dozen books and more than 300 articles on education policy and practice. Her work focuses on school restructuring, teacher education, and educational equity. She was education advisor to Barack Obama's presidential campaign and was reportedly among candidates for Secretary of Education in the Obama administration.


Linda Darling Hammond with Dan Rather

Video Runtime 4:34

Everyone should care about countries like Finland that have found progressive ways to improve their education system.  States and provinces in Canada and the United States are often the same geographic and population sizes as progressive countries such as Finland, Singapore and Korea. This is important because the responsibilities for education in Canada and the US are at the provincial and state governments.

There are very large, high achieving countries such as Canada and Australia who have very diverse populations that are pursuing very different education reforms than the United States.

One of the America's greatest failures is their lack of equity.

1 in 100 people in America are in prison. America risks becoming a Prison Nation unless every citizen is afforded the opportunity to be successful. There is a school-to-prison-pipeline in America.

Education is not a private-good -- it's a public-good.

We all benefit or we all hurt -- depending on the quality of education other people's kids get.

Californians pay $50,000 a year on an in-mate when they could have paid $10,000 a year to give an education. Most inmates are high school drop-outs and functionally illiterate.



Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Charter school linked to Scientology

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
A public charter school in the Florida city of Clearwater — the headquarters of the Church of Scientology — is being accused of using Scientology study methods with students.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that parents and former teachers had complained about Life Force Arts and Technology Academy, which is being run by a management company whose president, Hanan Islam, was executive director of an organization called the World Literacy Crusade which promotes Scientology study methods.



Amid a Federal Education Inquiry, an Unsettling Sight
By MICHAEL WINERIP, The New York Times Monday, February 27, 2012
What was Arne Duncan doing sharing the stage with Michelle Rhee at a recent education conference?
Mr. Duncan is the education secretary.
Ms. Rhee was the chancellor of schools in Washington from 2007 to 2010.
Since last summer, the Office of the Inspector General in Mr. Duncan's department has been investigating whether Washington school officials cheated to raise test scores during Ms. Rhee's tenure.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12058/1212975-298.stm#ixzz1ncUlwlIe


February 29th: Partners for Public Education at 6PM in the South Fayette High School Theater

Statewide kickoff meeting of PSEA's Partners for Public Education (PPE) Program

PPE is all about connecting parents, community leaders, elected officials, and teachers together for one goal - the support of public education.  State Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Jesse White, State Representative Nick Kotik, Education Policy & Leadership Center Director Ron Cowell, PSEA President Mike Crossey, along with members of the SFEA Representative Council, SF School Board, SF Administration, and SF Student Government will stand together to recruit parents and other interested parties add their voices to the chorus of those who care about public education.



Monday, March 5, 2012 10:00 AM  Room 140 Main Capitol
10:00 AM Department of Education
1:00 PM State System of Higher Education

March 8, 7 pm Lehigh County Legislative Forum on Public Education
Thursday, March 8th, 7:00 pm at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Community Services Center
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event.  Join us on Thursday, March 8th at Lehigh Carbon Community College at 7PM for an evening with several key state legislators from Lehigh County and other education experts who will help explain local impacts. 
State Representatives and Senators representing surrounding school districts have been invited to attend and discuss their positions on public education as they head into negotiations over next year’s budget.  This event will be moderated by the League of Women Voters.

The Education Committee of the League of Women Voters of Chester County
March 19th LWV Chester County Public Meeting: The Real Impact of the Proposed State Budget on Public Education
PA Auditor General Jack Wagner
Monday March 19th 6:30 pm at Stetson Middle School, West Chester
Location: Stetson Middle School Auditorium
The Auditor General will speak to the public followed by Q & A Session.

March 26th: Last day to register to vote in the April 24th PA Primary Election
You do have the power to change the direction of education policy in Pennsylvania
The last day to REGISTER before the primary is March 26 , 2012.  Make sure that you, your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers are all registered to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania Primary.  Ask your incumbent state representative and state senator for their positions on public education.  Let them know how important these issues are to you.  Forward this reminder to any and all public education stakeholders.

Education Voters PA – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The Governor’s proposal starts the process, but it isn’t all decided: our legislators can play an important role in standing up for our priorities.  Last year, public outcry helped prevent nearly $300 million in additional cuts.  We heard from the Governor, and we know where he stands.  Now, we need to ask our legislators: what is your position on supporting our schools?

At The Chalk Face - Education Talk Radio – Listen Anytime
Educated Educators Talking Education.
A new one hour talk show dedicated to education.  Hosts Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson cover the biggest issues in education.  From standardized testing to No Child Left Behind.

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:


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