Monday, February 20, 2012

New analysis makes case for higher ranking for U.S. schools


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.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

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.

“There will be no public confidence in the district, however, until there is complete transparency about its finances. Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether there were improper expenditures. Appoint a financial manager who reports weekly all encumbrances and expenditures - publicly. Post all payments on a website, with cumulative totals against the budget. Operate transparently. Since neither the state nor district administrators can be trusted, it is time to let the public see the books.”
Many to blame in Chester school crisis; time to act
By A. Jean Arnold, J. Whyatt Mondesire and Michael Churchill
A. Jean Arnold is chair of the Chester NAACP Education Committee. J. Whyatt Mondesire is president of the NAACP State Conference. Michael Churchill is a lawyer with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Posted: Sun, Feb. 19, 2012, 3:01 AM
The crisis facing the Chester Upland School District is what happens when politicians are more interested in getting their way than in solving a problem. The fault lies as much in Harrisburg as in Chester.

Education reformers such as Horace Mann helped jump start the common school movement. In 1837, Mann became the first Secretary of the Board of Education for Massachusetts. Mann was at the forefront in promoting the institution of common schools. His influence on education in Massachusetts soon spread to the U.S. as a whole. By 1870, all states provided free elementary schooling.
February 15, 2012 6:38 PM
Rick Santorum suggests opposition to public schooling
CBSNews.com By Brian Montopoli Topics Campaign 2012
Campaigning in Idaho on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested that he is opposed to a public school system overseen by the government.
"We didn't have government-run schools for a long time in this country, for the majority of the time in this country," he said. "We had private education. We had local education. Parents actually controlled the education of their children. What a great idea that is."

Santorum Questions Education System; Criticizes Obama

New York Times By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
Published: February 18, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With his candidacy surging, Rick Santorum on Saturday criticized the public education system and questioned whether President Obama’s agenda sprang from a “phony theology.”

The PSERs employer contribution rate for 2011/2012 FY is 8.65%.
The rate for 2012/2013 FY is 12.36%
The rate is projected to climb to over 27% by 2019 and stay there until 2025
An Update from the Public School Employees’ Retirement System
Presented to the Montgomery County School Districts Legislative Committee
By Jeff Clay, Executive Director, PSERs February 15, 2012

New analysis makes case for higher ranking for U.S. schools

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY, February 16, 2012

The idea that U.S. public schools are falling behind the rest of the world is widely accepted, but a new analysis of international data suggests that using rankings to sort global winners from losers is often misguided, exaggerating tiny differences between countries that may be producing nearly identical results.

Here’s the report referenced in the USA Today article above:
Brookings Institution:HOW WELL ARE AMERICAN STUDENTS LEARNING?
With sections on predicting the effect of the Common Core State Standards, achievement gaps on the two NAEP tests, and misinterpreting international test scores.
February 2012 Volume III, Number 1, The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education:
by: TOM LOVELESS, Senior Fellow, The Brown Center on Education Policy, Brookings Institution

Bill would permit virtual charter schools in Mississippi
Proponents tout flexibility; critics fear lack of accountability
Clarion Ledger 10:09 PM, Feb. 11, by Jerry Mitchell
A for-profit Virginia company has hired lobbyists to push for a virtual public school in Mississippi.  K12 - the nation's largest operator of full-time online schools - wants lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 2294, the "Mississippi Digital Learning Now Act," which would enable a virtual charter school like K12 to operate in Mississippi.
The push for new charter schools, online and otherwise, is taking place across the nation, even as communities and states are coming up millions short in funding public schools.

Obama Proposes NAEP Cut; Seeks State Pilot for Global Testing (PISA)

 Erik Robelen  
One item tucked into President Obama's new budget request that you might have missed is a proposed cut to the esteemed "nation's report card."
The administration wants to trim $6 million from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a key measure of U.S. student achievement across disciplines relied upon by educators, policymakers, researchers, and, yes, journalists. The proposal comes as part of a $70 billion budget request for the U.S. Department of Education that, overall, would increase the agency's discretionary coffers by 2.5 percent. The NAEP cut would bring the testing budget down to $132 million, a reduction of 4.3 percent.
At the same time, the president's budget request would add $6 million—a strange coincidence, perhaps?—to create a pilot program for states to benchmark the performance of their 15-year-olds against that of students around the world on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.

SAVE THE DATE: 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
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. More info to come.

PA SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Budget Hearing - Department of Education
Monday, February 27, 2012  9:30 AM  Hearing Room 1 North Office Bldg.

PA HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
BUDGET HEARINGS: EDUCATION
10:00 AM Department of Education
1:00 PM State System of Higher Education
2:30 PM PHEAA
Monday, March 5, 2012 10:00 AM  Room 140 Main Capitol

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
SUNDAY MORNINGS AT 9am.
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.

 

February 23: 9 am to 3 pm Harrisburg Hilton 2012 Budget Summit: Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center for our 2012 Budget Summit on Thursday, February 23, 2012 for an in-depth look at the state and federal budget plans and what they mean for communities and families across Pennsylvania. The Summit will also feature workshops on how to talk about budgets, government and state services and lessons from successful budget campaigns in other states.

Time: February 23, 2012 from 9am to 3pm
Location: Harrisburg Hilton
City/Town: 
Harrisburg
Website or Map: 
http://org2.democracyinaction…

Click here to RSVP

 

February 29th: 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, 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.

http://partnersforpubliced.org/  

http://www.facebook.com/SouthFayettePPE


PA House Democratic Caucus Website
UPDATED DAILY – STATEWIDE PRESS COVERAGE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGETS
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:

http://www.pahouse.com/school_funding_2011cuts.asp?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.pahouse.com%2fschool_funding_2011cuts.asp&utm_campaign=Crisis+in+Public+Education

 


Latest Updates on Chester UplandFebruary 20, 2011

District is slated to lose an additional $980,000 under the Governor’s proposed 2012-2013 budget

Lawrence A. Feinberg
Keystone State Education Coalition
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

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