Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"The scientific literature around early-childhood brain development and the definition of quality in the early childhood education setting are crystal-clear," he said. "Children served by quality early education centers arrive at school more prepared and ready to learn. If they are significantly behind, they never catch up."

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

In Pittsburgh, parents, students brave cold, protest education funding
By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sunday, February 12, 2012
Each time Jordan Montgomery shouted "Budget cuts," the crowd of 250 gathered in Schenley Plaza yelled back, "I've had enough."  The event was sponsored by a group of parent volunteers who also maintain a website at http://yinzercation.wordpress.com/

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?

In Philly - District to stop mandating use of scripted curricula
February 13,2012 by Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks
Centrally mandated scripted curricula will soon be a thing of the past, New Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon told the School Reform Commission (SRC) Monday.  “We believe the curriculum should say to teachers, ‘Here’s the what’ and give them the flexibility as to the ‘How,’” said Nixon.  “From the District level, will we say, ‘You have to use this scripted curriculum?’ No.”
Such a change will mark a significant shift in the District’s approach to classroom education. Currently, dozens of low-performing ‘Empowerment Schools’ are required to follow strict curricular mandates, including use of scripted remedial programs like Corrective Reading and Corrective Math that are anathema to many teachers.

“Slick TV ads and corporate hucksters would have us believe the online school can teach even better than the best traditional elementary and secondary schools the nation has to offer. Yeah, right. The day that Phillips Exeter Academy replaces its teachers with laptops is the day I might start to believe them.”
Guest columnist: In online school talk, no one seems to focus on the kids' interests
Des Moines Register Opinion by GENE GLASS 5:25 PM, Feb. 11, 2012
GENE V. GLASS is a research professor at the University of Colorado School of Education in Boulder and a professor emeritus at Arizona State University
The cyberschool movement is spreading across the country. The number of kids whose entire school experience is on a laptop on the kitchen table has topped 250,000 and is headed toward a half million in the next few years.
Of the more than two dozen states that permit profit-making companies like K12 Inc. and Connections Learning — recently acquired by the United Kingdom publishing giant Pearson — to set up and collect hundreds of millions of dollars for running “schools,” there is little appetite to stop the spread or even to keep it in reasonable control.

"The scientific literature around early-childhood brain development and the definition of quality in the early childhood education setting are crystal-clear," he said. "Children served by quality early education centers arrive at school more prepared and ready to learn. If they are significantly behind, they never catch up."
New project aimed at helping Erie's poor children set to launch this week
BY GERRY WEISS, Erie Times-News gerry.weiss@timesnews.com
Erie's battle against record poverty will continue this week with the launch of a new project aiming to provide scholarships for nearly 300 low-income children to attend quality prekindergarten programs in the 2012-13 school year.
Erie's Future Fund, led by the United Way of Erie County and the Erie Community Foundation, will host a kickoff event Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Ambassador Conference Center, 7794 Peach St., in Summit Township.
Communities across the country with rising ranks of poor and needy families have targeted quality early education and kindergarten readiness as critical indicators for climbing out of poverty.

Prevailing Wage Bill Advances In State House.
Allentown Morning Call Capitol Ideas Blog by John Micek, February 13, 2012
The state House has advanced legislation making the first substantive changes to a state law dictating the  cost of most public construction projects since it went on the books half-a-century ago.  If, as expected, the chamber gives its final approval as early as Tuesday, school districts and municipalities would be required to pay what’s known as the prevailing wage – generally union scale – on construction projects that cost $185,000 or more. Right now, that minimum is $25,000. The change would affect about half of all public construction projects.

Waivers from No Child Left Behind aren't good enough, say education officials
Phillyburbs.com By Manasee Wagh Staff writer Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 5:00 am
Local educators are hoping the much reviled No Child Left Behind Act can be left behind in Pennsylvania.
As Congress approaches an overdue reauthorization of the 2001 law, the state secretary of education is still considering the requirements of an alternative offered by the Obama administration last year.  Ten states have been freed from the law, and 28 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have indicated that they also plan to leave.
Waivers from the law offer a way out, President Obama has said. But Pennsylvania state education and Bucks County school officials are wary of jumping on the train to freedom from a law, yet still have their hands tied with another set of requirements.
For that reason, Centennial school board member Mark Miller’s not in favor of the waivers that allow states to relax the most stringent aspects of No Child Left Behind.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:00 am Room 39 East Wing
Informational meeting - presentations from cyber charter school administrators regarding cyber charter school funding and other operating issues.

February 14th Valentine’s Day Harrisburg 12:00 pm rally in support of public education

Dear Gov. Corbett, Fall Back In Love With Education.

Uploaded by PhillyStudentUnion on Jan 31, 2012

February 14th Valentine's Day Rally at the Harrisburg Capitol

Rally at 12pm in the Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda

1:36 YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gybrEHCMxQk&feature=youtu.be

More info, registration, sponsor bus seats for students at: http://showloveforeducation.eventbrite.com/?ref=ecount

More info: www.phillystudentunion.org

February 16: EPLC Philadelphia Budget Panel Breakfast 8:00 am
(note: there will be additional EPLC budget events throughout the state; details as they become available)
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel - 201 North 17th Street
Subject: Governor Corbett's Proposed Education Budget for 2012-2013

RSVP Required: http://www.eplc.org/events-calendar/southeastern-pennsylvania-breakfast-series/


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.




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 and friends are all registered to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania Primary.  Forward this reminder to any and all public education stakeholders.

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:



Latest Updates on Chester UplandFebruary 13, 2011

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

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