Friday, February 10, 2012

A very long time ago, when teaching was a respected profession, pensions were a decades-in-the-future abstract notion, and obsessive metastasized standardized testing wasn’t even a gleam in some future testing company CEO’s eye....

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

If you have not already, there is still time to register for the
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m.  Program - 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel - 201 North 17th Street
"Southeastern PA Breakfast Series"
Governor Corbett's Proposed Education Budget for 2012-2013
Overview of the Proposed Budget Will Be Provided By:
Representative of the PA Budget and Policy Center 
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Michael Churchill, Of Counsel, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Shelly Yanoff, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Alex McNeil, Senior at Temple University and Founder of Project E.D.U.
Superintendent of Schools From a District in the Philadelphia Region 
Please feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues. Registration is free, but everyone must RSVP at

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:

More info, registration, sponsor bus seats for students at:

More info:

Governor proposes scaling back Keystone Exams
ANDREW SHAW The York Dispatch, Updated:   02/09/2012 02:46:43 PM EST
The Keystone Exams, once trumpeted by Gov. Tom Corbett as the key to proving high schoolers know their stuff before graduating, have been scaled back in his budget proposal.
The exams are a series of end-of-course tests high schoolers take to show they are competent in a subject. A majority of the 10 tests, as originally designed, would need to be passed in order to graduate, and the tests would affect a student's class grade.

Educators pore over fine print

  — State College -Centre Daily Times
Posted: 12:01am on Feb 9, 2012; Modified: 9:43am on Feb 9, 2012
During Gov. Tom Corbett’s second budget address Tuesday afternoon, he accused critics of practicing “deception” and creating an “urban legend” about the $860 million that was cut from public schools last year.  But now, educators, district officials, Democratic lawmakers, and leaders of some those special interest groups say they’re trying to figure out the real numbers behind Corbett’s budget proposal — both for 2012-13 and for future years.

Chester officials ask Pa. for $13.2M to keep schools open
By Dan Hardy, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER, Posted: Thu, Feb. 9, 2012, 6:56 PM
Officials from the Chester Upland School District and the Chester Community Charter School asked Education Secretary Ron Tomalis for $13.2 million Thursday to keep their schools open, pledging to make spending cuts in return.

It's Your Money: Some Charter Schools Get Failing Grades Pittsburgh UPDATED: 7:48 pm EST February 9, 2012
Pennsylvania made significantly lower learning gains in math and reading than their traditional public school counterparts, according to a recent Stanford study.
Why doesn't the state Department of Education stop funding the ones that are failing? Channel 4 Action News investigative reporter Jim Parsons put that question to Pennsylvania's schools chief.
Read more:

A very long time ago, when teaching was a respected profession, pensions were a decades-in-the-future abstract notion, and obsessive metastasized standardized testing wasn’t even a gleam in some future testing company CEO’s eye, I attended Philadelphia’s Thomas Creighton Elementary School which happens to be mentioned in the voucher article below.  As this posting from last February details, Creighton was number 85 on Senator Piccola’s list of 144 failing schools:  Seemed to fit nicely with the NY Times Education Gap article…….LAF

Poverty Level at 144 SB1 Schools is 80.8% vs State Avg of 39.1%

A push for vouchers

(Philadelphia) Northeast Times Star By  
Junior citizens take to the streets to fight for their right to school choice
St. William Grammar School will close in June after 88 years of Catholic education, and eighth-grader Tracy Glova cites a lack of government vouchers as one reason why.
“It’s not fair that Catholic schools don’t get money,” she said. “Part of the reason that schools are closing down is that there isn’t enough financial aid. It would help a lot. Every kid should be able to have a Catholic education and get closer to God.”

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say
New York Times By SABRINA TAVERNISE, Published: February 9, 2012
WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.
“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist. Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

Education Week Politics K-12 Blog February 09, 2012

Kline ESEA Bills Would Squelch the Federal Role in K-12

The federal role in K-12 education would be almost entirely eviscerated under a pair of bills introduced today by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.  The bills would get rid of the adequate yearly progress provision, and allow states to craft their own accountability systems. Schools would be able to come up with their own improvement strategies. They wouldn't have to offer free tutoring or school choice. But schools would still test students in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Testing in science would become voluntary, though.

NSBA advocates for ESEA revamp

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), along with four other state and local government organization, are urging Congress to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and enact legislation that would reframe the federal-state-local partnership before the next school year begins.

February 09, 2012

Ten States Get NCLB Waivers, New Mexico Has to Wait

Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Sean Cavanagh
Ten of 11 states that applied for waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act have received that flexibility from federal officials, while one of them, New Mexico, has not yet been granted it, the U.S. Department of Education said today.
The states awarded waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Why Obama’s NCLB waivers aren’t what he says they are

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
President Obama sounded like the king of flexibility when he announced that his administration was granting 10 states the right to ignore the most onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind. “Sounded” is the key word in that sentence.
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee are the first states to win the controversial waivers, Obama announced Thursday, but there is a catch. Instead of following the law that was president George W. Bush’s signature education initiative, the states had to agree to follow the key education reforms championed by Obama’s Education Department. States are swapping one president’s education vision for another, and both involve the overuse of high-stakes standardized tests.

Environmental Charter School tests out looming lunch regulations
Regent Square school gets with the Michelle Obama program. Kids comply.
Thursday, February 09, 2012 By Taryn Luna, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The school -- which contracts with local restaurants to serve their students healthy and often organic, locally sourced food -- Wednesday tested the new school lunch regulations announced by first lady Michelle Obama late last month.

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 10, 2011

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