Monday, March 12, 2012

'Compelling' evidence of cheating in many Phila. schools and Chester Community Charter School

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“Officials believe that in all but five instances involving districts and charters across the state, the cheating was limited to isolated individuals, the source said.  But in the case of Philadelphia's and Hazleton's school districts and Imhotep, Philadelphia Electrical and Technology, and Chester Community Charter, state officials believe the problem was more widespread.”
'Compelling' evidence of cheating in many Phila. schools
By Kristen A. Graham and Dylan Purcell Inquirer Staff Writers
Posted: Sun, Mar. 11, 2012, 5:23 AM
Make no mistake, the state's top education official said: The cases against 53 Philadelphia public schools and three city charter schools - 56 in all - now under investigation for possible cheating on state achievement tests are very strong.
"The data is pretty compelling," Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis said of the Philadelphia schools and dozens more statewide that have come under scrutiny for irregularities in the tests, known as PSSAs. "These don't seem to be random acts that are just a student erasing more than the norm."
The Philadelphia School District declined to release the schools under investigation for possible improprieties on the 2009, 2010, and 2011 PSSAs, but The Inquirer has obtained a copy of the list.

Is the Corbett administration proposing education cuts or increases?
Depends on which spreadsheet you study
By Karen Langley, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau Sunday, March 11, 2012
HARRISBURG -- Did Gov. Tom Corbett propose increasing or cutting funding for public schools? Like many things here, it depends how you look at it.
The Corbett administration says its budget proposal for the upcoming year would send at least as much money to each Pennsylvania school district as it got this year. The state education department has released a website with graphs and a spreadsheet to prove it.
Democrats in the state House of Representatives challenge that accounting and have published a competing spreadsheet that shows public school funding dropping next year throughout the state.

The administration's spreadsheet is available at: .

Is the Corbett administration proposing education cuts or increases?
Depends on whether you completely ignore statewide local press coverage
Call it whatever you want to Governor Corbett – here are 273 articles since January 23rd from newspapers all over Pennsylvania detailing shrinking school budgets, program cuts, staffing cuts and local tax increases.

Listen! Youth Produced Radio about Public Education

On Blast is the youth-produced radio show of the Philadelphia Student Union. This show is created by high school students who are actively organizing to improve public education. Subscribe to the On Blast podcast to have the latest shows sent to your iTunes.
On this month's 30-minute show:
Students from across PA unite against education budget cuts.
Experts share insights on how to create nonviolent schools.
Philly teachers banned from administering PSSA test to their own students.
Young people are growing the Food Justice movement in Philly.
Plus music and other news.

YouTube Subtracts Racy and Raucous to Add a Teaching Tool

New York Times By STEPHANIE STROM Published: March 9, 2012
Educators are giving YouTube — long dismissed as a storehouse of whimsical, time-wasting and occasionally distasteful videos — another look. As Google, YouTube’s parent company, fine-tunes a portal that lets schools limit students’ access to selected content, the video-sharing Web site is gaining popularity as a trove of free educational materials.

Arcadia University's Education Department presents:
Panel: Unpacking the PA School Budget: What Does This Mean for Me?
March 29, 2012 from 5:30pm to 8pm at Arcadia University
Website or Map:…
Join us for a panel discussion that will delve into details of the Commonwealth's School Budget as announced by the Governor in February 2012.  This event will tell you how the budget will affect your schools, community, and children.
Host:  Dr. Bruce Campbell, Coordinator, Educational Leadership Master's Program, Arcadia University
Moderator: Baruch Kintisch, Director of Policy Advocacy and Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center
Christopher McGinley, Superintendent, Lower Merion School District
Art Haywood, President, Board of Commissioners, Cheltenham Township
Nofre Vaquer, Director, ARC of Philadelphia
Hiram Rivera, Executive Director, Philadelphia Student Union
Dale Mezzacappa, Contributing Editor, Philadelphia Public School Notebook 
Dan Hardy, Contributing Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Please RSVP by March 12 to

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?


PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

Please consider bringing this sample resolution to the members of your board.


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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