Monday, March 26, 2012

FOLLOW THE VOUCHER MONEY: Students First PAC from 1/2/12 - 3/5/12/ In Texas, a revolt brews against standardized testing

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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 03/23/2012

In Texas, a revolt brews against standardized testing

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
More than 100 school districts in Texas have passed a resolution saying that high-stakes standardized tests are “strangling” public schools, the latest in a series of events that are part of a brewing revolt in the state where the test-centric No Child Left Behind was born.

Texas resolution goes nationwide

Texas Association of School Administrators Submitted by arivas on March 23, 2012
The total confirmed number of Texas districts that have adopted the board resolution concerning high stakes, standardized testing of Texas public school students is now 123. But the effort is spreading beyond Texas. The Community District Education Council 30 in Queens, New York unanimously passed a nearly identical resolution at a board meeting last night – essentially substituting New York for Texas. The council said they hope other New York City area districts will adopt similar resolutions.

Students First PAC from 1/2/12 - 3/5/12
A total of $1 Million in out-of-state money was received during the reporting period from Betsy Devos’ American Federation for Children in two payments of $500K each on 2/21/12 and 3/2/12.  Contributions totaling just over $590K were recorded during the period.
It is notable that Students First is supporting voucher proponent Fatimah Muhammad who is challenging Jim Roebuck in the Democratic Primary for the 188th District.  Roebuck is a 24 year incumbent who is House Education Committee Minority Chairman and has been a strong opponent of taxpayer-funded school vouchers.

Letter from the Editor: Clippers outshine district’s imperfections

Delco Times By PHIL HERON
That’s not a word often associated with the Chester Upland School District.
It is today.

Stand Up for Public Education!
Wed., April 11, 2012 7:00 pm Town Hall Meeting on Education at Bucknell University
Meeting with legislators from Columbia, Northumberland, Montour, Snyder & Union counties
Where: The Forum, Room 272, Elaine Langone Center Bucknell University 701 Moore Avenue Lewisburg, PA 17837
7 p.m. – School directors and administrators meet with legislators (PSBA Legislative Meeting)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Meeting on Education – Please invite your PTO/PTA and other parent/ community groups to join us!
The purpose of the 7 p.m. meeting is for school directors and administrators to discuss the impact of the governor’s 2011-12 budget proposal on their school districts. At 7:30 p.m., the meeting will be open to all interested parents and other members of the community who would like to come out in support of their public schools and ask their legislators to take their message back to Harrisburg.
Please RSVP By April 4, to Kathy Swope, PSBA Region 6 director, at (570) 523-3336 or email

Stand Up for Public Education!

Thursday April 12th, 7:00 pm Allegheny County Legislative Forum

WHERE: North Hills Senior High School 53 Rochester Road Pittsburgh, PA 15229
WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 7:00pm
REGISTER for this event:
All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event, which will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. Join us on Thursday, April 12th at North Hills Senior High School at 7PM for an evening with several key state legislators from Allegheny 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.

Please join EPLC this Wednesday, March 28, 8:00 am at the Harrisburg Hilton for breakfast and discussion about the Arts and Education Initiative's (AEI's) new policy report: Creating PA's Future through the Arts and Education. 
Hear from AEI staff and Study Group members and share about plans for advocacy in 2012.  Breakfast begins at 8 am and the program starts at 8:30 am.  This EPLC program is free of charge, but online registration is required:
To learn more about the Arts and Education Initiative (AEI) and to read the new policy report, please visit

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.
Please RSVP by March 12 to

Luzerne County: Wyoming Area considers school closings

Citizens VOice BY BILL WELLOCK (STAFF WRITER) Published: March 23, 2012
EXETER - Two forces surrounded the Wyoming Area School District's public hearing about the possibility of closing district elementary schools: The emotion of people with love for a neighborhood school and a growing budget deficit.
At Thursday's public hearing on the possibility of closing Sarah J. Dymond Elementary School or John F. Kennedy Elementary School, the school board listened first to a contracted accountant on the district financial situation and the superintendent before giving the floor to parent after parent who urged the board to keep all the district's schools open.

Chester County: Phoenixville School Board shaves tax hike in half
Chester County Daily Local By Frank Otto Posted: 03/22/12 05:47 pm
PHOENIXVILLE — The Phoenixville Area School District’s proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year continues to fall as items are trimmed and re-evaluated.
The original proposed tax increase of 5.08 percent has been reduced to roughly 2.34 percent as of this month. Last month, the proposed tax increase had been reduced to 3.89 percent. Stan Johnson, the district’s executive director of operations, and members of the business office presented the board with an update on their findings Tuesday that included a look into the district’s past and future five-year trends.

Bucks County: Bristol Twp. schools working to cut $12 million deficit
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 5:00 am By DANNY ADLER Staff writer
Bristol Township school administrators continue to look at ways to fill a looming multimillion-dollar budget gap.  Schools Superintendent Samuel Lee said the district will close the $12 million gap, but “we just haven’t defined with any authority how we’re going to close it.”

Kampf’s Proposed Prevailing Wage Reform Legislation (HB709) Brings Union Pickets to Paoli

Community Matters Blog Posted on   by Pattye Benson
Anyone that follows Community Matters knows that I am a Wegmans fan but after my experience yesterday, I may find myself shopping at the Acme in Paoli more often.
Around 3 PM on Wednesday, as I left Acme there was a large organized group of men in the parking lot changing into identical white t-shirts, many with signs and American flags.

The week in blogs: Alleviating poverty, improving schools

NSBA’s School Board News by Lawrence Hardy March 26, 2012
Does “family income itself” determine whether or not a child learns? That’s what progressive educators believe, charges Harvard Professor Paul Peterson in a recent piece for Education Next.  Of course, Peterson is distorting the views of those in the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education coalition, who say that out-of-school factors such a child’s health, nutrition, safety, and housing – all of which are influenced by alack of adequate income — can have a big impact on that child’s ability to achieve  in school. Therefore, they say, we as a society need to address these out-of-school concerns.

Teachers and Parents Prepare to Occupy the Department of Education

Education Week Living in Dialogue Blog by Anthony Cody March 22, 2012
Last summer many of us marched to protest the US Department of Education's policies at the Save Our Schools march in Washington, DC. While there, I met two activists, Pennsylvania parent Tim Slekar and Florida teacher Ceresta Smith. They are now working to organize an "occupation" of the Department of Education, beginning next Friday, March 30. Here is what they have to say.


Has your board considered this draft resolution yet?

PSBA Sample Board Resolution regarding the budget

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

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 officer applications due by March 31
PSBA Website 3/12/2012
Candidates seeking election to PSBA officer posts in 2013 must file an expression of interest for the office desired to be interviewed by the PSBA Nominating Committee. Deadline for filing is March 31.  For more info and forms:

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