Tuesday, March 13, 2012

...it appears no districts in the state plan to ask residents to raise their own taxes, as allowed under Act 1.

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1500 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, members of the press and a broad array of education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Bar is higher for schools on PSSA tests
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Tue, Mar. 13, 2012, 3:01 AM
As students this week tackle annual tests that measure performance in math and reading, pressure will be on many schools to do much better than last year.  The average level of achievement that students must attain for a school to be judged successful on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is going up significantly, as it did last year.  For 2012, 78 percent of each school's students must pass the math test for the school to make "Adequate Yearly Progress" - AYP - the state standard for satisfactory achievement. In reading, 81 percent must pass.

Lebanon Lancaster IU13 Hosts School Leaders and Legislators for Panel Discussion
IU Board President Dr. Richard Frerichs and Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Burkhart hosted over 120 superintendents, school board members and other school leaders for their annual legislative breakfast on March 12, 2012.  Panelists Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-13), Rep. Ryan Aument (R-41), Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-99), Rep. Mike Sturla (D-96) and PSBA Executive Director Tom Gentzel fielded questions on the Governor’s budget, prevailing wage, special education reform, teacher evaluation, cyber/charter school reform and professional staff furloughs.

Elementary music programs should be retained at CV

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 1:30 AM
Patriot News LTE By Andrew Sherman 
As are other districts, Cumberland Valley will be forced to make difficult budget cuts. As a seventh-grader at Cumberland Valley, I strongly believe that elementary band and orchestra should not be on the chopping block.

Despite struggles, school districts forgo referendums on taxes

Published: Monday, March 12, 2012, 9:00 AM
Districts struggling with the most difficult budgets in memory are coming up with all kinds of ideas to make ends meet: cutting academic programs, enacting pay freezes, reducing extracurriculars, asking students to pay for sports.
But it appears no districts in the state plan to ask residents to raise their own taxes, as allowed under Act 1.

Report on Community Forums to Inform the Search for the Next Leader of the School District of Philadelphia
Tweet from Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham ‏ @newskag
Results of community forums on #phillyeducation superintendent search have been compiled into a report.

PSBA officer applications due
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:

TED offers free video lessons for high school and college students
By Lyndsey Layton, Updated: Monday, March 12, 12:01 AM
Imagine you’re a high school biology teacher searching for the most vivid way to explain electrical activity in the brain. How about inserting metal wires into a cockroach’s severed leg and making that leg dance to music?  Starting Monday, that eye-popping lesson, performed in a six-minute video by neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage, is available free online.
TED, a nonprofit organization that produces a popular annual conference on ideas, is launching TED-Ed, an online collection of lessons it hopes will bring the best educators to any classroom with an Internet connection.

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.

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: http://www.arcadia.edu/direct…
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 dressm@arcadia.edu

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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