Friday, August 24, 2012

New voucher study doesn’t live up to hype

“Only public schools, operated by school districts with elected school boards are open to all children and fully accountable to all taxpayers.”
Baruch Kintisch, Director of Policy Advocacy, Education Law Center, in testimony before the PA House Democratic Policy Committee, July 17, 2012

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1600 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, members of the press and a broad array of education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

These daily emails are archived at
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

New voucher study doesn’t live up to hype, NSBA says
NSBA School Board News by Joetta Sack-Min August 23rd, 2012
A new study released today by the Brookings Institute and Harvard University researcher Paul E. Peterson shows that low-income students who participated in a three-year voucher program in New York City in the late 1990s overall fared no better in college enrollments than their peers in public schools. However, the study found that African-American students did attend college at higher rates than those who did not receive vouchers.
Although the study was relatively small and narrowly focused, the authors and voucher proponents are using it to lobby for expanding voucher programs across the country. Peterson and researcher Matthew M. Chingos published an editorial in The Wall Street Journal calling on the Obama administration to support the voucher program for students in Washington D.C. Their claims have been challenged by the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

Media Spin About Vouchers

Diane Ravitch’s Blog August 23, 2012
The Wall Street Journal has an odd article  today trumpeting “A Generation of School Voucher Success” by voucher advocate Paul Peterson of Harvard and Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institution. The article is based on a study of a privately funded voucher program in New York City and its effects on college enrollments of those who received vouchers.
The study concluded that “Overall, no significant impacts are observed.”

Looking Ahead: PA Charter school reform may face another bumpy path this fall.
Capitol Ideas Blog by John Micek August 23, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett’s education czar said this week that the Republican administration plans to make a renewed push on the unfinished parts of its school reform agenda during this fall’s legislative session.  But neither time – nor politics -- is on its side.

Teachers find it’s a battle for each position

Pittsburgh Tribune Review By Bill Vidonic and Adam Wagner August 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Ryan Dunmire beat long odds when she landed a job teaching business at Chartiers-Houston School District this summer, more than a year after Steel Valley School District furloughed her and dozens of others.  “There was one position; they told me they had over 1,000 applicants,” said Dunmire, 29, of Bethel Park. “They said they could be picky, they knew people needed jobs.”
Since 2009, districts across the state have cut thousands of classroom positions as they balanced shrinking budgets. For those trying to enter the teaching field, and those trying to stay in, it’s a battle for each position.
The Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg estimates that in 2011, public education shed nearly 20,000 positions, based on records it compiled from state and federal labor statistics. The jobs included primary and secondary positions, from teachers to support staff.
State Department of Education figures showed 125,844 full-time teachers in 2010-11, a drop of nearly 4,000 positions from the year before. The department did not have figures for the most recent school year.

BACK TO SCHOOL 2012 - WALMART: Save More, Live Better, Eradicate Public Education: 159,049,864 reasons to shop someplace else.

Posted: Fri, Aug. 24, 2012, 3:01 AM
Philadelphia School Partnership halfway to $100 million goal for schools
By Kristen A. Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
The leadership of the nonprofit Philadelphia School Partnership announced Thursday that it was more than halfway to its goal of raising $100 million to pump into expanding strong schools, whether they're charter, public, or private.
That the group has shaken loose $51.9 million in just under two years in a tough economy is a symbol of the considerable and rising influence of the partnership (PSP) in the city's education sector.

EITC 2.0 Vouchers: Pennsylvania's Opportunity Scholarship program has yet to make $50 million in funds available

Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 6:00 AM
By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News 
Many midstate parents who want to sign up
for the state’s new Opportunity Scholarship program this year are coming away with a rain check. 
They are being told that money for the scholarships isn’t available yet. So they must send their children to the low-achieving public school they are trying to escape or come up with another way to pay the tuition at a different school.

Can You Imagine This Scenario?

Diane Ravitch’s Blog August 23, 2012
Imagine a governor rushing to the aid of a financially distressed public school district by naming a voucher advocate to run it.

New Education Report – The Competition that Really Matters
Above Average Jane Blog Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Today the The Center for the Next Generation and the Center for American Progress released a research study on education policy and family behaviors and what this means in terms of America's ability to remain competitive in the global economy.
The report, The Competition that Really Matters, is 108 pages long and I didn't read all of it but skimmed through over half of it, and read through the press release that accompanied the email announcing the report.  I skimmed the chapters focusing on American education; the other chapters looked at the educational policy of India and China.  Personally I am somewhat skeptical of the accuracy of statistics coming out of those countries (no offense to India and China).  The US chapters were really interesting.

Close look at KIPP challenges
Washington Post By Jay Mathews, Published: August 20
I have been following the progress of KIPP public charter schools since 2001. Initially this charter network was just one story among many. But when its first school here, the KIPP DC: KEY Academy, began performing better than Northwest Washington schools with many middle-class children, I made it a regular stop.  I also spent time with the network’s founders, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, visited about 40 of their schools and wrote a book about KIPP, “Work Hard. Be Nice,” published in 2009.

Enhancing the Notebook-WHYY partnership
by Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 23 2012 Posted in Latest news
WHYY/NewsWorks and the Public School Notebook are putting new resources into our two-year-old partnership to provide in-depth coverage of the Philadelphia public schools for print, radio, and the Web.  Education reporter Ben Herold has become a full-time member of the news staff at WHYY/NewsWorks, the public media service for the Philadelphia region. Herold’s position as a reporter following local education news was previously part-time, based at the Notebook -- Philadelphia’s nonprofit education news service -- and jointly funded by the two organizations.

Bios of candidates slated for 2013 PSBA offices 8/15/2012
At its May 19 meeting at PSBA Conference Center, the PSBA Nominating Committee interviewed and selected a slate of candidates for officers of the association in 2013.

Upcoming PSBA Professional Development Opportunities
To register or to learn more about PSBA professional development programs please visit:

2012 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 16-19, 2012
Registration is Now Open!  Hershey Lodge & Convention Center, Hershey, PA

EPLC’s 2012 Arts and Education Symposium: Save the Date, Thursday, October 11

Education Policy and Leadership Center

Please mark your calendars and plan on joining EPLC, our partners, and guests on October 11 in Harrisburg for a full day of events.  Stay tuned to for information about our 2nd Arts and Education Symposium.  Scholarships and Act 48 Credit will be available.  Outstanding speakers and panelists from Pennsylvania and beyond will once again come together to address key topics in the arts and arts education and related public policy advocacy initiatives.  This is a networking and learning opportunity not to be missed!

NSBA Federal Relations Network seeking new members for 2013-14
School directors are invited to advocate for public education at the federal level through the National School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network. The National School Boards Association is seeking school directors interested in serving on the Federal Relations Network (FRN), its grass roots advocacy program that brings local board members on the front line of pending issues before Congress. If you are a school director and willing to carry the public education message to Washington, D.C., FRN membership is a good place to start. 
Click here for more information.
National School Boards Association is seeking school directors interested in serving on the Federal Relations Network (FRN), its grass roots advocacy program that brings local board members on the front line of pending issues before Congress. If you are a school director and willing to carry the public education message to Washington, D.C., FRN membership is a good place to start. 
Click here for more information.

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