Thursday, August 16, 2012

Penn GSE Dean talks Common Core on Radio Times - mp3

“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

Posted: Thu, Aug. 16, 2012, 3:01 AM
State declares Chester Upland financially distressed
By Dan Hardy Inquirer Staff Writer
The Chester Upland School District has been declared financially distressed by state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, a step leading to increased state oversight, possible sweeping changes to operations, and the loss of power by the elected school board.
In a sharply critical declaration signed Tuesday and made public Wednesday, Tomalis wrote that the struggling 3,400-student Delaware County district has "alarming deficiencies in [its] financial management and operations."

WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

The Common Core Standards for public education

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
When No Child Left Behind (NCLB) became law in 2001 it promised to improve public education by raising standards and establishing measurable goals for student progress.  While the law was praised for making schools more accountable, it was highly criticized for an over-focus on high-stakes testing which led to several serious cheating scandals. 
The Obama administration has gradually dismantled NCLB by freeing states from meeting many of the law's requirements and has replaced it with its own education initiative, Race to the Top, that rewards states for adopting national standards for what students should know and learn.  Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are among the 45 states (and the District of Columbia) to adopt the new Common Core Standards that set benchmarks for English and Math education aimed at making American students competitive in the global workplace.  What are the Common Core Standards and how will they change the classroom and the way students, teacher and principals are evaluated?  We've invited ANDREW PORTER, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, to join us to explain this next wave of education reform. 

This Ohanian blog posting has links to several articles on the common core…
Market-Based Think Tank Opposes Common Core
Susan Ohanian August 14, 2012
Ohanian Comment: The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is "an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank [located in Washington State] that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions." Free-market solutions include working with ALEC. The Center for Education is one of six centers at WPC. Liv Finne, Center Director, has written a series of essays exhibiting a steady opposition to the Common Core. They are worth reading. Also worth noting is the fact that that this market-based think tank takes such a studied opposition to the Common Core while our teacher unions embrace the Common Core and our professional organizations offer books and webinars to profit from it. 


Digital Notebook Blog by Evan Brandt

EITC 2.0: Pottsgrove Not Ready to Take "Voucher Lite" Students

Students looking to escape "low-performing schools" won't be able to look to Pottsgrove School District as a place to get their education any time soon.  Facing a state deadline of today, the Pottsgrove School Board Tuesday night declined to take any action which would allow it to accept tuition students from "low-performing schools," as part of the state's new Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program, which some are calling "voucher lite."

Northwestern Lehigh rejects charter school
Circle of Seasons had also been turned down by Parkland directors.
By Christina Gallagher, Of the Morning Call  11:15 p.m. EDT, August 15, 2012
The Northwestern Lehigh School Board on Wednesday rejected the Circle of Seasons Charter School's application to open in Fogelsville, a second refusal for the school to open its doors in the Lehigh ValleyNorthwestern Lehigh directors said the school doesn't meet state education requirements and lacks support from community members including parents, teachers and students.
Superintendent Mary Anne Wright said the decision was made based on compliance with state code, not personal opinion.  In February, the Parkland School Board denied the school a charter for failing to meet state requirements and lacking a plan to measure students' academic progress, among other reasons.

Third of Chicago public schools roll out longer days
Chicago Tribune August 14, 2012|By Joel Hood and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah
Students were back at their desks in more than a third of Chicago's public schools Monday, taking on additional classes scheduled to fill the longer school day that created so much tension in teacher contract talks over the summer. 
….Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to lengthen the school day for Chicago's public school students was long on ambition but short on details, giving principals wide latitude over how to use the extra time. As a result, schedules for teachers and students vary widely across the district, catering to the needs of students in each community.
The longer day "means more (Advanced Placement biology), more support for students who need it," Brizard told students who packed Lindblom's auditorium Monday. "For elementary schools, it'll mean more recess, more math, more social studies."

Coalition Aims to Link School Group and Romney
New York Times By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM Published: August 15, 2012
Hoping that New Yorkers will think of “Romney” as a dirty word, a coalition of labor unions and liberal advocacy groups is beginning a campaign on Thursday to tie the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to defenders of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s education policies.
The coalition, New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, said it planned to highlight donors who supported both Mitt Romney and StudentsFirstNY, a political group formed as a counterweight to teachers’ unions that oppose much of Mr. Bloomberg’s education agenda.

Education Voters PA Advocate Summit Sept. 22 Harrisburg

Building Community Leadership for Public Education.
On Saturday, September 22, 2012, Education Voters will be hosting an Advocate Summit to building community leaders for public education.
Saturday, September 22, 2012 Harrisburg, PA 8:30am - 4:30pm
What is it?
The Education Voters Institute of Pennsylvania is hosting a day-long forum to bring together advocates from across the Commonwealth. This summit will be an opportunity for individuals to learn about key issues affecting education policy, develop successful advocacy techniques and strategies to influence public policy and network with other advocates from around the state.
Who should attend?
If you are:
·                                 Someone who would like to learn more about education policy,
·                                 Interested in learning how to get involved in education advocacy,
·                                 Interested in learning new ways to organize locally,
·                                 Interested in learning what other education advocates are doing,
Then you should attend the EVPA Advocate Summit!
How to register?
Registration is easy, just click the link below or go to
The cost of the summit is only $25 and includes continental breakfast and boxed lunch and all training materials.  Space is limited.
To download a flyer, CLICK HERE.

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.

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