Friday, September 14, 2012

How do we, as a nation, create scalable, sustainable models for effective public schools in high poverty communities?

A whopping 23.1% of U.S. children under the age of 18 live in poverty, putting us second in the world.  Among developed nations, only Romania has a higher relative child poverty rate…..

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How do we, as a nation, create scalable, sustainable models for effective public schools in high poverty communities?
That question was asked to Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to President Obama for Education, in a meeting held a couple weeks ago at the White House with about 40 Pennsylvania education leaders. 

"Some would argue that this is a war on public education - that couldn't be further from the truth," Corbett said Thursday. "This provides school competition. There's no longer a monopoly, and with competition, we all perform better."
Posted: Fri, Sep. 14, 2012, 6:09 AM
EITC 2.0: Philadelphia Archdiocese school manager sets growth goal
By Jeremy Roebuck Inquirer Staff Writer
The private foundation managing the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's financially strapped secondary schools announced its goal Thursday to increase enrollment at its campuses by about 4,000 - to levels last attained during the mid-1990s.
The initiative, which Faith in the Future chairman Ed Hanway dubbed "E20K" for the 20,000-student total enrollment called for under the plan, would be aided in part by a relatively new school-choice scholarship program state lawmakers established last year, he said.
The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit offers tax breaks to local business that fund scholarships for students who want to transfer from consistently underperforming public schools.

Patriot-News forum on education reveals uncertain, changing future

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 9:32 PM
By DONALD GILLILAND, The Patriot-News 
One thing everyone agreed on at Thursday's night's Patriot-News forum on education in Camp Hill is whatever public education looks like 10 years from now, it'll be different from what it is today.  With increasing pressure on tax-paying property owners, a looming pension crisis, calls for more choice, more funding and more accountability, the landscape of public education in Pennsylvania is changing.

Allentown Morning Call Opinion Point/Counterpoint September 10, 2012
EITC 2.0: Should students in 'low-performing schools' get state grants to go to private school?
Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis and Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Joseph Roy debate merits of Act 85, a voucher/scholarship program that provides business tax credits so children in 'low-performing schools' can go to private school.

The Gates Foundation Responds: The Role of the Marketplace in Education

 Anthony Cody  
Guest post by Irvin Scott and Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This post can also be read and commented on at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. This is the last post in a series of five sets of posts, and responds to this post from last week: What Happens when Profits Drive Reform?
Irvin Scott: The interaction on this blog began with a spoken agreement and wish between us and Mr. Cody during a conversation this summer: to truly engage with those who have different views from our own. To listen to one other, potentially find common ground, agree where we can and respectfully disagree where we can't. To try and bring some civility to what can sometimes be an uncivil quarter of our education debates. That was our agreement - along with this set of topics reflected in this space over the last few weeks. While I am not sure each post in the series fully met the spirit of the agreement, I do appreciate any effort Mr. Cody made to move in that direction.
The topic of this final blog per our agreement is the "role of the marketplace in education."


NEPC: Review of The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City
Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson, Brookings Institute August 23, 2012
Sara Goldrick-Rab (University of Wisconsin-Madison) September 13, 2012
This Brookings report examines college enrollment rates of students participating in an experimental New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program, which in the spring of 1997 offered 3-year scholarships worth up to $1,400 annually to low-income families. The study identifies no overall impacts of the voucher offer, but the authors report and emphasize large positive impacts for African American students, including increases in college attendance, full-time enrollment, and attendance at private, selective institutions of higher education. This strong focus on positive impacts for a single subgroup of students is not warranted. There are no statistically significant differences in the estimated impact for African Americans as compared to other students…

In Chicago, It’s a Mess, All Right

New York Times By JOE NOCERA Published: September 10, 2012 
There really isn’t much evidence that introducing choice and competition — an important rationale for charter schools — has forced the big-city public schools to improve. Until somebody figures out how to create reforms that work for all, and not just the lucky few, American public education will continue to suffer. The reform movement hasn’t come close to that goal.
On the other hand, the status quo, which is what the Chicago teachers want, is clearly unacceptable. In Chicagoabout 60 percent of public school students graduate from high school. The percentage who graduate from college before the age of 25 is appalling: somewhere around 6 percent

Two Visions for Chicago’s Schools

New York Review of Books by Diane Ravitch, September 12, 2012
According to most news reports, the teachers in Chicago are striking because they are lazy and greedy. Or they are striking because of a personality clash between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and union president Karen Lewis. Or because this is the last gasp of a dying union movement. Or because Emanuel wants a longer school day, and the teachers oppose it.
None of this is true. All reports agree that the two sides are close to agreement on compensation issues—it is not money that drove them apart. Last spring the union and the school board agreed to a longer school day, so that is not the issue either. The strike is a clash of two very different visions about what is needed to transform the schools of Chicago—and the nation.


Chicago: President Obama and Education Reform

Huffington Post by Michael McShane, Education policy research fellow, The American Enterprise Institute Posted: 09/13/2012 7:03 pm

Rahm Emanuel isn't the only one facing a test in Chicago this week. In reality, the Chicago Teachers Union is fighting back against a slate of reforms advanced by a new generation of Democratic leaders, including President Obama.


Chicago Teachers Strike: Wealthy Base Helps Rahm Emanuel Take On Teachers Union

Huffington Post/Reuters  By Nick Carey Posted: 09/13/2012 Updated: 09/14/2012

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received far more money in campaign donations from wealthy financiers and entrepreneurs backing school reform than from unions, leaving him freer to confront the city's teachers than some fellow Democrats, an examination of donations to his 2011 campaign shows.  The city's 29,000 teachers have been on strike since Monday, halting classes in the country's third-largest school district, over contract negotiations that are snagged on job security and Emanuel's plan to rate teachers based on students' standardized test scores.


Education Voters PA Statewide Advocate Leadership Session Sept. 22nd
Added by Ian Moran
Time: September 22, 2012 from 8:30am to 4:30pm
Location: Temple University Harrisburg, 234 Strawberry Square
Education Voters of Pennsylvania will be holding a day-long summit for public education advocates across the state on Saturday September 22 in Harrisburg, PA. 
With public education coming under attack on multiple levels, the goal of this event is to bring together community members who are standing up for public schools in their own communities for training, planning and coordinating statewide efforts to maximize the impact that we all have.  We'll have a chance to brush up on and learn more about key policy issues, get training on effective advocacy tools and techniques and share stories and idea about local effort and how we bring this work together in a unified way.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Click HERE for more details on parking, directions, etc.

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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