Thursday, September 6, 2012

In 1988 the average teacher had 15 yrs experience. Today? Just one year.

Listen to Andrew Porter, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, discuss the common core standards with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY’s Radio Times; mp3 runtime 43 minutes.

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1650 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 at 08:57 PM ET, 09/05/2012

The sad, sad school district Michelle Obama mentioned

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
Early in her triumphant speech at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama spoke about “the very best of the American spirit” and praised a school district but did not mention it by name. That district is Chester Upland in Pennsylvania, and, unfortunately, it is in the direst of straits. School reform efforts — including opening charter schools — have done nothing but sink the district into deeper trouble.

Inquirer Editorial: Come clean on Chester Upland
August 26, 2012
If the latest attempt by the state Department of Education to rescue the ailing Chester Upland School District sounds familiar, there's a reason for that.
The state has been there, done that, and failed miserably. Now it wants another crack at running the Delaware County district. Please, find a better idea to give these children the adequate education they are entitled to.
For 16 of the last 18 years, the district has been operated by several state entities. Yet, it remains one of the worst in the state, not only failing another generation academically, but also unable to get its finances in order.

As Obama is Nominated, Duncan Speech Finesses Touchy Issues

 Alyson Klein  
Charlotte, N.C.
On the night President Barack Obama's name was formally placed in nomination for re-election, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used his high-profile Democratic convention speech to to tout the president's work to avert teacher layoffs and revamp student loans.
But the education secretary steered clear of mentioning charter schools expansion, teacher evaluation, and aggressive school turnaround—policies at the heart of the Obama administration's agenda during Duncan's tenure as secretary. 

Arne Duncan's DNC Speech Focuses On Ryan Budget, But Not Class Size

Huffington Post by Joy Resmovits Posted: 09/05/2012 7:45 pm 
When addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appealed to the crowd not in his official capacity, but "as a parent with two young children who attend a wonderful public school."
"No one has more at stake in this election than our kids, and that is why we need to re-elect President Obama!" Duncan said, before stressing that the quality of America's schools speaks to the next generation's employment prospects.

Poverty Must be Tackled But Never Used as an Excuse

Huffington Post by Michelle Rhee, Founder and CEO of StudentsFirst Posted: 09/05/2012

A recent ad campaign we launched at StudentsFirst to raise awareness around the weak academic performance of U.S. students compared to their global peers drew all kinds of reactions.

“Recent findings by Richard Ingersoll at the University of Pennsylvania show that as teacher attrition rates have risen, from about 10% to 13% for first-year teachers, schools are having to hire large numbers of new teachers. Between 40% to 50% of those entering the profession now leave within five years in what Ingersoll calls a "constant replenishment of beginners."
The end result: a more than threefold increase in the sheer number of inexperienced teachers in U.S. schools. In the 1987-88 school year, Ingersoll estimates, there were about 65,000 first-year teachers; by 2007-08, the number had grown to more than 200,000. In the 1987-88 school year, he found, the biggest group of teachers had 15 years of experience. By the 2007-08 school year, the most recent data available, the biggest group of teachers had one year experience.”
More teachers green in the classroom
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY September 5, 2012
WASHINGTON – With three years of teaching under her belt, Allison Frieze nearly qualifies as a grizzled veteran. The 28-year-old special education teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School here already has more experience than the typical U.S. teacher.
Students across the country are more likely to see new teachers this fall.
She remembers her first year and says no new teacher really wants to relive that. "You have so many pressures on you and you're kind of swimming, trying to keep your head above water with all of the things you have to do," Frieze says.
Research suggests that parents this fall are more likely than ever to find that their child's teachers are relatively new to the profession, and possibly very young.

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 09/05/2012

How Democrats have changed on school reform

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
You can track the changes in the way the Democratic Party views school reform and the role poverty plays in student achievement by looking at the education sections of party platforms in previous election years and comparing it to the one that was approved Tuesday.
Read the 2012 education section here, and then earlier platforms to find differences among them.

Time for another test — this one for 180,000 pre-K children
By Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel 6:54 p.m. EST, September 3, 2012
VPK teacher Leyla Villagran leads an exercise with her students at Top Kids Academy in Orlando on August 29, 2012. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel / Sep 03, 2012)
Youngsters in Florida's pre-kindergarten program this month will take a new test of early literacy, language and math skills, sitting one-on-one with their teachers to answer questions and point to pictures.  The kids are to take the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Assessment again at the end of their pre-K year —hopefully showing improvement on how well they identify letters, count objects and answer questions.
The test can be presented to 4-year-olds as a time "to play a quick game," but it is designed to assess key academic skills and predict later school success.
More than 180,000 children are expected to take the new test, which will have no consequences for individual youngsters but eventually will be used to help judge the quality of their preschools.

Education 2020—September 13th Forum will focus on where we want to go

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 1:01 AM
Harrisburg Patriot News By Letters to the Editor 
The Patriot-News is holding a community forum focused on education on Sept. 13 at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center in Camp Hill to address these big questions.
Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis will join a panel that includes Mechanicsburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Leidy, Infinity Charter School founder Nancy Hall and Patriot-News Capitol bureau chief and longtime education reporter Jan Murphy.
We also have interviewed numerous teachers, students, administrators, school board members and parents about what's working and what isn't in our current system. Their voices will play a role in the forum as well.

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.

If you have received an absentee ballot it must be postmarked by September 10th
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.

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