Saturday, October 27, 2012

After 20 years of vouchers in Milwaukee they don’t solve the problem – how do we effectively educate students in high-poverty schools?

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1700 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, PTO/PTA officers, teacher leaders, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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

If you want legislators who support public education then please support these candidates with your time, your money and your votes.

Education Voters Action of PA 2012 General Election Endorsements

Education Voters Action of Pennsylvania Published on September 17, 2012
We are very pleased to announce our first of two rounds of endorsements for the 2012 General Election.  Based on a review of available information, including written materials, public statements, voting records and candidate interviews, Education Voters has decided to endorse the following candidates with a goal of having more legislators who support public education in public office.
These candidates recognize that if our economy and our communities are going to improve and remain strong that it starts with our students.  We need strong policymakers in Harrisburg that are willing to stand up for our values, so we ask that you support public education by supporting these candidates on November 6th!


Lehigh Valley State House candidates weigh-in on education

Vouchers, charter schools among topics

  9:49 p.m. EDT, October 25, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett has made education reform — mostly in the form of expanding charter schools and school choice — the cornerstone of his first-term agenda. But the Republican has seen his efforts to pass taxpayer-funded vouchers stymied, as were the efforts of his GOP predecessor, former Gov. Tom Ridge.
Corbett did win some incremental victories with new teacher evaluation standards and limits on the ability of local school districts to increase property taxes.
But major charter school reforms — including the creation of a statewide body that would authorize the alternative public schools — were on the cutting room floor when lawmakers broke for the year.
Here's how area candidates for state representative stand on education issues.

Posted: Fri, Oct. 26, 2012, 3:01 AM
Inquirer Editorial: Fighting crime before it's committed
Research shows that children who get an early start in life with a good education are more likely to become law-abiding adults.
So a campaign by law enforcement and school officials in the region and around the nation to support early education programs makes good sense on several fronts.

Worth following: KY said to allow public schools to innovate, freed from mandates

Kentucky Education effort seeks outside-the-box solutions

Written by Bruce Schreiner Associated Press 1:06 AM, Oct 27, 2012   |  
LOUISVILLE — Top Kentucky education officials on Friday previewed an application process for school districts to operate more like charter schools, freed from a host of laws and regulations to run more independently. The goal is to turn public schools into testing grounds for new approaches that better prepare students for college and careers.
Participating local districts would gain more flexibility on such core issues as curriculum, instruction, funding and school scheduling. In return, districts would offer commitments to improve student performance, especially among low-achieving students.
State officials are still finalizing rules for the initiative. As a result, districts won’t start getting the designations to operate more like charters until the 2013-14 school year.

After 20 years of vouchers in Milwaukee they don’t solve the problem – how do we effectively educate students in high-poverty schools?
Proficiency plummets at Milwaukee voucher schools, MPS with new test scoring
By Erin Richards Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2:04 a.m. CDT, October 25, 2012
Based on a new and tougher yardstick for academic competency in Wisconsin, about 90% of the students in Milwaukee's private-school voucher program are not proficient in reading and math, according to recalibrated fall 2011 state test results released this week.
The higher expectations for performance similarly sank Milwaukee Public Schools' latest Wisconsin Knowledge and Concept Examinations scores: The adjusted results now show that about 85% of the district's students score below proficient in reading, and about 80% score below proficient in math.
The adjusted results for private voucher schools in Milwaukee as well as MPS were released by the state Department of Public Instruction this week alongside a new report card system for measuring the performance of all public schools in Wisconsin.
Student proficiency is down in all schools statewide because the DPI raised expectations for performance to match those of a respected national exam. But the new scores and report cards paint an especially dismal picture of schools in Milwaukee, further illuminating the gaps that persist at high-poverty schools serving predominantly students of color from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

“Most of our parents don’t believe in ‘gifted’”…….. “It’s all about hard work.”

For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones

New York Times By KYLE SPENCER Published: October 26, 2012
…..they said that rigorous testing was generally an accepted practice in their home countries, with the tests viewed not so much as measures of intelligence, but of industriousness.
“Most of our parents don’t believe in ‘gifted,’ ” said Riyan Iqbal, 15, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, as he and his friends — of Bengali, Korean and Indian descent — meandered toward the subway from the Bronx High School of Science one recent afternoon. “It’s all about hard work.”

WHAT WORKS: Burning Through Pages
Burning Through Pages is a non-profit organization based out of Denver, CO dedicated to the advocacy of reading and writing for our city's youth. The working concept of Burning Through Pages is that the literature assigned by public and private schools, while important, contains dated prose and often antiquated ideals. While the classics are classics for a reason, they are not always easily relatable to the current generation reading them. That's where we come in. We are here to introduce new and updated literature to Denver's youth. We buy books, give them away, and take the time to talk about them.
Burning Through Pages Inc. has one goal and one goal only:
To inspire a love of reading in today's youth by recommending, donating, and discussing books.

WHAT WORKS: Reach Out and Read 
Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.

Pew Research Center Released: October 23, 2012

Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits

Part 1: Younger Americans’ changing reading habits

Technology use and gadget ownership

The changing reading habits chronicled in our recent reports are intrinsically tied to the new formats and devices on which people read. In our late 2011 national survey, we found that younger Americans have high levels of ownership of mobile devices like cell phones and laptops, especially compared with adults ages 65 and older.

Center for Public Education The Edifier October 26, 2012

One school’s open-enrollment AP experiement

Filed under: Achievement Gaps,Course taking,High school — Ashwini @ 12:16 pm
In our recent report High school rigor and good advice: Setting up students to succeed, we found that one way to give high school students the tools necessary to succeed and persist in college is to have them enroll in rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) classes, no matter their level of achievement. Now one school is putting the theory to test. Woodside High, an arts magnet school about an hour outside of Richmond, VA, is trying out open-enrollment AP classes. Any student, regardless of their class year or GPA, is allowed to enroll in an AP class.

You Are Invited to Attend
"Erie Region Breakfast Series" Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m. Program - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  
 Ambassador Center (I-90 & Peach Streets in Erie, next to the Courtyard by Marriott)
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children and The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Why Investing in Early Education Matters, Even in These Difficult Economic Times
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Diane Robbins, Principal, Early Childhood Learning Center, Titusville Area School District
Jill Simmons, Vice President, Early Care and School-Age Enrichment, Greater Erie YMCA
Dr. James Tracy, Superintendent, Girard School District
Nancy Kalista, Executive Director, Early Connections - Success by 6 Kindergarten Readiness Program

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Share school district successes and challenges in supporting quality learning experiences. Hear from local school districts and early learning providers about how they have worked together to maintain early learning as an integral part of the school districts' overall goals. Learn how quality early learning can contribute positively to a community's economic success.
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.

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