Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Education Voters Action of PA 2012 General Election Endorsements

Send a Letter to the President on October 17

Diane Ravitch’s Blog October 3, 2012 /
Earlier I posted the draft of a letter to President Obama and asked for your help.
I got some excellent suggestions.
To begin with, this is not an online petition, but an invitation to join together to write your own individual heartfelt letter to the President and to email the White House on the same day.

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1650 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

 “…we do not believe this is a sign local districts suddenly are doing a poor job. It's a sign of an incomprehensible system that sets up schools to fail and encourages an educational structure focused on getting high test scores rather than well-rounded learning.”
School evaluation system can paint misleading picture
Reading Eagle Editorial 10/03/12
The Issue: Six local districts receive warnings for failing to meet student performance benchmarks.
Our Opinion: Complex regulations built around standardized tests can make good schools seem like failures.
Two recent stories concerning standardized test results in Berks County school districts reinforce our belief that this is no way to judge an education system.

“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!”

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!

Familiar names, familiar story across the river……
New Jersey: Charter Operators Are Buying Our Politicians
Jersey Jazzman Blog
If there's anyone still out there trying to make the case that charter schools really are public schools, answer me this: why are so many politicians trying to exempt charters from the same oversight provisions as publics?

A Liar and a Cheat
Yinzercation Blog— OCTOBER 9, 2012
State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis just got caught telling a whopper. He claimed that cheating caused the drop in standardized test scores all across Pennsylvania. Those scores, released a few weeks ago, show a steep decline and mean that 665 fewer schools in the state met education targets. Sec. Tomalis refused to admit that massive budget cuts could possibly have anything to do with the decline, and laid the blame on 100 teachers who remain under investigation for things such as unusual marking patterns on their students’ exams.
Ah yes. One hundred teachers – out of 148,500 education professionals in the state last year – caused scores to drop. The math here doesn’t even make sense. And if teachers helped their students cheat, wouldn’t their test scores have gone up? Never mind. This isn’t about logic. This is about denying that unprecedented state budget cuts have hurt students.

Charter Schools' Role in Strengthening Public Education

 Pedro Noguera  
Dear Deb,
I would like to take our conversation about reform in a slightly different direction and wade into an area of controversy that is dividing educators and communities throughout the country. What role do you think charter schools can and should play in advancing the reform and renewal of public education?
As you know, several progressive educators, including our good friend Ted Sizer who founded a charter school with his wife Nancy (Francis W. Parker School), saw charter schools as offering the potential for innovative practices that could not be as easily implemented in public schools. The impetus for creating charters was not anti-union, at least not for these educators. The goal was to create schools where teachers would have greater say in how schools were managed, that could be less rigid with respect to curriculum and teaching, and more responsive to the learning needs of students.

More than child’s play: Games have potential learning and assessment tools

Phi Delta Kappan by Vicki Phillips and  Zoran Popović October 2012
VICKI PHILLIPS is director of education, College Ready, in the United States Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ZORAN POPOVIĆ is director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.


There is increasing evidence that games provide good learning environments, particularly in their ability to drive tenacity and intrinsic motivation, two key characteristics needed for student success. Advancing technology now enables games to also serve as assessments with real-time data that gives teachers the ability to have immediate information about students’ knowledge so they can provide differentiated instruction. In this article, Vicki Phillips, director of education, College Ready, in the United States Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Zoran Popovic, director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, outline the advantages of gaming technologies and the current barriers to broader adoption in schools.

Commentary: PA charter school reform should protect taxpayers, not just K12, Inc. CEO Ron Packard and CSM CEO Vahan Gureghian
Keystone State Education Coalition October 4, 2012
Pennsylvania lawmakers should consider the following principles in any charter school reform legislation:

The PA Legislature is in recess until October 15th
Please contact your state senator and state rep regarding charter school reform during this break
You can bet that the charter school lobbyists are not taking a break

Education Policy and Leadership Center
DETAILS: Arts and Education Symposium Thursday, October 11, 2012 
We're just 3 Days away from the Arts and Education Symposium Thursday, October 11, 2012 
Option 1 - Register and Attend
The State Museum of Pennsylvania 
Registration is $25 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and all Symposium sessions.
Act 48 credit will be available to educators who attend thanks to support from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit.      
Option 2 - Participate Remotely
Be part of the conversation by following  #ArtsEdPA  on twitter
Watch the LIVE WEBCAST at
Webcast Schedule: 
9:00 a.m. - Welcome by Ron Cowell, EPLC President 
9:15 a.m. - Student  Performance by Open Stage of Harrisburg Studio/School
1:30 p.m. - Plenary Session about the new Pennsylvania Arts Education Network

Full Symposium schedule and list of speakers is posted:  
Co-sponsored by:
The Arts and Education Symposium is supported by grants from The Heinz Endowments

DETAILS: Building One Pennsylvania Public Meeting Saturday, October 13, 2012
10 am to 11:30 a.m.  (doors open at 9:30 for registration)
Franklin Commons, 400 Franklin Avenue, Phoenixville, PA
Promoting sustainable, inclusive and economically prosperous communities
Confirmed to attend:
·         Jay Williams, Deputy Director of the  White House Office on Intergovernmental Affairs
·         Peter Kovar, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
·         Lisa Worden, Director, PA Department of Community & Economic Development, Southeast Regional Office 
  • Office of Senator Bob Casey
Let's Stand Together to support our  diverse, middle-class communities!
Join local elected, faith and civic leaders from across the region for a public meeting to call on state and national policy-makers to act on bi-partisan solutions to the pressing problems impacting our communities.  
  • Reduce our local property tax burdens  
  • Invest in our schools  
  • Redevelop our infrastructure while creating local jobs 
  • Promote more balanced housing markets    
Organizational Affiliation of Attendees includes:
Bridgeport Borough Council
Bristol Township School District
Chanceford Presbyterian Church
Chapel of the Good Shepherd
Cheltenham School Board
Coatesville Area School Board
Drexel Hill United Methodist Church
Garden Church
Jenkintown Borough Council
Lansdowne Borough Council
Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation
Media Borough Council
Morton Borough Council
Norristown Area School District
Norristown Municipal Council
North Coventry Township
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Phoenixville Borough Council
Prayer Chapel
Ridley School District
St. James Episcopal Church
The Garden Church
United Methodist Women
Upper Darby Township Council
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County
United Methodist Women - Eastern Conference
Victory Church
Wayne Presbyterian Church
Wallingford Presbyterian Church
West Chester Area School District PTOC 
West Chester Borough Council
William Penn School District
Yeadon Borough Council
Yeadon Economic Development Corporation
The event is free but you must register in advance to reserve your seat. Register at or by emailing name, title, organizational affiliation, address, phone and email to 
To defray the cost of the event, we are accepting donations. Suggested donation: $5-$10. 

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