Friday, November 30, 2012

Over the past 40 years, the per-student cost has doubled but achievement has remained flat….right?

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, parent advocates, 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

This is a favorite quote of Pennsylvania’s own Commonwealth Foundation….

Over the past 40 years, the per-student cost has doubled but achievement has remained flat….right?

You’ve heard it so often you almost believe it.  Here’s Bill Gates saying in the Washington Post:
Over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained virtually flat. Meanwhile, other countries have raced ahead. The same pattern holds for higher education. Spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.
But it’s wrong.

What Works: Philadelphia Education Fund
Getting kids to and through college

The College Story: An Ed Fund Infographic

We have an important story to tell.
It's about our city's children. It's about giving them what they deserve.
And that's a high-quality education.
It's about how we can all work together to change the status quo and not settle for just barely doing the work. 
Feel free to share this with your friends and networks so we can work together to educate our communities and show that we can IMPACT our children's futures

Pennsylvania pension cuts would apply to all, Gov. Tom Corbett says

By The Associated Press 
on November 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM, updated November 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett acknowledged Thursday that his administration is considering reducing future pension benefits for current Pennsylvania state employees and teachers, and said any such cuts should be distributed evenly to include lawmakers and judges.

Steve Robinson, Dir. of Publications and PR
Federal education officials have agreed with PSBA's objection to the Pennsylvania Department of Education using more lenient criteria to evaluate charter school achievement for Adequate Yearly Progress purposes and has recently denied PDE's request to do so.
…..In the objection letter from PSBA to U.S. DOE, the association argued this change for Pennsylvania is a violation of two key principles at the heart of the federal NCLB requirements. First, NCLB requires that every public school is to be evaluated in the same way and in accordance with the same criteria and methodology. Second, NCLB requires that schools be held accountable for the achievement of all students in the school, not just some of them.

Duquesne school board agrees to cooperate with recovery officer

November 30, 2012 12:18 am
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Duquesne school board voted unanimously Tuesday to cooperate with chief recovery officer Paul B. Long, who was named by the state to develop a financial recovery plan for the district.
The elected board resumed power for the first time in Duquesne since October 2000 under the authority of the new Financial Recovery Act, approved by the state Legislature in June. For the previous dozen years the district was managed by a three-member state board of control.

Chester Upland officials explain vote on recovery
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Three Republican members of the Chester Upland School District board clarified the reasons they voted against adopting the financial and academic recovery plan developed by Chief Recovery Officer Joseph Watkins, saying voting in favor of the plan would have meant implementing it exactly as written.
The board voted against adopting the plan Monday in a 5-4 decision that split down party lines and allows the Pennsylvania Department of Education to seek a receivership for the district.

William Penn Foundation ousts outspoken president Jeremy Nowak

WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer, 215-854-2957
POSTED: Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6:09 AM
IT WAS JUST 17 months ago that Jeremy Nowak strolled into the once-staid offices of Philadelphia's biggest locally oriented philanthropy, the William Penn Foundation, as its new president - a big man with big, radical ideas for change.
In a short time, the former community-development guru thrust the $2 billion foundation into the center of the fight over school reform in Philadelphia - gaining both powerful allies and a few harsh critics, and putting the William Penn Foundation in the headlines.
And now, abruptly, he's gone.

Education Policy and Leadership Center

Check out this great new public education advocacy site from New Hampshire

A New Campaign to Close Sub-Par Charter Schools

 Sean Cavanagh  
As enrollment in charters schools continues to climb, a national organization is urging state legislators to draw a harder line on setting standards for opening those schools and ensuring that weak ones get shut down.  The National Association of Charter School Authorizers, a Chicago organization that seeks to improve charters' quality by working with the entities that create and oversee them, announced Wednesday that it is launching what it calls a "One Million Lives" campaign to press for changes in state law that hold charter schools and their authorizers more accountable for performance.

Published Online: November 29, 2012

Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion a Year, Study Says

Education Week By Andrew Ujifusa
Standardized-testing regimens cost states some $1.7 billion a year overall, or a quarter of 1 percent of total K-12 spending in the United States, according to a new report on assessment finances.
The report released Nov. 29 by the Washington-based Brown Center on Education Policy, at the Brookings Institution, calculates that the test spending by 44 states and the District of Columbia amounted to $65 per student on average in grades 3-9 based on the most recent test-cost data the researchers could gather. (The Brown Center report was not able to gather that data from Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.)

Taxpayer-Enriched Companies Back Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education, its Buddy ALEC, and Their "Reforms"

This week in Washington, DC, Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education" (FEE) is meeting just five blocks away from the post-election conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the controversial corporate bill mill working on profitizing public education among other legislative changes, but the ties between the two groups are even closer.
Aptly named FEE, Bush's group is backed by many of the same for-profit school corporations that have funded ALEC and vote as equals with its legislators on templates to change laws governing America's public schools. FEE is also bankrolled by many of the same hard-right foundations bent on privatizing public schools that have funded ALEC. And, they have pushed many of the same changes to the law, which benefit their corporate benefactors and satisfy the free market fundamentalism of the billionaires whose tax-deductible charities underwrite the agenda of these two groups.

Education Law Center invites you to a special evening December 5th
Honoring Len Rieser
Welcoming Rhonda Brownstein
And celebrating public education champions
Mary Gay Scanlon, Harold Jordan, Arc of PA, The Bridges Collaborative and School Discipline Advocacy Services
Food, Drink and Silent Auction
December 5, 2012 , 5:30 PM
Crystal Tea Room The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia

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