Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pittsburgh Public Schools oppose federal sequestration

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
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City Connects works with more than 200 community partners who provide services, resources, and enrichment opportunities to children and families in the Boston area. We believe that as rich as the community services are, they are most effective when they are tailored to the individual needs of students. You can learn about the types of services and enrichments by category (prevention/enrichment, early intervention, or intensive) that are delivered to students here. Our community partners report that they are satisfied with their partnership with City Connects.

Pittsburgh Public Schools oppose federal sequestration

By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 20, 2012 8:06 pm
The Pittsburgh Public Schools board has approved a resolution opposing federal sequestration.
Under sequestration, automatic federal budget cuts will take place in 2013 unless the U.S. Senate, House and president agree on how to address budget issues.

To learn more about NSBA’s efforts to prevent sequestration, and actions that local school board members can take at the grassroots level, go to

Info is scarce on cheating probes at 4 Philly area charters
State investigations have been closed at Walter Palmer and Chester Community Charter School even though irregularities were unexplained.
The notebook by Bill Hangley, Jr. and Dale Mezzacappa, December 2012 Issue
Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School was flagged for improbable test results.  Walter Palmer knows it sounds odd to ask a school suspected of cheating to investigate itself. And he knows it might raise eyebrows when the state closes that investigation even though the school can’t come up with any answers.
….Palmer’s school is one of four Philadelphia-area charters that remained under investigation this year after first being flagged by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in 2009 for statistically improbable test results. State officials now confirm that investigations at two of those four charters – Palmer’s school and Chester Community Charter School (CCCS) in nearby Chester – were closed even though internal reviews produced no answers.

Five Scranton teachers reprimanded, one may be terminated in PSSA cheating case

Scranton Times Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL (STAFF WRITER) November 20, 2012
The Scranton School District administration has issued letters of reprimand to five teachers and is recommending the firing of another after an investigation into suspected cheating on standardized tests.  A letter from the Department of Education to district Superintendent William King, obtained by The Times-Tribune on Monday, outlines the district's investigation. The state accepted both the district's investigatory report and the resulting actions, according to the letter.

Parents United for Public Education has a new website
We're Philadelphia parents working for an independent parent voice, quality schools, and keeping the public in public education.

Judge rules against Lebanon School District in truancy lawsuit
Lebanon Daily News By BRAD RHEN Updated:   11/20/2012 10:05:36 PM EST
A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the Lebanon School District was "unjustly enriched" when it received truancy fines that were levied in excess of the state maximum.
The district must now pay back about $108,000 worth of illegally levied fines, according to a lawyer representing the parents who brought the suit against the district.

PBS Frontline November 20, 2012
Poor Kids (Video Runtime 53:41)

Obama's education agenda dominated by loose ends

Inquirer by JOSH LEDERMAN , The Associated Press November 19, 2012, 5:33 PM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's education agenda for next four years may look less like real reform and more like tying up loose ends, experts say, with practical budget issues and an age-old power struggle between Congress and the administration getting in the way.
Campaign-year aspirations for Obama's second term included closing the educational achievement gap and boosting college graduation rates to the highest in the world. But those lofty goals may have to wait, as lawmakers and Obama tackle a number of gritty funding-related issues that just can't wait.

Georgia DOE Blasts Cyber Academy, Threatens to Revoke Charter

Diane Ravitch’s Blog November 21, 2012 //
The Georgia Department of Education issued a scathing report about the Georgia Cyber Academy for its handling of students with disabilities.

How Arizona Charter Schools Fleece Taxpayers

The New Republic by Timothy Noah November 20, 2012
In government, if I help myself to taxpayer dollars, we call that embezzlement and I go to jail. In the private sector, if I help myself to taxpayer dollars, we call that innovation and I get hailed as a visionary exponent of public-private partnership. That’s the lesson of a Nov. 17 investigation by Anne Ryman of the Arizona Republic into the state’s charter schools.
In her examination of Arizona’s 50 largest nonprofit charter schools and all of Arizona's nonprofit charter schools with assets exceeding $10 million, Ryman found “at least 17 contracts or arrangements, totaling more than $70 million over five years and involving about 40 school sites, in which money from the non-profit charter school went to for-profit or non-profit companies run by board members, executives or their relatives.” That says to me that in Arizona, at least, charter-school corruption isn’t the exception. It’s the rule. And that’s just in the nonprofit charter schools. Documentation for the for-profit schools is not publicly available. What are the odds that charter-school proprietors operating in the dark are less inclined to enrich themselves at public expense?

Building One Pennsylvania – Fundraiser November 29th
Join us at our first fundraiser and awards ceremony to celebrate our progress in promoting inclusive, sustainable and economically prosperous communities.
Austin Room at IBEW Electrical Union 654
3729 Chichester Avenue, Boothwyn PA 19061

Thursday, November 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM
$100 per person • $75 for Building One Pennsylvania Member
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan
Estelle Richman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Isaac Dotson, Yeadon Economic Development Corporation
Tom Gemmill, St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster
Rev. Marlon Millner, Norristown Municipal Council and McKinley Memorial Baptist Church


CELEBRATE Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s 5th Anniversary!
Friday November 30th 12 pm1:30 pm
Join us in celebrating 5 years of providing a strong, independent voice for working Pennsylvanians and their families in the halls of the state Capitol and beyond.
Friday~November 30th, 12 pm - 1:30 pm
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 N. 17th Street | Philadelphia PA 19103
Registration begins at 11:30
Hon. Gene DiGirolamo & Hon. Thomas Murt
Voter ID Plaintiff Legal Team
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP)
The ACLU of Pennsylvania
The Advancement Project
Arnold and Porter
Hon. Edward G. Rendell | Hon. Vincent Hughes
Hon. Blondell Reynolds Brown | Hon. Maria Quiñones Sánchez | Hon. W. Wilson Goode II
Hon. Diane Ellis-Marseglia | Willig, Williams, & Davidson | Dianne & Ted Reed | Donna Cooper
Public Citizens for Children and Youth | Women Against Abuse
Education Policy and Leadership Center | Education Voters of Pennsylvania
Project H.O.M.E | Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania

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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