Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Works: an informal collection of strategies and programs to inform the public discussion of how to improve student learning for high poverty populations of students.

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 http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

What Works: an informal collection of strategies and programs to inform the public discussion of how to improve student learning for high poverty populations of students.

State files petition to seek receivership of Chester Upland School District

As expected, the Pennsylvania education secretary filed a petition Monday asking Delaware County Common Pleas Court to name the Chester Upland School District’s state-appointed chief recovery officer as receiver of the distressed district.
The request by Education Secretary Ronald J. Tomalis comes a week after the school board voted against adopting the financial and recovery plan presented by recovery officer Joseph P. Watkins.

Ready or not, the Keystones are coming
by thenotebook By Connie Langland on Dec 03 2012 Posted in Latest news
Ready or not (and let’s put the emphasis on not), districts, including Philadelphia, are gearing up to implement a new set of standardized tests called the Keystones, which are replacing the 11th grade PSSAs.
Some districts will administer the tests beginning next week, while Philadelphia and other districts will do their testing in mid-January.
And no one, apparently, has confidence in making a strong showing this first go-around.

Corbett pays price of reform in denying legislators’ ‘walking around money’

By Brad Bumsted Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012
HARRISBURG — As the state’s top prosecutor, Tom Corbett put more than two dozen legislative aides and lawmakers behind bars. …..Corbett met with Capitol reporters this week to tout his success in working with the Legislature to avoid tax hikes and pass key bills, such as limiting liability for lesser parties in civil lawsuits and regulating the booming natural gas industry.
But he said lawmakers refused to cooperate on some bills, perhaps because Corbett refused to sign budgets containing “walking around money,” or WAMs, for pet projects. He declined to name them.
Two major policy initiatives of Corbett’s that failed to reach a floor vote were school choice and privatizing state liquor stores.
Waiver No Favor
Yinzercation Blog December 3, 2012
So Pennsylvania just joined 44 other states in the country that have already applied for a waiver from No Child Left Behind. It’s about time, you might say. But before you go getting excited that our state has suddenly become pro-public-education, let’s stop and take a look at what this really means. It turns out a waiver is no favor for Pennsylvania.

“The Harvard/Penn study notes Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among the 50 states in percentage of public-school costs funded by state versus local government.”

John Baer: Cutting isn't everything, Corbett

John Baer, Daily News Political Columnist
POSTED: Monday, December 3, 2012, 3:01 AM
GOV. CORBETT AND the Republican Legislature spend too much time and energy working on problems that don't exist and not enough fixing those that do.
As a result, after two years of GOP management, one can reasonably ask whether Pennsylvania's on the move or simply stuck in neutral.
There's evidence suggesting the latter.

School Districts in 5 States Will Lengthen Their Calendars

New York Times By MOTOKO RICH Published: December 3, 2012
The school day and year are about to get longer in 10 school districts in five states, where schools will add up to 300 hours to their calendars starting next fall.
In an effort to help underperforming students catch up on standardized tests and give them more opportunities for enrichment activities, 35 schools that enroll about 17,500 students will expand the school day and year in the 2013-14 academic year. Forty more schools that enroll about 20,000 students will also extend classroom and after-school time in the next three years.
The effort is being coordinated by state education officials; theNational Center on Time and Learning, a nonprofit research and advocacy group; and the Ford Foundation, which is committing $3 million a year in grants over the next three years. The districts will use state and federal financing to pay for all of the operating costs, including extra teaching time and coordination with nonprofit groups.

Judge Deals a Setback to Louisiana’s Voucher Program

New York Times By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON Published: December 3, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — Last January, Gov. Bobby Jindal took the oath of office for his second term, declaring in his inauguration speech that anyone who stood in the way of his education reform efforts “must stand down.” On Friday, a judge in Baton Rouge said, in effect: not so fast.
Judge Timothy Kelley of State District Court ruled that the way in which the state finances its newvoucher programviolates the state Constitution, as it relies on money intended in “plain and unambiguous” terms solely for public schools.
In a statement, Governor Jindal called the decision “wrongheaded and a travesty for parents across Louisiana” and vowed to appeal. But it was not the crippling setback it could have been.

Better public schools, not vouchers, are what Louisiana families need: Andre Perry

New Orleans Times-Picayune By Contributing Op-Ed columnist  on November 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM, updated December 01, 2012 at 3:05 PM
Andre Perry is associate director for Education Initiatives Institute for Quality and Equity in Education at Loyola University.
Just two days before the latest ruling on Louisiana vouchers, state Superintendent John White tweeted: "Amidst talk of legal questions I return to [a] moral question: do parents and children deserve options, no matter their wealth? Answer is clear." Now that a Baton Rouge judge has ruled that aspects of the voucher program unconstitutional, I return to a moral question: What should quality schools look like to a democratically elected government? I believe they should be diverse institutions dedicated to public interests.

Education Policy and Leadership Center
"Western Pennsylvania Breakfast Series" Thursday, December 6, 2012
Continental Breakfast - 8:00 a.m.   Program - 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Holiday Inn Pittsburgh University Center 100 Lytton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 SUBJECT: The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis In American Education
SPEAKER:  Erica Frankenberg, Ed.D.  Assistant Professor, Department of Education Policy Studies College of Education, Penn State University
Registration is free, but everyone must RSVP at http://www.eplc.org/events-calendar/western-pennsylvania-breakfast-series/

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