Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why do hedge funds ADORE charters? Pt. II: 39%+ Return/Meet PA new House members

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1750 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

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.

Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences restored for promising students

December 8, 2012 12:06 am
By Bill Schackner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences, which fell victim in 2009 to Pennsylvania's budget crisis, is being resurrected this summer at Carnegie Mellon University with help from a state grant and matching private funds, officials confirmed Friday.
For decades, the school and several others hosted by colleges across the state -- known collectively as the Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence -- provided some of the commonwealth's most talented high school students intensive summer study in the arts and sciences, free of charge.
When the state concluded it could no longer afford the highly regarded five-week programs, the schools' supporters launched an aggressive effort to restore them.
The School for the Sciences web page, , now includes information including an application form, which must be postmarked by Jan. 28.
Read more:

This is a great program that was formerly the PA Governor’s School for Information Technology
Drexel University Computing Academy
DUCA is a five-week, residential, summer computing program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA that promotes interest in information technology, computer science, business and digital arts & media. DUCA students do not focus on one specific area of computing. Rather, the program has a more holistic approach to education, exposing students to a variety of fields in computing through interactive, group projects.
The program is open to current high school sophomores and juniors, with no residency requirements—students from anywhere in the U.S. may apply.

Meet the new PA House Republican Representatives for 2013-14
Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus

Meet the new PA House Democratic lawmakers for 2013-14
A state legislative update from the PA House Democratic Caucus

Chester Upland makes case against state receiver; judge to rule within 10 days
By JOHN KOPP @DT_JohnKopp Published: December 08, 2012
MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A Delaware County Court of Common Pleas justice will determine the direction of the Chester Upland School District sometime within the next 10 days.
Judge Chad F. Kenney must decide whether to grant a petition to appoint Joseph Watkins as receiver to the district. As receiver, Watkins would oversee the implementation of a financial and academic recovery plan he developed while serving as the district’s chief recovery officer since August. The school board also would lose much of its power.
Attorney George Dawson, special counsel to Chester Upland, argued against granting the petition at a court hearing that lasted about 50 minutes Friday. He claimed the district is not financially distressed, making the petition for a receiver “arbitrary and capricious.”

Philly cyber charters: by 2017, officials predict cyber charters will cost Philadelphia School District $75M+ per year
Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes December 7, 2012
Education leaders remain divided over the value of cyber charter schools, but one thing is for certain: The Philadelphia School District will feel the charter school impact on its troubled budget, the Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Newsworks reported.

Why do hedge funds ADORE charters? Pt. II: 39%+ Return

Cloaking Inequity Blog  December 7, 2012
With nearly 1,000 hits and counting, my postWhy do hedge fund ADORE charters?was surprisingly popular. One of the issues raised by commenters on the post was the New Markets Tax Credit. It has been discussed elsewhere (here and here). We thought we would add more hard numbers to the discussion. 

Has your board considered a resolution on sequestration yet?

School boards can help NSBA lobby to avoid fiscal cliff

More than 300 school boards already have passed resolutions urging members of Congress to stop sequestration, which is also being called the fiscal cliff. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is asking school boards to pass a resolution, write letters to local newspapers and take actions to publicize schools’ plights. NSBA also wants your stories about how these cuts could impact your students and schools. Learn more on the NSBA’s “Stop Sequestration” webpage for  a list of actions for local school board members and more information about the threats.

NAACP Volunteers To Push For Biggest Education Overhaul Since Brown v. Board Of Education

Huffington Post By SUZANNE GAMBOA 12/06/12 05:50 PM ET EST AP
WASHINGTON — The NAACP is going on the offensive on education, deploying volunteers across the country in its biggest push for a public education overhaul since the nation's classrooms were ordered desegregated in 1954, the civil rights group said Thursday.
The volunteers, who have been trained for the past two years, will lobby at the state and county levels for four educational priorities:
_ Extended school hours and years in school
_ Improved teacher training
_ Improved preschool programs
_ Better targeting of spending to the neediest of students
Such changes for all children, not just minorities, are the only way to ensure an educated American workforce and a thriving economy, said NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous.

Dinosaurs and Denial

New York Times By CHARLES M. BLOW
Published: December 7, 2012 15 Comments
Finally, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida — a Tea Party darling and possible 2016 presidential candidate — admits that dinosaurs and humans didn’t co-exist.  Last month, when GQ asked Rubio“how old do you think the Earth is?” he stammered through an answer.
“I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says. I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians.” He continued, “Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”
This week, in an interview with Politico, he attempted to mop up that mess.

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