Friday, February 1, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup For February 1, 2013


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School Choice Week 2013: How taxpayers lose.... A collection of articles following money, politics and academic performance


Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup
For February 1, 2013

Officials from some Delaware County school districts offered mixed reactions to the governor’s plan Thursday.
Guv’s education plan lauded, questioned
Delco Times Published: Friday, February 01, 2013
By DANIELLE LYNCH dlynch@delcotimes.com @dmlreporter
Corbett said during a news conference in Pittsburgh on Wednesday that the proceeds from privatizing the liquor system, which he estimated to be about $1 billion, would go toward education funding. The Republican governor said the $1 billion would go toward the creation of a Passport for Learning Block Grant and will focus on four areas: School safety; enhanced early education programs; individualized learning; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses and programs.
http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2013/02/01/news/doc510b4167f076b148496345.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Gov. Corbett makes bold but risky move in linking liquor privatization to helping schools
By Sue Gleiter | sgleiter@pennlive.com 
on January 31, 2013 at 5:30 PM, updated January 31, 2013 at 9:17 PM
Governor Tom Corbett isn’t exactly one to be embraced in educational circles in Pennsylvania.

Will this shot of liquor privatization be easier to swallow?
WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
POSTED: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 3:01 AM
THE GOVERNOR STEPPED UP to the podium and assured Pennsylvanians that his bold plan to privatize liquor stores was "certain to offer greater variety, better prices, more convenient hours and locations . . . and effective and helpful service."
That happened on Jan. 28 - in 1981. 

PDE Press Release January 30, 2013
Governor Corbett Discusses Liquor Privatization Plan in Philadelphia, Highlighting Consumer Choice, Convenience; $1 Billion Proceeds to Education
Philadelphia – Governor Tom Corbett was in Philadelphia today continuing to promote his plan to privatize the liquor system in Pennsylvania and his commitment to the $1 billion in proceeds from the process going to education funding.  Corbett was joined today by members of the House leadership, Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), along with Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), chair of the Liquor Control Committee and Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), chair of the Appropriations Committee.  He was also joined by LCB Chairman Skip Brion.  Corbett said that the $1 billion will be used to create the Passport for Learning Block Grant, which will provide flexibility to schools, allowing our public schools, instead of Harrisburg, to decide what their students need. The grant will focus on four priority areas: school safety, enhanced early education programs, individualized learning and science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses and programs.

Hite stands firm on Philly closures plan, but hints at possible changes
by thenotebook on Jan 31 2013 by Bill Hangley Jr.
The last of the Philadelphia District’s school-closure meetings wrapped up quietly at Northeast High on Wednesday night, where District officials made plain once again their intention to stay the course on a plan to close or relocate 44 schools by September.
….Hite promised that the next round of planning, which will include as-yet-unscheduled public meetings in February at each affected school, will deal with specific school-by-school issues.
He said his team will also be focusing on several broad “themes,” including safety, transportation, and special education. More information on all three areas would be available before the SRC votes on a final closure list on March 7.
Hite was also pressed for more information about the District’s plans for new Renaissance charter schools and Promise Academies. Although he confirmed that such plans are in the works, he shared no new details.

Save More, Live Better, Dismantle Public Education.
Like Philadelphia, Chicago is going through a similar school closing process.  How appropriate that the Waltons are underwriting it…..
For the Record: Walton Foundation funds community engagement
Catalyst Chicago by Sarah Karp / January 30, 2013
District officials have said they don’t want to link the volatile issue of school closings with the equally volatile issue of charter school openings. But a major pro-charter foundation is providing financial backing for the current crop of school closing meetings taking place around the city this month.  The district is now engaged in a community engagement process intended to provide feedback to the district as it contemplates what schools to close. That process is being underwritten by the Walton Family Foundation (a foundation run by the founders of Wal-Mart). The Walton Foundation has fueled the expansion of charter schools across the country and, in January, announced that CPS was the largest recipient of charter school grants in the country.

State extends deadline for Duquesne school chief to submit recovery plan
By Rachel Weaver Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 1:46 p.m.
Duquesne City School District Chief Recovery Officer Paul Long said Thursday he received a verbal confirmation from the state that it extended the deadline for him to submit a five-year financial plan to the school board until Feb. 11.
“For those who wish to be part of the solution, Mr. Petrilli advises more genuine dialogue: listening to those whose views one opposes and “staying open to the possibility,” he writes, “that they might, nevertheless, have a few smart things to say.”
Teachers and Policy Makers: Troubling Disconnect
New York Times By SARA MOSLE January 31, 2013, 9:08 pm
Can the school reform movement accept constructive criticism? Gary Rubinstein hopes so. Mr. Rubinstein joined Teach for America in 1991, the program’s second year, and has now been teaching math for 15 years, five of them in some of the nation’s neediest public schools and 10 more at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He has a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s in computer science, has written two books on classroom practice and at one point helped train new corps members for Teach for America. For years, he was a proponent of the program, albeit one with the occasional quibble.
Then, in 2010, Mr. Rubinstein underwent a sea change. As he grew suspicious of some of the data used to promote charter schools, be became critical of Teach for America and the broader reform movement.

"Efforts to fix those lowest performers are probably going to be unsuccessful," Richmond said. "Those worse schools probably never improve. The strategy itself has to be reconsidered."
Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says
Huffington Post by Joy Resmovits 01/31/2013 7:33 am EST
WASHINGTON -- When it comes to charter schools, the bad ones stay bad and the good ones stay good, according to a report on charter school growth released by an influential group of Stanford University scholars on Wednesday.
"There are very predictable lanes on quality, and once you get into a lane, a new school tends to not move very much," said Macke Raymond, the economist in charge of the university's Center for Research on Education Outcomes institute and an author of the report. "High stays high and low stays low."

Common Core Is Horrible for K-3
Diane Ravitch’s Blog January 29, 2013
There is growing evidence that the Common Core standards are absurd in the early grades. They require a level of academic learning that is developmentally inappropriate.
Little children need time to pay. Play is their work. In play, they learn to share and to count, to communicate, to use language appropriately, and to figure things out.

GOP Players in Congress Step Forward on K-12
Education Week By Alyson Klein Published Online: January 29, 2013
Two Republicans have ascended to key education roles in a Congress with a lot on its plate when it comes K-12 policy and spending: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who has a long record on school issues, and Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana, a relative newcomer to Washington.

Rep. Todd Rokita is the new Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
ICYMI: Rokita Op-Ed Celebrates School Choice Initiatives
By Rep. Todd Rokita WASHINGTON, D.C.  January 31, 2013 -
One of the great Indiana success stories of the past decade is what we’ve accomplished in the area of education reform. I am always proud to tell the story of our state’s success in Washington, D.C., and now, as I begin my service as chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Indiana is poised to play a major role in shaping education reform at the national level.


Pittsburgh Feb. 10th Rally for Public Education!
Yinzercation Blog January 28, 2013
Come RALLY FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION on Sunday, February 10, 20133PM at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty (5941 Penn AvenuePittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206). This is about equity, social justice, and a great public education for all our children.

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
SAVE THE DATE: 2013 Pennsylvania Budget Summit Feb. 21st
Many Pennsylvanians have sent a clear message to Harrisburg in recent months: The state budget cuts of the past two years were too deep. It is time to once again invest in classrooms and communities.  Next month, Governor Tom Corbett will unveil his 2013-14 budget proposal. Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center for an in-depth look at the Governor's proposal and an update on the federal budget -- and what they mean for communities and families across Pennsylvania.
2013 Pennsylvania Budget Summit
Thursday, February 21, 2013, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hilton Harrisburg, 1 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA
Registration is free and lunch is included.
REGISTER TO ATTEND

EPLC 2013 REGIONAL WORKSHOPS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES

The Education Policy and Leadership Center, with the Cooperation of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), will conduct A Series of Regional Full-Day Workshops for 2013 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates.  Registration is $45 and includes coffee/donuts, lunch, and materials.  
Philadelphia Region Saturday, February 2, 2013 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, 1605 W. Main Street, Norristown, PA 19403
Harrisburg Region Saturday, February 9, 2013– 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania School Boards Association Headquarters, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Pittsburgh Region Saturday, February 23, 2013 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh/Monroeville, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146
To register, please click here.

2013 PSBA Leadership Symposium on Advocacy and Issues
April 6, 2013 The Penn Stater Convention Center Hotel; State College, PA
Strategic leadership, school budgeting and advocacy are key issues facing today's school district leaders. For your school district to truly thrive, leaders must maintain a solid understanding of these three functions. Attend the 2013 PSBA Leadership Symposium on Advocacy and Issues to ensure you have the skills you need to take your district to the next level.

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