Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 28, 2013: Chester Upland SD budget shortfall $22.5 million. Is it in Palm Beach?

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1900 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 28, 2013:
Chester Upland SD budget shortfall $22.5 million. Is it in Palm Beach?

Help spread the message of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign for the 2013-2014 State Budget
Contact your state legislators during the Memorial Day recess

Chester Upland SD budget shortfall $22.5 million. Is it in Palm Beach?
Checkout our weekend postings

Did They or Didn’t They? Education Funding Cuts in Pennsylvania
Get the Scoop on Education Funding in Pa.
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Join us for our next webinar at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28
With Pennsylvania entering the final weeks of the state budget process, the conversation is once again turning to school funding. Many have voiced concerns about state cuts to schools, while the Governor talks about unprecedented education spending.
Join our panel of experts to make sense of it all. The webinar will feature Jim Buckheit, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Beth Olanoff, Director of the Pennsylvania League of Urban Schools; Kelli Thompson, Government Relations Director for Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children; and Michael Wood, Research Director for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
Register to join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's webinar on Tuesday, May 28 at 4 p.m.

Lehigh Valley Head Start students make strides with technology
By Sara K. Satullo | The Express-Times  on May 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM
Eddiomar Ayala drew a person with spiky hair on the smartboard and turned around to see which one of his classmates wanted a turn next.  "Who wants to erase it?" Eddiomar asked.
The other students sat in pint-sized chairs, eagerly raising their hands asking Eddiomar to please pick them. He selected a classmate, together they erased the board and then Eddiomar handed off the stylus.  This sort of leadership in children, ages 3 to 5, is one of the many benefits Community Services for Children Inc. educators say they're seeing in their two literacy labs for their Head Start and Pre-K Counts Preschool.

Taylor said it's time for the school district to tighten its belt and live within it's funding.”
Philly state rep says Nutter proposals for school funding in trouble
WHYY Newsworks By Tom MacDonald @tmacdonaldwhyy May 27, 2013
Philadelphia's lone Republican State Representative, John Taylor says it's unlikely Mayor Nutter will get either the new school funding or taxing authority he's seeking from Harrisburg.
Nutter is backing the school district's request for an additional $120 million in direct school funding, and he wants legislation enabling the city to levy a $2 a pack tax on cigarettes and raise the liquor-by-the-drink tax from 10 to 15 percent.
"It's not something our caucus is not going to look forward to or the governor, to tax more," Taylor said in an interview. "I think we are going to figure out how to do it without that. I think it's not going to be forthcoming from Harrisburg for enabling legislation for the liquor by the drink tax or cigarette tax." 

Analysis: Philadelphia School District’s Budget Crisis
CBSPhilly Reporting Larry Kane May 26, 2013 9:11 AM
Audio runtime: 25 minutes
By Special Contributor Larry Kane
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Public schools are facing a $300 million deficit and, so far, political leaders have failed to reach an agreement to stop cutbacks.

AP: Some states push back on common core standards
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS,  Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 2:50 AM
Of the 45 states that adopted the Common Core reading, math and writing standards, nine are having second thoughts.  Some states are seeking to slow implementation, while others are trying to repeal the standards altogether. Legislation pending in some states would prevent adoption of standards in other subjects, such as social studies or science.

“…the Education Department should give states the flexibility to refrain from penalizing schools or teachers based on the test data for at least a year, until an evaluation system for the Common Core is validated. This would only be common sense.”
NYT Editorial: Caution and the Common Core
New York Times By THE EDITORIAL BOARD Published: May 27, 2013
The rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by 45 states represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to improve public schools nationally, bringing math, science and literacy education up to levels achieved by high-performing nations abroad.  The Department of Education has rightly pushed the states to jettison outmoded systems in exchange for a challenging, writing-intensive approach. But the department, which has set a rapid timetable for this transformation, will need to give the states some flexibility so that teachers — who themselves are under pressure to meet evaluation standards — can adjust to the new curriculum.

“The student newspaper has long been a cherished tradition at many of the nation’s top high schools, one that allowed students to take initiative and hone their writing skills while absorbing lessons in ethics and responsibility. It provided a public forum for debating civics with intellect and passion and, as a bonus, added a scholarly note on college applications.
But the decline of these newspapers in recent years is not a loss only for schools, but also for an industry that is fighting for survival. Students raised on a diet of Internet posts and instant messages may be unlikely to be future newspaper readers.”
At School Papers, the Ink Is Drying Up
New York Times By WINNIE HU Published: May 27, 2013
The Clinton News used to be the source for everything that mattered to its readers in the northwest Bronx. It published 10,000 copies every other week in the 1930s and even circulated overseas among Bronx residents fighting in World War II.
It, like newspapers everywhere, has struggled to adapt as print costs soared, and Facebook and Twitter became the media of choice among younger generations.
The difference is that The Clinton News is a high school newspaper, written and read by the students ofDeWitt Clinton High School. Now, as it marks its 100th year as one of New York City’s oldest student newspapers, The Clinton News stands as a testament to another ink-and-broadsheet legacy that is rapidly fading.

What Obama said back then (May 2008) about standardized tests
Washington Poast Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss, Published: May 27, 2013 at 11:26 am
“The tests our children take should support learning, not just accounting.”
That’s what then-Sen. Barack Obamasaid back in May 2008 when he was running for president and stopped by to talk to students Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts in Thornton, Colo.
Here’s part of the speech he delivered at the school, which he refers to as MESA:

“What’s the least bad option going forward? Who should bear the brunt of this legacy of fiscal irresponsibility? Current retirees? Today’s teachers? New teachers? School districts? Taxpayers? The students themselves?”
No Way Out? How to Solve the Teacher-Pension Problem
Live or Webinar June 6, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. EDT
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 1016 16th Street NW, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20036
America’s teacher-pension systems (with up to a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities according to some estimates) present a raging public-policy dilemma. Career teachers absolutely deserve a secure retirement, but lawmakers promised them benefits that the system cannot afford, as those promises were based on short-term political considerations and bad math. Now the bill is coming due, and someone’s going to get soaked.
  • Sandi Jacobs, vice president and managing director of state policy, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • Josh B. McGee, vice president of public accountability, Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Charles Zogby, secretary of the budget, Pennsylvania
  • Leo Casey, executive director, Albert Shanker Institute
Moderator: Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
This event will be webcast. Visit our website,www.edexcellence.net, at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 6, to watch the proceedings live.
Register now to join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the National Council on Teacher Quality for a timely look at the teacher-pension crisis and various state efforts to address it.

EPLC Education Policy Fellowship Program – Apply Now
Applications are available now for the 2013-2014 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).
With more than 350 graduates in its first fourteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders.  Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.
The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 12-13, 2013 and continues to graduation in June 2014.

Search underway for PSBA Executive Director
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth.  Founded in 1895, PSBA has a rich history as the first school boards' association established in the United States. Pennsylvania's 4,500 school directors become members by virtue of election to their local board -- the board joins as a whole. Membership in PSBA is by school district or other eligible local education agency such as intermediate unit, vocational school or community college……..
Search by Diversified Search, 1990 M St NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC. Questions may be directed to PSBA@divsearch.com. Interested parties should email their resume and cover letter to PSBA@divsearch.com. Please apply by June 1, 2013 for best consideration.

Sign Up Today for PILCOP Special Ed CLE Trainings
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Spots are filling up for the final two trainings in our 2012-2013 Know Your Child’s Rights series with seminars on ADAAA, Pro Se Parents and Settlement Agreements.
May 29, 2013: PRO SE Parents: Doing It on Your Own
May 30, 2013: Settlements: Signing on the Dotted Line (OR NOT)

Turning the Page for Change celebration, June 11, 2013
Please join us for the Notebook’s annual Turning the Page for Change celebration on June 11, 2013, from 4:30 - 7 p.m. at the University of The Arts, Hamilton Hall, 320 S. Broad Street. We will be honoring a member of the Notebook community for years of service to our mission as well as honoring several local high school journalists. Help us celebrate another year of achievement that included two awards from the Education Writers Association and coverage of other critical stories like the budget crisis and the school closing process.

Building One America 2013 National Summit July 18-19, 2013 Washington, DC
Brookings Institution to present findings of their “Confronting Suburban Poverty” report
Building One America’s Second National Summit for Inclusive Suburbs and Sustainable Regions will involve local leaders and federal policy makers to seek bipartisan solutions to the unique but common challenges around housing, schools and infrastructure facing America’s metropolitan regions and its diverse middle-class suburbs. Participants will include local elected and grassroots leaders from America’s diverse middle class suburban towns and school districts, scholars and policy experts, members of the Obama Administration and Congress.  The summit will identify comprehensive solutions and build bipartisan support for meaningful action to stabilize and support inclusive middle-class communities and promote sustainable, economically competitive regions.

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School FAST FACTS
Quakertown Community School District March 2013

PA Charter Schools: $4 billion taxpayer dollars with no real oversight Keystone State Education Coalition (updated May 2, 2013)
Charter schools - public funding without public scrutiny; Proposed statewide authorization and direct payment would further diminish accountability and oversight for public tax dollars

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