Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 13, 2013: 95% of college educ moms regularly read to kids; just 56% of moms w/o h.s. diploma do

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 2250 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.

The Keystone State Education Coalition is pleased to be listed among the friends and allies of The Network for Public Education.  Are you a member?
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More than 2250 PA education policymakers have the Education Policy Roundup from the Keystone State Education Coalition ready with their morning coffee.  If you have colleagues or coworkers who would like to be added to our list please have them send their name, title and affiliation.

Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 13, 2013:
95% of college educ moms regularly read to kids; just 56% of moms w/o h.s. diploma do

Thanks to Acting PA Secretary of Education William Harner who met with the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association at their board meeting last evening.

Patriot-News Editorial: With Common Core, Palmyra schools set a good example for other districts
By Patriot-News Editorial Board  on July 12, 2013
Give the Palmyra school district credit for enthusiastically embracing the K-12 learning standards known as “Common Core,” despite the controversy they have provoked in some other parts of Pennsylvania.

Map: The Varying State of Common Core Standards
Common Core Standards Institute

Allentown School District's $8.2 million windfall will be recurring, not temporary
The $8.2 million windfall the Allentown School District received from the state this month will be recurring yearly revenue, not a one-time cash infusion.  The school board used that money -- which was secured for Allentown by local legislators as part of the state budget -- to restore 26 previously eliminated positions and reduce next year's tax hike.
Even as they allocated the funds on Monday, Superintendent Russell Mayo said then it remained unclear whether they would continue to receive that money in future budget years.
But state Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh-Northampton, told lehighvalleylive.comWednesday the additional $8.2 million will be considered part of the school district's basic education subsidy from now on.

PA's General Fund collections for last fiscal year were $57 million higher than expected.
PA House Republican Appropriations Committee July 2013

Credentials suspended for two after school cheating probes
Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: Saturday, July 13, 2013, 1:07 AM
 In the latest development in a statewide cheating investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has taken disciplinary action against a former Philadelphia charter school administrator and a Philadelphia School District teacher.

For laid-off Philly teachers it's a mix of waiting, hoping and leaving
WHYY Newsworks By Kelly Lawler, @klawls July 11, 2013
Even after last week's deal in the Pennsylvania legislature to help the Philadelphia School District, 3,800 teachers and support staff laid off in June still do not know if they will be back at work in the fall.  Those teachers and staff now face the choice of waiting to see if they can stay with the district or diving into the job market.

Carlisle Area School District proposing business office consolidation with other districts
By Barbara Miller | on July 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM
Whether Cumberland County school districts could consolidate some business services is being proposed by Carlisle Area School District.  With the resignation of Carlisle’s business manager, Superintendent John Friend told the school board Thursday night he's opening discussion with other county school districts to see if there’s interest in combining services.

WaPo: PA-Gov #1 Most Likely to Switch Parties
PoliticsPA Written by Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor July 12, 2013
We’re number 1! The Washington Post says the Pennsylvania is the most likely state in the country to see a party switch in the Governor’s office.  The Fix cites Gov. Tom Corbett’s string of bad polling as the reason he moves to the top of the list for the first time in the 2014 cycle.
It’s been a steady climb. WaPo rated himnumber 3 in June and number 5 in July.

Tweet from Stephanie Simon, K12 and Higher Ed reporter for Reuters
New federal stats (from 2007 but just released): 95% of college educ moms regularly read to kids but just 56% of moms w/o h.s. diploma do...
Here’s the full report…..
Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

NSBA praises Senate bill to boost K-12 funding
NSBA School Board News Today by Joetta Sack-Min July 12, 2013
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) supports a budget plan passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee that would increase funding for K-12 education, including Title I grants and special education. Most importantly, the bill would reverse the automatic budget cuts that will impact all K-12 education programs by this fall, known as sequestration.

The Rise of Blended Learning
Smithsonian by Ian Quillen July 8, 2013
How a new trend in education rethinks the role of computers in the classroom and lets each student learn at a different pace.  For months, Stanton Elementary School teachers and administrators searched books, webinars, conferences, news articles and anything else they could get find for ideas about how to get students more engaged in the classroom.
They kept running across the same mysterious two words: blended learning.
“We didn’t really know what it was,” says Principal Caroline John, “besides computers.”
It's the money, stupid
Karen Francisco | The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette July 10, 2013 5:42 p.m.
More than a decade into Indiana's charter school experiment, people still ask what, exactly, are charter schools?  If I'm being charitable, I explain they are public schools authorized to operate without many of the regulations placed on traditional public schools, in exchange for greater accountability. But given Indiana's popular new practice of charter flipping -- turning a poor-performing charter school into a voucher school or hunting for a new, less-rigorous sponsor instead of shutting it down -- the accountability requirement is pretty much out the window. I don't think I'll even bother with that explanation any longer.

Eric Cantor wants fast action on education bill
Politico By JAKE SHERMAN and JOHN BRESNAHAN | 7/10/13 12:07 PM EDT
It’s no secret on Capitol Hill that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wants to rewrite the nation’s education laws — he has said all year he would move “heaven and earth” to do it.
But it was only Monday that his staff told colleagues in leadership that he wanted the celestial rearranging to take place next week.  Cantor (R-Va.) and his aides told a closed Republican leadership meeting on at least two separate occasions this week that he wants the 520-page bill on the House floor as early as next week, setting off some concern in those circles that the leader was readying to drop a bill that the conference wasn’t yet prepared for.

Selling the NCLB Act Rewrite to Conservatives
Education Week Politics K-12 Blog By Alyson Klein on July 10, 2013 6:15 PM
Now that a new version of the No Child Left Behind Act looks headed to the House floor next week, the bill's sponsors, U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., are in full-on member-education mode, meeting with rank-and-file Republicans who may not be familiar with the key pieces of the bill—and may have campaigned on dismantling the U.S. Department of Education, which the bill wouldn't do. (Want to see what kind of material they are distributing? You can find all the messaging right here.)  A big question going forward is on how the measure will handle school choice. More on that below.

Yinzers - Save the Date: Diane Ravitch will be speaking in Pittsburgh on September 16th at 6:00 pm.  Location and details to come.

Save the Date: Diane Ravitch will be speaking in Philly at the Main Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library on September 17 at 7:30 pm.  Details to come.

Know Your Child’s Rights! 2013-2014 Special Education Seminars
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia July 9, 2013
The Law Center’s year-long Know Your Child’s Rights! seminar series on special education law continues in 2013-2014 with day and evening trainings focused on securing special education rights and services.  These seminars are intended for parents, special education advocates, educators, attorneys, and others who are in a position to help children with disabilities receive an appropriate education. Every session focuses on a different legal topic, service or disability and is co-led by a Law Center staff attorney and a guest speaker.
This year’s topics include Tips for Going Back to School; Psychological Testing, IEEs and Evaluations; School Records; Children with Autism; Transition Services; Children with Emotional Needs; Discipline and Bullying; Charter Schools; Children with Dyslexia; Extended School Year; Assistive Technology; Discrimination and Compensatory Education; and, Settlements. See below for descriptions and schedules of each session.

PSBA members will elect officers electronically for the first time in 2013
PSBA 7/8/2013
Beginning in 2013, PSBA members will follow a completely new election process which will be done electronically during the month of September. The changes will have several benefits, including greater membership engagement and no more absentee ballot process.
Below is a quick Q&A related to the voting process this year, with more details to come in future issues of School Leader News and at More information on the overall governance changes can be found in the February 2013 issue of the PSBA Bulletin:

PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference
October 15-18, 2013 | Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
Important change this year: Delegate Assembly (replaces the Legislative Policy Council) will be Tuesday Oct. 15 from 1 – 4:30 p.m.
The PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference is the largest gathering of elected officials in Pennsylvania and offers an impressive collection of professional development opportunities for school board members and other education leaders.
See Annual School Leadership Conference links for all program details.

PAESSP State Conference October 27-29, 2013
The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA
The state conference is PAESSP’s premier professional development event for principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders. Attending will enable you to connect with fellow educators while learning from speakers and presenters who are respected experts in educational leadership.
 Featuring Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Todd Whitaker, Will Richardson & David Andrews, Esq. (Legal Update).

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.

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.

U.S. Department of Education Acting Deputy Secretary Confirmed for Building One America Summit.
James H. Shelton III is confirmed to participate in a White House panel at the Building One America Summit, to be held July 18-19 at Georgetown Law School in Washington D.C.  The summit will bring together mayors, local elected leaders, municipal, state, county and school officials with experts and federal policymakers from the White House and Congress to seek bipartisan solutions to the unique but common challenges around housing, schools, and infrastructure facing America's metropolitan regions, with a particular focus on diverse middle-class suburbs. 

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 Prior Posting
Charter schools - public funding without public scrutiny

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