Established in 2006, the Keystone State Education Coalition is a growing grass roots, non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania. Our mission is to evaluate, discuss and inform our boards, district constituents and legislators on legislative issues of common interest and to facilitate active engagement in public education advocacy.
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 22, 2013
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
by SARA K. SATULLO, The Associated Press POSTED: Saturday, July 20, 2013, EASTON,
Pa. (AP) - School may be out for summer, but
districts are gearing up for a new teacher evaluation system that takes student
performance into account. This fall begins a three-year roll out of the system,
which was passed into law in 2012. Principals and specialists will be subject
to the evaluations in 2014-15.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130720_ap_4414af279591467291dfe7b0fcca6578.html#RtWTmg4qafjiiilk.99
make student data accessible from smartphones
Apps allow parents to monitor
grades, lunch money, more
Niederberger / Pittsburgh
being able to access your child's grades, add money to a school lunch account
or get directions to an away high school basketball game with a touch of your
capabilities are available or on the horizon in a handful of local school
districts where cell phone apps are being created.
schools are public schools operated by nongovernmental organizations. Although
the law varies by state, in Pennsylvania,
charter school operators are granted financial, curricular, and operational
autonomy. This opinion piece argues that the financial autonomy of charter
schools should be severely curtailed, as there are multiple examples of charter
schools abusing public money. When public money is given to large private
agencies with minimal oversight, these businesses often fill their pockets at
the public expense. Non-profits have also shown suspicious activity in their
dealings with charter school funds. Although charter schools’ financial
autonomy can provide benefits, the cons outweigh the pros.
“Evaluating teachers on
the basis of standardized test scores is highly popular with both Republican
and Democrat school reformers, who ignore the advice of psychometricians and
other researchers who say it is neither a valid nor a reliable method.”
What House Republicans
did right with the education bill
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss, Published:
July 20 at
many things to oppose in the legislation that the Republican-led House of
Representatives just approved to rewrite the much-maligned 2002 No Child Left
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Paul G. Vallas, a
leader in the effort to shake up American education, has wrestled with unions
in Chicago, taken on hurricane-ravaged schools
in New Orleans and confronted a crumbling
educational system in Haiti.
faces what may be his most vexing challenge yet: Fending off a small but
spirited crowd of advocates working to unseat him as superintendent of one of Connecticut’s
lowest-performing and highest-poverty school districts.
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss, Published:
July 21 at
a stream of films promoting the school reform agenda, but here’s a piece about
a different kind of movie, one that actually celebrates public education. This
was written by Peter Dreier, professor of politics and chair of the Urban and
Environmental Policy Department at OccidentalCollege. His latest
book, “The 100 Greatest
Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame,” was
published last year. He is also co-author of “Place Matters: Metropolitics for
the 21st Century,” and “The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a LivableCity.” His children attended the Pasadena public schools,
the focus of the film “Go Public” about which he writes. He wrote at greater
length on this subject in
this post at truthout.org.
words, preschool is now school, with a curriculum and tests. In other words,
Preschool for All is simply an extension of the common-core standards and
tests. There is no evidence supporting the common core for older students and
there is no reason to impose it on 4-year olds.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD – JOIN FRIENDS OF
PUBLIC EDUCATION TODAY
NationalSchoolBoardsActionCenter July 2013
Join the Friends
of Public Education and participate in a voluntary network to
urge your U.S.
Representatives and Senators to support federal legislation on Capitol Hill
that is critical to providing high quality education to America’s
schoolchildren. Federal legislation has direct policy and financial
impact on your local public schools and students, and federal legislators need
to hear the local impact – directly from you, their constituent. By
becoming a part of the Friends of Public Education, you are joining
a national campaign to support a strong public education for all students. When you sign up, you will receive
information on critical education legislation and NSBAC will ask you to
contact your members of Congress at key strategic times during the legislative
process. NSBAC will notify you through calls to action and provide sample
letters that you can personalize so you can easily communicate with your
elected federal leaders.
So, join today.
(…And recruit your friends and family to do the same).
for your support for America’s
Yinzers - Save the Date: Diane
Ravitch will be speaking in Pittsburgh
on September 16that . Location and details to
Save the Date: Diane Ravitch will be
speaking in Philly at the Main Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library onSeptember 17 at . Details to come.
Know Your Child’s Rights! 2013-2014 Special Education
of PhiladelphiaJuly 9, 2013
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 LawCenter staff attorney and a guest
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
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
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
www.psba.org. More information on the overall governance changes can be found
in the February 2013 issue of the PSBA Bulletin:
PASA-PSBASchool 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.
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.
The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA
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.
Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Danielson, Dr. Todd Whitaker, Will Richardson &
David Andrews, Esq. (Legal Update).
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
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.