Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 31, 2013: It’s been a good summer for the Keystone State Education Coalition

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 2650 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, 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

These daily emails are archived at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg
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?


Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for July 31, 2013:
It’s been a good summer for the Keystone State Education Coalition



Congratulations to Mark B Miller, school director in Centennial School District, Co-Chair of Keystone State Education Coalition and Vice President of Pennsylvania School Boards Association.  He has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Network for Public Education



It’s been a good summer for the Keystone State Education Coalition
In our endeavors to better inform the public dialogue on Pennsylvania education policy issues, it’s been a good summer for the Keystone State Education Coalition.  We have added over 600 new recipients to our daily email blast, including the Acting PA Secretary of Education, a couple of the Governor’s staffers, a few more association Presidents and Executive Directors and scores of locally-elected volunteer school board members.

We send to more than 160 legislators and staffers; ask your state Rep, Senator and Congressman if they are on the list.

We are sending to over 100 members of the press.

If you are new to the list please know that your comments, announcements and submissions are welcome.

We may be offline for a few days if a certain wife is successful in her efforts to get someone “off that damn computer”…..

Thank you all for your ongoing encouragement and enabling.  Big thanks to KEYSEC co-chairs Mark Miller, Shauna D’Alessandro, Lynn Foltz and Roberta Marcus.
Best,
LAF

SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING FORMULA COMMISSION MEETING
(Cost Categories in Special Education Funding)
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:30 AM
William Pitt Union Ballroom, University of Pittsburgh

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..
Diane Ravitch | Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
When: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 7:30PM 
Where: 
Central Library
Cost: $15 General Admission, $7 Students
Ticket and Subscription Packages 
Tickets on sale here at 10:00 a.m. on August 23, 2013

State Revokes Charter of Pocono Mountain Charter School
Allentown Morning Call by Josh Fatzick July 30, 2013

Philly teachers to Corbett: 'We will not settle'
WHYY Newsworks By Emma Jacobs, @ecjacobs July 30, 2013
Philadelphia teachers rallied in North Philadelphia today against the school district's demands for union concessions. The district has asked for $133 million a year in give-backs and changes to work rules.

Parents push back on new school report card
REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985 POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 12:18 AM
 DISTRICT OFFICIALS got more than they bargained for during a meeting about a proposed new school report card last night when parents and teachers unleashed their frustrations about the district's status. The district announced recently that it would abandon the School Performance Index and School Annual Reports as its usual indicators in exchange for a system that is designed with the help of charter schools, parents and community members. After the meeting, school nurse Eileen Duffey summed it up: "When you get to these meetings, you find out there's a dual purpose. It's presented as a report card for parents when it's really an eval for corporations and corporate interest in turning over our schools. And for closing our schools."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130730_Parents_push_back_on_new_school_report_card.html#AXIBePsXmfL5shpM.99

Op-Ed: Pa. students shouldn’t be treated differently based on their zip code
Pottstown Mercury Opinion By Rep. John Galloway  Guest columnist Tuesday, 07/30/13
 “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.”  —George Bernard Shaw
When I was a kid, I loved Bobby Kennedy. He is a big part of why I got involved in politics.
He used Shaw’s quote several times to define why he cared so much. He cared for the poor, the sick, and the elderly. And he was a champion for what he called America’s “greatest invention; the middle class.”
One of the first bills I started working on, after being sworn in almost eight years ago, was a constitutional convention to fundamentally change the way we fund our schools.

“As early as 1st grade, factors such as reading below grade level or racking up more than nine absences in a year can exponentially increase the odds that a students will eventually drop out of school, according to Montgomery County's data.”
Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders
Education Week By Sarah D. Sparks Published Online: July 29, 2013
As tracking data on students grow ever more extensive, some Maryland educators are finding that the early-warning signs of a student at risk of dropping out may become visible at the very start of their school careers.
The affluent and tech-savvy 149,000-student Montgomery County public schools, in a suburb of Washington, is building one of the first early-warning systems in the country that can identify red flags for 75 percent of future dropouts as early as the second semester of 1st grade.

“While education has been envisioned as the great equalizer, this promise has been more myth than reality. Today, the achievement gap between the poor and the non-poor is twice as large as the achievement gap between Black and White students.”
ETS Report: Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward
ETS Center for Research on Human Capital and Education July 2013
By Richard J. Coley, Educational Testing Service and Bruce Baker, Rutgers University
More than one in five U.S. children live in “official” poverty today, with an even higher rate for Black and Hispanic children and for those in families headed by a single parent. Among the world’s 35 richest countries, the United States holds the distinction of ranking second highest in child poverty. A large body of research continues to document the negative effects of poverty on children and their later life outcomes. Children growing up in poverty complete less schooling, work and earn less as adults, are more likely to receive public assistance, and have poorer health. Boys growing up in poverty are more likely to be arrested as adults and their female peers are more likely to give birth outside of marriage. Researchers have estimated that the costs associated with child poverty total about $500 billion per year, or 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Is Pisa fundamentally flawed?
Published in TES magazine on 26 July, 2013 | By: William Stewart
They are the world’s most trusted education league tables. But academics say the Programme for International Student Assessment rankings are based on a ‘profound conceptual error’. So should countries be basing reforms on them?
In less than five months, the most influential set of education test results the world has ever seen will be published. Leaders of the most powerful nations on Earth will be waiting anxiously to find out how they have fared in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

Under Tony Bennett's watch, GOP donor's school grade changed
JCOnline by Tom LoBianco Associated Press July 30, 2013
Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony Bennett built his national star by promising to hold 'failing' schools accountable.

Read Tony Bennett's emails about changing Christel House's grade

Jconline July 29,2013


No moon: Perseid meteor shower set to put on a great show before dawn August 12
You can expect to see up to 100 “shooting stars” per hour when 2013’s best meteor shower peaks before dawn August 12.
Astronomy By Richard Talcott — Published: May 27, 2013

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

Join the National School Boards Action Center Friends of Public Education
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

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 is accepting applications to fill vacancies in NSBA's grassroots advocacy program. Deadline to apply is Sept. 6.
PSBA members: Influence public education policy at the federal level; join NSBA's Federal Relations Network
The National School Boards Association is seeking school directors interested in filling vacancies for the remainder of the 2013-14 term of the Federal Relations Network. The FRN is NSBA's grassroots advocacy program that provides the opportunity for school board members from every congressional district in the country who are committed to public education to get involved in federal advocacy. For more than 40 years, school board members have been lobbying for public education on Capitol Hill as one unified voice through this program. If you are a school director and willing to carry the public education message to Washington, D.C., FRN membership is a good place to start!

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 www.psba.org. More information on the overall governance changes can be found in the February 2013 issue of the PSBA Bulletin:

2014 PSBA Officer Slate of Candidates
PSBA website 7/24/2013
The 2014 PSBA Slate of Candidates is being officially published to the members of the association. More details on each candidate, including bios, statements, photos and video will be available soon online.

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.


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

"They don't feel they should be subject to this law, or, candidly, subject to you," Mutchler told senators on the state government committee, which is considering legislation to amend the five-year-old law. "They are a cancer on the otherwise healthy right-to- know-law."
Pa. official: Charter schools flout public-records law
By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau POSTED: May 15, 2013
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's 180 charter schools routinely ignore the state's Right-To-Know Law even though as publicly funded institutions they are bound to comply with it, the chief of the state's Office of Open Records told a Senate committee on Monday.  Executive director Terry Mutchler said her office had received 239 appeals in cases in which charter schools either rejected or failed to answer requests from the public for information such as budgets, payrolls, or student rosters. She said her office ruled in favor of the schools on just six of those appeals.

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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