Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for September 19, 2013: Ravitch and Rhee: Two Near-Opposite Views for Fixing Philadelphia Schools

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3000 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

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for September 19, 2013:  Ravitch and Rhee: Two Near-Opposite Views for Fixing Philadelphia Schools

Pennsylvanians Want a School Funding Formula
Press Event Monday September 23rd, 11:30 am Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg
Every child in Pennsylvania deserves an opportunity to learn, whether they are from large or small, rich or not-so-rich, urban, suburban or rural school districts, charter schools or cyber schools; whether their legislator is a freshman state representative or a senate officer.
Grassroots Advocacy by Education Voters PA; Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley and the Keystone State Education Coalition
Sign up here if you may be able to join us to represent your schools and community: 

Have you signed this petition for a fair and equitable funding formula yet?  Have your friends and colleagues?

“Once again, the problem: The massive cuts sustained by public schools and higher education during the first year of Corbett’s administration continues to define him for most voters, Madonna said.  The Republican “lost the narrative” on school funding. “
Summer vacation over, lawmakers settle in for a busy fall: John L. Micek
By John L. Micek | on September 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM,
Glen Grell offered little more than a shrug and a laugh when he was asked what he expected as state lawmakers wrap up the world’s longest summer vacation and finally return to voting sessions on Monday.  “I guess we’ll find out,” Grell, a Republican state House member from Cumberland County, said during a quick interview at the Capitol this week.
It’s not as if there’s any shortage of work. All three prongs of Gov. Tom Corbett’slegislative agenda -- liquor privatization, pension reform and transportation funding -- all successfully eluded solutions as lawmakers broke for beach back in July.
Now, as then, the same question recurs: Can the squabbling family of Republicans who control the legislative and executive branches come together and actually make a deal?

"Gov. Corbett's main focus is to ensure that students in the district have access to the best education possible," said Timothy Eller, a spokesman for the state Education Department……..
“Across City Avenue, in the schools of affluent Lower Merion, you'll find pretty much what you'd expect: a much rosier scene.  At the elementary school level, every school is endowed with a guidance counselor, a school psychologist, a nurse and a speech/language therapist.  The district's two high schools have one counselor for every 200 high school students — and that does not include the additional support of school psychologists, social workers, a full-time team of nurses, and a college access counselor who focuses solely on helping students navigate the passageways to higher education.”
In Philly schools, when students with dreams or traumas seek counseling, the office is often empty
WHYY Newsworks By Kevin McCorry September 18, 2013
The American School Counselor Association recommends one counselor for every 250 students. Counselors on the ground will tell you that 250 would be ideal, but that 500 is the line where services truly start to diminish.  South Philadelphia High School now has two guidance counselors for a projected enrollment of 1,500 students — a ratio that's actually much more favorable than those elsewhere in the district.
Central High School has two counselors for 2,300 students. At Northeast High School, it's one counselor for 3,000. There, the principal decided to hire an additional assistant principal instead of an additional counselor.  Most traditional city schools, though, don't have even one full-time counselor. The district has scheduled a group of 16 'itinerant counselors' to spend the school year roving around 115 schools (55 percent of the district). Each counselor will serve seven or eight schools. 
That's 16 counselors for 48,000 students. A ratio of 1 to 3,000.

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Education scholar Diane Ravitch critiques charters, standardized tests in Philly
WHYY Newsworks By Holly Otterbein, @hollyotterbein September 18, 2013
Diane Ravitch, a New York University education professor, was once a passionate champion of charter schools and standardized testing. She has since done a 180-degree turn, becoming a nationally known critic of pro-competition reform.
Ravitch spoke at Philadelphia's Free Library Tuesday night about her new book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools."
The book attempts to bust the "myth" that America's public school system is in decline. Overall, Ravitch said the country's schools have never been better, with historically low dropout rates and historically high test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
In U.S. cities where schools are struggling, she said, poverty and segregation are the root causes.
Ravitch said the public has been "sold a bill of goods," including the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative, and other policies that have attempted to improve schools through the "overuse" of test scores, she said.

Diane Ravitch Launched, Yinzer-Style
Yinzercation Blog September 18, 2013
On Monday, Yinzers were the first in the country to see Diane Ravitch’s new book, The Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. Released nationally on Tuesday, the book is already #1 in public policy and has moved up to #104 on the Amazon top-sellers list. Pittsburgh helped to launch a crucial conversation – and what a launch!
An audience of nearly 1,000 people packed into Temple Sinai to hear Dr. Ravitch, an education historian, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, and widely acclaimed expert on public schools. The event was part-rally and part-lecture, with stand out performances by the Pittsburgh Obama steel drum band, the Pittsburgh Dilworth drummers, and the Pittsburgh Westinghouse Bulldogs high-stepping marching band. And because we are an education justicemovement – and movements must make music together – we stood side by side to sing the anthem We Shall Not Be Moved.

"Reign of Error:" Who Should Read It?
Education Week Teacher in a Strange Land Blog By Nancy Flanagan on September 17, 2013 2:10 PM
As facilitator of an online graduate course in teacher leadership, I strongly recommend that participants read lots of education policy blogs, across a range of political convictions. In the course syllabus, there are a dozen suggestions, but students--all practicing K-12 educators--are free to find and share others, posting their thoughts about the discourse they find.
The first discussion board question: Who is this blog for?
One teacher-participant compared a widely read policy blog to the "cool kids' table" in the school cafeteria: a place where other students are intentionally left behind, where the conversation often centers around a handful of people, clubs and shifting loyalties--who said what and how should we spin it?
Teachers often come away from their tour of Ed Policy World dismayed by the things policy "experts" are saying. Angry, sometimes. Frustrated at being left out of a dialogue where their hard-won practice expertise is undervalued, even scorned.
Good news. Diane Ravitch has written a book for them. While many of the early reviews of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools came from the "cool kids," the audience that will find Reign of Error indispensible is teachers, school leaders and parents.

Diane Ravitch: Testing and vouchers hurt our schools. Here’s what works
Education reformers have it all wrong, Diane Ravitch tells Salon, and keep pushing policies that make schools worse BY SARA SCRIBNER WEDNESDAY, SEP 18, 2013 07:45 AM EDT
Diane Ravitch has become one of the fiercest — and most lucid — critics of many commonly accepted ideas about education in America. Once a supporter of charter schools and the standardized testing movement that inspired George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, she now lambastes the tests as ineffective and even harmful to schools and children. With her new book, “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools,” the educational historian writes that the reform movement – pro-charter schools, anti-teacher unions, dedicated to teacher evaluations built on test scores — threatens to undermine democracy.
Ravitch has been derided by critics as a tool of the unions, an apologist for failing educators, and as a reductive thinker who doesn’t capture the complexity of the charter-school movement. But she is a hero to many teachers, who have not fared well in the fiery debates about the future of education.
Here, she describes her change of heart on testing and charter schools and takes on reform queen Michelle Rhee, Teach for America and the upcoming Common Core standards. She also offers up a very different vision for closing the ever-broadening achievement gap that threatens to derail our public education system and, quite possibly, our society.

Ravitch and Rhee: Two Near-Opposite Views for Fixing Philadelphia Schools
Next City by JAKE BLUMGART | NEXT CITY Philadelphia | 09/18/2013 1:24pm
Two rival visions of education reform clashed this week in Philadelphia, a city whose school district is suffering an acute funding crisis, forcing many students to go without libraries,guidance counselors or a safe way to get to school. Despite sweeping austerity measures, the district still faces a deficit of about $300 million and closed 24 schools this year.
There are a host of reasons for this situation, including a more than $1 billion budget cut to Pennsylvania public education orchestrated by Gov. Tom Corbett. There is a limit to how much more revenue can be choked out of a city with a poverty rate exceeding 25 percent and one of the nation’s heaviest tax burdens. It appears that Philadelphia has reached it.
For school advocates Michelle Rhee and Diane Ravitch — who spoke, respectively, on Monday and Tuesday — this cataclysm represents very different things. It also offered both a chance to present their vision of education in a city desperate for something, anything, to improve its lot.

Pennsylvania to release schools' test results Sept. 30
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 18, 2013 11:59 am
Acting Pennsylvania education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq today announced state test results will be released Sept. 30 barring technical difficulties.
The results will be the first since the state won a waiver from the federal government so Pennsylvania was longer is required to have all of its students proficient in reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind Act by 2014.
This means that schools will be judged not on whether they made "adequate yearly progress" -- that term is gone -- but on their School Performance Profiles.

Pa. to unveil new public school accountability tool and state exam results on Sept. 30
By Jan Murphy |  on September 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM,
Parents and taxpayers will have a new tool available to them this year to provide them with information on how well their public schools are performing.
The Pennsylvania School Performance Profile, an online report card tool that provides a myriad of information and performance measures, is scheduled to be available for public use on Sept. 30.  As part of the school performance profile’s unveiling, the state Department of Education will make available the results of last year's Pennsylvania System of School Assessment for third- through eighth-graders and the Keystone Exams for 11th graders.  The profiles will reflect the new accountability system that the department has put in place to comply with the state’s educator evaluation system and the federal waiver granted to relieve the state of the No Child Left Behind Act’s requirements.

Pa. unveils new grading system for schools
KATHY MATHESON, The Associated Press Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 1:26 PM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Education officials unveiled a new grading system for Pennsylvania's public schools on Wednesday that they described as a tool for parents, administrators and the public to monitor and improve student achievement. School Performance Profiles will offer academic ratings for each building based on a 100-point scale. Scores for all 3,200 traditional, charter, cyber and technical schools in the state will be available online beginning Sept. 30. Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq offered a preview of the rating system at a news conference and explained in detail how the figures are weighted and calculated. Buildings that score above 70 are considered to be satisfactory.

New system to measure schools' performance available to public Sept. 30
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review By Megan Harris Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 12:00 p.m.
Performance profiles for Pennsylvania's public schools debut online Sept. 30, more than three years after educators began testing a system now considered a key tool in monitoring student achievement.  Acting state Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq demonstrated the new system online Wednesday morning in Harrisburg, noting major changes in how academic performance will be calculated.
Video: State changes way Pa. schools are evaluated Runtime: 1:25
WGAL Susquehanna Valley Published  1:07 PM EDT Sep 18, 2013
State changes way Pa. schools are measured

Radnor Curriculum Committee mulls data about RSD’s performance
Main Line Media News By Linda Stein Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
It’s a whole new ballgame for Pennsylvania’s public schools. In August, the federal government granted the state a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law, ushering in a new system of school evaluations.  The Radnor School Board’s curriculum committee was treated to an avalanche of data Tuesday about the district’s performance as principals from the schools and administrators explained the numbers the district is crunching to ascertain student performance under the state’s new criteria.  Instead of adequate yearly progress, the benchmark under the old system, schools now are graded by a School Performance Profile [SPP].

Canton Area SD apprises staff of PDE initiatives
The Daily Review (Towanda, Sayre and Troy, PA) BY ERIC HRIN (STAFF WRITER)
Published: September 18, 2013
CANTON - Canton Area School District Superintendent Matt Gordon recently reported on some changes at the state level concerning education.
During the last school board meeting, Gordon noted that there is a new state Acting Secretary of Education, Carolyn Dumaresq. She was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett on Aug. 26.
Gordon said there are some "huge statewide initiatives" related to the No Child Left Behind waiver. These were "rolled out" to the teachers and staff during the in-service days.
When asked for comment by The Daily Review, Timothy Eller, press secretary with the state Department of Education, said these initiatives will be used to satisfy Pennsylvania's federal accountability under the approved waiver.
The School Performance Profile is a web-based system that will provide parents, students, taxpayers, educators and schools with information on how students are performing in each public school building, based on multiple measures of student achievement, Eller said.
He noted that a new educator evaluation system is being implemented as required by Act 82 of 2012, which puts into place a new educator evaluation system that uses multiple measures of student achievement as a factor in an educator's evaluation. The School Performance Profile will be used as one measure in the educator evaluation system.

Why Pennsylvanians Should Oppose the Keystone Exam Regulations
ASCD Edge by Elliot Seif September 18, 2013
(The author of this commentary, Elliott Seif, is a former social studies teacher, Professor of Education at Temple University, and Director of Curriculum-Instruction Services for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. He is currently an educational advocate, author, trainer, and Philadelphia School District volunteer. More of his commentary can be found at ASCD Edge,, and on his website,
Introduction and Overview
The new Chapter 4 regulations, recently adopted by the Pennsylvania State Board, will require all Pennsylvania students to pass new Keystone exams in order to graduate. Initially, three exams will be required for graduation (English, Biology and Mathematics).  Two others will be added in the next few years (English Composition and Civics and Government). If money is appropriated by the legislature, five additional exams will be added in future years, for a total of ten required exams.
The purpose of this commentary is to make a strong case in opposition to the implementation of these regulations, using the following arguments:

Poll: Philly blames Corbett and Nutter, not teachers, for schools crisis
Citypaper By Daniel Denvir Published: 09/17/2013
Gov. Tom Corbett, Mayor Michael Nutter, the School Reform Commission, and myriad self-described education reform groups have all cited the School District of Philadelphia's catastrophic budget crisis to demand major concessions from teachers and other workers.
But Philadelphians don't blame teachers, according to a new poll from Pew Charitable Trusts.
The poll, released today, found that thirty-one percent of residents blame Corbett and the Republican-controlled state legislature, thirty-one percent blame Nutter and City Council, and twenty-one percent blamed school administrators and the state-controlled SRC.
Just 11-percent blame unions representing teachers and other workers.

Senator Pileggi Appoints Darren Smith as Chief of Staff
Senator Pileggi’s website September 17, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) announced today that he has appointed Darren Smith, a native of Lebanon County, to be his Chief of Staff. Smith, currently an attorney with Dilworth Paxson in Philadelphia, will begin in his new position on Sept. 30.
“Darren brings a great mix of knowledge, experience and energy to this job,” said Senator Pileggi. “He’ll be a real asset to the Senate as we continue working to advance an agenda of legislation that focuses on the hard-working citizens of Pennsylvania. I’m pleased that he has decided to return to public service.”

The Common Core money war
Politico By STEPHANIE SIMON and NIRVI SHAH | 9/18/13 10:31 AM
One of the most expensive political fights in America this year isn’t over a Senate seat or a governor’s mansion. It’s about what your kids learn in school.  Tens of millions of dollars are pouring into the battle over the Common Core academic standards, which aim to set a course for students’ progression in math and language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The proponents would appear to have all the advantages. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation already has pumped more than $160 million into developing and promoting the Common Core, including $10 million just in the past few months, and it’s getting set to announce up to $4 million in new grants to keep the advocacy cranking. Corporate sponsors are pitching in, too. Dozens of the nation’s top CEOs will meet today to set the plans for a national advertising blitz that may include TV, radio and print.

Video: Arne Duncan on Colbert Report
Comedy Central/Colbert Nation  Posted: Sep 18, 2013 Video Runtime 6:06
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discusses Obama's Race to the Top initiative and Preschool for All program.

Lifelines for Poor Children
New York Times Commentary By JAMES J. HECKMAN September 14, 2013, 6:33 pm
The Great Divideis a series about inequality.
What’s missing in the current debate over economic inequality is enough serious discussion about investing in effective early childhood development from birth to age 5. This is not a big government boondoggle policy that would require a huge redistribution of wealth. Acting on it would, however, require us to rethink long-held notions of how we develop productive people and promote shared prosperity.

K12 has ‘run amok’ in pursuit of growth: Whitney Tilson
Wall Street Journal Marketwatch September 17, 2013, 5:46 PM
Whitney Tilson is not a fan of the online-education company K12.
His short position in K12 LRN -1.38% is the largest in his book, he told the audience at the second day of the Value Investing Congress in New York.
And while shares of K12 have gained 71% in 2013 — performing as well as his other short positions, he joked — the problem with K12 is that it has “run amok” in pursuit of growth, he said.
Tilson, who runs Kase Capital, said online schools can be a good option for certain students. But K12′s aggressive recruiting practices have led to poor academic performance and high dropout rates, he said. Particularly of concern is the company’s emphasis on high-risk students without providing proper support, he added. His impassioned stance on the online education company was not such a surprise given his background in education; Tilson helped found the Teach for America program.

“The $5 million, three-year grant is the largest commitment from a national foundation to PSP to date. In June 2013, PSP announced a $4.2 million investment in the Great Schools Fund from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and last December the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested $2.5 million in PSP to support the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact. Since PSP's inception in October 2010, more than 40 businesses, individuals and foundations have committed $65 million toward the fundraising goal of $100 million for the Great Schools Fund.”
Philadelphia School Partnership receives $5 million challenge grant from Walton Family Foundation
Grant to the Great Schools Fund is largest national foundation gift to the PSP to date; more than $12 million committed by national foundations in past 12 months
The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) today announced it will receive a $5 million challenge grant from the Walton Family Foundation to support the Great Schools Fund. This grant will support the creation and expansion of high-quality schools for Philadelphia students, especially in low-income communities.  PSP's Great Schools Fund pools philanthropic dollars from a diverse group of funders to strategically invest in the incubation, startup, expansion and transformation of high-quality schools across Philadelphia. The Fund invests in K-12 schools of all types with the capacity to deliver outstanding educational outcomes for children in the city, including traditional district, charter and private schools. To date, PSP has invested $29 million to give nearly 14,000 additional students a year access to high-quality district, charter, private, and turnaround schools. 

Follow the Money: Here’s a prior Keystone State Education Coalition posting…..
What if the Waltons spent their $150M per year on programs for poor kids that are actually effective, like early education and making sure that they are reading on grade level by third grade?
WALMART: Save More, Live Better, Eradicate Public Education: 159,049,864 reasons to shop someplace else.
List of K-12 Education Reform and other education grants given by The Walton Family Foundation in 2011. Total:  $159,049,864

NYC Schools Official Moves to Walton Foundation
Education Week Marketplace K-12 By Sean Cavanagh on September 18, 2013 8:40 AM 
A top administrator in the New York City school system has taken a post with the Walton Family Foundation, a major funder of education issues, particularly in the area of school choice.
Marc Sternberg, a senior deputy chancellor in the 1.1 million-student district, will direct the K-12 education reform focus area for the foundation, which the philanthropy describes as its largest area of investment.

“But in the big picture, roughly 60 percent of achievement outcomes is explained by student and family background characteristics (most are unobserved, but likely pertain to income/poverty). Observable and unobservable schooling factors explain roughly 20 percent, most of this (10-15 percent) being teacher effects. The rest of the variation (about 20 percent) is unexplained (error). In other words, though precise estimates vary, the preponderance of evidence shows that achievement differences between students are overwhelmingly attributable to factors outside of schools and classrooms (see Hanushek et al. 1998Rockoff 2003Goldhaber et al. 1999Rowan et al. 2002Nye et al. 2004).”
Schools Matter @ the Chalk Face: The Relentless Bully Politics Continues in SC
By P.L. Thomas September 18, 2013
Superintendent of Education Mick Zais can’t help himself. He is so enamored with his misinformation-as-talking-points that he is willing to visit and shame a high-poverty elementary school. This is the other side of the coin for Zais who has previously visited a so-called high-flying school in order to shame all the other schools.
In both cases, however, it is bully politics pure and simple, and there is no excuse for the misinformation:

Great Education War being waged on multiple fronts
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Alan J. Borsuk | On Education Sept. 14, 2013
I have such conflicted feelings about the war.
No, not Syria. Also not Iraq, Afghanistan or even Grenada (we won that one, remember?)
The Great Education War rages all around us. If anything, it seems to be getting more intense, and cooperation and goodwill seem to be in shorter supply.
The war has many fronts:
■ Standardized testing, how much should there be, what uses should the results be put to.
■ Private school voucher programs (the battle royal, especially in places such as Wisconsin).
■ Charter schools (actually, a hotter fight in many places than around here).
■ Teachers' collective bargaining powers. Also teachers' pay and pensions. Also funding and tax issues overall.
■ The Common Core literacy and math standards.
■ Accountability measures of all kinds — what is effective, what's a waste (or worse).
■ How to improve teaching and teacher evaluation systems.
■ Anything that some people see as "privatization."
War, of course, is too strong a term, if you take it literally. There is no physical fighting (thank goodness). But there are passions and intensity, and the stakes are high and the advocacy is often conducted with bare-knuckled rhetoric and uncompromising strategy. It sort of has the feeling of war.
It's difficult for me to give broad labels to the sides — many labels are inherently partisan. Other labels are bland or meaningless. (For one thing, this sentence will be the only place in this column where you'll find the phrase education reform.) It is far from the case that everyone is on the same side in every battle, nor does every issue break neatly into two sides. But the polar dynamic shows up a lot, often in contentious, even hateful, forms.

Thursday’s Harvest Moon provides visual feast
WHYY Skytalk September 16, 2013
Let's prepare to bid adieu to summer with Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute. Derrick, even before fall's official arrival, Thursday marks the Harvest Moon. - See more at:

Tom Rush - Urge For Going
Youtube video runtime 6:45
Tom performing the Joni Mitchell classic live at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley MA on 30-Nov 2007.

PA Special Education Funding Formula Commission Public Meeting Sept 26th at Alvernia College in Reading from 9:30 am – 3:00 p.
To consider charter and cyber special education funding

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).

PASCD Annual Conference ~ A Whole Child Education Powered by Blendedschools Network November 3-4, 2013 | Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
We invite you to join us for the Annual Conference, held at an earlier date this year, on Sunday, November 3rd, through Monday, November 4th, 2013 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.  The Pre-Conference begins on Saturday with PIL Academies and Common Core sessions.  On Sunday and Monday, our features include keynote presentations by Chris Lehmann and ASCD Author Dr. Connie Moss, as well as numerous breakout sessions on PA’s most timely topics.
Click here for the 2013 Conference Schedule
Click here to register for the conference. 

Building One Pennsylvania
Fourth Annual Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 6:00-8:00 PM
IBEW Local 380   3900 Ridge Pike  Collegeville, PA 19426
Building One Pennsylvania is an emerging statewide non-partisan organization of leaders from diverse sectors - municipal, school, faith, business, labor and civic - who are joining together to stabilize and revitalize their communities, revitalize local economies and promote regional opportunity and sustainability.

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

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:

Electing PSBA Officers: 2014 PSBA Slate of Candidates
Details on each candidate, including bios, statements, photos and video are online now
PSBA Website Posted 8/5/2013
The 2014 PSBA Slate of Candidates is being officially published to the members of the association. Details on each candidate, including bios, statements, photos and video are online at

Proposed Amendments to PSBA Bylaws available online
PSBA website 9/17/2013
A special issue of the School Leader News with the notice of proposed PSBA Bylaws amendments has been mailed to all school directors and board secretaries.
This issue also is available online in the Members Only section by clicking here. Voting on PSBA Bylaws changes will take place at the new Delegate Assembly on Oct. 15, 2013, at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center from 1-4 p.m. All member school entities should have appointed their voting delegates and submitted names to PSBA. Details on selecting an entity's voting delegate can be found in previous issues of the School Leader News.

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