Monday, December 16, 2013

PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 16, 2013: After 16 years, how are Pennsylvania’s charter schools performing? Only 1/3 scored better than 70 on the new School Performance Profile

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3050 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, 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 December 16, 2013:
After 16 years, how are Pennsylvania’s charter schools performing?  Only 1/3 scored better than 70 on the new School Performance Profile

Based on a scale of 100, the average SPP score for traditional public schools was 77.1, brick and mortar charter schools was 66.4 and cyber charters was 46.8.

Did you catch our weekend posting?
PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 15, 2013: Only one-third of 166 PA charter schools that were eligible for a score on new School Performance Profile received a score of 70 or higher, the Department of Education said.

The Pennsylvania Charter School Law Act 22 of 1997
PDE’s website

Cyber student achievement has proved to be dismal
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette December 15, 2013 7:38 PM
The Dec. 4 Perspectives piece “Treat Cyber Schools Fairly” requires a factual response. Cyber schools do offer positives for students who are homebound, are self-motivated and have parental support. They are not a “wave the magic wand and all is well” solution

Cyber schools may be a great fit for some kids.
Do we need any more of them?
Now if only PDE could tell us how many tax dollars each of these schools are spending on advertising…..
Pennsylvania Department of Education School Performance Profiles
Based on a scale of 100, the average SPP score for traditional public schools was 77.1, brick and mortar charter schools was 66.4 and cyber charters was 46.8.
Here are the SPP scores for Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools:
21st Century Cyber CS                                     66.5
Achievement House CS                                   39.7
ACT Academy Cyber CS                                  30.6
Agora Cyber CS                                               48.3
ASPIRA Bilingual CS                                       29.0
Central PA Digital Lrng Foundation CS           31.7
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS     54.6
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS                 59.0
Esperanza Cyber CS                                        32.7
Pennsylvania Cyber CS                                   59.4
Pennsylvania Distance Learning CS                54.7
Pennsylvania Leadership CS                           64.7
Pennsylvania Virtual CS                                  67.9
Solomon Charter School Inc.                          36.9
Susq-Cyber CS                                                46.4

A Grand Weekend Out for Pennsylvanians
New York Times By TRIP GABRIEL Published: December 15, 2013
It was 1899 when the Pennsylvania Society first gathered for oysters and Delmonico steaks at the Waldorf-Astoria, a gilded era when, the story goes, the industrialists and bankers who owned Pennsylvania lived in New York City.  Fricks and Carnegies no longer attend, but 114 years on, the Pennsylvania Society gathering has expanded to more than 60 receptions and parties over three days, and it is still every bit the semiprivate summit of the powers that be in the Keystone State.

New Pittsburgh school board president wants to focus on big picture
Sumpter has been surrounded by a family of educators
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette December 13, 2013 11:21 PM
His grandmother, mother and wife were teachers in the district, and his mother and wife became principals as well. Mr. Sumpter, 63, of Schenley Heights was elected president Dec……He remembers his mother, Myrna Sumpter, writing lesson plans while seated on the dining room floor.

Education advocates continue to rally for full and fair funding
The notebook by Wendy Harris on Dec 13 2013 Posted in Latest news
Members of the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools and Parents United for Public Education joined students and other education advocates Thursday afternoon at Roosevelt Mall in Northeast Philadelphia to demand that the state develop a full and fair funding formula for public schools.  Protesters asked that the state not "let the budget grinch steal our schools," and one PCAPS member even dressed up as the Grinch. Massive budget cuts in District schools have reduced the number of counselors, nurses, and support personnel, as well as other resources and activities that engage students day to day. 

Tweet by @GeorgeTakei
Signs of the times.

CNN: Grading the U.S. education system (Video runtime 3:36)

CNN Your Money  December 13th, 2013 04:24 PM ET
The key to improving American schools could be improving the quality of teachers. Christine Romans sits down with education historian Diane Ravitch.

Mississippi’s child poverty rate is twice as high as Lithuania’s. Why are we OK with that?
The Hechinger Report By Jake McGraw Rethink Mississippi December 11, 2013
Here’s a question. If the United States’s child poverty rate ranks second-worst among the world’s developed countries, and Mississippi has the highest child poverty rate in the U.S., then how do Mississippi’s kids stack up globally? We wouldn’t even be on the chart.
Over 35 percent of Mississippi’s children fall under the international poverty standard as defined by this report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Compare that to 24 percent in Romania, the highest rate in the developed world:

Did Shanghai cheat on PISA?
Washington Post The Answer Sheet BY VALERIE STRAUSS December 15 at 12:13 pm
Everybody knows (or should) by now that Shanghai’s 15-year-old students ranked No. 1 on the most recent Program for International Student Assessment for the second time, which, if you believe the recently released results, means that a representative sample of kids got the best scores in the world in reading, math and science. And 15-year-olds in the United States performed no better than averageof 65 countries and education systems, which is pretty much what they always do on these international tests.
There are a lot of reasons to disbelieve that the results mean what PISA enthusiasts say they do — that the average performance of U.S. kids means the future of the U.S. economy and national security is at stake (here’s a good explanation) — but new questions have been raised about whether the Shanghai students who took the 2012 PISA really are representative of the city’s population of 15-year-olds.

How much teachers get paid — state by state
Washington Post The Answer Sheet BY VALERIE STRAUSS December 15 at 12:31 pm
How much do teachers across the United States get paid?
Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago. The data are for 2013 and represent the estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools. Boeckensted’s original map, here on the Higher Ed Data Stories blog, has information for earlier years, as well. You can find theNCES original data here.

Pay for U.S. College Presidents Continues to Grow
New York Times By TAMAR LEWIN Published: December 15, 2013
Forty-two presidents of private colleges were paid more than a million dollars in 2011, up from 36 for the previous two years, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual analysis of the colleges’ latest available tax forms.  The three top earners were Robert J. Zimmer, University of Chicago ($3,358,723); Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern University ($3,121,864); and Dennis J. Murray, Marist College ($2,688,148).

High CEO pay doesn’t mean high performance, report says
BY DIANE STAFFORD The Kansas City Star August 28, 2013
A select group of the nation’s corporate chief executives has been paid far more than their performance warranted, according to a compensation analysis released today.
Twenty years after the Institute for Policy Studies began taking critical annual looks at CEO pay in the nation’s largest companies, researchers reviewed the personal and corporate histories of executives who have appeared on past highest-paid lists.
The title of the 2013 report reveals disappointment — “Bailed Out. Booted. Busted.”
Nearly 40 percent of the men who appeared on lists ranking America’s 25 highest-paid corporate leaders between 1993 and 2012 have led companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, been fired for poor performance or led companies charged with fraud-related activities.
“This report should put an end to any remaining sense that we have ‘pay for performance’ in corporate America,” said Sarah Anderson, co-author of all 20 of the institute’s annual executive compensation reports.  The pay gap between large-company CEOs and average American employees has vaulted from 195 to 1 in 1993 to 354 to 1 in 2012, according to data published by BusinessWeek and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2014 PA Gubernatorial Candidate Plans for Education and Arts/Culture in PA
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Below is an alphabetical list of the 2014 Gubernatorial Candidates and links to information about their plans, if elected, for education and arts/culture in Pennsylvania. This list will be updated, as more information becomes available.

The DCIU Google Symposium is an opportunity for teachers, administrators, technology directors, and other school stakeholders to come together and explore the power of Google Apps for Education.  The Symposium will be held at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.  The Delaware County Intermediate Unit is one of Pennsylvania’s 29 regional educational agencies.  The day will consist of an opening keynote conducted by Rich Kiker followed by 4 concurrent sessions. 

NPE National Conference 2014

The Network for Public Education November 24, 2013
The Network for Public Education is pleased to announce our first National Conference. The event will take place on March 1 & 2, 2014 (the weekend prior to the world-famous South by Southwest Festival) at The University of Texas at Austin.  At the NPE National Conference 2014, there will be panel discussions, workshops, and a keynote address by Diane Ravitch. NPE Board members – including Anthony Cody, Leonie Haimson, and Julian Vasquez Heilig – will lead discussions along with some of the important voices of our movement.
In the coming weeks, we will release more details. In the meantime, make your travel plans and click this link and submit your email address to receive updates about the NPE National Conference 2014.

Congratulations! Getting elected to the school board was the easy part…..
PSBA New Board Member Training: Great Governance, Great Schools!
November 2013-April 2014 Register Online » Print Form »
Announcing School Board Academy’s New Board Member Training: Great Governance, Great Schools!
You will need a wealth of information quickly as you jump out of the starting block and hit the ground running as a newly elected member of the board of school directors. New board members, as well as veterans who might like a refresher, will want to make the most of the opportunity to attend PSBA's New Board Member Training Program: Great Governance, Great Schools! .

EPLC is recruiting current undergraduate or graduate students to serve as part-time interns 
EPLC is recruiting current undergraduate or graduate students to serve as part-time interns beginning January or May of 2014 in the downtown Harrisburg offices. One intern will support education policy work including the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign. The second intern position will support the work of the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network. Ideal candidates have an interest/course work in political science/public policy, social studies, the arts or education and also have strong research, communications, and critical thinking skills. The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available. Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable. To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email Mattie Robinson for further information at

The National School Boards Association 74th Annual Conference & Exposition April 5-7, 2014 New Orleans
The National School Boards Association 74th Annual Conference & Exposition will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.  Our first time back in New Orleans since the spring of 2002!
General Session speakers include education advocates Thomas L. Friedman, Sir Ken Robinson, as well as education innovators Nikhil Goyal and Angela Maiers.
We have more than 200 sessions planned! Colleagues from across the country will present workshops on key topics with strategies and ideas to help your district. View our Conference Brochure for highlights on sessions and focus presentations.
·                             Register now! – Register for both the conference and housing using our online system.
·                            Conference Information– Visit the NSBA conference website for up-to-date information
·                             Hotel List and Map - Official NSBA Housing Block
·                             Exposition Campus – View new products and services and interactive trade show floor
Questions? Contact NSBA at 800-950-6722 (NSBA) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
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

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