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.
PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 22: Corbett, Wolf prep for first debate in gov's race; 7:30 pm tonight on PCN
Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now
reach more than 3500 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, business 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, Twitter and LinkedIn
Corbett, Wolf prep for first
debate in gov's race; 7:30 pm tonight on PCN
Corbett, Wolf prep for first
debate in gov's race
Online by Associated Press | Posted: Monday, September 22, 2014 3:01
(AP) — Pennsylvania's
gubernatorial candidates' first debate is only hours away. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic
challenger are to square off Monday evening at a Pennsylvania Chamber of
Commerce and Industry dinner in Hershey.
For months, independent polls have consistently shown Wolf, a wealthy York businessman, with a
wide lead over Corbett, formerly the state's two-term attorney general. Monday's forum is the first of three events
agreed to by the candidates. The others will be on Oct. 1 in Philadelphia
and Oct. 8 in Pittsburgh.
DEF. Fungible [fuhn-juh-buh-l] being of such a nature or
kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for
another of like nature or kind ("Money is fungible – money that is raised
for one purpose can easily be used for another.")
What does the debate over Gov. Tom Corbett's education funding
record tell us? It teaches us the difference between a reason and
an excuse – something my father drilled into my thick head when I was eight.
The polls agree. Education is a top issue for Pennsylvania voters in
this year's race for governor. And it should be. Nobody doubts the importance of education to
our children and the future of pour Commonwealth. It is the foundation for
getting a good job, being productive in society and leading a more fulfilling
life. A good education is also a
birthright of every Pennsylvania
child, guaranteed to them in the state Constitution.
Tomalis spent time in NYC
advising private equity investors
By Mary Niederberger and Bill Schackner Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 21, 2014 12:00 AM
During nearly 15 months that Ron Tomalis spent as Gov. Tom
Corbett’s special adviser for higher education, officials at some of the
state’s key institutions say they never shared a moment of his time. Not so for a group of private equity investors
in New York City. Swipe card records released by the state
Department of Education show Mr. Tomalis entered his agency parking spot in Harrisburg at 4:49 a.m.
Jan. 16, prior to a trip by train that the department later described as state
business. His destination in midtown Manhattan
was the New York Athletic Club, where he and other experts leading an hour-long
panel gave those investors insight into issues they will face trying to sell
classroom technology. It’s not unusual
for state officials to accept speaking invitations. And it seems clear why
those looking to profit by selling products to schools would want to hear from
Mr. Tomalis, who before being named the governor’s adviser served as Pennsylvania’s secretary
of education. Less obvious is what the
state Department of Education believed taxpayers stood to gain by having a
Cabinet-level adviser at an investor conference, whose chairman is a past
business associate of Mr. Tomalis, according to federal regulatory records.
Education and Debt
Reduction on House Agenda This Week
The House returns to session on Monday, Sept. 15. Live web
streams of House session and the majority of committee meetings are available
Important information and events may also be viewed by visiting Facebook.com/PAHouseGOP. It’s debt reduction and education week in
the Pennsylvania State House next week.
(AP) — Democrat Tom Wolf headed into the final seven weeks of Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race with a
more than $1.5 million cash advantage over Republican incumbent Tom Corbett,
according to figures the campaigns disclosed Sunday to The Associated Press. The figures were disclosed a day before Wolf
and Corbett appear together at the first of three planned debates. The results of the campaigns' fundraising and
spending mean that Corbett raised less than Wolf but spent more while failing
to crack a hefty lead in independent polls that Wolf has held since he won a
four-way Democratic Party primary election in May.
Fighting for inadequate: a
summer of false starts, bluffs and political theatre in Philly school funding
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN
MCCORRY SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 INTERACTIVE TIMELINE
Since last spring, district leaders have been sounding the
alarm about this year's fiscal plight, but even after months of handwringing
and headlines, schools have opened with less resources than last year. Here, we take a look back on a summer of
false starts, bluffs and political theatre.
Above, you can view a timeline of the summer's milestones –
with links to archived articles – and also listen to a piece that allows the major
players in the funding debate to tell the story in their own voices.
York Daily Record
editorial 09/19/2014 06:04:39 PM EDT
A banner celebrating York Suburban's national ranking is
unveiled at YorkSuburbanHigh School
Sept. 18. York Suburban was ranked 67th among high schools nationwide by
Newsweek. The banner was unveiled before the homecoming parade. (Kate Penn -
Daily Record/Sunday News)
Maybe Gary Kraybill is right.
The William Penn Senior High School alum and West Manchester Township
resident has been on a crusade for more than a year to get the York City School
District and the York Suburban School District to merge — or, actually,
reunite, as York Suburban was originally split off from the city district. His argument is essentially the Rusk Report
Concentrated poverty in York
city is detrimental to residents in many ways — but especially when it comes to
education. It's no secret that high-poverty schools struggle academically. So
it should be no surprise that York
schools perpetually post low standardized test scores — the lowest in the
county. And yet right next to York is a school district
that regularly posts outstanding educational results.
It might be just a few years since the Center Area and Monaca
school districts merged, but to Central Valley School District Superintendent
Nick Perry it feels much longer. “My
perspective is that five years has been 50 years. It seems like we’ve been Central Valley forever,” Perry said. “I don’t think it
could’ve gone any better than it did.” In
2009, history was made when Central Valley’s
first school year began with merged elementary grades (kindergarten through
fifth). The merger was completed a year later when grades 6 through 12 were
combined for 2010-11.
While there have been rumors and discussions about various
district mergers across the state in recent years, including current talks
between Moon Area and Cornell, Central Valley
was the state’s first voluntary merger. Looking
back on the five-year anniversary, those who were involved in the effort agreed
that the years of work and political wrangling were well worth the result.
“The biggest thing you have to remember
when you go down this path is it's not about technology. It's about how you
deliver instruction to your students,” said Lenny Schad, chief information
officer for the HoustonIndependentSchool
District and author of a book on one-to-one
Teachers' roles evolve as
districts rely more on computers
TribLive By Matthew
Santoni Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
When Upper St. Clair seventh-graders got
take-home iPads, Brad Wilson split his time between teaching students to use
the tablet computers and teaching teachers how to make their classes better. “The first few weeks were all about
supporting the rollout,” said Wilson, a former social studies teacher whom the
district appointed to oversee a program that eventually will assign a tablet to
every student. As more schools adopt
one-to-one programs that assign laptop or tablet computers to every student,
the roles of tech support staff and teachers are changing, blurring and
merging, experts say.
PittsburghCharterHigh School thrives in international competition
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette September 22, 2014 12:00 AM
As a high school student, Bryce Johnson of BrightonHeights
didn’t always see himself as able to help change the world. But as part of a CityCharterHigh School team that won
international recognition, he knows he has.
“We’re making a pretty large impact, and I love it,” Bryce said.
The team, which started an environmental business, came in
second among contestants representing 14 countries at the SAGE World Cup
competition in Moscow
last month, when six members presented. SAGE stands for Students for
Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship.
"The EPPSE project launched in 1997
and has followed 3,000 children from early childhood to the age of 16. The
research was carried out by leading academics from Oxford,
the Institute of Education,
and Birbeck, University
Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational
Psychology at Oxford University, one of the lead researchers, said: 'The EPPSE
study is unique because it provides valuable evidence in Europe
on the long term value of preschool, something no other research has done. The
results are clear: early education pays off, and high quality preschool
education gives children the very best start in life. High quality early
education has enduring benefits for the children who experience it and also the
society that invests in it.'"
'Better GSCE grades' for
children who had preschool education
of Oxford September 16,
A child is likely to do better in their GCSEs and ultimately
earn higher wages if they have received a preschool education, a new study
suggests. OxfordUniversity researchers who were
involved in the EffectivePre-School, Primary and
Secondary (EPPSE) project found that children who had had an early education at
nursery or preschool were more likely to get better GCSE results - the
equivalent of getting seven Bs compared to seven Cs. The research found an early education
particularly helped boost grades in GCSE English and maths. The effects were
even more marked if the preschool was of high quality and the value of a
preschool education was particularly important for children from less
advantaged backgrounds, say the researchers.
January 23rd–25th, 2015 at The ScienceLeadershipAcademy, Philadelphia
EduCon is both a conversation and a conference.
It is an innovation conference where we can come together, both
in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will
be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the
Save the date: Bob Herbert
book event! Pittsburgh
September 17, 2014
Save the date – you don’t want to miss this! We are hosting the
national launch of Bob Herbert’s new book, Losing Our Way: An Intimate
Portrait of a Troubled America. You
might remember Mr. Herbert as the award winning and longtime columnist for
the New York Times. This book is especially exciting for us because
Bob came to Pittsburgh
several times to interview parents and teachers in our local grassroots
movement and wound up writing three chapters on our fight for public education!
Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014 Time: 5:30 – 6:30PM,
moderated discussion and Q&A.
Doors will open at 5 with student performances.
Followed by book signing.
Location: McConomy Auditorium, CarnegieMellonUniversity,
5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh15213. Free parking in the garage.
Hosted by: Yinzercation (we are
profiled in the book!)
Moderator: Tony Norman, columnist and
associate editor,Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PUBLIC Education Nation October
11 The Network for Public Education will hold a historic event in one
PUBLIC Education Nation will deliver the
conversation the country has been waiting for. Rather than featuring
billionaires and pop singers, this event will be built around intense
conversations featuring leading educators, parents, students and community
activists. We have waited too long for that seat at someone else's table.
This time, the tables are turned, and we are the ones setting the agenda. This event will be livestreamed on the web on
the afternoon of Saturday, October 11, from the auditorium of Brooklyn New
School, a public school. There will be four panels focusing on the most
critical issues we face in our schools. The event will conclude with a
conversation between Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown.
Where: Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh in Green Tree, PA
"Forecasting the Fiscal Future of Pennsylvania's Public
A panel of legislators and public
officials will respond to a presentation by Penn State Professor William
Hartman and Tim Shrom projecting the fiscal trajectory of Pennsylvania’s 500
school districts over the next five years and by University of Pittsburgh
Professor Maureen McClure discussing the implications for school finance of an
aging tax base.
Session II: "Why Smart
Investments in Public Schools Are Critical to Pennsylvania's Economic
Following an address by Eva Tansky
Blum, Chairwoman and President of the PNC Foundation, a panel of business
and labor leaders will discuss the importance of public school funding
reform to the competitiveness of regional and state economies.
Pennsylvania Arts Education Network 2014 Arts and Education
The 2014 Arts and Education Symposium will be
held on Thursday, October 2 at the State Museum
of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, PA. Join us for a daylong convening of
arts education policy leaders and practitioners for lively discussions about
the latest news from the field.
The Symposium registration fee is $45 per person.
To register, click
here or follow the prompts at the bottom of the page. The Symposium will include the following:
Register Now – 2014 PAESSP
State Conference – October 19-21, 2014
Please join us for the 2014 PAESSP State Conference, “PRINCIPAL
EFFECTIVENESS: Leading Schools in a New Age of Accountability,” to be
held October 19-21 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel, Pittsburgh,
Pa. Featuring Keynote Speakers: Alan
November, Michael Fullan & Dr. Ray Jorgensen. This year’s conference will provided PIL
Act 45 hours, numerous workshops, exhibits, multiple resources and an
opportunity to network with fellow principals from across the state.
PASA-PSBA School Leadership
Conference (Oct. 21-24) registration forms now available online PSBA Website
Make plans today to attend the most talked about education
conference of the year. This year's PASA-PSBA
School Leadership Conference promises to be one of the best with new
ideas, innovations, networking opportunities and dynamic speakers. More details
are being added every day. Online registration will be available in the
next few weeks. If you just can't wait, registration
forms are available online now. Other important links are available
with more details on:
Voting for PSBA officers
and at-large representatives opens Sept. 9
PSBA Website 9/8/2014
The slate of candidates for 2015 PSBA officer and at-large
representatives is available online. Photos, bios and
videos also have been posted for candidates. According to recent PSBA
Bylaws changes, each member school entity casts one vote per office. Voting
will again take place online through a secure, third-party website -- Simply
Voting. Voting will open Sept. 9 and closes Oct. 6. One person from the school
entity (usually the board secretary) is authorized to register the vote on
behalf of the member school entity and each board will need to put on its
agenda discussion and voting at one of its meetings in September. Each person
authorized to cast the school entity's votes received an email on Aug. 13 and a
test ballot was sent to them on Aug. 28. In addition, a memo from PSBA
President Richard Frerichs will be mailed in the coming days to all board
secretaries and copied to school board presidents and chief school