Saturday, November 1, 2014

PA Ed Policy Roundup for November 1, 2014: Wolf, Corbett sprint to finish of governor's race

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PA Ed Policy Roundup for November 1, 2014:
Wolf, Corbett sprint to finish of governor's race


2014: Pledge to be an Education Voter
Education Voters Action Fund of PA
Pledge Right Now to Vote on November 4
On Tuesday, November 4th,  voters will finally be able to go to the polls to replace politicians who do not support our children or their public schools. On November 4th education voters can elect candidates who will stand up and fight to get public education in Pennsylvania back on track.

Test scores show Pa. teachers how much students grew
Date for release of data on public website not determined
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 1, 2014 12:00 AM
By Friday morning, teachers throughout Pennsylvania had access to state scores showing how much their students grew academically in their own classroom.
This is the first time the state’s teachers have had a look at teacher-specific data for the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System, known as PVAAS, which measures how much students grew in a year in a classroom, not just whether they met proficiency standards.
The state Department of Education sent those scores even though it still has been unable to publicly release any statewide, district or school scores for PVAAS or even for the state tests for 2013-14 that were used to build the data.

Wolf, Corbett sprint to finish of governor's race
Penn Live By Marc Levy | The Associated Press  on October 31, 2014 at 4:33 PM,
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's gubernatorial candidates sprinted toward the finish line Friday, going town to town and rally to rally making their final pitches and encouraging their supporters to cast ballots and get everyone they know to join them.  Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett are also mounting a new wave of attacks on each other. To try to capitalize on President Barack Obama's sagging popularity in Pennsylvania, Corbett has begun airing radio and TV ads telling voters that Wolf will try to further Obama's agenda.
"Tom Wolf may just be Barack Obama's biggest fan. Like Obama, Wolf's a liberal. Like Obama, Wolf has never met a tax increase he didn't like," says the Corbett campaign's newest ad.
The ad touches on an Oct. 15 rally with Wolf and first lady Michelle Obama as well as this Sunday's rally with Obama and Wolf at Temple University.  Meanwhile, Wolf is hitting back with perhaps his sharpest TV ad yet, calling Corbett "desperate and dishonest" and the author of a $1 billion cut in education funding and a 28-cent tax increase on gas.

Republican poll, same results
Post Gazette Early Returns Blog Published by Mike Pound on Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:49 am.
There is more bad news for Camp Corbett, and this time it's coming from a Republican polling firm.  Harper Polling took its first look at the race between The Battling Toms since early September, and it found that the race hasn't changed all that much. Fifty percent of its respondents, all likely voters, said they would back Tom Wolf, Mr. Corbett's Democratic challenger, while 40 percent would back the Republican incumbent. That 10-point spread is just a 1-point improvement over the September Harper poll.

Corbett cuts Wolf's lead to 12 points: Muhlenberg College/Morning Call Poll
Morning Call By Steve Esack,Call Harrisburg Bureau October 31, 2014
HARRISBURG — Incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett has sliced into Democrat Tom Wolf's lead with the help of his own party and growing fear over Wolf's plan to change the state income tax system, according to a new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call Poll.  The poll, released Friday, shows Wolf up 12 percentage points over Corbett when the opinions of undecided leaning voters are included in the mix. Wolf garnered 51 percent of the vote with leaners and Corbett 39 percent of the vote with leaners, the poll found.  That's a swing of 9 percentage points over last month's election poll results when Wolf got 54 percent of the vote and Corbett 33 percent.
"We are seeing better Republican numbers and we are seeing traction on tax issues," said Muhlenberg College pollster and political science professor Chris Borick.

Corbett cuts lead but is still down 12 points to Wolf in latest poll
Penn Live By Christian Alexandersen | calexandersen@pennlive.com  on October 31, 2014 at 2:04 PM, updated October 31, 2014 at 2:17 PM
Gov. Tom Corbett has picked up momentum leading up to the Nov. 4 election, shrinking the gap between himself and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, according to yet another poll.
A new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll of registered, likely voters showed Wolf with a 12-point lead over Corbett, when the opinions of undecided leaning voters are included. While Wolf still has a significant lead, it has shrunk considerably from the 21-point lead he had over Corbett a month ago in the previous poll.

LNP Editorial Board: Fire Corbett, hire Wolf
Lancaster Online Friday, October 31, 2014 11:15 am | Updated: 4:49 pm, Fri Oct 31, 2014.
THE ISSUE: Pennsylvanians will go to the polls Tuesday to vote for governor. The choice is between two very different Toms — Corbett or Wolf.
If in governing Tom Corbett had exhibited the energy he's shown on the campaign trail, his electoral prospects might look different today.  In his nearly two-hour meeting with the LNP Editorial Board, the governor seemed to revel in the challenges he's faced.  “Making tough decisions is not always popular, but that's what you have to do to get things done," he declared.
Alas, that's the crux of the matter: Corbett hasn’t accomplished nearly as much as you would have thought, especially given that Republicans control both the House and Senate chambers in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania court rules against Post-Gazette's request for email retention
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 31, 2014 12:39 PM
Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini has denied the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's request for an injunction to stop state agencies from permanently deleting emails after five days and request that emails be archived for two years.  In his ruling, issued this morning, Judge Pellegrini found that section 507 of the Right To Know Law indicates that the law is not intended to supersede, modify or rescind any record-retention policy.  Because of that, the Governor's Office of Administration and the Department of Education can continue their internal record-retention policies, which call for allowing each employee the discretion to determine if an email is "transitory" -- meaning it has no use as a public record -- and permitted to be deleted.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 2012-2013 Federal Required Reporting Measures

Temple University Center on Regional Politics Bulletin Fall 2014
This .pdf bulletin includes coverage of the October 3rd symposium on the Future of Funding PA Public Schools, Why Business Involvement is Critical, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics and the Temple University Center on Regional Politics.

"David Meckley, the district's recovery officer, has said employee contracts reflecting the recovery plan were necessary to make internal reform work financially. Without them, the district began considering bringing in charter operators to run schools.  But in October, the school board rejected the idea of bringing in an operator to run a few schools starting next year — proposed by Meckley as an alternative to having an operator run all schools. Teachers have led other community members in fighting the possibility of charters.  Meckley said recently that nothing else can really be determined until the fact-finder's report is settled."
York City board, teachers to vote on fact-finder's report
School board, teachers are set to consider contract recommendations
York Daily Record By Angie Mason amason@ydr.com  10/31/2014 01:18:17 PM EDT
The York City School Board and the city teachers' union are both set to consider a fact-finder's report on contract negotiations next week.  The school district's financial recovery plan called for hefty salary and benefit concessions from employees, including teachers, but negotiations, ongoing for more than a year, haven't produced a new contract.  The teachers' union requested the fact-finder, an independent party appointed by the state labor board to look at both sides and make recommendations.  The fact-finder issued a report last week, on Monday, and the law gives both parties 10 days to vote on it.

Philadelphia City Council Hearings on High-stakes Testing and the Opt-Out Movement, Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3—5 PM
Education Committee of Philadelphia City Council
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3—5 PM, Room 400 City Hall
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, Councilman Mark Squilla and The Opt-Out Committee of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools urge all who care about the future of education to attend:  Parents, students and educators will testify on the effects of over-testing on students and teaching, including the crisis of the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement.
Information:  Alison McDowell or Lisa Haver at:  philaapps@gmail.com

DelCo Rising: Winning for Education Nov18 7:00PM - 9:00PM
601 N. LANSDOWNE AVENUEDREXEL HILL, PA 19026
Delaware County students and taxpayers have sacrificed enough. The state is not paying its fair share.  Rising property taxes and school budget cuts are not acceptable–help us change that.
Join your neighbors for a community workshop: Delco Rising:  Winning for Education
·         Learn about Pre-K for PA and the Statewide Campaign for Fair Education Funding and how they can  help your community
·         Practice winning strategies to advocate for your community
·         Create an advocacy plan that works for you—whether you have 5 minutes or 5 days per month
This non-partisan event is free and open to the public.
Click here to download a PDF flyer to share.


New website offers closer look into candidate' views on public education
PSBA NEWS RELEASE 10/6/2014
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) has created a new website for its members and the general public to get a closer look into candidates' views on public education leading up to the 2014 election for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  Following the primary elections, PSBA sent out a six-question questionnaire to all Pennsylvania House and Senate candidates competing for seats in the November election.  Candidates are listed by House, Senate seat and county. Districts can be found by visiting the 'Find My Legislator' link (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/).
Features include:
·         Candidate images, if provided
·         Candidates are tagged by political party and seat for which they are running
·         Candidates who did not respond are indicated by "Responses not available."
Visit the site by going to http://psbacandidateforum.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the link tweeted out by @PSBAadvocate.
Candidates wishing to complete the questionnaire before election day may do so by contacting Sean Crampsie (717-506-2450, x-3321).

Children with Autism - Who’s Eligible? How to get ABA services?
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 1:00 – 4:00 P.M.
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
United Way Building 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 19103
Join us on November 19th, 2014 to discuss eligibility services for children with Autism. This session will teach parents, teachers, social workers and attorneys how to obtain Applied Behavioral Analysis services for children on the autism spectrum. Presenters include Sonja Kerr (Law Center), Rachel Mann (Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania), Dr. Lisa Blaskey (The Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania), and David Gates (PA Health Law Project).
Registration: bit.ly/1sOY6jX

Register Now – 2014 PASCD Annual Conference – November 23 – 25, 2014
Please join us for the 2014 PASCD Annual Conference, “Leading an Innovative Culture for Learning – Powered by Blendedschools Network” to be held November 23-25 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, PA.  Featuring Keynote Speakers: David Burgess -  - Author of "Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator", Dr. Bart Rocco, Bill Sterrett - ASCD author, "Short on Time: How do I Make Time to Lead and Learn as a Principal?" and Ron Cowell. 
This annual conference features small group sessions (focused on curriculum, instructional, assessment, blended learning and middle level education) is a great opportunity to stay connected to the latest approaches for cultural change in your school or district.  Join us for PASCD 2014!  Online registration is available by visiting www.pascd.org

January 23rd–25th, 2015 at The Science Leadership Academy, 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 big dreams.

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