Tuesday, November 4, 2014
PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov 4: Vote today! Pennsylvania voters have told pollsters and candidates for months that education issues, especially education funding issues, are the most important issues in the 2014 election.
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, Superintendents, 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
These daily emails are archived and searchable 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?
The Keystone State Education Coalition is an endorsing member of The Campaign for Fair Education Funding
Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for November 4, 2014:
Vote today! Pennsylvania voters have told pollsters and candidates for months that education issues, especially education funding issues, are the most important issues in the 2014 election.
BE HEARD! - VOTE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4!
EPLC Education Notebook Monday, November 3, 2014
Education Policy and
Now voters have a chance to express themselves where it really counts --- at the polls on Tuesday, November 4. The polls are open in
from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. On the
ballot are candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, State House and (in
some places) State Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania
If unsure where your polling place is located, go to votespa.com
Please also take a minute to share this reminder with your friends and networks.
Delco Times Editorial: Today, show the politicians who’s the boss
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 11/03/14, 10:45 PM EST |
The conventional wisdom is that people stay away from the polls in droves during the off-year elections. Every four years, we all stand in line to cast our ballot for president. And two years after that, poll workers turn into the Maytag Repairman - the loneliest folks in town.
Today it is very likely that a little more than a quarter of eligible voters in Pennsylvania will exercise their franchise as the Keystone State elects a governor, members of Congress, half of the state Senate, and the entire state House.
THE ISSUE: Today is Election Day. Pennsylvanians will elect a governor named Tom and fill all 203 seats in the state House of Representatives and 25 of the 50 seats in the state Senate. And voters across the nation will elect all 435 members of the U.S. House and a third of the U.S. Senate. We know, we know. You’re busy. But surely you can make time to get to the polls today. They’re open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you’re thinking about not voting, check out the following six reasons to reconsider.
Many made sacrifices so you can vote today: PennLive editorial
By PennLive Editorial Board on November 04, 2014 at 5:45 AM
Today is Election Day, and if the depressing predictions are accurate, only about 4 of every 10 American citizens 18 and older will turn out to vote. In
there's no good excuse for staying home. At the top of the ticket, in the race
for governor, every Pennsylvania
voter has a clear choice between very different visions of the state's future. Gov. Tom Corbett and challenger Tom Wolf
share a first name, but that's about where their similarities end. (For more about them, see the two men's
answers to PennLive's questions — here
for Tom Corbett and here
for Tom Wolf.) Not voting would show
a callous indifference to the monumental struggles and historic sacrifices
required to bring every law-abiding adult citizen of our nation the right to
You have a real choice - exercise it
WHYY Newsworks DAVE DAVIES OFF MIC A BLOG BY DAVE DAVIES NOVEMBER 4, 2014
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Tom Wolf and Tom Corbett have placed more than 20,000 TV ads apiece in the
Pennsylvania governor's race. And while Corbett calls Wolf's charge that he
cut $1 billion from education spending "a lie," and Factcheck.org
says Corbett's ads about Wolf's tax plans are "dishonest," I think
all the sludge hurled in this less-than-uplifting contest has left
impressions of the candidates that capture something real. In Corbett, you'll get a guy who values low
taxes more than government service, who chose in his first year to continue
with a widely supported business tax cut rather than try to maintain education
spending at an elevated level. In Wolf,
you'll get a guy who's ready to tax gas drillers and wants to boost spending on
education and other programs. And while he doesn't say he'll raise taxes (apart
form the drilling tax) to get that done, it's fair to say he's more likely to
raise taxes if valued services require it than Corbett is.
Tuesday is election day: What you need to know to cast your vote
Penn Live By Teresa Bonner | firstname.lastname@example.org on November 02, 2014 at 6:00 AM, updated November 02, 2014 at 7:54 AM
Here's a quick primer on what you need to know to cast your vote:
When can I vote?
The polls are open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m. If you're in line at 8 p.m., stay put. You'll be allowed to cast your vote.
Where do I vote?
In the precinct assigned to you. Check your voter registration card, or just use the state website to find the location. That also will tell you which state House, state Senate and congressional district you live in.
Do I have to show ID?
No — unless you are voting at your polling place for the first time. In that event, you'll need to show a photo ID, whether it be driver's licenses or PennDOT ID card, your passport, or Armed Forces, student or employer ID. If you've voted in the precinct in the past, you don't need to show ID, but simply sign your name.
Wolf, Corbett cross state in final-day campaigning
LITITZ, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett headed across Pennsylvania on Monday greeting supporters in their final day of campaigning before voters decide who will govern the state for the next four years.
Wolf, a first-time candidate who ran his family business for nearly three decades, is trying to make Corbett the first governor in modern
history to lose a re-election campaign. Corbett, a conservative former state
and federal prosecutor, is seeking four more years as governor after being
plagued with low approval ratings throughout his first term.
In particular, Corbett has struggled to defend budget-balancing cuts in aid to public schools in 2011 at the same time he cut business taxes and opposed calls for higher taxes on the thriving natural gas industry. Democrats’ dislike of Corbett has largely driven Wolf’s campaign, although the governor also had to cope with GOP apathy in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans.
“The polls are looking pretty good, but the polls don't matter,” said Mr. Wolf as he urged those in the crowd to make sure they show up at the polls Tuesday."
Corbett, Wolf make their final pitches to voters
By James O'Toole /
Post-Gazette November 4, 2014 12:13 AM
Tom Corbett was welcomed by old friends and Tom Wolf cheered by some newer ones in
on Monday as they scrounged for every last vote, hours before the polls were to
open in a gubernatorial election that, one way or another, would make history. “Boy, is it good to be home,” Mr. Corbett
said as he arrived at the Embassy Suites hotel in Moon 13 hours after embarking
on a flying tour that began in Allentown and took the governor to seven cities
across the state. He greeted Republican
stalwarts just a few hours after his Democratic challenger had appeared at a
rally a few miles away in the , Downtown. Steelworkers
The rival candidates have many differences, but there was considerable overlap in their messages as both urged supporters to ignore a poll showing Mr. Wolf with a seemingly comfortable lead and be sure to turn out for the balloting that would begin in a few hours.
Forecast: Wolf looks good,
Senate poised for change U.S.
Post Gazette Early Returns Blog by Mike Pound on Monday, 03 November 2014 10:42 am.
Before we get to Tuesday's main event – and even before we get to today's preliminary activities, which include
Pittsburgh appearances by both Battling Toms
– let's take one last look at some polling numbers and the last-minute
projections by Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog.
Two polls updated their numbers at the end of last week – and those figures look much like they have for the last several weeks. Democratic nominee Tom Wolf holds leads in both, although one set of numbers – those from Magellan Strategies – shows a much tighter race.
"For me, that was because every political figure that spoke tonight, from Mayor Michael Nutter to Obama, played to
weaknesses. The most glaring of those? Education. One of Obama’s hallmark
arguments for Wolf was that he’s pledged to not do what he says Gov. Corbett
did do — cut education funding. “He
won’t be slashing budgets for schools or laying off thousands of teachers,”
Obama said. “We should invest in our kids and in early childhood education.” Philadelphia
: Education motivation for millennials
in the crowd Temple
BillyPenn.com By Anna Orso November 3, 2014
One of the most thunderous roars of the night came at a time I should have expected from a college campus — when President Obama said the price tag on higher education is too high.
It showed exactly who had turned out to the president’s event in Philadelphia tonight as he stumped for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf: Young people — college students, a big component of the many millennials moving to Philly.
Yeah, there was a hearty union presence there, and of course many African American voters voiced their desire to get current Gov. Tom Corbett out of office. But it was the young people who made the most noise — but it remains to be seen whether that noise will continue Tuesday.
First task for next
fix a fiscal mess Pennsylvania
Never mind campaign promises. Corbett or Wolf face daunting budget challenges
By James P. O'Toole /
Post-Gazette November 2, 2014 12:00 AM
Overriding the promises and debates of the waning campaign, the next administration in
will confront financial realities certain to constrain prospects for liberal
policy initiatives or conservative hopes for tax cuts. “It’s going to be a tough year no matter who
gets elected,” said Sharon Ward, executive director of the liberal-leaning
Pennsylvania Budget and . “Fiscal stability is the first thing we’re
going to have to address,” said state Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, leader of
the Senate Democratic caucus. “We’ve experienced five rating agency downgrades.
Regardless of who is going to be governor .... that’s a major issue that has to
be resolved quickly.” Rep. Mike Turzai,
R-Marshall, who is poised to be elected the speaker of the House in the next
session, agrees that the state faces a budget challenge next year, although he
would offer a different prescription for how to solve it. Policy
"When Corbett was elected in 2010, education was not nearly the issue it is today. Just 4 percent of voters cited it as their most important concern at the time, according to
& polls. Now, 1 in 4 voters say
it’s their top issue, making it the most cited concern, by far." Marshall College
Voters blame Corbett for school cuts
By John Finnerty The Sunbury Daily Item
Harrisburg Bureau November 2, 2014 12:14 am
Angst over education contributes heavily toward Corbett’s perilous position going into Tuesday’s election, according to analysts. New polls show Corbett trailing his Democratic challenger Tom Wolf by 10 and 13 points, suggesting that the governor will be the state’s first incumbent to lose re-election since before the Civil War.
Yinzercation: Top 10 Education Reasons to Vote Corbett Out
Yinzercation Blog November 3, 2014
Tomorrow is the day! We have the chance to make history and vote Gov. Corbett out of office. After four long years of hurting our children, Corbett’s time could be up – if enough people show up at the polls. With the race tightening between Tom Wolf and Tom Corbett, we not only need to cast our own votes on Tuesday, we need to make sure everyone we know heads to the polls, too. Here is a list you can share with your friends of the top 10 education reasons Gov. Corbett needs to go:
Senate Races to Watch on Election Night Five State
PoliticsPA Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor October 29th, 2014
While many have been paying attention to the gubernatorial election and the various congressional races, the story of Election Night may well be the State Senate.
Currently, the Republican Party holds a 27 to 23 majority in the legislature’s upper chamber. Democrats need to pick up a net of two seats if Tom Wolf wins the Governor’s race (and Mike Stack doesn’t cause a constitutional crisis) and three seats if Gov. Corbett wins re-election.
We’ve narrowed down the five Senate races that are most likely to switch party control on Nov. 4th. The good news for Democrats, a path exists to take control of the Senate. The good news for Republicans, the Dems would have to win a clean sweep of these five races and the Gov contest.
Each district has been ranked by the likelihood it will switch parties, starting with the least likely.
PoliticsPA: The State House Races to Watch on Election Night
PoliticsPA Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor October 29th, 2014
With so much attention being paid to the Gubernatorial and State Senate contests it can be easy to miss the competitive State House races. At the moment, Republicans hold a 111 to 92 vote majority and it is extremely unlikely the Democrats will be able to pick up the ten seats necessary to takeover the lower chamber. The redistricting process had a much larger impact on the House than the Senate, though, so we may still see some turn over. As a result, Democrats are planning on a major push in 2016 but only if they have success this year.
We’ve narrowed the landscape down to the top fifteen races.
Each district has been ranked by the likelihood it will switch parties, starting with the least likely.
"Some suspect the 2013-14 report card for some
schools will show failing scores and that is why their release has been
delayed. A state Department of Education spokesman, however, said the delay is
to ensure all the information in the report cards - or School Performance
Profiles, as they are called - is accurate." Pennsylvania
Pa. Department of Education marked tardy on issuing 2013-14 school report cards
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | email@example.com on November 03, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Many midstate school districts soon will be issuing student report cards for the first marking period for the 2014-15 school year while the public still awaits the state Department of Education's release of schools' report cards for the last school year.
Department spokesman Tim Eller said he now expects that Report Card Day to come in mid-November once districts, charter schools and vo-techs confirm the accuracy of another element of the student achievement information included in this accountability tool.
But that quest for accuracy excuse is growing thin with some officials who think that a decline in scores and a desire to hide the impact of education funding cuts three years ago might be the real culprit here. The release of the so-called School Performance Profiles, which provide details on a school's performance and includes an overall academic score for each school building, was initially expected to be released in September.
Chuck Ballard: New ideas needed to end teacher pension crisis
Morning Call Opinion by Chuck Ballard November 3, 2014
Chuck Ballard is a member of the
Board and an officer of the Boards
Association. This article represents his personal opinion and not the position
of either group. Pennsylvania
There is no silver-bullet easy, cheap and quick plan to get out of the teacher pension mess we are in. The can of worms has been kicked down the road several times and has grown into a bigger can of pension problems. Complicating the problem are multiple affected groups with conflicting agendas: taxpayers, employees, retirees, retirement systems, employers and legislators. Nobody likes taxes. Taxpayers repeatedly tell their legislators this. They don't care where the taxes are going; they want them cut; please tax that other guy. Employees want a secure retirement option. To them, secure means more than simply safe and known, and it often includes ample or good. Retirees don't want their pension payments to stop. Some believe they were promised that the pension would remain adequate for their lifetimes. The retirement systems want enough money from employee and employer contributions and investment earnings to cover pension payments. Employers want their pension contributions to be predictable, stable and as low as possible. Legislators don't want to lose their state-paid jobs. Raising taxes angers taxpayers. Fiddling with pensions angers employees and retirees, who are large blocs of voters. We must involve all of these groups in the solution. Any solution that is not equally painful will fall apart quickly. There must be elements to address short-term and long-term stabilization of the system.
I’VE BEEN THROUGH SURGERY, NO I CAN DO IT MYSELF
I am entranced with certain people who say, I went to school, I can tell them how to improve education. Just get rid of the rotten teachers, fire all of those extra administrators, just teach the kids how to read and do math. Get rid of all those frills like sports and other extracurricular activities, and who needs all of those furrin’ languages. By the way, those teachers only teach a few hours a day and they get all of their summers off. Why are they being paid all of that money? Billions and billions of dollars of our money is being spent and they can’t turn out kids who can make change at McDonalds.
De Blasio Unveils New Plans for Troubled Schools in
New York Times By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS NOV. 3, 2014
In the packed auditorium of an East Harlem high school, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new approach to fixing
New York City’s
most troubled public schools on Monday, offering them more money and staffing,
extending the length of their day, and arranging for social services to be
delivered to students and families on site.
He described the new strategies, in a speech to a standing-room crowd of
advocates and educators, as a sharp departure from his predecessor’s approach,
which centered on closing large, failing schools and replacing them with
“The previous administration had a policy that a school like this was left to fend for itself, and that’s why we’re here today, because we reject the notion of giving up on any of our schools,” Mr. de Blasio said at the Coalition School for Social Change.
“We’re not giving up on them — in fact giving them what they need to succeed.”
"The 94 targeted schools are on the list because of low academic performance over the last three years. Each will become a "community school" that will focus on meeting the needs of the "whole child," including the social and emotional needs of students. That will include providing services such as mental health counseling, dental services, eye care and other nonacademic supports for students, de Blasio said. Community schools, he said, had ways to identify students' needs and address them early, when they can have substantial impact on students. Students in the targeted schools will receive an extra hour of instruction each school day, along with additional afterschool and high-quality, academically-focused summer programs. The schools will benefit from an infusion of guidance counselors, social workers and academic intervention specialists, according to the city. The PTAs at those schools will also be strengthened, and opportunities for parent engagement will be ramped up. He stressed accountability for teachers, principals and schools. "
New York City Mayor Unveils Plans to Fix Failing Schools
Education Week By Denisa R. Superville on November 3, 2014 4:11 PM
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday pledged $150 million—along with intensive supports for teachers, principals and students—for 94 of the city's lowest-performing schools as part of his administration's long-awaited plan to transform such schools.
The mayor made the announcement at the Coalition School for Social Change in East Harlem—one of the schools that meets the criteria for such an overhaul—during an impassioned speech that was heavily critical of previous administrations' approaches to struggling schools, and that accused his predecessors of engaging in outright neglect at times.
And although he promised reinvestment in troubled schools, de Blasio did not rule out shutting down chronic underperformers—a signature policy of his predecessor, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg—if the schools did not improve with the additional supports.
"Let Freedom Ring's president, Colin Hanna, is also the chairman of Key Questions. JC Callahan, another Let Freedom Ring staffer, is Key Questions' treasurer. Both groups are run out of the same office in Hanna's home in West Chester, Pa. The ads funded by Let Freedom Ring's $200,000 donation started airing earlier this month in the
Harrisburg, Philadelphia and
Secret Donors Behind Some Super PACs Funneling Millions into Midterms
Super PACs are required to identify their contributors, but some of them are funded entirely or mostly by social welfare nonprofits that don’t have to do so. That leaves voters in the dark about where money is really coming from.
by Theodoric Meyer ProPublica, Oct. 31, 2014, 2:31 p.m.
In the final weeks before this year's elections, a super PAC called Key Questions, Key Answers started buying TV ads across
Tom Wolf, the Democratic candidate for governor. "Don't vote for a wolf in sheep's
narrator says in one of the ads as a sheep with Wolf's face bleats the
word "taxes." Like all super
PACs — outside groups allowed to take unlimited amounts of money from
individuals, corporations and unions — Key Questions must disclose its donors. But last week, Key Questions told
the Federal Election Commission it had just one, a social welfare
nonprofit called Let Freedom Ring. Since social welfare nonprofits — sometimes
called dark money groups — aren't required to identify their donors, it's
impossible to say who's really behind Key Questions' last-minute ad blitz.
"According to a new report from the nonprofit School Leaders Network, half of new principals quit in their third year on the job."
The high cost of principal turnover
Marketplace.org by Amy Scott Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 05:00
Heather Wolpert-Gawron has been teaching for eleven years at
Jefferson Middle School
in During that time, she says, the
school has had about ten principals. San Gabriel, Calif.
“We had many years where the morale was low,” she says. “We just kind of felt abandoned.”
Some of those principals left on their own. Some were removed. According to a new report from the nonprofit School Leaders Network, half of new principals quit in their third year on the job.
The group, which provides training and support to principals, says the job has become too complex and isolating. Principals put in long hours overseeing teachers, meeting with parents and implementing one reform after another.
More than 6,000 charter schools now operate in the
Hechinger Report POSTED BY Jill Barshay November 3, 2014
The number of charter schools surpassed 6,000 at the start of the 2012-13 school year, as these schools — publicly financed, but privately run — steadily increased by 7 percent throughout the
United States that year. This
annual growth contributed to a 47 percent increase in the number of charter
schools over the seven years since 2006-2007.
The charter school data came as part of a “first
look” report of annual data collected by states and school districts
for the federal government, and released by the
for Education Statistics on Thursday, October 30, 2014. The full
2012-13 Common Core of
Data report, as it is called, is expected to be released later this
year. Still, at 6,079 schools in total,
charters represented only 6 percent of the National Center U.S. public school system of 98,454
elementary, middle and high schools.
Philadelphia City Council Hearings on High-stakes Testing and the Opt-Out Movement, Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3—5 PM
Education Committee of
City Council Philadelphia
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 3—5 PM, Room 400 City Hall
Information: Alison McDowell or Lisa Haver at: firstname.lastname@example.org
DelCo Rising: Winning for Education Nov18 7:00PM - 9:00PM
601 N. LANSDOWNE AVENUEDREXEL HILL, PA 19026
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.
Webinar: Arts Education - Research Shows Arts Education Boosts Learning, So Where's the Rush to Teach Arts?
Education Writers Association NOVEMBER 12, 2014 - 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Decades of research suggest that some types of arts education can lead to academic improvements. But even though No Child Left Behind designated arts a core subject, student access to dance, theater and visual arts declined between 2000 and 2010. What are the challenges educators face in teaching a discipline many researchers say spurs student achievement, reduces absences and boosts graduation rates? This webinar will look at state-level arts education policy and student access to arts programs, the arts education research landscape, and offer a spotlight on city programs that are galvanizing arts education.
· James Catterall, Centers for Research on Creativity, Professor Emeritus, UCLA
· Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership
· Mary Plummer,
California Public Radio
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/).
· 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).
- See more at: http://www.psba.org/news-publications/headlines/details.asp?id=8650#sthash.1vGGRff4.dpuf
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).
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
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.