Tuesday, January 13, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 13: York City SD Update and Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3….

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PA Ed Policy Roundup for January 13, 2015:
York City SD Update and Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3….

Program on PA school funding; Chambersburg Jan 15th 6:30 pm

Education, spending roles finally being cast
WITF Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 12, 2015 5:43 PM
The pieces are starting to fall into place for one of the hottest parts of state government for the incoming administration.  The state House and Senate GOP leaders have named the chairs of their education committees. Lawmakers expect the panels to see a lot of action in the coming legislative session, since Governor-elect Tom Wolf has underlined education funding as his top priority upon entering office.  In the House, the education chairman is Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York), who said he hopes to work on a new funding formula for schools.  "Nobody understands the current funding formula," said Saylor. "That's part of the problem."  The Basic Education Funding Commission is winding down its work of studying the state's method for divvying up education money. A report is due to the Legislature in June.  Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), picked to chair the Senate Education Committee, is already on the funding commission. He said he's encouraged by the work he's seen so far and eager to see it implemented with legislation.

Judge denies request to toss York City School District appeal
York Daily Record UPDATED:   01/12/2015 03:21:46 PM EST
York County Judge Stephen Linebaugh today issued an order denying the state education department's request to throw out the York City School District's appeal of his receivership decision.  Linebaugh also denied the state's request to lift an automatic stay of receivership, triggered by the appeal.  Previously, on Dec. 26, Linebaugh granted the state education department's request to name David Meckley as the school district's receiver, which would give him all of the school board's powers except taxing. The district and the employee unions, which were allowed to intervene, both filed appeal.
Read the documents

York City School Board remains in control as appeal goes to court
York Daily Record By Angie Masonamason@ydr.com @angiemason1 on Twitter  01/12/2015 10:18:15 PM EST
The York City School Board's president said she was pleased with a Monday court ruling that allows the school district to appeal the appointment of a receiver and keeps the board's powers intact for now.  "Until things are actually settled ... we move on. The board still will conduct meetings," Margie Orr said after a board meeting Monday evening, adding that unless she hears otherwise, the board is still in charge.  Control of the school district won't be turned over to David Meckley just yet, after York County Judge Stephen Linebaugh ruled that the district can move forward with its appeal of the December court decision to name Meckley receiver. Linebaugh denied motions from the state and Meckley that asked for the appeal to be tossed and an automatic stay lifted.

Judge: York City School District can appeal state takeover
York Dispatch by ERIN JAMES 505-5439 @ydcity POSTED:   01/12/2015 03:06:27 PM EST
A York County judge has rejected the state Department of Education's attempt to thwart the York City School District's appeal of a court-ordered state takeover.  In documents filed Monday, President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh ordered the school district is entitled to appeal "as the aggrieved party."  On Dec. 26, Linebaugh granted the state's petition to appoint a receiver for the city school district. As receiver, David Meckley would assume nearly all responsibilities and authorities of the district's school board.  The district's attorneys appealed that ruling to the Commonwealth Court.  In response, the state filed a motion asking Linebaugh to strike the district's appeal on the grounds that the school board lost the authority to appeal when Meckley was appointed.  Meckley has served as the district's chief recovery officer for about two years. For several months, he's advocated for a full conversion of the district's eight schools to operation by Charter Schools USA, a for-profit charter company.

York City School District allowed to appeal receivership
Penn Live By Candy Woodall | cwoodall@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 12, 2015 at 3:10 PM, updated January 12, 2015 at 4:09 PM
A York County judge on Monday gave the York City School District a boost in its fight against a state takeover and full conversion to charter schools.   York County President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh said the district is permitted to appeal his ruling last month that granted the state's petition for receivership.   His decision Monday also granted the district's request for a stay on receivership until the appeals process is complete.   That means the city school board will remain in control of the district's fate, and David Meckley won't be able to exercise the power of receivership.

York City School District looks to Gov.-elect Wolf to reverse state petition on receivership
Penn Live By Candy Woodall | cwoodall@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 12, 2015 at 6:00 PM, updated January 12, 2015 at 6:15 PM
Soon after a judge cleared the way for the York City School district to appeal a state takeover and conversion to charter schools, a name was repeated by several people with an interest in the case: Tom Wolf.  With a week until his inauguration, those with ties to the district are looking to the governor-elect to end what has been two-year fight for control of the public school.
"This is absolutely, positively good news for the district," Marc Tarlow, attorney for York City, said after the judge's ruling. "This at least provides an opportunity for the new governor to weigh in before the district can be chartered out.

Attorneys: York City schools appeal could take months to resolve
ERIN JAMES 505-5439 @ydcityPOSTED:   01/12/2015 03:06:27 PM EST
A judge's order has cleared the way for a potentially lengthy courtroom showdown between the York City School District and the state Department of Education.  York County President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh issued an order Monday rejecting the state's argument that the district's school board lost its ability to appeal when Linebaugh ruled Dec. 26 in favor of the state's request to appoint David Meckley as the district's receiver - a role that would give him nearly all authority over the district.  Now the case goes to Commonwealth Court. Attorneys for both the district and two employees' unions have filed appeals of Linebaugh's Dec. 26 ruling.  Tom Scott, the attorney representing the unions, said the appeal could take as many as nine months to resolve.
"I would say the clock pretty much starts now," Scott said.
Jeff Gettle, an attorney representing the district, estimated a timetable of at least six months.
In the meantime, the district is likely to operate as it always has - with the school board in charge.
However, Scott said, the education department could file a motion with Commonwealth Court seeking to lift the stay of Linebaugh's Dec. 26 order appointing Meckley as receiver.
"To some extent, the ball is in the secretary of education's court," Scott said. "Realistically, the issue is, what hat is David Meckley wearing at the moment? Right now he's still the (chief recovery officer)."
Wolf: Perhaps even more significant to the ultimate outcome of this process is Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's inauguration next week.

"Meanwhile, school district spokesman Fernando Gallard says there’s not much the district can do: “The Walter Palmer organization — the school — owes us (the school district) over $1 million at this point, and a number of things that they failed to pay.”
Staffers at Defunct Phila. Charter School Appeal to School District for Back Pay
CBS Philly By Mike DeNardo January 12, 2015 2:21 PM
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Staffers at the Walter D. Palmer charter school, which shut down precipitously last month, are turning to the School District of Philadelphia in an effort to collect their final paychecks.  A handful of Walter Palmer staffers — out of work since the charter abruptly closed its doors after losing a court fight with regulators over its funding — met today with the district’s charter school office and inspector general, saying Palmer owes them pay and their health coverage was terminated since the middle of November.
“People are losing their homes, they’re losing their vehicles, they’re not able to take care of their children,” says former Palmer staffer Sultan Ashley.  “They don’t have medical coverage.”
Ashley says his group of 87 staffers is considering legal action.  Meanwhile, school district spokesman Fernando Gallard says there’s not much the district can do:
“The Walter Palmer organization — the school — owes us (the school district) over $1 million at this point, and a number of things that they failed to pay.”  School founder Walter D. Palmer says the school is being liquidated to cover payroll and other liabilities.  “We intend to meet every obligation we possibly can,” he told KYW Newsradio late this afternoon.

Smucker tapped to lead Senate education committee
Lancaster Online By KAREN SHUEY | Staff Writer Posted: Monday, January 12, 2015 11:25 am
Lloyd Smucker has a new job in the state Legislature.  The Republican state senator will lead the high-profile Education Committee for the two-year legislative session that started last week.  The West Lampeter Township lawmaker is taking over the position previously held by Sen. Mike Folmer of Lebanon County. Folmer was chosen to head the State Government Committee — Smucker’s old post.  Meanwhile, Ryan Aument was chosen to serve as chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee. The panel is responsible for reviewing proposals to restructure state government, cut costs and improve government efficiency.  As chairman of the Education Committee, Smucker has been given the assignment to oversee a public education system that has been strained in part by the underfunded Public School Employees’ Retirement System.  Smucker discussed in a press release the importance of his new position, why he feels he is the right person to tackle the problems facing the system and what he hopes to accomplish.

In Politics First Impressions Don't Always Matter
Politically Uncorrected by G. Terry Madonna & Michael L.Young January 12, 2015
Bet on it!
Governor-elect Tom Wolf is going to have a rough first year in office. He faces enormous fiscal and policy challenges, is only the second governor in modern times to have both legislative chambers controlled by the opposition party, and has to work with a legislature more ideologically conservative than any of his predecessors. Indeed, a tough first year simply reflects modern Pennsylvania political history. Since Milton Shapp in the 1970’s, every governor but one has struggled in year one.   That is the bad news for Wolf and state Democrats--the storm clouds are gathering. And during 2015 that bad news may seem very bad indeed.  The good news, however, is also very good: while every governor but one in modern times has had a difficult first year, every governor but Tom Corbett has recovered and went on to a second term.
Modern gubernatorial history suggests the initial year doesn't matter much in predicting a governor's ultimate fate. In fact, there is even some evidence that un-mixed success in the initial year may auger re-election problems.

Tom Wolf takes office next week: What Philly teachers want from the new governor
BillyPenn.com By Mark Dent January 12, 2015 at 9:10 am
Tom Wolf takes over as governor next week, and he’ll replace a man who presided over substantial budget cuts to state education from elementary schools all the way to colleges. The total amount of money for public education in Pennsylvania fell by $1 billion during Tom Corbett’s tenure.  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s education crisis is particularly acute, with shortfall after shortfall the last several years and the closing of over 30 schools since 2012. In 2014, weeks before the gubernatorial election, the government-appointed SRC canceled its contract with Philly teachers, ending their health care plans. Teachers and students responded with protests in Philly and Harrisburg.  Wolf has said he wants to abolish the SRC and wants a fair-funding formula that would increase state aid to schools from 32 percent to 50 percent of their budgets, but mainly battered Corbett’s education cuts during his campaign.  What will the future hold? What will Wolf do? Billy Penn talked to several area teachers and gathered a wish list for the new governor’s consideration.

All-day kindergarten in Bethlehem Area School District would cost $900,000
By Jacqueline PalochkoOf The Morning Call January 12, 2015
If the Bethlehem Area School Board agrees with the district's plan to expand full-day kindergarten to all children, it would have to find $900,000 in the 2015-16 budget.  At a committee meeting Monday, Superintendent Joseph Roy and Chief Academic Officer Jack Silva presented a plan to provide full-day kindergarten for all students at its 16 elementary schools.  The switch would cost around $900,000 to hire 12 teachers. Teachers also would be moved from other classes to help teach the additional sessions.  The district would like to make the change to better prepare children academically, administrators said, especially with the state's Common Core standards.

Hazleton Area, Scranton among state’s highest-poverty districts
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader By Mark Guydish - mguydish@civitasmedia.com Last updated: January 10. 2015 7:50PM - 1114 Views
A decade ago, only one of 23 school districts in the Luzerne/Lackawanna/Wyoming tri-county area had more than half its children eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program — the gold standard in gauging low-income enrollment.  In 2013, it was 7 districts.
Using the same yardstick with schools is slightly problematic because districts close, open and realign buildings, but it’s still grim. In 2005, 40 area schools had 50 percent or more students eligible for subsidized lunches; in 2013, 60 schools hit that unwelcome benchmark.  But here’s the number that may matter most: In 2005, public schools in the three counties had 27,765 students eligible for federally subsidized lunches; In 2013, it was 37,530 — a 35 percent increase.

DN Editorial: 17TH & LUCKY TO BE THERE
Obama's college-tuition proposal will show how committed to education we are as a nation
Philly Daily News Editorial POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015, 12:16 AM
THERE'S LITTLE not to like in President Obama's idea to provide free tuition for community-college students, which he announced last week.
The idea, which would require Congressional approval, would provide a free two-year tuition ride for students meeting certain criteria, including keeping a 2.5 grade-point average. Obama touted it as a plan that would help students finance the first half of a bachelor's degree. He intends to address the proposal further in his State of the Union address next week.  We have to admit there's a boldness to this idea that makes us wonder if Obama is coming down with the flu and possibly suffering from fever and delirium. For one thing, Congress would have to see the wisdom of spending the $60 billion over 10 years that such a plan is expected to cost. And that's just for three-quarters of the cost; the states would be required to kick in a share of the cost as well. This at a time when many states - Pennsylvania among them - are having a hard time providing money to adequately fund the primary schools, let alone secondary education.

Five Philly schools make Pa. 'high progress' list for low-income schools
Five schools in Philadelphia made the cut for a "high progress" designation, based on increases in achievement in math and reading across all student in the schools.
Four Philadelphia district schools – Lankenau High School, Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson, Juniata Park Academy and Eliza B. Kirkbride School – earned spots along with one charter school, Freire Charter School in Center City. Across the state, 16 schools made the "high progress" list.  School leaders attribute that progress to a variety of factors, from a rebooted school day to getting better equipment.  Juniata Park Academy principal Jean Richey said kids enter her K-8 school with reading abilities all over the map. So, the school has carved out special periods at the beginning and end of the school day to focus on building up skills such as reading.

Session is set for West Chester school board candidates
Philly.com by Justine McDaniel LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 1:08 AM
WEST CHESTER The West Chester Area School District will hold an information session Jan. 22 for residents interested in running for the school board.  Five of the nine board seats are up for election. The primary election will be held in May. Board members serve four-year terms and are divided between three voter regions within the district.  At the meeting, Superintendent Jim Scanlon and other speakers will discuss board member responsibilities, candidacy, and the election process, according to a statement from the school district.

Plan calls for closing all Butler city elementary schools
Trib Live By Rick Wills Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
Butler city's three public elementary schools would close under options presented by a consultant to consolidate schools in the Butler Area School District, some of which operate at 55 percent capacity.  “If the district closes all three schools, the city is going to die. At least one school needs to stay open in the city,” said Bill Halle, a school board member who lives in the city.  The plan, submitted by Allegheny County-based Thomas & Williamson Program Management, recommends that either six or seven of the district's elementary schools close.

Leaders fired, board resigns at troubled Delaware charter
The co-leaders of an embattled Delaware charter school have been fired for cause, and the school's board has resigned, according to a source familiar with the situation.  The move comes one month after Family Foundations Academy disclosed a forensic audit that said Sean Moore, the school's co-leader, and Dr. Tennell Brewington, the school's co-leader and founder, used a school credit card to make over $94,000 in personal purchases. The school had already suspended Moore and Brewington for 90 days each, but on Monday the board decided to let both go.

"Pennsylvania is one place where a candidate's vocal support for public education was utilized to tremendous success. In the Keystone State, Tom Wolf defeated Governor Tom Corbett by a resounding 55-45 percent. A large reason for this big win was Wolf committing to a substantive race anchored in explaining how he'd fix the state. Education made up a core plank in this vision, while forcing the incumbent to address his own contentious record on public schools. Wolf relentlessly hammered Corbett for cutting education funding by a staggering $1 billion. And if you look at the ad spending in the state, Democrats spent $22 million on commercials mentioning education, compared to Republicans who shelled out a mere $2 million."
With an Eye on the Future
Huffington Post by Rep. Mark Takano Representing CA's 41st District -- Member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee & House Education and Workforce Committee.  Posted: 01/12/2015 12:16 pm EST
With a new year upon us and the midterms now firmly in the rear-view mirror, Democrats are moving past all of the ink, tweets and hand-wringing that dominated the last few months. Yes, the map favored Republicans, with most key races in red or purple states. Yes, this was a midterm in the president's second term. And yes, this was the lowest turnout since the middle of World War II. For all those reasons, the deck was already stacked against Democrats' favor from the jump.  But, it's clear that more could have been done. Even in the face of such overwhelming odds, ultimately successful candidates are the ones who talk about issues that matter -- both to them and their constituents. This is true no matter the year and no matter the office. It's simple: when you speak to topics that resonate with real people and their families, you put yourself in the best position to succeed at the ballot box. It's all about connecting with voters.  Support for public education is one issue that fits this bill, as it impacts almost every American. Yet, sadly, the subject wasn't addressed nearly enough on the campaign trail last year.

Testing: PSSA testing contract extended, at a cost of $50 million, to align with Keystones, other practical reasons, PDE says.
Capitolwire.com — Under The Dome™ Monday, January 12, 2015
PSSA test development will remain in the hands of Data Recognition Corp. through 2015, despite the state Department of Education's plans to dissolve its standing contract with the vendor by the end of last year. In September 2014, department spokesman Tim Eller said the state canceled a $210 million five-year contract with Measured Progress — a New Hampshire-based test development company who worked closely with Massachusetts officials to administer new Common Core-aligned assessments in 2013 — to take over the development, production and distribution of the Pennsylvania's multiple assessments, including the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the Keystone Exams, End of Course (EOC) exams and the Classroom Diagnostic Tool, among others, in 2015. Eller said the state backed out of the contract — a mere four weeks after it was first awarded — due to practical reasons: there was not enough time before the 2015 testing cycle to appropriately develop the assessments before the delivery deadlines of March 30 for the PSSAs, and April 28, for the Keystones. For more about the decision to extend the contract, Click here (paywall) to read Capitolwire Staff Writer Christen Smith’s report.

Testing: Education Secretary Says Administration Is Committed to Testing
New York Times By MOTOKO RICH JAN. 12, 2015
Arne Duncan, the education secretary. Annual testing has become a point of contention in the often-bitter discussions about how best to improve public education. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated
With debates about the appropriate role for the federal government in public education increasingly polarized, the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, insisted on Monday that the administration would not back away from annual testing for students and performance evaluations of teachers based in part on the results of the tests.  In remarks prepared for a speech on Monday to outline the administration’s priorities for a revision of No Child Left Behind, the signature Bush-era education law, Mr. Duncan indicated that “parents, teachers and students have both the right and the need to know how much progress all students are making each year towards college- and career-readiness.  Annual testing has become a point of contention in the often-bitter discussions about how best to improve public education.

'If you have any thoughts you'd like to share with the Education Department about this proposed policy, they're accepting public comments until February 2, 2015."
Testing: Duncan's Hammer: Test Scores
Education Week Teacher Road Trips in Education Blog By David B. Cohen on December 4, 2014 2:14 PM
"If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land."
Of course, that last example, in the lyrics by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, turns out to be a hammer of justice. Arne Duncan has a hammer, and it's a hammer of testing. The basic premise of so many policies from the Education Department is that test scores are important and threats are an appropriate motivation to raise test scores. If you (teacher, school, disrict) don't get those test scores up, the hammer comes down.   I'm simplifying the Obama-Duncan policy agenda a bit, but in almost everything they've proposed we find the use test scores as a measure of success, and the basis upon which to employ threats as the lever of change. Of course, they don't say "test scores" every time they refer to test scores. The preferable terms are learning, growth, outcomes, and achievement. Because who could be against that?

Testing: Jason Stanford: What is the Point of Testing?
Diane Ravitch's Blog By dianeravitch January 12, 2015 //
Jason Stanford of Austin asks, what is the point of testing? The answer, he supposes, is to collect data. What is the point of data? Stop and think about it.
“To many, the answer is more testing. And because they’re testing darn near every child in America in most core subjects, now education reformers are going after the K in K-12. The Education Commission of the States says kindergarteners are now being given standardized tests in 25 states as well as the District of Columbia to measure whether they are ready for the rigor of crayons, naptime, and singing the alphabet song.

Testing: The 2015 Education Beat: Common Core, Testing, School Choice
Education Writer's Association Educated Reporter Blog by Emily Richmond JANUARY 12, 2015
There’s a busy year ahead on the schools beat – I talked to reporters, policy analysts and educators to put together a cheat sheet to a few of the stories you can expect to be on the front burner in the coming months:

Testing: Few NY parents seeking teacher evaluation scores
Education Week Published Online: January 12, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — After battles in Albany over who should have access to results of state-mandated teacher evaluations, the group given the right to see them — parents — appears to be showing little interest.  Associated Press queries to districts around the state revealed that few, if any, parents have asked for their child's teacher's rating since New York began requiring teachers to be classified every year as "highly effective," ''effective," ''developing" or "ineffective."
"Here in Syracuse we did not have a single request from a parent for this information," district spokesman Michael Henesey said. The same was true to the west in Rochester, Batavia and Amherst and east in Hudson Falls, and Amagansett on Long Island.
The Albany and Binghamton districts each have received one request since the rankings began with the 2012-13 school year.

Testing: Obama administration doubling down on K-12 priorities, Duncan declares
By Alyson Klein for Education Week on Jan 12, 2015 03:02 PM
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is using a speech in Washington on Monday to assert that the Obama administration is not backing off on K-12 policies it has pushed for the past six years, even as Republicans in Congress are poised to release proposals to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would significantly scale back the federal footprint in education.  Instead, according to prepared remarks circulated before the speech, Duncan is calling for an additional $2.7 billion for education. He also wants any ESEA rewrite to continue teacher evaluations through student outcomes, the targeting of resources to the lowest-performing schools, and — most relevant to the current debate over updating the law — the law's current system of annual, statewide assessments.  Duncan is making it clear he doesn't think that Republicans in Congress — who could introduce draft proposals that make significant changes to federal testing mandates as early as this week — are on the right track.

Home Schooling Grows as Parents Rebel
Education Week Reality Check Blog By Walt Gardner on January 9, 2015 7:25 AM
Once thought of largely as appealing to religious families, home schooling is finding increasing favor among parents who seek to escape from the Common Core and standardized testing. The change is seen in the growth of the movement, which reached close to 1.8 million students  in 2011-12, compared with 1.5 million five years earlier ("Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation," The New York Times, Jan. 5).  Despite its newfound popularity, home schooling is still broadly unregulated.  Eleven states do not require registration with any school district or state agency. Fourteen states do not enumerate any required subjects, and only nine states demand that parents possess at least a high-school diploma or equivalent. Half of the states do not require administration of a standardized test or assessment by any formal outside body.

Why Charters Cause Fiscal Havoc in Local Districts.
EdTraveler Blog by Noel Hammett TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014
Copyright 2014, all rights reserved by Noel Hammatt. Permission is granted to share this entire post in written or digital form as long as this copyright notice is included.
Charter proponents such as the Thomas Fordham Institute and others often cite rhetoric about charters being less expensive. The facts presented in this report suggest something quite different.  The reality is that total costs to a community for the same total number of students rises, quite substantially, when charter schools open.  When charter proponents try to argue that charter schools cost less, they are using very selective figures concerning where the costs lie. This report will take you step-by-step through the impact of charter schools on the fiscal health of a school system.

Education Voters Statewide Call to Action for Public Education Day, Wed. Jan 21st
Education Voters of PA Facebook page
We want to kick off this legislative session right and make sure the phones in the Capitol are ringing off the hook all day with calls from voters throughout the Commonwealth!  Join thousands of Pennsylvanians as we take 5-10 minutes on January 21st to call our new governor and our legislators to send a message that Harrisburg’s top priority this year must be implementing a fair and adequate education funding formula for our public schools that provides all children with an opportunity to learn.

NPE 2015 Annual Conference – Chicago April 24 - 26 – Early Bird Special Registration Open!
Early-bird discounted Registration for the Network for Public Education’s Second Annual Conference is now available at this address:
These low rates will last for the month of January.
The event is being held at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago, and there is a link on the registration page for special hotel registration rates. Here are some of the event details.
There will be a welcoming social event  7 pm Friday night, at or near the Drake Hotel — details coming soon.   Featured speakers will be:
§         Jitu Brown, National Director – Journey for Justice, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Network for Public Education Board of Directors
§         Tanaisa Brown, High School Senior, with the Newark Student Union
§         Yong Zhao, Author, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?
§         Diane Ravitch in conversation with
§         Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA President and
§         Randi Weingarten, AFT President
§         Karen Lewis, President, Chicago Teachers Union

Join a Community Conversation about Public School Funding in Franklin County; January 15, 6:30 pm Chambersburg
Confirmed Guests of Honor: Senator Richard Alloway Senator John Eichelberger Representative-Elect Paul Schemel
Join a Community Conversation about Public School Funding in Franklin County on Thursday, January 15 at 6:30 at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chambersburg, 43 West Washington Street, Chambersburg, PA Local school district leaders will discuss how state funding issues are impacting our children’s educational opportunities, our local taxes, and our communities and area legislators will be in attendance to learn about voters' concerns. Ask questions. Share your stories, your concerns, and your suggestions. Learn how you can support fair and adequate state funding for our area schools
Dr. Joe Bard, Executive Director, PA Association of Rural and Small Schools
Dr. Joe Padasak, Superintendent, Chambersburg Area School District
Mr. Jim Duffey, Superintendent, Fannett-Metal School District
Dr. Gregory Hoover, Superintendent, Greencastle-Antrim School District
Mrs. Beth Bender, Superintendent, Shippensburg Area School District
Dr. Charles Prijatelj, Superintendent, Tuscarora Area School District

Mark Your Calendars.  The next Twitter Chat on PA School Funding is Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.  Join us #paedfunding
Tweet from Circuit Rider Kathleen Kelley

Adams Co. PSBA Basic Education Funding Listening Tour Breakfast
JAN 14, 2015 • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Jan. 14, 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Gettysburg Area Middle School, 37 Lefever St., Gettysburg, PA
PSBA Members Register online:  https://psba.wufoo.com/forms/p97bly31fs5ecs/

PILCOP Special Education Seminar: Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities
Philadelphia Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 P.M.
United Way Building 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 19103
Tickets: Attorneys $200  General Public $100   Webinar $50   
"Pay What You Can" tickets are also available    
Speakers: Sonja Kerr; Kathleen Carlsen (Children’s Dyslexia Center of Philadelphia) 
This session is designed to provide the audience with information about how to address 1) eligibility issues for children with learning disabilities, including dyslexia and ADHD, 2) encourage self-advocacy and 3) write and implement meaningful IEPS (what does Orton-Gillingham really look like?)   This session is co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Policy and Practice. The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice is a Pre-approved Provider of Continuing Education for Pennsylvania licensed social workers. 
Questions? Email jfortenberry@pilcop.org or call 267-546-1316.

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.

PSBA Master School Board Director Recognition: Applications begin in January
PSBA website December 23, 2014
The Master School Board Director (MSBD) Recognition is for individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions as members of their governance teams. It is one way PSBA salutes your hard work and exceptional dedication to ethics and standards, student success and achievement, professional development, community engagement, communications, stewardship of resources, and advocacy for public education.
School directors who are consistently dedicated to the aforementioned characteristics should apply or be encouraged to apply by fellow school directors. The MSBD Recognition demonstrates your commitment to excellence and serves to encourage best practices by all school directors.
The application will be posted Jan. 15, 2015, with a deadline to apply of June 30. Recipients will be notified by the MSBD Recognition Committee by Aug. 31 and will be honored at the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference in October.
If you are interested in learning more about the MSBD Recognition, contact Janel Biery, conference/events coordinator, at (800) 932-0588, ext. 3332.

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