Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Jan 20: Wolf appoints Lancaster Supt. Pedro Rivera as Sec'y of Education

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for January 20, 2015:
Wolf appoints Lancaster Supt. Pedro Rivera as Sec'y of Education



Please take 5 minutes tomorrow to let our elected officials know 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.
PA Statewide Call-to-Action Day for Public Education Jan 21



Save the date/heads-up; details/confirmation on this as they become available...
The next Basic Education Funding Commission hearing will be held on January 29 in Greenville, Mercer County.#FairFundingPA
Tweet from Circuit Rider Pam Lenz January 16, 2015

EDUCATION: Smucker, Chair, Folmer, Vice Chair, Browne, Eichelberger, Pileggi,Tomlinson
APPROPRIATIONS: Browne, Chair, Ward, Vice Chair, Argall, Baker, Eichelberger, Greenleaf, Mensch, Rafferty, Scavello, Smucker, Vance, Vogel, Vulakovich, Wagner, Corman, ex officio
Scarnati Announces Senate Republican Standing Committee Memberships for 2015 -2016
Senator Scarnati's website January 19, 2015
 (HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) today announced the Republican members for each of the 22 Senate Standing Committees for the 2015-2016 legislative session.  “Senate Committees provide a strong and experienced environment for legislation to be vetted and shaped before moving on to the full Senate,” Scarnati said. “We are fortunate to have members from diverse backgrounds who will offer insightful perspective as issues advance and policies are formed.”

Wolf to become 47th governor amid budget crisis
By Steve Esack Morning Call Harrisburg Bureau January 19, 2015
HARRISBURG — Tom Wolf was here Monday. But he wasn't outside the state Capitol, overseeing construction of the stage where he will take the oath of office Tuesday as Pennsylvania's 47th governor.  He was less than a mile away, volunteering in a Martin Luther King Jr. service project at a Harrisburg School District elementary school that serves mostly poor students. As he urged Pennsylvanians to volunteer, his thoughts were not far from the task he will undertake for the next 1,460 days.

"The poll of 434 registered voters found solid majorities of voters expressed confidence in the incoming Democratic governor's ability to lead the state and solve the problems it faces.  The poll conducted between Jan. 7 and Friday showed 69 percent of voters were very or somewhat confident in Wolf's abilities to successfully lead the state, while 24 percent said they were only somewhat confident or not at all confident in his ability to do so."
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf nervous about new job, but poll shows most Pennsylvanians aren’t
By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on January 19, 2015 at 7:16 PM, updated January 19, 2015 at 7:51 PM
Gov-elect Tom Wolf starts a new job on Tuesday and he admits he's nervous.
"It's a new job so I'm a little nervous about that but I'm really proud about the team I've put together who's going to work with me and help move the state forward," he said on Monday during a visit to Downey School in Harrisburg.  He also let on that it's not unusual that his nerves are on end. "I've always felt nervous before a new job," he said.  Perhaps the results of a poll released on Monday by Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics will help settle his nerves. 

It's inauguration day for Tom Wolf
ANGELA COULOUMBIS AND AMY WORDEN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6:22 AM
HARRISBURG - Tom Wolf will take the oath of office Tuesday to become Pennsylvania's 47th governor.  The Democrat, he first to unseat a sitting governor in the state's history, arrives facing a projected $2.3 billion budget shortfall and a Republican-dominated legislature that has shown no signs it will quickly embrace his priorities.

Berks County-area lawmakers put their priorities at Wolf’s door
Reading Eagle By Liam Migdail-Smith   Tuesday January 20, 2015 12:01 AM
If Tom Wolf wants to start his governorship on good footing with Berks County-area lawmakers, he'd do well to target pensions, property taxes and school funding.  Those issues topped local legislators' wish lists for York County Democrat's attention after he's inaugurated as Pennsylvania's 47th governor today.  The November elections set up a divided state government. Voters picked Wolf, a businessman, over Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. But Republican lawmakers saw big wins and grew their majorities in the House and Senate. 

Lancaster legislators give preview of their priorities
Lancaster Online By KAREN SHUEY | Staff Writer Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 6:30 am
Tom Wolf will be sworn in as governor Tuesday afternoon, restoring two-party rule to Harrisburg after four years of Republican dominance.  Lancaster County’s delegation of lawmakers know they will need to work with the Democrat to balance a budget with an estimated $2.3 billion shortfall.  This means Wolf will go head-to-head with a Republican majority that has grown in size and become more conservative since the election.  And since Wolf has virtually no record to help legislators map out the next four years, uncertainty is running high in the state Capitol.  Lancaster County lawmakers shared with LNP their expectations and priorities for the new legislative session and where they can work with the new governor to solve the problems facing Pennsylvania.

Wolf appoints SDoL superintendent to top education post
School District of Lancaster superintendent Pedro Rivera was tapped by Tom Wolf to serve as secretary of education.
Lancaster Online By KAREN SHUEY | Staff WriterPosted: Monday, January 19, 2015 1:00 pm | Updated: 2:25 pm, Mon Jan 19, 2015.
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf on Monday named Pedro Rivera — superintendent of 11,500-student School District of Lancaster since 2008 — to be the state’s top education official.
As secretary of education, Rivera will have a wide-ranging role in helping to oversee education policy at all levels — from prekindergarten to college.  He takes over at a time of uncertainty, as districts across the commonwealth struggle to meet growing pension obligations and the state moves to a new curriculum standard.  "Pedro Rivera is nationally recognized for his efforts to improve urban education, and he will work with me to build a strong public education system and get Pennsylvania back on track," Wolf said in a press release Monday. 

PA-Gov: Wolf Announces Education and Labor Secretaries
PoliticsPA Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor January 19, 2015
Tom Wolf’s proposed cabinet is complete.
The Governor-Elect announced his final two choices: Pedro Rivera for Secretary of the Department of Education and Kathy Manderino for Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry.  “Pennsylvania schools are struggling. My top priority is making sure our schools have the resources to teach our children the skills they need to succeed,” said Governor-elect Tom Wolf.  “Pedro Rivera is nationally recognized for his efforts to improve urban education, and he will work with me to build a strong public education system and get Pennsylvania back on track.”

Lancaster schools head tapped to join Cabinet
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau January 19, 2015 11:57 PM
HARRISBURG — In one of his final actions before taking office today, Gov.-elect Tom Wolf announced the superintendent of the Lancaster schools as his nominee to lead the Department of Education.  Pedro Rivera, superintendent of the School District of Lancaster since 2008, was honored at the White House in September as one of 10 Hispanic leaders in education.
Under his leadership, the school district of approximately 11,500 students, 17 percent of whom are learning English, has strengthened its graduation rates and reading proficiency scores, Mr. Wolf’s transition team said in a statement Monday.  Education funding was a prominent issue in the gubernatorial campaign, with Democrats and education advocates blaming Gov. Tom Corbett for losses schools received in his first budget, when money from the federal stimulus ran out.
Mr. Rivera said in an interview that “what’s most exciting about this opportunity” is knowing Mr. Wolf has identified education funding as a priority.

Wolf names picks for education, labor and industry
Delco Times by AP POSTED: 01/19/15, 3:12 PM EST |
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has named Lancaster school Superintendent Pedro Rivera as his choice for secretary of the Department of Education and former state lawmaker Kathy Manderino to become secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry.
Rivera “has greatly improved student performances and college readiness, as well as the district’s finances,” Wolf said Monday. He said Rivera is nationally recognized for his work on urban education and implemented a community schools model that breaks down barriers to students’ success.

JOINT STATEMENT: Education Leaders believe selection of Rivera signals fairness, equity
PSBA website January 19, 2015 by PASA, PSBA, PASBO, PAESSP, PARSS
Pennsylvania’s major education leadership organizations released the following statement today on news that Governor-elect Tom Wolf named Pedro A. Rivera to serve as Secretary of Education:
“We believe the selection of Pedro Rivera as Secretary of Education indicates Governor-elect Wolf is committed to ensuring equity in education throughout the state, and adequate support for all public school students and the educators who help them reach their potential. Every child deserves a chance to succeed regardless of where they live in the Commonwealth. We look forward to working with Secretary Rivera as he leads a transformation in the way the state supports its schools. Pennsylvania’s top priority must be to re-establish a fair, sustainable and predictable process for funding all public schools that recognizes our shared responsibility.

Former Philly principal named state Education Secretary
SOLOMON LEACH, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER LEACHS@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5903 POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 3:01 AM
GOV.-ELECT Tom Wolf yesterday tapped former Philadelphia School District administrator Pedro Rivera as the state's next education secretary, a move that advocates hope will help the city's beleaguered public schools.  Rivera, superintendent of the 11,500-student School District of Lancaster, brings a diverse education background to the position. As the superintendent in Lancaster since 2008, Rivera has overseen a district in which 17 percent of students are learning English, graduation rates and assessment scores have steadily improved and the fund balance has more than doubled.  In September, Rivera was recognized at the White House as one of 10 Hispanic leaders around the country.

"When explaining why he chose Rivera for the position, Wolf cited increased graduation rates and state test scores under Rivera’s leadership in Lancaster, as well as implementation of a “community schools” model that provides free breakfast and lunch as well as medical services, according to the release.
“Pedro Rivera is nationally recognized for his efforts to improve urban education, and he will work with me to build a strong public education system and get Pennsylvania back on track,” Wolf said in a statement Monday."
Penn GSE student chosen for PA Secretary of Education
Daily Pennsylvanian By JENNIFER WRIGHT January 19, 2015
Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Wolf selected Penn Graduate School of Education student Pedro Rivera as the Secretary of Education on Monday. The announcement concludes Wolf’s picks for his cabinet.  Rivera has served as the superintendent of the 11,500-student School District of Lancaster for the past six years. He is a Philadelphia native and former teacher and principal in the School District of Philadelphia. Currently, he is a student in the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, a 36-month GSE degree program for working professionals. 

York City has high hopes for new education secretary
York Dispatch POSTED:   01/19/2015 01:29:42 PM EST
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has tapped the superintendent of an urban school district in neighboring Lancaster County to serve as Pennsylvania's top education official.  York City officials said they hope Pedro Rivera's experience on the other side of the Susquehanna River at a school district with similar challenges and demographics will inform his tenure as education secretary.

This introductory profile of PA's new first lady did not mention her previous service on the York Academy Regional Charter School Board
First lady Frances Wolf will be her own woman
By Mackenzie Carpenter / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 18, 2015 12:00 AM
She looks into the camera with a steady gaze and tells the viewers in a soft, low voice that Tom Wolf, our next governor of Pennsylvania, has a close relationship with his two daughters. That she is very proud to be his spouse. That the notion of fairness is very important to him.  It’s not much, but these are glimpses, at least, of Frances Wolf, in ads that aired last year early in her husband’s campaign for governor. She comes across as a woman who is serious, obviously intelligent, somewhat enigmatic.  The new first lady of Pennsylvania will have to remain an enigma until at least Tuesday because she has declined all requests for interviews before the Inaugural.


Martin Luther King’s prophetic comments about education reform
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss January 19 at 11:30 AM  
Here, as I have published before on Martin Luther King Jr., Day, are some of his writings related to education. You will see that King was prescient on a lot of things, including education reform.
Here’s an excerpt from “The Purpose of Education,” a piece he wrote in the February 1947 edition of the Morehouse College student newspaper, the Maroon Tiger:

Arne Duncan: Improving American education is not optional
Washington Post Opinion By Arne Duncan January 16, 2015
Arne Duncan is U.S. education secretary.
On consecutive days this week, the United States was introduced to two very different visions for its most important education law. Quite soon, Congress will choose between them, and while the legislation could move fast enough to escape wide public notice, its consequences will be profound.  The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) stands as a statement that a high-quality education for every single child is a national interest and a civil right. The law has boosted funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods, put books in libraries and helped ensure that minorities, students with disabilities, those learning English, those living in poverty and others who have struggled would not slip through the cracks.  Since then, and especially over the past 15 years, amid bipartisan agreement to focus strongly on students’ learning, progress has been significant. Since 2000, high school graduation rates, once stagnant, rose almost 10 percentage points, to an all-time high. A young Hispanic person is now half as likely to drop out of high school compared with 15 years ago and twice as likely to be in college. A million more black and Hispanic students are in college than were in 2008.


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.

Register Now! EPLC 2015 Regional Workshops for School Board Candidates and Others
The Education Policy and Leadership Center, with the Cooperation of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), will conduct A Series of Regional Full-Day Workshops for 2015 Pennsylvania School Board Candidates.  Incumbents, non-incumbents, campaign supporters and all interested voters are invited to participate in these workshops.
Pittsburgh Region Saturday, February 21, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Allegheny Intermediate Unit, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA  15120
Harrisburg Region Saturday, March 7, 2015– 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania School Boards Association Headquarters, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Philadelphia Region Saturday, March 14, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, 2 W. Lafayette Street, Norristown, PA 19401

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

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.

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

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