Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup for April 8, 2015: Letter: Pa. needs fair funding formula for schools

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3550 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, Superintendents, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, 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

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for April 8, 2015:
Letter: Pa. needs fair funding formula for schools



Save the date: Wednesday April 29th 7:00 pm Springfield (Delco) High School
Southeastern PA Regional Meeting on School Funding
Local school district leaders will discuss how state funding issues are impacting our children's educational opportunities, our local taxes and our communities.
Hosted by Delaware County School Boards Legislative Council, Education Voters of PA and the Keystone State Education Coalition



"A Basic Education Funding Commission authorized by the legislature is now trying to “reinvent the wheel.” The commission, composed of 12 legislators and a trio of state administrators, is compiling a report with recommendations that must be issued by June 10, 2015.  There is a wide disparity in current school district funding. In 2012-13 there was a difference of over $17,000 per student. The lowest-resourced school district was $9,803 per student, while the highest school district was at $26,808 per student."
LETTERS: Pa. needs fair funding formula for schools
Pottstown Mercury Letter by Dr. George Bonekemper POSTED: 04/07/15, 10:09 PM EDT |
Dr. George Bonekemper of Pennsburg worked for 33 years in public education in positions ranging from teacher to superintendent, spent 12 years in higher education as coordinator of professional development schools and served 12 years on a board of school directors.
While many motorists feel certain that Pennsylvania leads the nation in potholes, there is another top ranking for the Keystone state, number one in the lack of fairness in school district funding. The data is derived from a U.S. Department of Education study on the commonwealth’s per pupil spending in 2011-12.  Per-pupil spending in the poorest school districts was 33.5 percent lower than per-pupil spending in the wealthiest school districts. Per-pupil spending for low-poverty school districts was $12,529, while per-pupil spending for high-poverty school districts was $9,387. Vermont was second with a gap of 18.1 percent. Neighboring New Jersey ranked third in the nation for the highest positive difference, behind Indiana and Minnesota at a plus 8.9 percent. The Garden State spent $17,129 per-pupil in high-poverty districts and $15,603 per pupil in low-poverty districts.  Pennsylvania had a fair funding formula in 2008-11 based on a comprehensive Costing-Out Study approved by the state legislature. The Corbett administration abandoned the formula in 2011 and made Pennsylvania one of only three states without a consistently applied school funding formula. The other states were Delaware and North Carolina.

North Penn School District slated to have fair funding formula forum April 23
North Penn Reporter By Jarreau Freeman, jfreeman@21st-centurymedia.com, @JarreauFreeman on Twitter POSTED: 04/07/15, 11:42 PM EDT |
Lansdale >> Pennsylvania has no basic education funding formula, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Legislative Services and Grants Development Director Tina Viletto said Tuesday evening.  “At this moment in time there is no clear, consistent determination as to how a district receives its funds (from the state),” she said to North Penn School Board members during their monthly work session. “Without a formula districts have a hard time determining how they are going to fund all the needs that face the school district each year. Without a formula it is possible that districts won’t have the revenue to cover the mandatory and necessary costs by the 2017-18 (school year).”  Many districts throughout the region are facing increases in enrollment, climbing retirement and health care costs, and facing deficits in the millions.  “In Montgomery County, the majority of the funding for our schools is through the property taxes,” she said.
Viletto was joined by Lawrence Feinberg, a member of The Circuit Riders – a group that is campaigning for fair education funding in the state. They both want to see this change.

Pa. budget on time? Not likely, Wolf says
Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2015, 9:21 PM
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Tuesday said he doubts the state will enact next year's budget by the June 30 deadline, a prediction that signaled a protracted and partisan fight building in the Capitol.  The Democratic governor, whose $29.9 billion spending plan has already sparked heated debate in the Republican-led legislature that must approve it, said he'd like to be hopeful but that history has convinced him otherwise.  "I'm planning on spending the summer here," Wolf quipped in an interview with The Inquirer, adding: "And the fall, and the winter."  His comments were an unusually stark assessment for a first-term governor facing a budget deadline nearly three months away. They also stirred quick backlash.

Pa. budget battle lines drawn; GOP legislature, Governor Wolf far apart
ABC27 By Dennis Owens Published: April 7, 2015, 6:10 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s had its share of important battles in history.
George Washington encamped at Valley Forge and crossing the Delaware was crucial to the colonial victory in the Revolutionary War.  In the Civil War, Gettysburg was the turning point as the Blue defeated the Gray.  And a summer skirmish is headed for Harrisburg pitting the Blue against the Red.  “This is just the democratic process,” a smiling Governor Tom Wolf said recently when asked about the budget wrangling to come.  Publicly, Wolf steadfastly maintains his positive and upbeat demeanor about his plan to increase income, sales and shale taxes in exchange for cuts to property and business taxes.  “It’s for investing more in education,” Wolf said of his budget proposal. “All these things, it seems to me, that I heard throughout the campaign. That’s what I’m doing here.”  Polls suggest that a majority of Pennsylvanians support his budget plan. Wolf, though, says everyone in the commonwealth should love it. Presumably, that includes Republicans.

"In theory, the program expands the choices for students, especially those who can't afford private and parochial tuitions. But under its current framework, it's hard to see it as anything but a way to funnel public dollars into private education - with no accountability for how effectively those dollars are being spent."
DN Editorial: Who gets the credit for this?
DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL POSTED: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 12:16 AM
A PROGRAM that gives generous tax credits for donations to scholarship programs for low-income students to attend private and parochial schools may strike some as a laudatory way to equalize educational opportunities. Some might even say that the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program is a way to address the civil-rights wrongs of a public system that leaves too many poor and minority children behind, while the privileged few who can afford to send kids to more expensive private schools get an unfair leg up.  One of the architects of the state-administered EITC program, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, has made that civil-rights case in promoting it.
According to a report on Philly.com's Next Mayor site, some of Williams' major campaign backers for his mayoral run are also some of the EITC program's biggest donors, with the principals of Susquehanna International Group contributing up to $21 million to EITC.

"The Philly.com investigation found that Williams’ biggest political backers, the billionaire partners at Main Line financial trading firm Susquehanna International Group, had also become the biggest users of the program. The partners, Joel Greenberg, Arthur Dantchik and Jeff Yass, who are major school choice advocates, received nearly $1.2 million in tax credits for donating $1.3 million to a charity run by Williams’ campaign manager, Dawn Chavous, in 2012."
Williams slams reporting on tax credits, defends state program
Philly.com by RYAN BRIGGS, THE NEXT MAYOR POSTED: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Mayoral hopeful and state Sen. Anthony Williams defended a controversial educational tax credit program during a radio appearance Tuesday morning on 900AM-WURD, though he also distanced himself from the program he has previously touted as a hallmark of his public service.  The tax credit program was the subject of both a Philly.com investigation published last week and a Daily News editorial in Tuesday’s paper that examined the political connections and the lack of transparency surrounding the program. The credits give companies a tax break in exchange for donations to private and charter schools and educational charities of their choosing.

Mt. Airy group gives $12K in tax credit funds to neighborhood schools
BY NEEMA ROSHANIA APRIL 7, 2015 MT. AIRY
The Mt. Airy Schools Coalition, a group made up of three community civic organizations, has granted $12,000 to six neighborhood schools.  It's the second year the group has used a state tax credit program called the Educational Improvement Tax Credit to allow business owners to direct their state tax dollars to area schools.  Together West Mt. Airy Neighbors, East Mt. Airy Neighbors and Mt. Airy USA partnered with four areas banks to fund extracurricular activities at A. B. Day, C.W. Henry, Emlen, Houston, Lingelbach, and J. S. Jenks.

"The acting secretary told superintendents that he is already reviewing the teacher evaluation process, the heavy reliance on test scores and other factors in the School Performance Profiles, and the number of tests students take.  The superintendents, in their written comments, called the teacher evaluation system “cumbersome” and said it “has led to principals being crushed under the weight of paperwork and meetings.”  They also contended that high-stakes testing is a deterrent to innovative and creative teaching."
Acting state education secretary gets a primer on county issues
By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 8, 2015 12:12 AM
During his first meeting with school superintendents in Allegheny County, acting Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera was able to convince them of one thing: He’s walked in their shoes.  Mr. Rivera, the former superintendent of the Lancaster School District with previous teaching and administrative experience in the Philadelphia schools, understands the pressures of tight finances, high stakes, high-frequency testing, teacher evaluations and unfunded mandates.  So he was able to hit the ground running with the suburban superintendents on issues they had outlined for him in writing beforehand and in person during an early morning meetingTuesday at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Homestead.  Mr. Rivera also visited Pittsburgh superintendent Linda Lane on Tuesday, when he attended a celebration at Pittsburgh Lincoln PreK-5 to commemorate its status as a STAR school — one of six Pittsburgh schools recognized for ranking among the top 25 percent of schools in the state for student growth.

Pittsburgh Public Schools officials plan for expiring grants
By The Tribune-Review Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 10:15 p.m.
Officials with Pittsburgh Public Schools announced Tuesday they have begun to plan so they can keep educational programs going once the private grants supporting them expire.
District officials plan to ask the school board in May to extend contracts and staff positions that help maintain the district's growth and evaluation system; We Promise, an achievement program for black males; and out-of-school programs, such as the Summer Dreamers Academy. It will offset costs in a first phase of the planning process by not filling vacancies in the central office.  “To date, these programs have relied heavily on grant dollars for their support. As external funding begins to wind down it is incumbent on us that we begin to assume responsibility for their financial stability,” said Superintendent Linda Lane in a statement.  A $40 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation expires in June 2016, while a $38 million grant from the Teacher Incentive Fund expires in September. Several other grants expire by 2017.
Wilkinsburg School District eyes options for deficit
TribLive By Kelsey Shea Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 11:12 p.m.
Penn Hills School District, grappling with a $9 million deficit, is not interested in enrolling students from nearby Wilkinsburg High School who could bring with them $3 million in revenue, Penn Hills' schools chief said.  Wilkinsburg Superintendent Daniel Matsook said sending high school students to Penn Hills is one of several options his district is exploring but that officials have not formally approached Penn Hills administrators. Both districts are confronting severe financial problems and declining enrollments.  “Right now, we are fact-finding and looking for every possible option,” Matsook said. “There have been casual conversations about this as one option.”
'School Play' makes funding crisis personal
SAMANTHA MELAMED, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER POSTED: April 8, 2015, 3:01 AM
In 2013, Arden Kass was one of about 20 Philadelphia parents who traveled to Harrisburg to deliver 4,000 letters by schoolchildren pleading to restore education funding.  It didn't go well.  "The mothers were shocked at how callous the environment was, and, when they went to deliver these extraordinary words of children, how little currency they had," said Donna Cooper, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), which helped with logistics. "Some of the women became activists on education as a result of that. Arden's not an activist, though: She's an artist."  So, Arden Kass - a playwright from Graduate Hospital - set about creating a play about school funding, that, in the tradition of The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues, would use interviews from stakeholders to turn a political issue into a personal one.
The resulting work, School Play - a collage of interviews with 100 students, teachers and politicians from 30 communities across Pennsylvania - premieres at the National Constitution Center tonight and Thursday. Then, the script, promotional materials and an advocacy tool kit, will be posted online at www.pccy.org/tools for theater groups, school drama clubs and anyone who cares about the issue to download for free and perform.

Editorial: Spring into political action
By the Notebook on Apr 7, 2015 09:44 AM
A new Pew poll shows that education now ranks as the most important issue among voters in the city – and more than three-fourths of those surveyed rated the schools as poor or fair.
What can be done? The May 19 primary election could effectively determine the next mayor and City Council members. The direction of the city on education issues is up for grabs.
In eight years, Michael Nutter made education a priority, boosted city funding, and helped select two school superintendents. But neither of them was able to overcome a horrific budget crisis or unify a polarized community around an education agenda. Voters should press candidates on how they would fund schools and resolve the debilitating labor-management and charter vs. District battles.  Meanwhile, proposals from Nutter and Gov. Wolf would generate most of the new revenue the District has requested: $206 million from Harrisburg and $103 million from the city. The initial $80 million covers an existing gap, but this still could be the first time since the fiscal tsunami of 2011 that the schools can start to mend the damage.

Filmmakers to bring film, discussion of college access to Philly
the notebook By David Limm on Apr 7, 2015 12:08 PM
To be the first in a family to attend college is a breakthrough moment that can help secure a student's financial future and end a cycle of poverty. But for many low-income students, the process proves too foreign, the hurdles too high to overcome.  On April 9, Ritz East will screen, for free, a one-hour version of the 2012 film First Generation by filmmakers Adam and Jaye Fenderson (the latter a former senior admissions officer at Columbia University). The documentary, which garnered acclaim on the festival circuit, follows four diverse students as they fumble their way through the daunting and unfamiliar stages of the college admissions process. 

Penn Hills School District's $18M plea for help a 'last resort'
Trib Live By Kelsey Shea Monday, April 6, 2015, 3:39 p.m.
Penn Hills School District leaders will seek court approval to borrow $18 million to pay day-to-day expenses, a move that one expert called a “last resort” for districts in serious financial trouble.  
Board members in a 6-2 vote agreed Monday to petition to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court for permission to float a bond of up to $18 million.  Acting Superintendent Nancy Hines said that a significant number of under-budgeted and overfunded budget items from past years have generated a roughly $9 million shortfall.
New cyberschool center provides new opportunities, parents and students say
Scranton Times Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL Published: April 7, 2015
DICKSON CITY — Wearing gloves and holding scalpels and tweezers, two dozen students carefully dissected the dogfish sharks on the tables.  The students, who usually complete their lessons from behind a computer screen, partnered with their peers and interacted with their teachers. Last week’s shark dissection at Commonwealth Connections Academy’s new family service center was the kind of hands-on lesson that officials from the cyberschool plan to offer students even more now.  “Kids are happy they have a building to call their own,” said Tony Rusnak, a school principal. “Now they feel they have a connection.”  Commonwealth Connections, which has similar learning centers statewide, bought the former Petco building on Business Route 6 in Dickson City for $1.3 million in 2013. After a $1 million facelift, the building opened earlier this year. The center is the most visible reminder of cyber charter schools’ growing role in education.

Taxpayers expected to see lower tax bills in Allegany-Limestone school district
By KATE DAY SAGER Bradford Era Reporter kdsager@bradfordera.com Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:00 am
ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Taxpayers in the Allegany-Limestone Central School District can expect to see lower tax bills from the proposed 2015-16 budget thanks to careful planning and the restoration of state funding.  That was the word from administrators on Monday during a budget forum at the elementary school cafeteria on Maple Street.  Superintendent Dr. Karen Geelan told the small crowd gathered at the meeting the proposed $22.4 million budget for the 2015-16 school year is expected to include a 2.18 percent decrease in the tax rate and tax levy.

Haverford School District named 'best community' in music education
News of Delaware County By Kevin Tustin ktustin@delconewsnetwork.com Published: Tuesday, April 07, 2015
The School District of Haverford Township has been named one of the best communities for music education in a survey conducted by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation and the University of Kansas.  Honoring 388 districts across the country– and four in Delaware County – the distinction is presented to districts for “outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum.  “This highlights two of our districts strengths;” said Superintendent William S, Kellibaug, “community involvement and educating the whole student. I am so grateful to see the community, students and faculty receive the recognition that they deserve,”  With a staff of 13 music teachers district-wide, music education is seen through all levels of education.


Senate Plan to Revise No Child Left Behind Law Would Not Measure Teachers by Test Scores
New York Times By TAMAR LEWIN and MOTOKO RICH APRIL 7, 2015
A bipartisan Senate bill revising the No Child Left Behind law, and eliminating many of its most punitive elements, was announced on Tuesday.  The bill retains the requirement for yearly tests in math and reading for every student in third through eighth grade, and once in high school, and requires that the scores, broken down by race and income, be made public.  But it ends the framework under which almost all public schools were found to be failing, and could defuse what has become an all-out campaign by teachers, joined by many parents, to prevent having their job performances measured by students’ test scores.

Alexander, Murray Announce Bipartisan Agreement on Fixing “No Child Left Behind”  Schedule Committee Action for 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 14
Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Margaret Atkinson / Jim Jeffries (Alexander): 202-224-0387
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7 – Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced a bipartisan agreement on fixing “No Child Left Behind.” They scheduled committee action on their agreement and any amendments to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 14.
Alexander said: “Senator Murray and I have worked together to produce bipartisan legislation to fix ‘No Child Left Behind.’ Basically, our agreement continues important measurements of the academic progress of students but restores to states, local school districts, teachers, and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement. This should produce fewer and more appropriate tests. It is the most effective way to advance higher standards and better teaching in our 100,000 public schools. We have found remarkable consensus about the urgent need to fix this broken law, and also on how to fix it. We look forward to a thorough discussion and debate in the Senate education committee next week.”

Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 1 -7, 2015
Submitted by fairtest on April 7, 2015 - 12:52pm 
The assessment reform movement gains momentum across the U.S. and even beyond national borders, as parents, students, teachers, administrators, and school board members say "Enough is enough" to standardized exam misuse and overuse. Now is the time to ratchet up pressure on members of Congress and state legislatures to roll back test-and-punish mandates!
Less Testing: More Teaching -- Contact U.S. Senators April 8 National Day of Action for "No Child Left Behind" Overhaul  http://fairtest.org/national-day-action-april-8

Examining standardized testing with Anya Kamenetz
Scientific American By Scott Barry Kaufman | April 6, 2015 |  
Award-winning education writer Anya Kamentez provides practical guidance for parents looking to understand standardized testing. She and Scott roll up their sleeves and delve deep into the nature, origins, drawbacks and future of our high-stakes testing culture. The dialogue spans varying topics including broadening our educational priorities, holding schools accountable, implementing better assessments and helping children beat the system.


EPLC "Focus on Education" TV Program on PCN - Sunday, April 12 at 3:00 p.m. 
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Topic 1: Reaction to Governor Wolf's 2015-2016 State Education Budget Proposal
Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, PA Association of School Administrators
John Callahan, Senior Director of Government Affairs, PA School Boards Association
Topic 2: Physical Education and Health Education Issues for Students
Dr. Cindy Allen, Professor, Health Science Department, Lock Haven University
Todd Bedard, Chair, Health and Physical Education Department, Cumberland Valley School District
Linda Woods Huber, Executive Director, PA State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Jessica Peconi-Cook, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Mt. Lebanon School District
All EPLC "Focus on Education" TV shows are hosted by EPLC President Ron Cowell

All are invited for a screening of the documentary:
STANDARDIZED: Lies, Money & Civil Rights—How Testing is Ruining Public Education Monday, April 27, 7-9PM
The Saturday Club, 117 West Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA
Standardized testing has long been a part of public education. Over the last ten years however, education reform has become an increasingly heated political issue and seemingly a highly profitable target market for private enterprise resulting in expanded and high-stakes testing. While some hold the view that testing is an effective assessment of student ability and teacher and school effectiveness, many feel these exams are instead undermining our students, teachers and schools.   Daniel Hornberger’s STANDARDIZED documentary raises issues about this model of education reform and the standardized testing that goes along with it. The film includes interviews with prominent educational experts and government officials who take aim at the goal of standardization that is being promoted and imposed by our federal and state governments. It sheds light on the development, nature and use of these assessments, the consequences of high-stakes testing, and the ostensible private enterprise and government agendas behind them. 
A Q&A session with a panel of informed parents, teachers and experts will follow.
This screening is made possible through a collaboration of Radnor, Tredyffrin/Easttown and Lower Merion concerned parents and PTOs.
For questions and to RSVP, contact RTSDPTOPTSA@gmail.com

Your Right to a Fair Shot: Discrimination Claims, Post-Secondary and the Professions

Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

United Way Building 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 19103
Attendees will learn about discrimination claims, post-secondary schools and the professions in this session. You'll learn how federal law aids students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education services, hear about recent cases, and understand strategies for getting students services.  This session is co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Policy and Practice, a Pre-approved Provider of Continuing Education for Pennsylvania licensed social workers.  
Tickets: Attorneys $200       General Public $100      Webinar $50   
"Pay What You Can" tickets are also available

Workshop: Fair Funding and other Commons Sense Reforms for Public Education - Saturday April 11, 9:30 am
The William Penn School District presents another public workshop in its series on school funding in Pennsylvania.  Topics to be covered include:
  • A discussion with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia about the ABC's of public education funding and school funding lawsuit filed by the William Penn School District and others. 
  • An in-depth look at Governor Tom Wolf's proposed budget and its impact on property taxes and developing a more equitable funding formula.
LOCATION: Evans Elementary School Auditorium, 900 Baily Rd Yeadon, PA 19050
Questions: Please email rafi@thecavegroup.com

SCHOOL PLAY – It’s a tough subject
PCCY website March 2015
A live theatre collaboration between playwrights Arden Kass and Seth Bauer and Public Citizens for Children and Youth.  Directed by Edward Sobel.
School Play explores our attitudes toward public education using the real voices of Pennsylvanians from across the Commonwealth. 
Invited Dress Preview: April 8th @ 7:30pm
Philadelphia Premier: April 9th @ 7:30pm (only a few seats left!)
National Constitution Center 6th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia
RSVP to schoolplay@pccy.org to reserve your seat - April 9th is almost sold out and only a few seats remain for April 8th!

Who will be at the PSBA Advocacy Forum April 19-20 in Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg?
  • Acting Ed Sec'y Pedro Rivera
  • Senate Ed Committee Majority Chairman Lloyd Smucker
  • House Ed Committee Majority Chairman Stan Saylor
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne
  • Diane Ravitch
  • House Majority Leader Dave Reed
  • House Minority Leader Frank Dermody
  • 2014 PSBA Tim Allwein Advocacy Award winners Shauna D'Alessandro and Mark Miller
How about You?
Join PSBA for the second annual Advocacy Forum on April 19-20, 2015. Hear from legislative experts on hot topics and issues regarding public education on Sunday, April 19, at PSBA headquarters in Mechanicsburg. The next day you and fellow advocates will meet with legislators at the state capitol. This is your chance to learn how to successfully advocate on behalf of public education and make your voice heard on the Hill.
Details and Registration for PSBA members (only $25.00) https://www.psba.org/event/advocacy-forum-day-hill-2015/

Join NPE in Chicago April 25-26
Curmuducation Blog Saturday, March 21, 2015
I don't get out much. I'm a high school English teacher in a small town, and kind of homebody by nature. When I leave town, it's for family or work. But in just over a month, on the weekend of April 25-26, I am taking a trip to Chicago for neither.   The Network for Public Education is the closest thing to an actual formal organization of the many and varied people standing up for public education in this modern era of privatizing test-driven corporate education reform. NPE held a conference last year, and they're doing it again this year-- a gathering of many of the strongest voices for public education in America today. Last year I followed along on line-- this year I will be there.

Beyond a New School Funding Formula: Lifting Student Achievement to Grow PA's Economy
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 from 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM (EDT) Harrisburg, PA
7:30 am: Light breakfast fare and registration; 8:00 am: Program
Harrisburg University Auditorium, Strawberry Square 326 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17101 
Opening Remarks by Neil D. Theobald, President, Temple University

SESSION I: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ACHIEVEMENT GAPS IN PENNSYLVANIA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS with introduction by Rob Wonderling, President, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Member, Center on Regional Politics Executive Committee.            
Presentation by Lynn A. Karoly, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation 

SESSION II: WHAT CAN PENNSYLVANIA LEARN FROM THE WORLD’S LEADING SCHOOL SYSTEMS? with introduction by David H. Monk, Dean, Pennsylvania State University College of Education
Presentation by Marc S. Tucker, President and CEO, National Center on Education and the Economy 
Sessions to be followed by a response panel moderated by Francine Schertzer, Director of Programming, Pennsylvania Cable Network 
Program presented by the University Consortium to Improve Public School Finance and Promote Economic Growth

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