Monday, August 10, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup for August 10, 2015: School funding reform needed

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3750 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 August 10, 2015:
School funding reform needed

Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on education funding, a severance tax, property taxes and the budget?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500
Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377

Number of Pa. children living in poverty on the rise, study says
By Elizabeth Miles / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 8, 2015 12:00 AM
Much of the country has recovered from the national recession, but one group that continues to struggle is perhaps the most vulnerable — children living in poverty.  Nationally, the number of children living in poverty increased from 18 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2013, according to the “Kids Count Data Book” released last month by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  The numbers are similar in Pennsylvania, where the percentage rose from 17 in 2008 to 19 in 2013. That means an estimated 516,000 children were living in poverty in the state in 2013.  Supporters of early childhood education are using the figures to buttress their case for more resources for pre-K education. They point to statistics that show a growing portion of Pennsylvania’s children are not attending preschool, particularly economically disadvantaged children.

"Roy has said his district cannot afford to not offer the program. Whether a child is reading on grade level by the end of third grade is a major indicator of future student success and high school graduation rates.  Bethlehem schools are partnering with Lehigh University to track the effectiveness of the program in the coming years, Roy said."
Bethlehem schools prepping for universal full-day kindergarten
By Sara K. Satullo | For Email the author | Follow on Twitter on August 09, 2015 at 7:30 AM, updated August 09, 2015 at 7:31 AM
The Bethlehem Area School District is gearing up for its first year of universal full-day kindergarten.  Administrators are hammering out everything from major details, like week-by-week language arts curriculum, to little things, like preparing bus drivers for some tired, emotional kindergarteners on the afternoon bus run.  "We're getting down to all the little details," said Superintendent Joseph Roy, whose own daughter is starting kindergarten this year. "I think we are in very good shape."  The school board voted earlier this year to bring full-day kindergarten to all 16 elementary schools. Previously, only the district's neediest children had access to the full-day program.  "I'm excited," Roy said. "It is not often it is such a clear-cut important program we are implementing."

Overall Pa. graduation rates respectable, but some urban districts lagging
The unique challenges of urban areas explain the difference, and many people say changes to the state funding formula will help.  With a statewide four-year high school graduation rate of 86 percent, Pennsylvania ranks 15th in the nation.  But the Pennsylvania Department of Education data from the 2012-13 academic year, the latest year available, also show that most of the commonwealth’s urban districts lag well behind that average.   According to PDE, the four-year graduation rate in Philadelphia is 70 percent – a significant increase from 10 years ago when scarcely half graduated. But it's still  below the state average and well behind the goal of 80 percent that Mayor Nutter set, for before he leaves office in  2016.  (The city, which calculates the graduation rate differently from the state, reported the four-year rate for students who entered high school in 2009 at 64 percent.)  Among the 10 largest urban districts, Harrisburg — which was under state control between 2000 and 2008 — has by far the lowest graduation rate, at 38 percent. Upper Darby, a racially and socioeconomically diverse district on the western edge of Philadelphia, has the highest rate, meeting the state average at 85 percent.
Most of the urban districts had graduation rates between 60 and 80 percent.

Local school representatives speak out against state assessments
West Chester Daily Local By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@ @CMonhollanDLN on Twitter POSTED: 08/06/15, 4:52 PM EDT
It’s no secret that Pennsylvania State Assessments have become a controversial topic in the educational field with teachers, administrators, students and parents.  The Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Education Committee gathered July 29 to hold a public hearing and two Chester County school representatives were present to give testimonies about the assessments.  Neither stood up for them.  “If I could grade the testing system today, I would say that it’s failing,” said Linda Hicks to the committee. “From my perspective in the classroom, I don’t really see how it is productive — either for students or teachers.”  Hicks, a fourth grade teacher in the Oxford Area School District, spoke as a teacher and as a parent of children who have taken the Keystones Exams.  “I can say with confidence that children are not benefitting from our testing system,” she said. “Throughout my years in the classroom, I have observed children learning nothing from these tests. Is the goal that we help students become better test-takers? We are testing for the sake of testing rather than for constructive uses.”  Instead of just the PSSA tests and SATs, students now also take Keystone Exams, which will soon determine whether a student will graduate or not.  Jim Scanlon, superintended of the West Chester Area School District, is discussing the possibility of opting his son out of PSSAs after seeing what all the testing has done in the schools.  “That negativity is already beginning to drive down our test scores,” he said. “Learning should be challenging, but also enjoyable and exciting. Teaching should be dynamic and creative. We’re missing so much of that because of these tests.”

 Letter to the East editor: Wolf's budget restores education cuts
Post Gazette Letter by REP. JOSEPH MARKOSEK D-Monroeville July 31, 2015 6:33 AM
The writer is a member of the state House of Representatives and is minority chairman of House Appropriations Committee. 
 Inadequate state education funding is the actual reason local school property taxes have increased, not pension payments as said in “Pensions Listed as Top Reason for School Increases,” East, July 17.  The No. 1 reason property taxes continue to climb in Pennsylvania is that the state is not holding up its end of the deal when it comes to funding schools. The state and school districts should equally share the cost of educating students; however, currently, they do not.  For four years, the previous governor starved school districts of state funding, which left districts to rely more on local property taxes. Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal, which House and Senate Democrats have embraced, would restore past education funding cuts and raise the state’s share of overall education funding from 37 to 50 percent.  In the legislative district I represent, school districts would receive an average 8.6 percent increase in state funding: East Allegheny 10.7 percent; Gateway 8.2 percent; Penn-Trafford 3.8 percent; Plum 4.9 percent and Woodland Hills 15.6 percent. Thankfully, Gov. Wolf vetoed the Republican budget, which would have provided school districts with only about one-fourth of that amount.  The Post-Gazette should ask those same districts if they would need to raise local taxes if they received the state funding increases proposed by Democrats. My guess is they would not, which is why education funding is my top priority for the 2015-16 state budget.

School funding reform needed
Trib Live Letter to the Editor by Linda L. Croushore, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, 7:51 a.m.
The writer is executive director of The Consortium for Public Education, headquartered in McKeesport
I have never spent a day at The Consortium without worrying for the financial health of many of our schools. I was glad the auditor general saw some savings opportunities for schools in the areas he mentioned: charter schools, excessive buyouts, construction reimbursements, and others.  However, the answer to me, is much more fundamental. Our commonwealth wants an educated, skilled workforce ready to meet the demands of employers. Yet our design to fund our schools only gives opportunity to some of our students.  Once a school district reaches a 30 percent poverty rate, the problems escalate dramatically, in my experience. More students need counseling, are designated with special needs, need learning support, and the list goes on.
Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill: Wolf says no to York County school funding (column)
York Daily Record Letter By State Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill 08/07/2015 10:50:38 AM EDT
The budget is often portrayed in the media as merely one piece of legislation. It is in fact a series of bills that all contribute to the state spending plan for a fiscal year.   Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of every piece of budget-related legislation that crossed his desk June 30 is unfortunately revealing this reality to many Pennsylvanians.  When the governor said no and created the current budget impasse, his actions put spending on hold in a number of areas.  One of them is public school education, which is unfortunately less than one month away from beginning a new year in the classroom.  In questioning his decision, we must go back to June of last year, when Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law legislation that created the Basic Education Funding Commission. This bipartisan group of 15 members, including superintendents, school board presidents, business leaders, nonprofit organizations and parents, was tasked with developing and recommending a new formula for distributing state money for education to Pennsylvania school districts.
If you are a longtime resident of York County, you know our schools have been underfunded for more than 20 years. One reason is the hold harmless provision, which prevents schools with declining enrollments from receiving less funding — and which shortchanges growing school districts by giving them less money per student.

Opinion: If Republicans were honest, they’d love Gov. Wolf’s budget
By Stephen Herzenberg, Delco Times Guest Columnist POSTED: 08/09/15, 10:26 PM EDT
Blind taste tests often produce surprising results. Imagine if this year’s two property tax relief proposals were wines – Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan unveiled in March as part of his 2015-16 budget proposal and the Republican-sponsored HB 504 that passed the Pennsylvania House in May.  We at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center think that if Republican lawmakers were subjected to a blind test (without party labeling) of which of the two property tax plans they prefer, many would be astonished to find that they would pick Wolf’s. The similarities between the two plans – and the benefits of Wolf’s plan for many Republican areas of the state – should make property taxes one area for potential compromise in the current state budget debate.  PBPC laid out the facts on both property tax plans in a package of three briefs released late last month. PBPC calculated and compared how much property tax relief typical homeowners in each of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts would receive under both plans. We also color-coded maps so Pennsylvanians can see at a glance which districts would get the biggest share of tax relief under each plan and the actual dollar amount of relief to be received.  Here’s what we found:

Pipelines to lucrative Midwest markets welcomed by shale gas drillers
Trib Live By David Conti Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Shale gas producers staring down a supply glut that has pushed prices to record lows in Appalachia are getting their first look at relief.  Several long-awaited pipeline projects are coming online over the next few months that should start increasing the prices some Marcellus and Utica shale drillers get for their gas as it finds paths to more lucrative markets in the Midwest.  
“They've been held captive to these lower prices in Appalachia with no other place to take their gas,” said Teri Viswanath, a natural gas analyst at BNP Paribas in New York. “The continued cycle of new takeaway projects will accelerate a price increase.”  With high supplies and not enough demand to consume it all here, selling gas in Appalachia has meant taking a deep discount. The spot price on the Dominion South trading point in Southwestern Pennsylvania hit 71 cents per million British thermal units on July 2, which Viswanath said was a record low.
By last week it rebounded to $1.35, but that was less than half the price garnered at the Chicago Citygate trading point, $2.89.

Pittsburgh area private school heads earn top salaries
Salary reflects stresses of fundraising, competition
By Eleanor Chute / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August 10, 2015 12:00 AM
Which education executive is paid more: the superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, the president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania or the head of Sewickley Academy?  If you chose the head of Sewickley Academy, you already have an idea of how the pay of top executives at private K-12 schools shapes up.   According to the IRS forms filed for 2013-14, Kohlia O’Connor, who has been Sewickley Academy’s head of school since 2002, was paid $302,872 a year in reportable compensation plus $107,668 in nontaxable benefits and $17,850 in retirement or deferred compensation.  The preK-12 school had 669 students in 2014-15, according to the state, and a budget of about $18.5 million in 2013-14, according to the IRS filing.  Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane earns $235,000 plus $35,000 in a retirement benefit to run the district with more than 24,000 students and a budget of $559 million.

School's out but not for teachers
By Jacqueline Palochko Of The Morning Call August 10, 2015
At Southern Lehigh last week, about 200 teachers from Lehigh Valley districts attended a two-day Edu Summit that provided professional development and training for educators. For most teachers, it wasn't the only education enrichment they received this summer.  When the final bell rings in June, many teachers don't stop.  They participate in professional development that ranges from how to integrate technology in a classroom to how to connect more with students who are English language learners. Some even hit the road to attend national conferences.  "I don't stop working in June," said Salisbury Middle School sixth grade teacher Cathy Yurconic, who attended the Edu Summit last week. "What I'm doing is freshening up my teaching practices. I don't stay stagnant."  The value of professional development recently took a hit by TNTP, a Brooklyn-based organization that trains educators and promotes stringent evaluations.

Reports puts stability at center of York City schools' improvement effort
A district review noted several places where consistency is key
York Daily Record By Angie Mason @angiemason1 on Twitter UPDATED:   08/07/2015 06:39:12 PM EDT
It's consistency in classrooms, in what students are learning and what's expected of them. And it's steadiness in the principal's office, in who leaders are and how long they stay.
In one way or another, several of the findings and recommendations from a nonprofit that reviewed the York City School District from top to bottom aim at improving one thing: stability. The report says its recommendations aim to help focus attention and resources on strengthening instruction.  The York City School Board recently received the results of a comprehensive review done by Mass Insight, a Boston-based nonprofit that works on education issues. The review used data, surveys, interviews and focus groups to identify strengths and weaknesses in the district throughout 10 areas — vision, human resources, academics, finance, and so on — to help the district update its recovery plan in order to increase student achievement.  Several of the challenges and recommendations focus on bringing stability to the district in various areas. Here's a look at the ways it's needed, and the ways the district is working to get it.

Scranton union president: no contract, no school
Times-Tribune BY SARAH HOFIUS HALL Published: August 10, 2015
If Scranton teachers do not have a new contract by the start of the school year, their union president plans to recommend that they do not return to their classrooms.  After agreeing to a one-year deal last year, the teachers now have a contract that expires at the end of the month. The sides negotiate as the district faces increased financial pressure, including skyrocketing state-mandated pension payments and uncertainty with the state budget impasse.  “My personal choice is to not start without a contract,” said Rosemary Boland, president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers. Teachers would have to authorize the union to call a strike. Students are scheduled to start school on Thursday, Sept. 3.  The union and district agreed to the one-year deal last summer, with the hope that the district’s financial situation would improve. The district borrowed about $10 million to balance the 2015 budget, and whether the district will see an additional $3.2 million in the state budget remains unclear.

Editorial: Families shouldn’t have to pick up the tax bill for commercial properties
Nathan Mains, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association August 7, 2015
I’m sure everyone reading this is an upright citizen. You keep your lawn neat and tidy. In the winter you may be the first out to shovel the snow from your walk, and perhaps your elderly neighbor’s too. You pay your taxes on time, and you even pay a little more to cover that strip mall down the road. What’s that? You don’t? Well whether you think you do or not, chances are your hard earned tax dollars are going to subsidize the taxes of that strip mall, or office building, or apartment complex in your community and you didn’t even know it.  As a taxpayer if you feel the value of your property is being overtaxed you have the right to appeal the current assessment and potentially lower your taxes. Likewise, taxing bodies such as townships, boroughs and school districts can conduct an assessment appeal if it believes the value of a property has increased beyond its assessed value.  This process allows municipalities to tax fairly so these corporate properties aren’t paying less than their fair share, and you’re not picking up the tab for their underpayment. Critics (yes, typically those corporate entities) are trying to take this authority away from school districts. Like all of us, they don’t want to pay more taxes, but nor should the families of a community chip in and subsidize their taxes.  All taxpayers subsidize significantly under-taxed commercial properties through unnecessary millage rate increases, reductions in public services such as senior programs, police and fire protection, and cuts to the schools. Taxing-body assessment appeals correct this injustice.

First, a prediction: the anti-excessive testing drive is not going to lose steam and disappear. To the contrary, I expect that it will only pick up momentum during the coming school year.  Even if the Congress manages to agree on a replacement for No Child Left Behind that the President is willing to sign, it’s too late to counter the genuine revulsion many people feel about excessive testing.
**Too many people now realize that the US is the only advanced country that tests kids in order to judge (and sometimes fire) teachers.
**Too many people are upset about the intrusive nature of testing and data-collection, and too many parents are distrustful of a system that treats their children as a number, a test score.
**Too many people have lost faith in ‘big data’ in education and in the testing industry in general.
As we have reported on the NewsHour, the “Opt Out” movement is made up of strange political bedfellows, united in their opposition. How long these folks remain together depends, it seems to me, upon what happens next.

New Tests Push Schools To Redefine 'Good Enough'
This past spring, 5 million students from third grade through high school took new, end-of-year tests in math and English — developed by a consortium of states known as PARCC.  It's a big deal because these tests are aligned to the Common Core learning standards, and they're considered harder than many of the tests they replaced.  It's also a big deal because — until last year — it was all but impossible to compare students across state lines. Not anymore.  There's just one problem: The results won't be released for a long time (late fall). What's the hold-up, you ask?  The tests have all been read and the answers tallied. That's not the problem. The problem is, adding up right answers doesn't tell you how a child did. For that, you need cut scores. And PARCC doesn't have them yet.

Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional)
New York Times By MOTOKO RICH AUG. 9, 2015
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. — In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers.  Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.  At the same time, a growing number of English-language learners are entering public schools, yet it is increasingly difficult to find bilingual teachers. So schools are looking for applicants everywhere they can — whether out of state or out of country — and wooing candidates earlier and quicker.  Some are even asking prospective teachers to train on the job, hiring novices still studying for their teaching credentials, with little, if any, classroom experience.

Connecticut to Require All 11th Graders to Take the SAT
New York Times By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS AUG. 6, 2015
Connecticut announced on Thursday that all 11th graders in the state’s public schools would soon be required to take the SAT college admissions tests, replacing an existing statewide exam amid widespread concern that the nation’s students are tested too much.  With approval from the United States Department of Education, Connecticut said it would make the SAT a requirement, administered without cost to students, beginning in the 2015-16 school year.  “We had reached the conclusion that there was, in fact, too much testing in 11th grade,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in an interview. “We thought it was just a tremendous amount of pressure concentrated in a single year.”  The federal government requires that states assess students in both reading and math once during high school. Because so many Connecticut public school students take the SAT anyway, replacing the existing high school test, given in 11th grade, with the SAT would leave young people with one exam fewer on their roster.  State officials said that while scores had not yet been set on what would count as meeting or exceeding “achievement level,” a particular score on the SAT would not be required to graduate from high school or to rise to the 12th grade. Instead, the test will be used as one of several measures, including grades and attendance, to decide if a student has met the requirements necessary to move on.

VAM: Master teacher suing New York state over ‘ineffective’ rating is going to court
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss August 9 at 12:17 PM  
A veteran teacher suing New York state education officials over the controversial method they used to evaluate her as “ineffective” is expected to go to New York Supreme Court in Albany this week for oral arguments in a case that could affect all public school teachers in the state and even beyond.  Sheri G. Lederman, a fourth-grade teacher in New York’s Great Neck public school district, is “highly regarded as an educator,” according to her district superintendent, Thomas Dolan, and has a “flawless record”. The standardized math and English Language Arts test scores of her students are consistently higher than the state average.  Yet her 2013-2014 evaluation, based in part on student standardized test scores, rated her as “ineffective.” How can a teacher known for excellence be rated “ineffective”? It happens — and not just in New York.

“Reform” makes broken New Orleans schools worse: Race, charters, testing and the real story of education after Katrina
An all-charter-school system was heralded as the future for urban schools. The future is filled with flaws by JENNIFER C. BERKSHIRE MONDAY, AUG 3, 2015 05:57 AM EDT
Here is all you need to know about the New Orleans schools before Hurricane Katrina hit, 10 years ago this summer: They were awful. The schools were awful, the school board was awful, the central office was awful—all of them were awful. At a recent conference held to tout the progress made by the schools here since Katrina, Scott Cowan, an early proponent of the all-charter-school model that exists here now, described New Orleans’ pre-storm schools as mired in “unprecedented dysfunction.” In other words, they were awful.
The problem with a story like this isn’t just that it leaves out anything that doesn’t fit but that it can be hard to contain once it gets going. Before long, this “awfulizing narrative,” as it was described to me more than once during the 10 days I recently spent in New Orleans, spread past the school yards and central offices, sweeping up in its wake parents, children, indeed the whole hot mess that is New Orleans. The awful story was at the root of the decision to fire 7,000 teachers after the storm, the majority of whom were black New Orleanians and the backbone of the city’s middle class. It is the reason why so few locals can be found among the ranks of education reform groups here. And it is a rarely acknowledged justification for the long school day favored by charters here—10, even 12 hours when you factor in the cross-city bus trips that a choice landscape necessitates.

Bernie Sanders Clearly In Pocket Of High-Rolling Teacher Who Donated $300 To His Campaign
The Onion NEWS IN BRIEF August 3, 2015
BURLINGTON, VT—After accepting a check sent to his campaign office by a local elementary school teacher, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was roundly criticized Monday as being firmly in the pocket of the high-rolling educator who had donated $300. “He might have the reputation of being the people’s candidate, but when your candidacy is effectively bankrolled by the multi-hundred-dollar donation of a fourth-grade teacher, it’s clear who’s really pulling the strings,” said political analyst Peter Mathews, who noted that when a check arrives with a handwritten note that says “Behind you 100 percent, Bernie!” it comes with certain expectations. “He’s already spouting off talking points about supporting unions and increasing funding for education. Where do you think he got those ideas? He might think he’s not influenced by that money, but when someone has deep enough pockets to drop $300, you pick up the phone when they call.” Mathews went on to say he wouldn’t be surprised if Sanders’ strong support for a living wage could be directly traced to the fat $20 contribution he got from a fast-food worker.

Stargazing: Perseid meteor shower
Post Gazette By Dan Malerbo, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory August 10, 2015 12:00 AM
The Perseid meteor shower is one of nature’s most exciting celestial displays. They begin in late July and stretch into August. Stargazers outdoors at the right time can see colorful fireballs, occasional outbursts and almost always long hours of gracefully streaking “shooting stars.”  Among the many nights of the shower, one always is the best for viewing. This year, peak activity will occur from about 11 p.m. on Wednesday through dawn on Thursday. Maximum activity with exceptional skies during the Perseids is normally about 50 or 60 meteors per hour. The new moon occurs on Friday, so there will be no moon light to interfere during the shower’s prime pre-dawn hours.  The best way to view the Perseids is to lie down on your favorite lawn chair and look toward the northeast. Keep in mind, the best place to observe the Perseid meteor shower, or any meteor shower for that matter, is somewhere dark, away from the bright lights of the city. The less light visible, the more brilliant the meteor shower will be.

Nominations for PSBA's Allwein Advocacy Award now open
PSBA July 7, 2015
The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award was established in 2011 by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA’s Legislative Platform.  The 2015 Allwein Award nomination process will close on Aug. 28, 2015. The 2015 Allwein Award Nomination Form is available online. More details on the award and nominations process can be found online

Slate of candidates for PSBA offices now available online
PSBA website July 31, 2015
The slate of candidates for 2016 PSBA officer and at-large representatives is now available online, including bios, photos and videos. According to recent PSBA Bylaws changes, each member school entity casts one vote per office. Voting will again take place online through a secure, third-party website -- Simply Voting. Voting will openAug. 17 and closes Sept. 28. One person from the school entity (usually the board secretary) is authorized to register the vote on behalf of the member school entity and each board will need to put on its agenda discussion and voting at one of its meetings in August or September. Each person authorized to register the school entity's votes has received an email on July 16 to verify the email address and confirm they are the person to register the vote on behalf of their school entity. 

Save the Date for PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 14-16, 2015 Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
Save the date for the professional development event of the year. Be inspired at more than four exciting venues and invest in professional development for top administrators and school board members. Online registration will be live soon!

Register Now – PAESSP State Conference – Oct. 18-20 – State College, PA
Registration is now open for PAESSP's State Conference to be held October 18-20 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA! This year's theme is @EVERYLEADER and features three nationally-known keynote speakers (Dr. James Stronge, Justin Baeder and Dr. Mike Schmoker), professional breakout sessions, a legal update, exhibits, Tech Learning Labs and many opportunities to network with your colleagues (Monday evening event with Jay Paterno).  Once again, in conjunction with its conference, PAESSP will offer two 30-hour Act 45 PIL-approved programs, Linking Student Learning to Teacher Supervision and Evaluation (pre-conference offering on 10/17/15); and Improving Student Learning Through Research-Based Practices: The Power of an Effective Principal (held during the conference, 10/18/15 -10/20/15). Register for either or both PIL programs when you register for the Full Conference!
REGISTER TODAY for the Conference and Act 45 PIL program/s at:

Apply now for EPLC’s 2015-2016 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program
Applications are available now for the 2015-2016 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).  With more than 400 graduates in its first sixteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.  Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, charter school leaders, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders.  Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.  The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 17-18, 2015 and continues to graduation in June 2016.
Click here to read about the Education Policy Fellowship Program.

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