Monday, September 14, 2015

PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 14: After 25 Years, Teach for America Results are Consistently Underwhelming

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

These daily emails are archived and searchable at
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup for September 14, 2015:
After 25 Years, Teach for America Results are Consistently Underwhelming

Make your voice heard at Education Action Day, Sept. 21
School directors and administrators from across the state will be converging on the State Capitol on Monday, Sept. 21 for Education Action Day – your opportunity to push for a state budget and pension reform. Join PSBA in the Main Capitol-East Wing under the escalators at 10 a.m. A news conference will be held from 11 a.m.-noon, and from 1-3 p.m. you may visit with legislators. There is no charge for participation, but for planning purposes, members are asked to register their attendance online below. We look forward to a big crowd to impress upon legislators and the governor the need for a state budget and pension reform now!

"Today, an increasing number of charters are spending more of their budgets paying down debt than on actual instruction. In the case of String Theory, which enrolls 1,400 students, the school now spends nearly one-third - $5.5 million - of its $16 million budget just to occupy the half-empty 228,000-square-foot high-rise, along with two older, smaller schools in South Philadelphia. That figure is more than String Theory spends on teachers' wages - $5.3 million.  Put another way, String Theory spends $3,895 per student on its building costs, nearly five times the $800-a-student average the district budgets for debt and building expenses.  The pressure can lead school administrators to push for even more expansion projects - more students mean more state funding to pay off debts."
Charter schools: Prefer building booms to classrooms?
THREE FRANKLIN Plaza, a bow-shaped eight-story building at 16th and Vine streets, once hummed with 1,700 GlaxoSmithKline white-collar workers.   Today, it is empty more than three months out of the year, a lone security guard watching over the corporate art still hanging in the lobby.  From September to June, a charter school called String Theory occupies half the floors. The school acquired and began renovating this premier office tower in 2013 as part of a $55 million tax-exempt bond deal, arranged with help from the city's biggest economic-development agency. It was the largest bond deal of its kind in city history.
It is also the most conspicuous example yet of a risky, expensive and fast-growing financial scheme underpinning the rapid expansion of Philadelphia charters - a bond market now worth nearly $500 million. But the bond financing behind the mountain of money gets little scrutiny as to whether the debt is a smart use of Pennsylvania's limited education dollars.
The lack of transparency can translate into deals that may be unsustainable. Shortly after moving into its flashy high-rise, String Theory posted its first operating deficit. After revealing it was $500,000 in the red from paying out millions annually to bondholders, administrators told parents that they were cutting certain classes and suspending bus service as cost-saving measures.

"The issue isn't limited to Philadelphia, according to state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who is conducting a statewide review of charter leases.  "About half the charter schools we've audited basically have this circular arrangement where there's an entity that owns the building and an entity that leases the building, and they're connected," he said."
The get-rich business of charter consulting
MANY OF the recent charter bond deals have been helped by Santilli & Thomson, a New Jersey-based firm that has made millions off consulting contracts and bond fees.  The firm, run by ex-School District of Philadelphia finance officials Gerald Santilli and Michael Thomson, touts on its website "more than 50 years of combined experience in municipal school management."  There is no way to know exactly how much Santilli & Thomson has earned in taxpayer-funded contracts from charter schools, according to a district spokesman. The firm did not respond to numerous requests for comment.  However, a analysis of financial documents for several charter schools that received municipal bonds found that Santilli & Thomson has billed at least $5 million since 2010.

GOP readies stopgap Pa. budget, but details scarce
Republican Pennsylvania lawmakers could put Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in a tricky spot with their next budgetary maneuver: they say they'll be back in session this month to approve a temporary spending plan.  The stopgap measure would get funding flowing again to schools, social services, and other government programs that have had to curb services and borrow money to function since the budget stalemate began in July.  Details are scarce. Republicans say the measure would provide four months of retroactive funding, from July through October, but it's not clear how funding levels would be set.  The plan to go ahead with short-term funding puts Gov. Wolf in a tricky situation. He has not said whether he would sign a stopgap budget, since he continues to try to negotiate a full year's budget deal. But Republicans say Wolf would look insensitive if he stymied funds for schools and social services that are feeling the pain of the budget impasse.

Editorial: No budget should equal no pay for Pennsylvania legislators
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 09/12/15, 4:01 PM EDT | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO
Day care centers are borrowing money to make payroll.  School district business managers are watching the calendar to predict when the cash flow from property-tax payments runs out.  Family service providers, addiction counselors and mental health agencies are pinching pennies to stay open.  In the Chester Upland School District, teachers worked without pay for the first week of school as an emergency measure because the distressed district is out of money.  When Pennsylvania voters put Gov. Tom Wolf in office on a platform of fixing schools funding, this wasn’t the fix they had in mind.  When state legislators heard from constituents that the No. 1 issue on their minds is property-tax reform, bringing the state budgeting process to a screeching halt wasn’t the solution they were talking about.  The state budget impasse, at 75 days and counting, is a slap in the face to every promise voters trusted.  And just like the infamous legislative pay raise in 2005, voters’ ire is rising as they realize legislators are not the ones feeling the pain. The direct deposit of state officials’ paychecks has gone on uninterrupted.

What a state can expect when it fails to pass a budget
Divided government and shrinking revenue forces Illinois and other states into protracted budget stalemates
By Karen Langley / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 13, 2015 12:00 AM
A wealthy businessman-turned-first-term-governor with big goals vetoes a budget delivered by legislators of the other party, leaving the state without a spending plan months into its fiscal year.  And not just in Pennsylvania: In Illinois, too, divided government and fiscal pressures have left the state operating without a budget for the year that started July 1.   On the national scene, the two states stand out. While New Hampshire and North Carolina do not yet have budgets for the new fiscal year, policymakers in those states have put in place shorter-term spending plans. Alabama is working to finalize its budget, but its fiscal year does not begin until Oct. 1.  In Illinois, the U.S. state with the lowest credit ratings, the budget deadlock appears as intractable as in Harrisburg. In late June, first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, a former private equity executive who won election in 2014, vetoed a budget sent to him by the strong Democratic majorities in the Illinois House and Senate, saying it was billions of dollars out of balance.

 “The consequence he does care about is not doing it right for the people,” said a key supporter, Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia.  A stopgap should only be considered if Wolf and the Legislature are close to an agreement, to tide the state over, Evans said.  “My recommendation (to Wolf) as one person is to not do the stopgap” unless there's significant progress toward a deal, Evans said."
Another 'one-term Tom'?
Trib Live By Brad Bumsted Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Over the past 20 years we've had two governors called “one-term Tom” by pundits: Republicans Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett. Ridge actually won a second term. Corbett was the first incumbent governor defeated since a state Constitution in 1968 provided for second terms.  Now do we potentially have another one-term Tom in Democrat Tom Wolf?  With a state budget 75 days late as of today, and Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature seemingly entrenched in ideological positions, is this a budget that could exceed the 101-day impasse of 2009 or even extend into 2016?  Wolf acts as though he doesn't care about the consequences. He's independently wealthy, spent $10 million of his own money to become governor and will be 68 when a decision on running for re-election rolls around in 2018, so he continues to insist on a budget with a $400 million boost for basic education, a natural-gas tax and tax-shifting.  
This column isn't to suggest Wolf, at this point, could not win another term. His polling numbers are still favorable. The question is if he is willing to risk putting himself in severe political jeopardy if he can't get a state budget, spending and taxes that he believes would make it worthwhile in a continued holdout.

Sto-Rox secures line of credit
Post Gazette By Sonja Reis September 11, 2015 12:00 AM
As Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate drags into its third month, directors at Sto-Rox School District have secured a safety net by way of a line of credit totaling around $7 million.  The money will be used to pay for essentials normally covered with government funds such as salaries and utility bills.  “It’s a line of credit, not a [Tax Anticipation Note],” said Superintendent Terry DeCarbo. “You only use what you need and pay back what you use.”  The stop-gap measure will allow the district to continue to provide services to the students of Stowe and McKees Rocks, he said.  “We have tax money that’s coming in, but we will get to the point where we will need it by late September, early October,” said Mr. DeCarbo, who calls the credit line a bridge until the district receives its basic education funding.

Schools explore options during impasse
Luzerne County Citizen's Voice BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER Published: September 13, 2015
School districts across the state are looking at how to deal with the state budget stalemate, which is now in its third month and is delaying the disbursement of state education funds.  In the Hanover Area School District, Business Manager Thomas Cipriano got a little help from the four municipal tax collectors in the district when they sent property tax revenue to the district ahead of schedule. A debt payment created some cash-flow challenges, Cipriano said.  The Wyoming Area School District has not had any cash-flow problems yet because property tax payments are coming in and the district had a fund balance of $2.5 million fund balance to start the school year on July 1, Finance Manager Joe Rodriguez said.  Hanover Area had a $250,000 fund balance on July 1 and borrowed $2.5 million with a short-term loan known as a tax-anticipation note. Other school districts in the area could run into cash-flow problems in a month or two if the state does not have a budget in place because property tax payments will slow down.  Greater Nanticoke Area School District Superintendent Ronald Grevera said local taxes are currently helping the district pay bills and employees.  “I am fearful that as the impasse drags on late into the fall, that we may be forced to stop payment to vendors temporarily until the budget is passed,” Grevera said.

What Lower Standardized Test Scores Mean for Pennsylvania; WESA Pittsburgh Listen Live Today from 12 to 1 pm
Standardized test scores in Pennsylvania are down, way down. The number of students rated as proficient or advanced in math dropped almost 60 percent from the previous year with language arts scores down 26 percent. What’s the reason for the drop off? And how should  Pennsylvania educators respond? We'll talk with Quaker Valley Superintendent Heidi Ondek and Joseph Zupancic, a member of West Jefferson Hills School Board.   
Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Local school officials see few benefits to new accountability system waiver
Bucks County Courier Times by Joan Hellyer, staff writer Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015
A "one-year pause" in Pennsylvania's new accountability system for public schools is not getting much support from local school representatives.  "This action merely stalls the problem," Mark Miller, vice president of the Centennial school board and vice president of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, said last week. "It does not solve anything."  The U.S. Department of Education recently approved a one-year waiver for Pennsylvania in its use of the state's School Performance Profile — a scoring system for students and teachers. The SPP is "a significant part" of the state's obligations to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a spokeswoman said. Gov. Tom Wolf and Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera requested the waiver so the state will not have to use the 2015 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores to calculate the SPP and teacher effectiveness ratings this year.  The state officials said they made the request because of sweeping changes to the PSSA tests in 2014-15. The standardized tests in English Language Arts and mathematics are used to determine if students in third- through eighth-grade are learning at grade level. The tests were aligned for the first time to the PA Core Standards, which went into effect last year. The changes resulted in significant drops in student performance across the state, education department Nicole Reigelman said last week in a news release.

"Several local graduates cited their schools' emphasis on preparing for state-administered standardized tests — notably, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, and Keystone Exam — as missing the target in preparing them for their future.  “Kids aren't actually learning,” 2008 Aliquippa graduate Lauren Woods said. “They're just learning a test.”  Skepticism of the tests is not confined to students."
Students at odds over whether high school prepared them for life
Trib Live By Matthew Zabierek Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, 10:09 a.m.
Editor's note: The Tribune-Review examined school districts and charter schools in seven Western Pennsylvania counties. This is the first of a two-day report. Today: Former students talk about how well their high schools prepared them for college or a career.  At North Allegheny High School, Duke Lundahl took classes tailored for the 90 percent of district students who go on to college. That majority, however, did not include Lundahl.  When he graduated in 2013, he began a trade in metal fabrication and now works as a welder at Armin Iron Works in the North Side, putting in hours of labor before many of his former classmates wake up for an 8 a.m. college course.  “I really didn't find too much of high school useful other than the basic math skills I use now,” he said.  Lundahl is one of many recent Western Pennsylvania public high school graduates who told the Tribune-Review that their high school fell short in preparing them for a job or college.  They're not alone. A 2014 survey showed 47 percent of high school graduates nationally reported having “some” or “large” gaps in their preparation for life after high school, according to Achieve, a nonpartisan education reform organization.

Pittsburgh schools evaluate success of pay-for-performance
Trib Live By Katishi Maake Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, 10:09 a.m.
Melissa Friez did not pursue a career in education for the money.  The former teacher, now principal of Pittsburgh Allderdice High School and assistant superintendent of grades 9 to 12, said her commitment to education is unwavering, regardless of pay.  “I would do my job and work just as hard, with or without a pay-for-performance,” she said. “If you're doing it for money, you're not doing it for anyone but yourself.”  Although Friez hopes all educators prioritize their students' education, she says recognizing teachers for their progress is valuable. In 2010, the Pittsburgh school board implemented a pay-for-performance incentive that awards bonuses to teachers whose students perform well on tests.  The teachers' contract expired in June, forcing the district and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers to decide whether the incentive program should be renewed. Contract negotiations are under way.

William Penn District opens first charter school
Philly Trib by Samaria Bailey Tribune Correspondent Saturday, September 12, 2015
Delaware County’s William Penn School District made history on the first day of school this week with its first charter school, Vision Academy.  School leaders and some elected officials said the school will give parents more educational options for their children. The grand opening was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  “We saw a need in the community and we wanted to do something like this,” said President and CEO Adam Oz. “We have a curriculum with four pillars: core knowledge, blended learning, partnerships with a national network of schools [supported] by Johns Hopkins and extended day.”  Vision is located in the building that used to house St. Philomena’s Parochial school. This year, it began with 189 students in kindergarten through fourth grades. There are two classes per grade.  During the ceremony, several people spoke about how the school was a source of contention in the community, but, nevertheless, necessary.

"Source4Teachers, which has about 300 workers qualified to teach in Philadelphia and about 500 more in some stage of credentialing, is paying up to $110 for Philadelphia substitutes; under district management, the pay was $160, or up to $242.83 for retired teachers.  Officials with the company have said they do not believe its pay scale is part of the problem.  A number of workers have disagreed, saying Source4Teachers' pay was absolutely the reason they were reluctant to take Philadelphia jobs."
Sub troubles stress out many Philly schools
For years, Lincoln High never had trouble finding subs. Even though it is a large, comprehensive high school, temporary teachers wanted to work there.  That changed last week, when a private firm took over managing the Philadelphia School District's substitute services. Source4Teachers, based in Cherry Hill, received a $34 million contract and promised it would fill 75 percent of vacancies initially, ramping up to 90 percent by January.  But Source4Teachers achieved its highest "fill rate" of the week on Friday, when just 12 percent of the 456 city classrooms that needed substitute services had them. The firm has said it had hoped for better performance, and expects to improve rapidly.

Inky Editorial: Wrong lesson plan
INQUIRER EDITORIAL BOARD POSTED: Sunday, September 13, 2015, 1:09 AM
The School Reform Commission's botched premier of its effort to save money by privatizing the assignment of substitute teachers is another consequence of the state legislature's failure to adequately fund public education. Confusion created by the miscue provided a lesson in how to disrespect the Philadelphia schoolchildren who suffered as a result.  Imagine the blow to children's self-esteem when the adults don't seem to care enough about your education to get it right; when the adults argue over and over about how much they have spent on your schools while failing to acknowledge they haven't spent enough. As another school year began last week in Philadelphia, some students unexpectedly became the latest case studies for a course in public education economics.

Budgets earn praise for three Chesco school districts by Michaelle Bond LAST UPDATED: Monday, September 14, 2015, 1:10 AM
Three Chester County school districts have been applauded for using best practices in developing their budgets.  The Downingtown Area, Great Valley, and Owen J. Roberts School Districts were among six in Pennsylvania to receive the Meritorious Budget Award.
The Association of School Business Officials International grants the award each year to school districts in the United States and Canada that work to improve accuracy, transparency, sound fiscal management, and communication in their budgets.  School districts submit eight years' worth of data to apply. About 100 school districts won the award for the 2014-15 school year.  The Great Valley and Owen J. Roberts districts have received the award for the last 20 years, according to the Chester County Intermediate Unit.  The Downingtown Area district has won for the last decade.  "It's clearly another measure to demonstrate to taxpayers that you are being good stewards of local, state, and federal dollars," Michael Christian, superintendent of Owen J. Roberts, said in a statement. -

"Northwestern Lehigh is among a growing number of school districts in the Lehigh Valley that have launched 1:1 programs, so named for the ratio of laptops to students.  State and federal education departments don't track the number of such programs. But in the Valley, they include Southern Lehigh, Salisbury Township, Catasauqua Area and Saucon Valley, where students in sixth grade and beyond have iPads they can take home."
Taking tech to the next step: More districts adopting take-home laptop programs
By Sarah M. Wojcik Of The Morning Call September 14, 2015
It was only Day 3, but history teacher Josh Snyder knew he was off to a good start when he saw his ninth-grade students at Northwestern Lehigh High School march into class with their own personal laptops.  Snyder, already a fan of technology in the classroom, was witnessing a new dimension of the district's technology program — an initiative that put a MacBook Air laptop into the hands of every high school student.  Now his students would have a ready tool for whenever a lesson took on a spontaneous life of its own.  "The logistics in the past were just …," Snyder's voice trails off tellingly. "You'd have to plan for weeks ahead for the use of certain technology. Now just knowing each student is going to have a computer each and every day it makes it so easy. This has opened up a wide scope of learning styles and techniques."  Northwestern Lehigh High School senior Vera Sweeney receives a macbook air for the new school year as her boyfriend Richard Clarke waits. The students are able to take the laptop home or keep it at school. Northwestern Lehigh School District is adopting a school laptop program this year for high school students.

Dover intelligent design 10 years later: Q&A with U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III
Jones on case: 'Any federal judge in the United States would have decided it exactly the same way I did'
York Daily Record By Dylan Segelbaum @dylan_segelbaum on Twitter UPDATED:   09/14/2015 06:32:45 AM EDT
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III says it's hard to believe that almost 10 years have passed since he ruled that the Dover Area School Board's decision to introduce intelligent design into biology class was unconstitutional.  In his 139-page opinion issued on Dec. 20, 2005, Jones wrote that intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents." He also wrote that the people who live in Dover were "poorly served" by the board members in favor of the policy, and noted the "breathtaking inanity" of the case.

After 25 Years, Teach for America Results are Consistently Underwhelming
Nonprofit Quarterly By PATRICIA SCHAEFER | September 11, 2015
merica has a love-hate relationship with Teach for America. What began as the dream of one idealistic undergraduate in the late 80s is now, some 26 years later, an internationally recognized behemoth in the education reform movement, with more than $200 million (yes, you read that correctly) in investments as of last year.  A recent book, edited by T. Jameson Brewer and Kathleen deMarrais, titled Teach for America Counter-Narratives is the latest to put the organization under scrutiny. In anarticle this week in the Las Vegas Review-JournalWashington Post columnist Esther J. Cepeda writes about the “explosive and jaw-dropping” stories written by 20 of TFA’s alumni, which she says “eviscerate the myth of TFA’s unmitigated success.” Her takeaway is that the book should be a cautionary tale to those studying the education reform movement. The stories reveal the smoke and mirrors (“money and great marketing,” in her words) that TFA uses to recruit the best and brightest while convincing their donors and other partners that they are moving the needle on outcomes.  According to its most recent tax return, TFA has total assets of close to half a billion dollars and revenues of more than $330 million, of which about 90 percent comes from government grants and contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals. An organization of this size and stature has an obligation to its constituents to demonstrate its success, and TFA has accumulated years of research findings about its programming, expansion and scale-up efforts. Marty Levine and Ruth McCambridge asked on this site several weeks ago whether Teach for America’s results justify its pillar status.

Laurene Powell Jobs Commits $50 Million to Create New High Schools
New York Times By JENNIFER MEDINA SEPT. 14, 2015
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Her husband, Steven P. Jobs, famously helped reboot Apple with the “Think Different” advertising campaign.  Now Laurene Powell Jobs is starting a $50 million project to rethink high school.  With an advertising campaign that looks as if it came from Apple’s marketing department, the initiative is meant to create high schools with new approaches to education. In essence, Ms. Powell Jobs and her team of high-profile educators and designers hope they can crowd-source a solution to a problem that has flummoxed policy makers for decades.  “The system was created for the work force we needed 100 years ago,” Ms. Powell Jobs said in an interview here Friday. “Things are not working the way we want it to be working. We’ve seen a lot of incremental changes over the last several years, but we’re saying, ‘Start from scratch.’ ”  Called XQ: The Super School Project, the campaign is meant to inspire teams of educators and students, as well as leaders from other sectors, to come up with new plans for high schools. Over the next several months, the teams will submit plans that could include efforts like altering school schedules, curriculums and technologies. By fall next year, Ms. Powell Jobs said, a team of judges will pick five to 10 of the best ideas to finance.

Think it Up: Has the Gates Foundation Turned a Corner?
Living in Dialogue Blog By Anthony Cody.  Posted onSaturday, September 12, 2015 9:32 am  
Last night I watched the hour-long telethon called Think it Up! sponsored by the Gates Foundation. I have to say, it was a far better program than their last television extravaganza, Education Nation. The emphasis was on building support for schools and teachers to do exciting, engaging projects, and that is a good thing. While we had to endure a bit of Justin Bieber hopping around in his pajamas, eventually we got some messages about what our schools need.  One of the celebrities said this:  Every student in America deserves the chance to learn and become the person they aspire to be. And that means every classroom should have what it needs to encourage great learning. Every science class should have equipment if students and teachers want to create projects in biology or chemistry or physics. Every history class should have the most up-to-date materials so that students can learn about and from the past. There should be paint brushes and oil paints and art classes so students can try to blow more minds than Banksy. And music classes should always have keyboards playing, guitars strumming, and someone banging on the drums. Please, please let’s empower our students and teachers to do these amazing things. Go to and donate…  She is absolutely correct, that every student should have this. And it is a great starting point for a campaign. My only question is why it is necessary to put out a begging bowl to fund these things? Don’t we have a more effective “crowd-sourced” funding system in place to provide for the funding of public schools? Why can’t we simply have corporations and wealthy individuals who have cornered the vast increase in wealth over the past decade pay their fair share of taxes, and then fund our schools from that revenue?

Pat Metheny Group - September Fifteenth (Live at Saratoga July 1998)
YouTube Uploaded on Sep 12, 2011 Runtime 8:43
Recorded Live at the mountain winery saratoga july 21-23 1998

SCHOOL PLAY - It's a touchy subject
Suzanne Roberts Theatre Philadelphia Wed. Sept. 16th 7:00 p.m.
School Play explores our attitudes toward public education using the real voices of Pennsylvanians from across the Commonwealth
The performance will be held next Wednesday, September 16th at 7:00 pm at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (480 S. Broad St., Philadelphia).  Tickets are free.  People can go to this link to RSVP:

Help fund the statewide tour of a live documentary play about the struggle to save public education in Pennsylvania.
After standing-room-only shows at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center in April, we’re taking this compelling play about the precarious state of public education back to the people who lent us their voices and stories. This October, we’re traveling across the state, putting on free performances to spark conversations and engage citizens.  School Play is a work of grassroots theatre, woven from the narratives of hundreds of Pennsylvanians affected by our state’s school funding crisis. The play is entirely crowd-sourced; the script is derived from the words of students, parents, educators and legislators, and is available online for anyone to perform.  Artists Arden Kass, Seth Bauer and Edward Sobel created School Play out of our personal concern for our kids and our communities. The result is a funny, sad, straight-talking documentary theatre piece, told through the words of real people.  You can read more about School Play here, here, here and here.

Register Now for the Fifth Annual Arts and Education Symposium Oct. 29th Harrisburg
Thursday, October 29, 2015 Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Act 48 Credit is available. The event will be a daylong convening of arts education policy leaders and practitioners for lively discussions about important policy issues and the latest news from the field. The symposium is hosted by EPLC and the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network, and supported by a generous grant from The Heinz Endowments.

The John Stoops Lecture Series: Dr. Pasi Sahlberg "Education Around the World: Past, Present & Future" Lehigh University October 8, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Baker Hall | Zoellner Arts Center | 420 E. Packer Avenue | Bethlehem, PA 18015
Free and open to the public!  Ticketing is general admission - no preseating will be assigned. Arrive early for the best seats.  Please plan to stay post-lecture for an open reception where you will have an opportunity to meet with students from all of our programs to learn about the latest innovations in education and human services.

Register now for the 2015 PASCD 65th Annual Conference, Leading and Achieving in an Interconnected World, to be held November 15-17, 2015 at Pittsburgh Monroeville Convention Center.
The Conference will Feature Keynote Speakers: Meenoo Rami – Teacher and Author “Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching,”  Mr. Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Heidi Hayes-Jacobs – Founder and President of Curriculum Design, Inc. and David Griffith – ASCD Senior Director of Public Policy.  This annual conference features small group sessions focused on: Curriculum and Supervision, Personalized and Individualized Learning, Innovation, and Blended and Online Learning. The PASCD Conference is a great opportunity to stay connected to the latest approaches for innovative change in your school or district.  Join us forPASCD 2015!  Online registration is available by visiting <>

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 open Aug. 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. 

Register Now 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 is live at:

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:

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.