Thursday, June 16, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup June 16: Charter advocates acknowledge ‘disturbingly low performance’ of virtual schools

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3900 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 June 16, 2016:
Charter advocates acknowledge ‘disturbingly low performance’ of virtual schools

“The report pointed to evidence that researchers have been gathering about cybers for years, including recent comprehensive studies that found the vast majority of cyber charters perform worse than traditional public schools.  "Most striking and troubling in these reports is the finding of large-scale underperformance by full-time virtual charter schools," the report said. "If traditional public schools were producing such results, we would rightly be outraged. We should not feel any different just because these are charter schools."
National charter groups call for states to crack down on cybercharters
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, Staff Writer Updated: JUNE 16, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT
Citing the "disturbingly low performance" of many virtual charter schools across the country, two leading national charter organizations on Thursday called on state education officials to make tough policy changes to improve cyber education and close chronically troubled virtual schools.  The unprecedented action by the charter school community has special relevance for Pennsylvania, one of the nation's "big three" in cyber enrollment.  The state's 13 cyber charters enroll 35,250 students who receive instruction online in their homes. None of those schools met the state's most recent benchmark for academic performance.

“The Center for Research on Education Outcomes, which is generally seen as friendly to charter schools, found last year that students enrolled in full-time online charter schools learn far less than their peers in traditional public schools. The online charter students lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year, the study found. That is, in math, it’s as if the students did not attend school at all.”
Charter advocates acknowledge ‘disturbingly low performance’ of virtual schools
Washington Post By Emma Brown June 16 at 12:01 AM 
Advocates don’t want to ban virtual schools — they want them to get better.
Full-time virtual charter schools have become increasingly popular during the past decade, now enrolling 180,000 students nationwide, students who learn by logging on to laptops from home instead of going to brick-and-mortar schoolhouses. But these schools’ growing enrollment has been accompanied by intense scrutiny: Journalists, activists and scholars have reported on virtual schools’ poor performance and raised questions about whether the schools are designed to effectively teach kids — or to effectively make a profit.  Now national charter-school advocates are calling for tighter oversight of virtual schools and closure of those that persistently fail, acknowledging that full-time virtual schools — most of which are run by for-profit companies — have “significant problems” and “disturbingly low performance.”

Charter Advocacy Groups Want Higher Standards for Online-Only Schools
Education Week Chaters & Choice Blog By Corey Mitchell on June 16, 2016 5:45 AM 
Three of the nation's leading charter school advocacy groups are calling for a complete overhaul of state policies governing online-only charter schools.
A new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and the 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now (50CAN) outlines the challenges facing the online-only, or virtual, schools and offers recommendations to hold their authorizers accountable for student performance and financial decisions.
The three groups largely crafted the report's recommendations in response to sweeping research findings released last fall that showed that students who took classes through virtual schools made dramatically less progress than their peers in traditional schools. It was the first national study of the cybercharter sector and was conducted by the Center for Research and Educational Outcomes at Stanford University, the Center on Reinventing Public Education, and Mathematica Policy Research.
In a review of online charter school performance, the charter school advocacy groups found that:
·         On average, full-time virtual charter students make no gains in math and less than half the gains in reading of their peers in traditional brick-and-mortar public schools.
·         All subgroups of students, including those in poverty, English-language learners, and special education students, perform worse in full-time virtual charters than in traditional public schools.
·         Students who leave full-time virtual charter schools are apt to change schools more often after they leave cyber charters than they did before enrolling.

Blogger note: Pennsylvania’s cyber charters have shown consistently low performance since 2005.  Although most of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts never authorized a cyber charter, all 500 are required to send millions in tuition payments annually.  While the students served by these schools may not be benefitting, the for-profit management companies like K-12, Inc. and Pearson have done quite well using our public tax dollars.  The table below was prepared using data from PDE.

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Cyber Charter School Performance Profile Scores
for 2013, 2014 and 2015

A score of 70 is considered passing.  No cyber charter has achieved a score of 70 in any year.  Additionally, most cybers never made AYP under No Child Left Behind during the period 2005 thru 2012.

School                                                             2013     2014     2015
21st Century Cyber CS                                    66.5      66.0      69.2
Achievement House CS                                   39.7      37.5      44.8
ACT Academy Cyber CS                                  30.6      28.9      36.1
Agora Cyber CS                                               48.3      42.4      46.4
ASPIRA Bilingual CS                                       29.0      39.0      38.4
Central PA Digital Lrng Foundation CS           31.7      48.8      39.3
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS     54.6      52.2      48.8
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS                 59.0      50.0      N/A
Esperanza Cyber CS                                        32.7      47.7      31.7
Pennsylvania Cyber CS                                   59.4      55.5      65.3
Pennsylvania Distance Learning CS               54.7      50.9      49.2
Pennsylvania Leadership CS                          64.7      59.3      54.7
Pennsylvania Virtual CS                                  67.9      63.4      64.6
Solomon Charter School Inc.                         36.9
Susq-Cyber CS                                                46.4      42.4      45.5

“In closing, it is important to recognize that private firms have a role to play in public education; they long have acted as suppliers to education and will continue to do so. However, much more attention is needed to these developments and to the economic and social protests that are mounting against corporate greed in education. The governance of public education is not just another education market. The distinction between public policy and private markets in education as in other sectors is very important and it is worth defending.”
Hidden Markets in the Digital Age: Global Patterns in the Privatization of Education?
Education in Crisis Blog Published on Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Both in the U.S. and abroad, there exists a political movement in support of education reforms based on the logic of the market that assumes that business strategies can and should transfer to education. The rise of the private provision of public education services reflects such marketplace values as profit-making, outsourcing, limited government regulation, competition and choice. It also incorporates elements of government contracting and vouchers [1].  Digital education is part of this trend. Despite claims that digital education represents a much needed twenty first century evolution for an information rich society, there is little evidence to date that technology is significantly addressing problems of access and equity in education. The reality of digital education on the ground can be in stark contrast to the digital education nirvana, pundits suggest we have achieved. What we do know – is that business is booming [2].

Pension reform bill considered 'one small step,' but may not bring relief to property taxpayers
Lancaster Online SAM JANESCH | Staff Writer June 16, 2016
A plan to adjust the pensions for future state and public school employees widely considered a step in the right direction may not bring relief to taxpayers or reduce the state’s massive pension debt, critics say.  A bipartisan bill that passed the state House this week would put new hires in a combination of the traditional pension and a 401(k)-type benefit plan.  Proponents say it will save $5 billion over 32 years as it looks to incrementally fix the state's pension debt problem.  Currently, the state is more than $50 billion short if every active worker and current retirees were to claim their due.  All lawmakers from Lancaster County vote for the bill, including seven Republicans who called it “at least one small step in the right direction” while pointing to savings for taxpayers as a reason why.  “As savings begin to grow over time, taxpayers will have better protection against the strain of property taxes,” the local Republican House members said in a joint statement.  But “over time” could also mean the distant future, said Democratic Rep. Mike Sturla of Lancaster city.

As budget deadline nears, Gov. Wolf needs a fiscal reality check: Mike Turzai
PennLive Op-Ed  By Mike Turzai on June 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM, updated June 15, 2016 at 1:02 State Rep. Mike Turzai, a Republican, is Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He represents the Allegheny County-based 28th House District.
This year's budget requires common sense and an understanding that we remain the stewards of other peoples' money – the hard earned tax dollars of citizens.  Gov. Tom Wolf will have his budget goals, as will members of the House and Senate.   We can find a way to reach an understanding, but only after we recognize that a balanced, on-time budget must be grounded in fiscal reality, not unrealistic wishes.   It's important to look at recent budget history.

Legislature, Wolf should act responsibly on funding for pre-k programs: Editorial
Penn Live By John L. Micek | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on June 15, 2016 at 1:50 PM
Of all the investments that Pennsylvania makes on behalf of its citizens, few are more important - or have farther-reaching consequences - than the money it directs toward public education.  In fact, such an investment is mandated by the Pennsylvania Constitution.
It's right there in Article III, Section 14, which holds that "the General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth."
And as important as the billions of dollars the state spends annually on kindergarten through 12th grade education and higher education are, the money it spends on its youngest Pennsylvania, those aged three and four years old, are critical for future success.

Pa. labor secretary calls for pre-K funding boost
WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino says more funding is needed to support early childhood education.  Manderino said expanded early childhood education can ensure people gain needed job skills for the 21st century.  She joined military leaders and officials from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce at a press conference Tuesday at the Innovation Center on South Main Street. The event aimed to show support for Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to increase funding for expanded access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs.  U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) Thomas Wilson, who represents Misson: Readiness, said he is urging lawmakers to include a $90 million expansion proposal for high-quality pre-kindergarten in the 2016-2017 budget.

With Philly pre-K money near, a renewed focus on rollout
Mayor Kenney has pledged to add about 10,000 high-quality preschool seats over the next three years.
The notebook/WHYY Newsworks by Avi Wolfman-Arent June 15, 2016 — 11:04am
With a final vote on Philadelphia’s sugary-drinks tax slated for Thursday, there is little doubt that Mayor Kenney will get much of the money he requested to expand pre-K in the city.  Now the focus shifts to how the money will be spent, which is part of what brought the mayor to the Little Learners Literacy Academy in South Philadelphia on Tuesday.  Little Learners is a minnow in the child-care ecosystem. Operated out of a one-room storefront on Jackson Street, the center enrolls just 12 students and employs four teachers. And yet it finds itself smack in the middle of the public conversation about pre-K — largely because of the rating it received from the state’s Keystone STARS system.

PA: School Funding Emerges from Time Warp
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Pennsylvania now has a formula for distributing education dollars to school districts.
You will notice that I didn't say "new formula." That's because, contrary to what rational human beings might assume, Pennsylvania hasn't had a formula for decades. Well, that's not exactly true. The formula has been Y times some-percent-usually-less-than-two of Y, with Y equalling "whatever you got last year." And this process, called "hold harmless" in PA, has been in place since around 1991. We fiddled with it a bit from 2008-2010, but it's only sort of an oversimplification to say that the foundation of our funding system has been 1991 enrollment figures.  That means if your enrollment has been increasing, your state funding has not increased to match it. Of course, it also means if enrollment has been dropping, your state funding hasn't dropped with it.  And it needs to be noted that since Pennsylvania ranks 44th in the percentage of state funding for public ed (36% overall), state funding is not critical for all districts. Districts that are able simply make up that difference locally. Districts that are not able just become increasingly poor and financially distressed. On top of that, add a mismanaged pension system that now has huge balloon payments come due, a charter reimbursement system that rips the guts out of public school funding, and an unregulated charter system that lets those charter claws reach the guts of even small rural districts. Also, a few years ago we totally used that stimulus money to replace the regular education budget funds, which meant that the end of stimulus funds left a huge hole in school funding. Oh, and last year when we couldn't settle a budget for nine months (ten, really, by the time we were done with the details)-- that didn't exactly help, either. Fun fact: back in 1971, the state was providing about 54% of public school funding. We've been in free fall ever since.

Circle of Seasons charter school will stay open, school board decides.
The Morning Call June 16, 2016
LYNN TOWNSHIP — School might be out for the summer, but the last term wasn't the final one for Circle of Seasons charter school.  At its last meeting of the 2015-2016 school year, the Northwestern Lehigh school board voted 6-3 to conditionally renew a five-year charter for the school, meaning Circle of Seasons moves to the next step in becoming an officially recognized school again.   Between Wednesday night and the school board's meeting in August, Circle of Seasons' board of trustees must hire a principal — which the trustees said they plan to do on June 23 — and attorneys for the two groups of leaders must hammer out the specific language of the school's charter.  Although the school board, which oversees the charter school, could still strike down the charter in August — a move both sides see as unlikely — Wednesday's vote enabled the trustees to move to the final stage of the approval process.

School districts reserve funds continue to grow, amassing $4.3 billion in 2014-15
Penn Live By Jan Murphy | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on June 15, 2016 at 9:10 AM
School districts across Pennsylvania stashed away enough money in their reserve accounts in 2014-15 to operate all 26 state prisons for two full years and still have money left over.  Combined, they had just shy of $4.3 billion sitting in their fund balances. That is about 5 percent – or $190.5 million – increase from the prior year when they had $4 billion, according to data recently released by the state Department of Education.
·         Search the database: School district budgets and reserves comparisons, 2009 to 2013
That money set aside in district's committed, assigned and unassigned fund balances represents, on average, 15.6 percent of the $27.4 billion the 500 school districts spent in 2014-15, although that percentage adjusts for the negative fund balances that 18 financially struggling school districts had.

Expedite school study, then reform
Pennsylvania relies more heavily than most states on local property taxes to fund public schools — a woefully unfair system that ensures wide disparities in school resources from ZIP code to ZIP code.  But that is not the only aspect of the commonwealth’s antiquated public school governance. By allowing 500 school districts, the state government ensures that school governance is shot through with administrative redundancy. That applies not only to big administrative salaries to run small districts, but to the waste inherent in not sharing costs for health insurance, busing, routine purchasing, human resources and other management functions.
The state House likely will vote soon on whether to direct the Joint State Government Commission to study school consolidation.

Our Opinion: Raise bar on qualifications for people seeking school board posts
Times Leader JUNE 13TH, 2016 - 11:31 AM
Would it be a good idea to up the requirements for election to school boards?
A little history is in order.  Public schools sprang from America’s pioneering days. When enough settlers set up shop, adults would gather, arrange space to serve as a school and pitch in to pay a teacher. They weren’t school “districts” – they were often a single schoolroom. Governance meant meeting as needed. Towns started forming education committees, precursors to school boards.  So the notion you shouldn’t need special qualifications to sit on a school board is as old as the nation itself. And the reasons to keep it that way can sound strong.

Bellefonte school board approves final budget with tax increase
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO June 14, 2016
Residents in the Bellefonte Area School District will pay more in district taxes next school year.  The Bellefonte Area school board unanimously approved a 2016-17 budget of $48.825 million at its meeting Tuesday night at the Bellefonte Area Middle School.  That’s a more than $1.2 million increase from the current year’s budget, and it also comes with about a 1 percent tax increase.  District director of fiscal affairs Ken Bean said the funds supporting the tax increase would specifically be put toward “future capital expenditures” to help build the reserve fund balance.  Bean said the board will make annual budget reviews to see if specific monies from taxes would go toward a reserve fund, or if it will be a “one-time thing.”

“Festor said that their reasons for a spending increase have remained unchanged from their preliminary budget. As he stated at last month’s meeting, a major reason is salary increases, which he said are small across the board. He also said the increase can be attributed to the district’s contribution to the state’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which has increased from 25.84 percent last year to 30.04 percent for 2016.”
Monessen School Board approves budget with tax increase
Observer Reporter By Morgan Cushey June 15, 2016
MONESSEN – Monessen School Board voted 5-4 Tuesday to approve a $14.9 million budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year that includes an increase in spending, a 2.5-mill tax increase and the furlough of a teacher.  President Lee Johnson, Secretary Cindy Pawelec, and directors Donna Fantauzzi and Cheryl Galilei voted no. Vice President Roberta Bergstedt, Treasurer Sharon Mauck, and directors Randall Marino, Kimberly Egidi, and Maria Scuteri voted yes. Scuteri was not present at the meeting but was able to participate via phone.  The approved budget shows a spending increase of roughly $300,000 from this year’s budget of $14.6 million. Business manager Jeff Festor said this budget includes a millage rate of 72.4 mills with each mill generating roughly $58,919 in revenue.  Festor said this is the second time the district has had to increase real estate taxes in the last five years, with the first increase of 1.9 mills occurring last year. Festor said this millage increase for 2016-17 will result in a $38 tax increase for the average taxpayer within the district.

Muhlenberg School District raises taxes to maintain budget
Ali Bechtel , Reporter, Posted: 10:12 PM EDT Jun 15, 2016
The Muhlenberg School District Board of Education approved the final budget for the 2016-17 school year at its Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday night. The final approval comes after months of discussion and a nearly year-long delay in receiving state funds as a result of last year’s state budget impasse. The final balanced budget expenditures total $56,404,412, up from $53,902,663 in the 2015-16 school year. The budget includes a real estate tax rate of 28.56 mils, which reflects a .75 mil increase from last year’s rate. A tax rate of 28.56 mils represents $28.56 per $1000.00 of assessed market value of real estate. The district has been operating under a .5 mil increase each year for the past several years.
Read more from at:

“Increase in retirement contributions total about $350,000; increase in medical insurance is about $100,000; two personal care aides and a special education hearing impaired interpreter in total cost $140,000; increase in charter school tuition is $43,000; and an increase of $50,000 has been put into capital reserves, a report from the district said.”
Penns Valley board approves final budget
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO June 15, 2016
Residents in the Penns Valley Area School District won’t have to worry about a tax increase next school year.  At a board meeting Wednesday night, a 2016-17 general fund budget was unanimously approved by the board of directors.  And it comes with no increase in real estate taxes.  Board member Jeff Hyde was absent.  The $26,115,825 budget is a 2.06 percent increase from the current school year — or $528,351 more than 2015-16.  District business manager Jef Wall said the budget comes with “significant expenses,” but also “significant revenue items.”  Increases came in retirement contributions, medical insurance, charter school costs, the addition of employees to help special needs students, and extra funding in capital reserves to find future maintenance items.

Brentwood board to vote on 2016-17 budget with tax hike
Trib Live BY ERIC EISERT | Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Brentwood Borough School Board is scheduled to vote next week on the district's 2016-17 budget, which includes a tax increase.  In addition, district administrators warned that without a resolution regarding state funding for education, the district's fund balance could reach an unsafe level.  The proposed budget calls for a 1.68-percent increase in expenditures to more than $21.2 million.  The property tax rate is scheduled to increase 1.3415 mills to 29.5322 mills.  District business manager Jennifer Pesanka told the board she is unsure if the district will receive the $573,665 PlanCon reimbursement from the state owed for the 2015-16 school year. Pesanka also mentioned ongoing negotiations with district teachers for a new contract.

Shaler Area SB OKs property tax hike for 2016-17
Trib Live BY RACHEL FARKAS | Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 8:30 p.m.
Shaler Area School District property owners will pay higher property taxes in 2016-17.
The school board on Wednesday approved a $77.9 million spending plan that includes a 0.69-mill tax increase, which raises the property tax rate from 21.87 to 22.56 mills.A resident with a property valued at $100,000 will pay $69 more.  The budget passed on an 8-1 vote with school director Steve Romac dissenting. Romac asked the rest of the board to think about possibly being able to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Budget shortfall could spur changes to Hazleton Area schools by Bo Koltnow , Reporter, Published: 6:03 PM EDT Jun 14, 2016 Updated: 6:36 PM EDT Jun 14, 2016
For students, a mandatory three-day weekend may seem like a gift from the educational Gods but to some parents, the devil is in the details. "Most of these families work the first shift while the other one is sleeping for a night shift, they go to work, so let me ask you what is going to happen when these kids are home alone?" said resident Neal Graziano at Monday night's school board meeting. Monday night, the Hazleton Area School Board made a number of moves to stem a nearly $3 million budget shortfall. This includes a four day winter school week, during December, January and February, eliminating dozens of positions, furloughing others and cutting kindergarten from full day to half.
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Chester Upland teachers make push for new contract
Delco Times By Rick Kauffman,,@Kauffee_DT on Twitter
POSTED: 06/15/16, 10:46 PM EDT | UPDATED: 25 SECS AGO
CHESTER >> Teachers, educators, school support staff, students and allies gathered outside Chester High School Monday to remind the public and political representatives that the Chester Upland School District faculty continues to work with an expired collective bargaining agreement.  The issues rally-goers demand resolutions for revolved around the CUSD budgeting shortfall, which each year that goes by continues to operate with a $24 million structural deficit, plus the fear of pay freezes due to underfunding by the state, plus policies that fund special education programs in privately run charter schools disproportionately to Chester’s public schools.

Philly principals reject proposed contract by 'decisive margin'
Following two delayed votes, the union representing Philadelphia public school principals and administrators rejected a tentative contract with the school district Wednesday.  The refusal came by a “decisive margin,” according to Robert McGrogan, president of Teamsters Local 502 of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA).  A CASA statement released after the Wednesday vote indicated principals are unhappy with working conditions inside city schools and feel burdened by an excess of district staff.  “We have witnessed a swell of offices in central administration that has the authority to place additional demands on schools,” the statement read. “In fact, it should be the other way around. We don’t need more quasi-administrators telling us what to do and how to do it. We need more people in our schools helping us to get the work done.”  The union’s statement did not mention the financial terms of the deal, and McGrogan said dollars and cents weren’t the central concern

Teaching the teachers
Great teaching has long been seen as an innate skill. But reformers are showing that the best teachers are made, not born
The Economist Jun 11th 2016 | BOSTON, NEWARK AND NEW YORK | From the print edition
TO THE 11- and 12-year-olds in his maths class, Jimmy Cavanagh seems like a born teacher. He is warm but firm. His voice is strong. Correct answers make him smile. And yet it is not his pep that explains why his pupils at North Star Academy in Newark, New Jersey, can expect to go to university, despite 80% of their families needing help to pay for school meals.  Mr Cavanagh is the product of a new way of training teachers. Rather than spending their time musing on the meaning of education, he and his peers have been drilled in the craft of the classroom. Their dozens of honed techniques cover everything from discipline to making sure all children are thinking hard. Not a second is wasted. North Star teachers may seem naturals. They are anything but.

Understanding Congressional Gerrymandering: 'It's Moneyball Applied To Politics'
NPR Fresh Air runtime 32:12 June 15, 20161:36 PM ET
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy
by David Daley Hardcover, 257 pages
Ratf**ked author David Daley says that Republicans targeted key state legislative races in 2010 in an effort to control state houses, and, eventually, Congressional redistricting.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Our guest today, Salon's editor-in-chief David Daley, has a new book that he says began with a simple question. When President Obama won re-election in 2012 and a Democratic tide gave the party a big majority in the Senate, why did the House of Representatives remain firmly in Republican hands? The result was even more striking since voters cast 1.3 million more ballots for Democratic House candidates than Republican ones.  The answer, Daley decided, was effective gerrymandering of House districts following the 2010 census. And it's state legislatures that draw most of the congressional boundaries across the country. 

Jimmy Carter calls for return to publicly financed elections
Washington Post By Marilyn W. Thompson June 15 at 12:12 PM
Former president Jimmy Carter, who won election in 1976 largely because of public financing, says it is time to move back to a system in which campaigns rely on taxpayer money to pay for general elections.  In an interview with fellow former Oval Office holder Bill Clinton, Carter said the system encourages public participation in the electoral process. “Personally, I'd like to see public funds used for all elections — Congress, U.S. Senate, governor and president," Carter said at the Atlanta meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.  Clinton, whose wife, Hillary, is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee in what is expected to be the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history, did not respond to Carter’s idea.

Apply Now! EPLC’s 2016-2017 Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program

EPLC's 2016 Report:  High School Career and Technical Education: Serving Pennsylvania's Workforce and Student Needs
Allegheny Intermediate Unit - 475 East Waterfront Dr., Homestead, PA 15120
Coffee and Networking - 9:30 a.m.  Program - 10:00 a.m. to Noon   
 RSVP by clicking here. There is no fee, but a RSVP is required. Please feel free to share this invitation with your staff and network. Similar forums will be held later in the Philadelphia area and Harrisburg. 
An Overview of the EPLC Report on High School CTE will be presented by:
Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
Statewide and Regional Perspectives Will Be Provided By
Dr. Lee Burket, Director, Bureau of Career & Technical Education, PA Department of Education
Jackie Cullen, Executive Director, PA Association of Career & Technical Administrators
Dr. William Kerr, Superintendent, Norwin School District
Laura Fisher, Senior Vice President - Workforce & Special Projects, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
James Denova, Vice President, Benedum Foundation

Nominations now open for PSBA Allwein Awards (deadline July 16)
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 2016 Allwein Award nominations will be accepted starting today and all applications are due by July 16, 2016. The nomination form can be downloaded from the website.

Join the Pennsylvania Principals Association at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at The Capitol in Harrisburg, PA, for its second annual Principals' Lobby Day.
Pennsylvania Principals Association Monday, March 21, 2016 9:31 AM
 To register, contact Dr. Joseph Clapper at by Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If you need assistance, we will provide information about how to contact your legislators to schedule meetings.  Click here for the informational flyer, which includes important issues to discuss with your legislators.

2016 PA Educational Leadership Summit July 24-26 State College
Summit Sponsors: PA Principals Association - PA Association of School Administrators - PA Association of Middle Level Educators - PA Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development 
The 2016 Educational Leadership Summit, co-sponsored by four leading Pennsylvania education associations, provides an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together at a quality venue in "Happy Valley." 
Featuring Grant Lichtman, author of EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (invited), and Dana Lightman, author of POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have... Create the Success You Want, keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics and district team planning and job alike sessions provides practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit before returning back to your district.   Register and pay by April 30, 2016 for the discounted "early bird" registration rate:

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