Tuesday, September 27, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 27: K-12 Education Shut Out of Presidential Debate

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup September 27, 2016
K-12 Education Shut Out of Presidential Debate



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Thanks to Keystone Crossroads, WHYY, WITF, WESA and WPSU for hosting yesterday’s education funding forum
Education funding forum: Top takeaways
Keystone Crossroads/WHYY Newsworks BY EMILY PREVITI, WITF SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
About 40 education advocates and leaders met Monday in Harrisburg to talk about ... well, how people in Pennsylvania are talking about paying for public schools — and how to do it better.  The discussion at WITF focused on how policy debates are framed by reporters and the people informing the coverage: the attorneys, statehouse employees, immigration rights groups, parents and religious leaders who attended the forum.
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/97522--education-funding-forum-top-takeaways

K-12 Education Shut Out of the Presidential Debate Spotlight
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on September 26, 2016 11:19 PM
K-12 education barely merited a mention in the first presidential debate Monday night. But child-care access got a quick—and early—shout-out.   Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, said that her prescription for improving the economy includes expanding access to child care to help working families.  Donald Trump, the Republican contender, said he agreed with her on the child-care issue in general, even though the two might differ on "numbers and amounts."

“House Bill 1858 would require all public schools — including charters and cybercharters — to administer to students the same 100-question test used by Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, starting in 2020-21. If approved, passing the test would be a requirement to obtain a high school diploma or GED equivalency.”
Students could face citizenship test in Pennsylvania
Trib Live BY NATASHA LINDSTROM  | Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, 11:21 p.m.
Pennsylvania students who can't name an American Indian tribe, the war during which Dwight D. Eisenhower was a general, or the territory the U.S. bought from France in 1803 could find it tougher to get a high school diploma, under a proposal debated Monday in Harrisburg.  “Adding another test is not the answer,” Jerry Oleksiak, vice president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, told lawmakers during a joint hearing of the House education and veterans affairs committees.  “Good education cannot be reduced to an exit test.”  State lawmakers and veterans advocates clashed with education officials on whether Pennsylvania should glom onto the latest national trend in standardized testing: requiring students to pass a U.S. citizenship exam in order to graduate from high school.

State lawmaker says Keystone Exams need a fix
WITF Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 24, 2016 9:31 AM
 (Harrisburg) -- The current class of high school seniors in Pennsylvania was supposed to be the first required to pass the Keystone Exams for graduation.  Lawmakers have pushed that back two years, but one lawmaker believes the Keystone Exams need further scrutiny before they can be used as a graduation requirement.  Democratic Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky says schools across the state have had trouble implementing the Keystone Exams and it's had a negative impact on students.  The lawmaker says she has heard concerns from parents, teachers, and students about high-stakes testing.  "Just last week I was on the phone with a mom who's son graduated from a middle school last year, failed his Keystone algebra exam even though he is in honors classes and taking AP classes," she said.  Krueger-Braneky says hitting pause on the tests as a graduation requirement isn't enough.  She says the legislature needs to figure out a way to support teachers so students can learn necessary information and not be focused on one set of tests. 

Charter school hopeful plans appeal after Hatboro-Horsham's second denial
The Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer September 26, 2016
The would-be director of a proposed charter school in the Hatboro-Horsham School District said he is not discouraged by the school board's second denial of his application.  "Almost from the moment we filed this thing, we felt Hatboro-Horsham would deny us," David Secouler said. "We knew we would address whatever issues they had and they would deny us again."  Secouler, an attorney in East Norriton, hopes to be director of the Good Earth Charter School, which has applied to set up a Waldorf-Methods school on 10 acres at 800 Welsh Road in the Maple Glen section of Horsham.  A Waldorf education, according to the school's website, goodearthcharter.org, emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and focuses on educating each child through a hands-on, holistic approach. Subjects are taught artistically, using movement, drawing, painting, music, storytelling and rhyme.  The school's next step, following its two denials from the district, is to generate 1,000 signatures within 60 days in support of its application from Hatboro-Horsham residents and appeal to the Pennsylvania Charter School Appeal Board.

Young Scholars CEO: All for transparency, accountability
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO  bmilazzo@centredaily.com SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
STATE COLLEGE  -  At least one local charter school leader is reminding the community that not all charter schools are bad.  It comes on the heels of a report the state Auditor General’s Office released Thursday afternoon regarding noted problems at some state charter schools including the misuse of taxpayer dollars.   “There are good charter schools and there are bad charter schools like there are good public school (districts) and bad public school (districts),” Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School CEO Levent Kaya said. “I agree with the auditor general that we need a system in which public funds are spent in a responsible manner to the expenses that these funds are allocated for. We are all for transparency and accountability. We are upset to read such reports about charter schools, which gives all charter schools a bad reputation when, in fact, (a) majority of them work very hard to provide the best they can for the students.”  In the report, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale called out three schools, including the Beaver County-based PA Cyber Charter School that educates at least 77 students in Centre County.

Pa. auditor general calls for charter school reforms
Centre Daily Times BY BRITNEY MILAZZO bmilazzo@centredaily.com September 22, 2016
The state auditor general is calling for charter school reform, including that of PA Cyber Charter School, which educates more than 75 students from Centre County.  It comes on the heels of a longtime audit led by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale that he said showed “how poorly” charter school law is protecting students and taxpayers.  The goal for reform, DePasquale said, is to ensure education dollars help students learn, instead of help individuals profit.   “The bottom line is this: Nearly 20 years have passed since charter schools were authorized to be established,” DePasquale said in a prepared statement. “We need to revisit Pennsylvania’s charter school experience, and act now — not later — to overhaul the charter school law and do a very thorough tune-up on all aspects of charter school oversight and regulation.”  A report released by the state Thursday said auditors found leaders of some charter schools “had intermingled relationships that put individual self-interests above student needs while controlling hundreds of millions of taxpayer education funds from nearly every district in the state.”

The School District of Lancaster's refugee population and how it affects the district
Lancaster Online KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer September 26, 2016
From Donald Trump Jr.'s tweet about Syrians and Skittles to a profile of Idaho high-schoolers in the New York Times Magazine, refugees have been in the news a lot lately.
Including in Lancaster.  Six refugee students sued the School District of Lancaster this summer over issues such as enrollment delays, language barriers and a punitive school climate.  They won a preliminary ruling, but the case is far from over.  The judge has ordered both sides back to court this week to clarify the extent of the ruling. The district also is pursuing an appeal of the decision.  As the case has unfolded, LNP readers have asked questions about the concentration of refugees in School District of Lancaster and what's happening in other districts. Here are some answers.

One year after substitute teacher crisis, Philly schools see improvement with new contractor
WHYY Newsworks BY AVI WOLFMAN-ARENT SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
So far this school year, Building 21, an experimental high school in North Philadelphia, has requested substitute teachers to cover three school days.  Much to the school’s delight, substitute teachers have showed up all three times.  “We have been thrilled to get subs every time we’ve had a teacher call out,” said Principal Laura Shubilla.  During the first two-and-a-half months of the prior school year, Building 21 received a sub just six percent of the time it requested one. In fact, so far this school year Building 21 has covered more absent teacher days (3) than it did in the entire run up to winter break last year (2).The school’s struggles were part of a district-wide substitute teacher crisis that drew headlines and criticism.  One year later, Philadelphia schools appear to be in much better shape.

Guest Column: Why education is such a crucial investment
Delco Times By Thomas P. Foley, Times Guest Columnist POSTED: 09/26/16, 8:38 PM EDT
Thomas P. Foley is president of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa.
Almost 50 years ago, a Harvard president said that “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Most of us agree — “hitting the books” is important and education has intrinsic value.  It is hard to find anything else about education where public opinion is either uniform or unanimous. The legion of laments seems limitless — Google “education problems” and more than 86 million articles appear in under a second. While there is no question that problems persist at every level of education in this country, two truisms should be front of mind as political campaigns dissect education over these next two months.  Preschool and post-secondary education, often viewed as “optional” steps on the education continuum, yield lifelong benefits to individual learners, and provide important benefits to society at large. The evidence for these “bookends” of education in America is simply irrefutable.


Donald Trump's Plan For America's Schools
In speeches and appearances, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for more choice, ending Common Core, and gutting the U.S. Education Department.
LA Johnson/NPR September 25, 20166:00 AM ET
"I'm a tremendous believer in education."  So begins a campaign ad for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.  But what does that mean?  What does Trump believe about how we should fund and fix our schools, train and pay our teachers, and, most importantly, educate every child whether they're rich or poor, fluent in English or anything but, learning disabled or two grades ahead?  To these questions the candidate has offered few clear answers.  "Donald Trump's policy positions are performance art." That criticism comes not from the left but from Rick Hess, who studies education policy at the right-leaningAmerican Enterprise Institute. And, Hess says, "it is an immense mistake to take any of it all that seriously."  Hoping to flesh out Trump's education ideas ahead of tomorrow's big presidential debate, we asked his campaign for help. They never got back to us.  We also reached out to the two men who, as reported by Education Week, have been named to the candidate's presidential transition team for education. Both said they could not talk without permission from the Trump campaign, permission that was not granted.  And so, in trying to get a picture of his education platform, we're left mostly with the candidate's own words.

Education Activists Converge on Presidential Debate
Cloaking Inequity Blog Posted on September 26, 2016 by Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig 
Today, in response to a nationwide attack on public education, supporters of high-quality, democratically controlled, neighborhood public schools are holding events at the first presidential debate in New York, demanding that the candidates respond to concerns about school privatization and unfair funding, and releasing a national public education platform.
The organizers of the debate protests belong to Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J), a national network of more than 40,000 active members of grassroots community organizations led primarily by people of color in twenty-four U.S. cities. The presidential debate events are co-sponsored by the Network for Public Education Action, a national organization led by Diane Ravitch.

Why we probably won’t hear much about K-12 education in tonight’s debate
Brookings BROWN CENTER CHALKBOARD by Jon Valant Monday, September 26, 2016
Tonight, for the first time, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will share a stage for a presidential debate.  If the debate is anything like this election more generally, we probably won’t hear much about K-12 education.  While it is tempting to bemoan the silence on K-12 issues, it’s instructive to consider why they have received so little attention.  Let’s look at three possible explanations, including one that probably hasn’t received the attention it deserves.

Shorter days means its time for star parties; here are Pa.'s October stargazing events
Penn Live By Marcus Schneck | mschneck@pennlive.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on September 26, 2016 at 9:18 AM, updated September 26, 2016 at 9:22 AM
Astronomy organizations, observatories and parks across Pennsylvania will host stargazing events throughout October across Pennsylvania. Most of the events include assistance by volunteers or staff, and telescopes and star charts for use by the public.  Many of the events are held only when skies are clear enough for good viewing and the sponsoring organization will announce cancellations on their websites or Facebook pages.


EDUCATION LAW CENTER invites you to our ANNUAL CELEBRATION
Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 5:30 PM
The Crystal Tea Room, The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA
Honoring: Pepper Hamilton LLP, Signe Wilkinson, Dr. Monique W. Morris
And presenting the ELC PRO BONO AWARD  to Paul Saint-Antoine & Chanda Miller
of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

The Public Interest Law Center invites you to its 2016 Annual Event: “Of the People, By the People, For the People.” Thursday, Oct 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM
FringeArts 140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
Honoring: Soil Generation, Nicholas Chimicles, and Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
http://www.pubintlaw.org/2016event/

PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM  Wednesday, October 12, 2016  SUBJECT:  EPLC's 2016 Report:  High School Career and Technical Education: Serving Pennsylvania's Workforce and Student Needs
Coffee and Networking - 9:30 a.m.  Program - 10:00 a.m. to Noon   

Technical College High School (Brandywine Campus) - 443 Boot Rd., Downingtown, PA 19335
 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. 
SPEAKERS:
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
Dan Fogarty, Director of Workforce Development & COO, Berks County Workforce Development Board
Kirk Williard, Ed.D., Director of Career, Technical & Customized Education, Chester County Intermediate Unit 


Registration for the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference Oct. 13-15 is now open
The conference is your opportunity to learn, network and be inspired by peers and experts.
TO REGISTER: See https://www.psba.org/members-area/store-registration/   (you must be logged in to the Members Area to register). You can read more on How to Register for a PSBA Event here.   CONFERENCE WEBSITE: For all other program details, schedules, exhibits, etc., see the conference website:www.paschoolleaders.org.

The Sixth Annual Arts and Education Symposium – October 27, 2016
The 2016 Arts and Education Symposium will be held on October 27 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg Convention Center.  Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Arts Education network and EPLC, the Symposium is a Unique Networking and Learning Opportunity for:
·         Arts Educators
·         School Leaders
·         Artists
·         Arts and Culture Community Leaders
·         Arts-related Business Leaders
·         Arts Education Faculty and Administrators in Higher Education
·         Advocates
·         State and Local Policy Leaders
Act 48 Credit is available.
Program and registration information are available here.

REGISTER NOW for the 2016 PA Principals Association State Conference, October 30 - November 1, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College.
PA Principals Association website Tuesday, August 2, 2016 10:43 AM
To receive the Early Bird Discount, you must be registered by August 31, 2016:
Members: $300  Non-Members: $400
Featuring Three National Keynote Speakers: Eric Sheninger, Jill Jackson & Salome Thomas-EL

SAVE THE DATE LWVPA Convention 2017 June 1-4, 2017
Join the League of Women Voters of PA for our 2017 Biennial Convention at the beautiful Inn at Pocono Manor!


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