Friday, September 9, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Sept 9: Next Tuesday: PA Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup September 9, 2016:
Next Tuesday: PA Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit



Southeastern PA Regional 2016 Legislative Roundtable: William Tennent High School (Bucks Co.) SEP 22, 2016 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Auditor General DePasquale slated to be Keynote Speaker
School Leaders from Northampton, Lehigh, Bucks, Montco, Chesco, Delco and Philadelphia Counties encouraged to attend.



Instead of Nixing the Keystone Exams, PDE Recommends a Cornucopia of Tests
Gadfly On the Wall Blog by Steven M. Singer September 9, 2016
The answer is in.  After a summer of intense study, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has a solution to our exit exam problem.   Last year we almost failed half of our high school seniors state wide because they couldn’t pass all three of our poorly constructed Keystone Exams. So we decided not to count the scores for two years in order to find a way to fix the problem.  And now PDE has a recommendation for the legislature.  Drop the Keystone Exams? Base graduation on the completion of high school classwork?  NOPE.  PDE still loves standardized testing. It just wants to give kids more choice about which standardized tests they can take.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19 Op/ed: Test costs shortchanging schools
State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19 Posted by ChaddsFordLive on September 7th, 2016
While school funding is in crisis and property taxes continue to rise, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) since 2008 has signed contracts for over 741 million dollars for PSSA and Keystone testing. All of this money went to one company, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), who received three contracts, two of which had no-bid extensions.  While all this money goes to a testing company, many of our schools do not even have the funds to purchase textbooks that contain the Common Core curriculum upon which the students are tested. Doesn’t PDE understand that it’s simply unconscionable to stamp failure on the backs of students who don’t even have the materials?  The costs to school districts for testing and supervising the required Project Based Assessment (PBA) for those not passing the Keystone is conservatively estimated to be over $300 million. This means between the state and school districts, Pennsylvania’s testing programs since 2008 have cost the taxpayers almost $1.1 billion.  For five years I worked in the legislature to change this testing obsession. Finally, Act 1 of 2016 was unanimously passed, suspending the use of Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement for two years.

National Association for College Admission Counseling: “The classes you take and the grades you earn are far more important to us than your test scores.  …that finding has stayed pretty consistent for 20 years”
Grades, Courses Most Important in College Admissions, Survey Finds
Education Week High School & Beyond Blog By Catherine Gewertz September 8, 2016 9:56 AM
As college application season ramps up once again, an annual survey of college admissions officers reiterates an important message for high school students who are worried sick about their SAT or ACT scores: The classes you take and the grades you earn are far more important to us than your test scores.  That's a key finding of the 13th annual "State of College Admission" survey, released Thursday by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC. You'd never know it by the amount of cold sweat high school seniors generate nationally about admissions test scores, but that finding has stayed pretty consistent for 20 years, according to NACAC.  The survey found that in the fall 2014 admissions cycle, 79.2 percent of responding colleges and universities gave "considerable importance" to grades in students' college-prep classes, while 55.7 percent assigned the same importance to admission test scores for entering freshmen.

House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing: Graduation Requirements
PA House Democratic Policy Committee website September 9, 2016
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky will host a House Democratic Policy Committee on graduation requirements and high stakes testing.   The hearing will be held at   2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 at Northley Middle School, 2801 Concord Rd., Aston, PA 19014Hearing testimony will be available following the hearing at www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee

Next Tuesday: Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit
PILCOP SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 BARBGRIMALDI Press Release
Contact:  Barb Grimaldi (267) 546-1304; (585) 797-9439 BGrimaldi@pubintlaw.org
Laura Frank (215) 735-6760 laura@ceislermedia.com
The suit, filed in 2014, claims the Commonwealth is violating its constitutional duty to “support and maintain” a “thorough and efficient system of public education”
PHILADELPHIA – [September 8, 2016] – Oral argument in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, et al. will commence before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court at Philadelphia’s City Hall on September 13th at 9 AM.  The Public Interest Law Center and Education Law Center-PA, representing the plaintiffs, will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to permit a full trial on the merits of the case, reversing a 2015 Commonwealth Court decision that dismissed the case. This would allow the plaintiffs to present evidence that the state General Assembly has violated the Pennsylvania Constitution by failing to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania’s public schools and leaving children without the resources they need to succeed academically.  Following the hearing, a rally and press conference in support of the lawsuit will take place on the North Side of City Hall, at 10:30 AM.  Speakers and attendees will include representatives from the parent and school district plaintiffs, Councilwoman Helen Gym, clergy from Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER), advocates from Education Voters of PA and the NAACP, and attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center and the Education Law Center-PA.

State high court to hear arguments in funding lawsuit that includes W-B Area
HARRISBURG — The State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday involving a school funding lawsuit filed by several school districts, including Wilkes-Barre Area. Wilkes-Barre Area Solicitor Ray Wendolowski said he and Superintendent Brian Costello are planning to make the trip to Philadelphia for the hearings.  The suit was filed in 2014 against the governor and legislative leaders. It contends the state is violating its constitutional duty to “support and maintain” a thorough and efficient system of public education.  Known on the docket as “Penn School District et al. v. Department of Education et al.,” the suit was filed by six school districts, seven parents of children, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the NAACP. The Wilkes-Barre Area School Board voted in June, 2014, to join the battle.

Teachers approve union at King of Prussia cyber school
Inquirer by Martha Woodall, STAFF WRITER Updated: SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 8:14 PM EDT
Teachers at the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School in King of Prussia have unionized.
After a long wait that included a controversial decision by the National Labor Relations Board, ballots showed that teachers at the school voted, 57-15, in favor of being represented by the PA Virtual Education Association, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. Teachers voted in 2015, but the ballots were immediately impounded when the school challenged the NLRB's jurisdiction.  Late last month, the NLRB voted, 3-1, to uphold its jurisdiction. The ballots were opened and counted Wednesday.  The NLRB said it had oversight of the election because charter-school teachers are employed by private corporations, not public school districts. The board said that while charter schools are paid for with tax dollars, they operate like government contractors.

“For Donna Novicki, a seventh grade science teacher at PA Virtual, the NLRB’s decision signaled that her long wait for a union had finally neared its end. Novicki and her colleagues voted to unionize in March of 2015, but her school challenged the NLRB’s jurisdiction, and the case has been under the board’s review ever since. The votes, which were impounded after PA Virtual challenged the election, were finally counted yesterday, and the teachers voted for unionization by a 57-to-15 margin.”
The National Labor Relations Board Says Charter School Teachers Are Private Employees
American Prospect by RACHEL M. COHEN SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
Recent labor board decisions help clarify longstanding ambiguity around charter school teachers’ right to organize.  
The National Labor Relations Board issued a pair of decisions in late August, which ruled that teachers at charter schools are private employees, therefore falling under the NLRB’s jurisdiction. The cases centered on two schools with teachers vying for union representation: PA Virtual Charter School, a statewide cyber charter in Pennsylvania, and Hyde Leadership Charter School, located in Brooklyn. In both cases, the NLRB concluded that the charters were “private corporation[s] whose governing board members are privately appointed and removed,” and were neither “created directly by the state” nor “administered by individuals who are responsible to public officials or the general electorate.” The NLRB determined that a charter’s relationship to the state resembled that of a government contractor, as governments provide the funding but do not originate or control the schools.

Ruling on Pa. charter school could set precedent
WHYY Newsworks BY KATIE MEYER, WITF SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled a virtual charter school in Pennsylvania should be classified as a private corporation, not a public institution. The decision only directly affects that one school, but it could have further-reaching legal implications.  That ruling involving Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School was prompted by unionization efforts by its employees. Private organizations are subject to National Labor Relations rules, while public ones are subject to state labor regulations.  These decisions are highly individual. And the board's distinctions between private and public organizations are so specific they're dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  But Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said the ruling isn't entirely insular.  "I just think what it does is potentially sets a precedent for the next time around," Ziebarth said. "So if somebody tries to organize another school in Pennsylvania, people will look at the decision here as they examine the facts and circumstances of that particular school."

Still without contract, Philly teachers union highlights successes
The District has added 42 full-time counselors and 62 full-time nurses.
Newsworks by Avi Wolfman-Arent September 8, 2016 — 4:31pm
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers union kicked off the school year Thursday by celebrating the restoration of full-time nurses and counselors.  Union president Jerry Jordan appeared along Councilwoman Helen Gym at Richard Wright Elementary School in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia to deliver a largely positive message, focusing on an uptick in district services.  “This is the very first year that I can ever remember of every school in Philadelphia having a full-time nurse,” Jordan said to a group of applauding teachers.  This year, the district has added 42 full-time counselors and 62 full-time nurses. That means schools including Richard Wright — which last year had a nurse twice a week and a counselor just one day a week — will have a far fuller suite of support staff.  School counselor Carana Bennett, who split time between Wright and George Meade Elementary School last year, said being assigned to one school will help her form firmer relationships with students and families. Wright had 385 students last year.  Jordan credited his members with pressuring lawmakers to increase education spending. Pennsylvania’s latest budget includes an additional $200 million for schools, about $50 million of which will wind up in Philadelphia.

Manheim Township rewriting script after national anthem flap at Tuesday soccer game
Lancaster Online by TOM KNAPP | Staff Writer September 8,2016
Manheim Township school officials are rewriting the announcement that’s read preceding the singing of the national anthem at district sporting events.  The announcement raised the ire of some parents Tuesday, when the announcer at a girls’ soccer game said anyone who did not stand during the anthem “will be removed from the stadium.”  In interviews Wednesday, parents said the freedom to stand or sit during the anthem is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Editorial: Questions remain in Upper Darby Dunlap affair
Delco Times Editorial POSTED: 09/08/16, 9:57 PM EDT | UPDATED: 20 SECS AGO
The people who pick up the tab in the Upper Darby School District now know how much it is going to cost to part ways with former schools Superintendent Richard Dunlap.  They’re just not completely sure why.  Last September the Upper Darby School Board voted to give Dunlap a five-year extension and boosted his salary. Wednesday night it approved a deal that would pave the way for him to leave town.  In exchange for ending the contract, the board signed off on a “retirement” package that will award Dunlap one year’s salary of $198,582, along with continuing his current health care coverage until he receives the equivalent elsewhere or becomes eligible for Medicare, whichever comes first.  The outgoing superintendent, who has been pretty much a ghost in the district since mid-August when it was revealed he was “on leave” amid rumors that he was either quitting or being terminated, also will be allowed to roll over 31.5 sick days into his 403B retirement plan. That comes to another $11,933.55.

West Shore board goes public with teacher's union negotiations, teachers rally in protest
By Tricia Kline | Special to PennLive on September 08, 2016 at 8:30 PM, updated September 08, 2016 at 8:51 PM
CAMP HILL—West Shore School District officials said tonight that they had an obligation to inform the public on the status of negotiations on a contract for teachers, who are entering their third year without one.  Members of the West Shore Education Association say going public with negotiations during a school board meeting tonight, just one week shy of a member's meeting where they were planning to discuss the district's latest offer, was a breach of trust.  A rally was attended by approximately 80 teachers on Thursday, just before the board meeting in which administrators planned to make a presentation on their latest, "best and final offer" proposal to the WSEA, and WSEA's latest counterproposal.

Schools stock EpiPens as number of students needing them increases
Post Gazette By Laurie Bailey September 9, 2016 12:00 AM
Recent news coverage of the dramatic increase in the price of an EpiPen has also brought attention to how widespread the use of the anti-allergy device is among children.
Schools, however, have been well aware.  The number of children in the U.S. who have a food allergy increased by nearly 50 percent from 1997 to 2011, according to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that 5.1 percent of children age 17 and younger had a food allergy in 2011.  An EpiPen supplies epinephrine through an auto-injector for emergency treatment for anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening allergic reaction.  Six years ago, the term “life-threatening allergies” was not even included as a chronic condition on state reports, said Beth Rose, a school nurse in the Moon Area School District. “Now, they are listed [in state reports] as ‘Food Related Life Threatening Allergies,’ ” she said.   Ninety percent of children’s food allergies are caused by milk, nuts, eggs, fish, wheat and soy.    In many school districts, training to use an EpiPen is provided for everyone involved with students, including bus drivers, teachers, coaches and other students.

The US Senate Is Now Looking Into the EpiPen Price Hike
Gizmodo by Hudson Hongo Wednesday 8:46pm
On Wednesday, the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigationsannounced it was launching a probe into the pricing of Mylan’s EpiPen, the life-saving allergy treatment device which cost about $57 in 2007 and is priced at around $600 today.  “Our review of this matter will be robust, thorough, and bipartisan,” said the panel in a statement. “Republican and Democrat Parents and school districts in Ohio, Missouri and across the country need affordable access to this life-saving drug, and we share their concern over Mylan’s sustained price increases.”  The committee described the probe as a “preliminary inquiry” and said it would focus on “Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ pricing and competition practices with respect to the EpiPen.”

The academic medal count
High-quality pre-K should be available to all children in Pennsylvania
Post Gazette Opinion By Bruce Baumgartner September 9, 2016 12:00 AM
Bruce Baumgartner, a four-time Olympic wrestling medalist, is director of athletics at Edinboro University and president of USA Wrestling.
As the Rio Olympics fades into memory, let’s take a last look back and consider how America’s elite athletes once again won the medal count, extending our country’s all-time lead to more than 2,500 Olympic medals.  This victory was not solely theirs; Olympic athletes take the field backed by parents, coaches and our entire nation cheering them on. Years of training pay off when they climb the podium to claim their medals.  But increasingly, we athletes worry that the United States is winning the Olympic medal count but losing the academic medal count. In Rio, America’s 121 medals vastly outpaced second-place China. However, our children’s 2012 international academic scores ranked 35th in math and 27th in science.  Imagine all the squandered talent behind those academic markers. In athletic terms, it’s as if Kyle Snyder had never taken to the mat, or Simone Biles had never chalked her hands for the balance beam.

Innovative Arts Academy Charter School to open Monday
Sarah Fulton Special to The Morning Call September 8, 2016
Innovative Arts Academy Charter School is set to open Monday after a one-week delay to address several obstacles, from building preparations to completing staffing, all under a recent a change in leadership.  The former Catasauqua High School building on Hometown Road in the borough will welcome 335 students in Grades 6-12 from six area school districts. Students will study four main areas of "innovative" arts: journalism, fashion design, culinary arts and graphic design. The board of trustees met Thursday to finalize items for the opening.  "We've had some hurdles, we've faced some hurdles and we've attacked some hurdles and we're all set to go for Sept. 12," said Kelly Baker, president of the board of trustees. "I'm proud of how we all came together. It's a collaborative effort."  The school delayed opening to complete some minor renovations and to hire a full complement of staff. School CEO Steve Gabrieli said work is ongoing but will be completed for the opening.

Court orders Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to probe teacher’s complaint about dues
Pottstown Mercury By Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press POSTED: 09/08/16, 2:16 PM EDT | UPDATED: 14 HRS AGO
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board erred when it refused to investigate a college professor’s complaint involving the use of teacher union dues to promote the candidacy of Gov. Tom Wolf, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.  State law prohibits public employee unions from using union funds to support political candidates. Mary Trometter, an assistant professor of culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, says the state’s largest teachers’ union violated the law by sending her a letter in support of Wolf and running articles praising the Democrat in its magazine.  The labor relations board claimed it had no authority to investigate possible violations of the law and referred Trometter’s complaint to the state attorney general.  Commonwealth Court said in Thursday’s ruling that the board shirked its responsibility.

Here's a commonsense solution to fix Pa's Congressional map: Franklin L. Kury
PennLive Op-Ed  By Franklin L. Kury on September 08, 2016 at 2:00 PM, updated September 08, 2016 at 2:02 PM
Franklin Kury served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972, and the Pennsylvania state Senate from 1972 to 1980.
We have been cheated, fellow Pennsylvanians.  In 2011, we had foisted upon us a scheme of Congressional districts that is so gerrymandered and stacked in favor of the Republican Party that it shuts out many of our voices and votes. We have, in large measure, been disenfranchised. The outrageous redistricting of 2011 can be corrected in 2021, following the 2020 census, but the work to get it done must begin now, in 2016.  To do this, the state Legislature elected Nov. 8 must initiate a constitutional amendment (discussed below) to establish an independent commission to do the next redistricting.


We need more charter schools — but the debate can’t end there
Washington Post Opinion By Andrew J. Rotherham September 6
+ What is the most important thing the next administration could do to change disparities in K-12 education?
Andrew J. Rotherham is a co-founder of and partner at Bellwether Education, a national nonprofit educational consulting firm. He worked in the White House during the Clinton administration and has analyzed charter school policy for two decades.
You wouldn’t know it from how our politicians talk about school choice, but we actually know quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. Broadly speaking, vouchers have at best a modest effect on student achievement but seem to improve certain other outcomes of interest, such as parental satisfaction and graduation rates. Charter schools, for their part, outperform on standardized tests in urban areas, show mixed but positive results elsewhere, and have pockets of serious underperformance. There is some evidence that choice helps spur the overall school system to improve, but not as much as free market adherents might think. In other words, the zealots on all sides are wrong: If you want to see a more equitable American education system, choice is a key ingredient but not by itself transformative.  Good luck finding that kind of nuance in this year’s presidential race. One candidate treats charter schools like a minefield while the other sees them as a club.

Trump pitches $20 billion education plan at Ohio charter school that received poor marks from state
Washington Post By Sean Sullivan and Emma Brown September 8 at 4:51 PM 
CLEVELAND — Donald Trump made a renewed pitch here Thursday for the school choice movement — at a charter school that has received failing grades from the Ohio Department of Education for its students' performance and progress on state math and reading tests.
Scrutiny on the low marks the school received threatened to complicate Trump's pitch, as critics questioned his decision to visit this particular school before he even arrived in this critical battleground state.  The Republican presidential nominee used his appearance at the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy to announce that his first budget would redirect $20 billion in federal funding to create a state-run block grant that he said he hoped would help poor children in low-performing public schools to enroll at charter and private schools.

Trump Pitches Using Federal Funds for School Choice, Champions Merit Pay
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Alyson Klein on September 8, 2016 3:49 PM
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday that, if elected, he'd be the "nation's biggest cheerleader for school choice" and offer states the chance to use $20 billion in federal money to create vouchers allowing children in poverty to attend the public, charter, or private school of their choice.  And he said he's a supporter of merit pay for teachers—a signature policy of both President Barack Obama and George W. Bush's administrations—although he did not explain how he hopes to further the cause, other than rhetorically taking aim at tenure in this fact sheet.   "There is no policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly," the GOP presidential nominee said in a speech at a charter school in Cleveland. "The Democratic Party has trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth" in struggling schools.

Donald Trump Releases Education Proposal, Promoting School Choice
New York Times By ASHLEY PARKER and TRIP GABRIELSEPT. 8, 2016
CLEVELAND — Continuing his efforts to attract minority voters, Donald J. Trump visited an inner-city charter school on Thursday, where he promised to direct $20 billion in federal grants for poor children to attend a school of their family’s choice.  Mr. Trump offered his most detailed education proposal to date, embracing principles that appeal to school reformers on the right as well as to many poor African-American and Hispanic parents, who have helped drive thecharter school movement.  “As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school  choice to every American child living in poverty,” Mr. Trump said. “If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal and win two world wars, then I have no doubt that we as a nation can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America.”  Mr. Trump’s release of his education plan marked the second consecutive day that he laid out concrete policies along traditional conservative lines, after calling for expanded military spending on Wednesday.

Donald Trump Is Visiting a Failing Charter School in Ohio — why? 4 Things to Know
The 74 by MARK KEIERLEBER  mark@the74million.org mkeierleber September 8, 2016
Donald Trump is scheduled to visit a charter school in Cleveland on Thursday afternoon, signaling the Republican presidential candidate — who has talked generically in favor of school choice and against the Common Core State Standards — may pivot for a moment to education policy.  Oddly, though, the campaign has selected the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy for Trump’s speech. Here are four intriguing facts about the selection.

Diane Ravitch tells Hillary Clinton: Don’t follow in Obama’s education footsteps
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss September 8 at 6:00 AM 
For some time now, Diane Ravitch has been hoping to get a chance to speak with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about public education policy. Finally, she did.  The meeting was not long, and Ravitch did not mince any words, telling her that President Obama’s education corporate-reform policies have been “a disaster.” Ravitch, describing the recent conversation, said in an email:  I am supporting her vigorously in this election but have no idea what she will do about K12 education. My first statement when I met her last Sunday [Aug. 28] was, “The Obama education policies have been a disaster. I hope you will go in a different direction.” She nodded her head “yes, yes, yes.” I told her that she must rethink federal support for charters because they are becoming the new segregation academies, especially in the South, and taking us back to pre-1954. She was surprised. She has probably heard no criticism of charters from staff.
It’s not clear what Clinton was agreeing with, or if she was agreeing at all with Ravitch but simply acknowledging that she was listening. The Clinton campaign, asked to respond, did not dispute the account. A campaign official who asked not to be identified said, however, that while Clinton and Obama “may have different views on certain education issues, she does not believe that his presidency record on education has been ‘a disaster.'”

DeVos family showers GOP with contributions after DPS vote
Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor10:40 p.m. EDT September 3, 2016
Bought and paid for.  Back in June, that’s how I described the Detroit school legislation that passed in Lansing — a filthy, moneyed kiss to the charter school industry at the expense of the kids who’ve been victimized by those schools' unaccountable inconsistency.  And now, through the wonder of campaign finance reports, we are beginning to see what it took to buy the GOP majority in Lansing, just how much lawmakers required to sell out Detroit students’ interests.  The DeVos family, owners of the largest charter lobbying organization, has showered Michigan Republican candidates and organizations with impressive and near-unprecedented amounts of money this campaign cycle: $1.45 million in June and July alone — over a seven-week period, an average of $25,000 a day.   The giving began in earnest on June 13, just five days after Republican members of the state Senate reversed themselves on the question of whether Michigan charter schools need more oversight.

Why Cape May is such a good place to see hawks
WHYY Newsworks BY DIANE STOPYRA SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
On a recent summer afternoon, Pete Dunne stood on the wooden hawkwatch platform at Cape May Point State Park, Swarovski binoculars around his neck. Along with the small group of birdwatchers who'd congregated around him – a typical occurrence -- he looked out over Bunker Pond, a freshwater pool surrounded by bayberry bushes, red cedars and cherry trees. Passing over the pond, he explained, was a peregrine falcon.  "You sure are a walking encyclopedia about these birds, guy," one man said.  Or, as the Wall Street Journal once put it in a personality profile, Dunne is the "bard of birding." He's written 20 books on the subject, and brought international attention to Cape May as a birdwatching destination. The Cape May Bird Observatory and the hawkwatch platform are both celebrating their 40th anniversary. The hawkwatch deck was something Dunne dreamed up to help count birds.  Ranked among the best hawkwatching spots in the world, the platform is home base for Cape May's annual hawk count, which kicked off Sept 1, 2016.


EPLC's "Focus on Education" TV Program on PCN - this Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. 
Part 1: Guests will include:
Dr. Paul M. Healey, Executive Director, PA Principals Association

Dr. Joseph H. Clapper, Assistant Executive Director, PA Principals Association
Part 2: Guest will be:

Richard W. Askey, Treasurer, The Pennsylvania State Education Association

All EPLC "Focus on Education" TV shows are hosted by EPLC President Ron Cowell.
Visit the EPLC and the Pennsylvania School Funding Project web sites for various resources related to education and school funding issues.  "Focus on Education" is a monthly program focusing on education issues in Pennsylvania. The program has most recently included interviews with PA Senate Education Committee Chair Lloyd K. Smucker and with Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera; discussions on teacher preparation, school curriculum and instruction, the work of Education Voters of PA and a broad range of education funding issues; and discussions on Governor Wolf's 2016-2017 state budget proposal for education, the federal reauthorization of ESEA, and early education in PA.

PA Supreme Court sets Sept. 13 argument date for fair education funding lawsuit in Philly
Thorough and Efficient Blog JUNE 16, 2016 BARBGRIMALDI LEAVE A COMMENT
Education Law Center: Join us September 19: UC-Berkeley economist Rucker Johnson in Philadelphia
September 19: Please join us at 4:30 PM in the Mayor’s Reception Room in Philadelphia City Hall where economist and UC-Berkeley professor Dr. Rucker Johnson will discuss his recent national research which finds that sustained investment in education produces long-term economic benefits for communities. Mayor Kenney and Dr. Hite will also make brief remarks. This event is sponsored by the Education Law Center, The Mayor’s Office of Education, and Council President Darrell Clarke. Please spread the word and join us on the 19th! RSVP to Caitlyn Boyle: Caitlyn.Boyle@Phila.gov
To download the full invitation to the event, please click here.

Southeastern PA Regional 2016 Legislative Roundtable: William Tennent High School (Bucks Co.) SEP 22, 2016 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
PSBA website August 25, 2016
Take a more active role in public education advocacy by joining our Legislative Roundtable
This is your opportunity for a seat at the table (literally) with fellow public education advocates to take an active role in educating each other and policymakers.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, along with regional legislators, will be in attendance to work with you to support public education in Pennsylvania.  Use the form below to send your registration information!

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

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


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