WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 27, 2016 5:57 AM
(Harrisburg) -- In the final hours of Wednesday's legislative session, state lawmakers took yet another stab at an overhaul of the commonwealth's heavily indebted state pension system. The issue has long been a legislative priority. Several previous efforts have fizzled and now, once again, lawmakers were unable to come up with the necessary votes. Late Tuesday night, the legislature formed a special conference committee that quickly passed a pension proposal on to the House and Senate. It would have given public employees three different retirement plan options--two hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plans, and a third defined contribution plan, similar to a private 401k. But party conflicts were apparent even then. The two Democrats on the six-person committee voted against the bill, saying it cut benefits too much and didn't save enough money. Ultimately, legislative leaders decided not to run it. House Majority Leader, Republican Dave Reed, said the votes just weren't there. "We got up to 99--probably the closest we've ever come on a pension bill that everybody knew was going to become law," he said. "We were three votes short."
WHYY Newsworks BY DAVE HELLER OCTOBER 26, 2016 Audio Runtime 3:37
WHYY Newsworks BY KEVIN MCCORRY FEBRUARY 4, 2015
The nation’s fourth- and eighth-graders have made gains in science, and large racial achievement gaps have narrowed slightly, according to the results of a national science test released Thursday. In the test administered last year, girls improved faster than boys, narrowing the gender gap at the eighth-grade level and erasing it in the fourth grade. High school seniors’ science performance has remained flat since the last time the test was administered, in 2009, however, and racial and gender achievement gaps among 12th-graders did not change. The results come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card. The exams — given every two years in math and reading and less frequently in science and other subjects, are widely seen as an important barometer of student performance because they have been given nationwide across a long period of time.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, is called The Nation's Report Card for good reason; the tests are administered the same way year after year, using the same kind of test booklets, to students across the country. That allows researchers and educators to compare student progress over time. NAEP tests serve as a big research project to benchmark academic achievement in subjects like science, math, reading, writing, civics, economics, geography and U.S. history. Science results were out Thursday for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders. Among seniors, achievement was flat, and performance gaps by race, ethnicity and gender persisted. But fourth- and eighth-graders showed modest progress: each up four points since 2009. That's encouraging to U.S. Secretary of Education John King, who said in a press call, "We're seeing racial achievement gaps in the sciences narrowing in the fourth and eighth grades ... and the gender gaps also are closing." "All of this means that more students are developing skills like thinking critically, making sense of information and evaluating evidence," King said.
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