Monday, November 21, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Nov 21: Congrats to 2017 PA Rhodes Scholars; both attended public schools; Trump meets with Rhee and DeVos

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 3950 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, school solicitors, principals, 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 Nov 21, 2016
Congrats to 2017 PA Rhodes Scholars; both attended public schools; Trump meets with Rhee and DeVos

Regional Basic Education Funding Formula Workshops
PASA, PSBA, PAIU, PARSS, the PA Principals Association and PASBO are traveling around the state to conduct regional workshops for school leaders to provide them with more information on the new basic education funding formula. Register below to attend a regional workshop to learn more about the new formula and what it means for your school district and for the state. Please note that capacity is limited at each location and registration is required. These regional workshops are being supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 @ 9:00 am: Luzerne IU 18
(368 Tioga Ave, Kingston, PA 18704)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 6:00 pm: Chester County IU 24
(455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335)

List of US students named as Rhodes Scholars for 2017
by The Associated Press, The Associated Press Updated: NOVEMBER 20, 2016 — 7:13 AM EST
VIENNA, Va. (AP) - The 32 American students chosen as Rhodes scholars for 2017, listed by geographic region, as provided by the Office of the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust:
District 4:
Spencer D. Dunleavy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Harvard University
Meghan M. Shea, West Chester, Pennsylvania, Stanford University

Meghan Shea, a 2013 graduate of Unionville High School
Unionville Chadds-Ford School District, Chester County

Spencer D. Dunleavy, J. R. Masterman High School, Philadelphia School District

Two Philadelphia-area students score prestigious Rhodes Scholarships
Inquirer by Chris Palmer, Staff Writer Updated: NOVEMBER 21, 2016 — 1:08 AM EST
One is a West Chester native and Stanford University senior who as a 6-year-old proudly predicted that she would grow up to study the environment.  The other is a chemistry major at Harvard University whose glittering academic career at Masterman High School earned him a prestigious $250,000 college scholarship.  After this weekend, both of these Philadelphia-area young people, Meghan Shea and Spencer Dunleavy, can add another accolade to their resumes: Rhodes Scholar.

“The “Success Starts Here” campaign is a multi-year statewide effort to share the positive news about public education through advertising, web, social media, traditional media and word-of-mouth with the goal of raising understanding of the value of public education in Pennsylvania. The campaign is lead by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, but relies on the support of a wide variety of participating organizations.”
Share Your School’s Story: Success Starts Here Needs You!
Success Starts Here needs you! Show your support by sharing stories, using social media and applying window clings to all of your school buildings. Below are some links to resources to help you help us.
Not sure where to start? This simple tool kit will provide to you everything you need to get involved in the campaign, including ways to work with the media, social media tips, a campaign article to post, downloadable campaign logos, and photo release forms.
We know you have great stories, and it’s easy to share them! Just use our simple form to send your success story to be featured on our website. Help spread the word about how Success Starts Here in today’s public schools.
All school entities have been sent a supply of window clings for school building entrances. Need more? No problem! Just complete the online order form and more will quickly be on their way to you.

Wolf's future as Pennsylvania governor looks daunting
Post Gazette Early Returns By Angela Couloumbis and Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau November 20, 2016 12:00 AM
HARRISBURG — In less than two years, Gov. Tom Wolf has presided over a state that has legalized medical marijuana, broken the state-run monopoly on the sale of wine, increased funding for public schools, imposed tougher rules on gas drilling and formally legalized ride-sharing.  Yet, in some ways, he has never been more politically vulnerable.  The first-term Democratic governor is coming off a humbling election that saw his party lose the presidency and turn out disappointing results in congressional and state legislative contests.  And he is about to enter a year when Republicans are poised to pile up bundles of campaign cash to oust him in 2018, even as they command historic majorities in both legislative chambers.  By all accounts, they will have little incentive to help Mr. Wolf, whose administration just last week received a gloomy financial reminder that the state could face a nearly $2 billion budget deficit next year.  How he deals with the impending challenges could mark a make-or-break moment for the often reserved and difficult-to-read governor. Supporters say he will have to break out of his comfort zone to do the type of retail politicking that came more naturally to some of his predecessors, and spend less time governing behind closed doors.

GOP eyes long-term shift in Pennsylvania after Trump's win
AP State Wire by MARC LEVY November 19, 2016
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The unexpected wave of support in Pennsylvania for President-elect Donald Trump has Republicans hoping it signals a deeper, long-term shift to the GOP in the battleground state, though the election underscored growing political dichotomies that may defy that trend.  Republicans expanded control of the state Legislature despite a strong Democratic Party registration advantage.  Meanwhile, the state's growing geographic divide played a forceful role in the election. Trump was boosted by staggering defections of Democrats across more conservative northeastern and western Pennsylvania, while Republican voters in increasingly liberal southeastern Pennsylvania turned against him.  Democrats' defections helped Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton and become the first Republican presidential nominee to capture Pennsylvania since 1988.

Can blue-collar millionaire Scott Wagner get elected Governor? He thinks so: John L. Micek
Penn Live By  John L. Micek | on November 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM, updated November 18, 2016 at 11:18 AM
Scott Wagner's on a bit of a tear.  Planted on the set of CBS21's Sunday gab-fest "Face the State," the York County Republican picks up a manilla folder and waves it enthusiastically at anchor Robb Hanrahan.  "When I started my first waste business in 1985, you could fit the regulations in here," he says, wielding the folder with even more dramatic flourish. He scowls and slams it down.  Then he heaves skyward a three-inch binder, jammed full of paper, that's conveniently planted next to him.  "This is what the regulations look like now," he says, disgust dripping from his voice as an amused Hanrahan looks on.  It's golden television - and a classic performance from Wagner, who's skipped the suit-jacket and is sitting on the set in his shirtsleeves.  "The people are sick of it," he says, adding later, "There are a lot of good people in the Capitol, but they're starving for leadership - someone who's not a career politician or an ideologue."  In other words, him.

Which Pa. politician took the most union money in 2016?
Penn Live Filmstrip

Which Pa. politician raised the most money in 2016?
Penn Live Filmstrip

Editorial: A plea to the Pennsylvania Legislature to deal with pension reform
Lancaster Online Editorial by The LNP Editorial Board November 19, 2016
THE ISSUE: In January, Pennsylvania House Republicans will seat the largest majority of either party in the chamber in 60 years. In the Senate, the GOP will seat the biggest majority of either side in almost 80 years, since the 1949-50 session. On Election Day, Republicans picked up three seats in each chamber, which means that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the largest legislative majority of any party in recent history will begin a two-year legislative session with several significant issues yet to be resolved.
Pension reform. Perhaps we can begin a not-so-subliminal advertising campaign featuring the words “pension reform” sprinkled strategically throughout any and all written discourse.
For example, a recent editorial on Little Free Libraries might have read something like this:
“As the number of visitors grew, so did their inventory. Pension reform! And speaking of pension reform, Little Libraries have been a staple in Marietta for years. And did we mention pension reform?”  Yes, it’s silly. But if there’s a better way to remind the governor, and the now beefed-up GOP majority in the Legislature that you can only kick the can down the road so long before it goes flying off a cliff, we’re all ears.

Racism rears its ugly head in Lehigh Valley schools
Steve Esack and Michelle Merlin Contact Reporters Of The Morning Call November 19, 2016
Are racial incidents rising in Lehigh Valley schools?  Southern Lehigh Principal Christine Siegfried had enough. Since the start of the school year, she and her staff had been dealing with students yelling racial slurs, drawing swastikas and giving Nazi salutes.  On Nov. 2 she acted, holding an assembly for students and then writing a letter to parents about what was going on in the suburban, predominantly white school.  A week later, parents in the neighboring Saucon Valley School District accused their school board and administrators of not doing enough to stop racist taunts and gestures in their high school.  The Lehigh Valley incidents blended into a chorus of complaints emanating from schools in recent weeks, prompting many to point fingers at an ugly presidential campaign that had Republican Donald Trump threatening to ban Muslims and build a wall to keep back Mexicans, and Democrat Hillary Clinton branding Trump's followers "deplorables."

Pittsburgh Public Schools looking into reports of bullying of immigrant students
By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 21, 2016 12:00 AM
Officials with the Pittsburgh Public Schools are investigating reports that two students from Syria and another immigrant student were harassed by their peers last week.  District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said that in one case, the two Syrian students complained of harassment on a bus. She didn’t know the ethnicity of the third student, but said both incidents occurred sometime last week and are under investigation by the district.  “If anything was found valid, students could face disciplinary action,” Ms. Pugh said, declining to provide details of the allegations or name their school.  In a robocall to parents Thursday, planned in advance of these reports, superintendent Anthony Hamlet said students from 57 countries who speak 46 languages attend Pittsburgh Public Schools, a diversity that’s “one of our greatest assets.” 

“We want to share why some Black teachers choose to join (and stay in) the ranks of what should be the most vaunted profession. Four short vignettes of founding members of The Fellowship follow. All four men are teacher leaders and represent more than a change we have been waiting for; they represent the change our communities are demanding. The lack of equity is one additional disadvantage that our students must and will overcome, but they shouldn’t have to fight this battle alone.”
Philly’s 7th Ward Blog BY SHARIF EL-MEKKI NOVEMBER 20, 2016
Much has been said about the need for more diversity in our teaching force. I have written about it here, here and here. The US Secretary of Education,HBCU presidents and others have also pushed our country to diversify. Also more readily acknowledged is the need for more Black men in particular. However, even when more Black men are hired, they often leave the profession at a faster pace than their counterparts.  …Education Trust recently published a report capturing the voices of 150 Black teachers discussing the challenges of choosing to stay and the reasons so many Black teachers leave the profession. They speak of the “invisible tax”:less support and being typecast into non-academic roles. Recurring themes we also hear from our members.

Pat Howard: Erie school funding is moral issue
By Pat Howard Erie Times-News Posted Nov 20, 2016 at 2:00 AM
To systematically and enduringly shortchange thousands of children year after year - to send them to schools with gutted programs in crumbling buildings because of the ZIP code they live in - is just wrong
As the city of Erie's fortunes have steadily waned over time, there's been a stubborn sense from a lot of folks beyond the city limits that it's not their problem.  It's tempting fiction encouraged by Pennsylvania's foolish municipal and tax structure. Move across an arbitrary line on a map and you can regard your neighbors as "them" and their struggles as none of your affair.  The state of the city is everybody's problem, of course. A hollowing urban core married to wasteful sprawl is a recipe for slow-motion disaster for the region.  The consequences can be found in the sweep and urgency of the city's comprehensive plan. They are evident in the city public school system's financial crash and the injustice at its heart.  And there's a persistent strain of thinking that the city and its people somehow have it coming. That they got themselves into this and they can damn well get themselves out.  Except they didn't. And they can't.

5 years without raise, Chester-Upland teachers demand new pact
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer Updated: NOVEMBER 19, 2016 — 1:07 AM EST
Chester Upland School District teachers, who have gone three years without a new contract and five years without a raise, say that while they appreciate the district's deep financial problems, they are running out of patience.  As many as 70 Chester Upland Education Association members picketed outside a school board meeting Thursday night to demand a new deal.  "We really do hear the district when they say we don't have money, but after five years I don't know how much that answer really works," said Michele Paulick, president of the 230-member union, which includes teachers, counselors, and social workers.  The financially troubled district has been controlled by the state for more than 20 years and has struggled with huge charter school enrollments that it must pay for. Last year, the district won a reduction in its payments in a court-approved negotiated settlement, but it still struggles with a large structural deficit.

Commentary: It's time to get the lead out of Philadelphia schools
Inquirer Commentary By David Masur, Robin Roberts, and Jerry Roseman Updated: NOVEMBER 21, 2016 — 3:01 AM EST
David Masur is the executive director of PennEnvironment.
Robin Roberts is an organizing member of Parents United for Public Education.
Jerry Roseman is the director of environmental science and occupational safety and health for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' health and welfare fund and union.
Over the past year, the nation watched a tragedy unfold in Flint, Mich., where an entire community's drinking water was contaminated with lead. But the problem extends well beyond Flint. Nearly 2,000 communities across the country have confirmed lead in tap water.
And it's not just residential taps: Data recently made public by the Philadelphia School District showed that nearly 15 percent of water samples taken from school drinking water outlets had lead higher than the legal level for home tap water.  Worse, the School District is moving at a snail's pace to uncover the threat, stating it will take 18 months to complete testing. New York City - with nearly five times as many schools as Philadelphia - did all its testing in a few months.

Lower Merion apartment boom brings more students, and costly school building plans
Inquirer by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer Updated: NOVEMBER 20, 2016 — 12:51 PM EST
Lower Merion Township property owners have been socked with school-tax hikes totaling 53.3 percent over the last decade, as student enrollment surged and not one, but two palatial, $100 million high schools were built.   They should brace themselves for round two.
Lower Merion already is the fastest-growing district in Philadelphia's suburbs and the fourth-fastest in the state. Enrollment is expected to continue rising, and so substantially that the school district is looking at pricey building renovations and expansions - including at one of those high schools - as well as the hiring of 52 teachers at a cost of $6.3 million, and maybe a new middle school.  Basing projections on a pair of demographic studies released last week, administrators say the student population will peak in the 2020-21 school year at about 9,200 - 900 more than today, and not far from the all-time baby-boomer high reached around 1970.

Plum school district weighs options to cut deficit
Trib Live BY MICHAEL DIVITTORIO | Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, 11:55 p.m.
Eliminating kindergarten, renegotiating employee and vendor contracts and putting a freeze on capital projects are among the ideas that Plum Borough School District officials are considering to chip away at a looming deficit.  Business Manager John Zahorchak presented those options and showed financial comparisons to other Allegheny County districts at a school board meeting last week. The district faces a more than $4.5 million deficit next school year, he said, and a tax increase may only cut it to $4 million.  “I think it's going to take time, but I think we can piece our way through this,” Zahorchak said.

A sampling of students: Philly high-schoolers get chance to pick their lunchroom menu
Unlike Thanksgiving feasts, school lunches don’t have the best reputation. So Philadelphia is trying a new tactic: let the kids shape the menu.  From nine high schools across the city, 160 students recently gathered for the first annual Student Taste Test Food Show.  The show featured 22 new foods that could find their way into the regular rotation as early as next spring.  Some offerings — such as buffalo chicken nuggets and ketchup infused with Sriracha — were twists on the classics. Others pushed into virgin territory, at least by lunchroom standards. Falafel, hummus, and Asian noodle soup all had their day before this most discerning court of consumers.  As students cycled through the array, they rated the foods on taste, appearance and other criteria. The district will collect the responses and weigh the feedback (pun definitely intended) when deciding what it should add to its cafeteria menus. 

College Affordability in Pennsylvania:
How Did We Get Here and What Can Be Done? 
Research for Action PACER Policy Brief November 2016 by Ginger Stull, Mark Duffy, Austin Slaughter and Joshua Lin
A postsecondary credential is quickly becoming the only reliable gateway to the middle class. A college certificate or degree is associated with higher household income and stability, better health, and a stronger, more competitive economy. By 2020, 63 percent of new jobs in Pennsylvania will require some college education. But only 40 percent of Pennsylvania residents hold an associate's degree or higher.  Yet the cost of a college degree in Pennsylvania is among the highest in the country, and 70% of our college graduates are in debt. Why is this the case, and how can we fix it? This PACER brief uses a wide array of state and national data to detail how and why the cost of college is so high in Pennsylvania, and offers evidence-based policy recommendations for making college more affordable to all Pennsylvanians.

Teens don't need to pick their careers just yet, STEM professionals say at North Museum event
Lancaster Online by KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff Writer November 19, 2016
Mariane Harden, 16, is tired of adults telling her to pick a single career path.
“I’ve got so many options, so the fact that someone’s telling me ‘you can only take one path and that path is just a straight road with no branches’ makes me so anxious I don’t event want to go anywhere,” Harden said.  On Saturday morning, a panel of human resources leaders from Lancaster County quelled her anxiety.  Speaking to an audience of about 40 high school girls and their parents at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the panelists advised young women to worry less about picking a future career and more about following their passions.  “I encourage you to not fret too much about which degree you choose. You can change, and that job that you’re going to have in 15 years doesn’t even exist today,” said Crystal Shaw, of Armstrong Flooring.

Community schools: A place-based approach to education and neighborhood change
Brookings by Reuben Jacobson Friday, November 18, 2016
The institutions of a neighborhood are vital to its health and economic strength, and public schools are one of the most important shared institutions. They function not only as centers for providing education but also as hubs for communities to organize a range of supports and opportunities for children and their families.  Reuben Jacobson’s addition to the Building Healthy Neighborhoods series explores the potential for community-schools to cultivate healthy neighborhoods through partnerships with educators, families, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, and community members. Says Jacobson, “Such school-based partnerships provide social services and supports, enriching educational opportunities, healthcare, mental health services, adult education, and nutrition programs, with a strong emphasis on equity and making greatest use of the community’s strengths.”  With an estimated 5,000 community schools now in operation across America, studies have shown positive impacts on attendance, health, school climate, and achievement, while also pointing to challenges faced by these institutions.
As attention to this education and community change reform grows, we will continue to learn more about its impact on schools, families, and communities.

Blogger note: On Saturday, President-elect Trump met with Betsy DeVos to discuss education….
“A major proponent of education reform, Betsy serves on the boards of the American Federation for Children, a leading advocate of school vouchers, and Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education, which supports online schools.”
Meet the New Kochs: The DeVos Clan's Plan to Defund the Left
They beat Big Labor in its own backyard. Next up: your state?
IN THE PREDAWN TWILIGHT of December 4, 2012, Randy Richardville, the Republican majority leader of the Michigan Senate, called an old friend to deliver some grim news. Richardville's two-hour commute to the state capitol in Lansing gave him plenty of time to check in with friends, staff, and colleagues, who were accustomed to his early morning calls. None more so than Mike Jackson.  Jackson and Richardville had grown up in the auto town of Monroe, 40 miles south of Detroit. Jackson now headed Michigan's 14,000-member carpenters and millwrights' union, which had endorsed Richardville, a moderate Republican, for 10 of the 12 years he'd served in the state Legislature.  "Guess where I was last night," Richardville said.

Michelle Rhee meets with Donald Trump. Could his education secretary be a Democrat?
L.A. Times by Joy Resmovits NOV. 19, 2016, 6:33 P.M.
President-elect Donald Trump met Saturday with former Washington schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and Republican donor and activist Betsy DeVos, contenders for one of the Cabinet positions he has discussed the least, secretary of Education.  On the campaign trail, Trump said relatively little about education policy other than suggesting that he’d support school vouchers and home-schooling and possibly scale back or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.  DeVos is the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, a group that promotes charter schools and private-school vouchers. She is also the former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.  Rhee, a Democrat, served as chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools during a tumultuous period starting in 2007 in which she fired principals and toughened teacher evaluations. She was featured on a Time magazine cover wielding a broomstick as if to sweep bad teachers out of the classroom.

“Trump’s support of charter schools and voucher programs would seem to bode well for pro-charter funders such as the Walton Family Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Walton has ambitious plans to expand the number of charter schools across the country, and Broad hopes to expand the presence of such schools in its Los Angeles base. However, that does not answer the question of how much influence these and other reform-minded funders would wield in a Trump administration, given Trump’s lack of ties to the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors and his own spotty record of philanthropic giving. Again, the choice of education secretary will be critical in this regard.   What is clear is that with ESSA’s move to put more decision-making authority in the hands of states, the secretary of education — be it Rhee, Evers, or someone else — will not have the same influence that previous secretaries have had. For funders, this may signal a need to concentrate advocacy efforts in state capitals rather than in the nation’s capital. Stay tuned; interesting developments lie ahead.”
What a Trump Administration Might Mean for Education Policy—and K-12 Funders
Inside Philanthropy by Shane Hall November 20, 2016
A little over a month ago, I wrote about what a Hillary Clinton presidency could mean for reform-minded K-12 funders and their policy preferences. Since the events of November 8, I and other observers of the American education policy landscape have been pondering what K-12 policy will look like under a Donald Trump administration.  Education was almost completely ignored during the 2016 presidential campaign, both during the primaries and the general election. This was unfortunate, as the new administration will face a number of important education challenges — chief among them the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the rewrite of federal education law that replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. ESSA leaves many of its predecessor’s accountability provisions intact, but differs in that it devolves many decision-making powers in other areas to states.

Moody’s Informs Urban Districts in Massachusetts that Rejection of Charters is “Credit Positive”
Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch November 18, 2016 //
The credit rating agency Moody’s informed cities in Massachusetts that the recent vote not to add more charter schools was good for their credit ratings and will help key their borrowing costs lower. Voters defeated Question 2 by 62-38%. It won approval only in a few urban districts. The vote against the proposal was highest in districts with charters, where funding for public schools had decreased.  “The decision of Massachusetts voters to reject a ballot question expanding charter schools is “credit positive” for urban cities like Springfield and Boston, the rating agency Moody’s said Tuesday.  “The result is credit positive for urban local governments because it will allow those cities and towns to maintain current financial operations without having to adjust to increased financial pressure from charter school funding,” Moody’s wrote in a report.

Trump's school choice proposal a 'mandate' that was 'never talked about'
 Greg Toppo , USATODAY 11:06 a.m. EST November 18, 2016
WASHINGTON — As the USA’s K-12 education community waits for President-elect Donald Trumpto flesh out his proposals, one simple idea has captured nearly everyone’s attention: his plan to give families an eye-popping $20 billion in taxpayer funds to send their kids to the public, magnet, charter or private school of their choice.  But drill down a bit and the proposal gets complicated.  Luis Huerta, a researcher who studies school choice and finance at Columbia University’s Teachers College, observed this week that Trump’s school choice proposal is practically the only education idea anyone has seen from the campaign. It is, he said, “one of the few things that is written down and not out in the ether.” Nonetheless, it remains a big mystery, since no one is exactly sure where the money will come from. On the campaign trail, Trump said the $20 billion would be aimed at about 11 million low-income children, with states handing over another $110 billion in order to give each student about $12,000.
But the bigger mystery, Huerta said, is who the money is for.

“Let’s stop for a moment and think about the “government” that runs public schools. It is not, as the slogan implies, a Washington cabal. Except in those cases where mayors have grabbed control, public schools are governed by locally elected school boards. The origin of the school board dates to 1647, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony required every town to establish a public school. Committees of school governance sprang up, becoming autonomous, local governing boards as early as the 1820s.
Nearly all school board members serve without pay. Most are dedicated, locally elected community servants who must abide by strict laws regarding conflict of interest — laws from which many corporate charter boards are exempt. Yet school boards are viewed as an impediment by billionaires, like Reed Hastings of Netflix, who argued that school boards should be replaced with corporate boards through charter expansion.  The elimination of democratically governed schools is the true agenda of those who embrace choice. The talk of “civil rights” is smoke and mirrors to distract.”
Carol Burris: Trump opposes federal involvement in education. But do his plans ensure a ‘Race to the Bank’?
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss November 20 at 6:05 PM 
President-elect Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he doesn’t suppose a strong federal involvement in public education. It’s a district and state responsibility, he says, and that’s how it should be. But what will the upcoming Trump administration actually do to ensure that this vision is implemented?  In this post, Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, looks at the signs that Trump and his allies have been waving about his education reform priorities and paints a disturbing picture of where the education world may be headed.  Burris was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year in 2013. She recently wrote a series on California charters, which you can find hereherehere and here.

“The last time a "first kid" went to public school was during Jimmy Carter's presidency from 1977 to 1981. Carter sent his daughter, Amy, to Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School and later Hardy Middle School, both schools in the District of Columbia with primarily African American student populations.
President Carter reportedly found that education valuable. He would ask his daughter questions, according to The Baltimore Sun: 
"What would improve the lunch program? How could we help the children who could not speak English? Were the students being immunized against contagious diseases? What was being done to challenge the bright students in the class or to give extra help to the slow ones?"  Questions typical of any parent—but Carter was "in a unique position to act on the ideas," The Sun reported.”
The Education of Barron Trump and Other 'First Kids'
Education Week By Julie Depenbrock on November 18, 2016 3:51 PM
Guest post by Julie Depenbrock
Where the president's children attend school has long been a topic fraught with debate. Where the son of President-elect Donald Trump goes—perhaps even more so.  In Manhattan, Barron Trump attends the private, co-educational Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. And he may stay put, especially given reports that his family could split time between the White House and Trump Tower.   If he does move to Washington, his schooling is likely to be more of a personal decision than a political one.  "Just because Barron Trump is a high-profile first kid, he's still entitled to find the educational venue—whether it's public or private or New York or Washington—that is the right one for him," said Steven Roy Goodman, an educational consultant in the Washington area. 

Education Bloggers Daily Highlights 11/18/2016

Webinar: PSBA Board President’s Forum DEC 7, 2016 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Join fellow board presidents and superintendents for the latest topics affecting public education in this new webinar series hosted by 2016 President Kathy Swope.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

PASBO is seeking eager leaders! Ready to serve on the board? Deadline for intent letter is 12/31.
PASBO members who desire to seek election as Director or Vice President should send a letter of intent with a current resume and picture to the Immediate Past President Wanda M. Erb, PRSBA, who is chair of the PASBO Nominations and Elections Committee.

Regional Basic Education Funding Formula Workshops
PASA, PSBA, PAIU, PARSS, the PA Principals Association and PASBO are traveling around the state to conduct regional workshops for school leaders to provide them with more information on the new basic education funding formula. Register below to attend one of 8 regional workshops to learn more about the new formula and what it means for your school district and for the state. Please note that capacity is limited at each location and registration is required. A webcast option is also available. These regional workshops are being supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 @ 9:00 am: Luzerne IU 18
(368 Tioga Ave, Kingston, PA 18704)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 6:00 pm: Chester County IU 24
(455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335)

Public Forum: Who should run Philadelphia's schools? Thursday, Dec. 8, 6-7:30 p.m. Drexel University - Behrakis Grand Hall
Join us for a public forum featuring state, city and civic leaders sponsored by Philadelphia Media Network, the Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Drexel University's School of Education.
Creese Student Center 3210 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
It's been 15 years since the state took control of Philadelphia's schools and created the School Reform Commission. Since then, the SRC has been a polarizing presence in the city.
With the recent resignation of two members of the commission and the term of a third expiring soon, the future of the SRC and the issue of school governance is once again at the forefront of the civic dialogue. Is the SRC the only model to consider?  Should Philadelphia create an elected school board, or should the governing body be controlled by the Mayor? Are there models in other cities that could help us rethink our own school governance?   The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Media Network -- owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and, and Drexel University's School of Education are hosting a public forum on this critical issue.
RSVP - Admission is free, but you must register in advance. Register now, and find out more about the panelists and other details at our registration page.
NSBA Advocacy Institute 2017 -- Jan. 29-31, Washington, D.C.
Join school directors around the country at the conference designed to give you the tools to advocate successfully on behalf of public education.
  • NSBA will help you develop a winning advocacy strategy to help you in Washington, D.C. and at home.
  • Attend timely and topical breakout sessions lead by NSBA’s knowledgeable staff and outside experts.
  • Expand your advocacy network by swapping best practices, challenges, and successes with other school board members from across the country.
This event is open to members of the Federal Relations Network. To find out how you can join, contact Learn more about the Advocacy Institute at

Register now for the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference 
Plan to join public education leaders for networking and learning at the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference, March 25-27 in Denver, CO. General registration is now open at A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.

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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