Washington, D.C. Phone:(202) 224-4944
Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education’s campaign to oppose Betsy DeVos begins
Network for Public Education ranks swell, with over 56,000 joining in less than 48 hours.
Donald Trump’s pick of billionaire Betsy DeVos to run the US Department of Education signals that the Trump administration will be focused on privatizing public education instead of on strengthening our public schools or expanding opportunities for all students. Donald Trump made a campaign promise to funnel $20 billion in existing federal funding out of school districts and into charter schools and unaccountable private and religious schools. Betsy DeVos, an ideologue who has no experience with public education either as a student or parent, is uniquely qualified to carry out this promise. DeVos has spent her career and millions of dollars from her family fortune supporting candidates and lobbying lawmakers throughout the United States to support school vouchers, tax credits for corporations that provide scholarships to private schools, and the expansion and deregulation of charter schools.
Former network TV anchor Campbell Brown has always said she wanted her education-news site, The 74, to be perceived as a nonpartisan source for improving the nation’s primary- and secondary-school education. But Donald Trump may have just dumped a major conflict of interest right into Brown’s, and The 74’s, lap. By naming billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos as his pick for secretary of education on Wednesday, Trump put Brown in the awkward position of covering one of her closest allies. A foundation headed by DeVos was among the wealthy education-restructuring advocatesthat funded Brown’s website when it launched last year. DeVos and Brown — formerly an NBC News anchor and the host of a prime-time show on CNN — are also on the board of the American Federation for Children, which promotes charter-school and government-funded vouchers to subsidize private education. The AFC and The 74 co-sponsored a forum involving Republican presidential candidates last year. All of which means The 74 would be covering the policy pronouncements and initiatives of one of the people to which it owes its existence.
The 74 by CAMPBELL BROWN November 27, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org campbell_brown
It will be harder than ever to be heard above the noise.
Huffington Post by Alan Singer Social studies educator, Hofstra University 11/28/2016
Last Wednesday, Eva Moskowitz, the founder of the Success Academy charter-school network, met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, in Manhattan. Moskowitz’s schools are known for their stratospheric test scores and strict discipline. Trump was said to be considering her for the job of Secretary of Education. The next day, Moskowitz held a press conference, where she announced that she would not be joining Trump’s Administration but that she nevertheless felt hopeful about his Presidency. “I’m troubled by what I see as a sort of rooting for Trump’s failure, because that is rooting for our own failure,” she told reporters assembled in front of New York’s City Hall. “There are many positive signs that President Trump will be different from candidate Trump.” What does a leader in the self-described progressive, anti-racist education-reform movement see in Trump to feel positive about? Success Academy schools serve fourteen thousand children in New York City, the majority of whom are black, Latino, or low income. Moskowitz herself voted for Hillary Clinton. After Election Day, Moskowitz sent a letter to her staff acknowledging that many of the families of students in their schools “will feel very deeply and very directly that they are the target of the hatred that drove Trump’s campaign.”
The president-elect may believe that’s a good thing. But governance experts are alarmed.
Huffington Post by Travis Waldron, Sports Reporter, The Huffington Post and Daniel Marans , Reporter, Huffington Post 11/24/2016 11:54 am ET
Does the School District of Philadelphia has a staffing problem? And if so, what can be done to solve it? Those were the primary questions zipping around City Hall Monday as Philadelphia City Council’s Education Committee held a hearing on teacher retention and recruitment in the city’s public schools. The topic has clear political implications. Philadelphia’s teachers have been without a contract for more than three years as they have gone without raises or cost-of-living adjustments. Because the union cannot strike under state law, it has little leverage beyond public pressure. The union has routinely drawn attention to teacher hiring woes and cited them as evidence that the ongoing negotiations have weakened city schools. Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilwoman Helen Gym — who provided much of the rhetorical punch during the Monday hearing — both benefited from union support during their campaigns and have pushed hard for a new contract. District officials, meanwhile, said they’ve put a solid offer on the table and cannot stretch much further due to long-term money woes
Right now, charter schools are not meeting the need they were created to fill.
Huffington Post by Thomas J. Gentzel Executive Director & CEO, National School Boards Association 11/20/2016 09:52 pm ET | Updated Nov 21, 2016
The Department of Education (PDE) is holding a series of public events to engage the public on important education topics in Pennsylvania. The primary focus of these events will be the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law signed by President Barack Obama in late 2015. A senior leader from the department will provide background on the law, and discuss the ongoing development of Pennsylvania’s State Plan for its implementation, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in 2017. Feedback is important to PDE; to provide the best avenue for public comment as well as provide an opportunity for those who cannot attend an event, members of the community are encouraged to review materials and offer comments at www.education.pa.gov/Pages/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act
Upcoming Public Events:
Friday, December 2- Pittsburgh- 9:30 am- Community College of Allegheny County
Community College of Allegheny County Main Campus in the Tom Forester Student Service Center Auditorium 808 Ridge Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Thursday, December 8- Erie- 2:30 pm- Tom Ridge Environmental Center (room TBA)
Friday, December 9- Lock Haven- 1 pm- Lock Haven University
Time and specific locations for the following events, TBA
Friday, December 16- Philadelphia
Wednesday, January 4- Quakertown
(368 Tioga Ave, Kingston, PA 18704)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 6:00 pm: Chester County IU 24
(455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335)
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 philly.com, 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. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/who-should-run-philadelphias-schools-tickets-28926705555
PSBA Virtual New School Director Training, Part 1
JAN 4, 2017 • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
The job of a school board director is challenging. Changing laws, policies, and pressures from your community make serving on your school board demanding, yet rewarding at the same time. Most school directors – even those with many years of experience – say that PSBA training is one of the most important and valuable things they have done in order to understand their roles and responsibilities. If you are a new school board director and didn’t have the opportunity to attend one of PSBA’s live New School Director Training events, you can now attend via your computer, either by yourself from your home or office, or with a group of other school directors.
This is the same New School Director Training content we offer in a live classroom format, but adjusted for virtual training.
Fee: $149 per person includes all three programs. Materials may be downloaded free, or $25 for materials to be mailed to your home (log in to the Members Area and purchase through the Store/Registration link).
Register online: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6607237329490796034
PSBA Third Annual Board Presidents Day
JAN 28, 2017 • 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Nine Locations Statewide
Jan. 28, 2017 (Snow date: Feb. 11, 2017)
Calling all school board presidents, vice-presidents, and superintendents — Join us for the 3rd Annual PSBA Board Presidents Day held at nine convenient locations around the state.
This is a day of meeting fellow board members from your area and taking part in thought-provoking dialogue about the issues every board faces. PSBA Past President Kathy Swope will start things off with an engaging presentation based on her years as board president at the Lewistown Area School District. Bring your own scenarios to this event to gain perspective from other districts. Cost: $109 per person – includes registration, lunch and materials. All-Access Package applies. Register online by logging in to the Members Area (see the Store/Registration link to view open event registrations, https://www.psba.org/members-area/store-registration/)
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.
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 https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.