Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PA Ed Policy Roundup July 19: DeVos Continues Evangelizing for School Choice

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup July 19, 2017:

Gerrymandering: Fair Districts PA Statewide Calendar of Events

Pa. lawmakers caving on cyber charter reform | Guest column
By Express-Times guest columnist By Mark Spengler Updated on July 18, 2017 at 10:30 AM Posted on July 18, 2017 at 10:19 AM
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene Depasquale recently reminded the public that we have the worst charter school system in the country. Easily the worst part of the Pennsylvania charter school embarrassment has to do with cyber charter schools, which have shown deplorable results in terms of graduation and student performance and have wasted a ton of taxpayer money. Here are some of the most recent numbers:
Average graduation rates for 2015-16:
·         Pennsylvania public schools, 86.1 percent.
·         Pennsylvania cyber charter schools, 47.7 percent.
Average school performance profile results, 2015-16 (70 is considered passing)"
·         Public schools, 70.3 percent.
·         Cyber charter schools, 50.9 percent (nine out of 14 scored below 50).
Total local Pennsylvania taxpayer money spent on cyber charter tuition, 2013-15:
·         $1.2 billion
Perhaps the saddest part of our cyber charter system is the funding method. Cyber charters are funded at the same per diem rate as bricks-and-mortar charter schools. This of course makes no sense, because cybers do not have anywhere near the same level of expenses as bricks and mortar schools. Going all the way back to 2012, it was reported by the Auditor General's office that Pennsylvania  taxpayers were being overcharged $365 million a year. Clearly, much of this has to do with overspending for cyber charters.

School Performance Profile Scores for PA Cyber Charters 2013 - 2016
Source: PA Department of Education website         
A score of 70 is considered passing

Total cyber charter tuition paid by PA taxpayers from 500 school districts for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $1.2 billion; $393.5 million, $398.8 million and $436.1 million respectively.

Not one of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters has achieved a passing SPP score of 70 in any of the four years that the SPP has been in effect.

School Name
21st Century CS
Achievement House CS
ACT Academy Cyber CS
Agora Cyber CS
ASPIRA Bilingual CS
Central PA Digital Learning Fdn CS
Commonwealth Connections Academy CS
Education Plus Academy Cyber CS

Esperanza Cyber CS
PA Cyber CS
PA Distance Learning CS
PA Leadership CS
PA Virtual CS
Solomon CS

Susq-Cyber CS

WATCHDOG REPORT: Thackston Charter contracted with firm started by board president
David Weissman and Junior Gonzalez , York Dispatch Published 4:03 p.m. ET July 18, 2017 | Updated 4:25 p.m. ET July 18, 2017
The future of York City’s Helen Thackston Charter School is in doubt, in part, due to allegations of self-dealing by the school's former board president.  The York City School District alleges Thackston and its board members violated the state's Ethics Act in 2013 by approving a contract with a company started by the former board member.  In a June resolution moving to start revocation proceedings for Thackston’s charter, the district school board stated a charter school board member failed to disclose his ownership stake in GeoSource Capital LLC, which Thackston contracted with during the 2013-14 school year to provide homeland security curriculum services. Minutes of a special meeting by the Thackston board on Aug. 19, 2013, show it unanimously approved a one-year contract with GeoSource Capital. The minutes do not indicate what services the company was supposed to provide or how much the company was to be paid.

Private Problem, Public Debate: Growth of charters present PIAA with a new wrinkle
PAPrep Live by Matthew De George POSTED ON JULY 18, 2017
This is Part 3 of a four-part series looking at the public-vs-private schools debate in the PIAA. Part 1 covers the disproportionate share of PIAA titles won by private schools, while Part 2 recaps the complex entanglements between the legislature and the PIAA. Check back Wednesday for the final installment.
Upon the first step into the Midland Gym, the history of the place confronts you, just as the vivid mural of a leopard punching its fore claws through a stylized brick wall purports to.
Besides the fresh coats of paint and fastidious adherence to color scheme, the gym is incongruous to the modern building that stands next door. And the history it depicts — of championships won in sports the current occupant has never sponsored — reinforces that juxtaposition. It’s understandable to wonder for a moment whose gym this is, a contrast that only heightens its unique character.  Painted on the walls along the sidelines, in big blue letters outlined in gold, are the words “Midland Leopards”. Plastered at midcourt is a gargantuan “M” in the opposite color scheme. Half of the inscription remains true, but the team that calls this floor home is Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, which inherited this facility, the old public Lincoln High School that served the Midland School District until 1986. The relationship between the school and this former steel town, with a population about a quarter of its industrial-boom heights, is complex and historically rich, a microcosm that intersects countless dimensions of national significance.  But as students, culled from some 80 school districts and eight counties spanning a wide swathe of southwestern Pennsylvania, file in to cheer on the newest incarnation of the Leopards, the school’s trajectory epitomizes much more. And the salient symbolism of the 2011 and 2014 Class A boys basketball finals — pitting Lincoln Park against Philadelphia Math, Civics and Sciences in all-charter PIAA championships — could be snapshot of growth in a sector of evolving prominence.

 “Rep Dermody & Sen Costa want to tax your natural gas bill at home. Every time you shower, turn on stove, or heat your home, you will pay tax”
Tweet from Speaker Mike Turzai‏ @RepTurzai July 17, 2017

Pa. state budget update: House Republicans offer new no-taxes plan to raise revenue
Penn Live By Charles Thompson Updated on July 18, 2017 at 11:44 PM Posted on July 18, 2017 at 9:10 PM
The state budget talks slipped back a step Tuesday.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether that's true slippage, or just a search for firmer footing from which the final climb to completion can launch.  The main development Tuesday was delivery by top House Republican leaders to their Senate counterparts of a fresh take on how to raise roughly $800 million in revenue all sides feel is needed to complete the 2017-18 package.  The package was described as a no-new-taxes plan that relies heavily on expanded legalization of gambling - including video slots at bars and taverns; further liberalization of state alcohol sales laws, and a bevy of fund transfers.  "We think that we can close this with non-tax revenues," House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County. "But it's a work in progress and we're not there yet."  The plan itself didn't inspire giddy optimism about quick closure on a revenue package estimated at $2.2 billion to cover a deficit from 2016-17 and balance new spending for the $32 billion state budget for the year that started July 1.  Senate Republicans balked at VGTs earlier this summer after an intense lobbying effort, and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre County, said his team reiterated slots in bars and restaurants is still "a vote problem" for them.

Pa. Dems: House Republicans are holdouts in budget stalemate
Inquirer by Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil, HARRISBURG BUREAUS Updated: JULY 18, 2017 — 7:40 PM EDT
HARRISBURG — As the state’s budget impasse drags on, House Republican leaders appear to be emerging as the holdouts in talks.  Top legislative Democrats said Tuesday that House GOP leaders presented a counterproposal Tuesday that doesn’t contain many of the items that had been under consideration just days ago.  Specifically, they said Republicans have retreated from talks over finding reliable sources of revenue as part of a package to pay for the nearly $32 billion spending plan the legislature passed hours before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. Instead, they’re back to insisting on raising new dollars solely through a mix of borrowing, gambling expansion, liquor privatization, and onetime revenue sources.  “Now there are no recurring revenues,” Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) said of the House Republican proposal, calling it a drastic drop from the roughly $300 million in recurring revenue discussed in talks as recently as last week. “I view that as a retreat from where they were previously.”  Costa and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D., Allegheny) said four out of the five parties involved in budget negotiations have been close to an agreement on the revenue package, but that House Republicans have refused to sign off on it.

Lawmakers continue talks about funding Pa. budget
By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times POSTED: 07/18/17, 9:25 PM EDT | UPDATED: 38 SECS AGO
State senators from Delaware County said Tuesday budget discussions among their leaders continue while elected and industry officials debate the optimum way to fund this year’s financial package.  The $32 billion spending package became law after it was passed by the House and Senate and not vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf. However, there is no mechanism yet in the budget to outline how those billions will be raised.  Senators said leaders were working on that Tuesday.  “The leaders of both chambers are in negotiations today and have also been meeting with administration,” state Sen. Tom Killion, R-9 of Middletown, said. “The governor has insisted on a certain level of recurring revenue. The leaders are working with members of the General Assembly to find the best way to fund the compromise budget that the governor agreed to in June.”  State Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26 of Springfield, had similar news, confirming that the GOP leadership from both the House and the Senate met Tuesday morning.  “I think they’re just trying to come up with some recurring revenue that will be ok with the governor,” he said, adding that legislators are on a six-hour callback.  He said some of the measures being considered to fund the budget are Internet gaming and changes to liquor provisions.  At this time, McGarrigle said, a shale tax is not being evaluated.  Both he and Killion are supporters of a shale tax.  “I continue to advocate for a severance tax as one possibility to help finish the process and address the concerns expressed by the rating agencies,” Killion said.

“No. 10 in Education, increasing 11 spots from 2016”
Pennsylvania Recognized for Business Ranking Improvement after Advances in Business Development and Education
Governor Wolf’s Website July 12, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvania has earned national recognition on the state’s economic climate, jumping 10 spots overall from the year prior, most notably earning recognition for the commonwealth’s advancements in education.  “Working with the legislature, over the last few years I have prioritized and secured historic increases at all levels of education and Pennsylvania’s rankings underscore the importance of the significant advancements we’ve made in education,” said Governor Wolf. “Businesses are looking for an educated workforce to draw from and a location that offers its employees a great place to educate their children, and we are doing just that in the commonwealth.”  Pennsylvania rose 10 spots overall in CNBC’s America’s Top State for Business 2017, with the significant advancements in categories of Education, Technology and Innovation, and Business Friendliness.

In rural Pennsylvania, school districts are shedding students. Could consolidation save them?
Public Source BY STEPHANIE HACKE JULY 11, 2017
Valerie Brooks remembers a time when Greene County was thriving and teens had plenty to do not far from home.  In her native Waynesburg, the youth once had their choice of places to go for food or enjoy an evening with friends. There was an arcade, pizza shops and a bowling alley. Many of those hangouts have disappeared.  “It’s sad. Everything’s gone. It’s not charming anymore,” said Brooks, 51, a mother of three who has watched people abandon her rural neighborhood during the last decade for more populated areas — like Pittsburgh or Morgantown — in search of jobs.  Public schools across Greene County have felt the blow from a loss of students. In the last 12 years, enrollment in publicly funded schools in Greene County has dropped by more than 1,000 students, from 6,076 in 2004-05 to 4,977 in 2015-16, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education [PDE] data.  Greene County’s public schools are not alone; many other districts in the state are shedding students from their rolls.  Enrollment in publicly funded schools across Pennsylvania has dropped by more than 96,000 students between 2004-05 and 2015-16, to about 1.7 million, PDE data shows.  There are many contributing factors, including students leaving public schools for charter and private schools, or moving out of the region. Steve Robinson of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association [PSBA] said population decline is a major culprit.  “There’s less people; therefore, there’s less students attending the schools,” he said.

Pat Toomey is a 'yes' on Obamacare repeal-only: statement
Penn Live By John L. Micek Updated on July 18, 2017 at 12:18 PMPosted on July 18, 2017 at 11:56 AM
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says he'll back a push to repeal Obamcare without having a replacement in hand.   On Tuesday, as Republicans inspected the ruins of yet another repeal-and-reform push, Toomey issued this statement:
"Obamacare is failing. In Pennsylvania, Obamacare premiums are up 120 percent and 40 percent of our residents are limited to one insurer on the exchange. Families are still in dire need of relief. Meanwhile, Medicaid is fiscally unsustainable as its costs continue to grow faster than our economy.  "I intend to vote to proceed to a full Obamacare repeal bill that would take effect in two years so that Congress can use this time to craft a legislative replacement and move toward a consumer-driven health care system.  "I am disappointed with the failure of the draft Senate bill. History will look back on this moment and harshly judge this Congress for not beginning the process of replacing Obamacare and for failing to put Medicaid on a sustainable trajectory when we had the opportunity to do so."
The statement puts Toomey in opposition to at least one senator from a Medicaid-expansion state.

“Toomey's claim that the Senate bill wouldn't result in anyone being thrown off Medicaid was preposterous on its face. The bill ratcheted back federal funding to the states, leaving cash-strapped governments with three choices: Slashing the rolls, cutting benefits or reducing provider-reimbursements.”
Score one for the resistance - TrumpCare's latest collapse is a rebuke to Pat Toomey: John L. Micek
Penn Live By John L. Micek Updated on July 18, 2017 at 11:59 AM Posted on July 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM
As their latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed, Capitol Hill Republicans found themselves in a familiar place on Tuesday: In a state of disarray and wondering what to do next.  On Monday, amid deep public opposition, two more Republican senators declared their opposition to the latest rewrite of a healthcare reform plan backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, seemingly torpedoing a 2016 campaign promise to drive a stake through the heart of Obamcare.  If there's one odd man out in all this, it's U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., an architect and chief public defender of one of the bill's most offensive provisions.  That's language rolling back a Medicaid expansion that had granted coverage to hundreds of thousands of his fellow Pennsylvanians and millions of people nationwide.  Toomey was a vocal defender, making the case at a televised town hall a couple of weeks ago sponsored by ABC-27 in Harrisburg.  Even as Toomey held forth for the cameras, dozens of citizens, many of them in wheelchairs, spoke out in protest. While they were loud, they were never violent. Even still, six were still arrested.

This is why we can't give up the fight to end school property taxes: Opinion
Penn Live Guest Editorial By Mike Folmer Posted on July 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM
State Sen. Mike Folmer, a Republican, represents the 48th Senate District, which includes parts of Dauphin, Lebanon and York counties.
I'm proud to support legislation sponsored by Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, eliminating school property taxes. That's because no tax should have the power to leave you homeless.  Opponents of Argall's bill (SB76) claim that very few people actually lose their homes because of not being able to pay property taxes.  Yet, I often see newspapers' legal notices about sheriff's sales of properties.  If just one person's home is lost due to property taxes, it's one too many.  That's why I joined with Argall and other Senators to advance the one measure that allows for the total elimination school property taxes: Senate Bill 76.  Unfortunately, I've been down this road before.  In the beginning of my efforts to bring medical cannabis to Pennsylvania, I was ignored, ridiculed, and told "Mike, this is a lost cause; you'll never be able to bring medical cannabis to Pennsylvania."

DeVos calls out special education leaders
Trib Live by DEBRA ERDLEY  | Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:48 p.m.
Where is Betsy DeVos today?  The U.S. Department of Education tells the Trib's education team that DeVos on Monday called out special education leaders gathered in Arlington, Va., at the Office of Special Education's Leadership Conference.  DeVos, who has been a champion of charter schools and alternatives to traditional public classrooms, continued to tout school choice to the group. She referred to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring a public school district to pay private school tuition for a special education student as a major victory for children with disabilities.  The education secretary commended the U.S. Supreme Court's March ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.  In the 8-0 ruling this spring, the court found in favor of a Colorado family that sued to force a public school to pay their child's private school tuition after the child, who had autism, left the public school and achieved better progress in the private school.

Researchers Push Back As Betsy DeVos, ALEC Advance Virtual School Expansion
Ed Surge By Jenny Abamu Jul 18, 2017
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could have lines out the door for her upcoming appearance at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) annual meeting—but not for reasons she may like. In preparation for the gathering in Denver, Colo., a stream of protesters are getting readyto object her ties with ALEC, a conservative organization with plans to grow the virtual school industry.  Technology is just a piece of a much more broad effort to individualize the education system and create more pathways for students and their unique needs. It is a part of the larger opening up of the system to choice.  In addition to health, criminal justice, agriculture and several other fields, ALEC works with legislators, nonprofits and corporations to introduce legislation that affects education. The expansion of virtual schools has been one of the group’s primary goals for education. Their work has already been picked up at the state level: Representatives from Tennessee to Alabamahave introduced ALEC-backed virtual school legislation in their states closely modeling after policy blueprints listed on ALEC’s website.  In an EdSurge interview, ALEC’s Director of Education and Workforce Development Task Force, Inez Stepman, explained that the organization doesn’t support the expansion of edtech, but they do support more choice and education individualization—a vision they say DeVos aligns with.

“My concern about ALEC is that [it] takes the private corporation and gives them such incredible power,” said Julie Underwood, UW-Madison School of Education Dean.  Underwood, who is a staunch critic of ALEC, pointed to the current co-chair of the group’s education committee—Tom Bolvin, who works for K12 Inc., the for-profit education company that has been under fire for poor performance of many of the online charter schools it operates.  Underwood said that by addressing ALEC’s members at its annual meeting, DeVos is legitimizing not only the policies that ALEC promotes, but the way it promotes them.  “She can use her bully pulpit to further their privatization agenda,” Underwood said.”
Why Betsy DeVos and ALEC Are Natural Allies on School Choice
Education Week By Arianna Prothero July 18, 2017
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—an ardent school choice supporter who has turned out to be among the Trump administration’s most polarizing cabinet picks—will deliver a speech this week to members of a controversial organization that some argue is her best shot at advancing an aggressive school choice agenda.  The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is known for drafting conservative model legislation in states on a range of issues including gun rights, tax reform, and education. DeVos will appear at ALEC’s annual meeting Thursday in Denver.  Ask a conservative, and they’re likely to describe ALEC as a membership organization that brings together private industry leaders and Republican state lawmakers to draft soundly conservative policies. Ask a liberal, and they’re likely to say ALEC is a shadowy group of corporate types pushing a destructive, far-right agenda.  But regardless of political persuasion, there are two points most would agree on: ALEC is successful at influencing policy in statehouses, and its focus on private school choice dovetails perfectly with DeVos’ education priorities.  “There are lots of groups that do model legislation, but nobody as successfully as ALEC,” said Gary Miron, a professor at Western Michigan University and a member of the left-leaning National Education Policy Center, which has also started writing its own model legislation.

As Congress Probes the Shift to ESSA Under DeVos, Here's What to Watch For
Education Week Politics K12 Blog By Andrew Ujifusa on July 17, 2017 2:06 PM
On Tuesday, the House education committee will hold a hearing on how the Every Student Succeeds Act is unfolding in states and districts. On this general issue, much of the focus (rightly) has been on how Republicans like Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the Senate education committee chairman, are reacting to what U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team are doing on ESSA oversight. Importantly, Alexander isn't happy, and says the department seems to be ignoring the law.  And a GOP aide said Monday that Rep. Virginia Foxx., R-N.C., the chairwoman of the House committee, has put DeVos' department "on notice" about concerns lawmakers have as far as federal feedback to states' plans. "Department of Education overreach will play a role in the hearing, not just [coming] from the chairwoman but from other members," the GOP aide said.  But what about Democrats? How will they talk about ESSA at the hearing? Does that fact that Alexander and other conservatives are annoyed mean that, using simple political logic, that Democrats are thrilled? 

The deep irony in Betsy DeVos’s first speech on special education
Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss July 18 at 2:37 PM 
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos just gave her first major speech about special education — and it raised new questions about her understanding of the issues that students with disabilities face. Again, exactly six months after the first ones.  DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who has called traditional public schools a “dead end,” has had something of a troubled past in talking about this issue. At her confirmation hearing on Jan. 17, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, she answered a question about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), indicating that she didn’t know it was a federal law that all states had to enforce.  IDEA requires public schools to provide a free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities, and in her response, she said that she thought it was up to the states to decide on IDEA enforcement. She was later asked if she was unaware that IDEA was a federal law, and she conceded, “I may have confused it.”

The deadline to submit cover letter, resume and application is August 25, 2017.
PSBA seeking experienced education leaders: Become an Advocacy Ambassador
PSBA is seeking applications for six Advocacy Ambassadors who have been involved in day-to-day functions of a school district, on the school board, or in a school leadership position. The purpose of the PSBA Advocacy Ambassador program is to facilitate the education and engagement of local school directors and public education stakeholders through the advocacy leadership of the ambassadors. Each Advocacy Ambassador will be an active leader in an assigned section of the state, and is kept up to date on current legislation and PSBA position based on PSBA priorities to accomplish advocacy goals.  PSBA Advocacy Ambassadors are independent contractors representing PSBA, and serve as liaisons between PSBA and their local and federal elected officials. Advocacy Ambassadors also commit to building strong relationships with PSBA members with the purpose of engaging the designated members to be active and committed grassroots advocates for PSBA’s legislative priorities.  This is a 9-month independent contractor position with a monthly stipend and potential renewal for a second year. Successful candidates must commit to the full 9-month contract, agree to fulfill assigned Advocacy Ambassador duties and responsibilities, and actively participate in conference calls and in-person meetings

September 19 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Hilton Reading
Berks County Community Foundation
Carol Corbett Burris: Executive Director of the Network for Public Education
Alyson Miles: Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the American Federation for Children
James Paul: Senior Policy Analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation
Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig: Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento
Karin Mallett: The WFMZ TV anchor and reporter returns as the moderator
School choice has been a hot topic in Berks County, in part due to a lengthy and costly dispute between the Reading School District and I-LEAD Charter School. The topic has also been in the national spotlight as President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have focused on expanding education choice.  With this in mind, a discussion on school choice is being organized as part of Berks County Community Foundation’s Consider It initiative. State Sen. Judy Schwank and Berks County Commissioners Chairman Christian Leinbach are co-chairs of this nonpartisan program, which is designed to promote thoughtful discussion of divisive local and national issues while maintaining a level of civility among participants.  The next Consider It Dinner will take place Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading, 701 Penn St., Reading, Pa. Tickets are available here.  For $10 each, tickets include dinner, the panel discussion, reading material, and an opportunity to participate in the conversation.

Apply Now for EPLC's 2017-2018 PA Education Policy Fellowship Program!
Education Policy and Leadership Center
Applications are available now for the 2017-2018 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Click here for the program calendar of sessions.  With more than 500 graduates in its first eighteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants. Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders. Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.  The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 14-15, 2017 and continues to graduation in June 2018.

Pennsylvania Education Leadership Summit July 23-25, 2017 Blair County Convention Center - Altoona
A three-day event providing an excellent opportunity for school district administrative teams and instructional leaders to learn, share and plan together
co-sponsored by PASA, the Pennsylvania Principals Association, PASCD and the PA Association for Middle Level Education
**REGISTRATION IS OPEN**Early Bird Registration Ends after April 30!
Keynote speakers, high quality breakout sessions, table talks on hot topics, and district team planning and job-alike sessions will provide practical ideas that can be immediately reviewed and discussed at the summit and utilized at the district level.
Keynote Speakers:
Thomas Murray
, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education
Kristen Swanson, Director of Learning at Slack and one of the founding members of the Edcamp movement 
Breakout session strands:
*Strategic/Cultural Leadership
*Systems Leadership
*Leadership for Learning
*Professional and Community Leadership 
CLICK HERE to access the Summit website for program, hotel and registration information.

Using Minecraft to Imagine a Better World and Build It Together.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 or Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the University of the Sciences, 43rd & Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia
PCCY, the region’s most influential advocacy organization for children, leverages the world’s greatest video game for the year’s most engaging fundraising event for kids. Join us on Saturday, September 16, 2017 or Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the University of the Sciences, 43rd & Woodland Avenue for a fun, creative and unique gaming opportunity.

Education Law Center’s 2017 Annual Celebration
ELC invites you to join us for our Annual Celebration on September 27 in Philadelphia.
The Annual Celebration will take place this year on September 27, 2017 at The Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. The event begins at 5:30 PM. We anticipate more than 300 legal, corporate, and community supporters joining us for a cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner presentation.  Our annual celebrations honor outstanding champions of public education. This proud tradition continues at this year’s event, when together we will salute these deserving honorees:
·         PNC Bank: for the signature philanthropic cause of the PNC Foundation, PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual $350 million, multi-year early education initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life; and its support of the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, which enables new lawyers to pursue careers in public interest law;
·         Joan Mazzotti: for her 16 years of outstanding leadership as the Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures, a college access and success program serving Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students;
·         Dr. Bruce Campbell Jr., PhD: for his invaluable service to ELC, as he rotates out of the chairman position on our Board of Directors. Dr. Campbell is an Arcadia University Associate Professor in the School of Education; and
·         ELC Pro Bono Awardee Richard Shephard of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP: for his exceptional work as pro bono counsel, making lasting contributions to the lives of many vulnerable families.Questions? Contact Tracy Callahan or 215-238-6970 ext. 308.

STAY WOKE: THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL BLACK MALE EDUCATORS CONVENING; Philadelphia Fri, Oct 13, 2017 4:00 pm  Sun, Oct 15, 2017 7:00pm
TEACHER DIVERSITY WORKS. Increasing the number of Black male educators in our nation’s teacher corps will improve education for all our students, especially for African-American boys.  Today Black men represent only two percent of teachers nationwide. This is a national problem that demands a national response.  Come participate in the inaugural National Black Male Educators Convening to advance policy solutions, learn from one another, and fight for social justice. All are welcome.

Save the Date 2017 PA Principals Association State Conference October 14. 15, 16, 2017 Doubletree Hotel Cranberry Township, PA

Save the Date: PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference October 18-20, Hershey PA

Registration now open for the 67th Annual PASCD Conference  Nov. 12-13 Harrisburg: Sparking Innovation: Personalized Learning, STEM, 4C's
This year's conference will begin on Sunday, November 12th and end on Monday, November 13th. There will also be a free pre-conference on Saturday, November 11th.  You can register for this year's conference online with a credit card payment or have an invoice sent to you.  Click here to register for the conference.

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