Jersey Jazzman Blog Monday, August 21, 2017
Whenever I hear anecdotes about charter schools, my first reaction is to go to the data. Not because I don't think stories like this parent's are worthwhile -- to the contrary, they are very important and should be told. But I do believe data can help to confirm what we might already suspect. And what do I suspect about Success Academy? I've been teaching long enough to know that schools and teachers vary significantly in their effectiveness, and both can make a difference in the lives of children -- particularly children who are living in economic disadvantage. But I also know that the reformy claims of "miracle" schools are almost always way overblown. Yes, some charter schools get better results than we would expect. Yes, some may engage in a few innovative practices that might be worth considering. But schools like Success Academy almost always have structural advantages -- advantages that have nothing to do with their governance -- over the schools against which they compare themselves:
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and a group of Democratic Pennsylvania voters filed suit on June 15, 2017 to have the state’s 2011 congressional map invalidated as an illegal partisan gerrymander under the state constitution.
Tom Rentschler, an attorney and former high school teacher, has lived in Berks County for most of his life. He remembers as a young adult going to the grocery store and bumping into his local congressman. But Rentschler, 53, says over time he and other voters in Berks County have lost their voice. "I just don't think we have anyone speaking for our county," he says. Berks County once made up a large portion of the 6th U.S. Congressional District. But the last time districts were redrawn in 2011, Berks' more than 400,000 residents were sliced and diced into four separate congressional districts. Rentschler says his family's economic well-being and future depends on the success of the region as a whole. And having separate representatives in congress undermines those prospects. "To me that just weakens the county and the city's chances for federal funding. It could be for law enforcement, it could be for poverty programs, it could be for health programs, social programs. It just weakens the Reading and Berks County community, and to me that's the biggest impact," he says. Rentschler lives just outside of the city of Reading in Exeter Township, which remains in the 6th District. So does most of Reading's suburbs. But Reading, the largest city in Berks, was carved out of the 6th District entirely, separated from its neighboring suburbs, and grouped into the largely rural 16th District, which encompasses much of Lancaster County.
The PSERS Board of Trustees will be conducting an election for the seat that is to be elected by the members of PA’s public school boards. This election will be for a three-year term on the PSERS Board commencing Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2020. School directors who desire to run must:
September 19 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Hilton Reading
Registration Opens Tuesday, September 26, 2017