Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No alternatives to vouchers?

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Senate Education Committee to Hold Hearing on Special Education Funding today at 9:00 am

HARRISBURG - The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 1st beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Hearing Room #1/North Office Building on the issue of special education funding and accountability.

Click here for the agenda: http://piccola.org/press/2011/1011/103111.htm

Click here for more info on HB704 and SB1115: http://reformspecialedfunding.org/


John D. Forester Jr.: Hard road ahead for schools bill?

While Gov. Tom Corbett's school reform bill, which contains his voucher plan, seems to be zooming through the Capitol on greased skids, the going might get a little tougher for it after it's signed.  Just because the majority of Republican lawmakers and a whole bunch of special-interest groups' lobbyists are in love with the so-called school choice provision, doesn't mean school vouchers are popular with the majority of Pennsylvanians.



The following editorial states that the education establishment has offered no other alternative to vouchers; that is not the case.  Here's a link to several alternatives…..


Vouchers beat status quo

Scranton Times-Tribune Editorial Published: October 29, 2011
The state's public education establishment bristled at the state Senate's passage Thursday of a school choice bill that would enable at least some kids to escape some of the worst schools in the commonwealth.  They offered no alternative other than the status quo, however, and contended that ever more state funding somehow would make more effective the failed schools at issue.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/vouchers-beat-status-quo-1.1224868#ixzz1cNTx6K1I


Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 11/01/2011

The complete list of problems with high-stakes standardized tests

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
My guest today is Marion Brady, veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer and author.
If you think that even a couple of those 25 reasons why educators oppose standardized tests are valid, consider getting behind what ought to be an option for every child's parent or guardian — the right to say, without being pressured or penalized by state or local authority, "Do not subject my child to any test that doesn't provide useful, same-day or next-day information about performance."



Posted at 04:20 PM ET, 10/30/2011

New data Bill Gates, other ed reformers should care about

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This was written by educator Anthony Cody, who worked for 24 years in the Oakland schools, 18 years teaching science at a high-needs school and six years as a mentor and coach of teachers. He is a National Board-certified teacher. A version of this appeared on his Education Week Teacher blog, Living in Dialogue .
By Anthony Cody
Bill Gates was just in the news again, bemoaning the sorry state of America's schools, insisting that business leaders like him have a lot to teach us about measuring performance.



In a Standardized Era, a Creative School Is Forced to Be More So

New York Times By MICHAEL WINERIP, Published: October 30, 2011
The intent of No Child Left Behind was to provide quality education for poor children, mainly in urban areas, but it has taken over everything. By next spring, 90 percent of New Hampshire schools are expected to be labeled as failing.
That may sound 100 percent ludicrous, but it has transformed the academic culture, even in prosperous towns that have long been immune, like Durham, where the University of New Hampshire is located.



Changes in How Teacher Performance is Evaluated Cut Interest in Teaching Careers

Posted by EducationViews.org on October 31, 2011 in Daily, Higher Ed
David Finley is vice president of academic affairs at Trine University.

FORT WAYNE Ind. — Colleges across Indiana are reporting drops in the number of education majors this fall as a bleak job situation and changes in how teacher performance is judged dampen enthusiasm for what once was viewed as a noble profession.



Broad Foundation Announces New Prize for Urban Charters

Education Week District Dossier Blog By Christina Samuels on October 31, 2011 5:58 PM 

The Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which has sponsored a prize for the top urban public school districts for the past 10 years, is starting a similar award program for the nation's charter schools.  The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will provide $250,000 to the charter management organization that demonstrates the best academic outcomes for traditionally disadvantaged students, including closing achievement gaps.




Use Education Voters PA website to contact your PA State Representatives asking them to oppose taxpayer funded vouchers:

For more info/background -  PSBA's Tuition Voucher Issue Page

Making the Grade – Virtual  Town Hall Meeting on November 1st to Discuss New Teacher Evaluation Process
PA Partnerships for Children and the PA Association of Intermediate Units are hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on the new teacher evaluation process which was piloted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) earlier this year.   As PDE prepares to commence phase two of the pilot, you might be interested in hearing from the superintendents, principals and teachers who participated in the first phase. The town hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 pm at one of the Intermediate Units in your area.  The event will be video linked to 28 other locations across the state.
If you are interesting in attending, you can pre-register at the following link http://makingthegrade.paiunet.org/PAIUnet_Reg_Form.asp
The agenda with panelists can be accessed here: http://www.papartnerships.org/publication_files/mtg-nov-1-agenda.pdf

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