Thursday, February 16, 2012

Corbett to state: Pick your poison

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Corbett to state: Pick your poison
Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion By Shanee Garner Posted: Wed, Feb. 15, 2012, 3:01 AM
Shanee Garner is codirector of education policy for Public Citizens for Children and Youth in Philadelphia. She can be reached at
Gov. Corbett's new budget proposal makes drastic cuts to state funding for education and other services while attempting to shroud them in false claims of more flexibility for local communities.
The governor's spending plan does nothing to address Pennsylvania's ranking among the 10 states that spend the least on public education. But by collapsing public education line items into one final (and misleading) number, the governor claims to be giving school districts choices.

Students to governor: 'Budget is breaking our hearts'
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa on Feb 14 2012
About 400 students, parents, and teachers from mostly low-income school districts around Pennsylvania traveled to Harrisburg on Valentine's Day to tell Gov. Corbett how his budget cuts are hurting their opportunities for a quality education.

Proposed charter plays role in parish-school appeals
By Martha Woodall Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Wed, Feb. 15, 2012, 5:32 AM
As area Catholic schools await word of their fates, a charter school proposed by the head of the Philadelphia Parking Authority and two state legislators has emerged as a factor in the appeals process for at least two parish elementary schools in the city that are fighting to stay open.

Statistics on PA public schools very interesting
Wayne Independent Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 05:20 PM
Honesdale, Pa.
On Tuesday morning, we received a very interesting piece of information in the mail. It was from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and is titled, “Facts & Figures 2011.”
We all know that “facts and figures” can be as dry as the desert sand, but they can also reveal some interesting statistics. The letter which came with the pamphlet said the publication provides “some of the most commonly requested statistics related to our public schools.”
The information is a general snapshot of educational averages throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Income More Important Than Race in Achievement Gap

 Walt Gardner  
Why it should be front-page news that income plays a more important role than race in the academic achievement gap is beyond me ("Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say," The New York Times, Feb. 10). Studies have consistently shown that poverty is the single most important out-of-school factor in predicting student performance. In 2010, for example, The Century Foundation found that socioeconomic obstacles are seven times as large as those associated with race in performance on the SAT (Rewarding Strivers, Century Foundation Press).

Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas
Dallas Morning News By Rodger Jones/Editorial Writer
1:31 AM on Tue., Feb. 14, 2012
Saying high-stakes standardized testing is "strangling our public schools," superintendents of several high-performing North Texas school districts have jointly signed a letter to top state officials and lawmakers warning about the deterioration of the education system.

WHAT WORKS: Beyond SATs, Finding Success in Numbers
New York Times By TINA ROSENBERG February 15, 2012, 9:09 AM
In 1988, Deborah Bial was working in a New York City after-school program when she ran into a former student, Lamont. He was a smart kid, a successful student who had won a scholarship to an elite college. But it hadn’t worked out, and now he was back home in the Bronx. “I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me,” he told her.

“Overall, voucher students did not score higher than MPS (Milwaukee Public School) students in either reading or math.”
Voucher enrollment jumps after rules are relaxed
By Erica Breunlin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Feb. 12, 2012
Voucher student enrollment grew significantly as a result of legislation signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker that relaxed income limitations and eliminated enrollment caps in the school choice program, according to a new report. Voucher participation grew by 2,200 students in the last year to a total of about 23,200, increasing the program's total cost to $150.9 million.
The Public Policy Forum's report also compared student performance among voucher schools based on last year's release of statewide testing data. By law voucher school students were for the first time required to take Wisconsin's annual standardized achievement test that all public school students take. The report focused on the performance levels of schools with high rates of student poverty against schools with considerably lower rates. Overall, voucher students did not score higher than MPS students in either reading or math.

Another pro-public education candidate announces….
Saccone challenged in 39th District
An Allegheny County businesswoman announced Tuesday she will be seeking the Republican nomination for the 39th Legislative District.
Shauna D'Alessandro of Jefferson Hills filed her nominating petitions last week to face off against incumbent state Rep. Rick Saccone for the district seat that includes parts of Allegheny and Washington counties. The 53-year-old Saccone is seeking his second term in office.

Education Voters PA – Take action on the Governor’s Budget
The Governor’s proposal starts the process, but it isn’t all decided: our legislators can play an important role in standing up for our priorities.  Last year, public outcry helped prevent nearly $300 million in additional cuts.  We heard from the Governor, and we know where he stands.  Now, we need to ask our legislators: what is your position on supporting our schools?

At The Chalk Face - Education Talk Radio
Educated Educators Talking Education.
A new one hour talk show dedicated to education.  Hosts Tim Slekar and Shaun Johnson cover the biggest issues in education.  From standardized testing to No Child Left Behind.


February 29th: at 6PM in the South Fayette High School Theater

Statewide kickoff meeting of PSEA's Partners for Public Education (PPE) Program

PPE is all about connecting parents, community leaders, elected officials, and teachers together for one goal - the support of public education.  State Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Jesse White, PSEA President Mike Crossey, along with members of the SFEA Representative Council, SF School Board, SF Administration, and SF Student Government will stand together to recruit parents and other interested parties add their voices to the chorus of those who care about public education.


March 26th: Last day to register to vote in the April 24th PA Primary Election
You do have the power to change the direction of education policy in Pennsylvania
The last day to REGISTER before the primary is March 26 , 2012.  Make sure that you, your family and friends are all registered to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania Primary.  Forward this reminder to any and all public education stakeholders.

PA House Democratic Caucus Website
As districts consider their preliminary budgets and we await the Governor’s February 7th budget announcement, the PA House Democratic Caucus has begun daily tracking of press coverage on school district budgets statewide:


Latest Updates on Chester UplandFebruary 15, 2011

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