Press Releases

Thursday, October 8, 2015 10:56 AM

The Pennsylvania state budget impasse seems sure to drag on after the House on Wednesday rejected Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax increases and the Democratic governor refused Republican demands that he acknowledge his agenda lacks support.

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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 7, 2015.

 
Thursday, October 8, 2015 10:53 AM

Eric Eshbach and Michael O'Brien deal with prepubescent temper tantrums all the time. And that actually might be easier than dealing with the fall-out from Pennsylvania's budget impasse, which turns 100 days old on Thursday.

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Source: The Patriot-News, Oct. 7, 2015.

 
Thursday, October 8, 2015 8:39 AM

The Pennsylvania's ESEA waiver approval was dependent upon PDE making minor modifications to the SLO templates for teachers and principals.

Specifically, PDE is required to demonstrate that Pennsylvania's teacher and principal evaluation systems differentiate among teachers and principals who make significantly different contributions to growth in student learning and that 1) "the rating systems consider prior student performance by classroom in setting targets; and (2) include safeguards to ensure that teachers are not disadvantaged based on students' prior academic performance" (Pennsylvania ESEA Waiver, 2015). The USDE defines growth as performance of students between two or more points in time.

In order to comply with this federal mandate, PDE has modified the respective templates to emphasize the need for a growth SLO (see links below). PDE recognizes that many LEAs have already had their educators develop SLOs for the 2015-2016 school year and that some of those SLOs might be mastery based and set against benchmark targets. In such cases, PDE would encourage LEAs to reconsider these mastery goals and revise the SLO to demonstrate growth.

For example:

1) What data was used to inform the mastery based SLO?

2) Was the SLO calculated to take into account students' prior academic performance? If so, reflect the baseline data in your SLO.

In the near future, PDE will conduct a statewide webinar regarding all of the ESEA waiver requirements. However, given the time sensitive nature of SLO development for the 2015-2016 school year, IUs have been asked to disseminate the revised templates to the field now.

STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVE (SLO) PROCESS TEMPLATE

Elective Data / SLO Template for Principals/School Leaders
Elective Data / SLO Template for Principals/School LeadersGuiding Questions

 
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 8:46 AM

On Wednesday the state House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a package of revenue sources that could help restore past cuts to education funding.

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Source: Public News Service, Oct. 6, 2015.

 
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 8:45 AM

An open revolt against standardized testing is spreading among some Pennsylvania school boards and administrators -- but not in at least one Chester County district.

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Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 5, 2015.

 
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 8:40 AM

Gov. Tom Wolf is warning that steep spending cuts on education and higher borrowing costs are among the inevitable consequences if he can’t get Republican lawmakers to support higher taxes to pay for bad budgeting practices he inherited.

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Source: Associated Press, Oct. 5, 2015.

 
Monday, October 5, 2015 10:05 AM
Act 71 of 2014 into law requires comprehensive suicide prevention policies in schools in Pennsylvania. Under the law, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, Pennsylvania schools must adopt age-appropriate youth suicide awareness and prevention policies and include 4 hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every five years in professional development plans for educators serving grades 6-12. 

Click here for information from the American School Counselors Association on suicide prevention policy and programming including model language, commentary and resources that your district might find useful.
 
Monday, October 5, 2015 9:42 AM

The utter breakdown in state budget negotiations in Pennsylvania didn't happen overnight, but was produced by diametrically opposed policy positions and fueled by tough rhetoric among people elected specifically to work together.

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Source: Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2015.

 
Monday, October 5, 2015 9:41 AM

While students and educators mostly were disappointed with standardized test results released last week, they took comfort knowing the bad scores mean little. 

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Source: The Morning Call, Oct. 5, 2015.

 
Monday, October 5, 2015 9:37 AM

For a few years, measuring education performance using standardized tests was all about making “adequate yearly progress.”

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Source: The Mercury, Oct. 5, 2015.

 
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