Press Releases

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 12:53 PM

Governor Wolf targets major changes in education in his budget address. Here are some ideas presented today:

  • Education is the heart of everything else
  • During the past 4 years, we took a step backwards in supporting education
  • The budget will restore 1 billion dollars in cuts that occurred in previous administration
  • There will be increases at every grade level
  • It expands access to Early Childhood Education
  • It includes increases in funding to community colleges
  • It asks institutions of higher education to freeze tuition
  • Accountability measures will be put into place to make sure the money goes to classrooms
  • It increases the State share for education to 50% up from the current level of 35%
  • It calls for a fair funding formula which should be based on need rather than on politics
  • We will pay for the increases in investment in education by applying a severance tax on natural gas which should generate 1 billion dollars
  • Property taxes will be reduced by 50% as well
 
Monday, March 2, 2015 1:38 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced that Pennsylvania’s Educator Effectiveness Rating System (PEERS) is now available online for use by LEAs (as of March 2, 2015). This online tool provides local education agencies (LEAs) a free, voluntary, web-based version of the Act 82 Educator Effectiveness final rating tools (PDE 82-1, 82-2, and 82-3), providing users with an efficient and effective process to not only complete the summative rating forms, but to be able to use the data effectively for teacher, principal, and school/district growth and improvement.

LEAs do NOT need to register or sign up to use the system. PEERS is now live, online for any LEA to use at any time as of March 2, 2015. PEERS has been pre-populated with LEA name, school names, staff names,  a final rating form based on the PIMS position code (LEA may edit) and School Performance Profile (SPP) data for all LEAs.

PEERS is hosted within the existing PVAAS web application, allowing PVAAS account holders access to PEERS through the existing PVAAS account system. It may be used alone, in lieu of the PDE 82-1, 82-2, 82-3 Excel documents, or in concert with other tools that LEAs are using to manage the supervision and evaluation process.

Access to the forms is granted by the LEAs and all information is securely and confidentially maintained by SAS EVAAS, requiring second levels of authentication. PDE does not have access to the summative evaluation information housed within the PEERS.

Through PEERS:

  • Teachers, principals/administrators, and non-teaching specialists are linked to a most likely defaulted rating form based on PIMS data submitted by each LEA, with the ability to change to a different form as per local LEA decision.
  • Demographic information including district name, school name, educator name and PPID is pre-populated.
  • The School Performance Profile (SPP) Score is pre-populated by the PVAAS web application, with the flexibility to change the school, allow multiple schools and/or choose current year or prior year.
  • Starting with SY2015-2016 PVAAS reporting, the PVAAS score for 3 year rolling average will be pre-populated into the final rating form 
  • Rating information is aggregated to summary-level reporting.

SAS EVAAS, in conjunction with PDE, is providing a training webinar on March 10, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:00 PM for all LEAs interested in using PEERS and/or learning more about this free, voluntary tool.  This webinar will be archived and available for accessing on the PVAAS website within one week of this date.

Details to participate in the live webinar are included below. Pre-registration is not necessary.

Webinar Date and Time: March 10, 2015, 3:00 – 4:00 pm              

Computer & Phone Connection Information:

https://sasmeetings.webex.com/sasmeetings/j.php?J=710756117

Audio Access: 1-888-682-4285     Attendee code: 474-456-2 #

Questions regarding accessing PEERS may be sent to the “Contact Us” link on the PVAAS website at https://pvaas.sas.com

Questions specific to Act 82 Educator Effectiveness are to be directed to ra-edeff@pa.gov.

 
Monday, March 2, 2015 10:22 AM

NASSP has announced that its collaborative work with NAESP and the American Federation of School Administrators has resulted in a big advocacy win in the House ESEA bill. They were successful in getting an amendment passed by voice vote that would make it explicit that the definition of “school leader” means a principal or assistant principal IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING. The amendment was introduced by Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA), Bob Dold (R-IL) and Jared Polis (D-CO), and the bipartisan support was definitely instrumental…in addition to support from the NEA after we explained the purpose and rationale of the amendment.

Work on this issue is not yet done. Our national associations are still urging members of Congress to vote NO on HR 5. If you have not done so already, please send a message to your Representative through PLAC (https://www.votervoice.net/NASSP/Campaigns/38971/Respond). And please continue to spread the word!

 
Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:57 PM

Message from Executive Director: PA Principals Association is part of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. The campaign released today their proposal for a new Basic Education Funding formula to boost student outcomes in all parts of the state by helping close funding shortfalls in all school districts and narrow the growing gap between wealthy and poorer districts. Please see the two following links, which provide an overview about the campaign and the proposed formula. PA Principals Association is one of approximately 40 organizations involved in this critical work and working on behalf of school leaders across the Commonwealth. 

Click here for executive summary.

Click here for press release.

 
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:45 PM

As you are well aware, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), does not provide principals and assistant principals with adequate support, training and resources but still holds them accountable for student achievement. Congress is now rapidly working to reauthorize ESEA, which presents a tremendous opportunity to elevate the role of principals in improving student achievement, and have their voices heard.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) recently submitted detailed comments in response to legislation passed by the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the law. The comments note many concerns with the bill, with one of the most important being its lack of acknowledgement and support for the vital role of principals, and providing them with the necessary professional support to ensure better teaching and improved learning for all students.

At a minimum, the Student Success Act of 2015 must the following top concerns:

  • Clearly define the term “school leader” to mean principals and assistant principals working inside the school building, not non-building staff such as teacher leaders, superintendents and other district personnel;
  • Require districts that receive Title II funding to allocate no less than 10 percent of the funds available for professional development for elementary, middle, and high school principals to improve instructional leadership;
  • Require that state principal evaluation systems be designed in collaboration with practitioners, and ensure that they are based on more than just student test scores. We recommend that any principal evaluation focus on the six key domains of leadership responsibility within a principal’s sphere of influence: student growth and achievement, school planning and progress, school culture, stakeholder support and engagement, professional qualities and practices, and professional growth and learning;
  • Oppose any and all efforts to transform Title I funding—which is designed to assist public schools with high concentrations of poverty and high-need students—into a private school voucher.

As a leader in your school and in your community, your voice is extremely powerful in this debate. H.R. 5 is on the House Floor the last week of February, and principals must take action to let your representatives in Congress know these concerns must be addressed. While a sample letter has been provided for you, we strongly urge you to personalize the letter where possible.

Click here to send a letter to your Congressional representative.

 
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:01 AM

Challenging situations are getting worse in schools statewide according to an update to the annual Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) budget survey.

Click here for press release.

Click here for full report.

School Leaders Respond to Budget Survey; Call for Action, Equity and Adequate Funding

“The current PASA-PASBO report highlights the critical need for a fair education funding formula. Our members have been expressing concerns about cuts in programs and people, which directly affect the students in a negative way. The low hanging fruit has been picked clean and we need the State to take action on fixing the way we fund education in order to protect our most precious resource our children.” 

– Dr. Paul M. Healey, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals

Click here for more comments.

 
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:58 AM

If your area did not pick up the Real Life / Real Issues Community Forum on public television, please click the link below to access this important piece on Drugs and Young People: http://video.witf.org/video/2365429481/

 
Monday, February 23, 2015 10:29 AM

In a recent interview, Mr. Rivera, now serving as acting education secretary, made it clear that he has not forgotten where he came from and the challenges faced by students and families in impoverished neighborhoods.
Click here for the full article.

Source: PSBA Daily EDition, Feb. 23, 2015; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 22, 2015.

 
Monday, February 23, 2015 8:35 AM

The latest from Washington, D.C., is that Congress is acting fast to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Here is what NAESP is doing to make sure ESEA meets principals' needs -- and how you can be part of the process.

Raising Principals' Voices

There are a lot of moving pieces in the ESEA reauthorization process. Here's a quick guide to what's happened so far:

  • NAESP filed comments on sections of the Senate's discussion draft bill.
  • NAESP submitted comments on the House of Representatives' bill, which will be marked up next week.
  • NAESP partnered with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the American Federation of School Administrators to urge Congress to support the re-introduction of the Principal Recruitment and Training Act of 2015, a bill to help recruit, prepare, and support principals in the profession.

Plus, in the midst of these critical debates, NAESP is bringing 200 principals to meet with lawmakers during the annual National Leaders Conference, Feb. 22-24. Conference participants will engage with top education and policy thought leaders, as well as receive leadership development and training focused on strategic advocacy in preparation for Capitol Hill meetings.

Read the messages they will take to the Hill on ESEA and the federal budget.  

How to Take Action

Here are several ways that you can add your voice to NAESP's advocacy efforts on ESEA.

  • Speak up on the House bill (Student Success Act, H.R. 5), which NAESP does not support. Watch for an email alert with timely information on the bill, and then tell lawmakers to Vote No using NAESP's easy-to-use Legislative Action Center
  • Follow the #naespNLC hashtag on Twitter for updates from the National Leaders Conference.
  • Read reflections from the National Leaders Conference in the forthcoming February issue of Communicator.
  • Join the Federal Relations Network community on edWeb for our advocacy staff's updates from Capitol Hill.

During the coming weeks as ESEA moves on its path toward reauthorization, NAESP will continue to stand for principals' interests and will make sure school leaders have a seat at the federal policy table.

 
Friday, February 20, 2015 8:37 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is pleased to announce the release of PVAAS Student Projections to ACT, PSAT and SAT for students currently enrolled in your school(s)/LEA. These projections are useful to assess – and address – students’ postsecondary and career readiness, even before they take the ACT, PSAT or SAT or before they attend high school. They also provide a statewide perspective on postsecondary readiness that extends beyond performance on PSSA and Keystones or the local community. Furthermore, Pennsylvania’s School Performance Profile (SPP) includes data on student participation in the PSAT, as well as participation/performance on the ACT and SAT.

The new projections to ACT, PSAT and SAT may answer questions like…

  • Are students who are already on the path to success on these assessments in fact participating in these assessments?
  • Are there students with a high likelihood of success who do not consider themselves college candidates? Once identified, educators can support and encourage these students.
  • Are there students who are at-risk for remediation in college?
  • Are there students who are underprepared for the college readiness benchmarks? Once identified, educators can ascertain which courses, resources and supports may increase the students’ likelihood of success on the ACT/SAT and in their college readiness.

Access to the NEW PVAAS Student Projections to ACT, PSAT and SAT is available on the password-protected PVAAS website. PVAAS account holders with student level access will have access to these new projections for students currently enrolled in their respective school/LEA.

Existing statewide assessment data from PSSAs and Keystones are used to yield these additional PVAAS student projections for LEAs, which will include projections to various PSAT, ACT and SAT benchmarks that indicate readiness in a variety of courses and colleges. These projections are available for the following students:

  • PVAAS Student Projections to PSAT for students currently enrolled in grades 6 to 11;
  • PVAAS Student Projections to ACT for students currently enrolled in grades 9 to 12; and
  • PVAAS Student Projections to SAT for students currently enrolled in grades 9 to 12.

SAS® EVAAS® is making available an archived web session for all LEAs interested in learning more about these new PVAAS Student Projections to Act, PSAT and SAT. This session will address the following topics:

  • Overview of Methodology for PVAAS Student Projections to SAT, PSAT and ACT
  • Benchmark Scores Used for PVAAS Student Projections to SAT, PSAT and ACT
  • Students/Grade Levels Receiving PVAAS Student Projections to SAT, PSAT and ACT
  • Offer Guidance on How to Use These New Projections
  • Offer Guidance on How to Use Them to Help Students Plan for College

This web session will be available on the PVAAS website, https://pvaas.sas.com under the e-Learning Link no later than March 10, 2015.

Questions regarding the new PVAAS Student Projections to ACT, PSAT and SAT can be directed to pdepvaas@iu13.org.

 
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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