Press Releases

Monday, June 1, 2015 1:35 PM

As you know, the Career and Technical Education System (CATS), serves as the official record of a school entity’s approved career and technical education program and is used to verify the data which forms the basis for the Secondary Career and Technical Education Subsidy calculation. As the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) reviews the information submitted in CATS, there are noticeable inconsistencies between the information in CATS and the information found in the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS).

Over-reporting students - One example/possible scenario:

In some instances, schools hold approval to operate a two-year program or programs, but are delivering programs to three grade levels and are seeking the Secondary Career and Technical Education Subsidy for each of those grade levels. If, for example, schools are actually operating a three-year program when the school only holds approval to operate a two-year program, the school must either seek approval for a three-year program or change its delivery practices.  This holds true for all delivery models: one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year. Simply stated, the information in CATS must reflect the actual delivery at the school level. 

Under-reporting students - One example/possible scenario:

In some instances, schools who hold approval to operate a four-year program are delivering the program to only three grade levels. Again, this holds true for all delivery models: one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year. The information in CATS must reflect the actual delivery at the school level. 

Please review the information submitted into the CATS system and, based on your review, make any revision or seek new program approvals, as appropriate. For funding purposes, ensure that the number of years noted in the CATS system is equal to the number of years the program is being delivered at the school. 

Please direct any questions about the above information to Lee Burket, PDE’s bureau director for Career and Technical Education, at lburket@pa.gov or 717-787-5530.

 
Friday, May 29, 2015 10:08 AM

State Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Luzerne/Lackawanna, will introduce an omnibus Public School Code bill that would establish a moratorium on Keystone Exams being used as a requirement for graduation. Carroll said this suspension would benefit students and their families, while offering much-needed relief to school districts that face significant financial and educational obstacles to fully implement the graduation requirement. "It has become ever more apparent to me that the linkage of Keystone exam passage to graduation is riddled with problems and that more thought is required to assess students with a wide range of abilities," said Carroll, a member of the House Education Committee. "A one-size-fits-all approach seldom works in the real word and the Keystone exam requirement is no exception."

Click here for article.

Source: http://www.pahouse.com, Press Release, May 28, 2015.

 
Friday, May 29, 2015 10:05 AM

Pennsylvania's school funding system is broken, and students in classrooms across the state are paying the consequences. Recent cuts in state funding, combined with the fact that the state does not have a predictable, sustainable and fair basic education funding system to distribute dollars where they are needed, have put our students at a disadvantage. There should be no question that money matters. Data shows that student performance in our state has tracked with state funding levels. A study comparing changes in state test scores with changes in state funding between 2003 and 2011 found that performance in the 50 lowest-achieving districts increased by 50 percent, on average, as basic education funding to those districts increased by about 40 percent. By contrast, as state school funding levels fell between 2011 and 2014, leading many schools to cut programs, lay off teachers and increase class sizes, student performance lagged among all students, but particularly for those facing additional challenges.

Click here for the article.

Source: Erie Times-News, By Frederick C. Johnson Contributing writer, May 28, 2015.

 

 
Friday, May 29, 2015 10:02 AM

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Pennsylvania schools are the most inequitably funded in the entire country, with poorer school districts receiving 33.5 percent less in education funding than more affluent school districts across the state. The Commonwealth Foundation’s School Spending Database, which breaks down education expenditures per student by school district, and School Tax Database, which breaks down local education revenue by county, support this data. These discrepancies have not only garnered negative attention nationally, embarrassing legislators in Harrisburg, but also have spurred members of the General Assembly and policymakers in the governor’s office to address these egregious variations across the state. For the most part, their efforts have focused on changing the way Pennsylvania finances education, with the intention of increasing funding for schools. Unfortunately, the current proposals do not appear to go far enough to redress the current problem. They seem only to increase funding for education without fully resolving the spending inequalities.

Click here for the article.

Source: WHYY Newsworks CommentaryBy Andrea C. Anastasi, May 29, 2015, Essayworks.

 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 1:36 PM

As part of PennLive's look at legal fees charged to the Harrisburg School District, we also delved into legal fees charged to public school districts and charter schools across the state. We compiled the data from state State Department of Education reports on secondary education costs for a 10-year time span. 

Click here for article.

Source: Pennlive.com, May 27, 2015

 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 1:33 PM

Facing a shortfall of more than $50 billion in his state’s pensions, and with no simple solution at hand, Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania is proposing to issue $3 billion in bonds, despite the role that such bonds have already played in the fiscal woes of other places.

Click here for article.

Source: The New York Times, May 27, 2015.

 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 1:30 PM

Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) is sick of what he calls the myth of underfunded schools in Pennsylvania. He so wanted to make his point that he chartered a helicopter and flew us over a few of the Midstate’s larger school districts.

Click here for article.

Source: abc27, May 27, 2015.

 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 8:30 AM

Pennsylvania school administrators are invited to take advantage of an excellent leadership opportunity that will help eliminate the achievement gap within their school and district. The Early Childhood Executive Leadership Institute (ECELI), a PA Inspired Leadership course, bring together K-3 and early education leaders in a cooperative, professional learning community.

Through this training, K-3 administrators have the opportunity to acquire deeper knowledge and greater leadership skills to successfully identify and navigate the challenges and opportunities in creating Prenatal to Grade 3 (P3) alignment. Promoting access to high quality K-3 classrooms for children at risk for school failure due to poverty, disability, dual language learning and other high risk factors is a focus of all school administrators in eliminating the achievement gap and is addressed in a P3 approach.

The Early Childhood Executive Leadership Institutes are ideal for those leaders who want to take a deeper dive into collaborative learning and relationship building around early learning and P3 alignment. Participation in the ECELI encourages a partnership between the school-based and early care and learning systems which children and families navigate. It also builds relationships to create coordinated, aligned, and coherent learning experiences for students and their families. 

Click here to see the dates, locations and application information

Information is also available on the PA Department of Education website: http://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20–%20Administrators/PA%20Inspired%20Leaders/Pages/default.aspx#.VPndoX4o6Uk

 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 3:29 PM

GrapeSEED is hosting a Web Seminar on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST

Research has shown that oral language has a profound effect on children’s reading success throughout their academic career. Presenters will share how and why oral language acquisition and critical listening strategies are significantly improving reading fluency in young English learners and test scores for all student populations. They will also cover oral language concepts, why it works, research findings and teacher stories based on their experiences.

Click on the link below for more information and to register.

http://www.grapeseed.com/us/webinars

 

 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 10:49 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be offering training on the 2015 Attributions for Federal and State Accountability Reporting. This training will use the 2015 Attribution Map, discuss the Data Recognition Corporation Attribution window in eDIRECT, and the impact these attributions have on federal and state accountability and teacher effectiveness.

Please download the 2015 Attribution Map prior to the presentation from PDE's website at www.education.pa/gov > K-12 > Assessment and Accountability > Pennsylvania Accountability System (PAS) > 2015 Attribution Map v.1.

There will be four sessions of the 2015 Attributions for Federal and State Accountability Reporting training webinar. The training will consist of presenters from PDE's Divisions of Performance Analysis and Reporting and Data Quality, along with Data Recognition Corporation. Please select the link that uniquely identifies the date and time you will attend.

May 26, 2015 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

https://datarecognitioncorpaudio.webex.com/datarecognitioncorpaudio/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4213ebe556872d23e93a787d1be7b21e 

May 26, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

https://datarecognitioncorpaudio.webex.com/datarecognitioncorpaudio/onstage/g.php?MTID=edf198f5cf14ade308cd93851bc7caaae 

May 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

https://datarecognitioncorpaudio.webex.com/datarecognitioncorpaudio/onstage/g.php?MTID=e744bcd9c443c85f992041531e1305c60 

May 27, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

https://datarecognitioncorpaudio.webex.com/datarecognitioncorpaudio/onstage/g.php?MTID=e676372cb5a1131722330af02693ceb1e 

Please contact PDE's division of Performance Analysis and Reporting with any questions at (717) 705-2343 or ra-pas@pa.gov.

 
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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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