Press Releases

Thursday, September 4, 2014 1:26 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), is working on its State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report.  The State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report will describe how the Commonwealth will improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities, ages birth-21, and comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). States must submit their new State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report to the United States Department of Education by Feb. 1, 2015, and it must include a description of targets and strategies to guide improvement through federal fiscal year 2018.

The State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report is built upon federally mandated indicators of compliance and performance. Each indicator includes baseline data, annual measurable and rigorous targets, and improvement activities.  It is being developed with significant input from the Pennsylvania Special Education Advisory Panel, the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention, and other stakeholders. PDE and DPW are requesting stakeholders’ input on targets and improvement activities for the following indicators:

School-Age Indicators

Indicator 2                     Dropout Rates

Indicator 3B                   Participation in Statewide Assessment

Indicator 4A                   Suspension and Expulsion Rates

Indicator 5                     Educational Placement (Least Restrictive Environment, or LRE)

Indicator 8                     School Facilitated Parent Involvement

Indicator 14                   Postsecondary Employment and/or Education

Indicator 15                   Due Process Resolution Session Agreements

Indicator 16                   Mediation Agreements

Indicator 17                   State Systemic Improvement Plan

Persons interested in submitting comments in writing will be able to do so by visiting the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network’s website at through Sept. 19, 2014.

Questions regarding the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report may be addressed to Sandy Zeleznik, Special Education Adviser, at

Monday, August 25, 2014 1:03 PM

Almost a year since the state bungled its disclosure of school performance profiles, Pennsylvania lacks an official release date for its latest batch, Department of Education spokesman Tim Eller said on Friday. “We're thinking late September, but we won't have anything set in stone for at least another week,” he said.

Click here for the full article

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Aug. 23, 2014.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:02 AM

The American public has sharpened its belief that the federal government should not play a dominant role in public education, with a majority saying they simply do not support initiatives that they believe were created or promoted by federal policymakers, a new survey shows.  Moreover, only 27 percent of respondents give President Barack Obama a grade of “A” or “B” for his performance in support of public schools – down from 41 percent in 2011. A majority of those surveyed, 54 percent, do not think standardized tests are helpful to teachers; many do not understand how charter schools work, and the number of Americans saying they are familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has skyrocketed in just one year, with a majority saying they oppose the standards.

Those and other findings are contained in the 46th edition of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, released August 20, 2014.

Click here for the full press release.

46th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:23 AM

PA Principals Association proudly partnered with PDE on a new initiative known as Pennsylvania Learns. PA Learns combines the latest technologies with rich and relevant content and offers educators a vital resource in delivering lessons and courses to students. The material is available FREE of charge to educators and is hosted on iTunesU which is accessible by downloading the app on your iPad or iPhone. Once in iTunesU, you simply search for Pennsylvania Learns and the courses will populate.

School leaders have been asking for a resource such as this especially for remediation of the keystones. The lessons and courses are aligned to the new state standards and the courses in Biology, Algebra and English Language Arts can be used by students for both remediation and enrichment. We hope all educators will become familiar with what Pennsylvania Learns and utilize this valuable resource with students.

I was in attendance at the press release in Garnet Valley School District and here is an excerpt from the event:

Governor Tom Corbett today was joined by lawmakers, superintendents, teachers, higher education representatives and education partners at Garnet Valley School District, Delaware County, to launch Pennsylvania Learns on iTunes U - a collection of free, online, educational resources.

Pennsylvania Learns on iTunes U brings state standards-aligned resources to the world's largest online catalog of free educational content that helps educators create courses, including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi and offer them to millions of iOS users.

"This initiative, which is the culmination of nearly a year of work among various education partners, is designed to provide middle and high school students, parents and teachers with access to no-cost, high-quality, state standards-aligned resources to increase student achievement," Gov. Corbett said. "I want to thank all of the educators as well as the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals and the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development for their contributions to this project, and their continued commitment to students."

~ Paul M. Healey, Ph.D., PA Principals Association Executive Director

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:11 AM

A former state lawmaker with a reputation for consensus-building will manage a newly formed, non-partisan campaign to address one of Pennsylvania’s most important and challenging issues: the funding of its public schools. Kathy Manderino has been named campaign manager for a new school funding campaign that includes more than 40 organizations representing educators, business, labor, faith-based organizations and civic and child advocacy groups who want to see the commonwealth find a long-term solution to adequately and equitably fund public schools. “School funding is, without question, one of the toughest issues facing Pennsylvania, but it’s also arguably the most important,” Manderino said. “So many facets of our commonwealth – jobs, culture, community, quality of life – are dependent upon and shaped by the education we provide for our children. How we fund that education really does dictate the future of Pennsylvania, and I’m excited to help advance such a critical discussion.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: EPLC Website, August 18, 2014 (Text of August 18 press release from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:58 AM

Ron Tomalis is resigning from his nearly $140,000 job as Gov. Tom Corbett's special adviser on higher education. The move, announced Tuesday and effective Aug. 26, comes after weeks of pressure on Tomalis to step down after news reports revealed little evidence of work done in the role Corbett created for him in June 2013. Click here for the full article.
Source: Allentown Morning Call, Aug. 13, 2014.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:49 AM

PA Principals Association is currently accepting nominations for High School Principal of the Year, Middle Level Principal of the Year and Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year awards. These are State awards which will be given at the annual banquet in October in Pittsburgh. Anyone interested (secondary members only) in applying for one of these awards should complete and forward the attached application to the PA Principals Association office by September 8, 2014. 

Click here for a description or the award criteria, or click here for the award application. We look forward to honoring some secondary school leaders at our conference. Thanks for all you do on behalf of the many children across the Commonwealth.


Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:48 AM

Rep. Glen Grell's pension reform idea that would impact future state and school employees would produce savings that range between $27 billion and $30.5 billion savings for the two state pension funds over 30 years, according to an actuarial review of his plan released on Wednesday. But for taxpayers who foot the bill, the bulk of those savings for the Public School Employees' Retirement System and State Employees' Retirement System would be offset by having to pay off a $9 billion pension obligation bond that the Hampden Twp. Republican lawmaker's plan would require.
Click here for the full article.

Source: Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 30, 2014.  






Thursday, July 31, 2014 8:43 AM

Pennsylvania is not alone in its public pension problems. Other states have struggled as well.

Nationwide, total debt facing state pension plans is $915 billion, according to the Public Sector Retirement Systems project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Only 15 states have consistently made at least 95 percent of the full actuarially required contributions for their pension plans from 2010 through 2012; the remaining 35 states (including Pennsylvania) fell short in at least one year,” according to the project website. And since last fall, the director of that project, Greg Mennis, has been trying to help Pennsylvania solve its pension problems.

In an interview last week, Mennis said his group has offered three basic pieces of advice to Mike Brubaker, R-36th, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and John P. Blake, D-22nd, the committee’s minority chair. “First, Pennsylvania has to commit to paying the current bill; second, we think they should establish a funding task force or study commission to come up with a comprehensive and transparent solution to this long-standing problem; and third, if that solution is some kind of hybrid plan design, that they consider a simple and proven hybrid model,” Mennis said.

Click here to read the full story.

Source: Daily Local News,, by Evan Brandt, posted 07/28/14, 4:55 PM EDT.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:25 AM
Attention Members: Dr. Paul Healey, PA Principals Association executive director, wanted you to have this important information regarding Student Performance Measures for Classroom Teachers.

The following FAQs are provided for guidance purposes only. It is recommended that any decision or action taken by a Local Education Agency (LEA) related to evaluation of its professional and temporary professional employees be made in consultation with the LEA's solicitor.

Click here for the FAQs.

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