Press Releases

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 9:54 AM

Rep. Glen Grell (R-Cumberland) [this morning] unveiled a three-point pension reform plan which will reform the state’s two major pension systems and ensure their future is secure. The plan will be introduced soon in two pieces of legislation, one which creates a new retirement benefit tier for future employees and the other will institute a limited plan of borrowing.

Click here for full article.

Source: (The Eye Opener), Sept. 30, 2013. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 8:47 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has updated:
•    CSPG #3: Validity of a Pennsylvania Certificate;
•    CSPG #76: Elementary and Secondary School Counselor (combined #76 and #79);
•   CSPG #95: Principal K-12; and
•   CSPG #104: Limitation of Assignment of Middle and Secondary Teachers to Instruction at the Elementary Level.   
The updated CSPGs can be found on PDE’s website by going to, select Teachers, Administrators and Certifications, then select Certification Staffing Policies (CSPGs) from the left navigation bar or copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Summary of changes to CSPG #3:
1. The validity of an Instructional or Educational Specialist certificate for a non-citizen of the United States is no longer determined on six calendar years from the date the candidate signs the Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen of the United States form. It is now determined by service years.
2. The Administrative I Certificate was effective Jan. 1, 2008. This credential is valid for five service years.
3. Vocational Intern, Vocational Supervisor and Vocational Military Science were defined to improve the functionality in the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS).
Summary of changes to CSPG #76:
1. School counseling has experienced sweeping changes at both the preparation and practice levels. Pennsylvania has introduced important changes such as the Standards Aligned System (SAS) and the Career Education and Work Standards that greatly impact the role and function of school counselors. The certification revision is a shift from the two certifications previously granted (Elementary K-6 and Secondary 7-12) to one comprehensive PreK-12 certification for all school counselor candidates.
Summary of changes to CSPG #95:
1. Removed the requirement for a principal to serve five years in an Instructional or Educational Specialist certificate area in order to be assigned as a Single Area Supervisor.
Summary of changes to CSPG #104:
1. The CSPG was modified to reflect current practice of the past several years. Mid-level grades 7-9 certificate holders are qualified for assignments in their content area only at the sixth grade level as stated in CSPG #51, 52, 53 and 54.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:47 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provides educators and interested public parties the ability to view certification information. The website may be accessed on PDE's website at on the "Certifications" page under the Quick Reference links (Certification Status Search) or directly at

Information may be searched using a number of different methods:
*    Name using the first name, last name, with full or partial information;
*    Educational Entity; or
*    Professional Personnel ID (PPID) number.

When searching by name or educational entity the following information will be provided:
*    Credential
*    Issue date
*    Expiration date
*    Continuing education status
*    Credential status
*    Place of employment
*    Discipline status

Searching by PPID returns the following information:
*    Credential
*    Issue date
*    Expiration date
*    Continuing education status
*    Credential status
*    Discipline status
*    Applications in process
*    Application status and status date

No additional identifying information is provided for security reasons.

Partial information searches are available. For example, when searching for names with unusual spelling, punctuation or spaces, such as D'Angelo/DeAngelo/D Angelo, you may wish to use a percent sign (%) to represent the various spellings. D%Angelo will return the possibilities listed in the example above. You may also enter partial spellings, such as Weinb to find Weinburg, Weinberg, and Weinbrenner.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:00 AM

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced 286 schools as the 2013 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement. Here are the 15 Pennsylvania schools that were recognized.

Friday, September 20, 2013 2:08 PM

For the latest on Chapter 4 Revisions, check out PA Principals Association's new Podcast on the Home Page!

Thursday, September 19, 2013 2:21 PM

Parents and taxpayers will have a new tool available to them this year to provide them with information on how well their public schools are performing.

Click here for full article (, Sept. 18, 2013).


Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:14 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has updated the Educator Effectiveness Administrative Manual - Part 1 on the PDE web site on the Educator Effectiveness Project page. The update represents some edits in chapters 1, 4 and 8 as well as the addition of chapters 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and the glossary. The administrative manual is now complete for Part 1.

The purpose of this administrative manual is to assist administrators as they implement the new classroom teacher evaluation system in 2013-14. These guidelines and recommendations support the Rules and Regulations, which were published in the June 22, 2013, Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Questions regarding the administrative manual should be directed to Debby Wynn at

Friday, September 13, 2013 3:05 PM

Key changes include:

  • Changes decision of whether a student will graduate was from a state to a local decision, with the chief school administrators, rather than the Secretary, having authorization to grant waivers for their students.     
  • Changes the name of the standards from Pennsylvania Common Core Standards to Pennsylvania Core Standards. These standards for English language arts and mathematics are based upon components of the national Common Core standards. The standards will take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
  • Clarify that the state standards are applicable only to public schools and do not apply to private, religious or homeschooled students. The regulations apply to school districts, charter and cyber charter schools, and area vocational technical schools.
  • Clarify that the state will not require school entities to utilize a statewide curriculum or statewide reading lists.
  • Clarify that Pennsylvania will not participate as a governing state in any consortium for the development of a national assessment, except if one is deemed necessary for special education students and then only in consultation with parents, teachers and other interested parties.
  • Clarify that PDE will not expand the collection of student data and will not collect personal family data due to implementation of the standards.
  • Remove language requiring the transcript to designate whether the level was achieved by taking a Keystone Exam or by a project-based assessment. PSSA scores will continue to be included, and beginning in 2016-17, the performance level demonstrated, not the score, for each Keystone Exam will be on the transcript.

Other provisions under the Chapter 4 proposal:

Elimination of state-prescribed strategic plan – However, districts must continue to prepare plans required for teacher induction, student services, gifted education, professional development, special education and pre-kindergarten (if the school offers it).  

Keystone Exams – Keystone Exams will be developed in 5 content areas for graduation purposes: Literature, Algebra I, Biology, Composition and Civics and Government. Keystone Exams in Literature, Algebra I and Biology will serve a dual purpose as both graduation requirements and for state accountability as required under federal law.

High school graduation requirements – Effective with the graduating Class of 2017, students must demonstrate proficiency in Algebra I, Biology and Literature Keystone Exams or related project-based assessment. Beginning with the Class of 2019, students will also have to pass a Composition Keystone Exam. Beginning with the Class of 2020, students will also have to pass a Keystone Exam in Civics and Government. The proposal also eliminates the requirement for students to complete a culminating project in order to graduate.

Alternate pathways for CTC students – Students enrolled in a career and technical education program may demonstrate proficiency on the Keystone Exams or a Pennsylvania Skills Assessment (NOCTI exam) to meet the requirement for testing in Composition and Civics and Government.

Second, CTC students who did not demonstrate proficiency on the Biology Keystone Exam may participate in a project-based assessment without having to take the Keystone twice. These pathways relate only to graduation requirements; students would still be required to take Keystone Exams for state accountability purposes.

Parental opt-out – Parents/guardians have the right to review any state assessment to determine whether the assessment conflicts with their religious beliefs. In asserting a religious objection to the assessment, a parent/guardian must explain the objection in their written request for excusal. Students who are not taking Keystone Exams under the parental opt-out provision must take the project-based assessment for each subject area required for graduation.

Supplemental instruction – Students who did not score proficient on a Keystone Exams must participate in supplemental instruction prior to re-taking the Keystone/module. 

Project-based assessment – Students not able to demonstrate proficiency on an exam or whose parents opted them out of taking a Keystone Exam will participate in a project-based assessment.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Sept. 13, 2013.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:40 PM

Dr. Paul Healey, PA Principals Association’s executive director-elect, attended today’s State Board of Education meeting where a vote took place on the revisions to Chapter 4 or the Pennsylvania Core Standards. Click here to read more.

Click here for the PDE press release.

Monday, September 9, 2013 12:33 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) Standards Aligned System (SAS) Institute, Pathways to Student Achievement: Resources for Improving School Effectiveness, is scheduled for December 8, 2013, through December 11, 2013.  

To preview the agenda, visit Click on the SAS icon and from the menu, select 2013 SAS Institute program.

Open registration begins on October 1. Educators are encouraged to register early to confirm participation. Access to registration is available at Upon accessing the site, click on the SAS icon and select SAS Institute Registration.  

Additional information:
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center; guaranteed check in is 4:00 p.m.

Registration Fee: $100/per person for commuters; $200/person with lodging (non-refundable). The $200 registration fee includes double occupancy lodging for any attendees who reside and work more than 50 miles from the conference location.  Single occupancy is at attendee's own cost of $130.00/night; single occupancy registrants are responsible for making their own reservations.

Attendance Considerations:

School districts are invited to send four participants.
IUs are invited to send three participants.
Charter schools are invited to send two participants.
Non-public schools are invited to send two participants.
Private schools are invited to send two participants.
Career and Technical Centers are invited to send two participants.
Higher education is invited to send two participants.
PaTTANs are invited to send three participants.

Participants are requested to bring their own laptops.

Questions: Contact

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