Press Releases

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.

 
Thursday, February 19, 2015 11:07 AM

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), applaud the reintroduction of a bill to improve federal programs for the nation’s principals and assistant principals. S.476 and H.R.930, The School Principal Recruitment and Training Act of 2015, was introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), to amend Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to recruit, prepare, and support principals through capacity-building measures that will improve student academic achievement in high-need schools. The legislation emphasizes mentoring programs for principals, especially for aspiring and early-career principals.

Click here for more.

Source: NASSP, NAESP, AFSA Press Release, Feb. 19, 2015.

 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:53 AM

Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory (KEI) is a reliable reporting tool that offers teachers an instructional strategy for understanding and tracking a student's proficiency at kindergarten entry.  The tool collects information on a consistent set of standards-based indicators across the commonwealth. The KEI is based on Pennsylvania's Learning Standards for Early Childhood and the Pennsylvania Core Standards. KEI includes 30 indicators and provides a comprehensive profile that includes the domains of: Social and Emotional Development; English Language Arts; Mathematics; Approaches to Learning; and Health, Wellness and Physical Development.  KEI is intended to be used by kindergarten teachers to record a student's demonstration of skills within the first 45 calendar days of the kindergarten year.  It is a snapshot of skills upon entry into kindergarten.  Skills levels will be determined by multiple sources of evidence.  For more information about the Kindergarten Entry Inventory please visit, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/departmental_offices/7235/p/1852080.

All focus and priority schools are required to implement the Kindergarten Entry Inventory as part of their school improvement efforts. Intermediate unit curriculum coordinators and academic recovery liaisons (priority schools) are ready to assist you in the KEI implementation process. 

This also serves as an invitation for all non-focus and priority schools who wish to implement Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory on a voluntary basis beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The Kindergarten Entry Inventory is available to all school districts at no cost.

In order to implement the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, a Kindergarten Entry Inventory Point of Contact (KEI-POC) is required. The KEI-POC will act as the liaison between local education agency (LEA) administrative staff, implementing kindergarten teachers, and OCDEL and data systems staff. Having a dedicated KEI-POC will ensure that effective communication and implementation occurs throughout the KEI process.  Please send the KEI-POC name, email address and phone number to RA-PWOCDELKEI@pa.gov by March 13, 2015. Receipt of this information will initiate participation in Cohort 2: 2015 Kindergarten Entry Inventory.

Please note: If your LEA participated in Cohort 1: 2014 Kindergarten Entry Inventory, a KEI-POC must be assigned for 2015 implementation.

All kindergarten teachers who have not previously participated must complete skills and scoring practice professional development and complete a proficient user assignment in order to gain access to the web-based data system.  Teachers with a proficient user certificate of completion do not need to repeat the professional development protocol. 

The tentative training schedule is as follows:

March - June:

  • Face-to-face skills and scoring practice professional development available/ dependent on number of teachers and availability of OCDEL staff

March -September:

  • Asynchronous webinar available for skills and scoring practice professional development

ALL implementing kindergarten teachers without a proficient user certificate of completion MUST complete either face-to-face or asynchronous training.

August-September:

  • KEI systems professional development opportunities available

By the start of school:

  • Implementing kindergarten teachers must have proficient user certificate of completion on file in order to gain systems access

45 calendar days from start of school:

  • Observation and evidence collection/scoring completed

60 calendar days from start of school:

  • Data submissions (student outcomes) finalized within data system

Questions about this communication may be sent to RA-PWOCDELKEI@pa.gov.

 

 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 1:45 PM

The May 2015 issue of the Pennsylvania Administrator focuses on the theme, "Teacher Effectiveness: Celebrations and Challenges."

The passage of Act 82 in 2012 has given Pennsylvania educators new guidelines for assessing the effectiveness of both school teachers and administrators. With any new implementation, there comes trials and tribulations (or celebrations and challenges). The May issue of the Pennsylvania Administrator will focus on stories from the field as districts implement the new effectiveness processes. In particular, we are interested in articles from the field that address some of the following:

  • How the district has aligned the Act 82 guidelines with a differentiated supervision plan.
  • How the district is dealing with the teacher specific component.   
  • How the district has handled the student learning objective (SLO) component with both the teacher and principal.   
  • Any issues that have surfaced with the Act 82 forms.   
  • Effective tools school leaders are using with the processes.

Articles should be no longer than 1,500 words and must be submitted via e-mail as a Microsoft Word document. A biographical sketch and a high resolution (300 dpi is preferred), color photograph of the author(s) (saved as a JPEG or a TIFF file) must accompany all articles. E-mail articles to sherit@paprincipals.org. The deadline to submit an article is March 6, 2015.

 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 10:46 AM

NASSP opposes current ESEA changes (H.R. 5). See link below to read more about what changes are being proposed.

http://www.paprincipals.org/resource/images/stories/documents/legislative/esea_issues_sheet.pdf

 

 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 10:20 AM

Real Life / Real Issues WITF Community Forum is a PA Principals Association-sponsored event and tackles the issues of drug use and young people. This televised forum will air on WITF and its affiliate stations on Thursday, February 19, 2015, from 8:30-10:00 p.m. You won't want to miss the stories shared by parents who lost a child due to heroin, and the panel of experts who will discuss current problems and solutions. Look for broadcast information in your area on public television stations. 

 
Friday, February 13, 2015 10:38 AM

PA Principals Association is one of the educational organizations that has been invited to the table for periodic education policy updates from the Governor’s office. I attended the first briefing under the new administration this morning and we were provided with some insights into the upcoming Governor’s proposed budget. Sarah Galbally, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Planning in the Office of the Governor, shared the following:

  • Much of the attention has been dedicated to the crafting of the budget and the budget address on March 3, 2015.
  •  The budget will reflect the Governor’s commitment to education and it will be his number one priority.
  • The Governor is an advocate for a fair funding formula and the budget will also address this area and his office is very interested in working with the Basic Education Commission on a formula.
  • Beyond funding, the Governor will explore issues with accountability for new funding leading to better outcomes for students, early childhood education, career and technical schools, higher education and the PlanCon process.

Each organization had an opportunity to share its major platform issues and PA Principals Association forwarded the following:

  • Fair Education Funding Formula.
  • Pension Reform – we pointed out that the increases have had a devastating impact on our schools and our leaders are faced with both program and people cuts which directly affect our students.
  • Charter and Cyber School Funding.
  • Mandate Relief.

Dr. Paul M. Healey
PA Principals Association Executive Director

 
Friday, February 13, 2015 10:29 AM

Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory (KEI) is a reliable reporting tool that offers teachers an instructional strategy for understanding and tracking a student's proficiency at kindergarten entry. The tool collects information on a consistent set of standards-based indicators across the commonwealth. The KEI is based on Pennsylvania's Learning Standards for Early Childhood and the Pennsylvania Core Standards. KEI includes 30 indicators and provides a comprehensive profile that includes the domains of: Social and Emotional Development; English Language Arts; Mathematics; Approaches to Learning; and Health, Wellness and Physical Development. KEI is intended to be used by kindergarten teachers to record a student's demonstration of skills within the first 45 calendar days of the kindergarten year.  It is a snapshot of skills upon entry into kindergarten. Skills levels will be determined by multiple sources of evidence. For more information about the Kindergarten Entry Inventory please visit, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/departmental_offices/7235/p/1852080.

All focus and priority schools are required to implement the Kindergarten Entry Inventory as part of their school improvement efforts. Intermediate unit curriculum coordinators and academic recovery liaisons (priority schools) are ready to assist you in the KEI implementation process. 

This message also serves as an invitation for all non-focus and priority schools who wish to implement Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory on a voluntary basis beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The Kindergarten Entry Inventory is available to all school districts at no cost.

In order to implement the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, a Kindergarten Entry Inventory Point of Contact (KEI-POC) is required. The KEI-POC will act as the liaison between local education agency (LEA) administrative staff, implementing kindergarten teachers, and OCDEL and data systems staff. Having a dedicated KEI-POC will ensure that effective communication and implementation occurs throughout the KEI process. Please send the KEI-POC name, email address and phone number to RA-PWOCDKEI@pa.gov by March 13, 2015. Receipt of this information will initiate participation in Cohort 2: 2015 Kindergarten Entry Inventory.

Please note: If your LEA participated in Cohort 1: 2014 Kindergarten Entry Inventory, a KEI-POC must be assigned for 2015 implementation.

All kindergarten teachers who have not previously participated must complete skills and scoring practice professional development and complete a proficient user assignment in order to gain access to the web-based data system. Teachers with a proficient user certificate of completion do not need to repeat the professional development protocol. 

The tentative training schedule is as follows:

March - June:

  • Face-to-face skills and scoring practice professional development available/ dependent on number of teachers and availability of OCDEL staff

March -September:

  • Asynchronous webinar available for skills and scoring practice professional development

ALL implementing kindergarten teachers without a proficient user certificate of completion MUST complete either face-to-face or asynchronous training.

August-September:

  • KEI systems professional development opportunities available

By the start of school:

  • Implementing kindergarten teachers must have proficient user certificate of completion on file in order to gain systems access

45 calendar days from start of school:

  • Observation and evidence collection/scoring completed

60 calendar days from start of school:

  • Data submissions (student outcomes) finalized within data system
 
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