Press Releases

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 (Pennlive.com, 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 www.education.state.pa.us 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 dewynn@pa.gov.

 
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 http://www.iu5.org. 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 http://www.iu5.org. Upon accessing the site, click on the SAS icon and select SAS Institute Registration.  

Additional information:
Location:
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 sasevents@iu5.org

 
Monday, September 9, 2013 12:32 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has posted the Electronic Worksheet for the Classroom Teacher Rating Form on the PDE website at:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/educator_effectiveness_project/20903

The purpose of this electronic worksheet is to assist administrators as they implement the new classroom teacher evaluation system in 2013-14, specifically in completing summative evaluations on the new rating form, PDE 82-1, which was published in the June 22, 2013 Pennsylvania Bulletin.

This downloadable, multi-tab worksheet permits administrators to enter rating values for classroom teachers, which are then automatically transferred to a summary form that can be printed for signatures.

Questions regarding the electronic worksheet should be directed to Debby Wynn at dewynn@pa.gov.

 
Monday, September 9, 2013 8:58 AM

Carolyn Dumaresq agreed to become the state Department of Education's third administrator in four months — but with an end date in mind, she said.

Dumaresq, 66, a lifelong educator from Dauphin County, told Gov. Tom Corbett she'd lead the department until his term ends in 2014 and then retire.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/education/4640688-74/education-department-dumaresq#ixzz2eO6Ra8Xm 

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review By Brad Bumsted Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

 
Friday, September 6, 2013 3:33 PM

We will be tweeting at this year's conference! Join the conversation @PA Principals Association by using #Lessonsinleadership13.

Register for the conference today!

 
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