Monday, November 21, 2011 7:43 PM
Poll shows voters believe state should provide more funding for public schools
The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) has released poll results that show Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly value public education, support an increase in state funding for the 500 school districts statewide, and support public school choices, while opposing the use of taxpayer funds for private school tuition. The polling, commissioned by EPLC, was conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, which is based in Harrisburg.
Source: Excerpts from EPLC Press Release, Nov. 21, 2011.
Monday, November 21, 2011 2:56 PM
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recently conducted a webinar for school districts that wanted to learn more about the process for the development and validation of local assessments that would supplant or supplement the use of Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement. The webinar and all of the accompanying documents are posted on the SAS portion of PDE's web site. Click on these links for the audio of the webinar, the PowerPoint presentation, the summary of requirements and the evaluation handbook. PDE will update this information as more information about costs and timelines are better known.
No tentative date has been scheduled for schools to finalize and administer their assessments, as PDE will wait to see how the process unfolds and the amount of funding in next year's state budget that may be available.
Monday, November 21, 2011 2:53 PM
The PA Senate Education Committee held a hearing recently regarding the implementation and compliance with criminal history provisions in Act 24 of 2011. Comments at the hearing focused on specific requirements in question pertaining to incumbent teachers who must report past arrests or convictions of certain offenses by Dec. 27, 2011. During the hearing, Carolyn Dumeresq, deputy secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, stated that the intent of the legislation was to include the collection of information on arrests and that the Department of Education plans to issue a Basic Education Circular to provide guidance regarding the reporting requirements and criminal history provisions within Act 24 of 2011.
Friday, November 18, 2011 7:59 PM
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been selected to participate in a national initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help build awareness of a new, free online learning platform called ASSISTments.
The ASSISTments are most widely used for middle-school math courses and offer a high-value, tangible service to middle-level principals. One of its key benefits is that it provides principals and teachers with immediate, actionable data to strengthen student achievement.
NAESP joined in this effort because of the platform's value in strengthening the instructional leadership of principals, especially for grades 4-8.
ASSISTments has received substantial support from several sources, in addition to the Gates Foundation: Carnegie Mellon University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, National Science Foundation and the Department of Education.
The software was developed by two former math teachers, Neil and Christina Heffernan, who are working to disseminate ASSISTments and train teams of principals and teachers. Though they are based in the Boston area, Neil and Christina are available to give presentations, professional development and demonstrations elsewhere. They're scheduled to conduct a concurrent session and to host a Technology Learning Center at NAESP'ss upcoming conference in Seattle, March 22-24, 2012.
You can find additional information about the Heffernan's and ASSISTments here:
Teacher and Principal support: http://teacherwiki.assistment.org/wiki/About_ASSISTments
Up-to-date information about usage statistics: http://www.assistments.org/
Three-minute video featuring educators from Massachusetts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzGUVPcHBiQ
If you're interested, you can contact them directly at:
Neil Heffernan: firstname.lastname@example.org; Christina Heffernan: email@example.com
Friday, November 18, 2011 4:03 PM
The House Education Committee amended and approved HB 1980 earlier this week, which creates a comprehensive new rating system for teachers, principals and non-teaching professional employees. The committee also approved two amendments to the bill. The first amendment moves all dates within the bill back one year, makes several technical corrections, clarifies that previous evaluations will be discontinued from use, but does not make them "null and void,"? ensures that "at least"? is removed from the provisions regarding percentage of teacher performance based on student achievement and ensures that any changes made to the teacher evaluation after the original design must go through the regulatory review process. The second amendment provides for inclusion of cyber and charter schools, intermediate units and area vocational technical schools in the use of the evaluation created by the bill. This amendment also makes the technical changes necessary to allow for inclusion of chief administrative officers from the school entities.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:35 PM
Former Governor Edward Rendell was joined by Democratic leaders [yesterday] to discuss the 2011 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for Pennsylvania public education students. Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said he believes that former Governor Rendell made significant changes through the investments made in public education during his eight years as governor. He further stated that the gains in education have been significant and are backed by the evidence. Sen. Costa gave an overview of the results for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) -- known as The Nation's Report Card™ -- noting that Pennsylvania was one of a few states with "significant progress"? from 2003 to 2011 in all grades and subjects. He also stated that score gaps between higher and lower income students narrowed as well. He closed by stating that Pennsylvania cannot continue to not make investments in education or change course. Sen. Costa questioned what test scores may look like under continued education budget cuts.
Source: myPLS, The Eye Opener, Nov. 16, 2011.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:07 PM
In addition to Facebook, PA Principals Association is now on Twitter and Linked In. Follow us for timely news and important updates!
Monday, November 14, 2011 2:03 PM
Nov. 10, 2011 - State Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-15) [chairman of the Senate Education Committee] has said he is not going to run for re-election, emailing this statement to media [today]:
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 8:58 PM
OPEN REGISTRATION: LIMITED ENROLLMENT
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 7:41 PM
November 7, 2011
TO: News Editor/News Director
Dr. Barry L. Purvis Assumes Presidency of State Principals' Association
PA Principals Association's membership of approximately 4,000 is comprised of elementary, middle level and secondary school principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders and is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Dr. Purvis assumed the association reins following the association's annual business meeting held Oct. 25, 2011 during the annual PA Principals Association state conference.
"I am proud and honored to represent PA Principals Association as its new President. I have benefited from PA Principals Association through expert advice, superb professional development and networking with some of Pennsylvania'ss finest principals. I look forward to serving principals from this great state and welcome their input on how we can continue to keep Pennsylvania at the forefront of student learning, while also supporting school leaders and the numerous challenges they encounter each and every day."
Dr. Purvis began his education career as a physical education teacher in the Chambersburg Area School District. He then became the assistant principal of the Chambersburg Area Middle School and the Chambersburg Area Senior High School. In 1996, he became the principal of the Chambersburg Area Middle School and is now in his ninth year as principal of the Chambersburg Area High School. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania since 2002.
Dr. Purvis has been a member of PA Principals Association for 22 years. He most recently served the association as President-Elect. He also served as the chairman of PA Principals Association's Secondary Awards Committee (2004-2010) and as the Central II Secondary Regional Representative on the PA Principals Association Board of Directors (2004-2010). In 2006, he was selected as Pennsylvania's High School Principal of the Year in the MetLife/ NASSP Principal of the Year Program.
Known in his district as "Dr. P.," he has worked tirelessly to improve the school environment and to share his clear vision and expectations for his school. He is a strong leader who seeks the development of well-rounded individuals and acknowledges the accomplishments of the students and the staff.
While Dr. Purvis was principal at the Chambersburg Area Middle School, they received the "National Blue Ribbon Award" in 2002, and the school was a finalist for the Pennsylvania Middle School of the Year in 2003. He also coached girls' varsity basketball at Chambersburg from 1979-1996 and was selected Coach of the Year twice.
Dr. Purvis received a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University. He then received a master's in educational administration and has a superintendent's letter of eligibility from Shippensburg University, as well as a doctorate in educational administration from Widener University.
He resides in Chambersburg with his wife Joyce, daughter Kia and granddaughter Kiana.
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