Press Releases

Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:13 PM

The deadline to submit public comment is November 5, 2012.

Proposed revisions to Chapter 4 (Academic Standards and Assessment) will be published in the October 6 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.  The State Board of Education will accept public comment on the proposed rulemaking for 30 days following the date of publication. For a copy of the proposed rulemaking and information about how to submit public comment, please see:
http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol42/42-40/1986.html.

  

  

 
Thursday, October 11, 2012 6:32 PM
The updated salary data for 2011-2012 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is now on our web site (Click on PA Principals Association Salary Search on the Home Page). You must login as a member to access this information.
 
Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:29 PM
Last week, state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said he relied on a team of outside statistical experts to come to the conclusion that his efforts to stop cheating caused a statewide drop in PSSA test scores. Tomalis said the experts on the Pennsylvania Technical Advisory Committee concluded neither budget cuts nor rising accountability benchmarks had any bearing on the reduction in math and reading scores, which caused more than 600 fewer schools to hit federal testing standards.

Click here for full story.

Source: The Morning Call, Sept. 27, 2012.

  

  

 
Monday, October 8, 2012 12:44 PM
Rules change appears to have inflated success rate of some charter schools.

A review of PSSA math and reading scores shows charter schools outperformed traditional public schools in 2012. That'ss because state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, at the behest of charter school advocates, changed the testing rules in a way that makes it easier for charter schools to meet state benchmarks.

For the full article in The Morning Call, click here.

Source: The Morning Call, Oct. 5, 2012.
 
Monday, October 8, 2012 12:44 PM
Rules change appears to have inflated success rate of some charter schools.

A review of PSSA math and reading scores shows charter schools outperformed traditional public schools in 2012. That'ss because state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, at the behest of charter school advocates, changed the testing rules in a way that makes it easier for charter schools to meet state benchmarks.

For the full article in The Morning Call, click here.

Source: The Morning Call, Oct. 5, 2012.

  

 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 5:55 PM
The administrator online application closes on October 12, 2012.
The Olweus trainer scholarship candidate application is due October 19, 2012.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Office of Safe Schools is committed to supporting statewide bullying prevention efforts to help create and maintain safe and secure learning environments. To build on the foundation of over one decade of research-based bullying prevention program implementation, PDE is increasing training opportunities for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP). The Office for Safe Schools' intent is to provide schools with OBPP trainers, who are employees of the Local Education Agencies (LEA). The benefits of having an OBPP certified trainer employed by the LEA include; implementation and ongoing support which address needs that are unique to the school and local community, reduction in costs for new staff trainings, increased opportunities for OBPP consultation to support fidelity to the program model leading to positive outcomes and greater sustainability.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Office for Safe School is requesting proposals from Local Education Agencies (LEA) interested in implemented the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBBP) during the 2012-13 school year.  This opportunity includes a scholarship for an LEA employee to participate in an Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer Certification Course (OBPP TCC). LEA's will be required to demonstrate their readiness and commitment to implementing the OBPP. This is a competitive application process and a maximum of 20 scholarship opportunities will be awarded.

1.    ELIGIBILITY:  Local Education Agencies (including School Districts, Intermediate Units, Career & Technology Centers and approved Charter Schools) are eligible to apply for the PDE, Office for Safe Schools OBPP Scholarship OBPP Trainer and OBPP Implementation Opportunity.  Required application forms and documents will be provided at the completion of the required administrator webinars. Funding will be available to each selected LEA to augment additional costs.

2.    ASSURANCES:  Each LEA must agree to the following assurances to ensure quality and continuity of programming.

a.    The LEA must commit to provide an employee (selected for the OBPP TCC scholarship opportunity) with release time to attend the OBPP TCC on December 5,6,7, 2012.

b.    The LEA must agree to allot time to train and support OBPP implementation for a minimum of one school building during the 2012-13 school year.

c.    The LEA employee selected for the OBPP TCC must agree to provide the LEA with OBPP training and support for a minimum of one school building during the 2012-13 school year.  

d.    The OBPP trainer candidate will be required to complete the OBPP trainer application and if selected agree to attend the OBPP TCC and fulfill the trainer certification requirements.

3.     LOCATION:  University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Resource Center, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

4.    DATE:  December 5, 6 and 7, 2012.

5.    ADDITIONAL  APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:  

a.    Prospective scholarship candidates for the OBPP TCC are required to listen to a one hour webinar, which provides an overview of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, trainer requirements and the Office for Safe Schools OBPP 2012-13 Implementation Opportunity requirements. 

b.    The recorded session is available at http://vclass.cciu.org/recordings.html  Click on the September 24 Olweus session to listen to the trainer candidate webinar.

c.    Interested district-levels administrators are required to listen to a one hour webinar, which provides an overview of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, readiness factors and the Office for Safe School OBPP 2012-13 Implementation Opportunity requirements.

d.    The recorded session is available at http://vclass.cciu.org/recordings.html  Click on the September 25 Olweus session to listen to the administrator's webinar.

For questions concerning this training opportunity, contact Mary Dolan, Bullying Prevention Consultant, Department of Education at c-mdolan@pa.gov.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 4:17 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be offering the following opportunities to participate in a webinar on accommodations for the PSSA and Keystone Exams:  

Oct. 31, 2012 from 1p.m.  - 4p.m., the link is: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/814719122

Nov. 6, 2012 from 8:30a.m. - 11:30 a.m., the link is: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/447896842

PDE strongly encourages the participation of teachers who directly administer the PSSAs or Keystones and are responsible for the implementation of accommodations for all students, including students with IEPs and 504 Plans and ELL students.

Participants will receive a registration confirmation which will contain directions for joining the webinar and a complete listing of system requirements.  

Presenters from the Bureau of Assessment and Accountability and the Bureau of Special Education will examine the newly revised "PSSA and Keystone Exams Accommodations Guidelines for Paper/Pencil and Online Assessments." During this session, presenters will highlight changes and discuss appropriate use of accommodations in statewide assessments. Test security and administration procedures will also be discussed.

For more information, contact: PDE'ss Bureau of Assessment and Accountability at 717-265-7655 or visit www.education.state.pa.us.

 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 1:34 PM
To recognize the essential role that principals play in preparing today'ss students for the challenges of tomorrow, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals have declared October 2012 as National Principals Month.

Principals are among the hardest working, yet often least recognized individuals in education. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication and determination that provide the mobilizing force behind any school reform effort. National Principals Month seeks to honor these unsung heroes for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence in education.

Click here to view PA Principals Association's Senate Resolution 349.

Click here for National Principals' Month Activities.
 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 7:02 PM
In an effort to provide additional support to the Commonwealth's PK-20 education system, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has contracted with Parchment Inc. to implement the Pennsylvania Electronic Student Transcripts And Records System (PA eSTARS), a statewide network for schools to exchange student records and transcripts at all grade levels, including postsecondary education.  

This unified digital system has the potential to increase schools' operational efficiencies and provide Commonwealth schools safer and faster access to complete student records -- essential at the preK-12 level for ensuring that students are placed into the correct classes and receive the supports they need to thrive.  

At the postsecondary level, Parchment's Docufide platform facilitates the quick and confidential delivery of transcripts to admissions offices and notifies students that their applications are received and their coursework is applied to their program of study.

Nearly 1,000 local education agencies (LEA) and institutions of higher education (IHE) in Pennsylvania are eligible to benefit from this voluntary initiative. A federal grant awarded to PDE will be used to cover the initial implementation costs for eligible schools that sign up prior to July 1, 2013. Once enrolled, participating schools will receive a reduced rate on student transcript fees and access to free student records exchange for the duration of their contracts. Over the coming weeks, Parchment will be contacting you directly with instructions on how you can participate in this grant opportunity.

For additional information about PA eSTARS, please contact PAeSTARS@parchment.com.
 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1:32 PM

In his 17 years as executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, Jay Himes can'st recall a time of bigger cuts in education than last year and the current year.  "I can'st think of anything even close," he said, commenting on a survey released Monday on the impact.
The electronic survey, done by PASBO and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators in August, was answered by 264 of the state'ss 500 school districts.

More than $900 million in public school funding was reduced in 2011-12, largely as a result of the end of the federal economic stimulus.
That money was not restored in the 2012-13 state budget.

Click here to read the full article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 
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