Press Releases

Friday, September 7, 2012 2:08 PM

Dear PA Principals Association Member:  As of yesterday, we have found there may have been a compromise to our web site, www.paprincipals.org. The potential illegal access in personal membership information is certainly there, such as names and email addresses. Our hosting vendor will be investigating this issue further and we will report back to you on the findings.

 We want to make it clear that the compromise was on the hosting vendor's server and not on PA Principals Association's internal server or computer files, so any private association/member files and membership records are completely safe and have not been compromised.

 In addition, if you encountered any problems recently when registering for our October state conference or completing a membership application online, please contact sheaffer@paprincipals.org (conference registrations); or plantz@paprincipals.org (membership applications).

 Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: sherit@paprincipals.org or plantz@paprincipals.org.

Thank you for your understanding and patience in this matter.

 
Thursday, September 6, 2012 3:11 PM

Districts were notified over the summer as to an earlier testing date for the Keystone Exams. Although passing grades on the exams aren't required for graduation until the class of 2017, current 11th graders will take the exams this year in place of the PSSA's. Students will be tested in Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. Keystone Exams are likely to result in a good number of questions from students and parents, because two of the subjects tested are often taken well before the junior year. There could be 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders taking these tests. Some online resources about the Keystone Exams are shown below.

This blog has a good summary of the Keystones testing schedule.http://chalkandtalk.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/keystone-exam-to-replace-pssa-in-2013/

This is an FAQ for parents about Keystone Exams:  http://static.pdesas.org/Content/Documents/Information_for_Parents_or_Guardians_PA_Keystone_Exams_Aug_2012_final.pdf

This article discusses some of the challenges being faced by districts due to the sudden shift in testing dates: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/parkland/mc-state-keystone-exams-20120903,0,205928,full.story

Source: PenSPRA e-Comm Alerts, Sept. 5, 2012.

 
Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:58 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has chosen Teachscape, the leader in delivering Web-based professional learning content, innovative technologies, and expert services to improve teaching practice, to provide a system by which to train and assess the state's 5,350 teacher evaluators. PDE will use Teachscape's Framework for Teaching Proficiency System, an online system to train and assess teacher evaluators, to help ensure evaluator accuracy as the state rolls out a five-year comprehensive statewide teacher evaluation system based on Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching (FFT).

"The Pennsylvania Department of Education has been using Charlotte Danielson's Framework as a model for great teaching for years due to its defensible research base," said Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, deputy secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  "We were looking for best-in-class evaluator training for the assessment of teaching practice based upon the Framework; scalable, rigorous and affordable training to help ensure that Pennsylvania's teachers are observed fairly and accurately. Teachscape's Framework for Teaching Proficiency System is that solution."

The Framework for Teaching Proficiency System was developed by Teachscape in collaboration with Charlotte Danielson and Educational Testing Service (ETS) and was born out of the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Proficiency System integrates observer training, scoring practice and a proficiency assessment into a complete system and includes more than 15 hours of self-paced online training and over 100 master-scored videos and classroom scenarios covering all proficiency ranges for grades K-12.  

"The PDE's commitment to assessing teachers and improving instructional practice is impressive. By implementing the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System, the state will help assure that PDE evaluators are properly trained for rigorous, transparent and fair evaluations," said Charlotte Danielson. "The support teachers will receive as a result of these evaluations will be instrumental in leading to improved teaching practice and better student outcomes."

Pennsylvania joins states throughout the country, including Illinois and Rhode Island, in addition to well-respected school districts, such as Pittsburgh Public Schools and Syracuse City School District, in partnering with Teachscape for classroom observer and teacher evaluator training through the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System.

 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:12 PM

On behalf of all middle and high school leaders, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) needs your help to prevent funding cuts that will affect all schools across the country. NASSP is working hard to prevent something called sequestration - drastic, across-the-board cuts to education and other federal programs scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013 - but your Members of Congress need to hear from YOU, fellow school leaders on the ground. As Pennsylvania state coordinator for NASSP, I engage in advocacy at the federal level on behalf of school leaders like yourselves, and I strongly encourage you to lend your voice with me on this critical issue.


Sequestration - which is a result of the Budget Control Act approved by Congress in August 2011 - would cut Department of Education funding by over 8%, jeopardizing nearly 90,000 education jobs and dozens of critical federal programs that help our students succeed. Title I grants would be cut by $1.2 billion, hurting 1.8 million students and eliminating 16,100 jobs, and IDEA grants would be cut by $973 million, impacting 495,000 children with disabilities and eliminating 12,600 jobs. On top of this, since July 2008, the country has lost 312,700 public education jobs, meaning we have roughly as many local school jobs today as in December 2004. Yet, we expect to see 847,000 more pre k-12 public school students this coming school year than in the fall of 2004. For these and other reasons, we cannot let sequestration occur, and we need your help. State-specific data on Pennsylvania can be found here: http://www.nea.org/home/52610.htm

Please take 2 minutes to go to NASSP's Principal'ss Legislative Action Center (http://app3.vocusgr.com/WebPublish/Controller.aspx?SiteName=NASSP&Definition=ViewIssue&IssueID=7535) and send a form letter to your legislators urging them to prevent sequestration, and instead to support policies that find a balanced approach to solving our nation's finances.

Thank you!

Mark A. Korcinsky
Principal, Seneca Valley Senior High School
PA Principals Association/NASSP State Coordinator

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nassp new logo

 
Friday, August 24, 2012 2:55 PM

In July, Dr. Joshua Doll our president-elect, was appointed by the Dallastown Area School District as the assistant superintendent, therefore it became necessary, in accordance with PA Principals Association'ss by-laws, for Dr. Doll to resign as president-elect.

When the resignation of an officer occurs, the by-laws require the following process be followed for selection of a replacement:  1) Inform the Board of the resignation and solicit Board member letters of interest in assuming the position; and 2) The Executive Committee reviews the letters of interest and selects a replacement. This process was followed. The Executive Committee received two letters of interest from current Board members.

The Executive Committee of PA Principals Association has announced that it has appointed Kurt J. Nyquist, principal of Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate School in the Penns Valley Area School District, to fill Dr. Doll's vacated position of president-elect of PA Principals Association

PA Principals Association is pleased that such a qualified candidate has stepped forward to fill this important position.

 
Thursday, August 23, 2012 5:58 PM
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), as required by Act 104 of 2010, has developed Business, Computer and Information (BCIT) standards. PDE commissioned a team of nine business educators representing Pennsylvania'ss elementary, middle, high and postsecondary schools, to create comprehensive academic standards for BCIT.    

BCIT standards were developed in the areas of:  (1) Accounting; (2) Career Management; (3) Communications; (4) Computer and Information Technologies; (5) Economics and Finance; (6) Entrepreneurship; (7) Global Business; (8) Management; and (9) Marketing.

The standards offer a PreK-12 perspective to support curriculum development, facilitate the integration of this critical content, and prepare students to gain a competitive advantage.

To view the standards, go to the SAS Portal at:   www.pdesas.org. Click on Standards, scroll down to Select a Subject, choose Business, Computer and Information Technology from the dropdown menu and Select a Grade or band.  

You can also click on Standards, then Keyword Search and type a term to see the BCIT standards along with any other academic standards that correspond to that particular topic.

If you choose to view the BCIT standards in a PDF, click on Standards, select Download PDFs and select Business, Computer and Information Technology.

Questions regarding the development of business education standards may be directed to Tamalee Brassington in the Bureau of Career and Technical Education at tbrassingt@pa.gov or 717-783-6972.
 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 5:26 PM

The PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is a well-known research instrument. Conducted annually, it allows educators and policy makers to track public opinion about one of this nation's most important institutions, its public schools.

Source: http://www.pdkintl.org/poll/index.htm.

 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:21 PM

In response to feedback from LEAs, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has changed the Pre-Code Winter Keystone Exams PIMS collection window that was originally scheduled for August. Districts planning to participate in Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) and/or the 2012-2013 Winter Keystone Exams are encouraged to upload student files into the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) during the 2012-13 Pre-Code for Winter Keystone Exams and CDT student upload collection window that is now planned for Sept. 12- 25, 2012. Participating in this collection and uploading as many of the optional templates as possible during this window will benefit your district and school users when adding students to test sessions in DRC eDIRECT during the test setup process.

Please note: In addition to the September collection window described above, there continues to be an optional monthly PIMS collection that enables LEAs to upload student data specifically for the ongoing use of the Classroom Diagnostic Tools. This option will support monthly uploading of students that LEAs plan to assess using the CDTs.  PDE/DRC will receive updated files on the first of every month as long as the upload is completed prior to the last day of each month.

The Templates collected are as follows:

Required Templates:
Student
Student Snapshot (9/25/12)

Optional Templates:
Course
Course Instructor
Student Course Enrollment
Staff
School Enrollment
Program Fact

An additional field has been added to the Student and Student Snapshot templates for the 2012-13 school year. The Assessment Participation, now field 202, is an identifier indicating which test(s) students will be taking at any time during the school year.  Below are the Valid Values for this field:

A  - PASA only
B  - PSSA only
C  - Keystones only
D  - CDTs only
E  - PSSA and Keystones
F  - PSSA and CDTs
G  - PSSA, Keystones, and CDTs
H  - Keystones and CDTs
I  - N/A; not participating in an assessment


If you have any questions concerning CDT or Keystone assessments in 2012-13, please email pacustomerservice@datarecognitioncorp.com or call a DRC PSSA Customer Service Representative at 1-800-451-7849.

 
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 2:53 PM
The Career and Technical Education System (CATS) serves as the official record of a school entity'ss approved career and technical education program and is used to verify the data which forms the basis for the Secondary Career and Technical Education Subsidy (SCTES) calculation. As the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) reviews the information submitted in CATS, there are noticeable inconsistencies between the information in CATS and the information found in the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS).

OVER REPORTING STUDENTS-ONE EXAMPLE/POSSIBLE SCENARIO:
In some instances schools hold approval to operate a two-year program or programs, but are delivering programs to three grade levels and are seeking SCTES for each of those grade levels. If, for example, schools are actually operating a three-year program when the school only holds approval to operate a two-year program, the school must either seek approval for a three-year program or change its delivery practices. This holds true for all delivery models: one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year. Simply stated, the information in CATS must reflect the actual delivery at the school level.  

UNDER REPORTING STUDENTS-ONE EXAMPLE/POSSIBLE SCENARIO:
In some instances schools who hold approval to operate a four-year program are delivering the program to only three grade levels. Again, this holds true for all delivery models; one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year. The information in CATS must reflect the actual delivery at the school level.  

Please review the information submitted into the CATS system and, based on your review, make any revision or seek new program approvals, as appropriate. For funding purposes, ensure that the number of years noted in the CATS system is equal to the number of years the program is being delivered at the school.  

Please direct any questions about the above information to Lee Burket, PDE'ss bureau director for Career and Technical Education at lburket@pa.gov or 717-787-5530.
 
Monday, August 6, 2012 12:39 PM

Act 85 of 2012 created the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program, which enables eligible students, who reside within the attendance boundaries of a low-achieving school, to apply for a scholarship through an opportunity scholarship organization to attend a participating public or nonpublic school.

The program is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development and additional information can be obtained by visiting www.newpa.com/ostc, or by calling 717-787-7120.

An eligible student may receive an opportunity scholarship of up to $8,500 for students without a disability or up to $15,000 for students with a disability.

Districts that are interested in participating in this program by enrolling opportunity scholarship recipients should visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's web site at www.education.state.pa.us and click on the  "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program"? icon to fill out the intent to participate form.

Note: Low-achieving schools are not permitted to participate as a receiving school, and students from a low-achieving school are not permitted to transfer to another building within their home school district.

The intent to participate is required to be submitted to the Department of Education no later than August 15, 2012.

If you have any questions, please email ra-ostcp@pa.gov.

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