Press Releases

Monday, December 5, 2011 2:44 PM

According to an article in the Patriot News, this should be the time for the final charge to deliver a school voucher program to Pennsylvania, advocates say. Gov. Tom Corbett says he wants families to have taxpayer-funded vouchers so they can move children out of bad schools. With a General Assembly controlled by his fellow Republicans, Corbett hoped to see a voucher program in place for parents next fall. Corbett has said it is crucial for the legislature to get him a bill before the end of the month. Click here to read the Patriot News article.

Source: myPLS, The Eye Opener, Dec. 5, 2011.

 
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 6:52 PM

Through the years there have been many bitter teacher strikes and too many student protests to count. But a principals' revolt?

Click here
for the full article.

Source: www.nytimes.com, Nov. 27, 2011.

 
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 5:00 AM

Brian L. Cashman, Sr., a former PA Principals Association board member and retired principal in the Southern York County School District, has been appointed by the PA Principals Association president to serve as the chairperson of the 2012 PA Principals Association Nominations Committee. Wayne R. McAllister, an elementary principal in the Upper Darby School District, and Marshall J. Wagner, a retired secondary principal in the Hollidaysburg Area School District, will also serve on the committee.

If you have any questions regarding the election, the positions available or the responsibilities, please contact the Nominations chairperson, Mr. Cashman, at   blc3840@comcast.net. Watch www.paprincipals.org
for more information, including the duties and responsibilities for the president-elect and the regional representative positions.

If you are interested in running for one of these positions, please contact the PA Principals Association office at snyder@paprincipals.org or (717) 732-4999 for an application. Applications must be received in the PA Principals Association office by Friday, February 17, 2012.


Statewide Elected Positions

  • President-Elect - Must be an Secondary Member
  • Secretary - Either Elementary or Secondary Member

Regional Rep Positions

Region

Level

Current BOD Member

Counties Represented

  East I

  Elementary

  Paul L. Stefani

  Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne,    
  Wyoming

  East II

  Secondary

  Dennis F. Nemes

  Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike,  
  Schuylkill

  Central III

  Elementary

  Robert J. Gildea

  Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon,      
  Juniata,   Mifflin, Somerset

  Central I

  Secondary

  Curtis E. Johnson

  Bradford, Cameron, Center, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk,  
  Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga

  West II

  Elementary

  Gregg L. Paladina

  Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Lawrence,  
  Mercer

  West II

  Secondary

  Leonard A. Rich

  Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Lawrence,  
  Mercer

Click Here for the Duties and Responsibilities of the Regional Representative.

 
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.

The results of the new Annual Pennsylvania Education Issues Poll showed that Pennsylvanians place high value on quality public education and believe that a strong educational system is essential for a strong economy.   Ninety-three percent of those surveyed agreed that  "high quality public schools are vital for the success of Pennsylvania's economy,"? and 95 percent agreed that  "all students in Pennsylvania should be legally entitled to the opportunity to receive a quality education."

Also apparent in the results is bipartisan support for increased funding for public education at the state level. From a list of seven issues, the registered voters surveyed listed  "increasing state funding for and improving education"? as the second most important priority for the governor and legislature, trailing only job creation and improving the economy.

In addition to supporting a higher level of state funding in general, and specifically for the significant increases provided during 2008, 2009 and 2010, respondents expressed support for increasing state funding in poorer school districts to reduce the funding disparity with wealthier districts. Sixty-two percent were in favor of doing so, 23 percent opposed.

On another question, 82 percent agreed with the statement that adequate funding for school districts  "should be maintained in both good and poor economic times, even if it means lawmakers must make politically difficult decisions concerning additional state revenues and/or cuts to other programs."

The poll showed strong support for providing important academic opportunities to all eligible   students within the public school system, such as arts education, advanced placement courses, and career-technical courses. By 53 percent to 35 percent, voters also expressed support for charter schools within the public school system.

However, by a ratio of more than 2-1, 67 percent to 30 percent, voters said they opposed using taxpayer funds to support  "tuition for students attending non-public schools like religious or private schools."

The survey was conducted between October 24th and 31st, and included responses from roughly 800 registered voters statewide. More detailed results can be found at www.eplc.org.

Poll Highlights: PA Voters Reaffirm Strong Support for Public Education and Schools (PDF)
Final: Top Line Survey Results (PDF)

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.   

Here is the tentative timeline:
School entities will have time between now and June 2012 to review the requirements and decide if they want to pursue this option, and if so, what type of technical assistance they may need from PDE.

By July 30, schools will inform PDE if they will pursue the local assessment option, and have between August 2012-June 2013 to develop and refine their local assessments and gather validity evidence.   

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.

Questions are welcome and should be directed via email to RA-Local-Assessment@pa.gov. PDE will post questions and answers on its web site.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, 11/18/11.

 
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: nth@wpi.edu; Christina Heffernan: ch@wpi.edu
 
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.

Click here to download or browse the full report for reading and or mathematics or Pennsylvania'ss reports. Click here for the summary report.

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!
 
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