Friday, September 28, 2012
Will GOP House members push ahead on charter school funding changes and academic accountability during the fall session?
Friday, September 28, 2012
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent HARRISBURG — A major charter school reform package that would include funding changes and additional academic accountability is widely viewed as a top priority for Republicans in Harrisburg during the fall session, which began Monday. But at least one top House GOP leader said little has been accomplished since the proposal reached the doorstep of becoming law in late June. “We’re coming back cold,” said House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, on Monday. “I heard nothing much from leadership or the governor’s office about where we’re at for charters.” Clymer said he has read numerous media reports about the charter school bill being near the top of the Legislature’s fall agenda, but he has …
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The state’s new teacher evaluation system is labor intensive but could help teachers improve, Parkland officials say.
A new method for evaluating teachers and principals will mean more work for the evaluators but could help educators improve, Parkland School District officials said. Parkland Schools Superintendent Richard Sniscak briefed the school board Tuesday night on Pennsylvania’s new teacher evaluation system signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in June. Under the current evaluation model, teachers are simply rated satisfactory or unsatisfactory, which gives them little direction on what they need to do better, Sniscak said. The new method “is more prescriptive,” he said. Under the new system, which goes into effect for teachers starting in the 2013-2014 school year, 50 percent of the evaluation will be based on observation and evidence, including of…
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Founder describes Parkland School Board's denial as a "speed bump" as he seeks to establish Circle of Seasons charter school in South Whitehall or Upper Macungie.
Phil Arnold sent a reassuring email to supporters of his proposed Circle of Seasons charter school late Tuesday night, saying that the Parkland School District's denial of the charter school application was "not necessarily unexpected." He said he planned to persevere, describing the denial as a "speed bump" in the process of the charter school becoming a reality. "School boards typically are not receptive to charter schools and therefore will find ways to deny a charter application," wrote Arnold, a social worker who helped establish Seven Generations charter school in Emmaus. "If anything, sometimes their primary goal is simply to make everyone jump through additional hoops in order to get the charter approved or at the very least delay …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
School board president says proposed Circle of Seasons Charter School would not meet state standards.
The Parkland School Board denied an application Tuesday night for Circle of Seasons, a proposed Waldorf-method charter school. Board members did not discuss the application prior to the vote, but the district issued a 65-page resolution in support of their decision. “I cannot ask the taxpayers to fund something that does not meet state standards,” school board President Jayne Bartlett said after the meeting. Bartlett said the proposal was “ambiguous” about the grade levels that the school would include, its curriculum wouldn’t meet state standards and its administrative staffing would be inadequate. She also said that proponents of the charter school had not pinned down a location yet for the school. Phil Arnold, who proposed the charter …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Author tells Lehigh Valley Tea Party that public school system should be dismantled.
An audience of about 100 gathered at this month's Lehigh Valley Tea Party meeting to see Andrew Bernstein, author of “Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas,” published in October by Transaction Publishers, give his book talk and lecture “Free Market Education” Friday evening at the Chrin Community Center in Palmer Township. Bernstein claims there has been a “horrific decline in educational quality since 1850” and says the public school system should be abolished in favor of private, for-profit educational institutions. “Almost 90 percent of American children are forced to attend abysmal public schools,” he said. “Our education system is in a shambles.” Taxes make it impossible for many to send their children to …
Saturday, December 3, 2011
As Pennsylvania legislature considers charter schools bill, area superintendents issued a statement condemning lack of oversight and public school funding of cyber and charter schools.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Note: This is an edited version of the original story. Ed. Superintendents from five area counties issued a statement Friday condemning the use of public school budgets to fund charter schools and criticized them for not being subject to the same government oversight and mandates as public schools. "...Using vouchers to fund private schools or to funnel public school dollars away from local schools to fund charter schools is fundamentally wrong and inequitable," the group of 26 superintendents said in the news release. The school districts included Lehigh and Northampton counties. "Local schools are mandated to play by different rules than charters and private schools and private schools are subjected to far less government oversight and …
Monday, July 25, 2011
For the 70-80 students who choose charter schools, the district must pay $9,000-$16,000 per student.
The state's decision not to reimburse school districts for the tuition they pay to charter schools that enroll students from their district will cost Parkland School District about a quarter of a million dollars, officials said. Parkland pays $9,000 for regular students and $16,000 for special education students who attend charter schools, according to John Vignone, director of business administration. About 70-80 children who live in the district attend charter schools. Previously, the state would reimburse the district for about a third of those payments, Vignone said. This year the state Legislature passed and Gov. Tom Corbett signed a budget in June that ended those reimbursements, except for the eight poorest school districts in the …