News & Notes:  

UPDATE FROM THE COMPACT COMMITTEE

Jun27

JUNE 18, 2013 Resolutions None Discussion Universal Enrollment Update Miles Wilson called the meeting to order; acknowledging that several voting members of the Committee were in Harrisburg and as a result there would not be a quorum to approve the minutes and update from the last Compact meeting in April. Wilson then introduced Ramsey Green, […] More »

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National Charter School Waitlist Numbers Approach One Million

Jun27

New Survey Finds Demand for High-Quality Public School Options Reaches All-Time High Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) today released the results of a new survey estimating that public charter school waitlists across the nation approached one million names during the 2012-13 school year, up from 610,000 in 2011-12. The […] More »

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Study: Charter schools greater assist to poor

Jun25

Charter schools benefit students from poor families, black students and Hispanic English-language learners more than their peers in other groups, a study shows. Overall, charter school students are faring better than they were four years ago, surpassing those in traditional public schools in reading gains and keeping pace in math, according to the National Charter […] More »

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Breaking Through to a Quality Education for Urban Children

Jun25

Ten-year-old Roberto had failing grades and discipline problems in his Cleveland, Ohio, school, but his mother had high hopes for him — a quality education that met his particular needs and would help him to be college and career ready. Fortunately for her and Roberto, an expanding network of charter schools in Cleveland, Breakthrough Charter […] More »

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The Center for Education Reform Finds Multiple Shortcomings in New Stanford Research Study on Charter School Performance

Jun25

(PRWEB) June 25, 2013 The Center for Education Reform (CER), the nation’s leading advocate for substantive and structural change to K-12 education, today criticized a new study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), taking issue with flawed CREDO findings that purport to show the performance of charter schools in the United […] More »

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National Alliance Releases ESEA Reauthorization Recommendations

Jun24

The National Alliance for Public Schools is pleased to release Free to Succeed: Public Charter Schools and the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This paper, based on interviews and discussions with prominent public charter school stakeholders, outlines the key priorities of the charter school sector as Congress gears up for the reauthorization […] More »

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State leaders raise hopes of Phila. school rescue

Jun20

With the clock ticking down to a doomsday budget for Philadelphia schools, state leaders signaled Wednesday that they might ride to the rescue. Gov. Corbett said he is determined to help solve the district’s financial crisis, even as a top Senate Republican outlined a concerted, behind-the-scenes push in the Capitol to assemble a bailout package. […] More »

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Deal said to be in works on Philly school finances

Jun20

Gov. Corbett’s administration – along with city and state officials – is working to assemble a funding package that could pump as much as $100 million more into the coffers of the Philadelphia School District, according to sources with knowledge of the high-level talks. But the money, which could include federal funds the state would […] More »

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ALERT!

Jun19

There is movement in the House of Representatives to move HB 618 to a vote of the full House potentially today or tomorrow. It continues to be our position that HB 618 includes many positive changes to the charter school law, with one financially devastating exception – a provision which allows districts to withhold 100% […] More »

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Keep an eye on charter schools

Jun18

This editorial is not negative to the concept of charter schools, but rather addresses how particular schools were operated. The editor’s concerns reinforce our position that the best way to get strong charters is to have strong authorizers. June 18, 2013 Monroe County is zero for three when it comes to leadership at its charter […] More »

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Budget Cuts Reach Bone for Philadelphia Schools

Jun18

When a second grader came to the Andrew Jackson School too agitated to eat breakfast on Friday, an aide alerted the school counselor, who engaged him in an art project in her office. When he was still overwrought at 11, a secretary called the boy’s family, and soon a monitor at the front door buzzed in an […] More »

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Achievement House Cyber Charter School Commencement Speech

Jun18

Robert Fayfich, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, congratulated the 2013 graduates of Achievement House Cyber Charter School with this commencement speech on June 15, 2013. Good morning students, faculty, administration, parents, and families of Achievement House Cyber Charter School.  It is my pleasure and sincere honor to be with […] More »

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DN Editorial: No more games

Jun14

SOMEDAY – someday very soon, we hope – someone in Harrisburg is going to have to get serious about the fate of Philadelphia’s public schools. We will begin with Gov. Corbett, who is the father of much of the misery that the district is facing. The deep cuts he made in state support for public […] More »

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The end of Philly’s public schools?

Jun14

Could all of Philadelphia’s school-aged kids soon be destined for charters? As the district struggles with a serious cash deficit, a top Democratic senator said Monday there has been talk in Capitol halls of turning all of Philadelphia’s schools into privately-run charters. Sen. Vincent Hughes says he heard from “high-placed sources” over the weekend of […] More »

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KIPP Philadelphia Educator Wins Excellence In Teaching Award

Jun14

KIPP Philadelphia Schools’ own Rachel Kohan was recognized at the KIPP School Summit with the prestigious Harriet Ball Excellence in Teaching Award.  Rachel was one of eleven teachers selected from a pool of more than 2,700 KIPP educators to win the award.  In addition to being recognized for excellence in teaching, each of the award […] More »

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Districts Save What Cybers Spend

Jun14

How much of Pennsylvania’s education spending goes to public cyber schools? Just 1 percent, or $319 million. Keep this in mind when reading about new data on school district reserve funds. A common complaint we hear about public cyber and charter schools is that they cost school districts too much money. Indeed, along with pension payments and lack […] More »

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Down to the wire on charter talks

Jun14

With their schools’ mandates to operate running out in just a matter of days, leaders of 10 charters are deep into negotiations with District officials who are determined, at least for now, to defer plans by the schools to expand. Citing the budget crisis, Superintendent William Hite last month announced hewould not recommend any charter expansions in the coming […] More »

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Large urban school districts creating their own virtual schools

Jun14

The Philadelphia school system will open a new, full-time online school this coming fall, a program that the district promises will offer the academic flexibility and customized learning that many students and families demand. But district officials also see the virtual program as bringing at least one clear benefit to the city school system itself: […] More »

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PA school districts look to cash stash to balance budgets

Jun13

HARRISBURG — As business manager for the Mercer Area School District, Mike Stabile has spent the last several years budgeting around a myriad of factors. Among that list: a school board that won’t raise taxes, state level cuts and increased future costs for charter school students and pension payments — and the district is down nine […] More »

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Pa. charter school board’s inaction affects Pittsburgh schools

Jun12

Career Connections Charter School in Lawrenceville may remain open this fall  despite the efforts of Pittsburgh Public Schools to close it. Propel Schools won’t open its Hazelwood school this fall despite its desire  to do so. And a charter school proposed for Duquesne this fall is in jeopardy. All three have been awaiting word from […] More »

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4,000 Philadelphia Teachers, School Staff Losing Jobs

Jun08

Nearly 4,000 Philadelphia school teachers, administrators and staff learned Friday they would lose their jobs. School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite, Jr. said the layoffs are a result of severe budget cuts necessary to keep the nation’s eighth-largest school district financially sound. “The School District of Philadelphia must live within its means,” said […] More »

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Education Committee moves sweeping charter reform package to House floor.

Jun04

SOURCE: CAPITOLWIRE By Peter L. DeCoursey Bureau Chief Capitolwire HARRISBURG (June 3) – The House Education Committee on Monday moved to the floor a sweeping charter school reform package supporters say will move an estimated $80 million a year from charters back to their districts. The committee separately passed legislation containing a three-year moratorium on new […] More »

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Pa. schools join Philly in call for more state money

Jun04

Lawrence Jones, president of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, said the city’s charters will be even worse off if the state doesn’t come through with more money. “If the budget gap’s not filled, we could be looking at a 12 percent cut,” Jones said. “There are several small, independent charters that may not […] More »

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ACTION ALERT: House Education Committee Votes MONDAY!

Jun01

The campaign to marginalize public school choice is advancing in the state House! This Monday, the House Education Committee will hold hearings on proposals that threaten to slash funding for cyber schools. And cyber schools already receive only 81 percent of what traditional districts receive per student! These drastic cuts will make it difficult—if not impossible—for […] More »

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