News & Notes:  

National Charter School Alliance Congressional Action Update

Jul26

Dear Charter School Friends, As Congress wraps up its activity for the summer, we wanted to update you on Congressional action that impacts the charter school community. Congress has continued it work on the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). To this end, on July 19 the U.S. House of […] More »

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How to Prepare Your Student Information System for 2013-2014

Jul26

Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education  July 24, 2013 Penn*Link SUBJECT:             2013-14 Annual PIMS Updates   As a result of Act 82 and Pennsylvania’s Educator Effectiveness System, significant changes to the Pennsylvania Information Management Systems (PIMS) application are required. At this time PDE’s PIMS team is providing two opportunities for LEA staff […] More »

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Hearing points to challenges in special ed funding

Jul26

President John F. Kennedy gave himself nearly a decade to send an astronaut to the moon. A state commission has until Nov. 30 to put together a new funding formula for special education — and its task might be more challenging. That 15-member panel held a hearing in Doylestown on Thursday, looking for a way […] More »

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Financing OK’d for Helen Thackston Charter expansion project 

Jul26

Helen Thackston Charter School will open next month with more students and more room. “A two and one-half year struggle” to add space and renovate an old building downtown is near completion, according to Lee Bostic, school operations manager. Bostic spoke about the multimillion dollar project Wednesday morning during the York County Commissioners meeting.   […] More »

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Pittsburgh Public Schools grants charter to school in Hill District

Jul24

After failing to approve the proposal last month, the board of Pittsburgh Public Schools tonight granted a charter to the Hill House Passport Academy Charter School in the Hill District. Approving a charter school takes five votes, but only four of the seven present last month voted in favor. This month, the proposal won five […] More »

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York Academy works on expansion

Jul24

York Academy Regional Charter School is working to expand its building, as the school continues to grow by one grade each year. The school – which is chartered by the Central York, York City and York Suburban school districts – opened in 2011 with kindergarten, first and second grades. Third grade was added last year, […] More »

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Former Allentown Racquetball Club could become charter school

Jul22

The former Allentown Racquetball & Fitness Club on Union Street will become a performing and fine arts charter elementary school if organizers can gain approval from the Allentown School Board. Thomas Lubben, founder of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts in Bethlehem and Arts Academy Charter School in Salisbury Township announced […] More »

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A Philadelphia School’s Big Bet on Nonviolence

Jul18

Last year when American Paradigm Schools took over Philadelphia’s infamous, failing John Paul Jones Middle School, they did something a lot of people would find inconceivable. The school was known as “Jones Jail” for its reputation of violence and disorder, and because the building physically resembled a youth correctional facility. Situated in the Kensington section […] More »

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A Second Race to the Top – District Competition

Jul18

The Department of Education has announced a second Race to the Top – District competition and is looking for qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers.  If you are personally interested in applying to serve as a 2013 Race to the Top – District peer reviewer, please follow the application instructions through the link below. […] More »

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Phila. school group plans $4.7M in grants

Jul18

The Philadelphia School Partnership will announce Thursday grants totaling $4.7 million to help high-performing charter schools expand and a nonprofit develop a new high school with the School District. “What is exciting about this [funding] round is that it shows the many different ways that the fund is available to invest in expanding access to […] More »

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Charter school access means nothing if the schools are bad (Column)

Jul18

The debate about the value of charter schools rages on. Are charter schools a success or failure? As someone who was part of the “movement” nearly from the inception 20 years ago and can lay claim to helping create the first charters in two different states (Michigan and Florida) and having consulted with countless others […] More »

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In city schools, signs of hope

Jul18

By Janine Yass For some of us who call the Philadelphia area home, the education crisis may seem like a tragic but distant concern. The reality, though, is that our region depends on the success of Philadelphia’s schools and their ability to provide all students with a strong education. The recently concluded legislative session focused […] More »

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Closer look at Pa. charter schools

Jul18

Important facts were omitted in Kate Wilcox’s article regarding the Center for Research on Education Outcomes’ charter school study (“Pa. charter students’ skills fall far short, study reveals,” July 8 and TribLIVE.com). CREDO’s research included test results from only 61,770 of the 119,000 Pennsylvania charter school students, then extrapolated to all 119,000. The study does not […] More »

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Local Cyber Charter School Appoints New CEO

Jul18

PA Distance Learning Charter School’s Board of Trustees has announced that Patricia Rossetti has been selected as the K-12 cyber school’s chief executive officer (CEO).  She replaces James Hoover, who retired in June after serving seven years as CEO.   Continue Reading at http://pittsburghnewswire.com/390/local-cyber-charter-school-appoints-new-ceo/ More »

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Jul12

Planning is underway for the annual PCPCS Leaders’ Summit which will be held the weekend of November 1-3, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg. The Summit is the annual opportunity for Pennsylvania charter schools leaders to be exposed to new ideas, share experiences, form new collaborations, and return to implement improvements in their schools. […] More »

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Special Education Funding Commission Begins Hearings

Jul12

On June 14, Governor Corbett signed Act 3 which: – Defines three levels for special education funding for all traditional district schools, and brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, – Establishes how any increase in the current special education appropriations is distributed using weighting factors based on category of disability, – Establishes a Special […] More »

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Special education funding revisited

Jul11

A state commission is crafting a revised special education funding formula to account for school districts’ individual needs, an overhaul touted by lawmakers and education advocates. Though the commission was created with unanimous support from both the House and Senate, lawmakers are not obligated to move forward on any of its recommendations, which will be […] More »

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School districts show their stuff on TV

Jul11

The Woodland Hills and Penn Hills school districts have taken to the airwaves in an attempt to lure students back from charter schools and improve the way the public perceives the districts. Continue reading at: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-east/school-districts-show-their-stuff-on-tv-695028/#ixzz2YkI6w5Ej More »

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YouthBuild Charter School to expand services, thanks to grant

Jul10

A $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will bring relief to the YouthBuild Charter School and its operator, the Crispus Attucks Association. Geared toward students who have dropped out of high school, YouthBuild offers a second chance at a diploma in a nontraditional setting. Students spend one week in an academic classroom […] More »

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Immediate Vacancy: Center for Student Learning Charter School at Pennsbury

Jul10

CEO– There is an immediate position available at The Center for Student Learning Charter School at Pennsbury, an AEDY program school.  Enrollment is approximately 180 students with 34 staff members. A Superintendent Letter of eligibility and central office administration experience are required, doctorate is preferred.  Must have a minimum of 5 years experience. The Center for Student […] More »

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Philadelphia Renaissance School Receives International Character Education Award

Jul08

Philadelphia Renaissance School Receives International Character Education Award Memphis Street Academy Recognized by the Character Education Partnership as a 2013 Promising Practice PHILADELPHIA, PA– July 1, 2013—Memphis Street Academy Charter School, is proud to announce they have been recognized by The Character Education Partnership (CEP) as a 2013 Promising Practice for their Military Veterans Reform […] More »

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The First Half of 2013 in Harrisburg

Jul05

During the first half of 2013, 215 pieces of legislation with potential impact on public schools were introduced in the House and 112 in the Senate, education was a major point of discussion in budget negotiations, and a change in leadership at the Department of Education was announced. The following is a brief summary of […] More »

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Charter School Annual Report Deadline

Jul05

Pennsylvania Department of Education July 5, 2013 PENN*LINK To: Charter School CEOs Cyber Charter School CEOs From: Dr. Carolyn C. Dumaresq Executive Deputy Secretary Subject: Charter School Annual Report Deadline The Charter School Annual Report deadline has been extended for this year only to September 1, 2013. To assist charter schools with the annual report, […] More »

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Greensburg Laurels & Lances

Jul01

Laurel: To David Henderson Jr. The Latrobe valedictorian from Agora Cyber Charter School, who completed his entire schooling in cyber charters, will join the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on July 1. It’s a noteworthy accomplishment for Mr. Henderson and an affirmation of his parents’ choice for his education — despite […] More »

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The Truth on Cyber School Performance

Jul01

Mary Niederberger reports on a new, largely positive charter school study by Stanford University by taking an odd swipe at Pennsylvania cyber schools, blaming them for the state’s poor charter school performance. Cyber charter schools have proven immensely popular with Pennsylvania families, who appreciate the flexibility and individualized learning these public schools offer. Some 35,000 […] More »

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Running In The Red

Jul01

IS HALF A LOAF enough to save school programs and thousands of education jobs in Philadelphia? State lawmakers and Gov. Corbett cobbled together a patchwork bailout for the Philadelphia school district that’s less than half of its $304 million budget gap for the coming school year, which doesn’t fully address its long-term problems. Here’s what […] More »

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