Focus on Education Episodes

In February 2013, EPLC and the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) began our partnership for “Focus on Education”, the monthly program focusing oneducation issues in Pennsylvania.  EPLC President Ron Cowell serves as moderator and host for each show.  Episodes typically air initially on the second Sunday of each month at 3:00 p.m., and then re-broadcast a couple of times at the discretion of PCN.  The current and previous shows are available here “on demand”.  Past episodes have featured the topics and panelists listed below.  To watch a recent episode, click the link next to the title or topic that interests you.

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September 2016 – Featuring two parts as described belowClick here to watch the show.

Part 1: A discussion with Dr. Paul M. Healey, Executive Director and
Dr. Joseph H. Clapper, Assistant Executive Director, PA Principals Association

Part 2: An interview with Richard W. Askey, Treasurer, The Pennsylvania State Education Association

July 2016 – Featuring two interviews as described below Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: An interview with Jim Buckheit, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators on the financial condition of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts and affects on student programs and services caused by large cuts in state funding support over the past five years, the Commonwealth’s status as having the worst K-12 opportunity gap in the U.S., and his impending retirement and the changes he’s seen in Pennsylvania’s public education system during his career.

Part 2: An interview with Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center (ELC) on the role of ELC in assuring the rights of persons with disabilities in Pennsylvania, its project addressing the School-to-Prison pipeline, and its role as one of the lead organizations in fighting for changes in K-12 education funding in Pennsylvania over the past ten years.

June 2016 – Discussions on education policy issues and teacher preparation in Pennsylvania, featuring the following persons Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: State Senator Lloyd K. Smucker, Chairman, Senate Education Committee

Part 2: A panel discussion on teacher preparation in Pennsylvania, featuring representatives of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (PAC-TE):
Dr. Kevin Zook, President, PAC-TE and Dean of the School of Education, Holy Family University
Dr. George Drake
, President-Elect, PAC-TE and Professor and Founding Dean, College of Education and Human Services and School of Social Work at Millersville University
Dr. Sally A. Winterton
, Past President, PAC-TE and currently CEO of Winterton Consulting, LLC

May 2016 – Two Guests: 1) Dr. Richard D. Nilsen, Executive Director of the PA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and 2) Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera Click here to watch the show.

April 2016 – Two Topics: 1) Education Voters PA, the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, and related education funding issues and 2) A discussion on a broad range of education funding issues, including the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 state budgets Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: A Discussion on the work of Education Voters of PA, the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, and related education funding issues, featuring:
Susan Spicka, Director, Education Voters of PA

Part 2: A Discussion on a broad range of education funding issues, including the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 state budgets, featuring:
Randy Albright
, Secretary of the Budget, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

March 2016 – Two Topics: 1) High School Career and Technical Education and 2) Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania and Statewide and National Arts Education Advocacy Efforts Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: A Discussion on High School Career and Technical Education in Pennsylvania, featuring:
Dr. Lee Burket
, Director, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, PA Department of Education
Jackie Cullen, Executive Director, PA Association of Career and Technical Administrators
Dan Fogarty, Director of Workforce Development / Chief Operating Officer, Berks County Workforce Development Board
Seth Schram, Principal, Chester County Technical College High School – Brandywine Campus

Part 2: A Discussion on Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania and Statewide and National Arts Education Advocacy, featuring:
Jenny L. Hershour, Managing Director, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania

February 2016 – A Discussion on Governor Wolf’s State Budget Proposal for Education – Click here to watch the show featuring:

Jodi Askins, Executive Director, PA Association for the Education of Young Children
Tom Gluck, Executive Director, PA Association of Intermediate Units
Marc Stier, Direcetor, PA Budget and Policy Center
Kathy Swope, President, PA School Boards Association

December 2015 – Two Topics: ESEA Re-Authorization and Early Education in Pennsylvania 
Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: A Discussion on ESEA Re-Authorization, featuring:
Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, PA Association of School Administrators and
John Callahan, Assistant Executive Director for Public Policy/Chief Lobbyist, PA School Boards Association

Part 2: A Discussion on Early Education in Pennsylvania, featuring:
Jodi Askins, Executive Director, PA Association for the Education of Young Children

November 2015 – Two Interviews: 1) An interview with David W. Patti, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Business Council and 2) An interview with Representative Stan Saylor, Chairman, Pennsylvania House Education Committee Click here to watch the show.

October 2015 – Two Topics: K-12 student funding needs, student assessments, and the impact of trauma on student learning and Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges and how they provide postsecondary education programs and support for workforce and community development Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee Chair, Pennsylvania NAACP, discusses K-12 student funding needs, student assessments, and the impact of trauma on student learning.

Part 2: Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges and how they provide postsecondary education programs and support for workforce and community development
Elizabeth Bolden,
President & CEO, Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges
Dr. Walter Asonevich,
President, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

September 2015 – Two Topics: Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discusses public education finance issues and the PA School Boards Association discusses the work of school boards and school board directors Click here to watch the show.

Part 1: Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will discuss public education finance issues.

Part 2: The work of school boards and school board directors
Steve Robinson, Senior Director of Communications, Pennsylvania School Boards Association
Kathy Swope
, President-Elect, PA School Boards Association and President, Lewisburg Area School District

July 2015 – Two Topics: The Financial Condition of School Districts in Pennsylvania and An Interview with Dr. Don Francis, President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania
Click here to watch the show.

1) Discussion on the Financial Condition of School Districts in Pennsylvania
Jay D. Himes, Executive Director, PA Association of School Business Officials and
Dr. Tim Shrom, Business Manager, Solanco School District

2) An Interview with Dr. Don Francis, President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania

June 2015 – Two Topics: the Math + Science Initiative and Pennsylvania’s political and legislative landscape, and implications for funding public education. Click here to watch the show.

1) Marcus S. Lingenfelter discusses the National Math & Science Initiative and how it supports improved math and science education in Pennsylvania and other states (Marcus Lingenfelter is the Vice President of State & Federal Programs with the National Math + Science Initiative).

2) Dr. Terry Madonna discusses Pennsylvania’s political and legislative landscape, and implications for funding for public education. (Dr. G. Terry Madonna is the Director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll, Professor of Public Affairs, and Director of the Center for Politics & Public Affairs

May 2015 – Two Topics: “Sunshine, Ethics, Open Records, and School Districts” and “The Role of Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania”Click here to watch the show.

Topic 1: Sunshine, Ethics, Open Records, and School Districts
Nathaneal Byerly, Acting Executive Director, Office of Open Records
Robert Caruso, Executive Director, Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission
Barry Kauffman, Executive Director, Common Cause Pennsylvania

Topic 2: The Role of Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania
Thomas E. Gluck, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units

April 2015 – Two Topics: “Reactions to Gov. Wolf’s 2015-15 State Education Budget Proposal” and “Physical Education and Health Education Issues for Students” Click here to watch the show.

Topic 1: Reactions to Governor Wolf’s 2015-2016 State Education Budget Proposal
Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, PA Association of School Administrators John Callahan, Senior Director of Government Affairs, PA School Boards Association

Topic 2: Physical Education and Health Education Issues for Students
Dr. Cindy Allen, Professor, Health Science Department, Lock Haven University
Todd Bedard, Chair, Health and Physical Education Department, Cumberland Valley School District
Linda Woods Huber, Executive Director, PA State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Jessica Peconi-Cook, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Mt. Lebanon School District

March 2015 – Two Topics: “Education Voters Pennsylvania” and “A Preview of the 2015 State Education Budget Debate”Click here to watch the show.

Topic 1: Education Voters Pennsylvania
Susan Gobreski, Director, Education Voters Pennsylvania

Topic 2: Preview of the 2015 Pennsylvania State Education Budget Debate

February 2015 – Two Topics: “Curriculum, Assessment, and Academic Opportunities for All Students” and “Career and Technical Education” Click here to watch the show.

Panel 1: Curriculum, Assessment, and Academic Opportunities for All Students
Dr. Richard D. Nilsen
, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Panel 2: Career and Technical Education
Jackie Cullen
, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators
Dr. Clyde Hornberger
, Educational Consultant and Former Director, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute

December 2014 – Two Topics: “School Funding Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania State Government” and “the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission”Click here to watch the show.

Guest 1 of 2 Guests: Michael Churchill, Of Counsel with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
, discussed the new school funding lawsuit against Pennsylvania state government; and

Guest 2 of 2: James M. Vaughan, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, discussed the work of the PHMC.

November 2014 – Two Guests: “Kathy Manderino” and “State House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer” Click here to watch the show.

Guest 1 of 2 Guests: Kathy Manderino, Campaign Manager of the new Campaign for Fair Education Funding and Former Pennsylvania State Representative

Guest 2 of 2 Guests: Pennsylvania State Representative and House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer who is planning to retire on November 30, 2014 at the end of the current legislative session

October 2014 – Two Topics: “Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network” and “Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania” Click here to watch the show.

Panel 1 of 2 Panels: “Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network”

  • Shileste Overton-Morris, Director, Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network and Senior Program Development and Organization Manager, Center for Schools and Communities; and
  • Jeanne Miller, Director, Lehigh Carbon Community College Carbon and Schuylkill  SHINE 21st Century After-School Program

Panel 2 of 2 Panels: “Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania”

  • Jenny L. Hershour, Managing Director, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania

September 2014 – Two Topics: “Paying for College in Pennsylvania” and “School Employees Pension Crisis” Click here to watch the show. Panel 1 of 2 Panels: “Paying for College in Pennsylvania”

  • Gregory L. Gearhart, Past President, PA Association of Student Financial Administrators and Director of Financial Aid, Messiah College;
  • Sonya Mann-McFarlane, Higher Education Access Partner, PHEAA Division of PA School Services; and
  • Kathleen F. McGrath, Esq., Bureau Director, PA 529 College Savings Program, Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Panel 2 of 2 Panels: “School Employees Pension Crisis”

  • Jeffrey B. Clay, Executive Director, Pennsylvania, Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS);
  • Jay D. Himes, CAE, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials; and
  • State Representative Mike Tobash, 125th Legislative District – Schuylkill/Berks Counties, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

July 2014 – Teaching In Pennsylvania Click here to watch the show.

  • Dr. Theresa Barnaby, Director, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, PA Department of Education;
  • Ryan Devlin, 2013 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and Brockway Area High School English and Technology Teacher;
  • Dolores McCracken, PSEA Treasurer, Council Rock Education Foundation Treasurer, and parent education advocate; and
  • Dr. Sally A. Winterton, President, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators.

June 2014 – Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education After 60 Years Click here to watch the show.

  • Homer C. Floyd, Former Executive Director, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission;
  • Rhonda Brownstein, Esq., Executive Director, Education Law Center; and
  • Erica Frankenberg, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Education Policy Studies, Penn State University

May 2014 – PA Charter Schools: Opportunties and Questions Click here to watch the show.

  • Rep. James R. Roebuck, Jr., Democratic Chairman, PA House Education Committee;
  • Maurice “Reese” Flurie, Ed.D., CEO, Commonwealth Connections Academy;
  • Lawrence F. Jones, Jr., Founding CEO, Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School and President, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools; and
  • Nathan G. Mains, Executive Director, Pennsylvania School Boards Association

April 2014 – Public and School Libraries in Pennsylvania – Click here to watch the show.

  • Mary Kay Biagini, Ph.D., Director, School Library Certification Program and Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh;
  • Eileen Kern, President, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; and
  • Janis Stubbs, President, Pennsylvania Library Association and Assistant Director/District Consultant, Delaware County Library System

March 2014 – Pre-K and Early Education in Pennsylvania Click here to watch the show.

  • Tracey Campanini, Director, Bureau of Early Learning Services, Office of Child Development & Early Learning, Pennsylvania Department of Education;
  • Michelle Figlar, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children;
  • Blair Hyatt, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Head Start Association; and
  • Philip A. Peterson, FSA, Partner at Aon Hewitt and co-creator of the Aon/United Way of Southeastern PA Hand-in-Hand Award for quality child care in the business community, and former co-chair of the Early Learning Investment Commission

February 2014 – Governor Corbett’s Proposed Budget for Education Click here to watch the show.

  • Sharon Ward, Executive Director, The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center;
  • Jay D. Himes, CAE, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials;
  • Jim Buckheit, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; and
  • Dr. Judith A.W. Thomas, Immediate Past Dean, School of Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies and Professor of Education, Lincoln University

December 2013 – Parents As Advocates for Children and Education (Re-Air of earlier program) – Click here to watch the show.

  • Deborah Dunstone, President, Pennsylvania PTA;
  • Sylvia P. Simms, Founder and President of PARENT POWER and Commissioner, School Reform Commission, The School District of Philadelphia;
  • Bonita Allen, Former Member, Pennsylvania Title I State Parent Advisory Council and now a SPAC Parent Involvement in Education Consultant; and
  • Kurt A. Kondrich, M.Ed., Chair, Pennsylvania State Interagency Coordinating Council and Director of Family and Community Outreach, Early Intervention Specialists

November 2013 – Special Education: Student Rights and Services Click here to watch the show.

  • Maureen Cronin, Executive Director, The Arc of Pennsylvania;
  • Kay Lipsitz, Director, Parent Education Network; and
  • Linda O. Rhen, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Special Education, Behavioral Sciences, and Education at Penn State Harrisburg and Former Director of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education

October 2013 – Arts and Education – This recording is no longer available.

  • Clyde Mills McGeary, Former Chief, Division of Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania Department of Education;
  • Jamie Kasper, Associate Director, Arts Education Collaborative;
  • Dr. Richard D. Nilsen, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

September 2013 – Parents As Advocates for Children and Education Click here to watch the show.

  • Deborah Dunstone, President, Pennsylvania PTA;
  • Sylvia P. Simms, Founder and President of PARENT POWER and Commissioner, School Reform Commission, The School District of Philadelphia;
  • Bonita Allen, Former Member, Pennsylvania Title I State Parent Advisory Council and now a SPAC Parent Involvement in Education Consultant; and
  • Kurt A. Kondrich, M.Ed., Chair, Pennsylvania State Interagency Coordinating Council and Director of Family and Community Outreach, Early Intervention Specialists

June 2013 – High School Drop-Out RatesThis recording is no longer available.

  • Nathan G. Mains, President & State Director, Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania;
  • Pedro A. Rivera, Superintendent, School District of Lancaster; and
  • David Kerr, Regional Vice President of External Affairs, AT&T Pennsylvania

May 2013 – How Public Education Is Funded In Pennsylvania – Click here to watch the show.

  • Joe Bard, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools;
  • Dr. Paula Hess, Former Senior Education Advisor, Pennsylvania House of Representatives; and
  • Laura Cowburn, Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Services and Board Secretary with the Columbia Borough School District

April 2013 – The Work of School Boards In PennsylvaniaThis recording is no longer available.

  • Marcela Diaz Myers, President, Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA);
  • Pamela M. Price, Director of Board Development Services, PSBA; and
  • Roberta M. Marcus, President and Master School Board Director, Parkland School District

March 2013 – Student TestingThis recording is no longer available.

  • Kristen Lewald, PVAAS Statewide Project Manager, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13; and
  • Stinson Stroup, Education Services Manager, Pennsylvania State Education Association

February 2013 – School Violence – This recording is no longer available. Panel 1 of 2 Panels: “School Violence and Safety Issues”

  • Michael E. Allison, Principal of Hopewell High School (Aliquippa, PA) and Former President of the Pennsylvania Elementary and Secondary School Principals;
  • Lynn M. Cromley, Director, Center for Schools and Communities / Center for Safe Schools; and
  • Dr. Robert B. Cormany, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Services Administrators

Panel 2 of 2 Panels: “Should School Staff Have the Right to Carry Guns?”

  • Dolores McCracken, Treasurer, Pennsylvania State Education Association, Council Rock Education Foundation Treasuer, and parent education advocate;
  • Representative Greg Lucas, the prime sponsor of legislation that would allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools if they meet certain requirements. He is also a former teacher, a gun enthusiast, and he is resident of Edinboro, PA; and
  • Police Officer John Bruner from Washington County, PA who has studied Active Shooter Phenomena, provided lectures on the topic, and helped to develop Crisis Response Plans and simulated (mock) Active Shooter Incidents in high schools

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