EPLC Education Notebook

Friday, August 1, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania General Assembly
    Pennsylvania Department of Education
    Research and Reports

    The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC website at www.eplc.org/ednotebook.html.



    The Pennsylvania General Assembly has announced its session schedule for the end of 2008.

    The House plans to be in session on the following days:
    September 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24
    October 6, 7 and 8
    November 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 24 and 25

    The Senate plans to be in session on the following days:
    September 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24
    October 1, 2, 6 and 7



  • The Department of Education has announced recipients of 2008-2009 Classrooms for the Future grants.  Grants will allow 182 high schools in 152 school districts to purchase laptop computers and other state-of-the-art technology for their core academic classrooms.  Now in the third year of the program, 543 high schools in 453 school districts are participating in Classrooms for the Future.   Click here to learn more.

  • PDE also has announced the recipients of 2008-2009 state grants to improve college and career counseling.  More than 33,000 students in 19 school districts across Pennsylvania will benefit from the third year of the College and Career Counseling program. Click here to learn more.



  • The federal government released an updated report on the status of the nation’s children and youth, which integrates statistics from various federal agencies into one document.  “America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008” reveals both bright spots and areas of concern.  The nation has seen an increase in reading and math test scores for fourth and eighth graders as well as a decrease in childhood deaths from injuries and a decrease in eighth graders who smoke daily.  However, the nation has experienced an increase in low birthweight infants and an increase in the adolescent birth rate, the first increase in this category in 15 years.  Review the full set of indicators that look at demographics, family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education and health at http://childstats.gov.

  • The National Center for Education Statistics recently released a report on Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990-2005.  The report describes trends in career and technical education curricular offerings, students, teachers, labor market and future education outcomes, and more.  NCES found that more than 90% of public high school graduates in 2005 took at least one occupational course in high school and about one in five graduates took at least three occupational courses.  Further, those taking the most occupational courses now are enrolling in postsecondary education at higher rates.

  • The National Center for Education Statistics also recently released a report that shows growth in the number of public elementary and secondary students taking courses online or via audio, video or other computer technologies where the teacher and student are in different locations.  The number of students enrolled in technology-based distance education courses increased from about 317,070 in 2002-03 to 506,950 in 2004-05, with the majority of enrollments (61%) at the high school level.  Further, 71% of school districts with students enrolled in distance education say they plan to expand such courses in the future.  Learn more in “Technology-Based Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2002-03 and 2004-05”.

  • NCES has released a new report on “Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2005-06”.  The publication includes detailed data on the Philadelphia School District, the only Pennsylvania district included in the top 100.



    Next week…

  • The House Children and Youth Committee holds a public hearing on the importance of afterschool programs on Tuesday in Harrisburg.

  • The House Children and Youth Committee holds a meeting on educational foundations on Wednesday in Harrisburg.

  • For information on these and other upcoming events, see www.eplc.org/calendar.html.

        EPLC Education Notebook is published by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Permission to reprint or electronically redistribute the Notebook in whole or in part is granted provided attribution to EPLC is provided.

        The Education Policy and Leadership Center is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization. The Mission of EPLC is to encourage and support the enactment and implementation of effective state-level education policies in order to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.

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