EPLC Education Notebook

Friday, January 4, 2008

    Content in this edition:
    Pennsylvania Policymakers
    - State Board 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.

    State Board of Education

  • The Pennsylvania State Board of Education (SBE) has scheduled a formal public hearing to receive input from interested parties regarding proposed revisions to state high school graduation requirements as provided in Chapter 4 (Academic Standards and Assessment). Read the State Board discussion paper for more information about the SBE proposal.

    Hearing details are not yet on the SBE web site, so here are some of the details provided to us by SBE.

    The hearing will be held in the Honors Suite, First Floor, Department of Education Building, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, January 9, 2008. The hearing will be comprised of two sessions. Session I will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Session II will run from 1:30 p.m. until all registered testimony is received.

    Individuals must register in advance to present testimony at the hearing. Participants will be assigned a time at which they are to provide their testimony. Participants will be assigned a ten-minute time slot when they register. Persons interested in presenting testimony must telephone the State Board of Education office at (7l7) 787-3787 (TTY 717-783-8445), Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. by January 8, 2008.

    Testimony is limited to no more than 10 minutes. Those registered to testify must provide 25 copies of their written testimony at the hearing. Individuals representing an organization or affiliation are limited to one 10 minute time slot and should submit one combined testimony through a single witness or team. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the one testimony per organization/affiliation rule of scheduling will be strictly followed.

    Individuals with disabilities needing special accommodations in order to participate or attend the hearings, such as sign language interpreter services, must contact the State Board of Education office at the above listed telephone number by the deadline date for registration at each session. Alternative formats of the documents (e.g. Braille, large print, cassette tape) can be made available to members of the public upon request to the State Board Office.

    Individuals unable to attend the hearing are encouraged to submit written testimony directly to the State Board of Education on or before 4:00 p.m. on January 8, 2008. Copies of testimony will be shared with each member of the State Board. Comments should be sent to: Ms. Karen Farmer White, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126 0333. Persons with disabilities are invited to submit testimony in alternative formats such as Braille or taped testimony and via the telephone. Written and alternative formats of testimony will be afforded the same thoughtful consideration by the Committee as oral testimony. Written and alternative formats of testimony may be as long as the writer wishes; 25 copies of written testimony are required.

  • Information about the Pennsylvania General Assembly, including details on contacting your local state representatives and locating bills cited in this Notebook, is available at www.legis.state.pa.us/index.cfm.

  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released its "Projections of Education Statistics to 2016". The report provides information on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools. Pennsylvania's public school population is projected to decrease by 0.9% by 2016, while the entire northeastern United States is projected to experience a 1% decline in public elementary and secondary students.

  • Public education has lost a valued friend and champion. Luis Ramos, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education's Council of Basic Education, was killed in a car crash earlier this week. Ramos was appointed to the State Board in 2001 by Gov. Tom Ridge. An active community leader, Ramos served as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board and chaired the Allentown School District's Empowerment Team in 2001 to draft a plan to improve student achievement in the district.

  • State Senators Connie Williams (D-17) and Gerald LaValle (D-47) will not seek re-election in 2008. Williams, who has served in the Senate since 2001, began her legislative career in the Pennsylvania House in 1997. LaValle, who currently serves on the Senate Education Committee and as Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined the Senate in 1990.

  • Three additional State Representatives announced this week that they will not seek re-election. Representatives Ron Raymond (R-162), Bob Bastian (R-69) and Lisa Bennington (D-21) will leave the State House in December 2008. Raymond was elected to the State House in 1984. Bastian was elected to the House in 1999 and currently serves on the Education Committee. Bennington, a freshman legislator, joined the House just one year ago.

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly will re-convene its 2007-2008 legislative session on Monday, January 14.

    Next Week...

  • As discussed above, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions to state high school graduation requirements as provided in Chapter 4 on Wednesday.

  • The Independent Regulatory Review Commission meets Thursday to consider final form regulatory changes to State Board of Education regulations governing Academic Standards and Assessments (Chapter 4). (These regulations do not include the proposed high school graduation requirements that will be discussed by the Board on January 9.)

  • The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors meets January 9-10.

  • The Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators hold their Leadership Team Conference in Hershey on January 11-12.

  • 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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