PenSPRA News
Referendum rears its ugly head
We have been eagerly awaiting progress on the budget, but this week’s news included a surprising new twist, with a referendum amendment added to the budget package. This amendment to Act One would remove a local school district's ability to raise taxes without a voter referendum. 
Math class...for parents
More than any other aspect of the common core, elementary math raises many questions with parents. Some parents even find themselves stumped and frustrated by second and third grade math. One district invested some time in creating a math class for parents, which was very well received.  
Got new board members?

This is a silly question because after the 2015 elections, the vast majority of districts likely have at least one new board member and maybe as many as 5. PSBA is offering new board member training at several locations around the state over the next two months.

The when of posting

Likely you could figure out that posting on social media between midnight and 6 am is a dead time, but did you know 9 am to 5 pm is a slow time for Linkedin? A recent study of several social media outlets has some surprising results of when to post, or when not to post!

News from around the state and nation Nov. 11, 2015
Here is a roundup of some of the educational stories making news around the state and nation, from tighter vaccine requirements, to the substitute teacher shortage to changes in the PA Supreme Court. 
Symposium save the date
The PenSPRA Executive board met last week and we are proud to announce a date and location for our spring Symposium. 
Budget shenanigans
Surprise! We still have no budget here in Pennsylvania and schools and social agencies get increasingly worried as the days pass and blame shuffles from side to side in Harrisburg but no budget appears. 
Audit critcizes dept of ed
The Pennsylvania educational system made national news with the release of an audit by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. 
PSSA tweets from PDE
PDE has created some tweets that may be of use in communicating about this year’s PSSA scores.  
News from around the state and nation Oct. 21, 2015

Here is a roundup of some of the educational stories making news around the state and nation, from legislation to remove PSBA employees from the pension system, to a new bill which allows parents to opt their student out of the Keystone exam to the latest on the ESEA reauthorization.

Budget broken record
Our newsletter is beginning to appear to be a bit of a broken record, with repeated stories about the budget that all say the same thing: Pennsylvania is still without a budget. Of course, it remains a very important and real story to school districts and social service organizations in particular. 
Changes in store for the SPP score
Education Secretary Pedro Rivera commented last week that he is working towards a “more holistic SPP score.” 
Twitter tips
Technology is changing so quickly it is really difficult to keep up. Twitter has been around for a few years now, but if you aren’t a regular Twitter user, maybe you have missed out on some Twitter tactics. One way to increase your use of twitter is to get involved in a Twitter chat. 
News from around the state and nation Sept. 24, 2015
Here is a roundup of some of the educational stories making news around the state and nation, from outsourcing subs to implementing the common core to Keystone exam remediation. 
PSSA scores out of SPP rankings for this year
Pennsylvania requested a waiver from the US Department of Education for the 2014-2015 PSSA scores, due to the increased difficulty of the tests. The waiver was granted, and as a result, elementary and middle schools will not receive an SPP score for this year. 
Survey on social media and electronic communication use in schools
NSPRA performed a survey on electronic communication and social media use in schools. Read on for the top ten takeaways from the survey: 
News from around the state and nation Sept. 10, 2015
Here is a roundup of educational stories making news around the state and nation. 
Back-to-School Standouts
Students are headed back to class across the state and we are all excited to welcome them back. We wish you a smooth start to your school year. To help share the spirit, here are two fantastic back-to-school videos done by a couple of districts around the country. 
PDK/Gallup public opinion poll on public schools
For over 40 years, Phi Delta Kappa and the Gallup organization have coordinated on an annual poll on the American public’s views on education. This year’s results are out and as always provide us with some interesting feedback to use in our work. Once again local schools receive higher marks than the nation’s schools overall, and new this year we discover that 64% of Americans believe there is too much standardized testing in our schools. 
News from around the state and nation Aug 26, 2015
Here are some additional education new stories; a new app for school buses, the proposed stacked hybrid pension plan and PA’s tripled opt out rate are just a few of the education stories making headlines this week. 
ESEA moving forward; opt out provision included
The re-authorization of ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is finally moving forward. Both the Senate and the House have now passed a version of the bill, and the bills are moving forward to the conference process.  
PSSA results may require careful reporting
The PSSA’s were revised last year and the difficulty level was noticeably increased. Many educators and commentators predicted a drop in scores due to the changes in the tests and early reports of the soon-to-be-released scores indicate a significant drop. 
No progress on state budget
Here is the latest on the situation with the state budget.  
Member request/Member mentions
Questions and kudos from and about PenSPRA members 
NAEP Scores Released
Is it 36% or 78%... or both? 
Facebook and Twitter
New! Like "PenSPRA" on Facebook and follow us at "penspra1" on twitter.
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