2. Charter reform bill SB 1085 headed to a vote in the Senate Thursday
3. Job Opportunity
4. Submit an article to PAESSP
5. News from Around the State and Nation
What, exactly, is an infographic? An infographic is a visual and fun way to represent information without a heavy amount of text. Infographics usually contain data represented in a visual way. They contain directional elements to guide your eye through the “story” you are trying to tell with your infographic. They break down a topic that is complex into digestible bits of information. 65% of us are visual learners, so infographics can be very helpful to get the basic concepts of a complex topic across to more people. Infographics have become more popular in the last few years because they are now designed to be easy to share on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter and pintrest.
The neat thing about an infographic is that you design one document and you can use it on as small a device as a mobile phone or blow it up to poster size. They are resizeable, something like a vector image. Design an infographic, and send it out through your e-newsletter, add it as an image to your paper newsletter, share it on your district’s FB and twitter feeds, post it on your website, and print posters for display.
You can use a website like piktochart, infogr.am or visual.ly to create your own infographics for free, or subscribe for a small fee for additional services on these sites. PenSPRA has begun creating infographics for our members. We shared one in October on public school achievement and have a new one on national test scores to share today. PenSPRA’s infographics are PNG files. Simply right click the file and save it for use in your district. If you have a topic you would like to see in infographic form, please let us know!
The best way to learn about infographics is to look at some, so we've included some articles and examples on infographics below:
On this site
you can register to design your own or just scroll through a large gallery of sample infographics. Some could be of use in your teacher’s classrooms.
Charter reform bill SB 1085 headed to a vote in the Senate Thursday
The charter school reform bill we reported on in the last issue of e-Comm is headed for a vote in the Senate on Thursday, December 5th. Here is a recap of the pros and cons of SB 1085:
- Eliminates the pension double dip from the state contribution. Currently charters receive pension payments from the resident school district and the state. SB 1085 eliminates the state payment, but not the school district payment.
- Permits institutions of higher education to authorize new charters, even though the universities have little financial stake or accountability to the public for the charter school’s performance. This is instead of authorization at the local level, and could result in increased taxes locally without local control.
- Requires payment for students who enroll in charter school kindergarten at age 4, or below the minimum age of enrollment for the resident district. The resident district would be required to pay the tuition to the charter school, a new expense for public schools.
- Doubles the length of a charter from five to ten years.
- Permits charter schools to unilaterally amend the terms of their charter, at any time, for any reason.
- Strengthens the charter school exemption from property taxes
- Allows for the merger of multiple charter school organizations
- Bans enrollment caps on charter schools
- Creates a funding commission
- Strengthens ethics act requirements for charter school employees and board members
- Requires annual audit and public disclosure
- Increases reporting requirements for truancy
- Includes educator evaluation requirement
- Requires 5 non-related members on charter boards, one of whom must be a parent of a child in the school
If you are so inclined, you can contact your Senator before Thursday to share your thoughts on SB 1085. Passage in the Senate Thursday will mean it returns to the House for a reconciliation bill.
for info on a Communication Specialist position with Battelle for Kids based in Pittsburgh
Submit an Article for the February 2014 Pennsylvania Administrator
The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PAESSP) is seeking principals and other educators to write for the February 2014 edition of its award-winning Pennsylvania Administrator magazine. This issue does not have a specific theme, so any education topics will be accepted for review by the Editorial Review Board. The deadline for submitting articles is Dec. 6, 2013.
Articles should be no longer than 1,500 words and must be submitted via e-mail as a Microsoft Word document. A biographical sketch and a photograph of the author(s) (saved as a JPEG or a TIFF file) must accompany all articles. E-mail articles to firstname.lastname@example.org .
News From Around the State and Nation
Right click on the image below to save PenSPRA's latest infographic for your use.