Pennsylvania: Tell the Legislature It's Time To Transform Our Schools
Every child in Pennsylvania -- regardless of his or her background or zip code -- deserves a great teacher.
Recently, Governor Corbett announced his plan to transform Pennsylvania’s public schools. The plan calls for a new comprehensive teacher evaluation system that is focused on student learning.
It is absolutely critical that Pennsylvania identifies, rewards and retains great teachers and provides all teachers with professional development tailored to their specific needs. This is a great first step, but in order to ensure every child has a great teacher we must go even further.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania lost outstanding teachers to layoffs because layoff decisions were based solely on seniority with no regard to teacher quality. Pennsylvania must end “last in, first out” (LIFO) layoff policies to ensure that effective teachers stay in the classroom where they belong.
The governor's proposal also will give parents more quality school options by enabling high performing charter schools to serve more students. Charter schools -- which are public schools that have more flexibility and can develop innovative programs to meet the needs of their students -- are one key option for many parents.
With great schools and great teachers, all students have the chance to succeed.
Take action today to urge your legislators to ensure all students get the education they deserve -- and that students never again lose great teachers.
I urge you to push for legislation this year that will transform Pennsylvania’s schools. Today, fewer than half of Pennsylvania’s middle and elementary school students are proficient in math and reading. This is unacceptable. In order to address this injustice, we must ensure that every student has a great teacher and can attend a great school.
Governor Corbett’s plan is a great first step. A comprehensive teacher evaluation system is critical to supporting a high quality teaching force. We must be able to identify, reward and retain great teachers.
In addition, while we work to improve the 100 schools in Pennsylvania that are classified as “failing” we must give parents other options. Public charter schools -- which have more flexibility to implement innovative programs to serve their students -- are one key option for many parents. The governor's plan enables high performing charter schools to expand so they can serve more kids, and at the same makes it easier to close underperforming charters.
However, we must take these proposals a step further. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania lost outstanding teachers to layoffs because layoff decisions were based solely on seniority with no regard to teacher quality. Pennsylvania must end “last in, first out” (LIFO) layoff policies to ensure that effective teachers stay in the classroom where they belong.
Please do your part to make sure these proposals get passed and to push for an end to LIFO layoff policies. The students of Pennsylvania deserve your support.
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