Life of Learning

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
2:25 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

The "Light is on" For Catholics to Confess Wednesday

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is hoping confessionals like these will be well used Wednesday.
Credit Kim Tyo-Dickerson/Flickr

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is hoping a special focus on the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week will bring more worshipers into the church.  The diocese is making sure all 203 of its parishes are open for confession Wednesday night from 6:00 to 9:00.

The diocese is marking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops-sponsored “The Light is on for You” campaign aimed at calling Catholics to the Sacrament of Confession.

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Education & Learning
2:15 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

South Hills Genealogy Day Sunday March 10th

South Hills Genealogy Day takes place Sunday, March 10th from 9 to 2 at the Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road in Scott Township.  One speaker will be Marilyn Holt, who is head of the Carnegie Library’s Pennsylvania Department, where all the librarians are trained to assist people doing family research.  She said personal computers and online databases have increased peoples’ interest in researching their family history.

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Education & Learning
1:28 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Specter Collection Comes To Pitt to be Archived

The senatorial archives of Arlen Specter will soon be housed at the University of Pittsburgh.

The 2,700 boxes of documents amassed by U.S. Senator Arlen Specter over his 30-year career in the Senate are coming to Pittsburgh to be archived. The papers currently reside at Philadelphia University but the school has reached an agreement with the University of Pittsburgh to take on the collection.

Philadelphia University has never worked with such a large collection so it began looking for a partner after Specter handed over the documents.

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Pennsylvania Budget
11:18 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Corbett Administration Defends One-time Funding for Schools

The state Capitol is where the sausage is made, or so the saying goes. So perhaps it makes sense that, with so many big proposals to negotiate, there's been a lot of talk about links.

One example: the governor's liquor privatization plan has been linked to education funding, in that his proposal would put $1 billion raised through selling off state stores and liquor licenses toward one-time grants for schools - a program called Passport to Learning.

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Education & Learning
10:05 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Education Secretary Wants to Cut Backlog of Complaints

The head of the Pennsylvania Department of Education is looking for a way to solve a buildup of complaints against schoolteachers. 

About $775,000 is being requested to pay for additional lawyers to investigate teacher complaints and help fund the state commission overseeing teacher certifications. The funding will come from an increase in the teacher certification fee.

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said the funds will help clear up a pile of roughly 500 cases in which teachers face misconduct allegations.

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Carnegie Library
3:47 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Carnegie Library Gets More Revenue than Expected

Hours at several Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches could soon have longer hours.
Credit Joseph A. / Flickr

The Carnegie Library will be adding services and increasing hours at some of its 19 locations in the City of Pittsburgh because the property tax reassessment in Allegheny County has increased this year’s expected proceeds by $900,000.  Unlike local governments and school districts, libraries are not subject to the anti-windfall provisions of state law that require a millage reduction to limit tax increases.

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Education & Learning
10:29 am
Mon February 25, 2013

“The Big Read” Returns To Pittsburgh

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers is this Big Read In Pittsburgh book.
Credit Claire P. / Flickr

For the third straight year, the Community College of Allegheny County will dedicate a month to literacy.

This year, the Big Read work will be Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Debuted to great acclaim in 1940, the novel focuses on the experiences of a deaf man in the racially charged atmosphere of the Depression-era South.

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Education & Learning
10:23 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Cooper Foundation Honors Duquesne Students

Five African-American students at Duquesne University are the first recipients of scholarships awarded to honor the legacy of Chuck Cooper, one ofthe greatest basketball players in Duquesne history.

Cooper was the first African-American drafted into the NBA and after a six-year career returned to school to earn a master's degree in social work at the Univeristy of Minnesota in 1961.  Cooper worked as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Pittsburgh and later as Urban Affairs Officer for Pittsburgh National Bank, now PNC.

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Education & Learning
4:52 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

W&J College Unveils New Presidential Walking Tour

Washington & Jefferson College is unveiling a unique way to celebrate and honor past American Presidents that have spoken, stayed, or visited Washington, PA.

Professors Jennifer Harding and Thomas Mainwaring developed a walking presidential tour which offers a historical look at the connection between fifteen Presidents and the City of Washington.

She originally discovered that there had been several Presidents that had visited this city of nearly 14,000 (current population) because she was teaching the class “The American Presidency in Fact, Fiction, & Film.”

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Education & Learning
3:24 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Thon Is On at Penn State

The beat goes on for more than 700 Penn State students grooving at the annual 46-hour dance marathon for charity.

The IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is billed as the world's largest student-run philanthropy. The signature Penn State event is taking over the Jordan Center this weekend with thousands of students hosting pediatric cancer patients and their families.

As for the 700 dancers, they must stay on their feet in a 46-hour stretch ending 4 p.m. Sunday. They're getting lots of encouragement on the crowded floor set inside the home of Penn State basketball.

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Education & Learning
2:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Darwin Day Speaker Says Public Misunderstands Evolution

Duquesne University continues its annual exploration of Darwin's findings
Credit Duquesne University

Misconceptions people have of evolution lead them to believe males are the workers in every species and that some species are more advanced than others.

That’s according to Dr. Marlene Zuk, professor of ecology at the University of Minnesota and tonight's speaker at Duquesne University’s annual Darwin Day lecture.

She said people often see progressive evolutionary charts in biology books, ones where fish evolve into reptiles, then reptiles to mammals.

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Education & Learning
2:44 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Faculty Members to Vote on PA State System Pact

A proposed four-year contract covering 5,500 faculty members at Pennsylvania's state-owned universities is headed for a ratification vote by the union rank and file.

The leadership body of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties endorsed the contract agreement Friday at a meeting in Gettysburg. Union spokeswoman Lauren Gutshall says the tally was nearly unanimous.

The faculty members of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education have worked without a contract since June 2011.

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Education & Learning
6:42 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

MacArthur Foundation gives $500,000 for New Educational Approach in Pittsburgh

The MacArthur Foundation is awarding a $500,000 grant to create a Pittsburgh Hive Learning Network. The grant will be administered by the Sprout Fund. A Hive is a network of organizations including schools, museums, libraries, afterschool programs, community centers who collaborate to create new learning experiences. Sprout Program Officer Ryan Coon said the Hive is not a physical space.

"It's a program that supports activities in many places. Hive supported activities will occur at the museum, or at the Carnegie Library. It's a mechanism to support new learning activities."

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Education & Learning
6:49 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Coaches Trained for Pittsburgh Promise Students

The $40,000 Pittsburgh Promise college scholarship program is adding a new resource, called "Promise Coaches," in order to help more city public school students qualify for the Promise.   The informal mentors will be available to the scholars for encouragement, advice, or help, but they do not have to meet with their mentees on a regular basis. 

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Education & Learning
6:06 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Philadelphia Firm Recommended for Schenley Re-use

The review team contracted by the Pittsburgh Public School District through Fourth River Development L.L.C. has recommended that the board accept a $5.2 million bid to purchase the closed Schenley High School. 

PMC/Schenley HSB Associates, L.P. expects to turn the shuttered school in Oakland into 175 market-rate, luxury apartments. Fourth River said it chose PMC based on a number of factors including limitation of risk, and the ability and capacity to complete in a timely manner, and proposed uses for the property.

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Education & Learning
6:58 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

CMU Taps National Science Foundation For New President

Carnegie Mellon University has selected the Director of the National Science Foundation to be its next president.  Dr. Subra Suresh will take over the post July 1, 2013 after Dr. Jared L. Cohon ends his 16-year tenure.

"I am truly honored to have the opportunity to lead Carnegie Mellon University as its ninth president," said Suresh in a statement released by the university.  “I look forward to working with the CMU community to further our global impact."

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Education & Learning
8:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Pittsburgh Schools Report Slipping Test Scores

In its annual report to parents, the Pittsburgh Public School District said that on average, reading and math scores in all types of schools fell in 2012 with the worst scores going to the district’s four high schools where 50.5 percent of all students scored “proficient” in reading and just 36.1 percent hit the “proficient” mark in math.

The report has been posted on the district’s website and will be mailed out to all parents in March.

Moving on, Moving up

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Education & Learning
8:03 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

College Success Forum Focuses on State Education

What does it take to make successful Pennsylvania students?  Money, for one thing, said the keynote speaker at a forum held at Robert Morris University Monday.  Ron Cowell, president of the Educational Policy and Leadership Center, said the Corbett administration's $900 million slash to educational funding for the 2011-12 school year influenced the chances of a student succeeding.

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Education & Learning
7:12 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Union: 'Framework' Reached with PA Universities

Negotiators for Pennsylvania's state university system and the union representing about 5,500 faculty members say they have reached "framework" for a new contract to resolve a prolonged dispute.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties said the accord with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was reached early Sunday after two full days of negotiating.

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Education & Learning
6:25 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Diocese Of Pittsburgh Launches Catholic Schools Network

Pennsylvania’s third largest school system, the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Catholic Schools, has a fresh outlook on education. The launch of The Catholic Schools Network is a marketing initiative to create a universal platform to promote enrollment, retention, vitality of curriculum and awareness, and the benefits of a Catholic education.

The Network will include all 91 Catholic schools in the diocese, ranging from pre-K through 12th grade, in the six counties of the western Pennsylvania region. The formalized network was introduced to school administrators in January.

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Education & Learning
8:17 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Are School Vouchers A Fit in Pennsylvania?

This week is National School Choice week, and with events from California to New York, the debate over school vouchers is still hard fought.

School vouchers, or "Opportunity Scholarships" as supporters call them, are tuition certificates issued by the government to a family allowing students to apply that money towards private schooling.

Steve Robinson, spokesman for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), believes vouchers are unpopular, unaffordable, and unproven.

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Education & Learning
12:07 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

Lengthy Election Process Opens for Penn State Trustees

The latest election for Penn State trustee members may serve as another barometer of how well the university is recovering from scandal in the minds of alumni.

Only a housecleaning will do, some of the school's more vocal alumni say, in order for them to regain trust in school leadership following the turmoil that started in 2011 with the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges.

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Education & Learning
8:18 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

PASSHE/ASCUF Negotiations Continue - Each Side Calls the Other "Unreasonable"

The chairman of the board of Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities and faculty union leaders are accusing each other of being unreasonable in their stalled contract talks. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education points out only one union is holding out on agreeing to cost-saving measures.

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Education & Learning
8:58 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Details Of Bids For Old Pittsburgh Schenley Building Released

Faced with needed renovations ranging from 50 to 80 million dollars, the Pittsburgh Board of Education decided to close the Schenley High School building on Bigelow Boulevard in June 2008.  Schenley students and staff moved that fall to the former Reizenstein Middle School building and Schenley's final class graduated in June 2011.  

Nearly five years after the Schenley High School building was closed, there might soon be a buyer for that property in Oakland.

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Education & Learning
4:51 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Penn State Board Looks at Including Governor and President

Penn State trustees are weighing whether to make the university president and the governor nonvoting members of the school's governing board.

A trustees committee recommended the change Thursday, though the full board needs to vote on the matter. That may not happen for at least another couple of months, as the board studies other potential governance reforms.

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