Life of Learning

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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Education & Learning
5:12 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

PASSHE, APSCUF Negotiations Continue

More than six months after their old contract expired, the Pennsylvania State System for Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) are still without a new pact but the two sides will return to the table Wednesday.  

After a long break over the holidays, negotiations resumed last Friday to discuss top issues in efforts to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. 

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Education & Learning
5:58 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

CCAC Boyce Campus to Close Over the Weekend for Emergency Electrical Work

The Community College of Allegheny County Boyce campus in Monroeville will be closed from Friday at 6pm through Sunday, while crews work to update transformers.

“There are a number of transformers feeding the campus that are definitely showing their age and have been causing some power fluctuations at the facitlity,” said CCAC Spokesman David Hoovler, “workers will be replacing the faulty transformers and looking for any additional equipment that may be damaged and contributing to some of the problems.”

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Education & Learning
7:43 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Free GED Program for Pittsburghers

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More than 1.6 million people in Pennsylvania do not have a high school diploma or equivalent degree.  A free program being offered by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and Everest Institute-Pittsburgh aims to change that statistic.  

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Education & Learning
8:12 am
Wed January 9, 2013

CCAC Uses Grant to Get Students Their Degree Faster

The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is using a developmental grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to design new ways to help students finish college in three years.

The grant, which is less than $10 thousand, is a part of the Community College Roadmap Project, which helps community colleges create proactive programs for academic support.

Mary Frances Archey, Vice President for Student Success and Completion at CCAC, said the money will be used in three areas to promote academic progress.

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Education & Learning
8:31 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Volunteers Needed to Interview Pittsburgh Public School District Principals

The education watchdog group A+ Schools is looking for volunteers who will help the organization conduct interviews with Pittsburgh Public School District principals this February.

It will be the fourth year of the "School Works" interviews for A+ Schools, which organizes the data it gathers into a report each spring. Past years have seen the group hold talks with teachers and guidance counselors as well as principals.

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Education & Learning
6:03 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Pitt Panthers Go Bowling Saturday

The Pitt Panthers are headed back to the BBVA Compass Bowl for the third straight year after becoming bowl eligible on the final weekend of the regular season.

Coach Paul Chryst has guided the Panthers to a fifth consecutive bowl appearance despite going 3-4 in-conference in their final season in the Big East before moving to the ACC.

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Education & Learning
9:09 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Students Plunge into Pittsburgh Poverty

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Pittsburgh-area students attending the University of Notre Dame will take the "Urban Plunge" into the city from Thursday to Saturday.  It's the 35th year for the event that aims to raise awareness about social justice and poverty through local programs hosted by social justice organizations including Just Harvest and the Thomas Merton Center.

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Education & Learning
8:19 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

State Senator: PSU NCAA Fine Should be Spent In-State

One state senator says he is done asking nicely for the $60 million fine against Penn State to be spent in the commonwealth. Centre County Republican Jake Corman says has sent two letters to the NCAA, which fined PSU in July for the role the school’s football program played in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

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Education & Learning
6:34 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Shrubs from Mellon Arena Thriving in Homewood

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Education & Learning
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Gifting a Higher Education

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Pennsylvania’s students are carrying about 10% more debt than the average student in the country, so what better gift to give a newborn, infant, or teenager than a college education fund?

It may not come with a shiny bow and fancy wrapping paper, but the state treasury’s 529 College Savings Programs are appealing to Pennsylvania families who want to save big on higher education. 

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Education & Learning
12:50 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

PASSHE Chancellor To Leave Post

The 14-university Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education said Thursday that its chancellor will be leaving to take a job in Washington, D.C.

The system said John Cavanaugh will depart at the end of February to run the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

The executive vice chancellor, Peter Garland, will take over on an acting basis after Cavanaugh leaves.

Board chairman Guido Pichini called Cavanaugh "one of the brightest minds in higher education today" and credited him for new ideas and high standards.

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