Education en College Students Still Struggling with Math and Writing <p>A great deal of concern is given to young children being ready to learn once they begin attending elementary school. But what happens when those children grow up and are ready to attend college?</p><p>A study by the U.S. Department of Education finds one in four college freshmen lack reading and math skills for entry level-college work. This results in students needing to take at least one noncredit remedial class.</p><p>California University of Pennsylvania is working to reduce the amount of remedial help needed by students. Daniel Engstrom, associate provost in the Office of Academic Success at California University of Pennsylvania explains why more and more students are coming into college unprepared. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:13:05 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 33343 at College Students Still Struggling with Math and Writing Number Of Pre-Baccalaureate Workers Expected To Rise In Healthcare Industry <p>Workers with an Associate’s degree or less make up more than half of the total healthcare workforce in the U.S., according to <a href="">a report released today</a> by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and those numbers are expected to climb.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:43:47 +0000 Michael Lynch 33107 at Jonathan Auxier’s Summer Reading Picks for the Kids <p>According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss amounts to two month’s worth of reading for lower income students. <a href="">Jonathan Auxier’s </a>lifelong love of children’s books has turned into a career as an author, writing for readers ages 8-14. He’s recommended some books young readers will enjoy spending time with this summer.</p><p>Auxier, who has children himself, knows the most important aspect of children’s books.</p><p>“Most of the things that I’m telling my two year old right now, who’s acting out a lot, I’m basically constantly informing her about what it means to be good, and what it means to be bad. I think kids are really sensitive to that profound moral question about what goodness and badness truly is, and children’s books, unlike adult books, which I think can be a little coy about those.” Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:00:54 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 32943 at Jonathan Auxier’s Summer Reading Picks for the Kids With 24 Members And 105 Days Left, Public Education Task Force Holds First Meeting <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pittsburgh’s City Task Force on Public Education is set to hold their first meeting Tuesday evening, a little more than three months before they are expected to present their recommendations to Mayor Bill </span>Peduto<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:57:20 +0000 Liz Reid 31087 at With 24 Members And 105 Days Left, Public Education Task Force Holds First Meeting Pittsburgh Council Bends Administration's Ear on Public Schools Task Force <p>A relatively small spending bill came before City Council Wednesday, but instead of focusing solely on the measure at hand, the legislators used the opportunity to bend the Peduto administration’s ear on the state of public education in Pittsburgh.</p><p>The bill would authorize the city to spend $20,000 to hire Preston C. Green as a mediator for the Mayor’s Public Schools Task Force. The legislation creating the body, which was passed in October and amended in April, requires a “trained mediator who shall serve as an ex officio member.”</p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:14:30 +0000 Liz Reid 30397 at Technology In Early Childhood Education Is Here To Stay, Researchers Say <p>The use of technology in classrooms is not new, but evolving hardware and broadband accessibility are changing how educators think about those tools in their classrooms.</p><p>At a forum on using technology in early childhood education, hosted Tuesday by the Rand Corporation, the message was clear: Researchers should continue to explore the use of technology in early childhood education, but the focus should be on how to best use it, not whether to use it.</p> Tue, 20 May 2014 19:03:55 +0000 Irina Zhorov 29543 at Roughly 20 Percent of the World Population is Learning Differently With Dyslexia <p>Some of the <a href="">most notable people</a> in modern history have been diagnosed with the learning difference known as dyslexia.</p><p>Inventors, entertainers, authors and politicians have excelled in spite of -- or because of -- the unique way their minds work. But reading, writing, and even speaking can be an ongoing challenge as well, and proper support can help.</p><p>Christine Seppi is the chair of the <a href="">Pittsburgh region of the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association</a>, and organizer of an upcoming conference on diagnosis and management of learning differences. She also has an adult son with dyslexia. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:02:47 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26898 at Roughly 20 Percent of the World Population is Learning Differently With Dyslexia Dyslexia is Common but Resources Scarce in Pennsylvania; Conference Tackles the Issue <p></p><p></p><p>Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability which makes it hard for those who have it to learn to read and write. According the Pennsylvania branch of the International Dyslexia Association, it’s the most common learning disability.</p><p>“15 to 20 percent of the population have some level of dyslexia.” said Pittsburgh region of the Association Chairperson Christine Seppi. “That’s a really huge number. Autism, which gets a lot of press, has one in 50. This is one in five or six.”</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:08:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 26654 at Dyslexia is Common but Resources Scarce in Pennsylvania; Conference Tackles the Issue Standardized Testing, Academic Success, and How a Local School Is Getting It Right <p><strong>Standardized: Lies, Money &amp; Civil </strong><strong>Rights</strong></p><p>Dan Hornberger has been a high school English teacher for more than twenty years. During these years, his concerns regarding schools teaching to standardized tests spurred him to action.</p><p>The result is a documentary titled <a href=""><em>Standardized: Lies, Money &amp; Civil Rights</em></a> which he produced and co-directed. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:57:26 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 25600 at Standardized Testing, Academic Success, and How a Local School Is Getting It Right New Education Task Force Adds City Voices to School System <p>Mayor Bill Peduto has appointed a 21-member task force which will take a look at public education in Pittsburgh.</p><p>The group includes elected officials, education leaders and others.</p><p>“We’re bringing together everybody,” said Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty, “unions, foundations, city council people, school board members and probably the coolest thing, three high school students who are going to be full voting members in this task force’s recommendations.”</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:48:23 +0000 Deanna Garcia 24776 at Black Community Leaders Come Out in Support of Pittsburgh's Teacher Evaluation System <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A coalition of parents, civil rights advocates and clergy stood huddled together in the cold outside Pittsburgh King </span>PreK-8<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> School on the North Side Monday morning to announce their support for the school district’s teacher evaluation system.</span></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 01:21:56 +0000 Liz Reid 24554 at Black Community Leaders Come Out in Support of Pittsburgh's Teacher Evaluation System PHEAA Hosts Free FAFSA Completion Sessions Across The State <p>One of the biggest challenges for students — besides getting into college — is how to apply for financial aid.</p><p>The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is helping students and parents by offering free FAFSA completion sessions throughout the state.</p><p>The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used to determine eligibility for need-based financial assistance, including the State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, work-study programs and scholarships.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 23803 at Pittsburgh Nonprofits Land $375,000 For Digital Literacy <p>Thirteen nonprofits in the Pittsburgh region have been awarded a total of $375,000 in grants from the Comcast Foundation to fund after school programs.</p><p>“Primarily, these are programs that are designed to have a sustainable impact on the communities,” Comcast spokesman Bob Grove said.</p><p>The organization awarded a total of $591,000 to 30 nonprofits in the Keystone Region, which includes parts of Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 19:59:35 +0000 Michael Lynch 24051 at Corbett Proposes an Additional $10 Million for PA's Pre-K Program <p>Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced an additional $10 million in funding for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts.</p><p>“Every child in this state should be, ready to learn, ready to grow, ready to succeed, and my budget sets an agenda in that spirit,” Corbett said.</p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 17:20:49 +0000 Liz Reid 23867 at PA Receives 'C-' In Teacher Effectiveness Policies <p>A “C-” typically isn’t a grade you’d run home to put on the fridge, but Pennsylvania is doing just that.</p><p>The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Thursday released its seventh annual report on teacher effectiveness policies, and Pennsylvania made the jump from a “D+” to a “C-.”</p><p>The “State Teacher Policy Yearbook” measures effectiveness in delivering well-prepared teachers; expanding the teacher pool; identifying effective teachers; retaining effective teachers; and dismissing ineffective teachers.</p><p>The average grade across all 50 states is a “C-.”</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 21:57:17 +0000 Michael Lynch 23682 at Can The Steel City Be Sustainable? <p>It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s made a comeback.</p><p>What was once one of the most polluted and economically strained cities in the country, now ranks 4<sup>th</sup> in number of green buildings and 5<sup>th</sup> in average annual pay compared to the 14 other benchmark regions, according to <a href="">the analytical organization Pittsburgh Today</a>.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 23174 at Virtual High School: Deep Freeze Didn't Stop Students from Attending Class <p>When temperatures dropped below zero in the beginning of January every school district and private school in Allegheny County canceled class. But a few schools made sure their students attended class online.</p><p>Seton La-Salle Catholic High School in Mt. Lebanon was among them.</p><p>Principal Lauren Martin explained they do anything they can to avoid having to tack on make-up days in June for bad weather earlier in the year because parents have already made summer plans and the kids are unfocused and eager to get out of school.</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Larkin Page-Jacobs 23002 at State House Passes Plan to Redevelop School Funding Formula <p>The state House has passed a plan that could bring lawmakers back to using a funding formula when doling out money to school districts across Pennsylvania.</p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:03:32 +0000 Mary Wilson & Kevin Gavin 22912 at New GED Exam Puts Students and Educators to the Test <p>The stereotypes about adults seeking GED certification can be ugly and simplistic. But the reality is that many lack a high school diploma for reasons largely outside their control: health problems, family issues and immigration status, just to name a few.</p><p>Some, like Rebekah&nbsp;Petrakovits, were home-schooled without proper oversight from school officials who were supposed to monitor their progress.</p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 12:03:49 +0000 Josh Raulerson 21493 at New GED Exam Puts Students and Educators to the Test Tech Conference Aims to Improve Traditional Education, But Connectivity Still an Issue <p></p><p>It’s no question that technology has changed the world over the last few decades, from how we shop to how we share our lives. In the U.S., many public school districts are in the process of making major changes thanks to technology. Leaders in education and technology are hoping schools get it right because a lot is at stake.</p><p>In the not-so-distant past it was pretty commonplace to be taught solely out of a text book and worksheets in the classroom – maybe you’d get a video on a sub day. Today, there are many more options thanks to computers, tablets and other smart devices.</p> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 21:09:51 +0000 Deanna Garcia 20147 at Legislation Would Have Convicted Teachers Pay Legal Bills <p>When a teacher is convicted of a crime the legal costs can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in many cases the school district is stuck with that bill.</p><p>“School districts can no longer afford to spend money on unnecessary expenditures, and this is certainly one of those,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-Philadelphia).</p> Sun, 17 Nov 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 19881 at Looking at the Achievement Gap, Students Still Left Behind <p>When the No Child Left Behind program was implemented in 2002, it had an overall goal of closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged student groups and well-off students and making schools and teachers accountable for the performance of their students on new math and reading standardized tests.</p><p>More than a decade later, the program has not had the desired results, says Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Students and schools in lower income areas continue to not do as well on standardized tests as students in more affluent areas. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:24:50 +0000 Katie Martin 19743 at Looking at the Achievement Gap, Students Still Left Behind Study Shows Education Grows Economies <p>Not only is state investment in education beneficial to students, but also it can help regions grow their economies, according to a new <a href="">study </a>by the Economic Analysis Research Network (EARN), a coalition of national and state think tanks.</p><p>The study followed state wage increases and productivity growth from 1979 to 2012. It found that high-wage states have a more educated workforce, and states can build those workforces through expanded access to low-cost two- and four-year colleges.</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:29:55 +0000 Tim Camerato 15468 at Federal Waiver Paves Way for State-Designed Criteria for Judging Schools <p>The waiver Pennsylvania received from the federal No Child Left Behind education law paves the way for a state-designed set of criteria for judging schools.</p><p>The federal mandate that all students must be able to read and do math at their grade level by this year won't apply. Corbett administration officials say it would have been too high a hurdle for many school districts.</p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 21:40:54 +0000 Mary Wilson 15306 at Phase 4 Learning Centers Serve As Last Chance High Schools <p><a href="">Phase 4 Learning Centers</a> are often referred to as last chance high schools by many, but to Phase 4’s founder, Terrie Suica Reed, it’s also their best chance for many troubled students to find success in their high school careers.</p><p>Though many students who come into her program come from broken homes or are even homeless, Reed stands firm in her belief that “with the right support, the right network, they can do anything they want to do.” Tue, 20 Aug 2013 20:33:28 +0000 John Lavanga 15154 at Phase 4 Learning Centers Serve As Last Chance High Schools