Commonwealth Education Blueprint

Commonwealth Education Blueprint

The Commonwealth Education Blueprint is a multiyear effort founded and managed by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) to develop and implement a statewide vision for the future of public education. Through this comprehensive project, education stakeholders from across the state and from many areas of expertise collaborate to proactively determine what education should look like in years to come.


Pennsylvania will provide an equitable, exceptional public education that empowers all learners to achieve a meaningful, productive life in our democratic society.

The Process & Your Involvement

The project steering committee conducts meetings and collects data (ongoing since Oct. 2017) toward drafting the Blueprint. They have also been convening Blueprint study groups, focus groups and, now a statewide survey.

Your involvement is critical to the Blueprint’s success! We hope you will participate in this short surveyto build the foundation for public education in the future. Please complete it by May 31, 2018:

What’s Next?

After all of the data has been compiled and analyzed, a comprehensive report will be and will serve as the driving document to set and benchmark milestones toward achieving the vision and shaping all future education-related legislation and advocacy. We hope you will join us in distributing the Blueprint and this vision later in 2018.

For more information about the Commonwealth Education Blueprint, contact Ashley Lenker White, senior director of strategic initiatives, at (800) 932-0588 or

Nicki Minaj Continues Student of the Game Scholarship Program for Fans

Nicki Minaj Continues Student of the Game Scholarship Program for Fans


Nicki Minaj might have pushed back her album release date, but the Queens rapper is making sure her fans are straight when it comes to school. The Pinkprint hitmaker continues her initiative to pay off her fans’ college tuition fees, student loads and books, which she originally launched with her Student of the Game scholarship program last year.

On May 24, Nicki tweeted a set of instructions for fans on how to become eligible for the program, which includes using the charity’s hashtag, requesting the particular amount of money and then waiting for a direct message from her.

“Ok just send one tweet w/ hashtag #StudentOfTheGame saying how much $ you need & what it’s for,” she writes. “All $ will b paid directly towards the tuition, books, etc. I’ll fave ur tweet & DM you if you’ve been chosen, for more info. Not every faved tweet will get a DM.”

One of the fans was worried that they missed their opportunity to apply for the scholarship, but Nicki assured them that they could wait up to three days for a confirmation message from her.

Last year, Nicki helped a few fans out with their college payments, which inspired her to launch her new charity in order to help ease their financial burdens.

Yesterday, the New York native revealed that she would be pushing her anticipated Queen album from June 15 to August 10. While there’s no word on any tracklist or what the album cover will be, Minaj did say that there would be some surprises coming our way next month.

COMMENTARY: We Should Teach Math Like It’s a Language

COMMENTARY: We Should Teach Math Like It’s a Language

The United States has a math problem, and, like most middle school students sitting down with their homework, we are not finding any easy solutions. Young people in this country are struggling to attain the proficiency necessary to pursue the careers our economy desperately needs. Universities bemoan students’ inability to complete college-level math. Each year thousands of newly admitted college students are placed in non-credit-bearing remedial courses in math, a path that immediately puts them at higher risk of not completing a degree.

Maybe it’s the classics professor in me talking, but I approach this math problem from an unorthodox angle: Latin. In a 2011 article, “An Apology for Latin and Math,” high school Latin teacher Cheryl Lowe made a compelling comparison between the study of Latin and the study of math. Much like Latin, she observed, “math is hard because it builds so relentlessly year after year. Any skill not mastered one year will make work difficult the next.”

High school teachers have discovered that the unrelentingly cumulative nature of the study of Latin and the study of mathematics explains why students struggle to excel in either discipline.

A favorite lament of college and university faculty in quantitative fields is that students cannot perform college-level math. But what is college-level math?

In the world of classics, there is no such thing as college-level Latin. My daughter’s high school Latin teacher uses the same textbook for her class that I have used to teach Latin at Duke University, Whitman College in Washington state, and the University of Southern Maine. It turns out that there are only two differences between high school Latin and college Latin. The first is pace. I tell students that one year of college Latin is the approximate equivalent of three years of high school Latin…

Read the full article here: May require an Education Week subscription.

Some Phone Numbers Change at Michigan Department of Education

Some Phone Numbers Change at Michigan Department of Education

LANSING – Updates to the State of Michigan phone system have required the change of phone numbers for some offices and staff members at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

The new toll-free number for the main line at MDE is 833-633-5788.

A listing of the updated MDE Directory Listing, with contact information for the various offices at MDE, can be found under the “Contact MDE” tab at, or more directly at,4615,7-140-83834—,00.html.

If you know the name of the MDE staff person who wants to contact, you can search for their contact information at this convenient website:

All media inquiries should begin by contacting the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, with the contact information noted at the top of this press release.

At Trump School Safety Panel’s First ‘Field Hearing,’ Plenty of Focus on School Climate, Not Guns

At Trump School Safety Panel’s First ‘Field Hearing,’ Plenty of Focus on School Climate, Not Guns

Education Week logo

Representatives of President Donald Trump’s school safety commission, which is charged with making recommendations to combat school violence in the wake of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other tragedies, spent the morning at Hebron Harman Elementary School here learning about positive behavioral supports and interventions, a widely-used system to help improve school climate and student behavior.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who chairs the commission, and others heard plenty of discussion of restorative behavior practices in which students resolve conflicts through conversation, common expectations for behavior, and community building circles.

Read full article click here, may require ED Week subscription

600 Students Awarded Diplomas at Vassar

600 Students Awarded Diplomas at Vassar

By Jennifer L. Warren

POUGHKEEPSIE – Diversity. Tolerance. Pluralism. Being an American.

Vassar diploma candidates are all smiles just prior to the start of Sunday morning’s 154th Annual Commencement ceremony.

They were words and phrases frequently alluded to at Sunday’s 154th Vassar Commencement, in many ways defined the Class of 2018. This year’s group of 600 (which now brings Vassar’s all-time total alumnus tally to 39,566) was comprised of graduates from 47 states as well as 29 foreign countries or U.S. territories. 234 studied abroad in 39 countries on six continents. And then there are the long list of varied, impressive feats, spanning the athletic, academic and civic realms, by those graduates. It’s that range of activities, ethnic, racial and other compositions, and far-spanning backgrounds, that will prepare this group of young people for the challenges that will confront them as they venture off into the ever-evolving workforce as well as communities they will encounter.

“Your new voice, the one that you developed here, can be your greatest voice,” stressed Elizabeth H. Bradley, Vassar President.

Referring to “engaged pluralism,” Bradley further spoke of the critical need to depend upon two things should that voice falter: imagination and empathy. The first year President added, “Imagination will allow you to try to live like another does, seeing things through their lens; while empathy, will let you not just tolerate difference, but flourish with it, something that requires using muscle memory.”

That muscle memory is something the morning’s Commencement Speaker knows very well. Heather McGhee, leader of Demos, a nationally known public policy organization, as well as frequent guest on such national political shows as; “Meet the Press,” “Real Times with Bill Maher,” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” opened her passionate speech with an immediately riveting tale. Alluding to a time early on in here career when on live television a man said to her, “Im a white man, and I’m prejudice,” McGhee further detailed how she ultimately turned that initially very disturbing remark into a profound learning experience, as well as the man, into a good friend.

“I remember telling him (“Gary”) thank you for admitting his prejudices, as so many are afraid to do so,” said an energetic McGhee. “I then gave him ideas of how to combat his ideas, such as meeting with black people and reading, and he took my recommendations to heart over time; all of this made me think: What does it mean to be an American?” McGee then went on to detail the long list of seemingly justified reasons why so much discrimination has riddled this country’s history, adding that none of them were logical, fair, or humane.

Looking directly at the Vassar Class of 2018, she continued, “I think it’s going to be up to you to determine exactly what that means, challenged McGee. “As you go out today, I want you to remember, the majority of Americans, have not had the pluralistic education you have had here; it’s not going to be easy, but it is always worth it; being a better American is to love more people than the people who look just like you.”

Bringing her talk full-circle, McGhee, who co-chaired a task force for Americans for Financial Reform, one that made pivotal changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Consumer Protection Act, then smiled wide as the rain began to pick up momentum, and added, “Gary and I are counting on you.”

Scholarship Awards Recognizes 11 Students

Scholarship Awards Recognizes 11 Students

By Jennifer L. Warren

NEWBURGH – Eddie Ramirez often offers his friends a special kind of “economic” advice.

“I always tell my friends, don’t invest in the Stock Market,” related Ramirez. “Invest in the Latino community.”

Ramirez, the CEO of R & M Promotions as well as the Director of the Latino High School Scholarship Fund, has been diligently following his own people tip for much of his life- particularly with area youth-for over 20 years with the creation of the Hudson Valley Latino High School Scholarship Awards program. Together, with his wife Norma, the two have relentlessly sought out gracious sponsors so that these higher education monies, along with other forms of recognition, can be secured for well-deserving, often overlooked youth. Their efforts have now resulted in yet another milestone: 140 recipients have received these scholarships. A record-setting 11, who were honored at Newburgh’s Ramada Inn Thursday night, made that number official. And the selection was not an easy process: another record-setting number, 65 candidates applied. Each carried with him/her an impressive resume of academic, athletic, and community accolades as well as creative, well-written essays and stellar teacher references. That pool of candidates, along with the special ethnic flair of the scholarship, were just a couple of the reasons Newburgh Free Academy senior, Taino Caballero, was thrilled to have been chosen.

Pine Bush High School seniors Eduardo Jaime, John DeGeorge and Sean Bergos, were recognized at Thursday’s 20th Annual Hudson Valley Latino High School Scholarship Awards.

“When I found out I was one of the winners, I was super excited; it was the first scholarship I actually got out of several I applied for,” recalled Caballero, who is headed to the University of Albany in the fall to pursue a major in Digital Forensics. “This one is special to me because it’s for my ethnicity of Puerto Rican and Dominican; I’m going into the STEM field, which is related to the sciences (and technology), a place where the Latin female presence is not really visible, so I want to inspire more Latin women to join that field.”

The evening’s guest speaker, Jacqueline Hernandez, Town of Woodbury Councilwoman and Deputy Supervisor of Woodbury, knows all about taking uncharted paths and inspiring just the way Caballero aspires to some day. Attending a predominantly white, upper class student body at Colgate University, Hernandez spoke about the discriminatory challenges that gave her a “tough skin,” helping mold her into the persistent, hard-working, “never-take-no-for-an-answer,” woman she is today. Relating her initial career path in the sciences, she spoke of the “meant to be” twists and turns that steered her toward being a businesswoman as well as politician, two paths she had no formal training in, but possessed something much deeper.

“A lot of times you have your sites set on one path, but the journey changes; every part of my journey led me to a bigger picture,” Hernandez asserted. What I thought was a dead end, actually started a new season.” Urging soon-to-be graduates to take chances, be creative, and most of all: follow their passion, she added, “You need determination and a plan, and you then need to put wings to it, execute and make it come alive.” Hernandez said. “You can achieve and overcome, as long as you put your mind to it.”

Four Newburgh Free Academy high school seniors were honored at Thursday’s 20th annual Hudson Valley Latino High School Scholarship Awards. In total, 11 high school seniors were recognized for their academic, community, athletic and other outstanding feats.

At least one of this year’s recipients appears to already be living the life Hernandez alluded to. Kayla Deleon, has been hard at work this past year with the McLymore Foundation, an organization promoting non-violence in Newburgh. The Newburgh Free Academy senior has been assisting with the group’s mission of getting kids off the streets while using art as a form of expression rather than violence. “Being Latina really shapes your mind and how people see you,” said Deleon, who will attend SUNY Cortland with a major in elementary education in the fall. “So, I want to break the mold, and not be another statistic; rather I intend to come back to Newburgh, the place and community that raised me and made me who I am, and teach here some day.”

The post Scholarship Awards Recognizes 11 Students appeared first on Hudson Valley Press Newspaper.

Summer Reading: Resources, Book Lists, and Activity Ideas

Summer Reading: Resources, Book Lists, and Activity Ideas

By Laurel Killough, Connecticut Education Association

When it comes to summer, reading may not be the first thing—or even in the top ten things—kids have in mind! But reading can be the ideal summer activity. It’s fun, portable, can involve the whole family, and will help children academically.

These resources can help you put good books into kids’ hands and connect them to vibrant summer learning adventures.






  • supports the parents and educators of struggling adolescent readers and writers with multimedia information and resources
  • Colorin Colorado provides resources for educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in grades PreK-12
  • NAEYC for Families helps parents understand how children ages 0-8 learn and offers creative learning ideas to try at home
  • National Summer Learning Association focuses on closing the achievement gap through high-quality summer learning for all children and youth
  • Reading Rockets offers strategies, lessons, activities and ideas designed to help young children learn to read
  • ReadWriteThink provides access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction
  • ReadKiddoRead is the biggest get-your-kids-reading movement on the web
  • Understood helps the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues


Highline College Selects Dr. John Mosby As New President

Highline College Selects Dr. John Mosby As New President

During a special meeting today, Highline College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the selection of Dr. John Mosby as the next president of the college.

Mosby currently serves as vice president for student services at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, part of the West Valley Mission Community College District. 

Mosby has more than 23 years of higher education experience and holds a doctorate in leadership/higher education administration from the University of San Diego.

The selection follows a 10-month national search to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Jack Bermingham, who retired in August 2017 after more than a decade as president. 

“Our goal has been to find an open, inspirational leader who embodies and promotes the college’s values of diversity, access, equity and community and is a fit for the unique Highline culture and environment,” said Debrena Jackson Gandy, chair of the five-member board. “We are confident that we found such a leader in Dr. Mosby.”

Dr. Jeff Wagnitz will continue to serve as interim president until Mosby assumes the post, after which he will return full time to his previous role as a vice president. Mosby is slated to join Highline in July 2018. 

Founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County, Highline today serves 17,000 students and is the most diverse higher education institution in the state, with more than 70 percent students of color.

The post Highline College Selects Dr. John Mosby As New President appeared first on The Seattle Medium.

NAACP calls on Gary for community engagement in action

NAACP calls on Gary for community engagement in action

By Erick Johnson, Gary Crusader

With race relations and civil rights issues boiling in America, the Gary chapter of the NAACP is calling on residents to take action and become more active in their community engagements more than ever before.

The call comes as the branch prepares to hold its Annual Life Membership Banquet at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at the Genesis Convention Center.

Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the first Black woman to ever hold the position, will be among several distinguished guests to speak.

Lynch will share the guest speaker role with the Honorable Gonzalo P. Curiel, District Judge for the U.S. District Court of Southern California. Branch President Stephen Mays, and Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton, who serves as Honorary Chairman will also be in attendance. Dorothy R. Leavell, also an Honorary Chairperson and publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group (Gary and Chicago) and Chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), also will attend.

Making this banquet a Who’s Who event will be the President and CEO of NNPA, Benjamin F. Chavis. Earlier this year the NAACP and the NNPA made an unprecedented move to work together and pool their resources to step up the fight to advance and defend the interests of Black America.

The rights of Blacks and minorities in Gary and across the country are imperiled under President Donald Trump, whose populist message “Make America Great Again” has reignited racial tensions and threatened to roll back the civil rights gains that Black America has achieved in the past decades. With the heated mid-term elections in November, the new rules governing the U.S. Census count, the plight of Gary Schools and the state joining a lawsuit against Gary as a welcoming city, NAACP leaders are urging Blacks everywhere to turn up their involvement in politics, education and social issues that have torn apart the Black community in recent years.

With all 435 seats in the U.S. House up for reelection in November, Black voter suppression remains a serious concern in the wake of numerous reports of Russia spreading fake news in the Black community and meddling in the 2016 elections to help elect President Trump. The arrest of two Black men at Starbucks in Philadelphia has sparked a wave of 911 calls on people of color who are unsuspecting victims of racial profiling in restaurants, parks and schools.

“Now is the time to fight. We have come too far to allow decades of hard work, sweat and bloodshed to be vain,” said Leavell. “The Black Press stands by the nation’s oldest civil rights organization in calling on Black America to take their community activism and engagement to the next level. The future of Black America is at stake.”

“The NAACP must remain steadfast, unmovable and never silent about the things that matter,” said Stephen Mays, president of the Gary branch of the NAACP.

At the annual Life Membership Banquet, Lynch and Curiel are expected to address civil rights, immigration and other legal challenges the country is facing under President Donald Trump. Lynch became the nation’s most powerful attorney after her predecessor Eric Holder, the first Black U.S. Attorney General, stepped down in 2015. She was nominated to the position by former President Barack Obama.

Like Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Lynch has a bachelors and J.D. degree from Harvard University.

As head of the U.S. Justice Department, Lynch investigated the practices at several police departments across the country that were accused of racial profiling and police brutality. Days before she left the department in January 2017, Lynch’s department released a scathing report on the Chicago Police Department for its treatment of minorities in the wake of the Laquan McDonald case. Lynch also made headlines after she opposed then FBI Director James Comey, who called for an investigation into the personal emails of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton 11 days before the presidential election in November 2016.

Curiel gained national attention while presiding over two class action lawsuits against Trump University. The president’s university was accused of making “tens of millions” of dollars off its students who were promised a legitimate education and services. Both cases were eventually settled out of court for $25 million.

During his campaign for the White House, Trump repeatedly called Curiel a “hater” and described him as “Spanish” or “Mexican,” suggesting that Curiel was biased because of Mr. Trump’s calls to build a wall along the border to prevent illegal immigration.

Curiel was born in East Chicago, Indiana, the youngest of four children. His parents emigrated from Mascota, a small Mexican town near Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco. Curiel received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in 1976 and his Juris Doctor from the Indiana University School of Law in 1979.

The NAACP is the largest and oldest civil rights organization in the country. The Gary chapter is one of the largest branches in Indiana.

The annual Life Membership Banquet is a premier event in the community and is expected to attract over 450 business, political, educational, civic and religious leaders in the region.