Superintendent's Message - February 2016
Posted by Robin Smith on 2/4/2016
Thank you Punxsutawney Phil - I was pleased to hear earlier this week that Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, guaranteeing an early spring. The warm weather this week is a sure sign that good ole Phil will be right again and the dreadful El Nino winter predicted by some local prognosticators (Baker, Harrington…) is not to be. I, for one, am pleased that 60 degree temperatures and spring flowers are soon to follow. Unfortunately, the Groundhog Day theme is playing out in Harrisburg as the Governor and Legislature continue to squabble over details to a budget that is now historically late (219 days and counting). As wise man/meteorologist Phil Connors said in the movie, “What if there is no tomorrow. There wasn’t one today.” We are hoping that, like Phil Connors, our state politicians wake up from their slumber and produce a budget that meets the needs of all school districts so that we can continue to deliver the quality education our community has grown accustomed to.
ESSA – The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was finally reauthorized in December, putting an official end to No Child Left Behind. The new Federal law, entitled the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), makes a historic shift of educational oversight from the U.S. Dept. of Education to the states. The Federal government will no longer have the power to determine consequences for poor standardized test scores. The Federal government can also no longer require states to include student test scores in teacher evaluation. These decisions, and others, will now be up to the states. The requirement for standardized testing in grades 3-8 and once in high school remains, but it is now up to the states to determine how they interpret those results. The Federal government also is requiring states to evaluate the effectiveness of schools on multiple measures, not just standardized test scores. Expect to see changes coming from the state over the next few months regarding how School Performance Profiles (SPP) are calculated. Changes in teacher and principal evaluations are also expected.
The 2015-2016 school year continues to be a smooth and productive one. I am always invigorated when I visit the schools and see the amazing things that are happening. Please take time to read the links below that highlight these accomplishments.
Dr. Robert Gildea