Republicans in the state House and Senate remain at odds over how to resolve the state's five-month budget impasse.
The House on Tuesday passed a $30.3 billion spending plan vastly different from the $30.8 billion measure that had already been approved by the Senate with the governor's blessing.
House Republicans said their smaller budget is more realistic, given the votes they can muster in their caucus. But Democratic House Minority Leader Frank Dermody criticized the vote as a waste of time.
The state Department of Education (PDE) has provided a list showing that 23 educators statewide have so far been disciplined in connection with adult cheating on the PSSA tests as a result of investigations that started in 2011.
Philadelphia educators make up just over half of those sanctioned, and they have faced the harshest penalties.
Officials will not say how many more cheating cases are still in the pipeline.
A former testing coordinator at Chester Community Charter School, the state’s largest bricks-and-mortar charter with more than 3,000 students, has been sanctioned by the state for “systemic violations of the security of the PSSA exams” over the five-year period between 2007 and 2011.
The school was under scrutiny for testing irregularities by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as part of a statewide cheating scandal that broke in 2011.
The Philadelphia School District plans to convene an assessment task force to study the impact of all the tests administered to city students and make recommendations for changes.
Chris Schaffer, deputy chief for curriculum, instruction and assessment, said that the task force will include parents, teachers, community members, and perhaps students.
The goal is to have its members in place by the December break and start meeting in January to reconsider the District's approach to testing.
The Caucus of Working Educators, which is trying to topple the long-dominant Collective Bargaining (CB) Team for leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, is protesting the union's election procedures -- or the lack of them so far.
WE, as it is known, also alleges that CB-loyal building representatives – the elected union leaders at each school – are improperly seeking to bar them from distributing flyers and holding meetings in school buildings.