Challenges facing Pennsylvania schools

As students and teachers head back to class, Smart Talk takes a look at some of the challenges facing Pennsylvania public schools. Appearing on Friday’s the program are Ronald Cowell, executive director of The Education Policy and Leadership Center, John Callahan, chief advocacy officer with Pennsylvania School Boards Association, and superintendent of Cumberland Valley School District Dr. Frederick Withum.

There are many issues and questions to address on the program and among the topics we’ll consider with the panel are:

School funding — what will it take to be more equitable in Pennsylvania?
School safety — what are schools doing to keep students safe?
Standardized testing
Graduation requirements — some new in Pennsylvania this year
Teacher shortages — does Pennsylvania have one or is it restricted to rural and inner city areas?
Unfunded mandates
Academic areas in which Pennsylvania is strong and weak
Recent state legislation impacting education
Scheduling — specifically, what time should classes begin?
For more information, check out these resources:

Economic Policy Institute report on teacher compensation
Pennsylvania School Boards Association report on mandates
Pennsylvania State Education Association news