Pennsylvania school update: Achievement, school choice, and student drug-testing


Pennsylvania student achievement scores dropped last year for the first time since the tests began in 2002.  Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis blamed the decline on a statewide crack down on cheating but others say that recent funding cuts in education are responsible for the decline in math and reading scores.  This hour, guest host Tracey Matisak explores three Pennsylvania education stories starting off by looking at what’s behind these low student scores with Philadelphia Inquirer education reporter KRISTEN GRAHAM.  Then, WHYY’s education reporter BEN HEROLD explains the complicated landscape of school choice in Philadelphia and why parents have difficulty navigating it. Finally, middle school drug-testing for scrapbooking club?  A school in Milford, Pennsylvania requires students to take a drug-test if they want to participate in any extracurricular activities – is this drug prevention or an infringement on civil liberties?  We’ll talk about the school’s policy with New York Times sports reporter MARY PILON.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 100112_100630.mp3]

Photo Credit: Flickr user Larry Darling

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