Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, September 13:
Classes began in Pennsylvania's 500 school districts over the past two-and-a-half weeks. The start of the school year is perhaps when most people think about education. There aren't any major wholesale changes in Pennsylvania schools for 2012-2013, but every school year does bring new issues.
State Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis will appear on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk to address reforms that have been adopted and others that have been proposed.
A new way to evaluate teacher performance is one of the key modifications, although it won't be implemented until the 2013-2014 school year. Up until now, teachers were graded simply by classroom observation and were deemed either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. More than 99% were observed to be satisfactory.
Under the new system, student performance, using several different criteria, will make up 50% of a teacher's evaluation and the other half will be determined by classroom observation.
We'll address several other issues with Sec. Tomalis, including charter school funding and school choice.
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