News & Brews March 7, 2022

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PA standardized test scores dropped in 2021

At long last, on Friday the PA Department of Education released standardized test scores showing student learning during Covid, and as expected, scores dropped significantly in math, science, and language arts. House Speaker Bryan Cutler (Lancaster County) responded, “We should be worried because these tests confirm what we have seen with our children over the last two years. No parent should have to wait a year to find out if their student is struggling in school.” Not surprisingly, the head of the state’s largest teachers’ union said the solution is more money—even though this ‘solution’ has not worked before. Here’s a better idea: let education funding follow the child to the school that best meets his or her unique learning needs. The Post-Gazette has more on the test results (including some graphs comparing results from 2021 with 2019).

House budget hearings today: Dep’t of Education

Speaking of education, today the House Appropriations Committee will hold budget hearings at 10am and 1pm with the Department of Education. This should be interesting. Later this afternoon, a 3pm hearing will focus on community colleges. The live-stream links for the hearings can be found here.

Op-Ed: ‘PA can substantively marginalize Putin’s global influence’

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (Centre and Mifflin counties) has an op-ed at Broad + Liberty calling on state and national leaders “to get out of the way of our home-grown energy potential and allow Pennsylvania to once again be a leader in our nation’s energy independence, which will make our country and our allies stronger and safer.” Benniinghoff writes, “To have people in the United States and Europe so reliant on Russian energy products when we have the potential right under the feet of Pennsylvanians to free the world from its reliance on these bad actors is a failure of leadership.” Read his piece here.

Where PA’s Dem U.S. Senate candidates agree, disagree

The Inquirer looks at where Democrat U.S. Senate candidates John Fetterman, Conor Lamb, and Malcolm Kenyatta agree on issues, and where they don’t. Hint: There’s a lot more agreement than disagreement. Read the piece here.

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