Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Local schools ranked among Pennsylvania's best

Conestoga High School
Pennsylvania's No. 1 school is Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School, according to new rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

The list of public, charter and magnet schools, released Tuesday, considered student/teacher ratio, college readiness and math/reading proficiency when ranking the schools.

The majority of the Top 10 schools are from Southeastern Pennsylvania.

1) Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School (Philadelphia, PA)
2) Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy (Erie, PA)
3) New Hope-Solebury High School (New Hope, PA)
4) Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School (Wyomissing PA)
5) Conestoga High School (Berwyn, PA)
6) Upper St. Clair High School (Pittsburgh, PA)
7) Unionville High School (Kennet Square, PA)
8) Radnor High School (Radnor, PA)
9) Wissahickong Senior High School (Ambler, PA)
10) Great Valley High School (Malvern, PA)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Texting-while-driving citations released

In the Philadelphia metro area, drivers in Chester County were most likely to be issued a citation for texting-while-driving in 2013, according to a new chart.

For every 10,000 licensed drivers in Chester County, there were 22.4 violations recorded in 2013. This was the highest number in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but still trailed Potter County's state-leading 69.3 violations.

Other counties in the area were as follows:
Montgomery County: 20.6 violations
Delaware County: 15.6 violations
Bucks County: 14.8 violations
Philadelphia County: 13.9 violations
Berks County: 11.6 violations

“Drivers are getting the message: it’s dangerous to text behind the wheel," Jenny M.Robinson, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a statement. "Enforcement is important as well, but the goal is to change behavior and get people to stop driving distracted - not just wait until they do it and then see them get a ticket.”

Five counties (Clinton, Forest, Fulton, Huntingdon and Sullivan) had zero violations.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania created the map based on research by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New: Flu Numbers in Montgomery County 2009 to 2014

This week the Montgomery County Commissioners announced they would be buying another batch of flu vaccine. They announced they would be purchasing 2,770 doses for $50,955.50 from Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. of Swiftwater, Pa. The commissioners said this was not competitively bid because  Sanofi Pasteur, Inc is the only manufacturer of flu vaccine for children as young as six-months and high-dose Fluzone for people 65 years and older.
The table above shows flu numbers over a five year period beginning in 2009. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Data Project: Searching Pennsylvania Pensions

In an attempt to get a handle on the pension crisis roiling budgets in Harrisburg and at 500 school districts around the Commonwealth, journalists at Digital First Media have set up two searchable databases of employees in the PSERS system, both retired and currently employed.

PSERS stands for Pennsylvania School Employee Retirement System.

The first data base allows you to access records of those in the system who are retired and receiving pensions.

You can search via name, retirement date, last employer or monthly pension payment.

(Searching for a pension payment or date will sort in the amount (or date) entered or greater.

It is embedded here:

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

The second data base allows searches of all education employees in the system who are currently working.

You may search via employee name, employer, fiscal year salary or current years of service.

(As with the previous system, searching for a dollar amount or time element will provide those who match that amount or time period or greater.)

It is embedded here:

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.