August 8, 2017
Delaware State News
Delaware school district reduction requires a preliminary step
Opinion by Ron Russo, senior fellow with the Caesar Rodney Institute and founding president of the Charter School of Wilmington
Any district reduction study must first consider a bold systemic change to the way the current, bureaucratic education system operates with school boards and district hierarchies. If operational decision-making authority is not shifted to the local buildings, we will end up with the same erroneous conclusions of the 2002 study conducted by the Delaware Secretary of Education in response to House Resolution 54.
Topic of school district consolidation heats up in Delaware
A task force aimed at discussing the number of school districts in Delaware amid calls for consolidation of the state’s nearly 20 districts met for the first time this week. The task force, which includes a number of lawmakers, school district representatives, and parents, was formed after legislation was passed in the General Assembly this year. Some lawmakers have been pushing for a reduction of the 19 school districts in Delaware, saying it could save the state a significant amount of money.
No Child Left Behind is dead. But have states learned from it?
NCLB had grown increasingly unpopular, blamed for setting impossible-to-reach goals, inciting test-prep frenzy, and unfairly targeting high-poverty schools. (The law has defenders, too, who point to evidence that it increased student achievement in math and provided important new breakdowns of performance data by race.) ESSA gave states a chance to start fresh. To date, 16 states and Washington, DC have submitted their plans to implement the law; one plan, Delaware’s, has been approved by the Department of Education.
Many teachers have ‘no say’ in decisions about their pwn PD, survey finds
Teachers tend to think their school leaders prioritize professional learning, but say they are rarely involved in the decision-making process, a new survey found. Three organizations—Corwin, a publisher of professional development materials; Learning Forward, a professional-learning membership organization; and the National Education Association—surveyed more than 6,300 teachers from across the United States.
This school district asked real estate agents to help rekindle its reputation
Brian MacDonald was looking for a new home several years ago in the wealthy city of Pasadena, Calif. He says when he told the real estate agent that he had five school-aged children, she told him not to enroll in Pasadena’s public schools. That was pretty surprising to MacDonald. He’s the school district’s superintendent.
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota receives federal feedback on education plan
The U.S. Department of Education has given feedback on North Dakota’s plan to comply with a new federal education law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said she spoke Monday with Education Department officials via a telephone conference call, one which she called “positive, substantive, and cordial.” Education Department officials have requested additional information on several parts of the state’s plan, and the department’s evaluation of the plan and notes from the expert peer reviewers who examined it will be made public this week, according to Baesler.
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Editorial: Early childhood education and economic growth
As Shawnee County moves closer to the implementation of Momentum 2022 — a strategic plan to improve quality of life, spur economic development and attract new people to our community over the next five years — we must remember the vital role that education will play in this process. And we’re not just talking about secondary and postsecondary attainment — primary education and even early childhood development are also indispensable for the creation of a more dynamic and stable workforce.
The Washington Post
Virginia drafts new plan to hold struggling schools accountable
Virginia school officials have proposed a new accountability plan to identify struggling schools, but the plan gives few specifics for how to boost their performance. The plan is part of the state’s effort to comply with the federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. The proposal contains far fewer concrete prescriptions for schools that consistently fall short of benchmarks because federal law no longer requires it.