July 10, 2017
Top 10: Local OM team makes a big splash at world finals
It was a worldwide honor for some of Indian River School District’s most creative students recently, as a middle-school team placed in the Top 10 at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Around the globe, Odyssey of the Mind encourages creative problem-solving in students from elementary school to college. In May, thousands of students flocked to Michigan State University for the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work and outside-the-box creativity.
Budget woes dominate legislative session
Blog post by Melissa Hopkins
The Delaware General Assembly ended its session this year on an interesting quirk and plenty of frustration. After going past the June 30 budget deadline for the first time in decades, the legislative session officially concluded in the early morning hours of July 2nd, after a required extended time window, and a contentious budget negotiation. In years past, education policy issues have dominated the legislature’s agenda, but a sizable deficit and tense budget negotiations resulted in an attention shift.
Sussex County Post
Family’s donation covers Indian River High School’s new back entrance sign
From now on, it will be difficult to miss the back entrance to Indian River High School. A new sign is in place along Main Street: a 5-foot by 8-foot beacon in Indian River green and gold with the school’s Indian logo. The cost of the sign – $3,112.59 – has been covered entirely by a generous donation from family of the late Valerie Brewington Rogers, a 1978 Indian River High School graduate.
The News Journal
After Brandywine lawsuit, school weapons law made more flexible
Thanks to a bill passed by the General Assembly, schools in Delaware will have more discretion when it comes to disciplining students that bring weapons to school. The bill was authored by Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Hockessin, and inspired by a settlement between Brandywine School District and Joseph Wahl, a student suspended for five days after a knife was found in his backpack in 2015.
We must be willing to pay for better schools
Opinion by Laura Sturgeon, teacher at Concord High School
The Delaware General Assembly passed a budget that doesn’t solve the long-term fiscal issues in our state. While the budget includes hard-fought increases on the alcohol, tobacco, and realty transfer taxes, it, unfortunately, did not create new tax brackets with higher marginal rates on upper-income earners. As a result, the services we rely on, including our public education system, are facing funding cuts that will undoubtedly have a negative effect in the classroom.
Democracy Project institute
Fourteen Delaware school teachers gathered in Graham Hall on the University of Delaware’s main campus to begin the 19th annual Democracy Project Summer Institute for Teachers on Monday morning, June 19. The goal of the institute is to help the teachers hone their classroom skills in focusing on the teaching of democracy and civic engagement.
19 AGs sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules
Democratic attorneys general from 18 states and the District of Columbia sued U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday over her decision to suspend rules that were meant to protect students from abuse by for-profit colleges. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, says DeVos violated rule-making laws when she announced a June 14 decision to delay so-called borrower defense to repayment rules, which were finalized under President Barack Obama and scheduled to take effect July 1.
Kids struggling with addiction need school, too, but there are few options
When young people struggle through addiction or substance abuse, there’s also the question of school. Getting behind academically can be detrimental to learning and future success, but traditional school can be tough for kids whose peer groups use drugs or alcohol and where treatment resources can be limited. Research shows that students in recovery schools, designed to meet both academic and therapeutic needs, have better sobriety levels — and usually better grades, than students with addiction who remain in regular class settings.
The 74 Million
NEA’s new charter schools policy isn’t new, just matches union’s long-held action plan
Delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly approved a new policy statement on charter schools last week. The new policy’s language is significantly more hostile to charters than the 2001 policy it supersedes. The number of charter schools in the U.S. has more than tripled in the 16-year interim and spread to 44 states. It is natural to expect that NEA policy would adjust accordingly.
Why the long arc of school-choice research may bend toward vouchers
Past research on Louisiana’s school-voucher program came to a bleak conclusion: Students who used the program to transfer to a private school saw their test scores plummet. A new study complicates that narrative, finding some good—or at least, less bad—news about the closely watched program. The research shows that, for students who received a voucher at the middle or end of elementary school, there were no statistically significant effects on their math or reading test scores by the third year in the program.
The Hechinger Report
Mississippi learning: Five programs you should know about in Mississippi’s ESSA plan
Mississippi is currently accepting public comments on its Every Student Succeeds Act plan, which describes how the state will meet requirements of the federal law. The plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in September. Many ESSA requirements went into effect during the 2016-17 school year; others will be enacted during the 2017-18 school year. Mississippi’s plan, which ran to 108 pages by mid-June, covers a myriad of topics and provides some insight into the educational areas the state may prioritize in the next few years.
The New York Times
DeVos’s hard line on new education law surprises states
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who made a career of promoting local control of education, has signaled a surprisingly hard-line approach to carrying out an expansive new federal education law, issuing critical feedback that has rattled state school chiefs and conservative education experts alike. President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 as the less intrusive successor to the No Child Left Behind law, which was maligned by many in both political parties as punitive and prescriptive.