June 19, 2017
Delaware Public Media
Teachers’ union president weighs in on state cuts to education, other issues
Lawmakers continue to squabble over how to fill Delaware’s 2018 budget hole and deliver a balanced spending plan by June 30th. Cuts to education are likely to be part of any solution and that’s not sitting well with educators. The budget writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) recently made nearly $16 million in education cuts and Gov. Carney has proposed slicing $37 million in state spending on schools. That has school districts and other education groups on edge.
When will public schools get better?
Ask Paul Herdman about the status of school reform in Delaware, and he delivers a blunt and direct assessment. “I’m probably more bullish than some,” the CEO of the education-oriented Rodel Foundation says, “but I’d say we got more done in the last 10 years than we had in the previous 30.” The previous 30 were years that many Delaware parents and educators were quite pleased to put in the rearview mirror, as those three decades encompassed the turmoil of court-ordered desegregation in northern New Castle County followed by feelings of disappointment or “I told you so” when the hoped-for academic improvement of low-income children failed to materialize countywide.
Trump administration wants more info on three state ESSA plans
The Trump administration has given three states—Delaware, Nevada, and New Mexico—a detailed list of information that they need to supply in order to get their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act approved. And some of the asks—especially to Delaware—give clues as to how the U.S. Department of Education is interpreting parts of ESSA. For instance, the department wants Delaware to reconsider its proposed student achievement goals, since it doesn’t consider them to be “ambitious.”
TeenSHARP Delaware just celebrated its first graduating class
Alejandra Villamares stood in front of the Howard High School of Technology Class of 2017 earlier this month and delivered her salutatorian speech. In the audience, along with her family and friends, was Tatiana Poladko, CEO and founder of TeenSHARP. Poladko started the New Jersey -based organization, whose mission is to prepare students of color for the nation’s top colleges, with her husband Antre Alleyne in 2009.
The News Journal
Delaware students headed to service academies
On June 13, U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester congratulated students accepted into U.S. service academies during a reception in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Each year, students interested in attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy or U.S. Military Academy apply for a nomination through members of the United States Congress.
Sophomore a ‘future medical leader’
A Charter School of Wilmington student has been named a delegate the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston on June 25-27. James Delinois, a sophomore, will join students from across the country and hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research, witness stories told by patients considered living medical miracles and learn about cutting-edge medical advances.
Dalai Lama: Modern education needs to focus on compassion
The Dalai Lama says modern education is falling short on its responsibility to teach compassion. The 81-year-old Buddhist monk spoke Friday to a crowd of about 25,000 at the University of California, San Diego, one day before he is scheduled to give a commencement speech to graduates. Some Chinese student organizations objected to his visit. Chinese nationals make up roughly 12 percent of the student body.
Does closing high schools change student outcomes? It depends on where students go next.
If Indianapolis Public Schools leaders follow through on their plan to close high schools, it will be painful for families, alumni, and neighborhoods. But the impact on current and future students is uncertain. District leaders have attempted to lessen the pain of high school closures with a promise: The new schools will be better for students, with more advanced classes and more opportunities for students to get specialized career training.
Beyond the test score horse race: 5 big questions researchers are asking about charter schools
The latest big charter school study was sweeping in scope, looking at thousands of students in 26 states across three school years. But the study (and lots of other research on charter schools) uses that data to answer a relatively narrow question: How do students, usually in grades 4-8, perform on math and reading tests compared to students in traditional public schools? This could be called the “test score horse race.” Some researchers are moving beyond that, to try to understand issues like what specific charter approaches are most effective and how charter schools affect larger communities.
What will Trump’s FCC mean for America’s schools?
A change in leadership at the Federal Communications Commission has led to rising uncertainty about the future of efforts to boost broadband access, preserve an open internet, and protect online privacy—all issues affecting the K-12 sector. Atop education leaders’ list of concerns is the E-rate, a $3.9 billion federal program that helps schools and libraries pay for telecommunications services.
A school that provides the one constant in homeless children’s lives
On the last day of school, the 5th grade students at Positive Tomorrows perform last-minute rehearsals for the inaugural “Classy Awards.” Teachers, parents, and mentors file into the classroom through a doorway pasted with dangling gold stars, along a red paper carpet. While similar scenes play out in classrooms across the country, this particular group of fifth-graders has a more uncertain future than most.