May 23, 2017
The News Journal
Pilot School names new director
A new director with a familiar face is taking the reins at the Pilot School of Delaware this summer, replacing long-time administrator Kathy Craven. Alexandra (Alix) Reese Kokkoris, currently director of the school’s lower division, will take over for Craven Aug. 1. Craven, who has been with Pilot for nearly 40 years, 20 of which have been in this leadership position, will continue to remain actively involved, focusing in a volunteer capacity on strategic initiatives and fundraising.
Cape task force calls for expanding high school
Members of Cape Henlopen School District’s most recent Facilities Task Force largely agree that a bigger high school and a third middle school will be needed in the next few years. A pool and new district office are also considerations. Eighteen educators, administrators, and community members met three times this year to develop a new long-range facilities plan. Work called for under the previous plan will be completed once the district’s elementariness’ are updated.
Delaware Public Media
AG Denn avoids involment in General Assembly’s charter school battle
Delaware’s attorney general has decided to stay out of a contentious fight in the General Assembly over charter school enrollment. Three state lawmakers and the NAACP asked Delaware Attorney General this week to weigh in on legislation they say shuts poor minorities out of some charter schools. Currently, only students within five-miles of a few popular charters have preference when applying there.
Anger over budget cuts dominates education forum
Frustration over school budget cuts bubbled over at an education forum at Newark High School on Monday night. Moderated by State Rep. Paul Baumbach, the event brought together five people who all affect education in Newark but rarely share a stage: Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting, State Sen. Dave Sokola, Christina Board President Elizabeth Paige, Christina Superintendent Richard Gregg, and Newark Charter School Director Greg Meece.
An inspiring look at Middletown’s Thermogenesis robotics team
Middletown is known as a boomtown — over the past decade, it’s seen a surge in development, from housing to retail. Is a tech boom far behind? If Middletown’s youth sticks around the area, it’s a good possibility. Middletown, known for its M.O.T Big Ball Marathon and annual Hummers parade, is also known in FIRST Robotics circles as the home of two of Delaware’s four FIRST Robotics Competition (aka the big robots on the high-school level) teams.
Office of the Governor
Due Process Layperson Panelist Members Sought
The Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) is currently searching for volunteers to fill the position of Layperson Panelist. Under IDEA and Delaware Law, there is an administrative hearing process to resolve disputes related to educational matters. The ideal candidate for this volunteer position will have a demonstrated interested in the education of children with disabilities. Training is provided and if called to serve on a panel, compensation will be given.
Funding is Fundamental to Progress
Blog post by Neil Kirschling, program officer at the Rodel Foundation of Delaware
With the state’s budget situation casting a cloud of uncertainty in education (and beyond), the time seems right to take a look at education funding through the lens of something that is more than certain—that student needs have changed drastically since our school funding formula was developed in the 1940s. We often talk about an equitable, student-centered funding system as a standalone concept. But it’s not.
The 74 Million
Gifted education, race & poverty — How do we join forces to close America’s ‘excellence gap’?
As I travel the country, working with educators and policymakers on narrowing gaps in advanced performance among groups of students (“excellence gaps”), I’m usually struck by two themes, one encouraging, and the other worrisome. On the positive side, people are starting to understand that advanced achievement matters and become passionate about eliminating the excellence gaps that prevent the majority of our students from ever approaching it.
The Hechinger Report
How do we know what learning will look like in the future? We don’t
Erin Mote is a technologist and hands-on middle school principal with a strong belief in the power of personalized learning. Yet when she talks about the future, she is clear about how hard looking ahead can be. “We need to be honest, this is super new,” Mote told a packed audience during a session at the New Schools Venture Fund Summit on Wednesday, where she described how letting students learn at their own pace is transforming Brooklyn Lab School, a New York City charter school she co-founded in 2014, which has a waiting list of 1,600.
Working in the same Indiana school where I used to be a shy student, I use technology to help timid first graders speak up
Today, they would call me an introvert, but when I was a child, the label was “shy.” I remember the challenges of wanting to demonstrate to my teacher that I was paying attention or mastering concepts but often felt intimidated by participating in class. The classroom was an overstimulating environment. The number of people and all that surrounded me was enough to hinder my thoughts, let alone the fact that I was expected to process and interact. Unable to keep up, I would quickly shut down.
DeVos: It would be a ‘terrible mistake’ for states not to expand school choice
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos used a speech at the American Federation for Children’s national summit in Indianapolis on Monday to rally states behind the cause of expanding school choice—even though the Trump administration won’t force them to do so. In the speech before the school choice advocacy group that DeVos used to lead, the education secretary said President Donald Trump soon will propose “the most ambitious expansion of education choice in our nation’s history.