April 10, 2014
Education secretary Duncan visits Delaware
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Markell met with teachers who are participating in the Delaware Talent Cooperative, an initiative that uses financial incentives to attract and retain highly-effective educators serving Delaware’s highest-need schools. While acknowledging the financial incentives, teachers said educational success does not depend on resources. “We don’t make excuses,” said Lamont Browne, head of school at EastSide. “A lot of schools complain that they don’t have enough money to make a difference.”
The News Journal
State urged to press on with Race to Top
Though the Race to the Top story is likely not over – originally a four-year grant, Delaware has asked for a fifth year to use unspent money – Arne Duncan returned to Delaware on Wednesday to show off the work that has been done. “Making such big, systemic change is hard. And we certainly aren’t here to say ‘Mission Accomplished,’ because there is a lot of hard work left to do,” Duncan said. “But I think Delaware has a remarkable story to tell, and I want to make sure people know it.”
U.S. Secretary of Education visits Wilmington
To mark the four-year anniversary of the Race to the Top program, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited East Side Charter School and Learning Center in Wilmington Wednesday morning.
Give students a jump on tomorrow’s jobs
If we want to fix the long-term jobs problem, we have to start early. This week, both Gov. Markell at the state level and Vice President Biden at the national level pointed the way on that front. They both proposed plans to provide young people a better path to tomorrow’s workforce.
Put an end to high-stakes student testing
An op-ed by Steve Newton, a professor of history and political science at Delaware State University and the Libertarian candidate for State Representative in the 22nd District
Those standards were designed to be tested via “performance assessment,” but the General Assembly thought individualized testing cost too much. Instead, they approved the DSTP, which lacked reliability and validity; failed to assess all the standards; and was compromised by backroom politics from Day One. DSTP was high-stakes: students who failed could not be promoted to the next grade without summer school and retaking the test.
Duncan, Markell mark anniversary of First State’s Race to the Top win
Four years after Delaware won the first round of competition for federal Race to the Top funding, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in the First State Wednesday to discuss what Delaware has done with nearly $119 million it received. Duncan and Gov. Jack Markell visited Mount Pleasant High School to mark the occasion, talking to students about college readiness and holding a town hall on STEM-related programs.
U.S. Secretary of Education visits Delaware schools
U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, along with Gov. Jack Markell, visited two Wilmington High Schools where they met with Delaware teachers, students and state education officials. There, they had an opportunity to see progress made with Delaware’s Race to the Top program, as well as the results of STEM initiatives and college preparation programs. Duncan highlighted that Delaware expanded access to high-quality preschools, improved test scores and cut its school dropout rate in half.
Local schools take top honors at Delaware Math League Invitationals
Math League teams and individual students from Alfred G. Waters Middle School and St. Andrew’s School picked up several awards at the Delaware Secondary School Mathematics League Invitation Meets last week. The Math League invitationals, sponsored by the Delaware Council of Teachers of Mathematics, include the top teams and high-scoring individuals from four regional competitions held throughout the year.
School safety monitors to gain legal power of constables
The Indian River School District aimed to better protect its schools this school year by hiring full-time school safety monitors, all of whom were required to have law-enforcement experience. Now, the monitors are likely to officially become constables, beginning next fall. But, though Delaware law allows constables to make arrests, the IRSD School Board does not plan to allow employees to exercise that power, due to the complications that result.
States looking to expand preschool confront debate over results, funding
Tens of thousands of parents in New York City will get a chance to send their children this fall to free full-time pre-kindergarten classes, thanks to a new $300 million state program announced jointly by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and city Mayor Bill de Blasio. Educators hoping to expand pre-K on the national level are keeping an eye on cost and quality.
The Hechinger Report
Students writing more – in all subject areas
Much to the delight of writing enthusiasts, the Common Core stresses the importance of student writing across all subject areas. The standards also specify that students should cite evidence from readings as they write, and not just invent stories or opine based on prior knowledge.
Inside Higher Ed
New consortium eyes apprenticeships as a degree pathway
The Obama administration unveils a new program aimed at making it easier for students to reap academic credit for completion of apprenticeships.
U.S. senator introduces bill to enhance career, technical education
Vocational technical schools would have access to better information about the needs of the local workforce under a new bill introduced by a Massachusetts lawmaker.
Colorado funding bill sparks high-level debate
A proposed higher education funding bill in Colorado would shift funding to “access” institutions, such as the community colleges, and target some funding to state colleges and universities based on such performance indicators as graduation rates.
The Associated Press
Idaho to examine mastery-based education
An Iowa Governor’s Task Force for Improving Education discussed a proposed switch to mastery-based education that would let students advance based on when they fully grasp a concept, rather than the time they spend in a classroom.