August 25, 2014
The News Journal
Is the way we evaluate teaches a farce?
Obviously, when it comes to Delaware teacher evaluations, something is not working right. Either Delaware’s school system is an educational version of Lake Woebegone, in that all teachers are well above average, or the establishment’s claim that the key to success is highly effective teachers is simply not true.
Demand tougher teacher standards
A letter to the editor by James R. Thomen, Montchan
The one thing that has remained constant is the control of public education by the teaching profession. Today, in New Castle County, the school boards (Red Clay, Colonial, Brandywine, and Christiana) are all dominated by members who are members of or have significant connections with the teacher’s union. All the players in the system — teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards support the status quo. They have a vested interest in the current arrangements. That is why we have a failed system.
Students returning to school
Students are returning to classes Monday in many districts across Delaware. Gov. Jack Markell was scheduled to greet students at Brandywine High School.
Why don’t colleges care about athletes’ grades?
A commentary by Kavitha A. Davidson, Bloomberg columnist
In his letters to University of California President Janet Napolitano and California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White, Newsom calls for “aggressive benchmarks” to be written into athletic directors’ contracts that create incentive for academic success, “or face termination, period.” He blasts the abysmal graduation rates of athletes in certain programs and cites the open position left by the resignation of Sandy Barbour, the athletic director at the University of California at Berkeley, as the perfect opportunity to reset the course.
Delaware schools prepare for influx of Hispanic students
The Indian River School District has already scrambled to accommodate a surge in their number of students. Superintendent Dr. Susan Bunting said her district had to reassign teachers last year to meet the needs of 70 mostly Hispanic, non-English speaking teenagers who suddenly enrolled at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown.
District administrators, teachers preparing for new Smarter Balanced state assessment
The Smyrna School District will be a busy place this year. From implementing new curriculum changes and standards to starting work on projects from the major capital improvement and current expense referendum, it will surely be an eventful 2014-2015 school. However, the biggest change could be that of the new Smarter Balanced state assessment test.
Cape High to issue iPads to all students
Some brand new technology awaits Cape Henlopen High School students when they head back to school this fall. In its iCape initiative, every student at the high school will receive a new iPad for school use, said Michael Kelley, director of curriculum and instruction. “The question is not why go mobile, but when and how,” he said.
Cape schools meet growth goals
Cape Henlopen schools met or exceeded learning growth expectations after the state completed the last year of test results using the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System. This year, however, at least 10 percent of HOB students improved their test scores over last year, leading to this year’s success. Michael Kelley, director of curriculum and instruction said he was happy to see HOB met state expectations for 2014 after not making it in 2013. “That said, all schools have room for improvement,” he said.
Changes needed for Milton schools
Pool the entire Milton-area elementary population and split it between the two schools by grade levels. The split might be kindergarten through two at one school and three through five at the other, or whatever makes the most sense based on facilities and student numbers.
IRSD adult education kicks off new year
The Indian River School District is teaching at all hours of the day, having announced its Adult Education offerings for the fall of 2014, which include everything from babysitting certification to aerobics.
Leadership, political winds buffet education advocacy groups
Michelle Rhee’s departure as the leader of StudentsFirst—the combative national K-12 advocacy organization she started less than four years ago—could represent a significant shift in the environment for similar groups as they balance their broader profiles with local advocacy and coalition-building.
Vermont state board opposes standardized testing
The Vermont State Board of Education is taking a stance against the testing policies of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, weeks after the state’s education secretary sent a letter to parents saying the “broken NCLB policy” has identified nearly every school in Vermont as low performing.
The teacher evaluation confronts the future
A commentary by Michael Q. McShane, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, and co-editor of Teacher Quality 2.0
In the past decade, two overarching trends have had an outsize effect on America’s education landscape. The first is the shift in teacher-evaluation policy whereby states are creating new models for measuring the effectiveness of teachers based on standardized-test scores and other objective measures of student outcomes. The second is how entrepreneurial school leaders are rethinking the design and organization of schools and leveraging instructional technology.
Inside Higher Ed
A growing number of states have begun to require community colleges to allow more students with academic deficiencies to skip remediation and enroll directly in college-level courses.
WRAL (Raleigh, NC)
Kansas schools to navigate education changes
After more than a decade of national education policy that promoted a test-centric view of schools, a better approach is finally materializing in Kansas, according to the state’s interim education commissioner.
Nixing Common Core could let some Ohio schools opt out of state tests
Common Core opponents spent another day urging lawmakers to pass a bill to eliminate the education standards in Ohio, and a key sponsor said it could lead to high-performing schools being able to opt out of most state testing.