October 18, 2012

October 18th, 2012

Category: Early Childhood Education, News, Policy and Practice

Local News

The News Journal
State education vision stays on promising path
An editorial
It’s clear that the train of education reform that has been chugging along for the last five years in Delaware is quickening its pace and further distancing itself from years of mediocrity in the classroom. This was obvious Wednesday as presenter after presenter at the Rodel Foundation’s annual Vision 2015 Conference, shared data, celebrated personal stories of professional development and related classroom successes.

Success stories worth sharing
Dressed in business attire and prepared with presentations about their school, nine students from Seaford’s High Tech High earned a standing ovation Wednesday afternoon at the annual Vision 2015 Conference at the University of Delaware. “Remember, when you invest in education you invest in your country and us,” said freshman Grant Pollak. About 350 educators from across the state filled Clayton Hall for the conference from the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, a nonprofit that advocates for education reform, and the University of Delaware. Students spoke about project-based learning, and how they are seeing connections between education and the workforce.

Finland shows road to education excellence
An op-ed by Dr. Lynn Okagaki, dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware
In Finland, teacher preparation is the essential ingredient for ensuring high-quality teachers. All of their teachers have research-based undergraduate and master’s degrees. The actual training itself does not seem to differ much from what occurs at top research institutions in our country. But only a small fraction of our teachers have that level of rigorous training. Doing whatever it takes to make our schools among the world’s best is a daunting task, but one that this state in particular is well suited to tackle. Making sure that we are recruiting and retaining only the best possible educators who persist in addressing our children’s needs is step number one.

Building the bridge between families, schools, and communities
An op-ed by Michelle Murphy, the Parent Center and Adult Education Coordinator for the Indian River School District and parent
Family involvement in education has been a strong focus of Race to the Top (RTTP) and Vision 2015 because it is absolutely critical that schools, families, and communities work together to support student achievement. We all have a vested interest in creating a world-class public school system. It is the foundation for our future prosperity: without strong schools, there will not be qualified workers to meet the demands of the competitive workforce that Delaware needs to get our economy back on track.

State’s program for school leader preparation and certification places six aspiring principals for second program year
The Delaware Leadership Project (DLP) has accepted and placed six outstanding educators for its second cohort. These aspiring principals will be rigorously trained for the challenges of heading a high-need school in Delaware. Each has made a personal commitment to Delaware’s traditionally underserved students and is eager to continue the training that will prepare him or her for this work. Recently the state Professional Standards Board and State Board of Education approved DLP’s extension to allow for the preparation of a third cohort of aspiring leaders.

Vander Ark on Innovation– an Education Week blog
Racing to the Top in Delaware
The Rodel Foundation hosted the fifth Vision 2015 Conference. The First State scored first in the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition largely because of the vision, organizing, and grantmaking of the Rodel Foundation and its Executive Director Paul Herdman. The winning RTTT pitch was made by a team led by Governor Markell, an education champion. Markell, who chairs National Governors Association, kicked off Vision 2015. Markell was a leader in promoting state adoption of Common Core State Standards. He acknowledges the challenges of implementing higher standards, but says, “We’re on it.”

Content Delaware
Content Delaware is featuring video profiles of the five iEducate Delaware honorees: Tracey Roberts, Audrey Carey, Margaret O’Dwyer, Lori Roe, and Sarah Preston.

Town Square Delaware
iEducate Delaware: Audrey Carey
For the next few weeks, Town Square Delaware will be featuring profiles of every iEducate Delaware honoree, beginning with Audrey Carey.

National News

Education Week
Advocacy group offers a prototype for charter school law  
The Center for Education Reform released model charter school legislation that reflects the organization’s view of the features of a strong charter laws. The guidance calls for multiple independent authorizers of charter schools, including school boards, public charter school boards, state boards of education, mayors of cities, and boards of trustees of higher education institutions.

New ed-tech policy database unveiled  
The State Educational Technology Directors Association launched a new online database intended to help policymakers, researchers, corporate and philanthropic investors, and educators keep track of state-level policies directly affecting educational technology. The State Education Policy Center, or SEPC, will focus initially on broadband Internet access, online assessment, and digital content.

NBA great named California after-school STEM ambassador  
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be promoting the importance of STEM subjects over the next year as California’s After-School STEM Ambassador, state Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced at the annual California STEM Summit. Through his Skyhook Foundation, which he started in 2009, Abdul-Jabbar has been actively promoting the importance of STEM education and STEM-related careers.

Anxiety high over charters, K-12 aid in Washington state  
A tight race for governor, the burden of rebuilding a school funding system recently declared unconstitutional, and a fourth ballot measure in two decades on charter schools has placed Washington state on an intense—and unpredictable—road for education this year. Washington is one of nine states that doesn’t allow charter schools, and it is the largest among them in population.

College persistence linked to rigorous courses and academic advising  
A National School Boards Association study finds that keeping college freshmen on track to graduation is linked to higher levels of math in high school, more Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, and good college advising. The research focused on freshman-to-sophomore persistence rates, since college students are more likely to drop out their first year than any other.



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Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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