October 2, 2012

October 2nd, 2012

Category: News, Policy and Practice

Local News

The News Journal
Laurel selects D.C.-area man as superintendent
Laurel School District has appointed John Ewald, the principal of an elementary school in a Washington, D.C.-area suburb, as its schools superintendent effective Oct. 1.

ACLU eyes board action
The Delaware American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a court order to force the Christina School Board to seat a former board president who was the only applicant for a board vacancy. The failure to appoint George E. Evans to a seat reserved for a Wilmington representative that has been empty since June is a violation of the law and is a disservice to city residents who “need and deserve strong representation on the Christina board,” said executive director Kathleen MacRae.

Why wasn’t Evans selected for board?
A letter to the editor by Bebe Ross Coker
Christina School District Board of Education has again denied membership to longtime school advocate and former board member, attorney George Evans. Placement of his name for membership resulted in an embarrassing tie vote. With all due respect to the current membership, attorney Evans is undeniably more qualified for membership than any persons currently seated.

Delaware Department of Education
Delaware teachers say time to plan together, data coach help valuable
Delaware teachers feel the 90 minutes of weekly time to plan together with colleagues and data coaches is helping them build useful skills and giving them more confidence in making instructional decisions based on data, according to the results of a state survey of educators across Delaware. Respondents also outlined challenges and areas for improvement. Recommendations will lead to adjustments at the state and local level. For example, teachers indicated a desire to better align their PLCs with implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

National News

Los Angeles Times
California limits role of student tests in API scores  
California’s measure of school quality will be redefined to lessen the impact of test scores under a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Under S.B. 1458, the Academic Performance Index will limit test scores to 60% for high schools and include graduation rates and other factors. The additional factors might include college readiness and technical training. The article also highlights other education bills that were signed or vetoed.

Education Week
State ballot measures include hot K-12 issues  
Big changes to the way teachers are evaluated and paid, expanded access to charter schools, and increased education funding are major issues on state ballot initiatives and referendums as election season enters its final weeks. Some proposals—such as ones in Idaho and South Dakota—represent resistance from teachers’ unions and other groups to changes they view as antagonistic to public education.

Report: Most Michigan teachers ace reviews despite state laws updating teacher evaluations  
In Michigan, more than 99% of teachers from select districts earned scores placing them in the top two categories on evaluations, according to a report by Education Trust Midwest. Michigan passed laws in 2009 and 2011 that require new teacher reviews, including at least four categories of ratings and consideration of student-growth measures. The report is based on survey responses from 10 districts.

Christian Science Monitor
Traditional or charter schools? Actually, they help each other, study says  
Charter schools are not a silver bullet for education reform, a Brookings Institution report says, but applying the best practices from some charters to low-performing public schools may increase student achievement. Early data show that the strategy—applied in Houston and Denver pilot programs—yielded promising results.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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