October 2, 2013

October 3rd, 2013

Category: News

Local News

The News Journal
Biden’s office says charter study group broke open-meeting laws
A group created by Gov. Jack Markell violated the state’s open meetings law last year when it did not keep minutes or open its meetings to the public, an Attorney General’s opinion released Tuesday said. The opinion is aimed at the Charter School Working Group, which included Markell staffers, education officials and leaders of teacher and charter school organizations. The group was tasked with discussing ways to update the state’s decades-old charter law.

Markell, state ed leaders to talk education reform
Three top Delaware education officials will be speaking in a round-table discussion about education reform tomorrow morning. The officials include: Gov. Jack Markel; Harriet Dicther, executive director of the Office of Early Learning; and Mark Holodick, superintendent of the Brandywine School District. The discussion is hosted by the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think-tank. It will start at 10:00 a.m. The think-tank runs down the usual list of changes Delaware has made on the education front in recent years, including first-round federal Race to the Top and Early Learning Challenge grants, efforts to boost early-learning efforts, World Language programs, new charter school rules and front-line efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards.

Arts integral to quality education
An opinion by Carla Markell
Delaware schools are buzzing with activity once again. Under the guidance of dedicated teachers, students are working hard to master subject matter, hone their skills, and prepare for the future. Our youngest students are in school for the first time. Others are just months away from making decisions about their post-high school years. But they all share a common goal that we are entrusted to help them realize. And that is for them to participate in an education that engages them, enriches them and prepares them to be productive citizens in a 21st-century society and workforce. Arts education plays a critical role in that endeavor.

Cape Gazette
Delaware adopts new science curriculum
State education officials recently adopted new science standards for Delaware public schools. “The Next Generation Science Standards provide clear and consistent, researched-based standards that engage students in science instruction that will prepare them to utilize critical thinking and creative problem-solving necessary to excel in the global society,” said Delaware State Board of Education President Teri Quinn Gray, who is also a DuPont scientist. Next Generation Science Standards were developed by 26 states including Delaware, which worked with the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Achieve, said Alison May, spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Education. While it is similar to Common Core Standards that have been developed for English, language arts and math, May said, the Next Generation Science Standards are a separate initiative.

Business leaders to serve as principals for a day
The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce kicks off its Principal for a Day Program. Registering to be principal for a day has gotten simpler–you can now enroll online. But that doesn’t make the day in the chair any easier. “No one thinks it easy, so we realize that it is quite a significant undertaking,” says Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Chairman Hinton Lucas. Lucas, who works for DuPont, served as principal for a day in Seaford several years ago. He says the program gives business leaders a chance to meet faculty, students, and staff. “There is a cross fertilization of what’s going on in business versus what’s going on in education and hopefully learn from each other,” says Lucas.

Middletown Transcript
MOT Charter postpones new high school opening until 2015
MOT Charter School won’t be opening its new $13 million high school next fall, as originally planned. “There was a concern that we weren’t going to be able to start construction in time to have it completely finished by the start of next school year,” Head of School Linda Jennings said this week. “And that’s a situation we wanted to avoid.” Despite the setback, Jennings said MOT Charter will proceed with its plans to launch a ninth-grade program this fall. Those classes will now held in a six-room modular building that will be added to its Levels Road campus this spring.

National News

Education Week
Looking for school improvement ideas beyond our borders
A commentary by Helen Janc Malone
As we move forward with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and preparations for celebrating the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education , it is imperative that we stop for a moment and think critically about what kind of educational system we want for our children in the 21st century. And, of equal importance, how do we get from here to there? One way to approach this complex task is to look outside ourselves, beyond the United States’ borders, and consider what other nations have done or are doing to transform their educational systems.

Los Angeles Times
L.A. Unified’s iPad rollout marred by chaos
At a taco truck near Maya Angelou Community High School in South Los Angeles, senior Ramiro Gonzalez showed off his school-issued iPad tucked into his backpack Tuesday, excited that he still has it. “They’re saying we might have to give them back now,” he said. “But I hope we get to keep them.” Nearby, Eliazith Lorenzo, a senior at a different school on the same campus, had his iPad taken back only days after receiving it. He’d used it a little in class but said he’d mostly played a soccer game on it at home. Ramiro and Eliazith represent the confusion and complexities in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1-billion effort to provide all its students with the Apple tablets. The first rollout, at 47 campuses, has raised questions about whether the nation’s second-largest district tried to do too much, too soon. Teachers reported not being able to connect to the Internet in some classrooms. Students bypassed security measures and surfed prohibited websites. Parents aren’t sure if they’re liable if the $678 tablets get lost or break. District directives have been misinterpreted.

The New York Times
Arizona: Court upholds school funding program
The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower court ruling affirming the constitutionality of a program that directs public money to private bank accounts to pay for private school tuition and educational services for some students.

Washington Post
More than half of D.C. public school principals rated below ‘effective’ on revised evaluations
Half the principals in the District of Columbia’s schools were deemed “developing” — one rung above “ineffective” — on newly revised evaluations that sorted administrators by their performance. Fourteen of the city’s 120 principals were rated “highly effective” and were eligible for bonuses of up to $30,000. The ratings are based on a combination of supervisor observation, test scores, and other student progress measures.

The Hechinger Report
A Core dilemma: Will the littlest learners be able to type?
In the spring of 2015, Louisiana students will start taking the online tests aligned to the Common Core standards. The tests place technology demands on schools and districts, as well as on students. Elementary students likely will be required to type one or two-page responses on the writing components. In response, school leaders are considering keyboarding classes and introducing online exams in kindergarten.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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