October 8, 2013
The News Journal
Private-public partnership sees progress on schools
An op-ed by Ernie Dianastasis
One thing that makes people proud to work in Delaware is that we come together to tackle tough problems – and stay together to see the solutions through. In 2005, 28 public, private and civic leaders from throughout the state came together to develop the bold Vision 2015 plan to provide a world-class education to all public school students by 2015. On Wednesday, several hundred people will be joining us at the University of Delaware to not only discuss what we’ve collectively gotten done, but to explore what the next generation of learning could look like.
Making the Common Core a common standard
An op-ed by Amber Augustus and Courtney Fox
Recently, there has been a movement to adopt a common set of standards that set higher expectations for student learning in schools throughout the United States. The Common Core State Standards are a clear set of student learning standards that require deeper critical thinking from our students and reflect the skills needed to be successful in a 21st century economy.
Gov. Markell highlights Delaware early learning initiatives at education summit
Gov. Jack Markell touted the First State’s effort to improve early childhood education in New York Monday. Markell was interviewed as part of the annual NBC News Education Nation Summit. He outlined progress made in bolstering the Delaware Stars early education quality rating systems. The state allocated $22 million to the program three years ago and subsequently won a $50 million federal Race to The Top early learning grant. Markell says those funds have made a difference in bringing low-income children into quality early childhood learning center “What we’ve done in just three years, if you think about the low-income kids in Delaware who are in preschool, we’ve gone from one out of 20 to one out of three in terms of those kids who are enrolled in a quality rated preschool,” said Markell. “We think that is a game changer for those kids.”
High scores at BASIS Charter Schools
While U.S. schools struggled to reach even an average score on a key international exam for 15-year-olds in 2012, BASIS Tucson North, an economically modest, ethnically diverse charter school in Arizona, outperformed every country in the world, and left even Shanghai, China’s academic gem in the dust.
The New York Times
U.S. adults fare poorly in a study of skills
The study, perhaps the most detailed of its kind, shows that the well-documented pattern of several other countries surging past the United States in students’ test scores and young people’s college graduation rates corresponds to a skills gap, extending far beyond school. In the United States, young adults in particular fare poorly compared with their international competitors of the same ages — not just in math and technology, but also in literacy. Arne Duncan, the education secretary, released a statement saying that the findings “show our education system hasn’t done enough to help Americans compete — or position our country to lead — in a global economy that demands increasingly higher skills.”
Many districts go without a chief tech officer
Technology leadership in many districts is provided not by one person, but through whatever arrangements the school systems can muster. Even as schools juggle a daunting array of evolving technological demands, federal data show that roughly half of districts do not have a full-time chief technology officer or technology manager whose sole job is to oversee all digital needs. Those needs include ensuring that technology contributes to improved classroom instruction, as well as making sure it works properly.
Ed. Secretary’s policy leverage may be put to test
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan faces an increasingly rocky education policy landscape and wavering support for his aggressive K-12 agenda—at a time when his stack of bargaining chips is dwindling. Compared to his assets in President Barack Obama’s first term, Mr. Duncan has few sweeteners left to use as leverage. That’s likely to leave him even more dependent on sanctions and persuasion in the administration’s final three years. On the incentive side, he’s spent nearly $100 billion in economic-stimulus money approved by Congress in 2009 and used his own authority to hand out No Child Left Behind Act waivers to nearly every state.