November 13, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
Reach charter not renewed because of poor academic performance
Secretary of Education Mark Murphy announced that he will not recommend renewal of Reach Academy for Girls’ charter, citing the school as the worst-performing academically in the state. Reach’s charter, which is at the end of its initial four-year term, will be allowed to expire. The school will close at the end of this academic year.
The News Journal
The final bell tolls for Reach Academy
After a week of community pleading to spare the Reach Academy for Girls, the ax fell Tuesday when the state Board of Education chose not to renew the school’s charter. Reach, the state’s only all-girls’ public school, will close at the end of the year. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said the school simply is struggling too much academically to justify keeping it open. “We see positive and honorable intentions and a school that looked to serve students from challenging backgrounds,” Murphy said. “But after four years, we have not seen an ability to meet these students’ needs.”
Christina schools opt for larger classrooms, looks to future reductions
With a number of K through 3 classrooms exceeding the state-mandated limit of 22 students the Christina School Board votes to waive compliance with the law. The hour long discussion of stirred interest in crafting a plan to reduce classroom sizes. Board members repeatedly returned to the topic of the funding needed to right-size classrooms across the district.
Los Angeles Times
Push is on to close college gap for California’s Latinos
While Latinos make up 38% of California’s population, they trail all other ethnic groups in completing college, according to a recent report. Community colleges recently launched a score card that includes graduation rates and other information, broken down by ethnicity and other factors. Cal State also has a graduation initiative designed to narrow achievement gaps. And a collaboration in Long Beach is showing promise in improving graduation rates.
Students’ planned majors and academic interests are often out of sync
What high school students think they want to study in college doesn’t always match their interests and strengths, according to an ACT study. And that mismatch can lead to switching majors, transferring schools, and higher college costs overall. About one-third of students who recently took the ACT signaled plans to major in a subject that was not deemed a good fit with their academic interests.
New N.Y.C, Boston mayors vow to act fast on education
Control over public schooling in Boston and New York City promises to look different in both cities after voters anointed new mayors who have pledged to move quickly to make their imprint on K-12 education. Both cities’ school systems are under mayoral control and new executives will be selected to run the schools. And both cities still have enormous education challenges to tackle, including large achievement gaps.
Colorado tax hike defeat scrambles school finance picture
The defeat of a proposed $950 million tax increase that would have fundamentally overhauled public school funding in Colorado casts doubt on the prospect of future K-12 finance changes in that state. The decisive failure of Amendment 66, with 65 percent of voters casting ballots against it, also illustrates the difficulty for advocates in selling a complex change in school funding that uses a tax increase as the means of focusing more money on at-risk students.
Pre-K suspensions common in Maryland schools
Dozens of pre-kindergartners were suspended last school year in Maryland. The number of out-of-school suspensions in Baltimore for children ages 3 and 4 nearly doubled since the previous year to 33. The practice comes to light as the district is revising its suspension policy to require schools to eliminate automatic suspensions for certain violations and first requiring other interventions.