November 14, 2013
Reach Academy leaders fight to keep charter school open
Despite the Delaware Dept. of Education’s decision to not renew the charter of Reach Academy for Girls, school leaders are looking at every possible option to keep the school open. “I haven’t gotten any sense that the option that has been placed on the table by the board of education is the final option,” said board member Tina Betz. “There’s no sense of that at all.”
Inside Higher Ed
The Obamas’ new focus
Michelle Obama kicked off a new White House initiative to increase the number of low-income students who apply to and graduate from college. The program charts new territory for the administration on higher education policy beyond college ratings. White House officials are interested in finding ways to elevate the efforts of public and private universities to better recruit and graduate low-income, first-generation students.
Disadvantaged students receive less-effective teaching, study says
Students who qualify for federal lunch subsidies receive less effective instruction in school, on average. And that disparity appears to be a function of the schools those students attend rather than the classes they’re assigned, concludes a Mathematica Policy Research study. Although a handful of other studies have reached similar conclusions, this analysis stands out for the number and size of districts it examined.
A new teacher licensing test: Where will states set the bar?
The developers of a new performance-based teacher-licensing test suggest that states set the passing bar high, but not too high. Where states set the cutoff score on the edTPA will determine which candidates will be granted or denied a teaching license. Seven states have formally committed to using the edTPA for certification, or to gauge the quality of teacher-preparation programs.
40 city school positions restored
The $45 million in state money released by Gov. Corbett last month restored 80 full-time counseling positions. But it also led to 40 additional assistant principals, teachers, secretaries and other workers being called back, as well. The positions were restored beginning this week. Hite said that decisions were made on which employees to recall “in collaboration with principals and assistant superintendents after a district-wide review.”
New York Times
Bloomberg issues final letter grades for New York schools
On Wednesday, the Bloomberg administration released its last batch of grades for more than 1,600 public schools. Across the city, 63 percent of schools received A’s and B’s, and there were signs that schools were better preparing students for college. But the announcement came with a sense of acquiescence, as Mr. Bloomberg, who staked his legacy on taking control of education in the city, prepares to hand over the school system to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, an ardent critic of the mayor’s policies who has pledged to do away with the letter grades.
Rethinking the rise of inequality
Many Americans have come to doubt the proposition that college delivers a path to prosperity. In a poll conducted last month by the College Board and National Journal, 46 percent of respondents — including more than half of 18- to 29-year-olds — said a college degree was not needed to be successful. Only 40 percent of Americans think college is a good investment, according to a 2011 poll by the Pew Research Center.