November 19, 2012
Delaware taking applications for state nominations for federal Green Ribbon Schools award
Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy invites public and private K-12 schools to apply to be a state nominee for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award. The program – now in its second year — recognizes schools for exemplary achievement and considerable progress in three areas: 1) reducing environmental impact and costs; 2) improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and 3) providing effective environmental and sustainability education by incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), civic skills and green career pathways.
Eligible Delaware students could save thousands in college tuition with Academic Common Market
More than 100 southern public colleges provide in-state tuition to eligible Delaware residents who are pursuing majors not offered at the University of Delaware or Delaware State University through the Academic Common Market (ACM). “This partnership saved Delaware undergraduates enrolled in majors not available in their home state an average of $13,000 in tuition costs this year,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “The Academic Common Market means Delaware students have the opportunity to study programs they may otherwise not be able to afford.”
Mississippi pushes for literacy, merit pay over pre-K
Mississippi probably will not fund or create public pre-kindergarten opportunities next year but will prioritize teacher merit pay, literacy, and dropout prevention, according to the proposed budget by Governor Phil Bryant. The proposal asks for a $24 million increase over this year, but it falls short of what pre-k advocates, and even the state’s education department, had hoped for.
Analysis examines L.A. teacher characteristics
Los Angeles has an unusually wide spread in the relative effectiveness of its teachers, according to an analysis by the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Among the findings: The difference in performance between top- and bottom-performing elementary math teachers was nearly eight months of learning, a figure the report says is larger than in other districts that have been studied.
Common standards, assessment leader to head CCSOO
The Council of Chief State School Officers announced that Chris Minnich, the senior membership director at CCSSO, has been named the organization’s executive director. Prior to working as the membership director, Minnich “led the standards and assessment work” at CCSSO, which is helping states implement the Common Core standards.
Secretary sketches out second-term agenda
In his first major postelection remarks, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he will use his second term to continue to leverage education improvement at the state and local levels, with a new emphasis on principal preparation and evaluation. And, he made clear that if Congress isn’t serious about reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which the No Child Left Behind Act is the current version, then his department won’t devote a lot of energy to it.
District-Union tensions foil some RTT proposals
Disagreement over teacher-evaluation methods and the sustainability and desirability of the programs to be financed by the latest Race to the Top competition has come to a head in several prominent districts, scuttling some plans to apply for the grant and delaying the applications of others. Disputes between districts and unions over the plans for those applications caused school systems in San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; Palm Beach County, Fla., and Portland, Ore., to forgo submitting them. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles and Glendale school districts, in California, both sought to submit their applications without union approval. The unions involved in these conflicts were all National Education Association affiliates.
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