November 26, 2012
The News Journal
Odyssey Charter School’s plan for Del. 48 campus raises concerns
Westgate Farms resident James Kennedy was happy when he learned Odyssey Charter School officials chose the historic Mundy Farm on Del. 48 in Mill Creek as the site for a new location. That was before he realized Odyssey’s plans were for a kindergarten through 12th-grade campus that would include three school buildings as high as 45 feet — one structure would be 25 feet from his property line.
Teachers welcome mission, incentive
Teacher Colleen Sheeron often wakes up in the middle of the night with a brainstorm to help her students at Kuumba Academy Charter School. Excitedly, she writes each down. Her students, she says, are never far from her mind.
Teacher maps their way to understanding
Ellen Johnson, who has a doctorate in plant genetics from Michigan State University, recently was named Delaware’s 2012 Outstanding Biology Teacher, an honor granted through the National Association of Biology Teachers.
Wisconsin State Journal
Gov. Scott Walker unveils agenda for Wisconsin
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unveiled major new policy initiatives, including boosting the school voucher program and requiring schools, technical colleges, and universities to meet certain benchmarks to earn state funding. One proposal would tie funding for technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin System with how well those institutions prepare students to take available and needed jobs.
Competency-based education shows promise in New England
A new report looks at the lessons learned by eleven schools in New England that have taken part in the Proficiency-Based Pathways Project. Under the project, students move from grade to grade based not on how much time they’ve spent absorbing academic material, but on how much of the material they’ve actually absorbed.
Ed. Dept. analysis paints mixed picture of SIG program
Two-thirds of chronically underperforming schools that tapped into a big new infusion of cash under the federal School Improvement Grant program made gains in math or reading, but another third saw student achievement decline in their first academic year, according to an analysis by the Department of Education.
A new contract for teachers is shaking up New Jersey’s largest city
On November 14th members of the Newark teachers’ union approved, by 1,767 to 1,088, a new agreement with the district which, it is hoped, will help to retain good teachers. It introduces, for the first time in New Jersey, bonus pay. Teachers can now earn up to $12,000 in annual bonuses: $5,000 for achieving good results, up to $5,000 for working in poorly performing schools, and up $2,500 for teaching a hard-to-staff subject. Newark will be one of the largest school districts in the country to offer bonuses.