November 27, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
Financial aid deadlines announced
Delaware Department of Education officials want students interested in applying for state college scholarships and programs to note this year’s deadlines. Applicants may complete the Common Merit Application online beginning Dec. 9 on the state’s secure Student Account Access site.
The News Journal
Reach Academy sues state over charter revocation
The Reach Academy for Girls Charter School has filed suit against the Delaware Department of Education over its decision to close the school, saying the state made the decision based only on test scores without fully hearing the school’s side of the story. The lawsuit says the department did not listen to the defense mounted by parents, staff and students and did not visit the school’s new campus to see what was happening in classrooms. It says the decision to close the school is discriminatory against girls and argues it is unfair to close Reach for low test scores when other schools’ scores are also lackluster.
Adults who listen will be big help to kids
A new set of grants from the state should help teachers and counselors be better attuned to what teens, especially, are saying. The money from the grants will help keep programs open after school and to give the children activities. The money also will be used to train teachers and youth workers how to listen to young people and how to detect signs of depression or threats of suicide.
Montana universities develop ‘game-changing strategies’ to boost enrollment
Montana’s Complete College America program aims to drive up completion rates and shore up enrollment. Gov. Steve Bullock set a statewide goal to increase that ratio from 40% to 60% by 2020. The plan includes performance-based funding, setting standards for full-time students, creating guided pathways toward completion, and building more structured schedules.
Paredes: Meeting goals will require big changes
Texas will have to do things dramatically differently if the state is to meet its higher education goals, State Commissioner Raymund Paredes said during his annual State of Higher Education address. Among other suggestions, Paredes encouraged college administrators to consider competency-based learning and to narrow the choices for students, noting that curriculums had become overly complicated.
Only 42% of eligible children participate in Head Start
Despite funding increases for Head Start over the past six years, only 42% of eligible children are now served, and just 4% of those eligible are served by Early Head Start, according to a new report. Thirty-three states did not meet benchmarks for either class size or adult-to-child ratios. Only four states—Connecticut, North Dakota, Oregon, and Vermont—filled their classes.
State school board lists five key factors in student achievement
The Utah state board presented its list of priorities to improve high school student achievement to a legislative task force based on responses from teachers, administrators, and state education officials. Included on the list were five key areas: strong school leadership, high-quality instruction, appropriate assessments for data-driven decision-making, targeted interventions, and high-quality teacher professional development.
The New York Times
Pulling a more diverse group of achievers into the Advanced Placement pool
Every year, more than 600,000 academically promising high school students — most of them poor, Latino or black — fail to enroll in Advanced Placement courses, often viewed as head starts for the college-bound. Some of them do not know about these courses, which offer an accelerated curriculum and can lead to college credit. Others assume they will be too difficult. But many are held back by entrenched perceptions among administrators and teachers, whose referrals are often required for enrollment, about who belongs in what has long served as an elite preserve within public schools.