November 4, 2013
School district aims to de-mystify Common Core
In Delaware, public schools are preparing for an educational change that is also affecting states ranging from California and Florida to Maine and more. And parents of Indian River School District students recently got some insight on these Common Core State Standards, which 45 states and the District of Columbia voted to adopt. The IRSD has already aligned its current curriculum to the Common Core but is still training teachers for changes to instruction. As the transition period continues, the district will continue studying how to best implement Common Core while getting support and feedback from parents, students and the community.
Delaware schools work to close minority education gap
Some Delaware schools that are mostly populated by minority and low income students continue to see outstanding performance in subjects such as reading and math. In October, Lieutenant Gov. Matt Denn and Department of Education Sec. Mark Murphy named 17 recipients of the 2013 state’s Reward and Recognition School Award of $50-thousand. The schools have made the most progress at closing the achievement gap and according to administrators, good relationships as well as communication may just be the key to this success.
The News Journal
MOT Charter high school proposal set for public hearing
The proposed MOT Charter High School, which hopes to open in time for the 2015-2016 school year, gets its first public airing before the New Castle County Planning Board Tuesday night. The 78,400-square-foot school at Cedar Lane Road near Boyd’s Corner Road just north of Middletown will cost at least $10 million to build, Linda J. Jennings, MOT Charter’s head of school, said.
‘Principal for a Day’ offers real perspective on schools
Many state, community and business leaders have walked a mile in educators’ shoes through programs like the Chamber of Commerce’s “Principal for a Day.” The goal is to give those who are pushing for educational reforms an inside look, bolstering their discussions with real-world context. When policymakers talk about making big changes and starting new programs, those discussions often happen on a theoretical level. But Jeff Menzer, principal at William Penn, the state’s largest high school, says those things don’t happen in a vacuum. “Race to the Top has been a great catalyst for change, and there are certainly exciting things happening,” Menzer said. “But if you’re doing this change right, it’s piling more on, not taking anything off.”
New York Times
Colorado is asking taxpayers for $1 billion to help schools
For decades, schools have struggled to keep pace with their bigger and wealthier neighbors. On Tuesday, Colorado will try to address those problems with one of the most ambitious and sweeping education overhauls in the country, asking voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase in exchange for more school funding and an educator’s wish-list of measures.
San Jose Mercury News
U.S. threatens to take $3.52 billion from California schools in testing dispute
Reinforcing its threat to punish California for dumping its old standardized state tests next spring, the Department of Education said the state could lose $15 million in Title I funds and significantly more money from other federal initiatives, all of which totaled about $3.5 billion last year. The dispute boils down to whether students need to take standardized English and math tests every year.
Transition to online testing sparks concerns
When millions of schoolchildren take new online Common Core assessments in spring 2015, many of their peers will take similar tests with paper and pencil, raising questions about the comparability of results—as well as educational equity—on an unprecedented scale. During the phase-in period, both testing consortia must show that the paper and computer modes measure the same skills and knowledge.
Study: Dual credit benefits kids in richer schools
Taking courses for college credit while in high school may be a good way to get a head start on an expensive higher education—and graduate on time—but research in Illinois says it’s more available to kids in wealthier schools, who already do well academically, than it is in low-income schools. The study found that the proportion who took dual-enrollment courses ranged from zero to 88%, depending on what high school they attended.
U.S. News & World Report
Report: States need to connect teacher evaluations to other quality measures
Although states have revised teacher evaluation systems to incorporate student achievement, very few are using the data to inform decisions about teacher preparation programs, professional development compensation, and consequences for ineffective teaching, according to a National Council on Teacher Quality report. Only 20 states and D.C. use student data to shape teacher professional development.