November 5, 2013
The News Journal
Reach Academy faces possible closure after panel votes not to recommend renewal of charter
A New Castle County charter school faces possible closure after the state Department of Education’s Charter School Accountability Committee on Monday voted not to recommend the state renew its charter. Reach Academy for Girls supporters will have an opportunity to change some minds during a public hearing on Wednesday, just days before a final decision is announced by state Education Secretary Mark Murphy. If not renewed, the school must close after this academic year and not reopen next fall, Mary Kate McLaughlin, Department of Education chief of staff, said Monday night.
Town Square Delaware
The power of relationships in education
An opinion by Garrett Lyons, a Teach For America – Delaware corps member at Howard High School of Technology
Reflecting on my own journey throughout my first year in the classroom, I acquired a new understanding of what it means to build relationships with my students. I do not simply concoct lesson plans and formulate “gotcha!” quizzes, but rather try to create a learning sanctuary that is a space for each child’s learning process. Given the tumultuous years of adolescence and the deep insecurity associated with the high school years, I’ve learned that teachers have to work hard and invest time to create the constructive and supportive space that will let each child’s unique strengths and abilities shine through. I’ve seen firsthand how students open up at the first sight of teacher interest in their personal lives and academic ambitions.
Study: Many young children lagging in cognitive skills at age 8
An analysis of 13,000 young children tracked from kindergarten through middle school found that only about one-third were on track with cognitive skills by 3rd grade, underlining the need for a comprehensive early-childhood education, particularly for low-income children, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation report. The report offers several policy recommendations and includes state-by-state data on childhood well-being.
N.C. Supreme Court to decide on pre-K funding
The North Carolina Supreme Court is weighing arguments in a case that will help decide if the state must pay for preschool to bridge achievement gaps—an obligation that some estimates suggest would require $300 million annually. The case is part of a growing trend of school finance and equity cases around the country that have focused on early childhood education for students at risk of school failure.
Oklahoma school ratings war gets hotter as Governor, districts feud
The battle between some Oklahoma educators and state officials over A-F school accountability is heating up, following problems in the grades over the last few weeks and a study from the state’s two major public universities claiming to show that the A-F system is unfair and unbalanced. At least one superintendent is calling for a “no confidence” vote in the state superintendent, but the governor is telling districts to pipe down and follow the law.
Economic payoff from schools’ use of open data is $1 trillion, report says
Using open data for education could “unlock” between $900 billion and $1.2 trillion in economic value every year, according to a study that was recently released by the McKinsey Global Institute. Of that, a substantial portion would be generated in the United States, according to the institute, which is the business and economics research arm of McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting company with offices in 20 U.S. cities.
Inside Higher Ed
Time to change the rules?
A growing number of reform-minded lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to see more of online “innovations” like competency-based education. To help out, some are making noise about changing federal financial aid policy and the accreditation system. That was the message during a hearing on college student success and addressed the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Research: U.S. lags other countries in quality of teacher training programs
The United States has some of the best university-based math teacher training programs in the world, but also has some of the worst—and those poor performing programs produce 60% of teachers in schools with the highest percentage of low-income students, according to new research. The United States was the only country in the study to have such a wide range of performance by math teachers in preparation programs.