November 6, 2012
The News Journal
Strong rank for teacher’s union
A national report ranked Delaware’s teacher unions 19th in terms of resources, membership, bargaining, and perceived influence. Delaware State Education Association president Frederika Jenner said that she found some flaws in the report’s analysis and found some of the methodology “strange.” The union believes it should have rated higher. “I think we have a reputation of being, dare I say, deeply involved in politics,” Jenner said.
Common Core: 7 recommendations for effective implementation
Conflicting reform efforts, poor communications, and “initiative fatigue” are among the factors presenting challenges to Common Core State Standards implementation. A new ASCD report suggests that to overcome these potential barriers, states, districts, and schools need to take new approaches to professional development, technology adoption, and reform efforts.
Kentucky looks to mimic charters with “districts of innovation”
Kentucky is one of the nine states without charter schools, but the board of education has enacted policies that would give traditional public schools much of the same autonomy as charters. As part of a new, comprehensive law, districts can apply to become “Districts of Innovation” and be exempt from certain regulations and education policy.
Florida virtual school incorporates face-to-face learning
The Florida Virtual School, the nation’s largest state-sponsored online K-12 school, is venturing into a blended learning model that is in growing demand. The move is in part the effect of market forces, as the FLVS strives to meet the needs of districts, and in part the evolution of the blended model, which mixes face-to-face instruction and virtual learning.
Respite on ed. issues unlikely for election winners
Even as federal policymakers sort out the political landscape, the remainder of 2012 and the early months of 2013 are likely to be dominated by divisive, unresolved issues with broad consequences for K-12 and higher education—some of which require immediate action. Chief among them: sequestration, a series of planned, across-the-board budget cuts that are set to hit almost every federal agency Jan. 2, including the U.S. Department of Education, unless the president and a lame-duck Congress act to stop them.
New player jumps into state elections to push education overhaul
A dozen states are poised to pass significant education reforms depending on the outcome of the election. A slate of state-level candidates want to abolish teacher tenure and tie teacher evaluations to student tests. StudentsFirst, founded by former Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, has infused cash and grassroots organizing into many of these races with a platform that is anathema to teachers unions.