November 7, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics results released
Delaware made gains in fourth grade math and reading scores as well as eighth grade math, according to national assessment results released today. A highlight of the state results is a promising trend among Delaware’s minority populations. The state’s black and Hispanic students showed gains, outperforming their peers in many other states in both reading and math in both tested grades. Students with disabilities also showed notable gains over the past 10 years in their performance on the NAEP mathematics exam.
The News Journal
Solving the disconnect between stellar staff and failing students
Once it’s been established that a staff of teachers has shown credible progress in doing their job, then it seems obvious their students benefited as well. However, that’s no certain reality considering the results of the revised educator evaluation, the Delaware Performance Assessment System (DPAS-II). Overwhelmingly, Delaware teachers “aced” the test designed to rate their instructional effectiveness – only 1 percent of teachers scored “ineffective.” Some 51 percent were rated “highly effective” and 48 percent were rated “satisfactory.” However, their daily audience – the state’s students – are not witnessing the same success, and the unfortunate proof is in their critical standardized test scores.
State says principals need to be tougher in evaluating teachers
Only 1 percent of Delaware teachers were rated ineffective during the first full year of the state’s evaluation system, according to new Department of Education figures. State officials say that shows school leaders aren’t making the tough evaluations needed to give honest feedback and weed out low-performing teachers.
Delaware’s Reach Academy pleads for life as charter school
More than two dozen teachers, parents, students and other supporters defended Reach Academy for Girls during ameeting Wednesday night, touting the school’s successes and pleading with state officials not to shut it down. Despite the impassioned defense, state officials say the school is struggling by virtually every academic measure.
Delaware reading program brings men into schools
The 100 Men Read program is seeking volunteers and books for the next event, which is expected to take place in June.
State releases first results from new teacher evaluation system
In its first year of implementation, the latest version of educator evaluations in Delaware showed what is being called a “historic disconnect” between observational ratings and a new student growth component. As a result, no Delaware teachers were rated “ineffective” last year and just 1 percent were rated “needs improvement.” Those numbers don’t line up with student proficiency rates, said Christopher Ruszkowski, chief officer of the teacher leader unit for the Delaware Department of Education.
Arkansas News Bureau
Only 137 of state’s 1,055 schools meeting achievement goals
The number of Arkansas schools classified as “achieving” has dropped from last year under the state’s accountability system, while the number classified as “needs improvement” increased from 581 to 793. Each school has annual measurable objectives for reducing gaps in proficiency, academic improvement and, for high schools, graduation rate. Schools must meet the goals for all students and the Targeted Achievement Gap Group.
U.S. Math, Reading scores edge up, but gaps remain
The results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as “the nation’s report card,” show that 8th graders’ average score in math rose 1 point since 2011, the last time the test was given, and 3 points in reading on NAEP’s 500-point scale. Fourth graders gained 1 point in math; there was no statistically significant gain in reading.
Beyond enrollment, students need help choosing a college and finishing
Today, nearly 70% of students enroll in some form of postsecondary education. What students need now is help selecting the right institution, taking on a manageable debt burden, and finishing their degree, suggest authors of a new paper. Since college costs and options vary widely, the report recommends providing information and support so students to become discerning shoppers of higher education.
States seek to calm districts’ Common Core jitters
State education leaders are moving to calm political tempests over the Common Core standards by adopting or reaffirming policies aimed at asserting local control over data, curriculum, and materials. But the classroom-level impact of those moves could be negligible as states forge ahead on Common Core implementation. And many of the specific steps largely emphasize existing policy or practice.
Voters reject big tax hike, school finance measure Amendment 66
Colorado voters emphatically rejected a $950 million tax increase and the school funding revamp that came with it, handing Amendment 66 a resounding defeat on Tuesday. The big-ticket item on the statewide ballot would have injected new tax dollars into K-12 education, but to do so it proposed changing the state income tax from a flat rate of 4.63% to a two-tiered arrangement.