December 10, 2013
Delaware State News
Teacher evaluations don’t make the grade
The Capital School District board wants the state to take another look at the way that educators are evaluated. In the Delaware Performance Appraisal System, or DPAS-II, they are rated based on five factors: planning, classroom environment, instruction, responsibilities and student improvement. The board’s problem is the last measurement — Component 5 — which ties teacher evaluations to student performance. Matthew Lindell, the president of the school board, argued that basing teacher evaluations to student test scores isn’t fair.
Custom software helps cities manage school choice
Over the past decade, the nonprofit Institute for Innovation and School Choice has used a combination of economic theory and custom software to help overhaul the school choice and student-assignment systems in New York, Boston, Denver, and New Orleans. That work has converted a tangled web of school applications, deadlines, and admissions preferences into algorithms that generate one best school offer for every student.
Public school advocates fear pending revision of Pennsylvania charter rules
A proposed Pennsylvania bill, S.B. 1085, would cut the taxpayer funding formula for the state’s 15 cyber charters schools, require open meetings and regular audits, and create a commission to study a fair funding formula. Charter-renewal periods would double, from five to 10 years, and terms of the schools’ charters could be amended without permission from local officials.
State lawmakers urge support for early childhood education
More than 500 state lawmakers from 49 states have signed a letter urging Congressional budget writers to increase federal spending on early childhood education. A Congressional bill, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, would create federal-state partnerships to provide prekindergarten to low- and moderate-income children.
New York Times
Tensions rise as Indiana schools chief and Governor clash over new agency
For Glenda Ritz, who took office as Indiana’s top education official this year, the awkward reality of being the lone statewide elected Democrat here did not take long to blossom into all-out combat. Now her conflict with Gov. Mike Pence, a conservative former congressman, has become one of the most public and combative political fights to face his new administration.
Baton Rouge Advocate
Jindal teacher reviews frozen
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s bid to link teacher job reviews to the growth of student achievement has been sidelined until after he leaves office. The provision, which Jindal pushed through the legislature in 2010, has been set aside until at least the 2015-16 school year, in part because of a state board decision to soften the impact for students and teachers when Louisiana adopts the Common Core.
New Hampshire Public Radio
More students choose community college transfer en route to bachelor’s degree
New Hampshire students can save about $26,000 by going to a community college for two years then transferring to a four-year school. Since 2007, the number of students transferring from community colleges into the state’s university system increased by 57%, in part because of a simplified transfer agreement between the Community College and University Systems, which got underway in 2009.