December 4, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
State offers second round of grants supporting college access
The Delaware Department of Education is seeking applications from public schools or districts to scale or create programs to mentor and guide seniors in the college application, financial aid and transition to college processes. This is the second round of such awards, which are sub-grants from the state’s federal College Access Challenge Grant. The total amount available in this round is $300,000. The first-round winners were announced last week.
New York Times
The new mayor and the teachers
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will take office facing the need to forge new labor agreements with the unions that represent nearly all of New York City’s 300,000 municipal workers. The largest of these, the United Federation of Teachers, is in a particularly sour mood. Representing 40 percent of the city’s work force, the union has been without a contract since 2009.
Report urges Michigan to replace MEAP with Smarter Balanced test
A new report urges Michigan to proceed with plans to introduce the Smarter Balanced exam for 2014-15 as a replacement for the state’s standardized exam. The report, requested by lawmakers after they removed a funding block for implementation of the Common Core, examines 12 test options in the marketplace. It provides summaries on the cost of each test, scoring and reporting methods, test security transparency, and overall design.
U.S. achievement stalls as other nations make gains
U.S. performance in reading, math, and science has remained stagnant since 2009 as other nations have plowed ahead, according to results from the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. Nineteen countries and education systems scored higher than the United States in reading on the 2012 PISA, up from nine in 2009. In math, 29 nations outperformed the United States, up from 23 in 2009.
Performance-based test for teachers rolls out
The edTPA kicks into high gear in 2013-14 after two years of pilot testing, thousands more teacher-candidates will be expected to demonstrate those competencies to receive a teaching certificate. New York and Washington state plan to introduce it into licensing by spring. By 2015-16, seven states will make it part of teacher certification or use it to review their preparation programs.
Ohio teachers’ rating requirement weighed
Ohio’s new teacher evaluation system will base 50% on student improvement on standardized tests, but a proposed bill, S.B 229, would reduce that percentage to 35%. Districts, however, could set a higher standard. Schools also could go through the full evaluation process less often with higher-performing teachers while keeping the mandatory annual evaluations for lower-performing teachers.
Los Angeles Times
L.A. Unified accuses state of ‘shortchanging’ needy students
L.A. Unified accused state education officials Monday of “shortchanging” the school district’s impoverished students, saying they could be prevented from receiving all of the estimated $200 million due them under a new school funding system. Edgar Zazueta, L.A. Unified’s chief lobbyist, said new rules requiring school districts to verify each needy student’s family income in order to receive extra state dollars for them could result in a major undercount.