December 9, 2013
Group of First State lawmakers join call to protect federal early childhood education funds
Six Democrats and one Republican signed a letter urging the Congressional Budget Conference committee, which is in the midst of negotiating a budget deal, to fund advancements in childhood development programs nationwide. The Delaware lawmakers join more than 500 state legislators around the country in signing the letter.
The News Journal
Jobs there, but skills haven’t kept up the pace
To flourish in the new world economy, states must get better at teaching students basic math, science and technical skills that are increasingly important to employers, Georgetown and other education experts say. And more students, especially women and minorities, need to enter the thriving fields of science and technology.
Will we be a state of just rich and poor?
We might find an answer by looking around. We are beginning to see the evidence throughout the state. Jobs do appear to be polarizing. More and more people with only high school educations are struggling to hold on to the few middle skill jobs still available. A college education, once within reach for the children of hard-working middle class families, grows so expensive that for many the only chance of getting one is to sell yourself into deep debt.
Bipartisan Idaho school reform bills unveiled
Idaho Democratic lawmakers unveiled four far-reaching school reform bills, which were endorsed by state Superintendent Tom Luna. The bills would enact the 20 recommendations from a task force that Gov. Butch Otter appointed and range from restoring $82 million a year in funds cut from the schools in recent years to new ways to determine when students should advance to the next grade.
Inside Higher Ed
U.S. seeks experiments on new models of higher ed
The Obama administration is moving ahead with plans to waive certain federal student aid rules for a limited number of colleges that want to experiment with competency-based education and other innovative forms of higher education. The Education Department gave three examples of the types of innovations it may approve: competency-based education, dual enrollment, and prior learning assessment.
Proposal would reorganize new R.I. Board of Education into two councils
A proposal to split the governance of the new Rhode Island Board of Education into separate councils with statutory authority for K-12 and higher education was unveiled during a public forum. The structure mirrors the one that existed prior to last year’s merger to create one state education board. Each of the councils would have its own commissioner and staff.
State releases score card for schools and districts
Just over half of Connecticut’s schools met their achievement targets under a new state education department scorecard that rates every school and district. The ultimate target for all schools is a performance index score of at least 88 on a scale of zero to 100, but each school has an incremental target depending on how well students performed in previous schools years.