February 26, 2013

February 26th, 2013

Category: News, Policy and Practice

Local News

DE Department of Education
5 school districts, 9 charters join Delaware Talent Cooperative
The Delaware Department of Education announced today that five school districts and nine charter schools have confirmed their participation in the Delaware Talent Cooperative. In addition to Capital School District and Laurel School District, two districts that participated last year, Brandywine School District, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District and Seaford School District also will participate in the initiative, which offers state-sponsored retention awards and recruitment incentives for educators in their highest-need schools. Additionally, nine eligible charter schools have confirmed their participation in the initiative.   “When we brought this opportunity to our educators at Harlan, they discussed what it would mean for them and for the school’s culture,” said Mark Holodick, superintendent of the Brandywine School District, “Ultimately, their voice in this decision-making process was the most important voice.”   The state has extended the deadline for several school districts to respond regarding their participation since their December invitation. The Indian River School District will make a final decision this week, and the Christina School District’s invitation to join the Delaware Talent Cooperative remains open given their local commitment to participate as part of their district Race to the Top (RTTT) plan.

National News

The New York Times
Citing ‘urgency,’ Georgia Governor ousts 6 members of DeKalb County School Board
Gov. Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb County School Board on Monday, trying to save the state’s third-largest school system by exercising a relatively new power in Georgia that allows him to supersede the choice of voters.  “I feel it’s my responsibility to act,” he said at a news conference announcing his decision Monday. “This is a matter of urgency.”

Education Week
Watchdog gnaws on foundation with Jeb Bush ties
Jeb Bush’s education advocacy organization is being criticized by In the Public Interest, a group that says the former Florida governor’s Foundation for Excellence in Education is easing private-sector access to government officials.  Correspondence between former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s K-12 advocacy organization and state education leaders—obtained and publicized by a privatization-watchdog group—has renewed debate over the extent to which the private sector can benefit by gaining access to government officials, and markets, through nonprofit advocacy groups.  The emails between Mr. Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and officials in Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and other states show the group discussing model bills with state officials and promoting specific policy initiatives, such as online education and retaining 3rd graders not reading at grade level.  The nonprofit group In the Public Interest, which is based in Washington and published the emails last month, is critical of many privatization initiatives. It says it doesn’t have a problem with businesses seeking new markets, but contends the foundation is being used as cover for companies seeking public money without lobbying in an upfront way.

Some states on pace to hit 90% high school grad. rate by 2020
A 90% high school graduation rate by 2020 was a lofty goal set by the Grad Nation campaign in 2010. But the latest report from the coalition of education organizations shows that, with a 78.2% graduation rate in 2010, the pace of improvement is picking up—putting some states on track to meet that goal if the progress continues. Still, significant disparities remain between white and minority students

The Los Angeles Times
Low achievement imperils black students in L.A., report says
African American students in Los Angeles County demonstrate significant learning gaps by second grade, which widen with age and lead to the highest school dropout rate among all races, according to a new report released Monday.  Black students are far less likely to take the rigorous college preparatory classes required for admission to California universities and miss more school days because of suspensions than their white counterparts, according to the study by the Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based nonprofit advocacy group.   Only one of every 20 African American kindergartners will graduate from a four-year California university if current trends continue, according to the report, which compiled data on academic achievement, suspensions and the emotional conditions of African Americans in 82 school districts in L.A. County.

Inside Higher Ed
Who benefits from online ed?
Online education is often held out as a way to increase access to higher education, especially for those who have historically been underrepresented in college. A new Columbia University study suggests that some of the students most often targeted in online learning’s access mission are less likely than their peers to benefit from—and may in fact be hurt by—digital as opposed to face-to-face instruction.




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