February 7, 2013
The News Journal
Delaware must make real education reforms
I appreciated Kendall Massett’s recent article, ‘Families, children benefit from school choice,’ but I wish she had spent as much time talking about how broken this system is in practice as she did talking about its theoretical merits.
School chiefs leader joins Common-Core project
Gene Wilhoit, who directed the Council of Chief State School Officers when it helped lead the design and adoption of the Common Core State Standards, has joined a nonprofit that was founded by the lead authors of the standards. Student Achievement Partners announced today that Wilhoit has joined the organization, which is playing a central role in guiding assessment and instructional materials for the standards now in place in all but four states. Last June, Wilhoit retired from his post as executive director of the CCSSO, a membership organization that serves state commissioners of education. He had said at the time that he would continue work to help states implement the common core.
Teachers’ ratings still high despite new measures
In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better under new teacher-evaluation systems recently put in place. In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or better. Principals in Tennessee judged 98 percent of teachers to be “at expectations” or better last school year, while evaluators in Georgia gave good reviews to 94 percent of teachers taking part in a pilot evaluation program. Those results, among the first trickling out from states’ newly revamped yardsticks, paint a picture of a K-12 system that remains hesitant to differentiate between the best and the weakest performers—as well as among all those in the middle doing a solid job who still have room to improve.
Virtual educators critique value of MOOCs for K-12
When 200 students sign up for a course, educators normally think of ways to split up the classroom into more manageable sizes. But for the University of Miami Global Academy, an online high school run by the University of Miami, building a class with hundreds of students was all part of the plan when it launched its first “massively open online course,” or MOOC, in November. The six-week, noncredit course—a virtual seminar designed to help high school students prepare for the SAT II subject test in biology—used virtual-conferencing software to allow students to interact with the teacher in real time.
Update our education legislation
Op-Ed by Chris Minnich
More than 11 years ago, our government enacted the No Child Left Behind law, a reauthorized version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that increased focus on standards and assessments and required each state to set annual targets for student performance. This law has since helped the country’s education system by serving a critical purpose in raising awareness, setting high expectations for all and driving states to meet those expectations for every student. However, our ability to best serve all students has evolved over the past decade. As a result, the law is now outdated and is no longer assisting states on the way to improving their systems.
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