March 13, 2013

March 13th, 2013

Category: Early Childhood Education, News, Policy and Practice

Local News

The News Journal
Colonial School District may slash staff, sports in cuts
Superintendent Dorothy Linn shared her proposal at a school board meeting at George Read Middle School on East Basin Road near New Castle.  She stated that academics would not be spared. The district would jettison a plan to participate in a new statewide language immersion program championed by Gov. Jack Markell. Transportation cuts could end some after-school programs. Summer school programs would include a fee. A plan to inject more technology into the classroom would be put on hold and the district would not be able to spend local money to take part in a multidistrict consortium called BRINC, which is meant to plan education innovations.

Smyrna-Clayton Sun Times
Smyrna-Clayton Boys & Girls Club teaches kids about technology
Students at the Greater Smyrna-Clayton Boys & Girls Club are preparing for the future thanks to a program at the community center that is teaching them about technology.  Club Tech is a worldwide initiative in the Boys & Girls Club that launched in 2000 with the goal of leveling the playing field by providing young people with technology resources to aid them in performing better in school and, eventually, the workplace, according to Program Director Letisha Hines.

Hockessin Community News
Delaware Tech to Host SkillsUSA Competitions in Electronics, Culinary and HVAC
Delaware Tech will host a variety of SkillsUSA competitions in the month of March in the areas of Electronics, Culinary and HVAC. A diverse mix of students from vocational high schools throughout the entire state of Delaware will come to Delaware Tech to compete in these prestigious competitions. Winners will represent the state in national competitions.  SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization preparing high school and college students for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills.

State puts cyberbullying policy in place for schools
A uniform cyber-bullying policy is now on the books for all First State schools districts and charter schools.  The policy is shaped by hearings held last year with school officials and parents that examined how the online, off-campus behavior can harm students and cause disruption in schools.  Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn (D) says the new policy directs schools to treat cyberbullying in the same way they treat in-person bullying incidents.

National News

The Washington Post
McDonnell achieves mixed results in trying to reform Virginia’s schools
Robert F. McDonnell ran for Virginia governor promising to reform public schools by offering parents more accountability and better teachers and giving them greater school choice by growing the state’s tiny list of charter schools.  In his final push in the General Assembly this year, McDonnell (R) backed successful bills to bring Teach For America to Virginia, give grades to schools using A through F report cards, fine-tune a voucher-like program to help poor students attend private schools and institute a state board that would take over chronically underperforming schools.

The Huffington Post
N.M. could become first state with pre-school funding constitutionally guaranteed
New Mexico is weighing a bill that could make it the country’s first state to protect early education funding in its constitution. The Senate majority leader introduced a resolution that would let the state vote on a constitutional amendment to fund preschool by an additional $100 million annually. The money would come from an annual disbursement of 1% of New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund.

The Charleston Gazette
Tomblin orders review of middle school curriculum
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin commissioned a review of the classes offered by West Virginia’s middle schools, signing the first of several executive orders expected as part of his push to improve education in the state. The order follows up on a recent study by the Southern Regional Education Board that called for beginning college and career readiness in the middle grades.

Education Week
Commission calls for ‘radically different’ tests
The Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education released a report that lays out a 10-year plan for states to develop assessment systems that go beyond identifying student achievement for accountability purposes and toward improving classroom instruction and giving greater insight into how children learn. The commission calls for states to create a permanent council on educational assessments, modeled on the Education Commission of the States.

Education News
Bill Gates presses for more investment in Ed Tech at SWSX
The growth in the education technology sector is causing some to worry that a bubble to rival the dot-com burst of the early 2000s is brewing. However, Bill Gates, the former chairman and founder of Microsoft and a leading education reformer, is not one of the doubters. Speaking at the SXSWedu conference in Austin earlier this month, he said that considering its potential impact, investment in education is too low rather than too high.  Digital progress over the last twenty years has been incredibly quick and the adoption of technology, especially of the portable variety like tablets and smartphones, has been even more speedy. Such penetration makes this a perfect time for a real push in the education sector, and his own philanthropic organization – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – has been taking an active part.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware



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