March 25, 2013
The News Journal
Teachers get to core of overhaul
More than 700 teachers recently crowded a ballroom at Dover Downs focused on meeting performance expectations for students, known as Common Core Standards.
Common Core Standards outline specifics for what students nationwide should know in each subject based on their grade level. State officials say the new standards will push schools to reduce education gaps between states and better prepare students for life after high school. “You are on a journey. I’ve been in over 200 classrooms and seen you making that journey,” state Education Secretary Mark Murphy told the crowd. “Now it’s time for us to take things to the next level.”
Learning how to teach in age of technology
As Patrick Larkin sat preaching about iPad capabilities in the classroom before a small group of St. Elizabeth teachers, the educators took notes. The age divide was evident in how they did so: Veteran instructors jotted down his advice with pen and paper, the youngest used their new iPads and others switched back and forth. Larkin, one of three recipients of the national 2012 Digital Principal Award, was imparting tips on implementing iPads in the high school classroom. He explained fundamental apps and how the use of Twitter can help students connect.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Christie to announce state takeover of Camden schools
Gov. Christie plans to announce Monday that he is taking the extraordinary step of putting the educational and fiscal management of the Camden School District under state control, The Inquirer has learned. As part of the takeover of what the state considers the worst-performing district in New Jersey, Christie will appoint a new superintendent and leadership team, shifting the school board to an advisory role, according to Christie administration officials briefed on the plan. The Republican governor’s move nonetheless has support from at least a few school board members and key Democratic leaders in the South Jersey political establishment, some of whom are expected to join Christie at the takeover announcement Monday in the city, officials said. Camden will become the fourth urban district under state control, after Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.
Richmond Times Dispatch
Governor acts on K-12 measures, will amend school takeover bill
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation that extends the probation period for new teachers to up to five years and allows teachers to be fired after at least one unsatisfactory evaluation. McDonnell also has signed a measure to assign A to F grades to schools. The governor plans to amend a new law that allows a statewide school district to takeover low-performing schools. Education advocates have questioned its constitutionality.
‘A-Plus’ countries falter on international math study
Ongoing overhauls of state math standards are intended in part to prepare American students to compete with their international peers. Yet an analysis of the most recent Trends in International Math and Science Study suggests that so-called “A-plus countries” have not sustained that achievement in more recent exams, and that better examples of academic leaders might be found closer to home. (Education Week,
Carnegie Report outlines principles for high school redesign
Noting that “nowhere is the need for redesign greater or more urgent that in American high schools,” a Carnegie Corporation report outlined 10 principles for high-performing secondary schools. It contends these practices need to be embraced in high schools if students are going to be successful under the demands of Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Hawaii teachers reach tentative deal with state
After more than two years of contract talks, Hawaii’s teacher’s union has reached a tentative agreement with the state, both sides announced Sunday night. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe said in a statement Sunday that under the four-year deal teachers will receive annual pay raises of about 3 percent and will have a say in statewide decisions about educator evaluation. The deal is still subject to a vote from the union’s roughly 13,500 teachers. Okabe says he’s hopeful they’ll approve the contract. Okabe said the raises will help the state’s public school attract the best and brightest teachers.
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