April 10, 2013
The Cape Gazette
New standards, state test for students
The state’s top educator attended Cape Henlopen School District’s recent board of education meeting to talk about a new statewide test for students and aligning Delaware’s curriculum with other states. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said Delaware will implement the same educational standards that other states are using in an effort to develop nationwide standards for what students are expected to know, dubbed common core standards. “This work defines a path for our students and educators to have success,” he told Cape Henlopen school board members on March 28.
The News Journal
Christina scraps teacher incentive plans
The Christina School Board voted Tuesday night to scrap its planned teacher incentive program, effectively bowing out of $2.3 million in federal Race to the Top money.
Editorial: Help Christina School Board to reach a solution
This evening Christina School Board will meet in hopes of salvaging an agreement with state officials that affects what matters most to its students – the best possible education.
Superintendent Freeman L. Williams is expected to report on the latest set of round robin negotiations with the state Department of Education over a $2.3 million payment due next year if the district complies with the Race to the Top award requirement that board members originally welcomed, but find reason to reject.
The Middletown Transcript
Appo. school board approves $305K in spending cuts
The Appoquinimink school board unanimously approved $304,500 in spending cuts Tuesday that district officials say are needed to help prevent a budget shortfall next year. Included in the cuts were nearly 20 programs and line items affecting administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students. Although district officials have not released the dollar amounts of each individual cut, one of the biggest hits is expected to come from an approved, 8-percent reduction in direct annual funding allocated to each school.
Common Science standards make formal debut
The final set of standards aimed at reshaping the focus and delivery of science instruction in U.S. schools was publicly unveiled Tuesday, setting the stage for states—many of which helped craft the standards—to take the next step and consider adopting them as their own. More than three years in the making, the Next Generation Science Standards are designed to provide a greater emphasis on depth over breadth in studying the subject. They seek not only to provide students with a foundation of essential knowledge, but also to lead young people to apply their learning through scientific inquiry and the engineering-design process to deepen understanding.
The New York Times
Rigorous schools put college dreams into practice
Across the country in communities like Newark, the early college high school model is being lauded as a way to provide low-income students with a road map to and through college. According to the most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, 68 percent of all high school graduates make it to a two- or four-year institution, but only 52 percent of low-income students do the same. Of poor students in four-year institutions, only 47 percent graduate within six years, compared with 58 percent of the general population. Not surprisingly, the challenges are greatest for students whose parents did not attend any college: their graduation rate hovers around 40 percent. Early college high schools seek to rectify that, by merging high school and some college. Students can earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree, and some are set on the path to a four-year degree.
The Seattle Times
State’s new Math test may keep many seniors from graduating
With graduation approaching, many high-school students have fewer and fewer chances to meet the state’s new graduation requirement in math. This is the first year that seniors must pass a state math exam, or one of a few alternatives, to earn a diploma. The state has not yet tallied exactly how many students are in jeopardy. A few weeks ago, about 8,000 students statewide had passed the state’s reading and writing exams, but not math.
San Antonio Express-News
Designing $10,000 degrees tests colleges
Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry challenged institutions to create $10,000 degrees, 13 such programs have been established across the state. But cost creep has marked some of the programs. To attain the degrees at their lowest advertised cost, students must clear significant hurdles—accruing college credits while in high school, maintaining good grades, taking heavy course loads, or receiving federal aid.
The Washington Post
Neighborhood preference in D.C. charter schools would be allowed under bill
New D.C. public charter schools would be allowed to give admissions preference to neighborhood children under a bill introduced Tuesday by D.C. Council Member David Grosso (I-At Large). Charter schools currently enroll kids from across the city, holding lotteries if there is more demand than space. That approach gives students equal access to admission — but it can also shut them out of the school down the street. Under Grosso’s bill, newly established charter schools would be able to give admissions priority to students living in the same “neighborhood cluster” as the school is located. The Office of Planning defines 39 such neighborhood clusters. Charter schools’ admission and enrollment procedures have drawn more scrutiny as their share of the public school population has risen. Charters now enroll 43 percent of the city’s students.