May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013

Category: Early Childhood Education, Policy and Practice, Student-Centered Learning

Local News

The Cape Gazette
Cape area residents take aim at Common Core
A national program to align public school education across the country is under fire by a group opposed to the latest federal initiative. Locally, the group has set its sights on Cape Henlopen school district. “My hope is that we can defund this thing,” said Karen Gritton of Lincoln. “This conversation should’ve happened three years ago.” Gritton was one of about 30 people – many members of the 9-12 Delaware Patriots – who attended the Cape Henlopen school board meeting May 23 to protest the Common Core State Standards initiative.

Board should go slow before voting to opt out of reform
An opinion by Dan Flood
The newest version is the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which was developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. Forty-five states have signed on, including Delaware, at least partly because the federal government offered financial incentives for doing so. Not everybody’s happy about this, including Cape Henlopen school board member Sandi Minard, who on May 9 presented a blistering anti-Common Core resolution demanding the district opt out of the initiative.

The News Journal
‘Yes’ vote would help Colonial’s students
An opinion by Dorothy Linn
Twenty years ago the Colonial School District passed an operating referendum. Since then, with the exception of 7 cents that was tacked onto a capitol referendum held in 2005 to cover the expense of putting air conditioning in all of our schools, the district has not asked taxpayers for more money to pay for what happens inside our 14 schools every day. On Tuesday, I hope that changes when our district holds a referendum that will impact 10,000 students.

National News

The Seattle Times
Gates foundation funds group to help charter schools
With the opening of Washington’s first charter school likely 15 months away, more dollars from Seattle’s tech economy are flowing toward groups that want to change the way the state thinks about public schools. In November, Washington became the 42nd state to allow the independent public schools. The initiative campaign succeeded in part because of money from Seattle’s tech economy — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates donated $3 million, outside his charitable foundation, first for the signature-gathering effort and later to promote the initiative. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen donated $1.5 million. The voter-approved plan would open as many as 40 charter schools over five years.

The New York Times
Colleges show uneven effort to enroll poor
Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is money.

Education Week
Common-Core online practice tests unveiled
Students, parents, and teachers who are anxious or merely curious about the coming online assessments matched to the Common Core State Standards will now have the opportunity to go through a test run of sorts. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two major coalitions of states designing the tests, has released sets of online sample test questions for grades 3-8 and 11 in both English language arts and math, the first two subjects to be tested.

Calif. two-year kindergarten program bridges preschool, K-12
California’s new two-year kindergarten program was designed to better align students’ developmental readiness with state curriculum. But the effort has had an unintended effect: It’s bridging the divide between the early-childhood community and the K-12 system, a scenario other states are interested in replicating.

Inside Higher Ed
State systems go MOOC
Universities from New Mexico to New York will join Coursera in an expansion of the startup’s efforts to provide education through massive open online courses, MOOCs. Together, state systems and flagship universities in nine states will help the company test new business models and teaching methods and potentially put Coursera in competition with some of the education tech industry’s most established players.

Charleston Daily Mail
State rolls out teacher evaluation system
West Virginia lawmakers have singled out a teacher evaluation pilot project for statewide adoption. When the new system is put into place this fall, it will mean that all teachers will be evaluated annually. The system provides for a number of observations and conferences between teachers and principals; it also uses data and test scores to gauge student achievement and, by proxy, teachers’ effectiveness.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware



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