June 19, 2013
The News Journal
New teachers not prepared, report says
The National Council on Teacher Quality report released Tuesday described the nation’s teacher preparation system as “an industry of mediocrity” and called on policymakers to make changes in the higher education system. Nationally, very few programs rated highly on the report, which provided individual data on more than 1,100 teacher preparation programs. About nine percent earned higher than three out of four stars. Four programs earned all four stars. None of the top-rated programs were in Delaware, but state officials say changes made in a law signed last week will change that.
Charter bill critical for Delaware’s children
An opinion by Kendall Massett
This week, the Delaware Senate could vote on House Bill 165, a major update to the state’s charter school law that was put in place 18 years ago. The bill is the product of a collaborative effort among stakeholders across Delaware’s education landscape. The goal of HB 165 is to solidify, strengthen and improve the state’s charter school law. Specifically, it aims to make important changes to how charter schools operate, how they are governed and led, and how they are sustained and supported financially. If passed, the bill will be a strong start to bolstering Delaware’s charter schools.
All children deserve best education, not just those in charter schools
An opinion by Constance Merlet
On June 5, the House Education Committee released a major bill overhauling the Delaware Charter school law, House Bill 165. After a three-hour debate, the vote to table failed by just one vote and the subsequent vote to release passed just 7-6. It will go to the House floor for a full vote this week. I read the press release announcing the bill and the newspaper article. The bill does make some positive changes to an old law, which was in need of some major overhaul. However, there were aspects of the press release that caused me concern.
Better-trained teachers needed for classrooms
The war for our schools is far from over. The latest salvo came from an advocacy group rating of the nation’s teacher colleges. The group’s verdict: Mediocre. At best. The National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News and World Report magazine graded 1,430 schools of education on 18 standards. They gave ratings of stars from zero at bottom to four at the top. More than 150 schools received no stars and, according to Education Week magazine, were put on a sort of “consumer alert” by the council.
Study: teacher prep programs get failing marks
The U.S. spends more than $7 billion a year preparing classroom teachers, but teachers are not coming out of the nation’s colleges of education ready, according to a study released Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality. The study says most schools of education are in disarray. “Right now, much of higher ed believes that it’s not their job to have a teacher be ready for the classroom on Day 1,” says Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.
Preschools aim to better equip low-income parents
Yesica Gonzales was an inexperienced teenage mother watching her high school friends go off to college and work when representatives from a San Antonio-based family-services organization, Avance literally came knocking at her door. Avance was launching a program for parents living in the Del Rio, Texas colonias—impoverished rural settlements built outside city limits that often lack access to such basic services as electricity, paved roads, and water.
The Washington Post
Virginia school districts working to develop teacher evaluation systems
To help schools meet the new requirement to evaluate teachers based on student achievement, Virginia officials created a method for calculating how much students learned in a year. By extension, they believe that the same method can show how well teachers are doing their jobs. The Board of Education recommended that schools use these “student growth percentiles” — or measures of student progress based on standardized test scores — as one of several ways to rate teachers. But as the new evaluations have taken effect, most school districts have been ignoring the recommendation and developing their own measures, teacher by teacher.
Las Vegas Sun
New regulations for evaluating Nevada teachers win approval
The Nevada board of education adopted legislative changes to a new teacher evaluation system rolling out this fall. In 2011, lawmakers mandated a four-tiered rating system that grades teachers’ effectiveness based on student test scores and how well teachers model good teaching practices. Half of a teachers’ evaluation will be based on student achievement data over a period of three years.
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