July 20, 2012
The News Journal
Reading the school test scores
About 10,000 more Delaware students achieved proficiency in reading in this year compared with last year (an increase of 12% proficient), while about 9,000 more students scored proficient in math (an increase of 10% proficient), according to statewide assessment results made public Thursday. Secretary Murphy said that “We want to understand what initiatives are working and continue to invest in them, and what are the initiatives that aren’t working and let’s not continue to invest in them.” Partnership Zone schools, the state’s turnaround effort focused on four chronically low-performing schools, had big boosts in scores with Howard High School outperforming state averages.
Some hope for young adults in Southbridge
An opinion by Rhonda Graham
This year, 13 residents in the Southbridge community of Wilmington graduated from high school, a cause for celebration for the community which graduated its first African-American male from high school in more than five years in 2008. The HOPE Commission works to improve the quality of life and reduce crime. Executive Director Charles Madden said, “We completed an evaluation of our work in the Southbridge HOPE Zone in 2009 and the facts are that we saw a decrease in crime when compared to the period just prior to the selection of Southbridge as a HOPE Zone.” There were decreases in disciplinary issues at three elementary “sister schools” and increase in academic performance over this same period for two of the schools.
Downstate schools score big on state tests
Downstate high schools showed strong academic gains in the latest round of state testing. Indian River High School placed first or second for average median test scores of ninth- and 10th-graders tested in reading, math and science. Cape Henlopen High School placed third in the reading categories, tied with Appoquinimink for second in ninth-grade math and was fourth for 10th-grade math. Delmar sophomores placed highest in science and third in 10th-grade math. Educators at Indian River, Cape and Delmar school districts credited Learning Focused Strategies for their success on state tests.
Kohel to be named Milford superintendent Monday
Woodbridge School District Superintendent Phyllis Kohel – a former principal at Milford High School – will be named as the next superintendent of the Milford School District on Monday. It was unclear Thursday whether Kohel would be able to accept the Milford superintendent job if the Woodbridge school board (where she has one year left of her superintendent contract) chooses to hold her to the terms of her contract.
New Castle County Head Start announces new full-day program
New Castle County Head Start, Inc. has announced the addition of a full-day preschool program at the Bear, Brandywine, Lambson and Marshallton centers beginning in September.
High school dropout potential could be determined in middle school
A report by PBS’s Frontline examines the work of Johns Hopkins researcher Robert Balfanz, who suggests there is a key period in middle school that determines whether a student will eventually drop out. According to Balfanz’s research, if a 6th-grader in a high poverty school attends school less than 80% of the time, fails math or English, or receives an unsatisfactory behavior grade, there is a 75% chance he or she will drop out of high school.
Districts bring tech. programmers in-house
Some educators and administrators are using the new Web landscape to build their own applications and software, bypassing the typically costly and lengthy procurement process. But some skeptical industry experts say they are doing so with widely varying degrees of success. The public sector, including education, has been slower to seize such opportunities, technology experts say.
Common Core writers issue math ‘publishers’ criteria
The lead writers of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics have finalized a set of guidelines for curricular materials that seek to promote “faithful” implementation of the new standards at grades K-8. The 24-page document is intended to guide the work of educational publishers in developing textbooks and other instructional materials, as well as states and school districts as they evaluate and select materials or revise existing ones.
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