August 10, 2012
State review seeks to quell growing debate over Delaware charter schools
Gov. Jack Markell plans to appoint a working group to review the current law and recommend ways to improve it. The panel will be appointed soon and should complete its work before the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Updating the law, coupled with a new “performance framework” that sets academic, administrative and financial objectives, should improve the Department of Education’s oversight of charter schools, Deputy Secretary of Education Dan Cruce said.
Donated building eyes welcoming charter schools to Wilmington in 2013
The just-formed Community Education Building Corp. is now developing an application procedure for schools interested in locating in the nine-story building northeast of Rodney Square said Riccardo Stoeckicht, the corporation’s president. He hopes applications can be reviewed and approved in late summer through early fall, so successful applicants could petition the State Board of Education in December for the charter modification they would need to move to a new site.
Performance framework aims to improve charter school oversight
A year after the Department of Education’s charter school oversight drew sharp criticism from national experts, the State Board of Education is working on a new approval and monitoring system for the 19 charter schools it now oversees. At its July 19 meeting, the board agreed to use a “performance framework,” now in the final stages of development, to evaluate charter schools. Also in the works is a new application form for charter schools. It is more streamlined and gives a higher priority to academic topics, Carwell said. He is also developing a new rubric, or set of guidelines, for judging whether the applications meet the state’s requirements.
The News Journal
It’s time to respect our gifted and talented students
An op-ed by Ronald R. Russo, former president of the Charter School of Wilmington and the former principal of St. Mark’s High School
If not adequately challenged, gifted and talented students become bored, frustrated, unruly and developed poor study habits that limited their potential. We have rightly been focusing our efforts on the low-achievers, we have always supported our athletes, and now it’s time to consider our gifted and talented.
Elected State Board of Education a good idea
A letter to the editor by John Young
Recently our state’s Libertarian candidates have endorsed the concept of an elected State Board of Education that would, among other duties, hire/fire a newly created replacement position of state Superintendent of Education, removing both the Board of Education and Chief DOE officer positions from the politics of the Governor’s office. I ardently support this idea, particular as Pencader continues its struggles in real time with no obvious public action in sight.
Caesar Rodney High freshmen orientation draws more than half of class
School officials held a nine-day Success Academy for incoming freshmen for the second straight year. On the first day about 300 freshmen voluntarily showed up for the Success Academy, a Race To the Top federal/state initiative. On average, 240 students showed up each day since daily attendance was not mandatory.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada gets waiver for No Child Left Behind mandates
Under a waiver from No Child Left Behind, Nevada will be able to use a self-created system for holding its schools accountable, the U.S. Department of Education announced. Nevada joins 32 other states and the District of Columbia in receiving waivers. But Nevada must nail down the details of how its “index” for measuring student performance will work by June 2013, or the waiver will expire.
Oregon school officials set low goals, angering education chief Rudy Crew
Oregon’s new chief education officer, Rudy Crew, is blasting many districts for aiming too low on their first yearly “achievement compacts.” An analysis by The Oregonian found that most large districts aim to increase their 3rd-grade reading scores, freshmen success rates, graduation rates, and college-going patterns by 1 percentage point a year. Others said they aim for mostly flat results next year.
State budgets appear stable, but concerns about ‘uncertainty’ remain
A report from the National Conference of State Legislatures finds that the overall economic picture is stable and slowly improving for states in general, but that unemployment remains high in many states and fears about developments at the federal level and abroad could easily make the picture dark and stormy once again. The report looks at implications for K-12 education.
Legislative control fights up ante on K-12 policy
The fate and scope of state education policy changes passed in the last two years may well hinge on a few hotly contested—and precariously balanced—legislatures this fall, in an election cycle that will see 44 states with lawmakers going before the voters. In states such as Iowa and Wisconsin, where statehouse control is split between Republicans and Democrats, the stakes are immediate and concrete: a chance to extend, or scale back, dramatic changes in areas such as collective bargaining, school choice, and teacher accountability enacted after the GOP wave that swept over states in 2010.
Laying roadmap for new Philly schools chief
“Many school districts have promised a lot of things and haven’t been able to deliver on some of those things,” new Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said. Instead, doing “fewer things well becomes a better way to approach the job.” The district says it faces up to a $282 million deficit this year and perhaps more than $1 billion over five years because of decreased funding from the state and federal government and walloping costs to fund charter-school expansions and employee pensions.