August 1, 2012
The News Journal
STEM foundation would increase kids’ potential
An op-ed by Cheryl Potocki, member of the Delaware STEM Council and teacher at the Charter School of Wilmington
While we recognize not every Delaware student will pursue a career in a traditional STEM field, we truly believe a solid STEM foundation is crucial for all of our kids. Research clearly shows that students perform better on standardized tests when they are learning practice-based science lessons like those we use here in Delaware. Creativity is an important part of STEM success. Students who are successful in STEM classes, and ultimately who pursue STEM careers, must be creative.
M.O.T. Charter School named finalist in America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education
The M.O.T. Charter School has been chosen as a finalist to compete for a grant of up to $25,000. The school was nominated by a group of local farmers for the opportunity to win a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education. The winners will be announced at the end of August.
Report: Fewer than half of U.S. children attend preschool
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report shows that 53% of U.S. children who were 3 and 4-year-olds did not participate in preschool in the three years spanning 2008-10. Latino children had the lowest participation rates, while Asian-American kids had the best participation. New Jersey and Connecticut had the lowest numbers of children not enrolled in preschool programs.
Questions dog common-test development
On the verge of signing a contract to help design assessments for the common standards, ACT Inc. has withdrawn from the project amid conflict-of-interest questions sparked by its own development of a similar suite of tests. The contract from which ACT withdrew earlier this month was the biggest that the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, or PARCC, has awarded so far in designing tests for its 24 member states.
New York Times
To earn classroom certification, more teaching and less testing
New York and up to 25 other states are moving toward changing the way they grant licenses to teachers, de-emphasizing tests and written essays in favor of an approach that requires aspiring teachers to prove themselves through lesson plans, homework assignments, and videotaped instruction sessions. The new licensing standards will be required next year in Washington state and in New York in 2014.
Cuomo vetoes bill on placement of special education students
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill on Tuesday requiring public school officials to take into account the “home life and family background” of special education students when placing them in schools, a measure that would have given religious parents more power to demand that the public pay for private education. Mr. Cuomo said the bill would have created “an overly broad and ambiguous mandate” to send more students to private schools, burdening taxpayers with “incalculable significant additional costs.”
‘Irreplaceable’ teachers retained poorly, TNTP education report finds
The high rate of teachers cycling in and out of schools is detrimental to the education profession and worse for students. A new report asserts that turnover rates among highly successful teachers — the irreplaceables — is the real problem. The report recommends teaching principals to hold onto irreplaceables and counsel out low performers, and revamping policies around teacher tenure and seniority.