August 13, 2013
The News Journal
Delaware lawmakers support all of our schools
An opinion by Senators David P. Sokola and Ernesto B. Lopez
“To work well, government requires a bond of trust between citizens and their representatives. To tear down government diminishes your ability to solve problems in the legislature. When you demean the institution, you demean yourself.” The quote above comes from a pamphlet printed by the National Conference of State Legislatures and is appropriate now more than ever as serious policy discussions take place among elected officials. We know all too well of the failures in Washington that have led to gridlock and mistrust of almost all things political and while the 147th Delaware General Assembly began with a challenging first session, those of us who are humbled to serve, made it a point to do the good work our constituents elected us to do.
Sussex County Post
Unfinished construction delays start for Seaford High School students
Seaford School District’s board of education Monday night voted unanimously to delay the start of school for grades 9-12 until Sept. 3, due to unfinished construction at the high school, including the new Delaware New Tech wings. “This delay is a result of the construction at the high school which includes not only the front addition but the interior renovations as well to existing portions of the high school,” said Seaford School District spokeswoman Dr. Stephanie Smith.
The Dover Post
Coffield appointed director of Early College High School by Delaware State University
Dr. Judi Coffield of Magnolia has been appointed the director of Early College High School by Delaware State University. Coffield will serve as the director of the public charter school that is expected to open in September 2014. The school will be the state’s first Early College High School and will be designed to serve first generation college-bound students.
The Washington Post
Montgomery schools look for dropout indicators early on
Students could show signs of becoming high school dropouts as early as first grade, according to a Montgomery County schools study that officials hope will provide a road map for shrinking dropout rates and improving academic achievement. The study — including data about students from the high school classes of 2011 and 2012 — showed that students were five times as likely to drop out of high school if they were suspended once in first grade. The first-graders were twice as likely to drop out of high school if they had a grade-point average below 1.2 by the third report card of the year or were absent from school nine or more times. They were also twice as likely to drop out if they performed below grade level in reading or math.
Pre-K program attracts investors out for returns
An unusual partnership involving Goldman Sachs, a school district in Utah, and several community charities to expand the school system’s early-education program is intended to save taxpayers money and provide a financial return for investors. This fall, Goldman Sachs and another investment company, the Pritzker Group, will pay for the expansion of an early-childhood program in the 67,000-student Granite district through a social-impact bond, also known as a pay-for-success loan. Social-impact bonds are loans that seek to achieve a positive social outcome, and reduce future costs, by investing in prevention and intervention programs in the public sector.
New Orleans Picayune Times
New Orleans charter schools show progress with students, study finds
New Orleans charter school students learn at a faster pace than their peers at conventional schools and faster than their peers at charters elsewhere in Louisiana, according to a new report. Statewide, a charter student had the equivalent of an extra 50 days of learning in reading, 65 more in math. In New Orleans, charter students on average had the equivalent of an extra 120 days in reading, 150 days in math.
Wyoming standardized test performance declines in every grade, subject
Standardized test performances for Wyoming elementary and middle school students declined in every subject and every grade level from 2012 numbers, according to new data. The slump in scoring on the tests is likely a result of the state’s ongoing transition from the current set of learning standards to the Common Core standards, according to one official.
Salt Lake Tribune
Utah lawmakers raise reading stakes for elementary schools
If for two consecutive years a Utah district fails to make strides toward the state’s goal of having 90% of 3rd-graders reading proficiently, then the district will lose money, under a new rule approved by the state education department. At stake is $30 million in reading-intervention funds used by districts. The rule is mandated by a new law to enhance an existing K-3 Reading Improvement Program.
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