August 20, 2013
The Middletown Transcript
Appo. hires new special ed. coordinator for elementary schools
The Appoquinimink School District chose one of its own to fill an elementary school special education district coordinator position that’s been vacant since the spring. Tamara Grimes-Stewart, a 7-year employee with the district, was tapped Aug. 19 to fill the position previously held by Barbara Mazza, who took a job with the Delaware Department of Education’s Special Education Office.
Red Clay school district sets world record with LEGO tower
Red Clay Consolidated School District claimed the Guinness World Record for the tallest LEGO brick tower Monday night. Superintendent Merv Daugherty placed the final section on the 110-foot-tall plastic structure around 6:45 at John Dickinson High School. Assistant Superintendent Ted Ammann has camped in his RV near the tower since Wednesday to help oversee the project. He says the tower is five stories high, with more than 500,000 LEGO pieces, and weighs almost two thousand pounds. Red Clay’s LEGO tower reaches 110 feet into the air at Dickinson H.S.
Tutoring firms hit hard by NCLB waivers
The private tutoring industry, which has flourished under the No Child Left Behind Act, has been hit hard by federal waivers that have eased key provisions of the law. Those waivers, granted by the U.S. Department of Education to most states and a group of California districts, allow school systems to avoid the NCLB mandate that they use 20 percent of Title I funds for after-school tutoring and transportation for school choice to eligible students. Many for-profit providers of the tutoring, known in the NCLB law as supplemental education services, have had to pursue new K-12 revenue streams, or even close their doors, as federal funding funneled through affected school districts is being reallocated for other purposes.
N.Y. test-score plunge adds fuel to Common-Core debate
The release of New York test scores showing steep plunges in math and English proficiency has state officials and educators grappling with the growing influence of the Common Core assessments. State officials say this year’s scores give a more accurate and honest picture of students’ college and career readiness. But others believe that the Common Core exams will be used to attack educators and will hamper students’ development.
Some D.C. charters’ salary ranges include lower-paid teachers-in-training
Most D.C. charter schools pay teachers less the traditional school system, but minimum and maximum salaries do not tell the whole story. The starting-salary data for some charters include relatively low-paid teachers-in-training, who work alongside a mentor, gradually taking on more responsibility as the year progresses. AppleTree Early Learning, for example, a well-regarded charter with seven campuses for preschool and kindergarten students, staffs every classroom with three adults: a teaching assistant, whose salary began at $21,000 in 2011-12; a teacher-in-training, or fellow, whose salary began at $32,000; and an experienced lead teacher, whose salary began at $43,000.
The Hechinger Report
Head Start limiting enrollment, cutting programs as sequester kicks in
Thousands of children across the state are likely to be shut out of preschool in September as the federal sequestration cuts to Head Start take effect. The across-the-board reductions to large portions of the federal budget were triggered in March, when Congress failed to reach an agreement on balancing the budget by raising revenue or making specific cuts. Head Start, the national child care and education program for low-income children, received a 5.27 percent cut that is just catching up to local programs now. It’s forcing most to enroll fewer children, lay off staff, shrink the school calendar and, in some cases, even close facilities.
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