August 2, 2013

August 2nd, 2013

Category: News, Policy and Practice, Student-Centered Learning

Local News

The News Journal
Delaware teachers are fully supporting Common Core
As students prepare to return to school later this month, teachers also are readying for the new academic year. And this year, they are entering their classrooms with an important tool: clearer, more rigorous and more focused standards for mathematics and English language arts. Adopted by Delaware’s State Board of Education in August 2010 and being implemented across the state this year, the research-based Common Core State Standards were developed by a coalition of education and business leaders, parents and other experts from across the country in a year’s long effort that drew bipartisan support.

Sussex County
 Seaford district employing staggered start for kindergarten
The Seaford School District is employing a staggered start for kindergarten students for the start of the 2013-14 year later in August. Kindergarten teachers will be giving a new assessment called The Early Learner Survey — a mandatory assessment that will be given to all kindergarten students within the first 30 days of school during the 2013-2014 school year. Based on feedback from kindergarten teachers, the district opted to use staggered start dates for kindergarten students in the fall during the first week of school.

The Milford Beacon
Milford High hopes to open agriscience facility to students this October
Milford School District has been working on establishing an on-campus barn for students interested in agricultural sciences, especially those participating in the FFA program, a project that should be ready for student use this fall. With more than 500 students in grades eighth through 12th participating in the FFA program through Milford School District, making it this year’s largest FFA chapter in the state, an on-site facility has been a longtime coming, said Superintendent Phyllis Kohel. “They’re very excited about the opportunities that the barn is going to give them,” Kohel said. “It’ll be a learning facility, a learning lab for our students.”

National News

Education Week
Fla. schools chief resigns amid grade-change controversy
Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett today resigned his position, following revelations July 29 that during his tenure as Indiana’s K-12 chief in 2012, he altered the state’s A-F school accountability system after discovering that an Indianapolis charter school that was run by one of his political donors received a lower-than-expected score. Mr. Bennett, who took over the top Florida education job in January, is a nationally prominent K-12 official who is widely admired in some quarters of the education policy community for his aggressive approach to promoting school choice and school accountability, and for overhauling teacher evaluations in Indiana.

Education Next
The promise of personalized learning
As public budgets shrink, and technology enables increasingly individualized instruction, schools are justifiably looking toward online models for ways to improve student performance. The criticism of online learning has long been that, however cost-effective, it cannot replace the human element in teaching. And that is certainly true. The beauty of a hybrid model, also known as blended learning, is that it enhances the human element. Computers help students to achieve competency by letting them work at their own pace. And with the software taking up chores like grading math quizzes and flagging bad grammar, teachers are freed to do what they do best: guide, engage, and inspire.

Education News
From clickers to E-readers, technology is transforming the classroom
Technology is changing the way we eat, earn, and communicate, so it’s no surprise that technology is also bringing changes to the classroom. According to Barbara Leader of The Town Talk, technology is changing the way students learn and teachers teach. Gone are the days where teachers behind a podium deliver lectures to students sitting quietly in their desks while parents nervously wait for report cards to arrive home signaling a student’s success or challenges. Technology gives educators different ways to deliver information and instruction to students and parents. The classroom environment has been transformed by technology to cater to the needs of 21st century learners. Now schools are investing money on online education technology, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, interactive white boards and e-book readers and implementing those devices in the elementary years.

The Washington Post
D.C. students reach new heights in annual standardized tests
Students in the District’s traditional public schools scored higher than ever on the city’s math and reading tests this year, also posting the largest single-year gain since 2008, according to test results released Tuesday. The city’s public charter schools, which had higher scores than the traditional system, made their biggest gains since 2009. For the first time, more than half of charter students scored proficient or above in reading on the city tests.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware