August 27, 2013

August 27th, 2013

Category: Policy and Practice

Local News

The News Journal
Behavioral health program at schools sets more ambitious goals in state rollout
There are some who will remember the paddle, the dreaded wooden tool wielded by teachers and school staff fed up with problem students. It shows how far educational discipline and strategy have come. Now, students’ behavioral health is one of the first things taken into account. Many are dealing with problems at home, bullying in the classroom or issues of identity and “fitting in,” especially with the omnipresent pressure of social media. In Delaware, a pilot project designed to provide extra support for students in need was started by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families in 2010. Officials say early results are promising and are looking to expand the program this year.

New Castle Elementary gets new students and technology for the new year
Students at a colonial school district elementary school were welcomed back to school by a special visitor. Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn visited New Castle Elementary school on Monday to greet the Colonial school district students on their first day of the 2013-2014 school year.

Delaware State News
Mental health professionals recruited for middle schools
Per Gov. Jack A. Markell’s budgetary request, the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families is recruiting 34 mental health professionals for the state’s middle schools in order to address the lack of mental health services for adolescents. On Monday, the department issued a request for proposal (RFP) through its Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services to fill these positions.

National News

Education Week
Calculator use on exams to shift with Common Core
Although calculators have not figured prominently in discussions of the common-core math standards, it’s likely the complementary tests will result in far greater uniformity in their use on state exams across the nation. Policies emerging from the two state consortia developing common-core assessments would prohibit most students from using calculators on the grades 3-5 tests, for example. At grades 6 and above, they call for calculator “on” and “off” sections and set restrictions on what functionality is allowed.

TV9 News Denver
Jeffco debates using student data cloud system
Some teachers say it’s the future of the classroom – every aspect of a student’s academic life at instantly accessible. Some parents say it’s an invasion of privacy and an online fruit ripe for hackers to pick. “The new pilot would place data at teachers’ fingertips, giving teachers and parents a more robust picture,” Leslie Dahlkemper, president of the Jefferson County School Board, said. She’s talking about a program called Classroom Dashboard that would store data in a cloud system run by a national non-profit program called inBloom. The Classroom Dashboard would allow teachers to see instantly various factors associated to each student. “Teachers can identify at a glance precisely which students are having trouble and with which skills,” Dahlkemper said. “Parents have access to data, too, and there are no surprises.”

Education Next
Charter “restarts” offer alternative to closing railing schools
When a charter school doesn’t uphold its end of the charter bargain—autonomy for accountability—and fails to produce strong student learning, must closing the school be the only option? Scattering its students—especially when they have no other high-quality schools available nearby—may disrupt an already-fragile community unnecessarily, if a better option exists. One promising alternative: Introduce new adults who have the will and skill to help struggling students achieve, and let the students stay.

The New York Times
At charter schools, short careers by choice
As tens of millions of pupils across the country begin their school year, charter networks are developing what amounts to a youth cult in which teaching for two to five years is seen as acceptable and, at times, even desirable. Teachers in the nation’s traditional public schools have an average of close to 14 years of experience, and public school leaders and policy makers have long made it a priority to reduce teacher turnover. But with teachers confronting the overhaul of evaluations and tenure as well as looming changes in pension benefits, the small but rapidly growing charter school movement — with schools that are publicly financed but privately operated — is pushing to redefine the arc of a teaching career.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware



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