August 6, 2013
Sussex County Post
State Teacher of the Year John Sell new assistant principal at Sussex Tech
Sussex Technical High School announced Tuesday that John Sell has been named an assistant principal at Sussex Tech. In his new position, Mr. Sell, Delaware’s 2013 State Teacher of the Year, has several roles. He will supervise students with last names beginning with letters P through Z, supervise the English and Special Education departments and oversee classroom technology.
The Washington Post
A-to-F systems for grading public schools get new scrutiny
News last week that Tony Bennett, the former Indiana superintendent of public instruction, quietly altered the state grade for a charter school founded by a campaign donor has raised questions about the validity of the trendy A-to-F grading system used to assess schools in more than a dozen states. Bennett resigned from his job as Florida education commissioner on Thursday amid revelations that he directed staff members to alter the grade of the charter school last fall, when he was Indiana’s schools chief.
Davis takes office as Washington Teachers Union president
It’s official: Elizabeth Davis is the new president of the Washington Teachers Union and will lead contract negotiations on behalf of 4,000 D.C. teachers. Davis took office Thursday after unseating incumbent Nathan Saunders in a runoff election last month. Saunders appealed that result in an effort to hold onto his seat, but has now withdrawn his challenge, he wrote in a farewell letter to union members Wednesday.
Los Angeles Times
L.A. teachers give their new iPads a test drive
Teachers returned to school Monday to work with the Apple iPads that could soon be in the hands of every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The hope is that the effort will revolutionize teaching and boost achievement — as well as put the district’s mostly low-income, minority students on an even footing with more prosperous students who have such devices at home, at school or both.
Duncan reluctant to tweak accountability system oversight
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sees no need to step up the federal role in oversight of new accountability systems that are part of his department’s No Child Left Behind Act waiver program, even in the wake of a school-grading flap that last week cost Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett his job. In a wide-ranging interview with Education Week last week, Mr. Duncan did not defend Mr. Bennett—embroiled in a controversy stemming from his previous job as Indiana state schools chief—or Mr. Bennett’s actions. Nor did Mr. Duncan say there’s a reason at this point for federal officials to investigate what happened in the Hoosier State, which involved a grading system at the heart of its NCLB waiver agreement.
Harrisburg Patriot News
School districts, state balance budget on backs of children: cuts in kindergarten
A spending controversy in Pennsylvania pivots on kindergarten, which the state does not require. So some districts, facing declining revenue and mandated costs, are choosing to reduce kindergarten to a half day or eliminate it altogether. Many districts used state aid to help pay for full-day kindergarten, but changes in leadership, declining revenue, and rising costs have compromised this funding.
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