August 7, 2013

August 7th, 2013

Category: Early Childhood Education, News, Policy and Practice

Local News

Dept of Education seeks feedback on proposed new school science standards
About 20 people came to the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington Tuesday to get more information about the state’s plan for new science standards in Delaware schools. Most were actually Delaware Department of Education staffers and teachers, including Tom Harrison, a seventh grade science teacher at Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown. Harrison started teaching in Delaware in 1995, when science standards were last implemented. He says introducing the Next Generation Science Standards poses a similar challenge of getting every school on the same educational page. National Assessment of Educational Progress scores in science improved for several years under the current set of standards, but in recent years it has plateaued, officials said. The goal of adopting new standards is to improve test scores through more practical science applications and fewer science lectures and simple memorization of facts.

The News Journal
Our View: Core goals would move all students forward
An editorial
The typical discussion about “common core” standards for our schools often misses the point. We need to improve our education system so that our children can compete for a shrinking number of jobs in a world growing more competitive all of the time. It is a simple as that. Delaware is one of 46 states that adopted “common core” standards on what students should learn about math and language arts. Now it is moving toward becoming part of “The Next Generation Science Standards,” an attempt to make science classes more comprehensive and more rigorous. The hard truth is that our students must do better in reading, math and science. We owe it to the students and the entire country to help the school system perform that task.

The charter school craze is no taxpayer bargain
A letter to the editor by Jeffrey Cochran
It was reported that the conservatives in southern Delaware and also in Pennsylvania and Maryland are fighting mad about how the “government” is attacking these “for-profit” charter school programs. Well it’s time to let the citizens know that more than 75 percent of these educated pundits were schooled in a federally funded public school. We are now learning that in Florida and in Delaware, to take the public’s education money, you have to be able to go bankrupt and not know how to run an education program and then go back and ask for more money. Why? So the charter school can go get more federal/state money/taxpayer money to rig the score.

National News

The New York Times
A $147 million signal of faith in Atlanta’s public schools
The most expensive public high school ever built in Georgia opens Wednesday in an old I.B.M. office building. With 11 stories, a 900-car parking deck and views fit for a corporate executive, the school, North Atlanta High, looks very much like the fancy office buildings and glittery shopping strips that populate its Buckhead community. The school cost about $147 million. That is small change compared with the Robert F. Kennedy high school complex in Los Angeles, built in 2010 for $578 million — a figure critics liked to point out was more expensive than Beijing’s Olympic stadium. But in the Deep South, where the median cost of a new high school is $38.5 million, it might as well be the Taj Mahal. As a result, some in this antigovernment, tax-sensitive part of the country are grumbling, especially since the project was $50 million over its original budget.

Pre-K gains may not stick, Vanderbilt study finds
A new Vanderbilt University study found that preschool helps children succeed in school academically, but the effects may not last for long. Yet, researchers also found that students who attend preschool get promoted from kindergarten to 1st grade at twice the rate of peers who don’t and have better attendance records. The authors emphasized that further research is needed to follow the students through later grades.

Denver Post
Colorado school finance reformers deliver double required signatures
Proponents of a $950 million initiative to revamp Colorado’s school finance system delivered more than 160,000 signatures in an effort to put the measure on the November ballot. Initiative 22 would raise the money through a change in the state income tax structure. The measure would trigger a new way to determine state and local funding shares by taking into account differences in median income and at-risk students.
Tax dollars for private school tuition gain in states
Thirteen states created or expanded tuition tax credits, private school scholarships, or traditional vouchers in 2013, and 15 states did so in 2012 or 2011. Some states have created tax credits for parents who pay private school tuition. Others are giving tax credits to those who donate to private scholarship funds that dole out money to families who need help paying for private school.

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Rodel Foundation of Delaware



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