August 8, 2013
Students empower their own future at new charter, Delaware MET
In the fall of 2014, downtown Wilmington will be home to a new charter school: the Delaware MET. “It is a school that students can follow their passions,” says School Leader Amy Cantymagli.
She explains the Big Picture Learning model empowers students to get involved in their future by picking their own internships. “It’s very much student led so students decide what they’re interested in. They come up with a list of places that they want to learn more about,” she says. Starting on the first day of ninth grade, students will learn vital skills to secure those crucial internships. “Being able to make professional phone calls, provide professional e-mails, also learning how to present yourself to others,” she explains.
The Sussex Countian
Primeros Pasos gets closer to $1.3 million goal for new facility
The Primeros Pasos First Steps daycare program received a $50,000 boost last week thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. “Early childhood education is key to a student’s success,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), at Friday’s announcement. “This grant award will provide a home to Primeros Pasos First Steps, which is dedicated to giving children in Georgetown the tools they need to succeed once they enter elementary school.”
The Dover Post
Central Middle teacher named agriscience ambassador
Jessica Torres grew up in Clifton, N.J., just 15 minutes outside of New York City. The city was so close in fact that she could see the skyline from her house. When it came time to attend college, Torres traded the big city lights to become a Blue Hen. After completing her education Torres began working as a long-term substitute for an eighth-grade agricultural education class at Smyrna Middle School. Last year she made the move to Central Middle School and began teaching seventh and eighth grade agriscience. Torres is also the advisor for the school’s FFA program. Earlier this month, she attended the Dupont National Agriscience Teachers Ambassador Academy at Dupont’s Chesapeake Farms in Chestertown, Md. The program is designed to provide agriscience teachers with innovative teaching techniques. Teachers learn how to apply those techniques by engaging in hands-on activities on Chesapeake Farms. Upon completing the program, Torres was named as an agriscience ambassador.
Weingarten calls on teachers to improve, remove ineffective colleagues
Speaking in front of the American Federation of Teachers rank and file earlier this week, Randi Weingarten didn’t mince words. The AFT president said that it was the responsibility of all those present to do everything they can to remove unskilled teachers from schools. Not only do bad teachers cast the profession in a bad light, they actively harm students who rely on them for knowledge and improvement. By adopting this tougher stance, Weingarten echoes talk around a number of state houses all over the country. Almost every state in America has over the past 10 years experimented with — or at least debated — teacher evaluation systems that would make it easier to separate effective instructors from ineffective ones.
U.S. Department of Education grants California districts’ CORE waiver
The U.S. Department of Education granted an unprecedented waiver Tuesday under the No Child Left Behind Act to eight California districts that together educate 1 million students, upending a long tradition of state-based school accountability. The first-of-its-kind waiver, good for one year, essentially allows the eight districts to set up their own accountability system outside of the state of California’s—and largely police themselves through their own board of directors. The districts known as CORE, for California Office to Reform Education, will operate under a new “school quality improvement index” that will be based 60 percent on academic factors such as test scores and graduation rates, 20 percent on social-emotional factors such as the absentee rate, and 20 percent on culture and climate factors such as student and parent surveys.
Wyoming to get say on new Common Core tests
The Wyoming education department announced its new status as a voting member within the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which will give the state more say in the tests being developed for the Common Core. The tests for Wyoming students will include long- and short-answer items if the department can convince the legislature to change state statute limiting standardized tests to multiple-choice questions.
The New York Times
Test scores sink as New York adopts tougher benchmarks
The number of New York students passing state reading and math exams dropped drastically this year, education officials reported on Wednesday, unsettling parents, principals and teachers and posing new challenges to a national effort to toughen academic standards. In New York City, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the tests in English, and 30 percent passed in math, according to the New York State Education Department.
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