September 17, 2013
The News Journal
Opinions sought on school systems
A group of “concerned citizens” wants to personally survey at least 5,000 Delawareans in an effort to put their thoughts on education issues in front of state leaders. “There are so many things happening in education right now, and there’s so much momentum,” said Rod Ward, who sits on the advisory committee for Project 5,000 Opinions. “What’s missing is general citizens involving themselves. We want to change that.” The group hopes to talk to enough people in enough places that they’ll be able to show what folks in different areas and different demographics think – what’s important, what is going right and what is going wrong in schools.
Delaware school sees benefits from serving a hot breakfast
Seaford Middle School faces a challenge familiar to many schools with a large number of low-income students: How do you make sure they are adequately fed, so they can be healthy and focused to learn? One new way the school is trying to meet that challenge is turning heads: school staff are giving every kid a hot breakfast, and are serving it to them right in their classrooms.
Four Delaware school districts collaborate to innovate
you’re one who ascribes any significance to acronyms in education, you might be tempted to say that four Delaware school districts are on the BRINC of linking to the future. BRINC is the acronym for the four districts — Brandywine, Indian River, New Castle County Vocational Technical and Colonial — that have collaborated to secure a $600,000 innovation grant from the state Department of Education for a project called “Linking to the Future.” This groundbreaking project aims to transform how high school teachers teach and how their students learn. The grant is the largest of 14 totaling nearly $1.5 million awarded statewide in August for innovative improvement programs. Of these grants, it is the only one that involves collaboration among districts.
Innovation grants fund wide range of projects throughout the state
More than 1,000 elementary students in Laurel and another 70 children with learning disabilities at the Gateway Charter School near Wilmington are among those expected to benefit from nearly $1.5 million in innovation grants awarded recently by the State Department of Education. The 14 grants totaled $1,486,143, including $600,000 to a consortium of four districts to create transformative high school programs. The funds were allocated from the department’s budget line for school improvement projects.
A. G. Waters Middle School teacher named to Rodel Teacher Council
Alfred G. Waters Middle School math teacher Kathleen Olenderski was recently named as one of 16 members of the Rodel Teacher Council. Councilmembers serve 18-month terms during which time they advise the Rodel Foundation on critical education reform initiatives, meet with education stakeholders, visit exemplary schools where innovation is transforming instruction and help share those best practices throughout the state.
Comcast Community Crossfire
Interview with Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy
Host Norman Oliver
Ed. Dept. awards $15M in grants for kindergarten entry assessments
Faced with three high-quality applicants for a grant to create assessments aimed at students entering kindergarten, the Department of Education decided to say yes to all of them. A seven-state consortium led by Maryland will receive $4.9 million, and a nine-state group led by North Carolina was awarded $6.1 million. Interestingly, Texas—known for rebuffing federal education initiatives under the leadership of Republican Gov. Rick Perry—applied for and will receive $3.9 million.
State and locals to U.S. Senate: Rewrite No Child Left Behind Act
A collection of prominent organizations sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to bring a bill to the floor to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and soon. The letter was signed by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National League of Cities, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and four other groups.
Promise seen in college awareness program for middle schoolers
A University of Michigan study found strong evidence that early exposure to college, mentoring, and community service leadership used by the 22-year-old College for Every Student had a substantial impact on college-going attitudes of disadvantaged students. Seventy-five percent of its program participants in the study plan to attend four-year colleges, compared with 5% of students in a control group.
Google, edX to build MOOC.org online education platform
The online learning market is attracting major technology companies including Microsoft, Apple and Google who see tremendous opportunities in the growing market of online courses. Millions of students around the world are enrolling in massive open online courses (MOOC) being offered by Udacity, edX and Coursera, and players in the sector are beginning to partner and cooperate at a faster rate. Search engine company Google announced that it is teaming up with edX to develop a new site that will host courses online. The website, MOOC.org, will be open to use by academic institutions, businesses, and individuals to create and host massive online open courses online, according to Loek Essers of PC World.
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