September 19, 2013
The New York Times
Delaware seeks to steer the poor to top colleges
Delaware announced on Wednesday a new effort to encourage high-achieving low-income students to apply to top colleges, saying it would send application fee waivers and other information to every such high school senior in the state. The program — a collaboration between Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, and the College Board, which administers the SAT — is a response to recent research showing that most poor students with high grades do not apply to any top colleges. Instead, many attend colleges with fewer resources and fail to graduate, at a time when the wage gap between college graduates and everyone else is near a record high. The pattern contributes to income inequality and holds down social mobility, economists say.
Delaware Department of Education
Governor Markell and College Board partner to increase college access for Delawareans
Joined by students in Mount Pleasant High School’s library today, Governor Markell, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and College Board President David Coleman announced a partnership that will enhance the Administration’s work to ensure high school students statewide are best equipped for the college application process. Beginning this month, the College Board is sending resources to students who have demonstrated the potential to succeed in college, but who may be at risk of either discounting the best schools for which they may qualify or of not applying to college at all. In addition to the support from the state’s colleges and universities, Delaware’s effort is backed by a group made up of all of the Ivy League schools, MIT and Stanford. That group was represented at today’s event by Yale University’s Dean of Admissions, Jeremiah Quinlan.
The News Journal
Too many kids capable of college never even apply
Too many Delaware students are qualified to go to college but aren’t enrolling because they don’t have the resources, don’t know how to apply or simply don’t consider themselves “college material.” That’s a problem state leaders are hoping to address by reaching out directly to kids to tell them they’ve got what it takes. “We have got to make sure our students don’t underestimate their potential,” said Gov. Jack Markell at a news conference in front of a roomful of high school juniors and seniors. “We have too many people losing out on career opportunities because they’re not getting the education they earned.”
Delaware announces partnership with College Board
Surrounded by Mt. Pleasant High School seniors and juniors, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with the College Board to provide college-ready students with the support and resources they’ll need to apply to the nation’s colleges. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be the first and it really came out of some research that was released earlier this year that said across the country so many high-performing, low-income kids are not going on to college,” Markell said.
Delaware history teacher named best in the nation
A First State teacher is earning national acclaim for her work in the classroom. Jill Szymanski, a 4th/5th grade teacher at Brandywine Springs in the Red Clay School District, has been named “National History Teacher of the Year” by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Szymanski emerged from a pool of 51 state winners to win the award. She believes her commitment to having students study primary source documents caught the judges’ attention.
The Wall Street Journal
A bridge to somewhere: Education panel focuses on ‘Democratizing Digital Learning’
Education experts convened today at The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference to discuss the current crisis in education: the gap between information and knowledge. A panel of industry experts led by John Merrow, PBS NewsHour education correspondent, urged public and private sectors to come together to solve the economic and social problems that this learning gap is causing in America. Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Aditya Bhasin, Bank of America; Joanne Weiss, former Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education; Ted Mitchell, NewSchools Venture Fund; and Jennifer Tescher, The Center for Financial Services Innovation, participated in the discussion.
The New York Times
Lifelines for poor children
Commentary By James J. Heckman
James J. Heckman, economist and Nobel laureate, argues that what is missing in the current debate over economic inequality is enough serious discussion about investing in effective early childhood development from birth to age 5. And current education programs don’t start early enough, nor do they produce the skills that matter most for personal and societal prosperity.
Pa. Board of Education OKs Common Core Standards
The Pennsylvania state board approved a plan to require all students to pass proficiency tests in science, math, and language arts before graduating. The vote to approve the Common Core standards came after state officials said they would limit the proficiency tests to public schools, and agreed not to impose a statewide curriculum or reading lists or expand the collection of students’ personal data.
Ed. Dept., Arizona clash over waiver
An Education Department letter indicates that Arizona may be the next state in trouble over its No Child Left Behind waiver after it submitted a final draft of its accountability system that does not meet federal demands on high school graduation rates or teacher evaluations. Arizona’s waiver was set to expire at the end of the last school year unless the state met those conditions and the flexibility was renewed.
K-12, Higher education collaborating on Common Core, survey finds
A recent survey found that most states report that the K-12 and higher education sectors are working together to implement the Common Core standards. But of the 40 states that responded to the Center on Education Policy survey, K-12 state education agency officials in 16 states reported facing major challenges and another 19 encountered minor challenges in collaborating with higher education.
Broader, bolder report judges Race to the Top to be a failure
Only three years into Race to the Top education initiative, one of the cornerstones of President Barack Obama’s education policy, the program is judged as an abject failure by a new study. The report, published by Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, concludes that although states made extravagant promises in their RTTP grant applications, since then very few of them have addressed the problems that underlie poor student performance like poverty, class and racial student divide. According to Politico’s Nirvi Shah, administration officials disputed the findings, saying that the states that are part of the program are showing indications that student performance is improving thanks to the programs the grants made possible.
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