September 20, 2013

September 20th, 2013

Category: News, Policy and Practice

Local News

The News Journal
Markell riles Common Core doubters with talk of ‘mythology’
On a day Delaware committed further to the national education standards movement, Gov. Jack Markell dismissed critics of those policies in a national TV appearance. Chuck Todd, host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, asked Markell on Thursday morning if there was any merit to criticism of the Common Core State Standards. “No, because it’s not based in fact,” Markell responded. “It’s based on this mythology.” The Common Core is a set of national reading and math standards that proponents say will “raise the bar” for what children are expected to learn, and equalize those expectations across states and districts.

State approves Next Generation Science Standards
The State Board of Education has unanimously approved the Next Generation Science Standards, a set of common expectations for what students are expected to learn. The NGSS is linked to the Common Core, a set of new standards for what students are expected to learn in reading and math. State officials said schools will implement the science standards over three years. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said that’s to let teachers take more time to implement the Common Core.

WDEL
Red Clay trying to close achievement gap
Test scores from last year were on the table at the Red Clay school board meeting Wednesday night, and the results reveal an achievement gap. Red Clay Superintendent Dr. Mervin Daugherty says at the meeting that “our children are falling behind” and he wants to see greater growth in test scores.

Sussex Countian
IRSD to host Common Core public forums
The Indian River School District will host two public forums in October to discuss the implementation of national common core standards in its schools. National Common Core Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. District curriculum is being aligned with these standards, and teachers and staff have received professional development on their implementation.

The Dover Post
CR school board discusses district’s adequate yearly progress
DCAS results were released earlier in the summer and members of the instruction department in the Caesar Rodney School District have been crunching numbers ever since. During a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Scott Lykens, Caesar Rodney’s director of instruction, gave school board members an update on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data.

SCSunTimes
All Smyrna School District schools make Adequate Yearly Progress
The good news for the Smyrna School District continues to roll in as all eight schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress. This is the second year in a row where all schools in the district made Adequate Yearly Progress; since Clayton Intermediate School was only in its first year as a school last year, it wasn’t included in the AYP totals for the 2011-2012 state accountability system.

National News

Education Week

Why the new teacher ed. standards matter
A commentary by Mary Brabeck & Christopher Koch, chair and the vice chair, respectively, of the board of directors for the Washington-based Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
For some time, the central challenge of teacher preparation has been ensuring that new educators are prepared to help the nation’s increasingly diverse students meet increasingly complex expectations—in school, and then in college and careers. But only recently have preparation programs begun focusing their attention on those who have the biggest stake in a pipeline of effective educators: the nation’s students.

U.S. Ed. Dept. issues guidance on ‘double-testing’ flexibility
In new guidance, the Education Department offered states the chance to suspend their current tests this spring, as long as they administer field tests being designed by the two Common Core assessment consortia. States will not have to report the results of the field tests. A department letter explained options for states as they transition their testing regimens to reflect the Common Core standards.

Iowa district puts twist on four-day week
As more districts adopt four-day weeks to cope with budget crunches, one rural Iowa district is embracing the practice to squeeze more time for student enrichment and teachers’ professional development. The plan follows the passage of H.F. 215, which defines school year length requirements. More states are altering their school year definitions from days to hours to allow more flexibility, according to ECS’ Kathy Christie.

Chronicle of Higher Education
Performance-based appropriations may not sway student outcomes
Despite changes in state postsecondary performance funding policies over the years, there still is no evidence that these strategies have a big effect on student outcomes, according to a new report. The authors advise that states dedicate a much larger share of tax dollars to rewarding student success, align performance measures with workforce goals, and allow different types of institutions to meet different standards.

Politico
The Common Core money war
One of the most expensive political fights in America this year isn’t over a Senate seat or a governor’s mansion. It’s about what your kids learn in school. Tens of millions of dollars are pouring into the battle over the Common Core academic standards, which aim to set a course for students’ progression in math and language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Washington Post
California takes a left turn on state exams
California is on a collision course with the U.S. Department of Education over its plans to suspend standardized tests this school year – a move that Education Secretary Arne Duncan says is wrong-headed. Concerned that other states might follow suit and in an attempt to shut down California’s rebellion, Duncan is threatening to withhold a small portion of the $1.4 billion California receives annually from Washington to help educate poor students in the country’s most populous state.




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