September 26, 2012
The News Journal
Five earn inaugural iEducate Del. awards
The iEducate Delaware awards are an initiative of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware to recognize the “unsung heroes” of public education. Each winner gets $2,000 to support their work. The winners are: Audrey Carey, an administrator at the Indian River School District; Margaret O’Dwyer, the co-founder the Delaware Youth Leadership Network; Sarah Preston, a teacher at the Brandywine School District’s Bush Early Education Center; Tracey Roberts, principal of the Christina School District’s Pulaski Elementary, where she encourages staff to involve the community and parents; and Lori Roe, an instructional technology specialist at Cape Henlopen School District.
Report: School districts lack critical data on early education
Districts and communities are doing a poor job of keeping track of how many kids attend publicly funded preschool and kindergarten programs, leading to an inability to evaluate those programs, according to a new report. The diversity of funding for pre-K programs increases the challenges of collecting data, as does the disparities in program requirements and characteristics.
Race to Top winners push to fulfill promises
As the 12 Race to the Top winners reach the midpoint of their four-year, $4 billion federal grant program, states are shifting their work from the planning stages to what is perhaps the more difficult part: implementing new programs and school improvement efforts in the classroom. Even in a small state such as Delaware, the general Race to the Top rollout is daunting when you look at the numbers: 10,000 public school employees educating 150,000 children, said Paul A. Herdman, the president and chief executive officer of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, which has worked closely with the state on education reform.
Standard backers seek support of parents
Backers of the common-core academic standards are ramping up efforts to court a different and potentially critically important audience: parents. The National Council of La Raza, an organization that advocates for Latino communities, is a supporter of the standards. The organization has drafted an advocacy tool kit, which is primarily designed to help advocates build support for the common core. Yvonne Johnson, the president of the Delaware state PTA, who is helping coordinate those presentations in her state, has seen a strong demand for information from across the state. The PTA could be making as many as two presentations a day on the common core over the coming two months, she said. Recently, the state chapter received nine requests for presentations during a single day.
Microsoft to invest $500 million to close youth ‘opportunity gap’
Microsoft announced that it is undertaking a new global initiative to combat the opportunity gap for young people. The company is investing $500 million in YouthSpark, which is aimed at creating opportunities such as education, employment, and entrepreneurship for about 300 million youths in 100 countries over the next three years. Microsoft is partnering with nonprofits in the effort.