February 6, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
SAT School day registration open
Juniors in Delaware’s public schools now can register to take the SAT college readiness exam for free during the school day on Wednesday, April 17. Funded by the state as part of Delaware’s $119 million federal Race to the Top grant, the program promotes a school culture that encourages more students to pursue education after high school. This year, more students across the state entered their senior year of high school with a key college admission credential. “Every 11th grader in our public schools, including those who may not have had the means or incentive to do so on their own, now has the opportunity to take this exam, an admission requirement for many of our nation’s institutions of higher learning,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “Since 2011, we’ve heard the stories of students who hadn’t before considered going to college. This opportunity changed that.
The News Journal
Delaware charter school law ranks 21
The National Alliance for Public Charter schools last week released a report that ranked all the state’s charter school laws. Delaware was No. 21, up one place from last year. Minnesota ranked No. 1, up one place from a year prior and ousting Maine for the top position in this annual ranking.
The missing link in charter school reform
Op-Ed by Ronald Russo
The state is reviewing the existing charter law for possible revisions. This might be a good time to think about the missing link in the charter school reform movement, i.e., the sharing of the lessons learned, both good and bad, with the traditional public schools for possible implementation.
Smyrna- Clayton Sun Tmes
Smyrna Vision: District continues to grow in size, education offerings
As the Town of Smyrna continues to grow, so does the Smyrna School District. Not only has the district and student enrollment numbers increased, but so has the quality of teaching and opportunities for students after graduation.
Teacher get grants for energy projects
Delmarva Power will announce grant money for teachers to purchase materials and create lessons and projects on energy-related material. The money will go to 16 schools in Delaware and Maryland and are designed to support projects that are not typically supported by school funding.
Test boycott puts Seattle teachers in national spotlight
Since a group of Seattle high school teachers decided to boycott administration of a computerized exam in December, their protest has been embraced by opponents of high-stakes testing as a call to nationwide action. Teachers at Garfield High School, however, portray their protest as narrowly focused against one particular test used by their district—the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP—not against assessments in general, high-stakes or otherwise. The Garfield High teachers became the first in the United States to collectively boycott administration of the MAP test, a widely used computerized adaptive assessment intended to gauge students’ general improvement over the course of the school year.
Obama to Congress: halt automatic cuts to federal education spending
President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to temporarily delay a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts set to hit federal K-12 education spending—as well as defense, criminal justice, and a whole host of other programs—on March 1.
The Press Enterprise
Coaching program aids teachers, students
Hans Christensen Middle School teacher Vonda Rogers tried something new in her classroom last week. She and her students at the Menifee campus began using algebra tiles – small, brightly-colored concrete representations of an algebraic equation – to begin solving problems. Curriculum coach Dennis Regus is assisting Rogers and her colleagues in the school’s math department. Research has shown that moving from the concrete to the abstract is how the brain best learns math, Regus said. Regus is one of a team of teachers on special assignment who serve as curriculum coaches in the Menifee Union School District. Their role is to help teachers develop stronger “professional learning communities,” groups of teachers that meet to review students’ test scores, discuss ways to improve instruction and share best practices.
The Mercury News
California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders
By falling in line with other states, California’s state board voted last month to shift away from a 15-year policy of expecting 8th-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow them to take either Algebra I or an alternate course that includes some algebra. New state standardized tests will focus on the alternate course—the same one adopted under the Common Core.