December 12, 2013
The News Journal
Our future depends on future of jobs
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that one-third of American children are growing up in homes with incomes lower than their counterparts 35 years ago. As a study from The Hamilton Project put it, “This sustained erosion of income among a broad group of children is without precedent in recent American history.” The way out seems to be, as it always has been, education. But three decades of school reform have failed to move large numbers of middle- and lower-income students up the pay scale.
More economic growth can help the middle class
An op-ed by Stacie Beck and Eleanor Craig, associate professors of economics at the University of Delaware
Delaware should do better on quality-of-life areas. The quality of public schools is lower than surrounding states, including Virginia, which ranks comparably in funding per student. Two-thirds of Delaware’s public school eighth-graders aren’t proficient in either reading or math and scores have stagnated. Since the public schools have proven resistant to improvement, expand charter schools and provide tuition tax credits to help low- and middle-income families.
Strengthening middle class in skills-based economy
An op-ed by Saul D. Hoffman, professor of economics at the University of Delaware
We cannot easily roll back either technological change or globalization, nor should we. They are by and large beneficial, even though they create some clear losers. At the end of the day, a stronger middle class requires more workers with more skills, not just income redistribution. In the skills-based economy of the 21st century, increased investments in human capital – everything from universal preschool to assistance for students in higher education – are more critical than ever.
New tool designed to keep students safe at Delaware’s schools
State officials believe more is needed to protect children in public schools and the true first responders – the teachers and staff. State officials demonstrated a new tool designed to improve school safety. The Web-based planning tool, called the Emergency Response Information Portal, is already in use in two Delaware districts – Laurel in Sussex County and Polytech in Kent. The Laurel pilot project is part of the Omnibus School Safety Act, legislation signed by Markell in September 2012.
New York City Council takes stand against high-stakes testing
The New York City Council has passed a resolution asking state officials to replace high-stakes standardized tests with multiple measures that collectively gauge student achievement. The city council’s education committee approved Resolution 1394 on Monday, and the full council approved it Tuesday by a vote of 49-0, according to a staff member in Councilmember Robert Jackson’s office. The resolution was written by a group of national organizations last year and has been circulated since then as a model piece of legislation to revamp current testing regimens.
NCTQ responds to critics of its teacher-prep ratings
A commentary by Kate Walsh, president of the National Center for Teacher Quality
NCTQ’s standards capture the knowledge and skills new teachers need to be ready to teach on the first day of school, as their endorsement by more than 100 school superintendents and 24 state school chiefs can attest. To our knowledge, no public school educator has ever reviewed our standards and found something to disagree with. Shifting the argument from methodology to content is far more likely to be a losing proposition for higher education.
Chiefs for Change confronts political, policy tests
A group of state schools chiefs that has cast itself as an anti-establishment force in education may be at a crossroads, as its policies become more widely adopted and, at the same time, subject to the challenges of implementation. The group’s push for policies such as school choice and using student test scores in teacher evaluations has enjoyed increasing favor, raising the question of whether the message of Chiefs for Change still carries the same disruptive force, and whether its members can carry out the policies in a way that lives up to the group’s rhetoric and advocacy work.
U.S. Department of Education to redo SIG analysis due to contractor error
The U.S. Department of Education is revising its recent analysis of the second year of the controversial School Improvement Grant program, after it became clear that an outside contractor charged with crunching the data erroneously left out too many schools that should have been included in the mix. Those who took a close look at the data remember that tons of schools were left out.
Scott Walker signs two bills boosting tech education
Supporting technical education and encouraging young people to consider careers in manufacturing are an important part of improving Wisconsin’s economy, Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday during a bill-signing appearance in Eau Claire. Walker signed two bills into law that aim to bolster technical education during his visit Tuesday to Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Manufacturing Center on the northwest side of Eau Claire.
Topeka Capital Journal
Kansas opts to create its own Common Core tests
Kansas withdrew Tuesday from a federally funded, state-led initiative to develop tests aligned to the controversial Common Core mathematics and English standards, choosing instead to commission the tests from The University of Kansas. After hours of in-depth discussion, the Kansas State Board of Education voted 8-2 to walk away from a years-long effort that Kansas played a lead role in — the Smarter Balanced state consortium that is developing Common Core tests with a federal Race to the Top Grant.