December 16, 2013

December 16th, 2013

Category: News

Local News

Middletown Transcript
Q&A with NEA Master Teacher Dana Patton
Old State Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Dana Patton recently was named one of the 96 educators nationwide – and only two in Delaware – to join the National Education Association’s Master Teacher Project. The Middletown resident and her fellow Master Teachers will create more than 14,000 Common Core-aligned lessons and share them for free on

What makes schools safe?
How do we wisely assess the biggest risks facing schoolchildren, and how do we equip, train and mobilize the adults around them to do all that is rational to keep them safe? Where do we find the resources to do this? These questions inspired an event that WHYY/NewsWorks organized last Saturday at the University of Delaware’s Wilmington campus. About 50 people — educators, students, police officers, parents — gathered to hear from and quiz three experts, and to add their own thoughts.

First college lesson for many Delawareans is learning how to afford it
While Representative Carney has held a series of listening sessions with parents and educators, and he has created a web page filled with links to other sites that offer helpful information on the college financial aid process. More Coverage: Tapping into available resources And Carney is not alone. The state and many school districts have intensified their efforts to educate high school students and their parents on the complexities of applying for financial aid, and they’re paying special attention to students from lower-income families and to those who would be the first in their families to go to college.

Tapping into available resources: How to get started
The process of filing for college financial aid can be challenging, especially for those who have not done it before. The guidelines set by many schools add another layer of stress because they fall before the April 15 deadline for completing federal tax returns, which are the source of much of the data requested on the aid applications.

Few show for Reach Academy parent’s meeting
Just three Reach Academy for Girls’ parents attended an informal meeting held for them in Wilmington Wednesday night. The charter school is slated to close at the end of the academic year and The Delaware Department of Education held the meeting as an opportunity for parents to learn about other school and charter options for their children.

The News Journal
Delaware workers should get ready for lifetime of learning
An editorial
Delaware is competing against the world. As Gov. Markell has said, the world is not standing still. The advantage in the future will go to the skilled individuals and the skilled places. The government talked about improving schools and the quality of education. Those skills must be kept up to date, he said. The state needs to turn to more “just-in-time training” so workers can adapt to the business world’s changing needs.

Lessons learned from the Fisker investment
An op-ed by Fred Cullis, of Wilmington, is president of Cullis Associates, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative agency
The deplorable condition of the public education system in Delaware is another oft-cited reason prospective companies pass Delaware by. Prospective companies do not want to subject their children to the schools here and also have concerns regarding the availability of highly skilled workers to fill the jobs they hope to bring. Delaware needs to reform public education by putting capable principals in charge of their schools.

Washington Post
Hearing set in suit over Delaware charter school
The judge on Friday set a Jan. 2 hearing date on the injunction request, which state officials oppose. Attorneys for the Delaware Department of Education also are preparing to file papers on Monday asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Murphy defends timing of decision to shutter Reach Academy
State Education Secretary Mark Murphy defends the timing of his decision to close Reach Academy. “It provides the opportunity, the adults, the teachers for example to seek other employment and to be able to find that employment in time for the next school year,” says Murphy. “It is the responsibility of the leaders in the school, the board of directors in the school and our department to monitor the quality of the implementation throughout the rest of the school year, I think that that is a worthwhile risk to taking in order to afford our parents the opportunity to choose different schools,” Murphy says.

Delaware State News
Classroom size mandate hampers school boards
In Dover, Capital School District is pushing back against a law the caps class sizes. But if a classroom tips over 22 students, what’s a school board to do? Typically, they either waive the law or dig into local funds to hire extra staff. “That puts a big drain on a local budget. A lot of districts up north have put themselves in trouble when they go down that path,” Dave Vaughan, human resources director of Capital School District said.

National News

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Assembly Common Core panel releases recommendations
The head of a special Wisconsin Assembly committee that reviewed the Common Core has released a set of recommendations on the standards. In short, they recommend more privacy for students, a new STEM-based academic standard, and more public input on reviews of academic standards.

Inside Higher Ed
Competent at what?
The nascent Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), funded by Lumina Foundation, will include up to 20 institutions that offer competency-based degrees or are well on their way to creating them. The group’s overarching goals are to share intelligence and discuss “best practices” on competency-based education while also influencing the national conversation.

Minnesota Public Radio
More Minnesota youngsters ready for kindergarten
Nearly 73% of Minnesota children were prepared to start kindergarten in the fall of 2012, or about 13% more than in 2010, according to a report from the education department. The report also cites a narrowing in the readiness gap between white students and students of color and between low income students and their wealthier counterparts. But gaps do remain.

Washington Post
Student turnover now part of D.C. schools report on data to assist comparisons
New District of Columbia reports are part of an effort to give parents and policymakers a better way to make side-by-side comparisons of every school, including charters. The equity reports compile data that have previously been available only in scattered form, including information about demographics, attendance, discipline, and test performance. The reports also publicize school mobility rates.

Montgomery County schools chief proposes $2.28 billion budget, with spending increases
The budget plan also comes a week after new figures showed a growing achievement gap on Advanced Placement exams. Last year, the council was focused on the achievement gap as members debated the school district’s budget, with several saying they expected to see more progress. Although more county students than ever took AP tests in the spring, the percentage of exams with college-ready scores fell, ­especially among African American and Latino students.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware