December 17, 2013
State of Delaware
Making our communities and schools safer
Governor’s weekly address
In the wake of tragedy, I’m proud that Delaware leaders acted. While Washington gridlocked on improving gun safety, we closed an enormous loophole in our background check system. Criminals can no longer buy weapons undetected by shopping at a private dealer. To further prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, we’ve mandated the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, which so often end up at crime scenes because they were acquired by someone prohibited from having a weapon.
The News Journal
Class notes: State task force begins study of post-Labor Day school start
A state task force studying the possibility of pushing the first day of school back until after Labor Day met for the first time this week.
Class notes: Red Clay school board to vote again on class-size waiver
The Red Clay School Board will re-vote on whether to accept a class waiver at a meeting Thursday evening.
Class notes: Dover High assistant principal nominated for national honor
Dover High School’s assistant principal, Courtney Voshell, has been named Delaware’s nominee for the 2014 National Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year Award.
Connecticut Education News
State commission holds teacher evaluation hearing
Last year, the Windsor School system became part of a 10-school pilot group to assess the success of the teacher evaluation program implemented by the State Board of Education, launched statewide this school year. Deborah S. Wheeler, superintendent of Litchfield Schools (also a pilot school district last year) viewed the introduction of the teacher evaluation system as a positive experience, but not without challenges.During the pilot year, the Litchfield Schools spent a great deal of time, training teachers how to develop their required student learning objectives (SLOs). The advantage to this training period was teachers would know what to expect and what they will be held accountable for.
Hawaii regains footing after early stumbles on Race to Top
Just two years ago, the state was floundering so badly in executing its plan that it nearly lost the coveted grant. Today, it looks as if the federal bet may pay off. “We pushed real fast and real hard,” said state Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Now, it’s a question of time. It’s giving people time to love it and learn it and practice it,” she said of the state’s aggressive Race to the Top agenda.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Many Ohio 3rd graders need to improve reading skills or state will make them repeat
About one-third of Ohio’s 3rd graders need to improve their reading skills by the end of the year or they won’t move on to 4th grade under the state’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law. Scores on this fall’s tests are lower than in most previous years, which some officials attribute to adjustments in the tests as the state phases in the Common Core standards.
Detroit Free Press
Should state hold back 3rd graders who can’t read well?
If Michigan lawmakers follow Florida’s lead by holding back 3rd graders with poor reading skills, the state would join a fast-growing movement across the country. But whether Michigan can replicate Florida’s short-term gains may depend on how much money and resources the state invests in intervention programs designed to identify and help struggling readers before they get to 3rd grade.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Many colleges can’t track completion rates, online-course survey finds
Students are somewhat less likely to complete online courses than classroom-based counterparts are, a survey of online programs by WICHE has found. But the survey also found that many colleges have trouble keeping track of how many students complete courses. Among respondents, 65% were not able to provide an on-campus rate and 55% did not report an online rate for course completion.
New Nebraska Education Commissioner Blomstedt took less traditional path to job
Matthew Blomstedt acknowledged that he didn’t take the traditional path to becoming Nebraska’s new education commissioner. He hasn’t spent time as a teacher or as a school administrator. Blomstedt is the executive director of the Nebraska Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council. He also has headed the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association and worked as a research analyst for the legislature.