December 18, 2013
Delaware Department of Education
ESEA flexibility extension
On November 14, 2013, USED provided states the opportunity to apply for a one year extension. A red-lined draft of DDOE’s ESEA Flexibility extension request is available here for your review and comment.
The News Journal
Revenue estimates fall short of budget increases for state
Gov. Jack Markell, who will present a new budget to the General Assembly next month, will not have a significant boost in new tax revenue to cover mandatory cost increases in health care and education, according to new revenue estimates. “Even though revenues ultimately are still going to be up from last year, they’re not going to be up enough to cover the automatic growth in Medicaid and the automatic growth in schools,” said Rep. Melanie George Smith, D-Bear, co-chair of the budget writing Joint Finance Committee. “That’s the real issue.”
Red Clay planning to move special needs students out of separate schools
Red Clay’s administration wants to move away from a system where students who have learning disabilities, are learning English or have other special needs attend separate programs away from regular schools. Those schools include the Richardson Park Learning Center, the Central School and the Meadowood Program. Should the school board approve the district’s plan Wednesday night, students at those schools would be integrated into their regular feeder schools.
Educators school confront the elephant in the room
A letter to the editor by James Thomen
Much has been written in the News Journal lately regarding efforts to improve K-12 educational outcomes. The NJ has emphasized the need for leadership among the principals/administrators group. Money does not seem to improve results significantly. The elephant in the room is the teacher’s union insistence on tenure and uniform pay independent of teacher performance.
The New York Times
Why other countries teach better
The American work force has some of weakest mathematical and problem-solving skills in the developed world. In a recent survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global policy organization, adults in the United States scored far below average and better than only two of 12 other developed comparison countries, Italy and Spain. Worse still, the United States is losing ground in worker training to countries in Europe and Asia whose schools are not just superior to ours but getting steadily better.
Wanted: Schools chief who has never crossed de Blasio on education
With a populist pitch forged by his own experiences as a public school parent, Bill de Blasio surged to victory in New York’s mayoral race thanks, in part, to his vow to shift away from Michael R. Bloomberg’s education policies. But two weeks before he takes office, Mayor-elect de Blasio has yet to pick a schools chancellor to carry out his own agenda. Indeed, while there is no shortage of people who would love to run the nation’s largest school system, given Mr. de Blasio’s own requirements, the pool of qualified candidates is actually quite small.
New Mexico teachers resist a state official’s plan for evaluating them
State Education Secretary Hanna Skandera has crisscrossed New Mexico for the past several weeks, rolling out an aggressive teacher evaluation system devised to improve student achievement in a state that has long ranked near the bottom of most educational metrics. But the plan has drawn deep resentment from many here, who say it leans too heavily on standardized tests. Last month, teachers wore black clothing and held rallies across the state to denounce Ms. Skandera’s data-driven approach. Lawsuits have been filed to block the evaluations but have not advanced in the courts.
Common Core and the food pyramid
Unlike a lot of folks, it’s because I thought (and continue to think) that the Common Core itself just doesn’t matter that much. How can I say that, when so many luminaries (including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, College Board prez David Coleman, and self-impressed PISA Overlord Andreas Schleicher) have insisted that Common Core will transform schooling? To be frank, I’ve never quite understood where the enthusiasts were coming from. Standards are just a bunch of words on paper.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bill would allow charter schools to expand free of districts, unions
Wisconsin could see a dramatic rise in the number of charter schools operating outside of districts and without teachers unions, under A.B. 549. The proposed legislation would eliminate district-staffed charters and empower a new slate of authorizers to approve independent charters: all University of Wisconsin System institutions, regional educational service agencies, and technical college district boards.
Inside Higher Ed
Report documents college completion rates
Fifty-six percent of all first-time college students who enrolled in fall 2007 earned a degree or certificate within six years, and that figure rose to 78% for those who were enrolled exclusively full time, according to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse. The report includes for the first time data on dual-enrollment students—those who were enrolled in college-level courses while still in high school.
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