December 31, 2013
The Milford Beacon
Milford teachers hope to have voice in Common Core Standards
With the increasing focus on common core standards, not only in Delaware, but across the nation, teachers are joining forces to ensure that they are all on the same page with their students’ success in mind. Of the 34 teachers selected, two were chosen from the Milford School District: math teacher Jesse Parsley and English teacher Tanya Humes, who both hope they will bring unique perspectives and challenges to the table. The standards in the past were very broad and common core really fine tunes it,” he said. “They’re looking at going deeper and getting a deeper comprehension of the concepts. By not adjusting the standards, we wouldn’t be preparing them for the level of math needed in today’s market.”
Smyrna-Clayton Sun Times
Smyrna School District adds STEM classes to curriculum
Smyrna School District took the district’s first foray into a new S.T.E.M. program this year with a class at Smyrna Middle School and hope to add a S.T.E.M. pathway to the high school in the fall of 2014. The committee is hoping the S.T.E.M. program will encourage middle school students to continue on to Smyrna High School rather than attend other schools in the area.
The News Journal
Old desegregation orders undermine school reform
An op-ed by Clint Bolick, Vice President of the Goldwater Institute, and Roger Clegg, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity
Earlier this year in Louisiana, the Justice Department tried to use decades-old school-desegregation orders to thwart reforms that are in the interests of everyone, especially children stuck in failing public schools, including, ironically, the very minority children the Justice Department claimed to defend.
Government strategies helped dismantle Wilmington communities
An op-ed by Leland Ware, Louis L. Redding Professor at the University of Delaware
The demographics of cities like Wilmington are not, as many assume, the result of the private choices of individual families. They are the direct result of decades of urban planning policies developed and implemented by federal, state and local governments. Public agencies and private organizations such as the Wilmington Renaissance Corp., Riverfront Wilmington, the Delaware Historical Society and other groups are working to reverse this trend by revitalizing downtown Wilmington. They deserve our support.
Brandywine students to team up with radio station WDDE; STEM Council names Suchenski as its new program manager; and Appoquinimink creates school app for faculty, parents.
Donation helps safe haven for Wilmington kids get up to speed
The H. Fletcher Brown Boys & Girls Club has rebuilt its old art room to create the “Achievers Learning & Skills Centers,” a place for kids to meet with mentors and work on new computer equipment. City Councilman Darius Brown, whose district includes the center, said the center will be an invaluable resource for kids who don’t have a computer at home.
Indian River schools happy with new security measures
The Indian River School District has implemented various new security measures this school year and more are in the works. Additionally, the Board recently voted to expand Wi-Fi to the football field and other areas surrounding Sussex Central High School. The expansion would cost about $14,000 and is necessary because the area would be used during an evacuation.
For some students, early decision options a faster way to secure college goals
About 450 institutions offer an option for students to apply through an early admissions process, according to the College Board, a nonprofit that administers assessments such as the SAT. Students who apply for an earlier decision from colleges typically get notification in mid- to late-December. To help parents and students learn how to find financial aid, the state Department of Education is hosting information sessions in January. To learn more go to www.delawaregoestocollege.org.
Dover High’s Voshell named state’s top assistant principal
Courtney Voshell, Dover High School’s assistant principal, was nominated by a district supervisor, Dr. Darren Guido, as well as my current principal, Dr. Evelyn Edney. She began her teaching career Dover High school in 2003. She left for two years in 2005 to teach in Georgia, but later returned to Dover High School. Since returning, Voshell has left the classroom and moved into an administrative role as the assistant principal.
Delaware State News
Schools find success with breakfast in classrooms
Lake Forest East is among a handful of elementary schools throughout the state where kids eat at their desks instead of in the cafeteria. Advocates hope the idea will catch on; it’s been proven to increase participation in the school breakfast program. For Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, serving breakfast in the classroom is a straightforward, low-cost way to improve academic performance. He hopes every elementary school will take a cue from Lake Forest East.
Lawrence Journal World
Brownback proposes fully funding all-day kindergarten
Gov. Sam Brownback proposed that Kansas provide an additional $16 million in funds for each of the next 5 years, or $80 million in total, to fully fund all-day kindergarten. Currently the state provides funding for half-day kindergarten. The increased funding would come out of financial balances that have been built up over the past couple of years.
U.S. Education Department requests ideas for planned college-rating system
The Obama administration has published a notice in the Federal Register asking for technical expertise as the Department of Education comes up with a Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS). To assess the performance of colleges, the department is inviting ideas about data elements and metrics to be included, methods of data collection, and ways to weigh the factors in the ratings.
Five districts, mostly rural, win Race to Top District competition
Five winners, including Houston Independent Schools, will share $120 million in the second Race to the Top district competition from the Department of Education, which again asked districts to come up with their best education-improvement ideas that focused on personalized learning. Notably, no charter school operators or districts won.
Chronicle of Higher Education
A new Gallup survey will measure the value of a degree, beyond salary
A new initiative from Gallup and Purdue University strives to go beyond salaries and employment status, especially on the intangibles, in measuring the return on an investment in a college degree. The Gallup-Purdue Index, supported by Lumina Foundation, will survey adult college graduates to find out how the graduates perceive the effect of college on their careers and quality of life.
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Gov. Bryant says Mississippi has right to define academic standards
As Mississippi prepares to implement the Common Core standards, Gov. Phil Bryant has issued an executive order that says the state, not the federal government, has control over its school standards and curricula. Bryant’s order wouldn’t stop Common Core implementation but responds to concerns that the program would cede control of what’s taught in the classroom to the federal government.
Raleigh News and Observer
N.C. schools deal with fewer dollars for textbooks
North Carolina’s funding for textbooks has been cut by nearly 80% in the past four years, just as the state has been switching to a new curriculum with new textbooks. At the same time, districts are expected to make the switch to digital textbooks by 2017 even though no money is set aside for computers or other digital devices for every student.
Protecting student privacy in the data age
Over the past year, the Common Core standards have sparked discussions about student data, although the standards do not call for the federal government to collect data. One state leading the conversation on student data privacy is Oklahoma, which enacted H.B. 1989 to establish rules for the collection and transfer of student data by the state. Other states also have taken action on student data privacy.