February 27, 2013
Additional time helps improve Delaware teacher survey response
An extra nine days got the state Department of Education much closer to its goal of 80 percent participation in a recent teacher survey about their workplace. The window for responding to the TELL Delaware survey closed at midnight Monday. The final tally of responses shows 22 percent of schools failed to reach the 50 percent participation mark needed to get their survey results. 38 percent of schools were under that mark as of the original deadline on February 15.
White House outlines sequester effects on Delaware
As Congress debates action on the sequester, a package consisting of billions of dollars in spending cuts that is set to kick in March 1, President Barack Obama hosted a meeting with the nation’s governors at the White House, urging state leaders to promote compromise. The White House has released examples of how the federal cuts could affect each state. According to the release, Delaware’s budget could lose millions in funding for education, early childhood development, public safety, public health and environmental protection.
The Newark Post
Christina submits Race to the Top amendment
Hoping not to forfeit more than $2.3 million in federal funding, the Christina School Board voted unanimously Monday night to amend a portion of the district’s Race to the Top plan. The proposed amendment, which is subject to Delaware Department of Education approval, expands an existing initiative that supports staff stability in low-performing schools. Monday’s vote was the latest step in a sometimes-contentious dance between Christina School District and the Delaware Department of Education over how to improve struggling schools.
Grant contest to aid high schools still work in progress
Proponents of better aligning high school improvement, postsecondary education, and the workforce have high hopes for President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to create a Race to the Top-style competitive-grant program specifically for secondary education. But the plan, which still needs to be fleshed out by the administration, could face long odds in a Congress that’s looking to cut spending.
States size up Obama pre-K proposal
Well before President Barack Obama vaulted early-childhood learning to the top of the education agenda in his recent State of the Union address, states were taking steps to bolster their own preschool programs. More than a dozen states—including some, such as Hawaii and Mississippi, that have had no state-financed preschool programs in the past—are currently eyeing proposals to launch or expand early education.
The Washington Post
More universities try the MOOC model by moving professors’ lectures online
This massive open online course, or MOOC, offers the world a free sample of education from the elite public university that Thomas Jefferson founded. But it also reflects a broad push in academia to redefine the college classroom for students who pay tuition on campus. Zelikow’s U-Va. students watch his lectures on their own time, freeing up precious classroom hours for in-depth discussion with a historian who has served in the upper echelons of U.S. government. This technique, known as flipping the classroom, is spreading in universities around the country as educators seek to harness technological advances to make undergraduate lecture courses less of a passive listening exercise and more of a dynamic give-and-take.
Biggest study ever says KIPP gains substantial
KIPP, previously known as the Knowledge Is Power Program, has had more success than any other large educational organization in raising the achievement of low-income students, both nationally and in the District. But many good educators, burned by similarly hopeful stories in the past, have wondered whether KIPP were for real. We just got a big dose of data on that. Mathematica Policy Research has released its five-year investigation of 43 KIPP schools — the largest study ever of any charter school network. It concludes: “the average impact of KIPP on student achievement is positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial.”
The New York Times
Only half of first-time college students graduate in 6 years
As we’ve covered here many times before, there is an abundance of evidence showing that going to college is worth it. But that’s really only true if you go to college and then graduate, and the United States is doing a terrible job of helping enrolled college students complete their educations. A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center digs deeper into these graduation rates. It finds that of the 1.9 million students enrolled for the first time in all degree-granting institutions in fall 2006, just over half of them (54.1 percent) had graduated within six years. Another 16.1 percent were still enrolled in some sort of postsecondary program after six years, and 29.8 percent had dropped out altogether.