August 29, 2013

August 29th, 2013

Category: News, Policy and Practice, Student-Centered Learning

Local News

Delaware State News
Sussex Academy ushers in its new beginning
For Sussex Academy students and staff, Monday represented more than just the start of a new school year. “Welcome to a new school, a new year, a new building, new people and a new beginning,” said Sussex Academy Principal Patricia Oliphant. Sussex Academy has evolved from a middle school to a preparatory academy that will expand to the 12th grade by fall 2016. In June, school administrators officially swapped buildings with Delmarva Christian High School to have more room to grow. Over the summer, they renovated and completed existing classrooms for incoming ninth grade students, administrative offices and a conference room.

Sussex Countian
Educator Q&A: Meet Patches Hill
Patches Hill, technology systems manager for the Indian River School District, has been named a finalist for the 2013 iEducate Delaware awards, an initiative spearheaded by the Rodel Foundation of Delaware. According to Matthew Korobkin of the Rodel Foundation, iEducate Delaware is “an initiative recognizing champions who work with Delaware’s schoolchildren, statewide. Finalists represent a diverse cross section of educators, community leaders and other inspiring individuals from up and down the state who are dedicating their time and leadership to Delaware’s students.” The Rodel Foundation has named 15 finalists and online, public voting will play a large role in naming winning honorees.

Local teachers pay out-of-pocket for classroom supplies
About two weeks before the start of school, Amber Riniker was in her fourth grade Georgetown Elementary School classroom decorating bulletin boards and unpacking crates of books and binders. The Sussex County native is entering her fourth year of teaching and says it’s not uncommon for her to spend around $400 of her own money on classroom supplies throughout the year. In a national survey conducted recently by Horace Mann Educators Corporation, three-fourths of the 814 educators who responded indicated they spend more than $100 of their own money on classroom supplies.

National News

Education Week
Third education secretary in four months takes over in Pennsylvania
Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education William Harner has abruptly stepped down from his post after being asked to do so by Gov. Tom Corbett. The news comes just a few months after Harner took over from former secretary Ron Tomalis, who was moved by Corbett to a position overseeing higher education in his cabinet.

Louisiana’s ‘course choice’ program gets underway
A new Louisiana program that allows students to shop for publicly funded high school courses is getting started after hitting a roadblock this spring when its original funding mechanism was deemed to violate the state constitution. The initiative, now supported with some $3 million in state aid, is enabling several thousand students to select from a broad swath of courses—whether online, face-to-face, or blended—supplied by a mix of public and private providers. The most popular offerings include Spanish and French, algebra, biology, and ACT preparation, according to the state education department.

The New York Times
The two cultures of educational reform
An opinion by Stanley Fish
About halfway through his magisterial study “Higher Education in America,” Derek Bok, twice president of Harvard, identifies what he calls the “two different cultures” of educational reform. The first “is an evidence-based approach to education … rooted in the belief that one can best advance teaching and learning by measuring student progress and testing experimental efforts to increase it.” The second “rests on a conviction that effective teaching is an art which one can improve over time through personal experience and intuition without any need for data-driven reforms imposed from above.” Bok is obviously a member of the data and experiment culture, which makes him cautiously sympathetic to developments in online teaching, including the recent explosion of MOOCs (massive open online courses). But at the same time, he is acutely aware of the limits of what can be tested, measured and assessed, and at crucial moments in his analysis that awareness pushes him in the direction of the other, “ineffable” culture.

Do teachers need to have experience?
A discussion
The conventional wisdom has always been that schools and students need experienced teachers committed to a career in education. But many charter networks are depending on young, inexperienced teachers who quit after only two to five years. Officials of the schools believe the young teachers remain motivated and energetic, unlike more experienced teachers at many public schools who might stay on even after they’ve burned out. Are they onto something?

The Oregonian
Teacher preparation on the upswing in Oregon, but still needs faster, broader improvement
Oregon colleges are doing a better job preparing teachers, particularly by upgrading student-teaching, but changes need to happen faster and for more aspiring teachers, a state audit found. Many changes recommended already are under way and will be accelerated now that mandates under H.B. 3233 are being carried out. The bill creates a network to research, plan, and carry out educator training and retraining




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Author:
Rodel Foundation of Delaware

info@rodelfoundationde.org

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