February 19, 2014
To compete globally, we need national standards
An op-ed by Dan Flood
According to The New York Times, teachers say they haven’t been trained in the Common Core curriculum, nor did they receive new textbooks in time to teach the new material. They did, however, begin the new tests, which meant many students were unprepared. The result: low test scores, and, naturally, angry parents. From what Michael Kelley, director of curriculum and instruction at the Cape Henlopen School District, said, critics from both sides have less to worry about in Delaware. Kelley described the change as more evolutionary than revolutionary. Delaware’s been doing standards-based testing for decades, he said.
Appo approves nearly 800 school choice applications for 2014-2015
More than 200 students living outside the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area could be enrolled in schools throughout the Appoquinimink School District for the first time when the 2014-2015 school year begins. The Appoquinimink school board voted unanimously last week to extend invitations to 798 “school choice” students out of the 849 applications it received – seeking 1,089 seats before the Jan. 9 deadline.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Why CEOs support Common Core
An op-ed by Craig Barrett, former chairman and CEO of Intel
First, the Common Core State Standards are more rigorous than most states’ old standards — and the notion that they restrict or limit student learning is a willful misread of them. In fact, the standards ensure that all students master the math skills needed for success — to progress systematically from one concept to the next, to develop the tenacity to solve problems and to understand the logic of math. What is key, and revolutionary, is that the standards will prepare more students to take advanced math coursework by giving all students a better foundation and understanding of mathematics.
The school that will get you a job
Kids at the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Chicago, which launched a year and a half ago, aren’t called students but “innovators.” They receive a hardcore focus on STEM skills (that’s science, technology, engineering and math). And they take six years to graduate instead of the traditional four; the extra two years means they walk away with an associate’s degree on top of their high school diploma.
States sued over education funding
Across the country, litigation is pending against 11 states over inadequate or inequitable school funding. Over the years, all but five states have been the subjects of such lawsuits. The change is that in many of the recent cases, the cost to educate students to higher state standards lies at the heart of the arguments. One common thread in the current lawsuits is the argument that states have failed to comply with previous court rulings.
Tampa Bay Times
Florida lawmakers file StudentsFirst priority bill on financial reporting
Proposed Florida legislation would back a StudentsFirst initiative that would require a statewide return on investment index and rating system for schools. House Bill 875 would evaluate whether schools and districts use their financial resources effectively to improve achievement. The bill also would create a pilot project to give principals more authority over spending and personnel decisions.
Frankfort State Journal
Early childhood bill makes its way through Kentucky House
The Kentucky House passed H.B. 332, which will mandate a comprehensive ratings system for family childcare homes, state-funded preschools and Head Start programs based on child-to-caregiver ratios, training for childcare staff, program curriculum and regulatory compliance. Funding from Kentucky’s Race to the Top-Early Learning grant will help pay for the rating system as well on training and on-site assistance.