February 20, 2014
The News Journal
More Del. students tackle Advanced Placement
More Delaware students are taking and passing Advanced Placement tests each year and that means more students are getting college-level academics and credit while still in high school. “These numbers are very encouraging for us,” said Michael Watson, the state’s chief academic officer. “It shows our districts are valuing AP classes more, and our parents are as well.”
New report shows mixed picture on anti-bullying efforts
Most public school districts are complying with new state laws aimed at battling bullying, but fewer than half of charter schools have adopted them and some schools are not sufficiently reporting incidents of bullying to parents, according to a report released Wednesday morning by Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and the state Attorney General’s office.
Delaware public schools plan for nearly 2,000 new students next year
The Department of Education, one of Delaware largest departments, went before the Joint Finance Committee in Dover to present its fiscal year 2015 budget requests. The more than $1.2 billion budget makes up about a third of the state’s overall budget and echoed the proposal that Governor Jack Markell outlined in January.
Appo school board inks 3-year labor deal with teachers’ union
The Appoquinimink school board unanimously approved a new, three-year labor deal with the local teachers’ union last week – six months after the previous contract had expired. The contract calls for no across-the-board pay increases this year. Next year, teachers can expect to see a 1-percent hike, followed by a 2-percent increase for the 2015-2016 school year. “Obviously, our members are a little disappointed with the pay increases, particularly the zero increase this year,” Vickie Caprinolo, a social studies teacher at Louis L. Redding Middle School who was elected president of the Appoquinimink Education Association said. “But I think we all understand what the district is going through financially.”
Capital school board approves money-saving measures for new Dover High School
The Capital School District Board of Education approved several bids and change orders on Feb. 12 that will save the district money on certain aspects of the new Dover High School and will bolster the contingency budget for the project, according to consultants from ABHA Architects. The school board also approved an established walk zone for the new high school, during its meeting last week.
Washington Senate defeats teacher evaluation bill
Education officials say the state will be limited in the way it can spend about $44 million in federal dollars after the Senate on Tuesday turned down a proposal that would have mandated the use of statewide standardized tests in educators’ evaluations. Senate Bill 5246, which failed by a 28-19 vote, would have revised the state’s new teacher-principal evaluation system to accommodate a demand from the federal government to mandate using statewide standardized tests as a factor in evaluations.
Hite wants $320M in new aid annually for schools
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. wants $320 million in new money annually to begin to execute his ambitious blueprint for Philadelphia schools, and fully carrying it out could double that amount, he said Wednesday. That request for the 2014-15 school year is above and beyond $120 million the system is banking on – but has not yet gotten – from an extension of an extra 1 percent city sales tax.
Teachers union slams ‘botched’ Common Core
The nation’s largest teachers union is pulling back on its once-enthusiastic support of the Common Core academic standards, labeling their rollout “completely botched.” National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said he still believes the standards can improve education. But he said they will not succeed without a major “course correction” — including possibly rewriting some of the standards and revising the related tests with teacher input.
Mississippi House passes plan to pay community college tuition
The Mississippi House passed H.B. 424, which would set up a two-year pilot program at all community colleges to pay tuition for recent state high school graduates who are not covered by other financial aid. Students would have to take a full-time slate of 15 credit hours and maintain a 2.5 GPA, or lose the scholarship. If they met those standards, students would be eligible for four semesters of free tuition.
Most Texas 8th graders fail to get degree 11 years later
Among young Texans who started 8th grade in 2001, less than one-fifth went on to earn a higher education credential within six years of their high school graduation. And rates were even lower among African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students, according to data analyzed by two state education agencies. The analysis used cohort tracking to evaluate the state’s education pipeline.
Kansas State Board considers changes to teacher licensure
The Kansas education department proposed changes to licensure of high-demand teachers, such as special education and technical instructors. Kansas has strict requirements for aspiring teachers that include completing a four-year teaching degree, mentoring and other components. Some state board members are interested in tweaking the licensure system to allow districts to hire teachers that they believe are qualified, but who don’t meet the requirements.