February 25, 2014
The News Journal
Seaford School District seeks tax increase
The Seaford School District is asking residents to raise taxes to continue programs instituted with the federal Race to the Top grant, money which is set to run out at the end of this school year. Voters will choose on Thursday whether to increase the property tax rate 74 cents per $100 of assessed property value, starting on July 1, 2014. The current rate is $3.36 per $100 of assessed value.
An education rule that defies common sense
An op-ed by State Rep. John Kowalko and Rep. Kim Williams
As elected officials, we pay attention to what they said and what it implores us to do. We must take the time to look into their concerns, see if they are valid and, if so, fix them. We need to insure that the system serves its intended purpose – to responsibly evaluate educators, hold them accountable for what they can directly influence and, most importantly, provide all our students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in life.
Delaware Department of Education
Grants support higher education partnerships to provide professional development for science, math teachers
A press release
The Delaware Department of Education has awarded two grants totaling more than $1.3 million over two years to fund partnerships with Delaware universities that will provide professional development to K-12 science and math educators. Funded with federal Title II Part B money under the U.S. Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Program, the grants aim to increase the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills of K-12 mathematics and/or science teachers by bringing together teachers with higher education mathematicians, scientists, and/or engineers.
State of Delaware
Partnering with colleges and universities to train a competitive workforce
The Governor’s weekly message
In his weekly message, filmed at the Theodore C. Freeman Powerplant Education Building in Georgetown, Governor Markell highlights the valuable role colleges and universities play in building the economy and preparing Delaware’s workforce for jobs of the future. “Within a few years, more than 60 percent of Delaware jobs will require education or training beyond high school,” said Governor Markell.
Preschool is important, but it’s more important for poor children
An op-ed by Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley
In his State of the Union address, President Obama renewed his pitch to boost annual pre-kindergarten spending by $7.5 billion. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to outbid Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s go-slow plan to extend preschool to all young children. Democratic leaders in California unveiled a blueprint to subsidize pre-K for all children, even aiding those from wealthy families. But an unbounded entitlement would not reduce children’s early gaps in learning.
D.C. charter board adopts new way to judge alternative schools
The D.C. Public Charter School Board adopted a new policy to define alternative schools and judge their performances. Alternative schools will be defined as those with a high proportion of students — at least 60 percent — who are at risk of academic failure, including those who have been incarcerated or expelled from another school, are homeless or in foster care, are pregnant or parenting or are two years older than they should be for their grade level.
Mississippi could adopt ACT as high school exit exam
A proposed Mississippi bill, H.B. 767, would set up a pilot program giving the ACT as an exit exam to high school juniors in 10 districts. Mississippi would become the first state to set a minimum composite score on the test for students to graduate from high school. Mississippi already is moving toward joining at least 14 other states in administering the test to all high school juniors as part of a new statewide school rating system.
NCLB waiver reports show issues with struggling schools, new tests
The Department of Education released a waiver monitoring reports for three more states that show continued struggles with low-performing schools and new tests aligned to the Common Core. Kansas and South Dakota were red-flagged for their interventions into struggling schools, and Kansas and Oklahoma were cited for unapproved or inadequate assessment plans after dropping out of the common-testing consortia.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Minnesota House panel considers plan to eliminate teacher skills test
The Minnesota House education committee reviewed a task force recommendation to eliminate a college-level skills test that teachers must pass before getting a license. The test would be replaced with a new accountability system where state colleges must ensure their graduates are ready for the classroom. Teachers from other states would have alternatives to prove their qualifications.