February 7, 2014
New testing system dominates conversation at Common Core Standards workshop
At the beginning of Thursday night’s workshop, a number of the 100 people in attendance said they had heard two or fewer detailed presentations on Common Core curriculum standards. By the end of the evening, however, most of the questions raised by audience were not about the standards, on which schools will base their curriculum. Instead, they focused on the new state testing system scheduled to roll out with Common Core this fall. The State Board of Education invited board members, school officials and others to attend the workshop held at Delaware State University to address implementation of both Common Core standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Schools prepare to make up missed school days
Students across Delmarva were able to rack up missed school days because of all the bad weather over the past few weeks. All of the time off could be catching up to students. Schools are figuring out how to make up all of that time.
Students at the Providence Creek Academy in Clayton missed seven days of school so far this year. The school has decided to extend their days to make up for the snow days.
DCAS testing has huge gap in fall and spring scores
As parents in the first state know, the first couple of weeks of February marks the peak of the testing period for the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System, commonly referred to as DCAS. But at some schools across the state, students are being encouraged to take the test easy, as peers, parents, and even educators are putting less of an emphasis on the fall test. WBOC spoke to students from various schools in the state who say there is less of an emphasis on this first test, and so many do not give it their best effort on test day.
Cape sets tax rate for new elementary
The Cape Henlopen school board says an average taxpayer will pay an additional $59 a year in new taxes to pay for building and operating a new school. “We’re trying to make the increase as small as possible,” said Superintendent Robert Fulton. The board set the tax rate for building the new school at its Feb. 3 meeting. The proposed increase, which goes to voters in an April 2 referendum, is 27 cents per $100 of assessed property. The total cost for the new school and six new classrooms at both middle schools is about $31 million, of which the state pays 60 percent. Residents will be asked to pay the $11 million local share.
Charters to cost school district $25 million more than anticipated
The Philadelphia School District has seen its charter school costs soar at the same time it is grappling with a deep financial crisis. Officials this week said the district may spend nearly $700 million on charter payments by the end of the school year – $25 million more than budgeted.
Business leaders lack knowledge about K-12 education, superintendents say
Most school superintendents in the United States say businesses are positively influencing their districts, but it’s usually in a fragmented, “checkbook philanthropy” way, rather than a transformative, systemic approach, concludes a study and a white paper released today by Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Governors pitch early education, workforce development ideas
Training students in the skills that industry needs and expanding early childhood education could be the big winners in education funding this year, if governors get their way. After years of state cuts to education, governors of both parties are presenting lawmakers with long wish lists for schools.
The Patriot News
Corbett’s college scholarship program could aid middle-income students who fall through the cracks
College students from middle-income families often fall through the eligibility cracks of the need-based college aid programs. Perhaps some of them might have better luck with a new scholarship program that Gov. Tom Corbett proposed in his 2014-15 state budget. Called the Ready to Succeed program, this $25 million merit-based aid initiative would provide up to $2,000 scholarships to students from families who earn up to $110,000 to help pay for their two- or four-year college degree.