In Case You Missed It….April State Board Meeting Update

April 27th, 2011

Category: News

At the April 21 State Board meeting, DOE officials provided several updates on Race to the Top, including the statewide SAT and DCAS; approved the aspiring principals program; approved the only charter application recommended (for Moyer Academy), and discussed the recent Christina School Board decision.

All districts have submitted their full RTTT district plan, which will be finalized in early June; funding decisions made soon thereafter.

Over 400 applications have been received for the Delaware Teaching Fellows program, an alternate certification program committed to helping outstanding mid-career changers and recent college graduates enter the teaching profession in Delaware.

The School-Day SAT test in Delaware on Wednesday, April 13 was a success with 97% participation (which does not include students from the make-up date was Wednesday, April 20).  This was the first time ever the SAT has been offered for free to all high school juniors. The goal is to increase participation and facilitate and encourage college attendance of high school students.

The final round of DCAS testing is underway. Students will know the result of their score as soon as the test is completed. Within 3 weeks, parents will be mailed reports detailing how their child performed throughout the year, trends, and suggested future steps. DOE will be reexamining cut scores before calculating school accountability in June and an assessment calendar for school year 2011-2012 will be presented at the next meeting.

In addition, the DCAS fall to winter scores were circulated. Here is a quick summary of the data:

  • The average percent of students preforming at the “proficient” level (across grade levels) increased 13.9 percent in math and 9.5 percent in reading
  • Each grade and subject saw an increase in proficiency from fall to winter (ranging from 20 percent in third grade math to one percent in grade 10 reading).

 This is expected given that the DCAS exam measures proficiency based on standards students should master by the end of the year and provides valuable information on students regarding where they are and where they need to go by June.  However, it is unclear whether these gains put students on track to achieve state proficiency targets, because we don’t have prior year’s benchmarks or trajectories on which to base comparisons.

As reported in last month’sboard meeting update, the Professional Standards Board (PSB) sought the consent of the State Board to approve a 2 cohort pilot of an Aspiring School Principal Certification program. The board approved the pilot unanimously. The pilot is a part of the Delaware Leadership Project and is being offered through Innovative Schools.

Look for the May update to highlight the DCAS standard setting process.

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Christy Vanderwende



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