January 15, 2014
The News Journal
When it comes to schools, keep the measures fair
An op-ed by Eric Buckson, Kent County Levy Court Commissioner
If Delaware wants to lead the way in education, we have to change the system, not just the classroom. Start by opening up charter schools in each district for our highest-performing students to attend and enable teachers to maximize their abilities. This will create competition, but it is this factor that makes our competitors superior to us in rankings.
Markell focused on improving economy, Delaware schools
Gov. Jack Markell says he’s looking forward to a productive session of the General Assembly this year. Markell said on Tuesday’s opening day of the session that he wants to work with lawmakers on improving Delaware’s schools and revitalizing the state’s economy.
Delaware Department of Education
Delaware’s 2012 Presidential Award winners and 2013 finalists announced
A press release
Six educators from across the state are being honored for outstanding teaching in mathematics and science. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Established by Congress in 1983 and administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation, the Presidential Awards allow for each state to select mathematics teachers and science teachers as state finalists.
Lesson sharing network launched by NEA and BetterLesson
Before the CCSS were introduced, 62 percent of teachers in the U.S. reported feeling unprepared for daily work in the classroom, according to the “Educating School Teachers” report. The new lesson-sharing network is designed to create a practical knowledge base of support of the best lessons available. BetterLesson will help prepare teachers by providing 5 to 10 lessons for every single common core standard. By the fall of 2015, the site will have more than 16,000 Master Teacher lessons.
Tampa Bay Tribune
Florida education leaders recommend changes to Common Core benchmarks
Hoping to incorporate public input and assuage criticism, Florida education officials released 98 proposed changes to the Common Core standards. Among Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s recommendations: adding 52 new calculus standards, requiring students to master cursive writing (a skill not included in the original Common Core standards), and introducing money concepts in the 1st grade, instead of the 2nd grade.
Pushing full-day kindergarten
Several states are moving toward full-day kindergarten as a growing body of research underscores the importance of learning in the earliest years. The percentage of kindergartners attending full-day programs has grown from 10% in the 1970s to 76% in 2012, according to Child Trends. Thirty-four states require districts to offer half-day kindergarten and 11 states and the District of Columbia require districts to offer full-day kindergarten, according to an ECS analysis.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Minnesota charter school monitors to face more scrutiny from Education Department
Minnesota is preparing to step up oversight of the nonprofits, districts, and colleges that monitor charter schools. The state education department recently shared with authorizers new guidelines spelling out how it will size them up starting next year. The evaluations are part of legislation the state has been rolling out since 2010. As part of its overall push for stronger oversight of charters, the law also requires the state to monitor its monitors more closely.
Chronicle of Higher Education
At-risk young adults with mentors go to college at higher rates
About three-quarters of at-risk young adults (ages 18 to 21) with a mentor reported that they had always planned to go to and graduate from college, compared with 56% of those who didn’t have a mentor, according to a National Mentoring Partnership survey. Forty-five percent of at-risk young adults with a mentor said they were enrolled in college or were about to enroll, compared with 29% of those who didn’t have a mentor.
National Public Radio
Decades later, desegregation still on the docket in Little Rock
In Little Rock, Ark., a federal judge is considering a deal that would end one of the longest-running school desegregation cases in the country. The state, its largest districts, and lawyers representing black students have agreed to settle a complex lawsuit over unequal education. If the judge approves, the settlement would phase out those programs and the state’s $70 million a year payments, even though the makeup of Little Rock schools hasn’t changed much.