January 17, 2014
Gov. Markell announces expansion of First State plans to encourage college enrollment
Governor Jack Markell announced plans to strengthen efforts in Delaware to put more First State students on the path to college at a White House event Thursday. Markell joined President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, university and non profit representatives and other state-level politicians during a day-long discussion of ideas to increase college enrollment. Markell says the goal of The First State’s “Getting to Zero” initiative is having zero college ready students who do not complete the application process and who don’t apply to schools that best suit their needs and talents.
Markell at White House: Lays out plan to help low-income kids go to college
Governor Markell tells leaders of colleges and universities gathered at the White House that Delaware will be expanding educational opportunities for low-income students. Markell says students will be celebrated with an ‘acceptance day’ when they learn of their college admission. And the state will follow up with emails, post cards and phone calls to make sure students make it to college.
Hockessin Community News
Red Clay school district to move forward with inclusion plans for ELL middle school students
Tears and high emotions dominated at Brandywine Springs Elementary Wednesday night, as the district administration’s move forward with their school choice plans. The Red Clay Consolidated School District’s board of school directors voted 7-0 last night to move forward with moving English Language Learning students from their respective magnet schools back into their neighborhood schools.
The News Journal
Leaders press plans to get more into college
The White House announced more than 100 commitments to increase college enrollment by connecting more low-income students to college, increasing the pool of students preparing for college, leveling the playing field on college advisement and strengthening remediation programs to help under-prepared students. A study that has been of interest to many state and national leaders by Caroline M. Hoxby, of Stanford University, and Harvard University professor Christopher Avery, found that it was a cost-efficient and effective method for encouraging lower-income students to apply to selective institutions. Other research has suggested lower income students are more likely to graduate if they opt for more selective institutions.
Capital school board votes to request a class-size waiver, approves revised hiring policy
The Capital School District’s Board of Education voted to request a classroom-size waiver at its monthly meeting on Wednesday. The motion passed 3-1 with one abstention. This vote came two months after the board previously moved not to accept a class-size waiver. Since the board chose not to request a waiver in November, David Bowman, deputy secretary for the Department of Education, stepped in to work with Capital to bring the schools into compliance.
Technology becomes part of adult education standards
The James H. Groves Adult High School has currently embraced technology by providing iPads and printers available at its main campus at Sussex Technical High School and also at several satellite locations. This new technology is also being used in the Family Literacy Program, Federal 21st Century Community Learning Center, and English as a second language classes.
Fairbanks Daily Miner
Alaska changes school testing consortium
Alaska announced its plan to pull out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and hire Assessment & Achievement Institute at the University of Kansas to create its English and math assessments. The state had been a member of the consortium, even though it did not adopt the Common Core standards. The institute will develop exams tailored specifically to Alaska’s new standards.
Commission: Early childhood investment key to healthier America
Investing in early childhood through high-quality preschool and community support programs is essential to creating a more healthy country, says a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report suggests that the country should, for example, create stronger quality standards for early childhood development programs, link funding to program quality, and fund enrollment for all low-income children under age 5 in high-quality programs.
Florida Education Department proposes changes to Common Core
Embroiled in uncertainty about the common core, the Florida Department of Education is proposing dozens of changes to the standards, including adding more than 50 in math focused on calculus. Although some states have enacted legislation putting limits or “pauses” on the new expectations or on tests designed for them, Florida appears to be the first to dive into a deep review of the standards, and to come up with proposed revisions.
N.Y. education reform commission issues final report
A commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to find ways to improve education in New York has recommended expanding pre-kindergarten, upgrading classroom technology, and rewarding top teachers. The commission’s recommendations also include providing more college scholarships in high-needs science and math fields, promoting paid internships, and reducing obstacles to district mergers.
Inside Higher Ed
U.S. urged to give incentives to states on college funding
The federal government should create a matching grant program to reward states that maintain and increase their funding for public colleges by linking the maximum Pell Grant to per-student funding or higher education, according to a new AASCU report. The paper documents the decline in states’ funding per student since 2000 and the role that trend has played in driving up tuition prices and student debt.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Proposal would disband failing Missouri school districts
The Missouri state board heard a proposal by consultants that calls for a drastic departure in how the state addresses failing schools — by disbanding those districts altogether. If enacted, an unaccredited district would be replaced by a state-run entity called a Community Schools Office that would report to the education department. The proposal is one of several that the board and education commissioner will consider.
New GED testing requires computer skills, more knowledge
Adults who dropped out of school will have to dig deeper to pass the new GED, which was revamped this year for the first time since 2002. Rather than answer multiple-choice questions on paper, test-takers have to solve interactive math problems, analyze social studies passages and demonstrate critical thinking through essay responses on a computer.