January 2, 2014

January 2nd, 2014

Category: News

Local News

The News Journal
What happens after Race to the Top goes away?
An editorial
Delaware competed in the Race to the Top contest and won first place, getting $119 million. What has come of it? The state used much of the money for standardized testing and evaluations of teachers. More was spent on training and bonuses for teachers and principals. Was it worth it? While many people have already formed their own ideas, it is probably too early to tell.

Hockessin Community News
Red Clay SD choses attendance zone committee members
Last Wednesday, the Red Clay Consolidated School District’s board of directors selected seven names of community members at random for a special 21-member attendance zone committee. That committee is tasked with making recommendations to the board for new attendance zones in the 2015-16 school year, with a final recommendation due at the April 2014 Board of Education meeting.

National News

All Alabama
Alabama now counts IT as a math course toward high school graduation
Alabama is now one of 16 states that allow computer science courses to count as math credit for high school graduation. The state board approved two new courses—Computer Science Principles and Advanced Placement Computer Science A—that will be counted as official math equivalents. Alabama high school students currently are required to have at least four math credits to graduate.

Inside Higher Ed
Go easy on MOOCs
A report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommends the federal government not interfere with vendors and providers experimenting with massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and other forms of distance education. The message extends to accreditors, which are encouraged to waive some of standards required of institutions seeking approval for traditional programs.

Education Week
NAEP gains in D.C., Los Angeles outpace other big cities
Reading and math achievement on national tests stagnated in many big-city districts since 2011, but rose notably in a few, especially in the historically low-performing school systems in the District of Columbia and Los Angeles. The data are from the Trial Urban District Assessment, or TUDA, a specially collected and analyzed set of National Assessment of Educational Progress results.

Panel recommends new breed of assessments for science learning
Laying out a new vision for science assessments, a panel of the National Research Council proposed that states design testing systems that integrate several key types of science learning, and blend classroom assessments with state-level monitoring tests and gauges of students’ opportunity to learn. The proposal offers ideas on how testing should change to reflect the Next Generation Science Standards.

Race to Top states still have lots of money to spend
With states well into their final year of Race to the Top implementation, the 12 winners still have a lot of money to spend, according to the latest financial reports by the U.S. Department of Education. The state with the largest share of its award left? New York, with 59 percent of its $700 million still sitting in the bank as of Nov. 30, according to the latest federal spending report. Meanwhile, Delaware (one of the two states that got a jump start by winning in the first round) has just 31 percent left.

U.S. News & World Report
Most of NCLB’s ‘failing’ schools were not targeted the following year
A New America Foundation report found that, on average, two-thirds of the schools identified for improvement in 2011-12 under No Child Left Behind were not identified as such once waivers allowed states to rank schools on a relative rather than an absolute basis of performance. And the variation in state accountability systems makes it difficult to determine if the “right” schools are identified as the lowest-performing.

6 states win Race to the Top grants for early learning
Six states—Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont—will receive $280 million in grants in the third round of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, the Education Department announced. The states join 14 others that were awarded grants in the first rounds of the competition. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia competed in the third round.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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