January 22, 2014
Getting to Zero
Too few college-ready low-income students attend and graduate from college, which limits their economic mobility for the rest of their lives. More than 60 percent of jobs will require education beyond high school by the end of the decade, but research shows that many low-income students who have demonstrated college readiness don’t even apply. In Delaware, we call our initiative “Getting to Zero.” The idea is simple. In Delaware, 27% of our college ready low-income students don’t even apply to college, and 1,000 of our college-ready students don’t enroll anywhere. We believe that zero of our college-ready students should fail to apply and attend college.
Delaware’s blue collar task force releases report
The “Blue Collar Task Force” report calls for more training and training support for blue collar jobs. “College is great and we know that college grads do well over the long haul,” Rep. Michael Mulrooney said. “But college isn’t for everyone and we need to encourage students who might not want to go to a four-year school to explore training that will land them a good job and work with our employers to make sure our training programs meet their needs since, even in blue collar jobs, there’s a need for a broader skill set than was needed even a few short years ago.”
The News Journal
The Community Education Building: A swanky home for Wilmington schools
Once the haunt of power brokers and financial analysts, the 11-story, 450,000-square-foot tower just off Rodney Square will be reborn this summer as the Community Education Building. Education leaders say the donation of the building by Bank of America to the Longwood Foundation marks a seminal opportunity for education in the city.
Common Core may delay evaluation tie-in with teacher evaluations
Delaware is moving away from the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System, a state-created test, to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a test created to fit the Common Core State Standards. The change between tests could make it difficult for the state to set goals for how much students’ scores are expected to grow. So the state is asking the federal Department of Education for permission to remove the test from teachers’ evaluations for next year only. Frederika Jenner, president of the Delaware State Education Association, said she thinks the state’s plan will “reassure” teachers who were worried about the transition.
Children are more than just numbers on a chart
An op-ed by Mervin Daugherty, Superintendent of Red Clay Consolidated School District and President of the Delaware Chief School Officers Association
I urge everyone in 2014 to become an active participant in public education. The time is NOW to recognize the good work of those in the field of education. The time is NOW to collaborate with legislators, school district personnel and community leaders to develop solutions. The time is NOW to focus on the positive work being accomplished in public education and to replicate those accomplishments.
An interview with U.S. Senator Thomas Carper
John Taylor continues his conversation with U.S. Senator Tom Carper speaking on a variety of topics impacting our state and our country. Economic recovery, education and the agenda for Congress in 2014 are discussed.
The Office of the Governor
Continuing efforts to strengthen the economy
Governor Jack Markell’s weekly message
The 147th Delaware General Assembly returned to Legislative Hall this week, providing more opportunities to support our efforts of putting people back to work and strengthening our economy. We’ll build on the important steps we took last year – supporting our small businesses and improving our education system.
Los Angeles Times
Record number of Cal State applications but readiness a problem
As the California State University system announced a record number of applications Wednesday, a new study found that the system should study its placement exams, eligibility standards and other factors to determine why so many entering students are not college-ready. Reasons could include placement exams that don’t accurately predict college-level performance, campuses admitting students who are not among the top third of high school graduates, inadequate high school coursework and a lack of financial incentives to improve outcomes, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Big changes to California’s school-funding rules are approved
At a daylong state Board of Education meeting, more than 300 speakers underscored tensions over the need to balance newfound flexible spending authority with assurances that the money will be used to improve services for students who are from low-income homes, learning English or in foster care.
Inside Higher Ed
Tracking alternative credentials
The Census Bureau for the first time has data on the 50 million U.S. adults who hold some form of educational credential that isn’t a college degree. The report includes the numbers and characteristics of people who hold certificates, professional certification, and licenses, as well as wage information. For example, 11.2 million adults—or 5% of Americans—who hold a high school diploma or less have earned a professional certificate or license.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Louisiana schools need millions in tech upgrades to administer Common Core tests
Two-thirds of Louisiana districts have enough computers to effectively administer tests tied to the Common Core standards, Superintendent of Education John White said. But while strides have been made in schools’ technological capabilities since 2012, at least an additional $6 million will need to be invested to bring the rest up to scratch. Forty-seven of the state’s 69 districts meet a minimum standard of one computer per seven students.
Year-round school, expanded preschool top education goals for Gov. Rick Snyder
In his State of the State speech, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called for an additional expansion of the state’s preschool program for low-income and at-risk children and supported a pilot program to test year-round schools. Both ideas build on 2013 proposals, when lawmakers approved $65 million to expand the preschool program. The expansion was the largest dollar amount increase in preschool funding in the country in 2013.
Chronicle of Higher Education
University of Texas unveils a new tool for judging a degree’s worth
The University of Texas system posted a new online database where current and prospective students can compare the salaries, student-loan debts, and job prospects for people in hundreds of majors and occupations. The seekUT website has data on 68,000 alumni who graduated from 2007 to 2011 and remained in Texas. Groups such as College Measures have also studied how different majors affect earnings in several states.
Lawmaker’s retirement to open K-12 leadership void
Former members of Congress and congressional aides from all parts of the political spectrum say Rep. Miller is a rarity among education leaders, combining a wonk’s policy expertise, with the shrewdness of a seasoned political operative, and a commitment to educational equity for poor and minority students. They see no one on the scene who can immediately step into his shoes. “You could always count on George to understand the issues, and sometimes to help educate the rest of us, who may not have been as steeped in federal education policy as he has been,” said Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican from Delaware who served with Rep. Miller for nearly two decades on the House education committee. “He’s very strong in his beliefs. If you agreed with him, he didn’t care if you were a Democrat or a Republican. His concern for education was the trump card.”