January 24, 2014
Delaware States News
Markell touts school, other investment in State of State address
In addition to providing infrastructure jobs, the governor touted proposals to provide Delawareans increased educational opportunities through college scholarships and work-force training programs. One proposal would provide college credit-bearing course scholarships to low-income Delaware students with college potential.
Gov. Markell seeks over $500 million in new spending in 2014 State of the State
There was also some common ground on a proposal to create a pilot program that would test giving school districts more flexibility in deciding how to spend the state money they get. Sen. Simpson says he likes that idea. “That’s one of the things the charter schools have benefited from is having more flexibility than our traditional public schools,” said Simpson. “And some of those schools are flourishing.”
Hockessin Community News
Education, infrastructure investments outlined in governor’s State of the State address
Education was one of the key points highlighted in the Markell’s address. Before the end of the decade, 60 percent of jobs will require training beyond high school, he said, but only 20 percent of Delaware’s students graduate from high school ready for careers or college.
The News Journal
Markell eyes $500M in road, bridge spending to boost jobs
Rep. Darryl Scott, D-Dover, praised Markell’s education initiatives. “It’s very important for our long-term economic strength and viability, but also on a personal basis, just the importance of demonstrating to kids we are willing to invest in a number of ways in their education,” said Scott, chair of the House Education Committee.
Markell again pushes for reworking teacher compensation
Educators say they like the broad strokes of Gov. Jack Markell’s school agenda outlined in Thursday’s State of the State speech. But they’re waiting on specifics on proposals like increased compensation for some teachers and connecting businesses to students. Echoing last year’s speech, the governor said he wants to find ways for top teachers to advance their careers and receive more pay while remaining in the classroom.
Conrad teacher awarded fellowship
Melissa Tracy, a social studies teacher at Conrad Schools of Science in Wilmington, has been selected as a Hope Street Group 2014 National Teacher Fellow. She is one of only 13 educators nationwide to be invited to participate in the fellowship program.
Educator Q&A: Meet Frank Makray
A longtime Sussex Technical High School business teacher is in the running for a national award that recognizes outstanding K-12 educators and district employees who make a positive difference in the lives of students. Frank Makray, business, finance and marketing technical instructor at Sussex Tech, is in the running for the LifeChanger of the Year Award, presented by National Life Group, a financial services company.
Hope Street Group
DE educator named Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow
A press release
The National Teacher Fellowship program provides fellows, who are either classroom teachers or instructional coaches, with rigorous training, opportunity to network with teachers across the country, and participation in national conversations. Past fellows have written op-eds for major news publications, participated in state and national-level discussions with policymakers on education initiatives, and developed recommendations and solutions for enhancing teacher effectiveness systems as well as college and career ready standards implementation, as outlined in the Teacher Evaluation Playbook.
Cuomo calls for panel to take ‘corrective action’ on Common Core
In his budget address, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he will assemble a panel of educators and legislators to fix what he said was a “flawed” rollout of the Common Core standards. He said the panel also will look at standardized testing, and he called for a ban on such exams for children in grades K-2. A number of groups have called for a ban on standardized testing of very young children, including Education Commissioner John King.
Lawrence Journal World
Kansas working on new plan for accrediting schools
Kansas is considering a plan that would no longer accredit individual schools but would apply new standards to districts as a whole. The proposal would focus on “five R’s”: Results in terms of student achievement; Rigor of the curriculum; Relevance of the curriculum to the state’s standards; Relationships between staff, students families, and communities; and a Responsive culture that nurtures and develops students.
D.C. schools change IMPACT evaluations for principals
D.C. school officials have changed how they evaluate principals under the IMPACT program in response to complaints that the previous system—which rated more than half of the principals below effective—was unfair and too tightly hitched to student test scores. An otherwise strong principal would have been rated below effective if test scores stagnated or declined. Now, test scores and other achievement measures will account for 50% of the evaluations
Teachers speak on tenure, 25 percent
The North Carolina budget bill passed last year eliminated teacher tenure but also allowed districts to offer one-time, four-year contracts and salary bonuses to top 25% performers. Special education teachers will compete with AP teachers, and teachers from wealthy schools will compete with those in high-poverty schools. The policy is setting up a debate over whether it will do more harm than good.
Philly’s school ‘Renaissance’ a mixed bag
The school district of Philadelphia’s latest attempt to turn around “underperforming” schools has yielded dramatic improvements in some cases, while many schools are still struggling, according to a recent report by the district. The progress report, released last month, concludes that two of the charter providers – Mastery and ASPIRA – are on track for “substantial improvements,” while several others are in danger of falling short unless changes are made. It also acknowledges that district-run Promise Academies have struggled mightily, partly due to the district’s personnel changes and funding instability.
Growing pains for Rocketship’s blended learning juggernaut
Many look at Rocketship’s new approach, which represents a significant departure from the blended learning model that helped launch the Bay Area nonprofit to national prominence, and see the future. But the story behind the organization’s flexible classrooms is also a cautionary tale about the belief that technological innovation can fuel rapid school expansion without compromising quality.
Teacher evaluation spark clash in Pittsburgh
A dispute in Pittsburgh between the school district and teachers’ union over the city’s jointly designed teacher-evaluation system shows the stark distinction between ambitious policy plans and implementation—a lesson for an active philanthropic community that has invested millions of dollars in rethinking evaluation nationwide. “I thought we were partners in reform, but the partnership [with the union] has been rocky, let’s just say that,” Superintendent Linda S. Lane said. “In theory, it sounds fine, but when it gets to the execution, it’s tough.”
Teach For America spinoff helps alumni gain influence
A spinoff of the controversial Teach For America teacher-placement program has expanded rapidly in recent months, pursuing a goal both specific and dizzyingly broad: helping TFA’s 32,000 alumni rise to civic-leadership roles. Leadership for Educational Equity has grown from just a handful of staff members a few years ago to nearly 60 today. The Washington-based group, known as LEE, now boasts a $3.9 million annual budget. In 2011, it launched a series of national workshops for TFA alumni eyeing careers in policy and advocacy, and in 2013 expanded it to include community organizing.
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