January 3, 2014
The News Journal
Let’s get creative about keeping kids in school
Delaware has about 1,200 dropouts a year. Our state and all of the others need to develop ways of keeping young people in school. We need more innovative school districts, like the Red Clay Consolidated School District, and more creative approaches to keep students involved, like those at the Delaware Technical Community College’s Innovation and Technology Center.
Student population growing in Delaware
Almost across the board, Delaware schools – private, charter and traditional districts alike – are adding students, Department of Education figures show. Statewide, public schools took on 1,812 more students this year to grow by 1.38 percent. Overall, the public school system, including charters, serves 132,841 students. Of the state’s 19 public school districts, three had a declining student population. Lake Forest lost 117 students, shrinking by about 3 percent. Brandywine lost 50 students and Christina lost 86 students, for about a half a percent each.
Los Angeles Times
As schools give students computers, price of L.A.’s program stands out
School districts across the country are embarking on technology upgrades, with the latest trend toward providing each student with a computer, such as a tablet or similar device. These school systems are attempting to replace traditional textbooks as much as possible and ensure that all students have access to technology. The devices also are intended to encourage students to be more engaged in learning.
New York Times
De Blasio recognizes obstacles standing in way of schools plan
As he announced his choice of Carmen Fariña as the next chancellor of New York City schools, Bill de Blasio suggested on Monday that he would depart drastically from the policies of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He pledged to reduce the emphasis on standardized testing in classrooms, and he said he would end, at least for now, the practice of closing low-performing schools.
States push to improve access, quality in dual enrollment programs
A new ECS database shows that 47 states and the District of Columbia now have laws that allow dual-enrollment programs, with an increasing push for requirements to ensure access and better quality. For instance, just 13 states require families to pay for the cost of dual enrollment, down from 22 in 2008. In 2013, 37 states had requirements regarding the instructor or course quality in their dual-enrollment laws, up from 29.
The supporting English learner achievement: What states can do
At 10% of the nation’s school population and growing, education policymakers in every state need to be attuned to their needs. The paper describes the prevalence of English-learners and the diversity of the population, and outlines a number of areas where policy actions could help educators better support the success of ELLs.
Do states need a ‘shift in thinking’ to provide better help to struggling schools?
State chiefs and education departments need more willpower, a better talent pipeline, and a bigger focus on organizational flexibility, rather than formal overhauls, in order to better serve schools in need, according to a Center on Reinventing Public Education report. The report analyzed 10 states’ school improvement infrastructures and investments.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Tech enabled alternatives must be part of education reform, report says
The Education Department must experiment with alternative models, such as stackable credentials and competency-based programs, as part of broader postsecondary education reforms, a Center for American Progress report suggests. The report calls for developing standards and measures to assess the productivity of such models, and calls for better alignment between higher education with workplace needs.