January 6, 2014
The News Journal
Reach Academy to stay open next year
The Reach Academy for Girls Charter School, slated to close in June after the state revoked its charter, will stay open for at least another year by order of a federal judge. The school argued in a lawsuit that it would be discriminatory to close the state’s only all-girls public school while leaving the all-boys Prestige Academy open. That was enough to convince Judge Leonard P. Stark to keep Reach open for a year while he sifts through the legal arguments for a final ruling. Department officials say Reach’s test scores are among the lowest in the state. Overall, their scores slid between last year and the year before.
School districts look to cut homeless busing costs
The Cape Henlopen School District and 17 other Delaware school districts will partner with the Department of Education on a statewide transportation contract that could lower the cost of busing homeless students to school. Cape Henlopen Director of Business Operations Oliver Gumbs suggested the statewide contract as a potential cost-saving measure for Delaware’s school districts.
Wilmington, my city, needs to be one city again
An op-ed by Ted Kauffman, former U.S. Senator
But there’s a dark shadow in our city we have to acknowledge, one that makes some people nervous about enjoying the walks, theaters and restaurants. Too many of our suburban friends just won’t come into town because they worry about their safety. And that is a secondary concern to the very real problems faced by people who live in the city. The reality is many of them live in fear – for their children, themselves and their property – every single day.
College applications shortchanged under schools’ counselor cuts
In the thick of college application season, the Philadelphia School District’s cuts to counseling services are becoming especially problematic, those on the front lines say. Amid a terrible budget crunch, most district schools began the year without a full-time counselor. After Gov. Corbett released $45 million to the district, 80 positions were restored in November.
New schools chief may take N.Y.C. in different direction
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen Carmen Fariña, a 40-year veteran of the city’s public schools, to be his schools chancellor. She’ll steer an agenda that could sharply pivot the nation’s largest school district from the policies that have dominated it for more than a decade. Just two days before being sworn in as mayor on Jan. 1, Mr. de Blasio announced his appointment of Ms. Fariña at Middle School 51, a selective-admissions public school in Brooklyn that his two children attended. He succeeded Michael R. Bloomberg, who governed the city for 12 years and brought sweeping, often controversial, changes to its 1.1 million-student school system.
Showdown brews as Congress turns focus to K-12 spending
Big questions loom about just how much money Congress will steer to individual programs—including the Obama administration’s marquee competitive-grant initiatives—with lawmakers on House and Senate appropriations committees facing a Jan. 15 deadline to fill in details on the current year’s spending plan or face another government shutdown.
Rural districts score big in latest Race to Top round
In selecting the winners for the second round of the Race to the Top district competition, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made a strategic decision to invest a large chunk of the $120 million in grants in rural America. In fact, he passed up higher-scoring, more-urban districts in favor of funding a group of 17 school systems in Kentucky’s rural Appalachia and a small, mostly black district in the Mississippi Delta. Of the five winners announced last month, Houston was the only large, urban district.
Ed tech and activism are reinventing education on 30 Under 30
This is the era of the edu-preneur, when being a K-12 or higher ed professional can mean anything from cofounding a start-up with excess of $50 million in funding or launching a venture that uses the Kickstarter model to fund classrooms and libraries in at-risk communities in the U.S. and abroad. The 30 Under 30 in education are in the forefront of this revolution.