January 7, 2014
The News Journal
Odyssey Charter looking to lease space in Barley Mill Plaza
The Odyssey Charter School is considering leasing a nearby building in the Barley Mill Plaza development to meet growing enrollment. While a previous plan by Stoltz Real Estate Partners riled neighbors, the much smaller proposal at Odyssey has so far been less controversial. Odyssey would lease building 20 on the site for one year from Stoltz, according to Larry Tarabicos, the school’s lawyer.
The Middletown Transcript
Appoquinimink School District launches mobile app to reach on-the-go parents
The Appoquinimink School District launched a free mobile app for smartphones last month in an attempt to better communicate with busy parents on the go.
ACT to stop ‘Explore’ and ‘Plan’ tests
ACT Inc., is offering its Explore and Plan tests for the last time this school year as it gears up to debut a new suite of tests for grades 3-11 that are aimed at capturing a big chunk of the Common Core standards testing market. The exams, typically given in 8th and 10th grade, respectively, will be replaced by the ACT Aspire system, which is more aligned with the Common Core.
Raleigh News and Observer
Common Core backlash casts shadow on future testing in N.C.
The North Carolina state board must decide whether it will replace state standardized tests with the Common Core-aligned SMARTER Balanced exams, a decision freighted with financial and political implications. The legislature in its budget prohibited the board from spending any money on new tests, including SMARTER Balanced, unless lawmakers pass a bill allowing it.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education
GED test overhauled; some states opt for new exam
On January 1, an upgraded GED exam and two new competing equivalency tests intended to be more rigorous and better aligned with the skills needed for college and today’s workplaces were launched. Even before the launch, officials in many states balked at the cost increase and at doing away with paper-and-pencil testing. At least nine states adopted one of the two new tests, and three states will offer all the exam options.
More families invest in community college prepaid plans
Tens of thousands of families used to buy into the Florida Prepaid College Program every year, hoping to lock in a lower price for a university education for their children. But as tuition and fees have soared, so has the cost of the program, pricing out many low- and moderate-income families. Prepaid program officials are now steering some families toward the less-expensive community college plans.
Los Angeles Times
L.A. Unified finally hiring teachers again
After an extended period of layoffs and hiring freezes, the Los Angeles Unified School District has resumed bringing on new teachers, while also being more selective about their quality than in the past. The turnaround represents the first significant positive change in the employment climate since 2007; each year since, the district had faced significant budget cuts — from an economic recession, a drop in federal funding and declining enrollment.