July 18, 2014
The News Journal
Delaware test scores flat; exams to get harder
Scores on the state standardized test stayed essentially the same in the final year before Delaware moves to a new, tougher exam. This was the last year students will take the Delaware State Comprehensive Assessment, and the results were much like last year’s – some positives, some negatives, but little overall change from the year before.
Moyer charter school under formal state review
State officials placed the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute charter school under formal review Thursday after just-released test results showed student performance sliding. That could lead the state to close the school – again.
Sometimes, a job can be more than work
Give a kid a job with the intention of turning her into one of the city’s “change agents” in this era of high youth crime, and you can quite possibly reset the city of Wilmington’s horizons for decades to come. This second scenario is what Mayor Dennis Williams is championing in a collaboration with Delaware’s United Way “Life Map Experience” program for Wilmington summer youth workers.
State scores plateau, individual schools stand out in latest Delaware DCAS results
Overall, the report shows little movement between the 2013 and 2014 scores. According to the Department of Education, the lack of gains isn’t a bad thing, because curriculums are getting harder for students. “We continue to raise the bar for our students especially with the implementation of Common Core and with these sustained results that we’ve seen over the last 2-3 years, we see the students really rising to those higher expectations,” explained Mary Kate McLaughlin, chief of staff for the Dept. of Education.
Statewide student test scores show little change from 2013-2014
While the big picture results showed little overall change, Murphy did point to several schools that have demonstrated “some incredible results and some incredible achievements.” Lewis Dual Language School in the Red Clay Consolidated School District has seen a 10 point gain in math proficiency and a 7 point gain in reading proficiency in the last three years. In fifth grade reading, proficiency soared from 48.4 percent in 2013 to 667 percent this year, Murphy said.
PNC Foundation provides grant to engage preschoolers in Lewes history
The Lewes Historical Society has been awarded a $5,500 grant from the PNC Foundation to create a new preschool educational initiative, Creating Little Lewes. The program is designed to use fun, developmentally appropriate activities that introduce children 5 and younger to a larger understanding of the world around them and the history of this region through role-playing and hands-on activities using the society’s resources. PNC provided the funding in support of Grow Up Great, its bilingual program in early childhood education.
Delaware State University receives $400K grant to promote interactive learning
In most college classrooms, a professor lectures while students listen, or play games on their phones. After class, those students return to their dorms to answer questions and tackle problems for homework. But thanks to a new $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Delaware State University’s biology department is implementing a program that will turn that paradigm on its ear.
Capital school board inks labor deals with teachers, custodians
Teachers, custodians and maintenance workers in the Capital School District will receive raises under new labor agreements approved by the Capital school board this week.
Major revisions underway for school leaders’ standards
Model standards used nationwide to guide, prepare, and evaluate school leaders—including principals, their supervisors, and superintendents—are expected to be revised and re-released this fall. The aim is to reflect the ways in which those jobs have changed in the past decade and to clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations within a markedly different environment.
Four lessons from early education
Educators and policymakers are grappling with how to better serve academically at-risk children at a time when data show the stubborn persistence of academic achievement gaps. Many in K-12 schooling want change and are scouring the learning landscape for thoughtful guidance. They might be surprised to find important lessons from an unexpected source: early-childhood education.
Bill to review and revise the Common Core approved by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that will trigger a review and possible revision of the Common Core State Standards for the 2016-17 academic year. Nixon, a Democrat, approved House Bill 1490, which was originally designed to ban the common core outright, on July 14. The bill, originally authored by GOP Rep. Kurt Bahr, would allow the common core to remain in place while a set of work groups makes recommendations about the best standards for Missouri to use.
Playing politics at teachers’ union conventions
First, both unions ripped U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, slamming his leadership and education-policy agenda and passing resolutions that called for his resignation. At the NEA convention, which was Dennis van Roekel’s last as president, members passed a resolution that called for Duncan’s resignation effective immediately. As Sawchuk and Heitin astutely point out, similarly themed resolutions were introduced at the 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 meetings, but have never before passed.
New York Times
As New York City expands pre-K, private program fear teacher drain
The city is aiming to provide up to 53,000 full-day prekindergarten seats in the fall, more than double the number of full-day seats in the past year. About 40 percent of the seats will be in public schools and the rest in “community-based organizations,” as well as charter and religious schools. Many of the schools, public and independent, have been hiring teachers for the wave of new children, and in a trickle-up effect, teachers at the independent schools are using their experience to try for better-paying city jobs.