July 2, 2014
Coalition has a vision, but we’ll have to see nuts and bolts
A commentary by Don Flood, former newspaper editor
The good news: Delaware’s educational system has come a long way. The bad news: It still has a long way to go. The good news: A group of educational and business leaders have formed Vision Coalition of Delaware, which will be presenting a plan early next year to improve the state’s educational system.
The News Journal
Markell downplays gas tax flop
Markell said flops on big ticket items did not define the session, arguing that he and lawmakers passed legislation to encourage economic growth in the state’s economy, strengthen public education, fight drug addiction and bolster the criminal justice system. Administration officials worked with lawmakers to establish a framework for raising starting teacher salaries, and allowing teachers to receive promotions while remaining in the classroom. A detailed plan to revamp teacher compensation is due by November.
William Henry Middle teacher headed to Alaska for Teacher at Sea program
Mary Murrian, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Dover’s William Henry Middle School, was accepted into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea program. Murrian is one of 25 teachers who were chosen to embark on such endeavors, in part because of her math and science background, NOAA spokeswoman Jennifer Hammond said. “We also selected her because she wrote an excellent application on how she would bring those experiences back to her students by blogging, taking photos and videos at sea,” Hammond explained.
Common Core will improve education, most district chiefs say
About two-thirds of district superintendents said they believe the Common Core State Standards will improve the quality of education in their communities, while 22 percent said the standards will have no effect, according to the results from a new poll.
Maryland officials, unions reach accord on some teacher-evaluation components
Maryland officials, the state’s teachers’ unions, and other education organizations have just inked an agreement on part of the state’s system for evaluating teachers. In the plan, the parties agree to improve supports for teachers and principals as they develop goals for student academic growth at the start of each school year. Meeting these “student learning objectives,” or SLOs, counts for up to 35 percent of each teacher’s evaluation score.
Ritz submits waiver plan on No Child Left Behind law
The Indiana Department of Education submitted its plans today to correct a series of shortcomings that jeopardize the state’s waiver from strict federal education requirements. Federal education officials told Ritz in May that Indiana’s waiver from the No Child Left Behind law was now on a conditional status because of “significant issues,” including failure to implement reforms agreed upon by her predecessor Tony Bennett in the initial waiver application.
Tennessee Board of Education considers streamlined teacher licensing
The Tennessee Board of Education passed a revamped teacher licensure policy that offers high-performing teachers a fast pass to teacher licensure and renewal. The policy reflects laws passed this legislative session in the General Assembly.
U.S. states greet new fiscal year with more spending, school funding
Days before most U.S. states’ new fiscal year begins, 40 states have passed budgets that boost spending and dedicate extra funding primarily for education, according to a brief by the National Association of State Budget Officers. But in many states spending increases and tax cuts are not as dramatic as their governors proposed this winter, due to softer-than-expected revenue, NASBO found.
New York Times
Math under Common Core has even parents stumbling
The new instructional approach in math seeks to help children understand and use it as a problem-solving tool instead of teaching them merely to repeat formulas over and over. They are also being asked to apply concepts to real-life situations and explain their reasoning. Across the country, parents who once conceded that their homework expertise petered out by high school trigonometry are now feeling helpless when confronted with first-grade work sheets.