June 23, 2014

June 23rd, 2014

Category: News

Local News

The News Journal
Science teachers work to connect their ‘silos’
A team from 10 Delaware schools that brought students to the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering labs at the University of Delaware this week to refine a variety of experiments and projects they had dreamed up over the past few months. Science teachers are increasingly turning to the idea of “cross-cutting concepts,” breaking down the traditional silos that have separated the different sciences. It’s one of many changes Delaware teachers are making to adjust to the Next Generation Science Standards, a national push to boost students’ scientific skills.

Big items fell short in General Assembly this session
Disappointing finances and election year jitters created insurmountable roadblocks during this year’s General Assembly session that prevented lawmakers from completing several big-ticket pieces of legislation. Markell’s outstanding proposals include bills that would expand a research and development tax credit for small businesses; set a new fee schedule and cap what doctors can charge for treating workers’ compensation injuries; and set up a framework for considering new teachers compensation reforms, among other items.

Class notes: News from Delaware’s schools
Students from 17 schools will compete in tech competition; tribute for Deltech head nets $154,378 for scholarships; La Academia taken off review after enrollments surge; UD holds ‘Maker Faire’ aimed at fostering inventive work

Gardening program teaches kids healthy growing, cooking
The Southbridge Community Youth Garden is on offshoot of a community garden started three years ago by the Neighborhood House Inc. When organizers saw the community garden’s effect on the neighborhood, they decided to try that with the children, said Patricia Kelleher, programs director at Neighborhood House.

Non-teachers do not understand education
A letter to the editor by T.H. Leighty, Milford
I read with great interest a recent letter to the editor about the cost of education. It is obvious the writer is not a teacher, has never been a teacher, and is buying into the popular pastime of teacher bashing. She cites Delaware’s ranking in the U.S. as it pertains to SAT scores. She is correct that Delaware ranks last in SAT scores. Delaware is also the only state that tests 100 percent of its students. Illinois and North Dakota, which are at the top, test about 5 percent of their students. Can we all guess who the 5 percent being tested are? How about the 5 percent they know who are going to college.

Testing changes could hurt teachers
A letter to the editor by Deborah McCann, Newark
After considering the Delaware Department of Education’s proposed changes to DPAS II testing, I have two concerns. The first is the effectiveness and impact of including “walk-throughs” in teacher evaluations, and the second is the proposed change in the Summative Rating for novice teachers.

Voucher system could save schools
A letter to the editor by J. Michael Flanagan, Landenberg, PA
Kudos to State Rep. Deborah Hudson and State Sen. Greg Lavelle in proposing the school funding plan. It does not go as far as I believe it should, yet a great step in the right direction.

Parents as teachers program helps young parents develop needed skills
Parent as Teachers New Castle County is housed at Christina Early Education Center in Newark, but it doesn’t solely serve the Christina School District. Established more than 25 years ago, it serves most of the high schools in the state and offers services to a wide range of parents. Monee Archy, for instance, is a 26-year-old stay-at-home mother of four. Though her oldest, 6-year-old Alijah, is now in the first grade, she said there are still things she has learned or been able to reflect on since Swain started home visits with the family.

National News

Education Week
Florida board adopts new English-language-proficiency standards
After a vote by the state board of education this week, Florida has adopted a new set of standards to guide the language instruction of its 250,000 English-language learners. The board approved Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart’s recommendation that the state adopt common-core aligned English-language-proficiency standards by WIDA, a group of 35 states that share the standards, as well as English-language-proficiency assessments. (WIDA stands for World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment.)

Tennessee quits PARCC, leaving 15 members
In a letter to PARCC CEO Laura Slover last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, and Fielding Rolston, the chairman of the state board of education, decided to pull out of PARCC. The letter said the decision was sparked by a new law, House Bill 1549, which had recently been signed by the governor.

Alternative certification deemed weak by NCTQ in new teacher-prep report
Alternative-certification programs for preparing teachers suffer from many of the same problems that the National Council on Teacher Quality has identified in traditional, university-based programs, the Washington-based group concludes in a new pilot study.

Inside Higher Ed
Senators to start in on HEA
After months of hearings, the two key lawmakers charged with overseeing the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in the U.S. Senate are beginning to stake out firmer positions on what they want to include in the massive law that governs colleges and universities.

Huffington Post
How teacher prep programs are failing new teachers – and your kids
Only 1 in 15 teacher preparation programs provide new teachers with “solid preparation,” according to National Center for Teacher Quality’s director, Kate Walsh. Three out of four programs “fail to insist that applicants meet even modest standards,” the group wrote, meaning at least a 3.0 grade point average, or scoring above the 50th percentile on the ACT or SAT.

Washington Post
‘If you truly cared’ – angry president of largest teachers union sends message to school reformers
While it is certainly true that unions were very late in recognizing that they needed to make changes in their views on issues such as teacher evaluation, it would be simplistic to say that unions are doing themselves in all on their own. A shift in the base of the Democratic Party — traditionally a friend to the labor movement — toward Wall Street hasn’t helped.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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