June 26, 2014
Delaware lawmakers pass budget, raise
State lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a $3.8 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 that includes a six-month raise for state workers and uses nearly $40 million typically earmarked for roads to cover other expenses. Higher student enrollment requires nearly $19 million in new public education spending on teachers. Step raises for teachers will cost another $9.2 million.
What is the next step for special ed?
Now that the embarrassment of the low grade is out and the federal report outlines Delaware’s failings, the big decision is what to do next. The General Assembly is considering some minor improvements with the current system, but it would be better to take a longer and harder look at how Delaware’s special-education students are treated.
How does paperwork help kids?
An op-ed by John Sweeney, Editorial Page Editor
To the extent that Delaware is not doing enough to help these students learn as much as they can and flourish in this world, then I would agree with the feds. To the extent that they think the U.S. program has all the answers and is a model to follow, I hedge my support. Many, especially boys, and more especially minority boys, have been labeled special education because of behavior and not their learning ability.
Advocacy group sees “room for improvement” in First State special education
The Parent Information Center of Delaware Executive Director Mary Ann Aghazadian says there is room for improvement in Delaware’s special education system. “We collectively have to have higher expectations for students with disabilities. And we have to make sure students with disabilities are getting the instruction and support they need,” she said.
Some Indiana educators wary about impact of new assessment tests, say timetable is too short
The state’s plan to seek a contractor to design a new standardized test for the 2015-2016 school year has some educators concerned the short timetable could create challenges for Indiana’s teachers, students and parents. Walter Lambert, the director of secondary curriculum and instruction for Warrick County School Corp., worries that the federal Department of Education, the State Board of Education and Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz are all looking for something different when it comes to standardized tests.
High school curriculum changes loosening algebra requirement signed into law
Changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum allow for career and technical education courses to substitute for the second algebra class requirement if those courses incorporate the algebra material. Students will also get more information on how to use the “personal curriculum” option to structure their high school schedules to incorporate career and technical education courses.
Pearson, N.M. officials push back in Common-Core contract battle
Pearson and New Mexico officials are fighting back against a protest filed over the awarding of a potentially enormous common-core testing contract, with the company predicting that delaying the deal would cause “irreversible and irrevocable harm” to states wanting to roll out the online assessments on time.
GOP lawmakers demand education chief’s resignation
Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is dismissing as a “political stunt” a letter signed by 15 Republican lawmakers demanding the resignation of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.
The letter cites complaints from school administrators, teachers and students about Huffman’s leadership style as his department implements a series of changes in K-12 education.
State lawmakers assert influence over standards
Resentful that a massive wave of common-standards adoptions four years ago bypassed their chambers and subjected them to intense political heat, state lawmakers are taking steps to claim some of the authority that state boards of education have traditionally held over academic standards.
Banda beckoned: Another schools chief leaving Seattle?
Seattle Schools Superintendent José Banda — the district’s fifth school chief in a decade when he was hired two years ago — will likely become the next superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.