March 13, 2014
The News Journal
Coming soon: Chamber of Commerce Superstars awards
Do you know a local superstar? The Delaware Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for a revamped version of the annual Superstars in Education Awards. The chamber is seeking nominations for the awards, which will focus on “science teaching, integrated classroom technology practices, and school-to-business partnerships,” according to the chamber. It’s not just for educators. There is also an award for a business that is involved in the schools.
Delaware renews focus on youth literacy
As state education leaders push to drive up student academic performance, they are taking aim at an issue they say is fundamental: making sure young students, especially from low-income families, don’t fall behind. If students can’t read, write, speak or listen as well as their peers when they enter school, they are likely to struggle and have a hard time catching up.
Listen carefully to Common Core critics
The counteroffensive launched by Gov. Markell and other governors in defense of the Common Core academic standards underscores the tensions in our polarized politics and the fractured nature of education reform in this country. Common Core may not be a government conspiracy, but its advocates should listen closely to some of these criticisms. “Implementation” is not just a cover for criticism. A poor implementation can be damaging. Just look at Obamacare. Common Core standards could benefit our entire school system. We should take the care, and the time, to get it right.
Obama to promote education agenda at Florida school
President Obama announced a new initiative to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. The application is required for students to receive federal student aid, and states and colleges also award financial aid based on the form. Yet more than 1 million high school seniors annually do not file a FAFSA. The Education Department will work with states to identify students who have not completed the form.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Cost, financial aid increasingly influence college choice
Academic reputation and graduates’ job prospects are still the top reasons students choose a college. But cost and financial aid are increasingly influencing enrollment decisions, according to the annual Freshman Survey. The largest share of students on record were not at their first-choice college in 2013, having enrolled elsewhere for financial reasons. Just 57 percent of freshmen at four-year institutions enrolled at their first choice, although 76 percent had been admitted.
Capital New York
New York Assembly approves Common Core delay
The New York Assembly passed a bill, A.B. 8929, to delay some aspects of Common Core standards after first defeating an amendment that would have withdrawn the state from the standards altogether. Among other provisions, the bill removes Common Core-aligned test scores from teacher and principal evaluations for two years and prohibits the education department from sharing student information with third-party vendors for one year.
Kansas City Star
Kansas Supreme Court: Change school aid formula
Cuts in school funding led to an unconstitutionally imbalanced playing field between rich and poor districts, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled. The court gave the legislature until July 1 to provide the funding needed to close the gap — estimated at $130 million — or it will be left to a panel of district judges to address. The court did not rule on the larger question of whether the state is adequately funding education, sending that issue back to the lower court.
Tennessee school voucher proposal advances in House
A revised school voucher proposal, H.B. 0190, advanced in the Tennessee House. Vouchers, labeled “opportunity scholarships” by proponents, still would be reserved for low-income students who attend schools in the bottom 5 percent in statewide academic performance. But if the first-year cap of 5,000 vouchers isn’t reached, scholarships would extend to students in the bottom 10 percent of performing schools.