March 18, 2014
The News Journal
Delaware leaders hope to build on Vision 2015
Delaware education and business leaders working toward a world-class education system are beginning to develop ideas for improving schools in the next decade. Over the next eight months, a steering committee of about 30 people will discuss what will be important to future classrooms, from access to technology to better partnerships with businesses, said Ernest Dianastasis, chair of Vision 2015 and the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee. They expect to roll out a new plan in the fall, building on the Vision 2015 plan for Delaware schools.
Snow could complicate school make-up plans
Just as state officials were prepared to decide Thursday how many snow days to “forgive” districts, a snowstorm added yet another missed day to the tally. Counting Monday, most New Castle County school districts have missed 10 days of class, while most downstate schools have missed eight or nine.
An opportunity for Red Clay answers
On Wednesday, the state Board of Education is scheduled to decide on a fundamental realignment of students in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, with enormous implications for traditional and special needs students, statewide. Wednesday is an opportunity to dispel fears and political hyperbole with facts and answers and good intentions. In doing so, Red Clay has a better chance of gaining the needed support vital to making this “inclusion” model successful and replicable – eventually statewide.
We need to set the right expectations for all children
An op-ed by Cathy and Barry Cowin, Red Clay Consolidated School District residents
We begin with a summary of result and the belief that the steps taken along the way have made a difference in our daughter’s life and what she will do in the future. Our daughter graduated high school in 2012 at the age of 21 with a diploma and basic transition skills such as self-determination and self-advocacy. With the collaboration of the Red Clay School District staff at both middle and high school, we created individualized education programs that supported her in participating in many activities that helped her to become the young woman she is today.
Proposed Tech tax increase raises questions
Sussex Tech School District’s recent announcement that it has to raise $4 million in taxes or cut 24 jobs leaves the Sussex County legislative delegation wondering what happened. Sussex Tech School District Superintendent Allen F. Lathbury said the district needs to raise nearly $4 million in taxes to pay operating expenses. Positions on the chopping block are 11 teachers, three teaching assistants, one counselor, one psychologist, one nurse, one public information officer, two secretaries, one coordinator and three administration positions.
Louisiana bill to enhance authority of principals approved
A state Senate panel approved a bill that could give Louisiana’s top-rated principals new authority. The proposal, S.B. 385, would allow but not require principals who are rated as “highly effective” to have their school declared as an “empowered community school,” including expanded authority for principals to design instruction plans, assign personnel and set budgets.
Indiana House OKs preschool pilot program
Up to $10 million a year in state funds would provide grants for low-income children in Indiana to attend preschool under an agreement reached by key lawmakers and Gov. Mike Pence. If approved by the full Senate as expected, the bill would mark the first time Indiana has designated state funds for pre-kindergarten education, joining 41 other states that already do.
Minnesota school districts rethink use of standardized testing
A growing number of Minnesota districts are taking stock of the tests they give students. Spending on standardized testing fees that districts and charter schools report to the state is up 30 percent in five years, to $8.1 million last school year. In some large metro districts, those tabs have more than doubled in that time.
U.S. education official: Washington state waiver not dead
Despite lawmakers inability to pass a teacher evaluation bill, the U.S. Department of Education said Washington state’s waiver from some requirements of No Child Left Behind is not dead yet. If districts can’t salvage the waiver, Washington’s school system stands to lose control over how it spends about $40 million in federal funds.
Florida school choice bills spark debate
A proposed expansion of the state’s tax credit scholarship program, which provides private-school scholarships to children from low-income families is attracting buzz in Florida. In addition to increasing the number of scholarships available and removing some of the barriers to applying, S.B. 1620 would open up a new revenue stream for the program. A separate, but related bill, S.B. 1512 seeks to create personalized learning accounts for children with profound disabilities.
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming’s science standards draw attention of Board of Ed, legislature
Wyoming’s science education standards are due for an overhaul, and the state board had been considering a set of national standards called the Next Generation Science Standards to replace them. A footnote added to the budget bill bars the board from adopting or even continuing to review those standards.