March 24, 2014
Delaware Department of Education
DelExcels.org launches to provide information, resources
A press release
A public-private partnership has launched a new education-focused website to inform Delawareans about the state’s new standards and assessments. The site, www.DelExcels.org, was created through a partnership of the Delaware Department of Education, Delaware State Education Association, Delaware PTA, and the Rodel Foundation of Delaware.
Rep. Scott developing bill to allow some school tax increases without referendum
On the latest edition of The Green, Dover Democratic State Rep. Darryl Scott said he’s preparing a bill that would allow districts to increase taxes for their operating costs without a referendum. Scott says elected city and county councils are able to raise taxes in response to budgetary needs and his proposal would give elected school boards to same power.
The News Journal
Cape, IR school board candidates size up growth
Candidate filings for the Indian River and Cape Henlopen school districts’ Board of Education drew to a close March 7, with several candidates voicing their concerns about plans for the districts’ growth in the future. In the Indian River School District, incumbents Nina Bunting and Donald Hattier will run unopposed for their respective seats on the board. Incumbents Donald Hudson and Scott Collins will run for re-election for their two seats in District 5. Bobbi Barends, a newcomer to the race but not to the education field, will also join them in the District 5 race.
A day when the Odyssey is the real solution
The Odyssey of the Mind competition, in its 34th year, is a creative problem-solving competition for elementary, middle and high school-aged students from across Delaware’s schools. Saturday’s state finals competition saw 37 teams from elementary schools and 34 teams from middle and high schools. The 105 teams are the finalists within the state, having already staved off competition from 210 other teams in regional competitions.
High black student suspension rate seen as concern
That black students are more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools, even as tiny preschoolers, doesn’t come as much of a surprise to some. “Quite frankly I’m surprised that it’s news,” said New Castle County Councilman Jea P. Street, who has long said this has been a problem. “We’ve been saying this for the last 30 years.”
Lt. Governor, legislators propose making early teacher hiring program permanent
Lieutenant Gov. Matt Denn and state legislators have proposed to make early teacher hiring program permanent. House Bill 259 will make permanent the pilot program originally created in 2011, which required the state’s department of education to estimate each school district’s enrollment for the following school year in May, and guarantee state funds to each district sufficient to cover 98 percent of the state’s share of hiring the teachers justified by that enrollment estimate.
Superintendent sets record straight
A letter to the editor by John Ewald, superintendent of the Laurel School District
I feel the committee did meet its obligation and prepared materials to be moved forward, as appropriate, to the legislature. However, at no time did I state, infer or agree that “…Sussex Tech needs to increase Sussex County property taxes to pay for operating expenses…”
Sussex Tech committee made no recommendations
A letter to the editor by Ann S. Visalli, director of the Office of Management, and Michael L. Morton, Budget Controller General
Sussex Tech School District Superintendent Allen Lathbury’s comments in Melissa Steele’s March 18 article titled “Proposed Tech tax increase raises questions” suggested the committee recommended that Sussex Tech needs to increase Sussex County property taxes to pay for operating expenses. This is incorrect and contradictory to what the committee’s final report states.
Racial disparities begin in earliest grades
Black students are more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools — even as tiny preschoolers. The racial disparities in American education are highlighted in a report released by the Education Department’s civil rights arm.
Wisconsin Assembly passes school accountability bill
The Wisconsin Assembly opted against an expansive school accountability reform bill in favor of a more limited Senate version approved with bipartisan support.
Washington state could prove test case on waiver consequences
What would happen if a state that’s received flexibility from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act gets its waiver yanked and has to revert to requirements—and penalties—of the outdated, much-maligned law? Washington state may provide the U.S. Department of Education and its NCLB waiver system with a first test case.
Nation falls short on educational equity
New federal civil rights data show persistent and widespread disparities among disadvantaged students from prekindergarten through high school on key indicators—calling into question whether the national push for educational equity and college and career readiness for all students is working.
Report urges Massachusetts, a top academic performer, to aim higher
By reputation, and by test-score rankings, Massachusetts is one the nation’s highest-flying states academically. But a report released Monday, authored by a prominent adviser on education issues, argues that the state needs to push ahead with a series of ambitious changes to its education system to avoid slipping into complacency.