November 14, 2014
The News Journal
Wilmington charter tower gets new leader
With construction finished and two schools up and running, the Community Education Building in downtown Wilmington has turned to a new CEO, Aretha Miller, who has experience in New York City connecting urban charter schools with their neighborhoods. Until recently, CEB officials’ main concern has been renovations, planning and operations, a job for which its board of directors picked previous CEO Riccardo Stoeckicht. But now that construction is done, the focus moves towards academics, which is why Miller was brought in.
Bonus money not the right incentive for teaching
Markell administration officials are disappointed with the meager results of a bonus program designed to get highly qualified teachers to work in underperforming schools. Only nine teachers signed on for the $20,000 and the low-scoring schools. We are disappointed, too. Why not look at the working conditions and the leadership in these schools? Some of the programs already in place have addressed problems at individual schools and have had some success. Why not build on those successes? What else is needed? What can be done to make the teachers already in the schools more effective? Just keep trying.
Don’t blame poor for their children’s limited vocabulary
An op-ed by Paul Thomas, Associate Professor, Furman University
While the reading wars in education have raged for decades, most people agree literacy is crucial for children and the path to strong reading and writing skills begin in the home. But focusing on poor children’s parents might actually be the real problem when trying to increase their success in school. Such debates simply allow cultural stereotypes to determine what research matters publicly and politically – and how.
Delaware State News
Latino summit puts focus on needs of Hispanic community
The Delaware Hispanic Coalition brought together professionals Thursday to discuss the needs of the state’s Hispanic community at the first Delaware Latino Summit. The Delaware Hispanic Coalition’s education subcommittee’s concerns range from access to high-quality early childhood programs, the need for aligned and quality early learning programs, the need for more English Language Learner instructors to a widening achievement gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanics.
Delaware students can make free, easy college application this week
Between free applications and the online Common Application, it’s easier than ever for Delaware students to apply for college. And now is the best time, according to education officials. During College Application Month, Delaware is waiving college application fees for six colleges.
Portland Public Schools board approves ‘achievement compact’ goals for areas initially left blank
After at first refusing to file state-mandated goals for subject areas linked to new Common Core standard tests, the Portland Public Schools board voted to set state-mandated “achievement compact” targets at 100 percent student proficiency.
Study: Close screening can improve teacher hires
Districts could boost their ability to hire teachers who help students learn more and who stay on the job longer by improving their screening techniques, a newly released working paper concludes. Based on an analysis of teacher-hiring practices in the Spokane, Wash., school district, the research suggests that systematically culling candidates’ recommendations to get a better sense of their classroom-management techniques, ability to work with colleagues, and instructional skill can pay off in academic-achievement gains.
End the ‘Easy A’s’ in teacher prep
A commentary by Kate Walsh, President, National Council on Teacher Equity
The National Council on Teacher Quality’s new report, “Easy A’s,” goes a long way toward explaining why that perception exists—by examining the grades that teacher-candidates receive relative to those of their peers and the coursework that’s required of them. By reviewing 2010 through 2013 spring-commencement brochures from more than 500 institutions, we documented a long-suspected phenomenon: Teacher-candidates are significantly more likely to graduate with honors than their fellow students in other fields at the same institutions.
SC Supreme Court finds for poor districts in 20-year-old school equity suit
In a legal decision that could redefine South Carolina’s public education system, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state has failed in its duty to provide what it says is a “minimally adequate” education to children in the state’s poorest school districts.
Kevin Huffman out as education commissioner
Polarizing Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman is stepping down from his position, leaving a legacy that includes historic test gains as well as some of the fiercest clashes this state has ever seen over public schools. His departure, announced Thursday, follows a more than three-year run as Gov. Bill Haslam’s reformed-minded education chief, bringing him national praise and a chorus of criticism that had gotten louder over the past year.