November 24, 2014
The News Journal
Six priority schools to be discussed at meetings
More meetings are scheduled to discuss the six Wilmington schools that the state has named “priority schools” and targeted for a takeover. If they can’t work out an agreement with the Department of Education by the end of the year, Gov. Jack Markell has said he will close the schools or hand them over to outside operators.
Comment on closing Reach, Gateway Charters
The Department of Education is accepting public comments about the possible impending closure of two charter schools, Reach Academy for Girls and Gateway Lab School. The Charter School Accountability Committee has recommended that neither school’s charter be renewed, citing low test scores. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the State Board of Education will decide next month whether to follow that recommendation.
Local teacher aide union donates books to youngsters
Some of the second- and third-graders at Claymont Elementary thought Christmas had come early on Friday. Teachers, school district staff and local community members showed up to read to them. When they were done, every pupil was given three books to take home with them.
Volunteers needed for career help at schools
Junior Achievement of Delaware is seeking volunteers who work in science, technology, engineering and math fields to present lessons from its “JA It’s My Future” campaign.
Growing public school enrollment adds to state budget bottom line
Unexpected growth in public school enrollment this year continues to affect the state’s bottom line. In a budget presentation Thursday, state officials asked for another $6.2 million in the current year’s budget to pay for that growth. That’s on top of the nearly $19 million increase the Department of Education got earlier this year.
Gateway Lab: ‘We need more time’
After the Charter School Accountability Committee voted Monday not to renew Gateway Lab’s charter next year, the school is pleading with the Delaware Department of Education to give them more time. More than half of the kids at Gateway Lab are special needs. Head of School Catherine Dolan says if their school closes, they’ll return to the public school system.
Second Milford referendum would fund new high school
Officials with the Milford School District have met with many members of the community in recent months, formulated a strategy to get the most for its money and selected a site for the construction of a new high school.
International teachers fill district shortages
More Arizona school districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that districts will need to hire nearly half a million teachers by the end of the decade. The American Federation of Teachers estimated that 19,000 international teachers were working in the U.S. on temporary visas in 2007, and that the number was growing steadily.
Study: Testing costs up to $78 million, covers most of school year
Colorado state government and school districts spend up to $78 million a year on testing, and some kind of standardized testing takes place during every week of the school year, according to a new study. The study was done for the Standards and Assessments Task Force, the 15-member appointed group that is studying the state testing system and which will develop recommendations for the 2015 legislative session.
Battle over Common Core heats up with proposal to dump standards
Groups representing North Dakota businesses and school administrators are speaking out against proposed legislation that would require the state to dump the Common Core education standards and craft its own standards for K-12 students. Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, said the bill drafted at his request is a response to the “uproar” among parents in North Dakota and nationwide over what he called the “detrimental effects” of Common Core.
Reading results show few retention
Despite fear of widespread retention, more than 98 percent of local third-grade students passed Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee — earning a stamp of approval from the state and, at least in reading, clearance to move on to fourth grade. The scores are from the 2013-14 school year, the first year the law was fully in effect.
Inside Higher Ed
Harkin’s last act
With just weeks left before he retires from Congress, Senator Tom Harkin has finalized his proposal to rewrite the Higher Education Act. Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate education committee, on Thursday filed an 874-page bill to reauthorize the main federal law governing higher education.