October 10, 2014

October 10th, 2014

Category: News

Local News

The News Journal
Moyer to close at end of school year
After more than a year of warnings, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to revoke the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute’s charter, meaning it must close at the end of the school year. “I recognize this is a difficult decision for the school community,” Murphy said. “I hope we can work together in the weeks and month ahead to ensure a smooth transition for the school’s students next year.”

‘Priority’ schools: Will plan fix failure?
The fight over a state plan to turn around – opponents say take over – six Wilmington schools moved to City Council chambers Thursday night, where more than 150 people showed up and drew battle lines. On one side stood Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, who pitched to council the state’s proposal to turn around six Wilmington schools with some of the state’s worst test scores. He was supported by some community leaders who said the schools need drastic improvements.

Moyer failure highlights difficulty of improving schools
An editorial
The timing of the Moyer vote struck school officials and others as ironic because the closing would force many of the students to attend one of six non-charter public schools that suffer from the same problems. Those schools have been pulled into a state-mandated turnaround program that is being resisted by their schools’ districts and boards, Christina and Red Clay Consolidated.

DOE’s ‘Priority’ plan is bad fit for schools, students
An op-ed by Bryan Townsend, Delaware State Senator, and Kim Williams, Delaware State Representative
The recent Delaware Department of Education plan for six priority schools in Wilmington falls far short of a focus on each school and each child’s needs. Instead, the DOE plan takes a unilateral, top-down approach, one that is very impersonal and out-of-touch with realities in classrooms and in the community.

WHYY NewsWorks
Delaware Dept. of Education to close Moyer Academy
The Delaware Board of Education voted unanimously to revoke the charter of Moyer Academy on Thursday. Education Secretary Mark Murphy said he agrees with the Charter School Accountability Committee’s recommendation to shutter the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute due to poor academic performance. The high school serves about 200 students in one of Wilmington’s economically deprived neighborhoods.

Wilmington City Council hears state’s Priority Schools plan pitch
The state Department of Education presented its controversial Priority Schools plan to the Wilmington City Council Thursday night. State Secretary of Education Mark Murphy faced a tough crowd at the well-attended meeting. He opened by describing how the priority schools initiative would benefit a hypothetical student named James. “James has got dreams,” said Secretary Murphy, adding that James wants a career and success. The kicker was that by the times James gets to high school, a quarter of his friends in Wilmington schools will have dropped out.

State revokes Moyer’s charter, will close at end of school year
Moyer will close at the end of the school year. “For us, it was, number one, are we serving the kids well over at the Moyer Institute? And the evidence speaks for itself over the past two years we’ve seen a decline in academic performance as well as other issues with serving kids with special needs. So it was very simple in that regard in that the evidence was compelling,” said State Board of Education president Dr. Teri Quinn Gray. “But it was very difficult, very difficult.”

Priority schools plan gets mixed reaction in Wilmington
The state’s plan to direct at least $5.8 million toward six Wilmington schools with some of the lowest test scores in Delaware received a mixed reception at a city council committee meeting on Thursday. Inside a packed council chamber, Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy told council members and a large audience of more than 150 people that individual state-approved strategies would be developed by educators on a local level.

Delaware Department of Education
State announces members of second Common Core-focused Delaware Dream Team
A press release
The Delaware Department of Education today announces the 40 members of its 2014-15 Delaware Dream Team. This talented group of educators will participate in a lesson study-inspired professional development program run for the second year by LearnZillion, a standards-aligned digital curriculum and professional learning provider trusted for Common-Core guidance by over 520,000 teachers around the country.

State Board unanimously revokes Moyer’s charter
A press release
In response to the State Board’s action today revoking the charter for the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute, the Delaware Department of Education announced that its staff will meet with Moyer students and families in the coming weeks to help them determine their best educational options for next school year.

National News

Chalkbeat Colorado
State has limited flexibility on testing, feds say
Colorado has few options if policymakers want to create a more flexible state testing system, or one that lets districts make their own assessment choices, according to a response by the U.S. Department of Education.

Inside Higher Ed
A conversation starter
Lumina Foundation unveiled a refreshed version of the Degree Qualifications Profile to better and more clearly define what college degree holders should know and be able to do.

The Texas Tribune
UT system overhauls salary and debt tool
The University of Texas System launched a major overhaul of seekUT, its interactive website that provides salary and debt information for graduates of its institutions.

The Daily Tar Heel
NC public schools shift to 10-point scale
A new State Board of Education mandate will require North Carolina high schools in fall 2015 to adopt the same grading scale as many other school districts in the U.S. — switching from its seven-point grading scale to a 10-point grading scale.

Detroit Free Press
Schools not ready for online testing can seek waiver
State standardized exams next spring will be given online for the first time in Michigan, but some schools aren’t technologically ready. That’s why the Michigan Department of Education is requiring they file a request for a waiver that will allow them to use paper and pencil exams.

Education Week
Education measures on ballot in 11 states
As voters head to the ballot box next month, millions of voters in 11 states will have the opportunity to cast their vote on various education-focused state initiatives, referendums, and amendments. While the number of education measures this election cycle pales in comparison to 2012—a dozen proposals this year compared to 24 in the presidential election year—the initiatives could have a significant impact on school funding, class sizes, the use of technology, and teacher evaluation and tenure systems.

Rodel Foundation of Delaware




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