October 27, 2014
The News Journal
Personalized schooling: A way to reach students
An op-ed by Tim Brewer, Science Chair, New Castle Vocational Technical School District; and Jennifer Lougheed, Instructional Coach, Indian River School District
As teachers, every day we work with excellent colleagues who work tirelessly on behalf of their students. We know that if all Delaware students are to receive a truly world-class education, teachers must be open to changing the way we do things in classrooms and schools across the state. Since last fall, our participation in the Rodel Teacher Council has helped us to think differently about our classrooms – from the physical layout of the room, to the types of projects we assign, and from how we think of our role as teachers to how we assess our students’ learning.
Delaware educators can lead change our students need
An op-ed by Shani Benson, Teacher, South Dover Elementary School
The world, as we know it, is changing, and at a rapid pace. We cannot stand still, and we must make the choice to change and grow. As an educator, I am optimistic about the future for my students and the work underway to strengthen Delaware schools. Amidst daily criticisms about failing schools, teachers not doing their jobs and new programs, I am honored to be part of initiatives to improve our schools and know we have to do more.
Delaware’s making progress with college, career initiatives
An op-ed by Mark Stellini, Chairman, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; and Deborah Zych, Superintendent, Polytech School District
Our collective responsibility is to make sure that every child in this state has the opportunity for a good career. To do this for each student, we need to provide both applied learning opportunities and access to rigorous academics. In Delaware today, we need to do more for our young people to be prepared for college and careers.
An education solution that’s plain to see
An op-ed by Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware, and Chris Coons, U.S. Senator
Vision To Learn’s mission revolves around a few startling facts. First, 80 percent of learning is obtained visually. Second, most first-graders with impaired vision begin their school year without glasses. And third, 60 percent of America’s students who need vision care end up being labeled “trouble learners.” So not only do students need to see to learn, a huge proportion of students who have trouble seeing also don’t get the glasses they need. As a result, they fall further behind in school.
What are schools teaching us?
An op-ed by Frederika Jenner, President, Delaware State Education Association
So, what have educators learned from standardized testing in Delaware schools? In many cases, testing confirms what a teacher already knows about Suzy’s progress. Test scores and growth targets are used for ranking students, but what teachers really need are diagnostic results that pinpoint students’ areas of weakness and offer prescriptions for improvement. DCAS failed to provide this information.
Getting more poor kids into college won’t fix inequality
An op-ed by James Piereson, President, William E. Simon Foundation; and Naomi Schaefer Riley, Author, “The Faculty Lounges: And other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For.”
Which brings us to the real hole in the debate over income inequality in this country: the problems plaguing our K-12 education system. Fifty years ago, it was possible for a child to grow up in a home where neither parent had a college degree and still attend a decent public school, go to college and become a professional. Any college professor will tell you that’s not always the case anymore.
Vision to Learn brings eye care to Delaware schools
Vision to Learn already has provided more than 20,000 children with free glasses in California and announced its first step toward a nationwide expansion Thursday in a partnership with Delaware state education and health officials. So far, the nonprofit’s efforts have been funded by private donations, but in Delaware, Medicaid reimbursements will cover a portion of the cost of its services offering eye exams and glasses. The group’s leaders hope to replicate the model elsewhere, saying they are in talks in half a dozen other states to bring vision services.
Vision screening program to focus on First State elementary students
Gov. Jack Markell (D) and Senator Chris Coons (D) helped hand out free glasses to students at Wilmington’s Shortlidge Academy Thursday morning, helping to launch Vision to Learn, a public-private partnership that provides free eye exams and eyewear to needy children. Advocates estimate 6,000 Delaware children – and 2 million across the country – struggle with academic performance due to unaddressed vision needs.
Delaware education program receives $694,000 award from AT&T
Six high schools in Delaware will benefit from a national grant provided by AT&T. The AT&T Aspire grant has awarded more than $12 million dollars to 31 education programs across the country. The Delaware awards were some of the most significant. Out of the 1,100 applicants nationwide, the Community in Schools of Delaware program was selected to receive $694,000 from that grant.
Bulletproof whiteboards coming to Delaware school district
The Colonial School District will be the first in the Delaware Valley to place bulletproof whiteboards in some of their classrooms. Under a pilot program launched by Delaware state Senator Nicole Poore, the district will place 121 bulletproof whiteboards in designated classrooms.
Capital School District backs parents opting out of standardized tests
After months of debate, the Capital School District voted unanimously last week to support parents who decide to opt their children out of state standardized testing. The resolution approved by the board on Oct. 15 is only a statement of support and not a change in policy, according to district officials. Yet it is still not supported by the Delaware Department of Education.
Race to the Top and Personalized Learning: A report card
In 2012, the federal Race to the Top district competition awarded 16 school districts, educational cooperatives, and charter school districts with more than $350 million in total grant funding to support efforts to personalize learning and improve student achievement.
States that prohibit charters likely to decline
The eight states that have staunchly resisted charter laws could shrink in number after midterm elections next month. That, combined with forceful advocacy efforts, could help push the holdouts toward embracing the publicly funded, independently operated schools.
Vermont prepares for mandatory personalized learning plan for all
Vermont’s public school teachers and administrators are spending this year preparing for dramatic changes in teaching and learning that will bring together schools, parents, students and community resources to develop personalized learning plans, or PLPs, for all middle and high school students.
Testing consortium awards contract for English-learner assessment
The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, one of two groups of states that are designing common-core-aligned English-language proficiency tests, has chosen Data Recognition Corp. to score the new assessment it plans to debut in 2015-16.
Process outlined to review Tennessee academic standards
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam laid out a process for a public review of the state’s K-12 academic standards in English and math amid continuing discussion about Common Core.
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Colleges find success with new approaches to developmental education
With the recent national focus on increasing how many students complete academic programs at all levels of higher education, community colleges have been rethinking remedial education and trying new approaches.