October 28, 2014
The News Journal
How do we strengthen Delaware’s education system?
An op-ed by Ernie Dianastasis, Managing Director, Computer Aid, Inc., a global IT firm; the chair of the Vision Coalition of Delaware, a public and private coalition working to improve our schools; and the chair of the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee
Nearly a decade ago, an effort began with a singular goal in mind – create the best schools in the world for every student in Delaware. To accomplish this, the Vision 2015 plan was created by a 28-member steering committee composed of educators, community leaders, business representatives and leading public officials from across the state. I’m also proud of how we got there. Unlike much of the country, public- and private-sector leadership have been at the table and have wrestled with how to move forward. Based on the research from the best systems in the world, we have remained focused on a handful of big ideas for the better part of a decade.
Wilmington girl’s literacy program earns national attention
13-year-old Wilmington native Imani Henry is among five kids named the Peace First prize winners Monday in Washington, DC. Henry founded her own organization called 100 Men Reading to fight illiteracy and will receive a $25,000 fellowship over the next two years to continue that work, which Peace First says promotes peace.
Delaware State News
Delaware Teacher of the Year Szabo strives for ‘whole learners’
Science education is starting to shift. In the past, kids would read an article, watch a video clip and then wrap up class with a lab to prove their findings. Now, Ms. Szabo tries to teach the other way around. It’s teaching the kids how to be scientists, not just science. “At first I was so intimidated by that because I felt like the kids don’t know what’s going on,” she said.
Town Square Delaware
Rod Ward recognized as Citizen of the Year
If there were a club where admission required serving as the president and CEO of two iconic Delaware companies the membership might very well consist of one person and his name would be Rod Ward. Mr. Ward’s extraordinary business leadership is a Citizen of the Year credential if ever there was one, but the Boy Scouts of America Del-Mar-Va Council chose to honor Rod Ward with its 2014 “Citizen” award on October 8th as much for his allegiance to the Scouts’ own tried and tested law: among many other things he is roundly known to be loyal, friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful.
A blueprint for personalized professional development by teachers, for teachers
I’m convinced that offering online courses led and constructed “by teachers, for teachers” will improve outcomes for all students. To many educators, online professional development means watching a video or listening to a recorded presentation. We open the file and push “play,” watching while making dinner or folding laundry. However, technology can and should be used to bring people and information together in new ways. I have “listened” to many online presentations, but what has helped me grow the most were interactive online experiences that turned frustration into understanding and linked me with professionals from around the world.
Alabama voters to decide school funding issue
Alabama voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to give new protections to public schools against unfunded mandates enacted by the Legislature. Amendment Four would require that at least two-thirds of the Legislature pass a law that causes city and county boards of education to collectively spend more than $50,000 in local funds if the state is not going to pay for the increased expense. Currently, an unfunded mandate can be approved by a majority vote.
Study: Use of teacher leadership expands
School districts across the nation are offering teachers more leadership opportunities, but to have a positive impact on student achievement and reduce teacher burnout, districts need strong planning and implementation of leadership opportunities.
Inside Higher Ed
The states’ ‘Great Retreat’
A new report from the Center for American Progress details the extent to which recession-driven reductions in public college financing since 2008 have sent tuitions soaring, and how disproportionately low- and middle-income students and the institutions that serve them have been affected.
Students jump at chance for free college tuition
When Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the creation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program, the state anticipated 20,000 students might apply. But the number is closer to 45,000.
Nixed grant would have sent 5,700 to preschool
The federal grant application that Republican Gov. Mike Pence decided not to submit would have helped send 5,700 more Indiana children to preschool programs, documents show.
Pipeline to prison: How the juvenile justice system fails special education students
Each year, thousands of Mississippi teens cycle through the justice system, where experts say the quality of education is often low. And many of those who need help the most aren’t getting it.