September 15, 2014
The News Journal
A letter to the editor by the Vision Coalition of Delaware Leadership Team
The leadership team of the Vision Coalition is responding to the Sept. 3 Letter to the Editor written by James Ursomarso, and others affiliated with the Caesar Rodney Institute. First, despite attempting to explain this to them prior to the submission of their letter, they suggested there have been several initiatives associated with this Coalition, when there has been just one since 2005, “Vision 2015.”
Take these poor grades seriously
The U.S. education system received two “report cards” this week. Neither was good. The first report card was troubling. It came from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It graded the states. Delaware did poorly. The second report came from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The United States was hit on a variety of measures, including what the judges call “educational mobility.”
Grants seek to stimulate students ahead of grade level
The state provided a total of $300,000 in grants this school year to ten schools and districts to pay for programs aimed expressly at students who are ahead of grade level in reading, writing, math, science, the humanities or art. “The bottom line is that, up and down the spectrum, we have to meet kids where they are,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, who proposed the program. “We’re doing a lot of work with our at-risk students, and that’s a good thing. But we also need to be providing for students who are ahead of their grade level.”
Class Notes: news from Delaware schools
DelTech legal program OK’d; JA seeks volunteers; dinner to aid culinary students; Cape schools reconsider choice
Another group with college debt issues
Based on the U.S. Government Accountability Office data, between 2005 and 2013, student loan debt among seniors 65 and older rose by more than 600 percent – between $2.8 billion and $18 billion.
New turnaround options detailed in draft SIG guidance
Foundering schools that receive federal turnaround dollars under the controversial School Improvement Grant program would get some new options for using the money, under draft guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The guidance comes after Congress stepped in and decided to revamp the program in response to student-outcome data from the program showing that SIG has a decidedly mixed record on actually improving schools. The congressionally driven changes were ushered in as part of a spending bill that was signed into law by President Barack Obama in January.
Education looms large in pivotal U.S. Senate races
Education policy issues are at the heart of a handful of highly competitive U.S. Senate races that could help determine which party controls the chamber next year.
Common-Core discontent reflected in N.Y. primary
While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily captured the Democratic nomination for governor last week, a relatively strong showing by his progressive challenger in the primary could sustain a long-term effort to combat the state’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the way it uses tests for K-12 accountability.
Duncan: Waivers did not prevent Congress from updating NCLB
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan flatly rejected the notion that his No Child Left Behind waivers prevented Congress from reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, the outdated and much-reviled federal education law. “I absolutely disagree with that,” said Duncan in an interview with Education Week Tuesday during his back-to-school bus tour. “There’s no pressure off of them.”
New York Times
With tech taking over in schools, worries rise
At a New York state elementary school, teachers can use a behavior-monitoring app to compile information on which children have positive attitudes and which act out. In Georgia, some high school cafeterias are using a biometric identification system to let students pay for lunch by scanning the palms of their hands at the checkout line. And across the country, school sports teams are using social media sites for athletes to exchange contact information and game locations.
Los Angeles Times
Strained ties cloud future of Deasy, LAUSD
The controversy engulfing Los Angeles Unified’s $1.3-billion technology project has inflamed long-held tensions between the Board of Education and Supt. John Deasy, who is questioning whether he should step down. In an interview, Deasy acknowledged that the continuing focus on the project, which aimed to give every student, teacher and campus administrator an iPad, has hampered his effectiveness and eroded his support on the board.