September 29, 2014
The News Journal
Strong schools imperative for a strong economy
An op-ed by Rod Ward III, President and CEO, Corporation Service Company; Rob Buccini, Co-President, The Buccini/Pollin Group; Chris Buccini, Co-President, The Buccini/Pollin Group; Nick Marsini, Regional President, PNC Bank Delaware; Chip Rossi, Market President, Bank of America Delaware; Mark Stellini, Chair, Board of Directors, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
We agree with The News Journal editorial board. The state and the school board leadership of Christina and Red Clay Consolidated school districts need to move forward on the six Priority Schools: Christina’s Bancroft Elementary, Bayard Middle and Stubbs Elementary and Red Clay’s Highlands, Shortlidge and Warner elementary schools. All are located in Wilmington.
Scanning the future for tomorrow’s jobs
An op-ed by Mark T. Brainard, President, Delaware Technical Community College
Delaware Tech is also working with our private and public partners to create a pipeline of highly skilled workers in fields where there are critical shortages. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is one of these areas. In collaboration with our sister institutions and with money from a federal grant, Delaware Tech is enrolling students as young as middle school in programming designed to inspire and prepare them for STEM careers
Students cooking for a cause – their futures
This was the first annual “Harvest Festival,” a fundraiser for the Crop Foundation. Started by William Penn’s culinary instructor, Kip Poole, the organization raises money for scholarships for students who want to study in culinary, agriculture or hospitality fields when they graduate. “I have so many students with such amazing talent who just don’t have the money they need to go to college,” Poole said. “That is really frustrating to me. So I decided to do something about it.”
In a race against the machine, we are losing
An op-ed by John Sweeney, editorial editor
The in-fighting among the adults with a stake in the outcome will go on until parents – suburban, rural and city – realize that their kids’ lives really do depend on this. If more than half of our public school graduates have to take remedial courses in Delaware colleges, something is wrong. And you can’t blame the poverty of the poor kids for all of these problems.
State official make push to garner support for Priority Schools initiative
The state’s Priority School initiative is expected to see further scrutiny this week. The Christina and Red Clay School District school boards are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding for the plan the state wants signed by the end of the month.
Sussex Tech clearly has a serious problem
While the school, drawing from all over Sussex County, continues to do a good job educating its students, it no longer has the support of the legislators on whom it ultimately depends for its funding. Many sense that the school has lost its way: What started out as a vocational-school extension of the other districts in Sussex has moved toward total independence with much more of its focus on academic rather than vocational performance.
Will Common-Core testing platforms impede math tasks?
As two state consortia work to finish new assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards, some mathematics experts say they’re worried that the computer-based testing platforms will hamper a key element of the exams: open-ended math-performance tasks that test students’ ability to apply their knowledge.
Year-end tests in Oklahoma could be in jeopardy
A delay by Oklahoma education officials in selecting a testing vendor could leave tens of thousands of high school students in the lurch if they’re unable to complete end-of-instruction exams this winter.
Attorney General Holder to step down, promoted changes in school discipline
Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his resignation Thursday and plans to leave office as soon as a successor can be appointed, multiple media outlets report. In the education world, he is perhaps best known for his efforts to address disproportionately high discipline rates for students from certain racial and ethnic groups. Alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Holder also encouraged schools to step back from zero-tolerance policies that the two said could sometimes lead to heavy-handed punishments for minor rule violations.
Los Angeles Times
Deasy’s impatience threatens to overshadow LAUSD achievements
In office since 2010, Deasy has fenced with his bosses, the seven-member school board, almost from the get-go. Lately, however, the situation has deteriorated: United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents teachers in the L.A. Unified School District, has sharpened its critique of the superintendent, calling for him to be held “accountable” in his upcoming evaluation.
New York Times
With climbing graduation rates come renewed doubts
A decade ago, Texas was often cited as an example of the ills that contributed to a national high school graduation crisis. As the state weathered scandals over the way some districts calculated graduation rates, it became identified in national reports as the epicenter for chronically underperforming schools known as “dropout factories.”
Haslam, in tone change, seeks ‘full vetting’ of Common Core
He isn’t saying stay the course. No more talk about continuing the momentum, either. Ahead of what could be a raucous legislative debate over Common Core when the legislature convenes in January, Gov. Bill Haslam instead intends to have a “full vetting” of the academic standards, marking a shift in message from last year.