September 8, 2014
The News Journal
An alternative approach to teacher evaluations
An op-ed by Lamont Browne, Ed. D., Head of School/Principal; EastSide Charter School
East Side Charter School – in partnership with Kuumba, Prestige and Thomas Edison – was approved by the Department of Education to use the aptly titled “Teaching Excellence Framework,” an alternative to the state’s evaluation system. Focusing on teacher development, we set a goal to observe every one of our teachers biweekly, followed by a one-on-one coaching session between the coach and the teacher between 18 and 20 times annually.
Sharing the key to urban education
An op-ed by Rhonda Graham, columnist
Thankfully, the DOE’s mandate for the struggling Christina and Red Clay schools identified this week because of their academic anemia is well-timed. East Side, Urban Promise, Kuumba Academy and Thomas Edison could bask in their laurels, so to speak, but instead have plans to share their success with traditional public schools.
An alternative to starting schools later
A letter to the editor by Ellen V. Kwick, Claymont
Regarding “Should the School Day Start Later?”: This would not be an issue if students were allowed to attend schools in their neighborhoods. Re-institute neighborhood schools and the problem will be solved.
Gov. Markell highlights efforts to assist high schools seniors in weekly message
In his weekly message, Governor Jack Markell highlighted his recent tour of First State high schools to remind students of the importance of higher education and other post-high school opportunities. Markell noted that in coming years, 60 percent of jobs in Delaware will require education and training beyond high school — a number that rises to 80 percent in high-paying fields like information technology.
Delaware State News
Delaware seeks to improve individualized education plan process in schools
A task force set up to improve the development process for individualized education plans met for the first time Thursday night. The plans, or IEPs, are a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a student’s individual needs. “When the process goes well, it’s great, but when it doesn’t, the deck can really be stacked against parents who are trying to get the best outcome for their kid,” Lt. Gov. Matt Denn said.
Polytech High School opens new $29 million expansion
While Polytech High School’s $29 million project was still under construction in 2013, Polytech Assistant Superintendent Mark Dufendach said the finished product would make the Woodside school one of the most technologically advanced in the state.
Now that the work is complete, staff and students at the school say Dufendach’s prediction has become a reality.
Legal feud over K-12 aid continues in Washington state
Tensions continue in Washington state’s protracted legal battle over school funding, which has pitted the state’s highest court against the legislature for well over two years. Neither side disputes that state lawmakers have failed to live up to the demands made by the Washington Supreme Court in its McCleary v. State of Washington ruling, which found the state has failed to meet its constitutional obligation to “make ample provision” to fund schools.
U.S. ‘education efficiency’ ranks in bottom 50 percent, study says
The U.S. ranks 19th out of 30 countries in the outcomes it gets from its investments in education, according to “The Efficiency Index: Which education systems deliver the best value for the money?,” a report released Thursday by GEMS Education Solutions, a London-based education consultancy. Finland, Korea, and the Czech Republic were deemed the most educationally efficient countries in the study, which is based on 15 years of data from members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Union argue education law unconstitutional
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s 2012 education overhaul bill was crammed with too many diverse elements — including teacher tenure changes, salaries, and a revamp of the powers of local school boards and superintendents — and violates the Louisiana Constitution, an attorney told the state Supreme Court on Friday. “They went too far,” attorney Larry Samuel told the court in arguments for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. “They had secondary purposes and more purposes than that.”
New group seeks to counter ‘toxic nature’ of education-policy debate
A well-funded new communications organization headed by a former aide to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan aims to elevate the tone and goals of the national debate over K-12 education policy, its leaders and backers say. “We plan to bring in voices of a lot of people who are turned off by the toxic nature of the conversation to see if we can facilitate a more productive and respectful conversation,” said Peter Cunningham, the executive director of the new group, Education Post, who was assistant secretary for communications and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education for most of President Barack Obama’s first term.
NCLB waivers extended for Tennessee and D.C.
Two more states will get to keep their waivers for another year: Tennessee and the District of Columbia. Unlike many states who have received waiver extensions lately, the letters for both the Volunteer State and the nation’s capitol have absolutely no caveats. And Tennessee could be eligible for a longer waiver renewal, if it stays on track when it comes to teacher evaluation.
Wall Street Journal
Teacher unions under fire
Teachers unions are fighting back against a California ruling that gutted two things they hold sacred: tenure laws and seniority provisions. But they face an uphill battle to reshape their image as opponents—and even some allies—say they are standing in the way of needed improvements in education. California’s teachers unions on Wednesday filed an appeal of the ruling, referring to the state judge’s decision as “without support in law or fact.” The move followed a separate appeal by Gov. Jerry Brown.