Archive for the ‘Daily Education News’ Category

March 24, 2017

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Delaware News

Delaware 105.9
High school graduation rates up, dropout rates down, Delaware Department of Education reports
The Delaware Department of Education’s annual report, presented to the State Board of Education Thursday, heralded rising graduation rates and diminishing dropout rates. Graduation rates hit 84.66 percent, an increase of 84.3 percent in 2015 and 84.4 percent in 2014.  Only 547 of the 40,287 public school students enrolled in high school dropped out the previous school year, a rate of 1.4 percent, and a decrease of the previous year’s 2.2 percent.

Newark Post
Downes students pledge to ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’
Downes Elementary School Principal Patricia Prettyman doesn’t believe in the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” “It’s not true,” she said. “Words do hurt.” That was the message behind Wednesday’s school assembly, which aimed to show students that what they say and how they treat others can have a lasting impact.

Department of Education
Delaware dropout rate down, graduation rate up
Press Release
More students than ever are staying in school as the number of high school dropouts continues to decline in Delaware public schools. The annual Delaware Department of Education reports, presented to the State Board of Education today, show 547 of 40,287 public school students enrolled in grades 9 to 12 dropped out of school last year, a rate of 1.4 percent. That is a decrease from the previous year’s rate of 2.2percent and the lowest rate in more than 30 years.

Coastal Point
IRSD considers cuts to teacher raises, club advisors, more
Budget cuts are coming to the Indian River School District. Even with an additional $7.5 million annual income in local property taxes, thanks to the recently passed current-expense referendum, IRSD staff expect to trim at least $5 million from next year’s budget. And that’s in addition to expected state budget cuts. “I’ll be honest — we have cut these budgets to bare bones, because we really need to get it down to a point we can [live with],” said IRSD Business Director Jan Steele.

‘Oh, the places they’ll go’
It’s 8 a.m. at Indian River High School. The bells have rung. The morning announcements have been made. And the River Café is officially open for business. Today, on the menu: coffee, tea and complimentary homemade cupcakes with green icing, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Senior Josh Timmons makes his way down the school’s history-rich hallways in his official green-and-gold River Café apron, pushing his cart, without paying much attention to the cart’s one stubborn wheel, wielding the day’s orders and approaching his first stop.

Speaker tells the students: Share your blessings and have hope
There is something to live and aspire for, said the man from Philadelphia. You just have to be ready when that opportunity comes. He calls himself “Principal El,” and his mission is to motivate, invigorate and inspire students and teachers across the country. The teacher, principal and motivational speaker Salome Thomas-El brought words of wisdom (and a few laughs) to Indian River High School and Selbyville Middle School on March 2.

The News Journal
Delaware 87ers reading program a slam dunk with kids
The Delaware 87ers’ reading program wants to be a slam dunk with kids, showing the importance of youth literacy through basketball. On Wednesday, the organization’s goal for the Education Day game was more just than winning. Kids were offered a unique learning opportunity with educational activities and a basketball. In November, the Delaware 87ers announced a partnership with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children that works on improving youth literacy and promoting healthy development through reading.

Montessori schooling is the educational experience that many parents would create for their own
Opinion by Christine Carrino Gorowara and Linda Zankowsky
What kind of school would you choose for your children? Most parents would agree: one that could focus on their individual needs, one that fostered their independence and self-direction, encourages their unique interest and helps them develop necessary academic skills. For over 100 years, Montessori education has provided this kind of schooling to millions of children in the United States and around the world.

National News

Chalkbeat
Despite pushback, education panel votes to close five schools in de Blasio’s turnaround program
After outcry from some school communities, and near silence from others, the city’s plan to close five schools in its signature turnaround program was approved Wednesday night. The vote from the Panel for Educational Policy, which must sign off on school closures, came after nearly four hours of angry comments from parents, educators, and elected officials, many of whom said the city had gone back on its promise of giving their schools time to improve.

The New York Times
School choice fight in Iowa may preview the one facing Trump
When she was shopping for a school for her daughter Alma, Mary Kakayo found a lot to like in St. Theresa Catholic, including its Catholic social justice theme, student prayer and hour of religious instruction every day. “Morally, my child knows how to respect others,” said Ms. Kakayo, whose daughter is now in the fourth grade. “She knows when to listen, and when to talk and bring in her ideas.” For Ms. Kakayo and her husband, the best part may be that the school costs them only $85 per month.

The Texas Tribune
Senate Education Committee passes school choice legislation
After little debate Thursday, the Senate Education Committee voted 7-3 to pass legislation that would create two public programs subsidizing private school tuition and homeschooling expenses. Senate Bill 3, a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, now heads to the full Senate, where it’s also expected to pass. Corresponding bills have not been taken up by the House Public Education Committee.

NPR
School suspensions have plunged: We don’t yet know if that’s good news
We are in the midst of a quiet revolution in school discipline. In the past five years, 27 states have revised their laws with the intention of reducing suspensions and expulsions. And, more than 50 of America’s largest school districts have also reformed their discipline policies — changes which collectively affect more than 6.35 million students. A new paper from Max Eden, a senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, argues that this is all too much, too soon.

March 23, 2017

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Delaware News

Cape Gazette
Milton Elementary holds Health Fair
Milton Elementary School held its 11th Annual Health Fair March 10. Over 40 health-related vendors were on hand promoting their services and sharing health information.  Games and activities were held in the gym where student could win tickets which were then exchanged for prizes. Volunteers from Cape Henlopen High School JROTC, Cape Leo Club, Cape Henlopen High School Honor Society and students from Sussex Academy all helped out with various activities at the Health Fair.

Delaware 105.9
Indian River School Board considering sport budget cuts
Despite passing a referendum earlier this month, a proposal was made at Tuesday’s Indian River Board of Education special meeting to reduce money to athletic programs. On March 2, district residents passed a $7.35 million referendum increase, with the monies earmarked to counteract student enrollment growth, safety, and student services.

Delaware Public Media
Christina continues review of policy to protect undocumented students
The Christina School Board is taking a hard look at a policy designed to protect undocumented students. They voted Tuesday to continue review of a policy making the district a “safe haven” for undocumented students. But the policy includes more specific language than the resolution the board considered – and voted not to approve – last month.

Smyrna-Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna, Milford teachers attend national education seminar
Teachers Jay Davis from Smyrna High School and Chris Stahl from Milford High School were selected by the Delaware Association of AgriScience Educators to attend the 2017 National Policy Seminar, sponsored by the Association for Career & Technical Education. The seminar was held March 13-15 in Arlington, Virginia.

Sussex County Post
Fun playground for all ‘stems’ from collaboration, unity and Schell support
New equipment and design that would provide playground fun for all students including those with physical and mental challenges may be on the grounds of Georgetown Elementary School before the current school year ends. No taxpayer dollars are directly involved in this multi-pronged project, which stems from an occupational therapist’s heart-felt concern, collaboration of Georgetown Elementary staff with the STEM at Indian River High School — and another philanthropy gesture from Schell Brothers.

The News Journal
Delaware schools plan includes 5-star rating system
Delaware’s new education plan, drafted in compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, will give state and local districts more flexibility when it comes to accountability and funding, the Department of Education said Wednesday. It also gets rid of so-called “priority” and “focus” schools and proposes to rate schools on a “five-star” system. The Every Student Succeeds Act passed in December 2015 and governs K-12 public education policy.

Christina finalizes contract with new superintendent
Christina School District finalized a contract with its new superintendent Tuesday, clearing the way for him to take the reins on April 18. Richard L. Gregg, formerly assistant superintendent of the Penn-Delco School District in Aston, Pennsylvania, will be paid $180,000, with an increase of 2.25 percent a year. His contract is for a little over a year, through June 2018, and he will receive state benefits and a $400 monthly vehicle allowance.

Rodel Blog
Legislative hall pass: Compulsory ed law aims to curb dropouts
Blog post by Neil Kirschling, program officer at the Rodel Foundation of Delaware
Discouraging drop-outs is a hot topic in Delaware this year, and one way that policymakers are seeking to accomplish this is by amending the state’s compulsory education law—the law that defines the age range in which a student is required to attend school or some other equivalent education program.

Can personalized learning defray the cost of special education
Blog post by Rachel Wiggans Chan, senior program officer at the Rodel Foundation of Delaware
Special education costs nearly twice as much as regular classroom education, but early intervention can decrease special education costs by 40 percent. Scrapping the one-size-fits-all education system we have today and replacing it with an individualized approach may be just what’s needed to meet every students’ needs and maximize student success.

National News

Education Week
Fifty education groups tell congress: Reject the GOP health care bill
Some fifty education groups are urging lawmakers to vote against the American Health Care Act, better known as the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare to the haters. The reason? The bill, which is being pushed by both President Donald Trump and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the speaker of the House, would make changes to the way that Medicaid is funded.

Real Clear Education
The case against cutting off our teacher talent pipeline
President Trump’s budget proposes massive spending cuts to critical—but often overlooked—funding for the preparation, training and recruitment of high-quality teachers. Title IIa of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, funded at over $2 billion for the last 15 years, including upwards of $2.9 billion under the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, would be cut to nothing. To put the cuts in perspective, consider this: The cost of replacing and retraining workers for any business is high.

The 74 Million
In pitching school chiefs on ESSA plans, 2 Congressmen see wildly different futures for U.S. education
The decline of bipartisan geniality in K-12 education policy debate following the Every Student Succeeds Act continued to implode Tuesday, as two congressmen gave wildly different, often contradictory speeches to the nation’s top education leaders. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott addressed the Council of Chief State School Officers, detailing starkly different visions of the post-ESSA reality.

The Washington Post
Supreme Court sets higher bar for education of students with disabilities
The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously raised the bar for the educational benefits owed to millions of children with disabilities in one of the most significant special-education cases­ to reach the high court in dec­ades. The opinion rejected a lower standard set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and used in a subsequent case by President Trump’s nominee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch, during his tenure on the appeals court.

March 22, 2017

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Delaware News

Cape Gazette
Sussex Science Fair highlights area students
Beacon Middle eighth-grader Douglas Heid had a sweet idea for his science fair project. Using two chocolate bars, a Hershey bar and a Lindt chocolate bar, Heid swapped labels, and set out to see whether consumers could tell the difference between the brands. Lindt chocolate did get the highest ratings, but Hershey wasn’t far behind.

Delaware 105.9
Delaware State Board of Education survives Sunset Committee elimination attempt
The Delaware State Board of Education has dodged a recommendation to eliminate it altogether from the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee. The board came under scrutiny after some state lawmakers on the committee accused it of egregious public access violations, a lack of transparency, and downright dysfunction. State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (R-Clayton) was one of those in favor of getting rid of the board.

Delaware State News
Changes to Delaware Board of Education aim for more transparency
After considering eliminating the state Board of Education entirely, lawmakers instead chose to order the board to clarify its duties and make several other changes with an eye toward greater transparency. The Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee officially recommended the board’s duties be better defined and its monthly meetings be more accessible to the public.

Department of Education
Teachers of Year visit legislative hall
Delaware 2017 Teacher of the Year Wendy Turner, joined by the state’s 2017 District and Charter Teachers of the Year, addressed legislators in both chambers today after lawmakers passed a concurrent resolution honoring the educators.  Governor John Carney also invited the teachers to his office for a meeting. The resolution sponsors were Rep. Earl Jaques and Sen. David Sokola, who chair the House and Senate’s respective education committees.

Sussex County Post
Seeds of respect planted in East Millsboro Elementary kindness gardens
Respect and kindness are in full bloom at East Millsboro Elementary School. Seeds planted in late February have blossomed into a “Kindness Garden” theme with several “gardens” located on hall walls throughout the K-5 school. “We thought that kindness and respect are certainly two words that we wanted to be able to spread throughout the school and remind students to always be kind, no matter others’ differences – and that that should be happening all of the time,” said East Millsboro Elementary Principal Kelly Dorman.

The News Journal
Christina moves ahead with ‘sanctuary’ policy
Applause filled the room Tuesday night after the Christina School Board moved one step closer to approving a new policy meant to establish the district as a “safe haven” or “sanctuary” for students in the country illegally. The policy will need to come back before the board at least one more time — it still needs to be fully vetted by the school’s legal counsel and re-reviewed by the board before it is put on the books.

National News

Chalkbeat
Tennessee lawmakers revise school recess law to strike the right balance on playtime
Tennessee teachers will have more flexibility over their students’ recess time under a bill that Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to sign into law. The state Senate voted unanimously on Monday to approve the measure, which rolls back stringent playtime requirements that went into effect this school year. The legislation passed unanimously last week in the House.

Education Week
Why are we criminalizing black students?
Commentary by Tyrone C. Howard, professor of education in the Graduate School of Education Studies at the University of California
A recent special report in Education Week revealed serious concerns about the prevalence of school resource officers at elementary and secondary schools across the nation (“Policing America’s Schools: An Education Week Analysis,” Jan. 25, 2017). On the surface, the presence of law-enforcement personnel would seem to be a good step in helping to create and sustain safe learning environments for students and school personnel.

Forbes
8 ways technology can improve education
As technology grows, so do the options for gathering and sharing information. Because while finding cat gifs or funny memes on the internet is fun, there are also scholarly dissertations on a variety of subjects, public domain novels and classics, and up-to-date scientific information. This, in combination with advances in personal computing in both applications and general hardware, means that there are a host of new tools and methods that can be used to improve student learning outcomes. But what ways work?

Indiana Daily Student
House education committee debates over bill regarding teacher union involvement numbers
A bill related to teacher unions passed with a complete partisan split in the House education committee Tuesday morning. These splits have become a common occurrence recently, with many education-related issues causing a heated divide between Democrats and Republicans. Legislators put forth Senate Bill 407, which supporters view as “simple transparency” legislation, but opponents said they thought the bill has deeper, potentially divisive intent.

The Atlantic
How universal child care affects boys vs. girls
Among its many milestones, the 2016 U.S. presidential race marked the first time both the Democratic and Republican nominees released their child-care and paid-leave plans prior to the election. While campaigning, Donald Trump proposed a dependent-care savings account and a small earned-income tax credit for middle-class families. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, called for direct government investment in early childhood education—including universal pre-k for 4-year-olds—and tax relief for working families’ child care.

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