Here are several stories in today’s news about Delaware education and from across the nation:
The News Journal
State honors its top teacher
Known for his innovative approach to connecting with parents and students, Sussex Technical School District English teacher John Sell was named the 2013 state teacher of the year. He said collaborative meeting time with his fellow teachers lets him borrow great ideas of other educators. Sell taught last year’s teacher of the year, Amber Augustus of the Smyrna School District. She became a teacher in 2005 after making a career change.
Laurel School District budget out of negative, oversight
The Laurel School District announced Monday that it ended the fiscal year with a fund balance and it is no longer under the watch of the financial recovery team.
Sussex Tech Teacher is Delaware State Teacher of the Year for 2013
Noted by his colleagues for his use of technology to connect with students and parents, Denby was the first teacher in his school to use online instructional activities and assessments in his daily instruction. He uploaded all of his course materials for student access in and out of school. He also is a lead teacher outside the classroom, serving as an original member of his school’s teacher leadership academy, a mentor for Sussex Tech’s new teacher program and a leader of a professional learning community (shared planning time for teachers).
ACT shows few N.C. students are ready for college
Seniors across North Carolina have a lot of work to do, especially in science, to be ready for college, results of the first-ever statewide ACT testing show. Just less than one in eight of last year’s juniors, or 12.8%, met the benchmark scores considered a predictor of college success in English, math, reading, and science. Last year, the state started requiring all 11th graders to take the exam.
Competency-based schools embrace digital learning
Districts that are adopting competency-based education models will likely have a head start in preparing for the Common Core State Standards and in using technology to more effectively personalize learning. A new initiative called CompetencyWorks aims to promote competency-based education and provide resources for educators who are interested in learning more about the model.
District Race to the Top will consider emotional, behavioral services
The $400 million district Race to the Top competition includes one item that hasn’t been a part of any previous iteration of the contest. Districts will be able to earn up to 10 bonus points if their applications include plans to collaborate with public and private partners to help improve the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.
Surveys probe generational attitudes of teaching force
A new survey points to differences in how teachers with fewer than 10 years of experience—who now make up more than half the teaching force—view aspects of their profession, compared with their veteran peers. The new-majority teachers were generally more receptive to the accountability movement and its implications for teacher policy, but they also hold some traditional opinions on working conditions.
Inside Higher Ed
Performing under pressure
A series of research papers and issue briefs by HCM Strategists and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are trying to help state lawmakers identify measures to more effectively tie public funding of higher education to colleges’ performance. Their Context for Success campaign is intended to give policymakers and colleges tools to better judge what works in higher education.