Here are several stories in today’s news about Delaware education and from across the nation:
Delaware Department of Education
St. Andrew’s named U.S. Green Ribbon School
Today U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named St. Andrew’s School in Middletown among 64 schools named as 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Duncan named the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees and inaugural District Sustainability Awardees, which are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. “Congratulations to St. Andrew’s School. It justly deserves this national honor for the school’s commitment to promoting sustainability and environmental education in the classroom and across the school’s campus. I hope other schools in our state will emulate the work of St. Andrew’s and Delaware’s other state Green Ribbon School winners,” Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.
The News Journal
Getting schooled outside classroom
University of Delaware sophomore Jessica Dougherty has known for a long time that she was meant to be an educator. This spring she helped teach an after-school class at Howard High School of Technology as part of her introduction to English education class at the University of Delaware. The experience confirmed that she picked the right college major, she said. “It gave me a glimpse of what I will be doing with the rest of my life,” Dougherty said of her love for teaching. It also gave some Howard High students free, high-quality tutoring for the verbal portion of the SAT, school faculty members said. The UD students used a lesson plan and were supported by their professor as well as supervisors at Howard. The changes come as the state and nation have focused more on teacher training, with Gov. Jack Markell signaling earlier this year his support to alter state programs. In Delaware, about 3 in 5 public school teachers with five or fewer years of experience earned a bachelor’s degree at an in-state school. More than 33 percent of them graduated from UD.
Dual enrollment gives struggling students a college try
California students who took courses in community college while still in high school were more likely than their classmates to graduate, attend and stay in a four-year college, and earn more credits even among students who are historically underrepresented in higher education, a Community College Research Center report found.
High school redesign gets presidential lift
Reforming high schools continues to receive a lot of attention—including from President Obama—but some in the education community worry whether the expectations for change come with enough resources and flexibility to allow schools to tailor the redesigns to their communities. Others think the emphasis on the STEM subjects is too narrow and bigger policy shifts toward competency-based learning need to occur before real change can happen.
Spokane Spokesman Review
Otter signs as law limits on teachers
Five months after Idaho voters resoundingly rejected laws limiting schoolteacher contract rights, lawmakers resurrected many of them. Gov. Butch Otter signed five bills into law to revive parts of Proposition 1, including limiting negotiated teacher contract terms to just one year and allowing school districts to cut teacher pay without declaring financial emergencies.
The Washington Post
GED high school equivalency test to get major overhaul, become more difficult
Hundreds of thousands of high school dropouts hoping to earn an equivalency diploma will have to pass a more challenging GED test that is being designed to improve the prospects of low-skilled workers in a high-tech economy. The largest overhaul in the exam’s 70-year history follows growing criticism that it has fallen far short of its promise to offer a second chance for the 39 million adult Americans without a high school diploma. Very few of those who pass the GED test pursue higher education, and most struggle to earn a living wage. The new exam, scheduled to be introduced in January, will emphasize skills that are more relevant to today’s employers and colleges, including critical thinking and basic computer literacy as the test goes digital and the pencil-and-paper version is abandoned. It also will be aligned to national academic standards approved by 45 states and the District, matching it more closely to the education students are now expected to receive in public schools.
The New York Times
Yearly prize of $500,000 is created for faculty
The Minerva Project, a San Francisco venture with lofty but untested plans to redefine higher education, said on Monday that starting next year it would award an annual $500,000 prize to a faculty member at any institution in the world who has demonstrated extraordinary, innovative teaching. “We hope the Minerva Prize will be the Nobel Prize of teaching,” said Ben Nelson, Minerva’s founder. “Universities want to reward teaching, but the industry gives no incentive, or negative incentives, for focusing on teaching. Every honor is all about the creation of knowledge.”