From the News

Truancy: We are making progress
The WV Record, June 12, 2014
Children whose parents and grandparents may not have completed school themselves sometimes find it difficult to understand the importance of daily attendance. Add in the effects of the resulting multi-generational unemployment, underemployment, and poverty, and truancy in some homes is, therefore, part of the cultural fabric.

Coalition wants school discipline changes
The News Journal, June 12, 2014
Out-of-school suspensions in Delaware are disproportionately affecting black, Hispanic and special-needs students, putting them on the fast-track to prison and setting them up for social failure, a group of Wilmington and New Castle County leaders and state activists say.

Delaware Pushes to Get More Low-Income Students Enrolled in Higher Education
NationSwell, June 12, 2014
In fact, a large majority of high-achieving, low-income students don’t apply to selective colleges or universities — even when there are scholarships and financial aid for the taking.

Parenting Program Aimed at Latinos Helps Boost Literacy Behaviors
Education Week, June 11, 2014
Latino parents of young children who attended a 10-session education program called Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors end up sticking with behaviors that are linked to child academic success, a new study finds. Those outcomes include parents reading to their children at home, taking them to the library, and being more mindful of how parent behavior sets an example for children.

NCLB Not So Negative for Teachers, Study Says
Education Week, June 10, 2014
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has not necessarily been the teacher's pet of education policies. If you follow education news, you've probably heard something about educators' dissatisfaction with the latest incarnation of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

English-Speaking Abilities of Immigrants: A Snapshot From the U.S. Census Bureau
Education Week, June 10, 2014
Forty-four percent of recent immigrants—those who have arrived in the United States since 2000—said that they speak English "very well," while 13 percent said they speak no English at all, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

A Case Study in Lifting College Attendance
New York Times, June 10, 2014
Sydney Nye was a straight-A student with an SAT score high enough to apply to any college in the country. When her senior year of high school in Wilmington, Del., started about nine months ago, she had dreams of becoming a chemical engineer.

State leads way nationally in universal pre-K
WV Metro News, June 9, 2014
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the Mountain State is ranked #6 nationally for pre-kindergarten enrollments among four-year-olds and #8 nationally for enrollments among three-year-olds.

Proposed fund would give parents school cash
The News Journal, June 9, 2014
Called the "Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account Act," HB 353 would allow parents to place a percentage of the per-student funding that goes to a public school into accounts with the state treasurer's office. They could then spend the money from those accounts on whatever educational purposes they choose, as long as they do not enroll their student in a public school.

American Schools - Back to 'Separate But Equal'?
Education Week, June 6, 2014
The Supreme Court ruled in Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896 that separate schools for minority students were constitutional as long as they provided educational services that were equal to those provided majority students. In 1954, in one of the most important cases in the Court's history, it reversed Plessy, holding instead that American schools could not be equal as long as they are segregated. Now, however, the nation's schools are nearly as segregated as they were before Brown vs. Board of Education. But there is no hue and cry about this, no broad movement to reverse course. Quite the contrary. We have instead been busy accommodating ourselves to the idea that our schools will be segregated and have been trying to make the best of it.

Schools report Bring Your Own Device success
Powhatan Today, June 5, 2014
As the number of students with their own cell phones and other electronic devices grew over the past decade, teachers, administrators and Powhatan County School Board members worked hard on policies to keep handheld devices from being a distraction or a source of trouble.

Districts with more low-income families could have higher special education needs
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2014
Poverty and the need for special education often go hand-in-hand in more than a third of school districts in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Of the 117 school districts in southwestern Pennsylvania, 40 educated a higher-than-average population of both special education and low-income students during the 2012-13 school year, according to a Trib Total Media analysis of state Department of Education figures.

ELLs Test-Drive New English-Language Proficiency Assessments
Education Week, June 5, 2014
It's been a field-testing frenzy all spring with five separate assessment groups asking school districts and students to test drive the array of new exams they are designing to measure students' command of the common-core standards.

Bill lets state board restrict charter schools
The News Journal, June 4, 2014
A bill that received final approval in the General Assembly on Tuesday would allow the Delaware Board of Education to restrict geographic areas, grades and academic emphasis served by charter schools if it's determined they will affect surrounding districts.

Va. House GOP Warns of Cuts to Education Funding
NBC4, June 4, 2014
Virginia House Republicans said Wednesday that a budget stalemate could lead to $340 million in cuts to local school districts over the next two years and a freeze on construction projects at state universities.

Baltimore County teachers resigning in greater numbers
Baltimore Sun, June 4, 2014
After 22 years of teaching in Baltimore County, JoAnne Field says she will be leaving her third-grade classroom this year. She loves the children, has a principal she believes is "wonderful and supportive" and is committed to public education.

Digital Harbor unlikely school for racial tensions, educators say
Baltimore Sun, June 4, 2014
It was just a moment of poor teenage judgment: One student threw a marker across a classroom at Digital Harbor High, sparking an argument between a Latino student and a black student. Since they couldn't fight in class, they agreed to meet after school on Federal Hill.

Prince George’s to discuss how to increase the number of fathers involved in education
Washington Post, June 4, 2014
Prince George’s school board member Curtis Valentine, a former middle school teacher, hosted a forum in February to discuss ways to increase the number of male teachers in the school district.

A Black Father's Search for a Diverse Preschool
Education Week, June 3, 2014
In just two years, I have visited almost two dozen preschool facilities—searching for the "right" fit for my daughters. While many of these facilities have cleverly constructed brochures, websites, and marketing materials that celebrate racial and ethnic diversity, the reality I found is that many are not really racially and ethnically diverse, in terms of students, faculty, or staff.

Philadelphia Tragedy Highlights Role of School Nurses
Education Week, June 2, 2014
The death last month of a Philadelphia elementary student who fell ill at a school that did not have a full-time nurse on duty has reignited debate in the city and nationwide over the importance of school nurses and the reasons why they are among the first to go when money becomes scarce.

Graduation Gaps: Disparities in H.S. Completion
Education Week, June 2, 2014
The Education Week Research Center calculated the number of graduates and nongraduates for the class of 2012 by multiplying the 2011-12 graduation rate by the estimated size of the entering freshman class four years earlier. Nationally, about 760,000 of the 3.8 million students who started high school in 2008 failed to earn diplomas. (See related graphic: Nongraduates, Class of 2012)

Immigrant parents less likely to read to their children: study
Reuters, June 2, 2014
Minority children often lag behind their peers in language development when they start preschool. According to a new study, some of that disparity in school readiness may be due to differences in the frequency of “book sharing” among families.

Virginia ranks 2nd in 6-year graduation rate
Stafford County Sun, June 2, 2014
About 70 percent of students who enrolled at public four-year colleges and universities in Virginia in fall 2007 received a degree within six academic years, putting the state second only to Delaware in its graduation rate, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia reported Friday.

Report On Suspensions And Expulsions In D.C. Reveals Disturbing Trends, Need For More Data
DCist, June 1, 2014
A report from the Office of the State Superintendent reveals that students who are black, male, in foster care, homeless, or who have mental health needs are disproportionately suspended or expelled from D.C. schools.

Studies of STEM-Focused Schools Yield Mixed Results
Education Week, June 1, 2014
In an article published online in March by the peer-refereed Journal of Educational Research, Michael Hansen, a principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research, found that students in STEM schools in North Carolina were significantly more likely to take core, advanced, and vocational-technical STEM courses than were their peers in other types of schools. However, in Florida, STEM students participated in vocational-technical STEM courses at higher rates but were about as likely as students at other types of schools to take core and advanced STEM courses.

D.C. classrooms welcome babies in effort to teach empathy
Washington Post, June 1, 2014
The program, called Roots of Empathy, was conceived nearly two decades ago in Toronto and has since become common across Canada. Now it has been imported to the United States, amid growing concern about classroom bullying and growing conviction that teaching certain character traits — such as persistence, self-control and self-confidence — is just as crucial for students’ futures as teaching academics.

A year later, bluer skies for Fairfax County schools
District Administration, June 1, 2014
When Superintendent Karen Garza started her job at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia last July, she had barely unpacked when she found a perfect storm of budget planning: increased enrollment, deferred retirement system contributions and a major uptick in students needing ESOL services.

Community engagement is a euphemism for “how to deal with black folk”
The Hechinger Report, May 29, 2014
Local community groups, alumni associations, teachers unions, parents and non-profits may be part of the problem, but they are the undeniable part of the solution. Turnaround districts should incubate local talent to apply successfully for charter schools. In most cases, the benefits of changing the name of a school don’t outweigh the ill will. Districts can recruit teachers from a diverse pallet of prep programs. If building a positive school culture contributes to the disproportionate expulsion and suspension rates of black and brown children, use another strategy. Ensuring that parents and neighbors are represented on charter school boards heightens trust. Demand that diversity be a key performance indicator for faculty and staff hires. Work with local civil rights organizations to help conceptualize a community relations strategy. There are too many different ways to facilitate authentic community engagement.

Few At-Risk Students Are Able to Turn Around Academically, ACT Report Finds
Education Week, May 29, 2014
The report, "Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge is Greater for At-Risk Students," showed that despite early detection of academic struggles, students seldom were able to close the gap as they progressed through school. Two previous reports by ACT in this series found that strong preschool and elementary programs contribute to student success in later years, yet students in the general population who were behind in 4th and 8th grade struggled to improve much by middle and high school.


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