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Education

Delaware Public Media's coverage of First State education issues

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When a SpaceX rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded Sunday, it also blew apart at least 30 student science projects, including two from Delaware.

Meredith Schwartzendruber, a science teacher at Caravel Academy in Bear spent months preparing her students to launch their science experiment on fruit flies into space. They wanted to see how the fruit fly anatomy would be affected by the low gravity environment in the ISS.

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A Dover charter school could face a criminal investigation after a report from the state auditor says the school mismanaged its finances for years.

Auditor Tom Wagner issued the report on his inspection of Academy of Dover Charter School on Tuesday. He says $127,000 of the school's $3 million state-funded budget was spent on personal items, with another $129,000 unaccounted for.

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Back in February, we brought you the story of Indian River School District’s intensive ESL program for the wave of Central American teenagers who migrated to Delaware last summer.

The APELL program , which just finished its first year, specifically focuses on students with low literacy skills. Those students aren’t mainstreamed into bigger public high schools until they’ve completed a year of the program.

Delaware Public Media

After nearly a year of work, a state task force is issuing part of their recommendation to pay Delaware teachers more.

 

Under the draft plan, new teachers in Delaware would make up to $5,000 more per year, with other boosts in pay sprinkled throughout their careers.

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State officials and lawmakers have spent significant time and energy addressing education issues this year.

Skirmishes over topics like Priority Schools, charter schools and allowing parents top opt-out their kids out of the new Smarter Balanced student assessment have been contentious - and in some cases remain unresolved.

Delaware State Education Association president Frederika Jenner says it’s important to debate these issues, though the head of state’s largest teacher’s union she admits worrying about the tone these debates have taken.

Delaware Public Media

Two schools in the Christina school district will be getting an energy makeover.

 

Glasgow High School and Gauger-Hobbs Middle School will be subjects of a $5 million dollar pilot energy efficiency program, sponsored by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility.

Opt-out bill on hold in State Senate

Jun 10, 2015
Delaware Public Media

State senators are still mulling whether to release a bill from committee that would allow parents to opt their children out of taking the state's new Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Delaware Public Media


A new report says the nation's all-time high graduation rate of 81 percent might not be so clear-cut. An NPR investigation shows graduation rates are often subjective, with some states counting students they shouldn't, or missing ones they should.

 

In 2014, Delaware's graduation rate climbed from 80 percent to an all-time high of 84 percent. On paper, that puts the First State just about in the middle of the national pack. And it's the most improvement Delaware's had in years.

But just how well does that number reflect reality?

Delaware Public Media

A state Senate committee is set to take up a bill that would let Delaware students to opt out of a controversial standardized test.

An amendment passed in the House ties the bill directly to the Smarter Balanced Assessment. That test measures Common Core progress, but some parents, teachers and students say it's ineffective and convoluted.

Delaware Public Media

Seven Delaware school districts received more than $350,000 from the state Department of Education to boost college readiness.

 

Some will increase middle school course offerings, teach students and their families how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and create mentorship programs.

 

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