Delaware Public Media


Delaware Public Media's coverage of First State education issues

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Delaware Public Media

Some might call it educational Darwinism. Others would say it’s simply the charter school bargain playing out as it was intended.

But this much is clear: new management in the state Department of Education’s Charter Schools Office and the introduction of a new application for proposed schools and a performance framework for reviewing expiring charters has forced charter operators to pay more attention to detail — in academics, in finances and in school management.

Delaware Public Media

The New Castle County Department of Elections says two individuals have been referred to the state Department of Justice on suspicion of fraud in the Red Clay School District referendum last month, but the results of the vote passing the tax increase have been certified.

Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) announced a new initiative Thursday to reduce testing in Delaware schools.

Under the plan, the state Department of Education will provide financial and technical support to school districts to take an inventory of all assessments given at each school. The state will also provide assistance communicating new testing plans to parents and families.

Delaware Public Media

Christina School District’s budget issues were front and center at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Facing major budget cuts after its recent referendum was defeated, the board approved planning for a second referendum May 27th to pursue the tax increase needed to fill a $9 million budget deficit.

Governor mulling state student testing review

Mar 10, 2015
Delaware Public Media

Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) is expected to take executive action to review all statewide testing required of Delaware schools.

Markell notes that the recent switch to the Smarter Balanced Assessment already reduces the amount of testing for Delaware students, but that more might need to be done.

“I think this issue of taking a look at the amount of testing across the state makes a lot of sense and you’ll be hearing more from us about that soon,” he said.

Markell didn’t elaborate on when any action might be taken or what form that might take.

Delaware Public Media

A new report on anti-bullying efforts at First State schools says there is room for improvement in a number of areas.

The second annual report released by Attorney General Matt Denn’s office says the state’s evidence-gathering practices regarding bullying are in need of reform; while schools reported an 11 percent decrease in bullying incidents last school year, the statistics showed suspicious fluctuations from year to year.

Attorney General Denn (D) says wild fluctuations in stats at some schools drew the attention of the AG’s office.

Delaware Public Media

University of Delaware President Patrick Harker says innovation and fostering entrepreneurship in the First State will be critical for the future as he prepares to step down.

Harker sat before the Joint Bond Bill Wednesday asking for $7 million to complete renovations of Cannon Laboratory at their Lewes campus.

State lawmakers asked him what Delaware needs to compete domestically and abroad. He says as a research university, innovation across all disciplines is key.

Nearly 80 Delaware schools will participate Wednesday in the nationwide awareness campaign to ask people to stop using the word retarded -or the “R-word.”

The motivation for “Spread the Word to End the Word” is driven by the belief that words influence attitudes.

As is often the situation, language evolves. And in this case, the “R- word” has morphed from a dated diagnostic term to a pejorative that reinforces stereotypes.

Delaware Public Media

State Senator Karen Peterson (D-Stanton) is asking Attorney General Matt Denn’s (D) office to look into possible voter fraud in the Red Clay School School District referendum passed by voters last week.

Peterson says her request follows multiple complaints from her constituents, who say voters may have taken advantage of loopholes in the system that technically allow them to vote more than once.

Karl Malgiero/Delaware Public Media

US Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald followed up his Monday Wilmington VA hospital visit at the University of Delaware - continuing a nationwide effort that began in August to entice medical students to seriously consider making a career with the VA.

Nursing students enrolled at UD gathered at the STAR Campus for the latest stop on Secretary McDonald’s nationwide push to recruit future health professionals employed at the VA.