The Delaware Department of Education is seeking grant applications for new charter schools interested in opening in Delaware or highly effective existing schools looking to add seats or additional locations.
The funds are part of the $10.4 million federal grant Delaware won in October to strengthen the state’s charter school system. Funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter School Program will be distributed over five years to support:
Sharing best practices between charter schools and other public schools;
Evaluating and enhancing the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families and communities;
Strengthening the charter school authorization process; and
Providing subgrants for the planning, program design and initial implementation of new charter schools and expansion and replication of highly effective existing charter schools.
The grant also will help the Delaware Department of Education to improve its charter authorization process by enhancing reporting to include additional measures, providing technical assistance to charter school stakeholders and addressing policy to strengthen authorization practices.
Those applying for subgrants from the state must show how they will use the funds to:
Increase academic achievement for all students in the school as well as educationally disadvantaged students;
Collaborate to share best practices with district and charter schools;
Engage the families of educationally disadvantaged children on school choice opportunities with a focus on Delaware’s rural and urban areas;
Leverage partnerships with local agencies (i.e. social services, behavioral health, mental health, educational support, job placement, before/after care) to enhance school services and ensure sustainability.
The department released its request for applications (find information online here). Applicants must notify their intent to apply by April 30. Applications are due May 31, and awards will be announced in July.
Friday, June 1, 2018 – The Delaware Department of Education is seeking public comment on a revised proposed 225 Prohibition of Discrimination Regulation, which will be published in the June Register of Regulations today.
The department received more than 11,000 comments on a previous version of the proposed regulation. After careful review of that feedback, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting made responsive changes. The version to be published today:
Removes the provision that allowed students to make changes on how they were identified without parental involvement and adds a requirement of parental notification and permission; and
Substitutes the state’s suggested model policy for a guidance document to assist districts and charters in creating local policies.
Because the revised proposed regulation reflects substantive changes from the previous version published, the regulation has been published in the Register again with another month-long public comment period before any decision on a final regulation is made. Secretary Bunting thanks those who shared their feedback during the first formal comment period and encourages the public to again share comments by July 6. All comments received will be posted online after the public comment period ends.
To be considered as part of the public record, comments must either be submitted via email to DOEregulations.firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to the attention of Tina Shockley, Department of Education, 401 Federal St., Suite 2, Dover, Delaware 19901. Comment submitted to other email addresses will not be accepted. Comments must be received by July 6.
By Lynette Monroe (Program Assistant, NNPA ESSA Public Awareness Campaign)
Salome Thomas-EL, a charter school principal and award-winning national education expert, captivated an audience of over 500 educators with his keynote address on overcoming barriers to success at the 2018 National Title I Conference in Philadelphia, Penn.
Title I schools are characterized by the additional funds they receive to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students. Title I funding provisions are designed to improve the academic achievement of the disadvantaged and to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. The National Title I Conference engaged educators at all levels around the relationship between cultural competence and best academic practices.
Principal EL leads Thomas Edison Charter School, a tuition-free, public charter school in Wilmington, Del. According to the school’s website, more than 95 percent of students that attend Thomas Edison live at, or below the poverty level.
Principal EL shared the story of the Thomas Edison Charter School chess team that competed and won the United States Chess Federation (USCF) National Elementary Chess Championship in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, May 11, 2014.
Edison was the only school from Delaware competing in the National Tournament, but persevered to bring home Delaware’s first National Scholastic Chess Championship, the school’s website said.
“Thomas Edison is the home of one of the most-fierce, all-female chess teams in the nation,” the school’s website said. “They have won the Mid-Atlantic All-Girls Chess Championship three of the past four years.”
Principal EL left the crowd with four C’s (Crazy, Curious, Consistent and Culture of Love) that he has used to overcome barriers to success in the classroom:
Crazy—Every child deserves to have at least one person be crazy about them.
Curious—It is not enough for educators to care about their students; they must be curious about their lives outside of school, as well.
Consistent—Often times vulnerable youth grow accustomed to inconsistencies from adults in their lives. Principle EL challenges educators to stay consistent, despite the challenges that may occur.
Culture of Love—Sometimes the children who need love the most, ask in the most unloving ways. Principal EL also challenges educators to create a culture of love for all students.
Similar stories of triumph were shared from educators from all over the country, highlighting why diversity and representation in teaching is so important.
Dr. Tommy A. Watson, the principal of Palmer Lake Elementary School in Brookland Park Minn., grew up in Denver, Colo. As a child, both of his parents were addicted to heroin and were professional shoplifters. He also spent a lot of time in foster care and was homeless as a senior in high school. Today, Dr. Watson travels the country sharing his story with at-risk youth, leaving behind a message of hope.
“When I went off to college, my mother was in prison, my father was in prison and my older brother was in prison. My older sister was back in Denver on drugs…I really saw education as my only way out,” Dr. Watson explained, as he detailed his motivation to share the power of education in his life.
Dr. Robert Kirton, the CEO for DNA Educational Solutions and Support also talked about his personal experiences as an adolescent and how he uses those experiences to shape the education policies that he advocates for.
[/media-credit] Dr. Robert Kirton, the CEO for DNA Educational Solutions and Support delivers remarks during the 2018 National Title I Conference in Philadelphia, Penn. (Travis Riddick/NNPA)
“My thing is going from risk to resiliency. I started off pretty sluggish. I got in trouble all the time while in school. I got a young lady pregnant, while in high school,” Dr. Kirton said. “She left me with the baby; she didn’t see him again until we both graduated from college. He graduated with his bachelor’s and I graduated with my doctorate.”
According to Dr. Kirton’s biography, the educator has a documented success that includes a cumulative graduation rate above 95 percent.
Dr. Kirton’s personal story of risk to resiliency supports his educational approach. His straight-forward, disciplined strategy focuses on ensuring students feel safe and understand the connection between their actions and consequences. His method to “suspend students to school” is a refreshing approach in an educational system that disproportionately suspends and expels Black children.
When asked about the importance of parental engagement, Dr. Kirton answered, “I engage parents as partners…[you have to] bring them into the fold and make them apart of the team.”
Dr. Kirton continued: “When parent participation is not an option, I find a parent-like figure to fulfill that crucial part.”
Learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act and the importance of diversity and inclusion in teaching at nnpa.org/essa.
Lynette Monroe is the program assistant for the NNPA’s Every Student Succeeds Act Public Awareness Campaign and a master’s student at Howard University. Lynette’s research areas are public policy and national development. Follow Lynette on Twitter @_monroedoctrine.
On Thursday, May 17th, marked an historic milestone in American history. Regrettably, most Americans were totally unaware of the 64th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.
Leon D. Young
Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement and helped establish the precedent that “separate but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.
In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racially segregated public facilities were legal, so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal. The ruling constitutionally sanctioned laws barring African Americans from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites — known as “Jim Crow” laws — and established the “separate but equal” doctrine that would stand for the next six decades.
But by the early 1950s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was working hard to challenge segregation laws in public schools and had filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in states such as South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware. In the case that would become most famous, a plaintiff named Oliver Brown filed a class action suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in 1951, after his daughter, Linda Brown, was denied entrance to Topeka’s all-white elementary schools.
In his lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for black children were not equal to the white schools, and that segregation violated the so-called “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment, which holds that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The case went before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, which agreed that public school segregation had a “detrimental effect upon the colored children” and contributed to “a sense of inferiority,” but still upheld the “separate but equal” doctrine.
When Brown’s case and four other cases related to school segregation first came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court combined them into a single case under the name Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Thurgood Marshall, the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, served as chief attorney for the plaintiffs. (Thirteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson would appoint Marshall as the first Black Supreme Court justice.)
At first, the justices were divided on how to rule on school segregation, with Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson holding the opinion that the Plessy verdict should stand. But in September 1953, before Brown v. Board of Education was to be heard, Vinson died, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced him with Earl Warren, then governor of California.
Displaying considerable political skill and determination, the new chief justice succeeded in engineering a unanimous verdict against school segregation the following year.
In the decision, issued on May 17, 1954, Warren wrote that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” as segregated schools are “inherently unequal.” As a result, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs were being “deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.”
Although racial minorities have made several educational advancements since Brown v. Board of Education, the decision failed in a wholesale dismantling of school segregation. In New York City, for instance, more than half of public schools are reportedly at least 90 percent Black and Hispanic, and in Alabama nearly a quarter of black students attend a school with white enrollment of one percent or less.
Many civil rights advocates even point to what they believe is a “resegregation” trend. According to a report issued by the Economic Policy Institute, low-income black children are currently more racially and socioeconomically isolated than at any time since the 1980s.
The Every Student Succeeds Act is supposed to bring about a big change in school improvement. The law says states and districts can use any kind of interventions they want in low-performing schools, as long as they have evidence to back them up.
But the provision has some experts worried. They’re concerned that there just aren’t enough strategies with a big research base behind them for schools to choose from. These experts also worried that district officials may not have the capacity or expertise to figure out which interventions will actually work.
Districts, they’ve said, may end up doing the same things they have before, and may end up getting the same results.
“My guess is, you’ll see a lot of people doing the things they were already doing,” said Terra Wallin, who worked as a career staffer at the federal Education Department on school turnaround issues and is now a consultant with Education First, a policy organization that is working with states on ESSA implementation. “You’ll see a lot of providers approaching schools or districts to say, ‘Look, we meet the evidence standard,'” Wallin said…
Read the full article here: May require an Education Week subscription.
The Delaware Department of Education is seeking online public feedback on data visuals that will be used in the Delaware State Report Card.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires public reporting on schools. The Delaware Department of Education is developing the Delaware State Report Card to replace the current School Profiles site to meet these requirements.
In October, the Delaware Department of Education hosted five community conversation meetings throughout the state to provide background about the Delaware Report Card and to solicit revision recommendations for how educational information and data will be shared with the public. Now the department needs additional feedback on data visuals. Data visuals along with guiding context, business rules, and specific data points will help provide a more comprehensive, accurate and transparent picture of state, district and school performance to the public.
Schools from all three counties have earned honors for their students’ academic achievements.
The Delaware Department of Education today named 15 schools 2017 Recognition Schools, two of which also were designated as National Title I Distinguished Schools. Each school will receive an $8,000 award. Funding for the awards comes from the state’s School Improvement funds. Additionally, there are four Schools of Continued Excellence that were honored as Recognition Schools last year and had outstanding performance again this year. These schools are not eligible for a financial award again until 2018.
“I congratulate the students, educators and families whose hard work and support led to these achievements,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “These school communities have provided educational programs and created school cultures that allow students to thrive. We must learn from what is working well in these buildings and replicate these successes across our state.”
National Title I Distinguished School awards are presented by the National Association of State Title I Directors. Recognition School awards were created by legislation passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2009. The awards are given (a) to schools whose students are performing at an exceptionally high level, particularly those schools with large percentages of students coming from low-income households and (b) to schools that have succeeded in closing the achievement gap for students such as low-income students, students from minority groups and students with disabilities.
The winning schools have discretion in deciding how to spend their award money to benefit their students and school as a whole. As in years past, each school will appoint a committee (with administration, teacher, support staff and parent representation) to determine how the award will be used.
Two of the schools are National Title I Distinguished School awardees chosen for exceptional performance. National Title I Distinguished Schools are Title I schools that met national criteria and have not been Title I Distinguished school awardees in the past two years.
Recognition Schools are chosen for exceptional performance and/or closing the achievement gap.
Schools that have received state awards during 2016 and continue to qualify for Reward or Recognition School distinction in 2017 are named Schools of Continued Excellence to recognize their sustained accomplishments. They will be eligible for funds again next year if they meet the Reward or Recognition School qualifications.
The 2017 winners are below:
National Distinguished Title I Schools and Recognition Schools
Allen Frear Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District
South Dover Elementary School, Capital School District
H. O. Brittingham Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District
Brookside Elementary School, Christina School District
Forwood Elementary School, Brandywine School District
Georgetown Elementary School, Indian River School District
Georgetown Middle School, Indian River School District
William B. Keene Elementary School, Christina School District
Lake Forest Central Elementary, Lake Forest School District
Lake Forest South Elementary, Lake Forest School District
Maple Lane Elementary School, Brandywine School District
Mispillion Elementary School, Milford School District
North Smyrna Elementary School, Smyrna School District
Positive Outcomes Charter School, Camden
Selbyville Middle School, Indian River School District
Schools of Continued Excellence
W. Reily Brown Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District
Lake Forest East Elementary, Lake Forest School District
Lake Forest North Elementary, Lake Forest School District
Jennie E. Smith Elementary School, Christina School District
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, students in Delaware will be held accountable for social studies and science. Massachusetts and Vermont are also incorporating science into their systems, and Illinois is hoping to add it down the line.
Both Connecticut and Vermont also want to add physical education into their accountability systems. Educators and advocates in Vermont “felt that including the physical fitness assessment would support schools in attending to the whole child and supporting school nutrition programs and instruction that will promote a life time of healthy living,” according to the state’s ESSA plan, which hasn’t yet been approved by the feds.
Schools in the Green Mountain State won’t immediately be held accountable for how many jumping jacks their students…
Nine states and the District of Columbia had turned in their state plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act as of Monday evening, according to an Education Week survey of states. One tricky issue states have to address in those plans is how to deal with schools where less than 95 percent of all students take required state exams.
Under ESSA, states are allowed to have laws on the books affirming parents’ right to opt their children out of these tests. But ESSA also requires that states administer these tests to all students with sanctions kicking in if the participation rate falls below 95 percent and meaningfully differentiate schools based on participation rate in some fashion. Just how states address this issue if the participation rate of all students (or a subgroup of students) at a particular school falls below 95 percent is up to them.
The opt-out movement sprang up in the last several years as part of a broader resistance to testing, and has been particularly strong in states like Colorado, New Jersey, and New York…
President Donald Trump has proposed getting rid of the Title II program, which has been around for more than a decade and aims to help districts and states pay for teacher and principal development, reduce class-size, craft new evaluation systems, and more.
The program, which is officially called the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant prorgram, or Title II, Part A, is the third largest in the U.S. Department of Education’s budget that goes to K-12 education. Eliminating it would be a really big deal, state, district, and school officials say. Zeroing out Title II could hamper implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act, lead to teacher layoffs, and make it tougher for educators to reach special populations of students, or use technology in their classrooms.