education

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A new standardized test linked to Common Core academic standards is proving to be a challenge for Delaware school students.

First year results from the Smarter Balanced test released Wednesday show, on average, that barely half of Delaware students who tested are proficient in English language arts.

Statewide, less than 40 percent of students scored proficiently in math, including less than one-fourth of 11th graders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A statewide business group says Delaware politicians need to take a hard look at cutting state spending.

The Delaware Business Roundtable issued a study Wednesday warning that unless officials take action, annual operating deficits could balloon to more than $600 million, or 11 percent of expenditures, by fiscal 2025.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Students are returning to the University of Delaware.
 
New students started checking in to residence halls on Saturday and returning students started arriving Sunday. Check in continues on Monday lasts until 3 p.m.

The school's 17,000 undergraduates and 3,600 graduate students don't have too long to get their housing in order. Classes at the university begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland educators are launching an advertising campaign to reduce standardized testing requirements.

The campaign kicking off Monday is called "Less Testing, More Learning." It includes 10 teachers and education support professionals from across the state who talk about concerns about too much testing.

Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, says standardized testing takes far too much time away from learning.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's schools superintendent is resigning to take a post leading an Ohio education nonprofit.
 
The Maryland State Board of Education announced Lillian Lowery's resignation on Friday. Officials say Lowery will become president and chief executive officer of FutureReady Columbus, a nonprofit corporation with an initial focus on early childhood education, public policy and community engagement.
 

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The Indian River School District is seeing an increasing number of students showing up for classes over the last three years -- from 276 to 476.

So far there has been an increase of 245 as of yesterday morning with total enrollment just over 10-thousand.

This year’s rise could mean additional 16 staff positions in the district bringing the potential total to 725.

Seventy-percent of the district staff is funded by the state with the other 30 percent by local taxpayers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State education officials are set to make a final decision regarding the proposed relocation of a New Castle County charter school whose two leaders were fired earlier this year for repeatedly using school credit cards for personal use.

A decision on the request by Family Foundations Academy to modify its charter was expected at Thursday's meeting of the state board of education.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Lottery says it raised more than $500 million during the last fiscal year for Virginia's public schools.

The lottery says it increased its sales to more than $1.84 billion in fiscal year 2015. More than $1 billion in sales were generated from Scratcher tickets alone, setting a record.

The lottery says more than $12 million in unclaimed winnings were donated to state's Literary Fund, which benefits education by assisting technology upgrades in schools and teacher retirement funding.

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Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy is stepping down and will be replaced by Steve Godowsky.

Godowsky was the former superintendent of the New Castle County Vo-Tech System.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that its sources say Murphy’s departure was expected.

Governor Jack Markell praised Murphy’s work and the results that are being seen in the classroom especially in graduation rates and more students going to college.

Murphy also oversaw a number of reforms that were tied to the federal Race to the Top program.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has approved renewed flexibility for Maryland from provisions of the No Child Left Behind program.

The department said in a news release Thursday that Maryland and six other states are implementing state-designed plans for student success.

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There’s some disagreement over the type of successor the University of Delaware should hire to replace former University president Patrick Harker.

Jeff Garland, university vice president and secretary with the Board of Trustees, said they were looking for someone to follow in his footsteps.

But there has been some push back from university professors who charged that Harker put too much emphasis on science and engineering programs at the expense of other departments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Universities and colleges in Virginia expect enrollment to increase by more than 7 percent in 2021.

A preliminary state report says public and private institutions expect to enroll about 475,000 undergraduate students in 2021. Undergraduate enrollment last year totaled about 442,300 undergraduates.

Institutions also expect to award more than 75,200 associate and bachelor's degrees in 2021. That's an increase of almost 7 percent.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will discuss the report on Tuesday at its regular meeting.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State education officials are holding a public hearing regarding the proposed relocation of a charter school whose two leaders were fired for repeatedly using school credit cards for personal use.

The first of two scheduled public hearings will be held Monday evening to consider a request by Family Foundations Academy to modify its charter.

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The Delaware General Assembly has spoken.

Students in public schools will be allowed to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests.

The state Senate took all of five minutes to approve the measure.

It now goes to Governor Jack Markell who opposes the opt-out provision.

But both houses approved the measure by veto-proof votes.

The governor now has ten days to decide what to do.

Some parents have already kept their children from taking the test.

                

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Wicomico Superintendent of Schools John Fredericksen has announced he will not seek to renew his four-year contract when it ends next June.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports Fredericksen announced his decision at a school board meeting Tuesday.

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This week the Delaware state Senate approved a measure that would allow students to opt out of the new standardized tests. And, this, reports Delmarva Public Radio's Rachel Taylor a renewed debate over testing itself.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials placed four charter schools on probation, but decided not to close them after investigating enrollment and financial concerns.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the schools will still be open in the fall, including two new ones Thursday. Officials say two new charter schools - Freire Charter School and Delaware Design Lab High School - will open this fall as scheduled. The other two - Academy of Dover and Prestige Academy - will stay open, assuming they meet the terms of their probation.

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The Delaware Senate has approved a measure that would allow parents to opt out of a new state assessment test.

But, it was expanded to allow parents to also keep their children from having to take district wide tests as well as the Smart Balanced Assessment tests.

In addition, the measure would allow high school juniors to opt out of the statewide test as well.

This means that the measure must return to the House for a final vote.

Senate Education Committee Chair David Sokola said that he believed the bill was better but still represented bad policy.

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There’s a sharp disagreement again over the fate of the West Salisbury Elementary School.

The Wicomico County Board of Education wants to expand the number of students from 350 to 650 and to include Pre-K through fifth grade.  

Currently, he school only goes up to second grade.

This comes after the school board successfully pushed for build a new facility rather than renovate the old structure.

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A legislative hearing exploded yesterday when Delaware lawmakers and parents found themselves in a shouting match over whether to allow students to opt-out of the statewide test.

It’s called the Smarter Balanced Assessment which students took for the first time this year.

The legislation before the lawmakers would allow students to opt out of taking the test.

A number of angry parents said they would keep their children from taking the test with one saying he didn’t care what the law said.

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There are two new members on the Wicomico County Board of Education.

Governor Larry Hogan appointed John Palmer and Joseph Ollinger to take over the seats of former members Marvin Blye and Larry Dodd.

The board’s vice president Donald Fitzgerald has been reappointed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that both Palmer and Ollinger are strong backers of the property tax revenue cap limiting the rates residents have to pay.

In addition, Ollinger lost his bid as a Republican candidate for County Executive against Rick Pollitt by 3 percent.

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Worcester County residents will see an increase in the property tax of 6.5 percent and a .5 percent hike in the piggyback tax after the Commissioner approved the budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

In addition, the public schools will receive its maintenance of effort money but will operate at the same funding level as 2015 despite a cost of living increase request.

Finally there will be a budget surplus of $1.5 million.

The Commissioners were facing a $22 million budget shortfall.

The spending plan was approved a 5-to-2 vote.

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Delaware is in mourning this week after receiving news of the death of Beau Biden from brain cancer at the age of 46. Top state and national officials offered their condolences to Vice President Joe Biden and his family at their loss. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at the politician and man who was such a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Worcester County Public Schools website

The fight over the education budget in Worcester County was expected to see teachers at Snow Hill High School begin working to the rule.

They met on a grassy knoll where buses drop off students in the morning and are protesting the lack of a pay raise yet again.

Worcester County officials say that there is no money for the $4 million budget increase request by school Superintendent Jerry Wilson.

The county faces a $22 million short fall and it is trying to partially close that with a six cent tax hike.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware state House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would make it easier for those with juvenile criminal convictions to have their records expunged.

The bill to be voted on Tuesday modifies discretionary expungement provisions to allow more people, including those with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, to be eligible to have their records cleared.

The person could not have adult convictions or pending criminal charges.

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The Delaware state House of Representatives has given its blessing to a measure that would allow parents to opt out of standardized testing without their children suffering any disciplinary or academic consequences.

The vote was 36 to 3 with two lawmakers absent.    

Governor Jack Markell has said that he opposes the legislation.

Fellow Democrat Representative John Kowalko who sponsored the bill said that this was not meant as any criticism of the governor’s record on education.

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It’s another day at the polls for residents of the Milford School District.

The polls open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to help deal with overcrowding in the district as well as reductions in spending by the state and federal governments.

The money would go toward a new 14-hundred student high school spread out across 190 acres.

It would sit along Route 113 near Redners.

The old high school site will be used as a new Junior High School for seventh and eighth graders.

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Concerns are now being expressed in Delaware that allowing charter schools to give preference to students who live within five miles of their facility is leading to the resegregration of neighborhoods.

Representative John Kowalko says that Newark Charter School with almost 2000 students is producing de facto segregation because it sits in a mostly white affluent part of the city.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Newark is the only charter school that uses the preference and will soon become a full K-through-12 facility.

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A 6th grade Bennett Middle School got the chance to interview the president of the United States.

12-year old Osman Yahya got the opportunity yesterday during an event sponsored by Discovery Education in Washington D.C.

His job was to host the event and included not only putting questions to the President but taking questions from the live audience of middle school students.

WBOC reports that most of the questions were about education and reading.

Yahya was interested in the books that inspired the president when he was growing up.

SU Unveils Master Plan

Apr 29, 2015

The master plan for Salisbury University was unveiled yesterday that would ensure a central academic base, while improving the ties to the East Campus.

There is a proposal for a Fine and Performing Arts complex on the main campus and a Field House on the East campus.

It would also include the potential plans to improve not only the academic side of the campus but for student life and recreation.

The plans would establish – what has been described as – University District that would cross Route 13.

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