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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is joining Delaware education officials to announce the state's second round of Pathways to Prosperity grants.

Monday's announcement involves grants to high schools to offer students the opportunity to gain workplace experience and earn college credit in high-demand fields.

Those fields include finance, health care and information technology.

Markell proposed the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year as a way to help prepare Delaware's future workforce.

Stony Brook University

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Stony Brook University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Dennis Assanis has been named president of the University of Delaware.

University trustees unanimously approved the appointment Wednesday following the unanimous recommendation of a 15-member search committee.

Assanis succeeds Patrick Harker, who resigned earlier this year to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) - Washington College in Maryland has closed its campus until further notice after a student went missing after returning home to Pennsylvania to get a gun.

The college said in a statement Tuesday it would close after receiving new information from law enforcement. The school was closed Monday after a student's parents reported he retrieved a firearm and they were unable to reach him.

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County education leaders are moving forward with plans to eliminate high school final exams, despite teachers' concerns.

The Washington Post reports the school board backed a proposal to get rid of exams in September, and reaffirmed its decision at a meeting last week.

Starting next school year, 45-minute quarterly assessments will replace two-hour semester exams. Officials say this will mean two more weeks of instructional time a year because there will no longer be special exam weeks when teaching stops.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - About 2,000 former students in Virginia won't have to pay $2.3 million in outstanding loans for online courses of a Pittsburgh firm that runs for-profit trade schools and colleges.

Attorney General Mark Herring announced Virginia's portion of the agreement Monday with Education Management Corporation.

The U.S. Justice Department announced a $95.5 million settlement to resolve allegations that the corporation used enrollment incentives to pay its recruiters and exaggerated its career-placement ability.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An optional retirement plan for about 5,000 Virginia higher education employees is getting new management.

The Virginia Retirement System plans to switch the plan's management from TIAA-CREF and Fidelity to International City Management Association - Retirement Corp. The change will be effective in fall 2016.

Retirement system spokeswoman Jeanna Chenault told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the change is expected to reduce beneficiaries' fees and improve the plan's management.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Enrollment growth at Virginia's public colleges and universities is expected to slow over the next six years.

Overall, public four-year and two-year schools expect a 5 percent increase by the 2021-2022 academic year. Four schools anticipate a decline in enrollment.

The forecast is brighter at private, nonprofit higher education institutions. Enrollment growth at these schools is expected to grow by 32 percent.

The projected surge in private school enrollment is largely due to the growth of online programs at Regent and Liberty universities.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Democratic leaders are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to restore about $68 million in education funding because the state's revenues have turned out better than expected.
House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller called on the Republican governor to make the change at a news conference Monday, pointing to the state's $320 million budget surplus this fiscal year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - New results from tests known as the Nation's Report Card show across-the-board declines in performance by Maryland students.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says the results are a more honest assessment of where Maryland students stand than the test scores released under his Democratic predecessor, Martin O'Malley. Hogan says under O'Malley, the state excluded too many disabled students and English language learners from the tests, resulting in "misleading" numbers.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Fourth grade teacher Sandra Hall has been selected as Delaware's teacher of the year.
Hall was chosen to represent the state from a pool of 9,000 educators who were then narrowed down to 19 teachers representing each school district in the state.
During a banquet dinner, Hall said she became interested in education after her experience as a mother of two and as a military spouse, living overseas. Before she was a teacher, Hall said she worked in advertising.

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Those schools in Delaware where there is a substantial opt-out from the state assessments tests could find themselves facing penalties.

The U.S. Department of Education says states must have “consequences” for those schools which don’t have at least 95 percent participation in the assessment exams.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that one of those could be lowering the score of the schools that have low participation rates.

The new chancellor for the University of Maryland stopped by Salisbury University yesterday as the school system faces some potentially tight budgets.

Chancellor Robert Caret was upbeat about the prospects of expanding attendance and keeping down costs for students.

But while he expects the University system budget for the next fiscal year to remain flat there could be some cuts and an increase in tuition in the years ahead.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware students' performance on a new standardized test linked to Common Core academic standards shows a continuing achievement gap between black students and other subgroups.

Statewide, barely half of Delaware students, 52 percent, showed proficiency in English language arts on the Smarter Balanced assessment. Less than 39 percent scored proficiently in math, including less than one-fourth of 11th graders.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Anne Arundel County Public Schools is proposing to replace end-of-semester high school final exams with quarterly assessments.
The Capital reports the school system will unveil a proposal Wednesday to replace the final exams with quarterly exams, which would take place about every nine weeks.
The proposal would also standardize and consolidate assessments in middle and elementary schools. It wouldn't affect students from pre-kindergarten to second grade.

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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.

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.

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.



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.