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ESSA Takes Shape: Feds Give Surprisingly Strong Feedback on Delaware, Nevada & New Mexico Plans

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“Last week was a busy one surrounding the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Department of Education moved quicker than most thought by providing initial feedback to Delaware, Nevada, and New Mexico on what it will take for their ESSA plans to be approved, and advocacy organizations started rolling out feedback on specific topic areas within states’ submitted plans. Here are four new developments:.”(more)

Would You Be My Friend? How Buddy Benches Are Helping Lonely Kids Find Playmates at Recess

The 74 Million – Tim Newcomb

“Life at school can be tough. It can be a lot tougher without friends. But Star Hill Elementary School in Dover, Del., has a solution — a Buddy Bench in the playground. Mackenzie Reynolds, a second-grader at the school, told the Delaware State News, “If you don’t have a friend to play with, you can go sit on the Buddy Bench and someone will come to ask you if you want to play with them. After I sat on the bench, someone came over and asked me to play. We swung on the swing set and we walked and talked.'”(more)

China newest classroom for Sussex Tech students

Delmarva Now – Faith Tarpley

“Lauren Thornberg’s summer plans have changed drastically. Instead of working a summer job or going to the beach, she’ll travel to Hangzhou, China with 27 other students chosen for the Delaware Summer Chinese Language Initiative for Communicating STEM. There, the students will discuss alternative energy, explore the culture and practice their Chinese…Steve Godowsky, secretary of education for the Delaware Department of Education…wants the students of Delaware to “be able to compete for jobs against students from all over the world. Students who have the language and culture skills necessary to work in an international environment will not only stand out, they will be invaluable,” Godowsky said.”(more)

Cape considers dual language immersion

Delmarva Now – Jon Bleiweis

“Spanish or Chinese could be the prominent language in a Cape Henlopen elementary school classroom in the near future, as the school district contemplates adding a dual language immersion program. It could happen as soon as 2017, according to district assistant superintendent Kathy Petitgout. It’s part of Gov. Jack Markell’s 10-year world language expansion initiative, which started in 2011. The goal is to have 20 immersion programs in the state and 10,000 students be part of them…Lynn Fulton-Archer, an education specialist for world language immersion with the state Department of Education, said the increase can be attributed to potential economic and academic benefits. Not only does it give students another marketable skill in a global workplace, but decades of research has shown that students who have an earlier start in language learning in an immersion education typically perform as well or better than their monolingual peers on standardized test, she said. It also has the potential to close the achievement gap across minority populations that are enrolled in the programs, she said.”(more)

Internet Privacy, Safety Package Becomes Law in Delaware

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Delaware Governor Jack Markell has signed into law four pieces of legislation that offer citizens and children in the state increased privacy and protection during their online excursions. Under the new law, made up of four acts, educational technology service providers will not be allowed to sell or otherwise distribute the personal information of school-aged children or use it to target advertisements to students or their families. In addition, companies will not be able to advertise inappropriate products, including cigarettes and alcohol, on mobile apps and websites geared toward children.”(more)

National Study Proves the Digital Age Hasn’t Diminished Importance of Paper

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“The Paper and Packaging Board recently released a national study surveying 3,200 students, parents and educators and found that despite the increase of technology in the classroom, paper has staying power. The report, titled the 2015 Annual Back-to-School Report, found that not only do a majority of students carry paper products, they prefer them as well. “[M]ore than 90 percent of students carry paper items every day. 94 percent of students say it’s easier to concentrate while reading a paper copy than a digital version,” the Board said in a statement. The report also suggested that the increase of digital technology has not diminished the importance of learning on paper, but rather has made it stronger.”(more)