Sussex County Delaware

Sussex Beat, Nov. 11, 1999

Veterans Day

NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.


Eric Magill, Sussex County Online

SC Online

Education Accountability ...

Delaware Governor Thomas R. Carper, in a heated battle with the General Assembly over Education Reform, will discuss the next steps in the state's Education Accountability efforts in a news conference at Warner Elementary School in Wilmington on Friday, Nov. 12, 1999.

The governor and Acting Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff are scheduled to discuss the Delaware Student Testing Program, requirements for Special Education students, and the use of "multiple indicators". Multiple indicators would use other criteria, in addition to test results, to determine if a student should be promoted to the next grade.

Two weeks ago in a special session, the General Assembly deferred a vote on the Teacher Accountability package Gov. Carper wanted. It also discussed amendments to the Student Accountability bill that had already passed.

The General Assembly decided to wait on the Teacher Accountability measure until January 2000 due to the numerous amendments added to the proposal during the special session and because of the number of complaints they had received from their constituents.

The delay has angered Gov. Carper, who has threatened to enact many of the accountability measures on his own before the General Assembly returns in January because, he says, the delay will cause businesses considering relocating to the state to go elsewhere and cost the state jobs.

That doesn't make sense, though, since Gov. Carper and Acting Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff have told us that Delaware's test scores were on average with other states and have claimed for years now that Delaware is a shining example of Education Reform efforts for other states. And now we learn that Delaware is No. 1 in the nation in providing high technology and Internet access to its public school students (see below).

So if we're No. 1 in high technology education, on average with other states' test results, a shining example of Education Reform, and one of the most business friendly states in the nation, where else would those businesses go?

We'll say again that the General Assembly is doing the right thing by making sure the Education Accountability measures do more good than harm. We believe those businesses can appreciate that, as well.

We only hope Gov. Carper will spend the next two months ironing out the accountability program's wrinkles and explaining it to concerned state legislators so they can be ready to vote on it when they return in two months. That would be far more productive than bashing them over the head with measures he decides to enact on his own.

First State No. 1 ...

Delaware has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for providing high technololgy and Internet access to its students, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The magazine ranks Delaware as the leader in supplying the most access to high technology and Internet access for its students in a report titled "States Ranked on Technology They Provide Public Schools".

It said Delaware leads the nation in the number of students per terminal with Internet access at 5.8. Alaska is next at 6.0, Nebraska third at 7.2, South Dakota fourth at 7.3 and North Dakota fifth at 9.1. The nation's capital, Washington, D.C., is worst in the nation with 31.4 students per terminal. Neighboring Virginia and Maryland were ranked 34th and 38th, respectively.

From 1996-1998, volunteers and businesses have helped public schools wire their classrooms for Internet access and computers. It is the first state in the nation to wire every public school classroom for Internet access, completing the project last fall.

"In this increasingly competitive economy, technology in the classroom is critical to future prosperity in the workforce," said Gov. Thomas R. Carper.

Castle Press Conference ...

Congressman Michael N. Castle (R-Del.) will hold a press conference on Friday, Nov. 12, 1999, in Wilmington to discuss the final federal budget negotiations between Congress and President Clinton. Rep. Castle will discuss the negotiations and the key sticking points that have complicated the annual process, including education, environment, foreign operations and the goal of not spending the Social Security Trust Fund surplus.

Your Opinion ...

You can voice your opinion on Sussex County issues in the Sussex County Online Forum or cast your vote on various Sussex County issues on our online poll. Just follow the links below to make your voice heard and your vote count:

Sites Not to be Missed ...

If you're looking for medical information on the Internet, a good place for basic information about medical topics is, a site led by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. In addition to reference material on more than 60 conditions, the site also provides breaking medical news and a dozen medical forums broken down by topic. You can search the site by symptom or by illness or disease.

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