Education

Margolis: Measuring Vermont’s schools on a variety of standards

Creative Commons photo by Alberto G. via Flicrk https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

By any calculation, Vermont spends a lot on public schools, and by the most common approach to assessing school quality, it gets what it pays for.

Margolis: Cutting teachers is quickest way to reduce school costs

First grade teacher Emily Wrigley works with students at Union Elementary in Montpelier. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

There are only two ways to hold down school spending, and by all indications, most Vermonters don’t want to do either one.

Story and video: Burlington College President Christine Plunkett tells students ‘I resign’

Burlington College President Christine Plunkett leave a board of trustees meeting Friday. Photo by Laura Krantz/VTDigger

The financially struggling school refuses to confirm whether Plunkett formally resigned after she told students blocking her exit from a board meeting “OK, I resign. Happy?”

Under Plunkett’s tenure, Burlington College falters

Christine Plunkett, president of Burlington College. Burlington College photo

President pins the future of the financially troubled college on finding more students.

Burlington College failed to pay employee retirement

The former Roman Catholic Diocese building in Burlington.

School did not put employee money or matching funds into TIAA-CREF accounts for 16 weeks this summer. President says it was a mistake.

Dual enrollment vouchers available for low-income students

From left, VSAC President Scott Giles, Kate Ash of Sen. Patrick Leahy's office, Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Rep. Peter Welch attend a news conference Friday warning of student loan scams. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger

The Legislature appropriated $50,000 this spring to support low-income students who might otherwise not be able to take advantage of the chance to take college courses while still in high school.

Common Core: The politics

Union Elementary School fifth grade student Alex raises her hand to ask a question while classmate Brian edits his report. Students are in Windy Kelley's classroom the Montpelier school. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

In Vermont, the standards were adopted on a fast track four years ago, with little fanfare. Critics say the state didn’t take enough time to evaluate the federal program’s impacts on schools.

Common Core: Mixed review of new computerized tests for students

Fifth-grade students Destiney and Brook (in the background) in Windy Kelley's classroom at Union Elementary School in Montpelier edit an online  book report blog. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Educators say the Smarter Balanced tests will better gauge student knowledge and skills, but they worry the new system will be used to punish schools under federal rules.

Burlington College used restricted scholarship money for operating costs

Christine Plunkett, president of Burlington College. Burlington College photo

Documents point to a lack of transparency in finances.

Common Core: Vermont schools brace for new tests, standards

Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe at a press conference in September 2013. Photo by Viola Gad/VTDigger

In the weeks before the inauguration of the first set of national education standards, reception in Vermont ranges from fervently enthusiastic to cautiously optimistic to skeptical. Rebecca Holcombe, secretary of the Agency of Education, said she has confidence teachers will “give it their best shot.” “I just know that the genuine change, as opposed to window dressing, takes a few years,” Holcombe said. “And I want to encourage genuine change.”

Burlington College faculty, student groups vote no confidence in president

The former Roman Catholic Diocese building in Burlington.

The small liberal arts school is plagued by debt and some students and faculty members express doubt that President Christine Plunkett can lead them out of the crisis. The school is selling some of its lakeside property to make ends meet and does not expect to have enough money to pay the summer payroll.

Burlington College defaults on loan to Catholic diocese

The former Roman Catholic Diocese building in Burlington.

Burlington College is behind on its payments to the Roman Catholic Diocese and has financial problems that raise “substantial doubt” about the college’s viability, according to a recent audit.

Grant to fund Dartmouth, Stern Center study of intensive reading instruction

Emily Wrigley, a first grade teacher at Union Elementary School in Montpelier. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Researchers have received a $340,000 grant to investigate the effectiveness of intensive reading instruction for third-graders from the Lebanon (New Hampshire) School District.

Stakeholders explore ways to make Vermont colleges more affordable

Woodruff Hall. Wikipedia image.

Students, educators and college officials tackle ideas to increase funding for state colleges and reduce student debt load.

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