A 31-state consortium, including Vermont, submitted its application recently for a federal grant that would develop a student assessment system aligned to a common core of academic standards. The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, formed in December 2009, hopes to receive a Race to the Top assessment grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, which lasts four years, is worth as much as $160 million. No more than two grants will be awarded.‘As a governing state, Vermont has an exciting opportunity to develop and implement assessment models that better reflect the progress and strength of our students, educators and their schools,’ said Vermont’s Deputy Commissioner for Transformation and Innovation Rae Ann Knopf. ‘SBAC represents a significant and necessary departure from the dependence on statewide assessments as a primary indicator of education effectiveness.’Vermont is a governing state in the application, meaning it is an active participant in the development of the policies and framework of the assessment.The assessment system to be developed by SBAC is tied to the Common Core State Standards, an initiative led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association to create a consistent and clear set of learning standards for K-12 in English language arts and mathematics that all states can use. By the end of 2011, states in the consortium must agree to adopt the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math. States still in the consortium in 2014-15 must agree to use the consortium’s tests as their accountability assessments. The U.S. Department of Education is expected to announce its awards in September 2010.”We are very pleased to be a part of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, and proud that Vermont will play a leadership role in this project,’ said Vermont Department of Education Assessment Director Michael Hock, who also serves on the SBAC leadership team. ‘The name really says it all. It’s ‘smarter’ because we will be developing next generation assessments that will use new and highly innovative technologies to improve efficiency and accuracy, and to provide greater access for students with learning challenges. It’s balanced because it will provide a coherent system of classroom, district and state level assessments, all aligned with the new Common Core State Standards, that will challenge students to demonstrate what they have learned on test items and tasks that are practical and authentic. And since we will be sharing expenses with 31 other states, we are anticipating considerable cost savings over our current state assessment system.’Source: Vermont DOE. 7.21.2010Washington State is the applicant state on behalf of the consortium.‘It’s encouraging that so many states from across the country are working together to create an assessment system that aligns with efforts to adopt consistent and clear learning standards, ensuring every child gets the quality education they deserve to be ready for the global economy when they graduate,’ said Chris Gregoire, Washington state governor.###
Australian oil & gas company Cooper Energy has raised A$98 million from completion of institutional entitlement offer, part of which will be used for the Sole and Casino Henry projects. Both gas projects are located offshore Australia. Earlier this week, Cooper declared a final investment decision (FID) for the Sole gas project, which would develop the Sole gas field located in VIC/ L32 in the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria to supply 25 PJ per year to gas users in south-east Australia. Cooper Energy is the 100% interest holder in the Sole gas field.Come Thursday and Cooper informed it had completed the institutional component of its fully underwritten accelerated non-renounceable 2-for-5 pro-rata entitlement offer with strong support from shareholders and new investors.The institutional entitlement offer raised A$97.9 million at an offer price of A$0.295 per new share.The offer and the retail entitlement were conducted as part of the A$400 million finance package for the Sole gas project and other opportunities and commitments in its portfolio.The finance package, which also included a fully underwritten A$250 million senior secured bank debt facility and a A$15 million working capital facility, enabled declaration of the FID for the Sole project, which is now fully funded. It is also expected to fund a range of other value adding initiatives including work in the Otway Basin that will enable acceleration of gas production from the Casino Henry gas project.Cooper Energy Managing Director, David Maxwell, said: “To have achieved FID for the Sole project and secured funding for our commitment and opportunities with such firm support from our institutional shareholders is very pleasing.”New shares issued under the offer will rank equally with existing shares on issue and are expected to settle on Thursday, September 7, 2017. New shares will be allotted on September 8 and will start trading on a normal settlement basis on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on the same day.
Rivers Angels yesterday emerged the best female football club in the country after defeating Nasarawa Amazons 4-3 in a penalty shootout to win the maiden edition of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Champions Shield.Scores at regulation time was one-all before the dame dragged into shootout at the Agege Stadium.Rivers Angels who were beaten by the same Nasarawa team in the NWFL Super 4 Tournament in Benin City late last year however got their pound of flesh in the Champions Shield competition meant to determine the best female team between the winner of the league and the Aiteo (Federation) Cup.Alice Ogebe scored the opening goal of the game in the 42nd minute for River Angels with a header.Â Â Ejalonibu cancelled out that advantage in the 58thÂ minute to level scores for the Amazons.The goal by Ogebe deep into the second half for Angels that would have prevented the game from dragging into shootout was however ruled offside.Chief Coach of the Rivers Angels, Edwin Okon, told THISDAY that he was the happiest person yesterday winning the maiden Champions Shield sponsored by Lagos State.â€œI am the happiest person today for my team to emerge winners of the maiden Champions Shield. It confers on us as the best team in the country. For us (River United) as the winners of the Aiteo Cup to defeat the League champions means we are the best in Nigeria,â€ enthused Edwin who is former chief coach of the Super Falcons.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram