Delaware education desk

Newsworks | by Brian Drouin Standardized testing has become the most fiercely debated topic in Delaware education. In particular, there’s been a firestorm over whether parents should be able to opt their children out of a new, statewide assessment. Education correspondent Avi Wolfman-Arent talks about this simmering issue with opt-out supporter, Rep. John Kowalko, and Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, an opt-out opponent and the president of the State Board of Education. Read original article and watch video interview.

Delaware’s testing opt-out bill ignites firestorm

The News Journal | by Matthew Albright The simmering debate over standardized testing in Delaware exploded Wednesday in a charged hearing that saw lawmakers and parent advocates shouting over each other. At issue was a bill to allow parents to pull their children out of the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment, a tough new test students took for the first time this year. Some Delaware parents have already pulled their kids out of the test, but the bill, sponsored by firebrand Rep. John Kowalko, would make it an explicit right in the […]

First Person: Government transparency

Newsworks | by Brian Drouin Transparency is a big part of government. An issue brewing in Governor Jack Markell’s office over the use of a private email account. That forms the conversation in our First Person segment this week. Joining us in the First studios are Rep. John Kowalko and John Flaherty of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government. Read original article and watch video interview.

‘Rebel’ John Kowalko refuses to keep quiet

The News Journal | by Jeff Montgomery Some describe him as a political maverick. Others say he’s the Rebel Without a Pause. Democratic state Rep. John Kowalko of Newark is easily riled, a trait of affection for some around Legislative Hall in the state capitol, a turnoff for others. “You either love him or hate him,” one insider said. Lately the fifth-term representative has been worked up more than ever. And after being stripped of committee leadership roles, he’s making sure he’s still heard from deep at the back of […]

Delaware House discusses safety of oil-by-rail

Newsworks | by Shana O’Malley With increased deliveries of oil by rail in Delaware, state officials want to ensure that safety comes first. On Wednesday afternoon, legislators met with approximately two dozen officials from Norfolk Southern, the Delaware City Oil Refinery and state emergency management to discuss potential safety concerns with the delivery of oil by rail. The Delaware City Oil Refinery is experiencing a significant increase of oil-by-rail shipments, and state officials want to see that all safety scenarios are being addressed. At the meeting, state leaders inquired about maintenance […]

People of Influence: John Kowalko

Delaware Today | September 2009 Issue | by Matt Amis John Kowalko — Environment Who has clout? There’s a new generation of movers and shakers emerging who are shaping policies and making things happen. John Kowalko considers himself a conduit, a voice, not just for constituents in his 25th Representative District, but for those who are passionate about the environment. Kowalko, himself a former activist, is one of the few who have successfully reconciled a merger of activism and politics. His secret weapon: economics. “Once you track these issues and make an […]