Teacher collaboration critical to early success in Delaware
Today, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan were in Wilmington, Delaware to celebrate the first year anniversary of the first Race to the Top awards, which marked the beginning of a transformative and highly successful investment in education. Nearly a year after being awarded over $100 million in Race to the Top funding, Delaware's grant has significantly helped the state make progress toward improving its education system. Speaking at Howard High School of Technology, the Vice President and Secretary Duncan discussed the success of teacher collaboration in Delaware, as well as how winning the future in education will continue to require investments that promote a shared responsibility among everyone involved; reform at the state and local levels; and a focus on achieving results. They were joined in Wilmington by Governor Jack Markell, Senator Chris Coons, Representative John Carney and President of the Delaware State Education Association Diane Donohue.
"For less than one percent of what America spends on education each year, we were able to help jump-start some of the farthest reaching education reforms in history," said Vice President Biden. "All across the country, Race to the Top is inspiring the same kind of change we're seeing here in Delaware."
"Nearly one year ago, Delaware won a Race to the Top award because it submitted an application that promised to reach into every corner of the state and had the full support of its teacher's union," said Secretary Duncan. "Today, we are here to celebrate the fact that Delaware has made good on its promise and is beginning to implement changes that are transforming the state of education for children throughout the state."
Vice President Biden celebrated the progress Delaware has made since it received the Race to the Top award nearly one year ago at Howard High School--an active partner in the State's Race to the Top plan. One of the critical elements of the State's early accomplishments is the establishment of a Partnership Zone which gives low performing schools the help they need to turn around including instituting longer school days, increased instructional time, more flexibility in staffing decisions, and a greater role for teachers in implementing reforms. Howard is one of four Partnership Zone schools in the State and has made several key changes that are helping it transform.
Delaware State Education Association President Diane Donohue joined the event to highlight the critical role teacher collaboration has played in Delaware's early success in implementing its Race to the Top plan. As part of the application process, the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) and all 19 of the DSEA local affiliates signed on to the State's application. Over the past year, DSEA and its locals have continued to be very involved in every aspect of the process, including engaging more than 300 educators who are helping to develop student growth measures in 30 content areas, building student performance into teacher assessment systems.
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