Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) commended the First State's progress on comprehensive education reform measures under Race to the Top, detailed in a report released by the U.S. Department of Education. The report profiled Delaware's first-year progress on Race to the Top measures, including the state's successes and remaining challenges.
"Ensuring that Delaware's students receive the highest quality education has always been one of my top priorities," said Sen. Carper. "Today's report reinforces the First State's commitment to improving education for our children of all ages. While Delaware has made remarkable progress implementing the innovative and ambitious reforms supported by Race to the Top, we still have more work to do. I will continue to work with the Congressional Delegation, Governor Markell, Secretary Lowery and the Obama Administration to make sure that Delaware remains a national leader in educational achievement and overcomes the challenges that lie ahead in enacting further reforms."
"We can't stop working to make sure Delaware's kids receive the best education possible," Sen. Coons said. "This report shows that our state's work in developing and implementing programs that have produced real progress in a variety of areas, from teacher training to SAT preparation, is paying off. That's what Race to the Top is about: progress. Under the leadership of Governor Markell and Secretary Lowery, Delaware has significantly improved the quality of education that our children receive. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleague to ensure that all students in the First State receive an education that prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow."
"Developing a world-class education system is critical to the long-term success of our nation," said Congressman Carney. "Delaware is a national leader in efforts to raise student achievement, give teachers the tools they need to be successful, and ensure that all our young people are prepared for success in college and careers. This report shows some successes that Delaware has already achieved through Race to the Top, and areas that need more attention. I look forward to seeing even more progress in the coming years, and will continue working with education leaders in the state to overcome any challenges that may exist."
The U.S. Department of Education's report highlighted efforts such as holding monthly workshops, organizing visits to high-performing schools, and creating an online portal to share effective resources. The report also detailed areas for improvement, including the need for more time to develop student growth measures for the state's educator evaluation system.
Other key accomplishments include:
Delaware initiated Common Core (national standards in mathematics and English language arts) training with 79 percent of the state's teachers.
Delaware offered free access to the SAT college-readiness exam for 11th graders to increase participation and encourage a higher rate of college enrollment. In 2011, 95 percent of 11th graders participated as compared to 36 percent in 2010.
Delaware increased teacher and principal recruitment through alternative certification pathways by establishing new partnerships -- such as Teach for America, Delaware Leadership Project, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Residency at the University of Delaware. These partnerships have signed on approximately 150 new teachers and principals to train or enter classrooms in high-need schools in 2012-13.
During Year 1, Delaware supported four low-achieving schools in the Partnership Zone and planned intervention models that will be fully implemented during the 2011-12 school year.
Delaware awarded two rounds of Academic Achievement Awards, which provided $150,000 to five public schools for significantly closing the achievement gap and exceeding their required federal accountability progress.
To view a copy of the full report, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/performance.html.