Governor: Pens, pencils, laptops, netbooks and notebooks. It's back-to-school for thousands of Delaware students, including those here at Maple Lane Elementary School in the Brandywine School District. I am joined by Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and we are welcoming back students, staff, teachers and administrators.
Secretary Murphy: Because Maple Lane operates on a balanced calendar, teachers and students are back in class here already. Like many of the children getting off their school buses today, the Governor and I both are excited for the new school year.
Governor: We know this will be an important year for our students, parents, educators and state. We deepen implementation of our Race to the Top plan; raise the bar for students with Common Core standards; and further develop the education profession with more comprehensive evaluations of performance.
Secretary Murphy: We'll also increase our support for struggling schools through the Partnership Zone and Focus School programs. Our teachers and students had great success last year. More than ten-thousand additional children left school proficient in reading and more than nine-thousand additional students reached proficiency in math. The gains occurred across all grades and subjects.
Governor: As excited as we are about that progress, we know our work isn't over. We are preparing hundreds of elementary school students with four world language immersion programs and have launched new Early Childhood education initiatives. And it is the year our students will take the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, which will help us benchmark our students' progress against the nation's. We know that our state's future success depends on how well we work together to prepare our children for a competitive world.
Secretary Murphy: We are on the path to success, but we must continue to work hard, making challenging decisions and difficult changes. And we must continue to evaluate openly what is working and be willing to change direction when needed.
Governor: Secretary Murphy and I want to thank educators, parents, students and communities who have worked so hard to improve student learning over the past few years. We look forward to the coming year and later celebrating with you the even greater gains to come, as we work together to keep Delaware moving forward.