(Dover, DE.) Delaware was named today as one of two states (Tennessee) selected for Phase 1 funding of a Race to the Top competitive federal grant to improve education in public schools. The announcement is being made today by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
"What's really important today is where we go from here; whether we have the will to put our children first and move forward with reforms to improve our schools so that Delaware children can successfully compete for the best jobs in an increasingly competitive global economy," said Governor Jack Markell. "That won't be easy, but we have proven in these past few months that it can be done. I would like to thank all those who worked with us in support of our application and look forward to moving ahead to improve our schools. "
"To be successful we must help all Delaware students meet high standards and ensure that we have effective teachers with the necessary resources to make that possible. While we are very pleased Secretary Duncan has agreed to partner with us in these efforts, we have a lot of hard work and tough decisions ahead of us as we make these reforms a reality, " said State Secretary of Education, Lillian Lowery.
Governor Markell and Former Secretary Lowery recognize the support and collaboration that went into Delaware's application, which involved teachers, parents, superintendents, schools boards, charter schools and our business community. In particular, the Governor and Secretary thank the interview team that joined them in Washington, D.C. for the presentation of the state's application, including Diane Donahue, President of the Delaware State Education Association, Marvin "Skip" Schoenhals, former WSFS Financial Corporation C-E-O and Vision 2015 Chairman and Merv Daugherty, Superintendent of the Red Clay School District. They also extend their appreciation to Delaware's congressional delegation, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), U. S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D- Del), and U.S. Representative Michael Castle (R- Del) as well as members of the Delaware General Assembly, in particular Education Committee Chairs, Senator David Sokola (D – Newark) and Representative Terry Schooley (D- Newark).
Delaware is being awarded approximately $100M over a period of four years. The funding will be used to strengthen standards and assessment and quality educators; enhance robust data systems for measuring student performance and improving low performing schools in the state so Delaware's students can compete at the highest levels. Among the innovative developments are: data coaches to meet with small cohorts of teachers several times a month to review each teacher's student data and assist the teacher with developing lesson plans to address areas in need of focus, teacher leaders at high-need schools, development coaches to work with school principals, fellowships for highly effective educators, and retention bonuses for highly effective teachers in certain high needs schools.
Forty states and the District of Columbia submitted applications for Phase I. The federal Department of Education chose Delaware, fourteen other states and the District of Columbia as finalists earlier this month.
Delaware's annual educational budget is approximately $1B. The state's full application for Race to The Top can be found at the following website: http://governor.delaware.gov/information/racetothetop.shtml
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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