(Dover, DE) In his weekly message Governor Markell focuses on the one year milestone of Race to the Top. It was last March that Delaware finished first in the federal Race to the Top contest to encourage reforms in public education.
"Normally winning a race means you get a chance to stop and celebrate, but it feels like we are still racing forward together with good reason," said Governor Jack Markell. "There’s a global race between nations to see whose children are best prepared to compete for the high-paying jobs of the future. We are running hard to win."
Vice President Biden and Secretary Duncan made clear when they came to Delaware this week to celebrate Delaware’s progress. While other states seems to be mired in conflict, Delaware is running as a team -- educators, employers, public officials and parents, students and school administrators.
"We’ve made clear that when it comes to our state’s kids, our common ground matters so much more than our differences. A year later, the team is still together, putting positive changes in place, and more changes are coming," said the Governor. "The race is too important to run half-heartedly. It’s another way we’re working together to keep Delaware moving forward."
Educational reforms underway include:
- State testing. Gone is the old once-a-year test that compared one class with another. Instead, students are tested at the beginning, middle and end of year so their progress is measured against itself.
- Measuring teacher performance. Teachers can no longer be rated "effective" without student progress, but great teachers can now be rated "Highly effective." And we have over 300 teachers throughout the state working with us to determine how that student progress should be measured.
- Evaluations for new teachers, who now need to demonstrate consecutive years of student achievement before strongest job protections are extended.
- "Partnership Zone" school designations, which enforce dramatic changes at underperforming schools. One critical lesson learned was that local districts, if given the chance, can come up with compelling plans for significant improvement.
At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets. Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers. The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMH-UaU60SU
Constituents, media outlets and others are free to link to the Governor’s video message on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/GovernorMarkell - or on his Facebook page - www.facebook.com/governormarkell - or on the Delaware State website at http://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml. All are also invited to follow him on Twitter – www.twitter.com/governormarkell - and submit ideas through http://ideas.delaware.gov
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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