The Delaware Department of Education today announced 30 schools whose educators may be eligible to participate in the state's Talent Retention/Attraction Initiative that seeks to reward and retain educators serving the highest-need buildings.
District and charter school leadership will have the opportunity to decide whether their eligible buildings participate. If they opt to do so for Year 1 of the program, select top-performing highly-effective principals, assistant principals and teachers in the schools would be eligible for a financial incentive of $10,000, funded by part of the state's federal Race to the Top grant. Selected educators commit to remain in their respective schools for at least two additional years as part of the program. The financial reward will be linked to that commitment.
"Our top educators are our most important asset, and we need to ensure we are attracting and keeping our best teachers and leaders in the schools where students need their talents the most," Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery said. "This is an incredible opportunity to reward and incentivize the great teaching that leads to great learning."
Sally Maldonado, head of school at Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington, said the program is a great opportunity for teachers.
"As a charter we are always looking for ways to do more for our teachers with less. This is finally a way to reward some of our very hard-working, results-oriented staff," she said. "Our teachers certainly do not do what they do for the money, but this bonus is a great way to give them just a piece of what they deserve."
For the first year of this three-year pilot program, only those teachers who teach English Language Arts and mathematics tested by the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System in grades 3-10 of the select schools will have the opportunity to qualify.
The eligible schools are:
- Brandywine School District's Harlan Elementary
- Christina School District's Bancroft, Elbert-Palmer, Oberle, Pulaski and Stubbs elementary schools; Bayard Middle; and Glasgow High.
- Capital School District's Dover High
- Indian River School District's John Clayton Elementary
- Red Clay Consolidated School District's Highlands, Lewis Dual Language, Marbrook, Mote, Shortlidge and Warner elementary schools; and Stanton and A.I. duPont middle schools.
- New Castle County Vo-Tech School District's Howard High School of Technology
- Laurel School District's Laurel Middle.
- Seaford School District's West Seaford Elementary
- Charter schools: Academy of Dover, Delaware College Prepatory, EastSide, Edison, Family Foundations, Kuumba, Moyer, Positive Outcomes and Prestige Academy.
The Delaware Department of Education chose the small subset of schools, with more than 100 students and DCAS-tested grade levels, to participate in Year 1 of the initiative based upon:
- A school's inclusion in the state's Partnership Zone
- A school's appearance in the "Top 15" on at least two of the following three statewide categories, excluding Partnership Zone schools: highest percentages of minority students, highest percentages of students on free- and reduced-price lunches, and highest percentages of English language learners.
- A school with 85 percent of students in any one of those three categories that has not already been selected.
The Talent Retention/Attraction Initiative is an important component in the state's top-ranked federal Race to the Top plan. The state received $119 million over four years to implement aggressive and innovative reforms to improve student learning across the state.
"Research has shown that the most important in-school factor for student success is an excellent teacher," Lowery said. "Reward programs such as this one have helped retain top-performing teachers and principals in high-needs schools nationally. This initiative will help our buildings in need of top educators to attract and retain them in the months and years to come."
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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