The four first-round schools in the state’s Partnership Zone all showed progress following their first year of school transformation plan implementation.
The Delaware Department of Education today released the 2012 Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) test results for public schools across the state. Glasgow High School, Howard High School of Technology, Positive Outcomes Charter School and Stubbs Elementary all showed significant improvement in reading and math scores in Spring 2012 as compared to Spring 2011.
“The teachers, administrators and students at each of the Partnership Zone schools have spent the past year in a focused and deliberate effort to address the needs of their schools. The results are showing real promise, and their efforts are working,” Gov. Jack Markell said.
While the state as a whole made significant progress during the first year of its Race to the Top plan implementation, the Partnership Zone schools’ year-over-year growth in math and reading surpassed that of the state overall for comparable grade bands:
- Stubbs’ math proficiency in grades 3 to 5 increased 21.4 percentage points as compared with Spring 2011 while the state increased 9 points. Stubbs’ reading proficiency increased 19 percentage points versus 13 for the state.
- Positive Outcome’s math proficiency in grades 7 to 10 increased 13 percentage points as compared with Spring 2011 while the state increased 11 points. Positive Outcome’s reading proficiency increased 13 percentage points versus 10 for the state.
- Glasgow and Howard high schools’ math proficiency increased 23 and 14 percentage points, respectively, compared to 10 for the state. In reading, Glasgow had 17 percentage point and Howard had 13 percentage point increases versus 8 for the state.
“We are excited by these initial gains. The schools’ implementation of their individualized plans is resulting in robust instructional practices that are leading to academic growth,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.
“Yet we know more work is ahead,” he said. “While year-over-year growth among Partnership Zone schools outpaced the state’s growth, the proficiency rate in all but one school remains below the state average.”
Figure I: Partnership Zone schools’ year-over-year growth outpaced the state grade-band averages in both math and reading.
Figure 2: Despite significant year-over-year growth, proficiency remains below the state grade-band average in all but one school.
The Delaware Department of Education launched the Partnership Zone (PZ) in 2010 to dramatically improve the lowest-achieving schools in the state. Schools were selected by a two-step process that included a quantitative analysis to determine the persistently lowest achieving schools on the state’s reading and math tests and a qualitative analysis by the Secretary of Education that considered input from stakeholder groups. Six other buildings were added last year and after a year designing their plans, will implement them this fall.The state’s School Turnaround Unit supports and monitors the PZ schools.
The Partnership Zone was a key component of the state’s top-ranked Race to the Top plan. In 2010, Delaware was one of two states to win first-round funding in the federal competitive grant program, earning $119 million to support efforts to improve the quality of education in the state.
The test results released today suggest the initiative is working. State officials credit the deliberate implementation of and consistent monthly reflection on strategies outlined in each of the individualized plans along with the overwhelming number of hours each instructional team dedicated to professional collaboration, data analysis and individualized student support. Participation in yearlong rigorous professional development aligned to the specific needs of students also contributed to the rapid pace of improvement.
“The families, students, teachers and leaders of these schools should be extremely proud of the work that they have accomplished thus far and should celebrate these accomplishments while setting even higher standards for the upcoming school year,” Murphy said.
More details on each school follow:
Glasgow High School (Christina School District)
“I couldn’t be more proud of the relentless efforts of the entire Glasgow community,” Glasgow Campus Principal Sherry Gross said. “Our results prove that amazing outcomes are possible when an entire community rallies around a common goal. And, though we recognize our work isn’t done, our staff and students certainly demonstrated perfectly what setting individual goals, believing in them and then realizing them is all about. We cannot wait to continue to inspire confidence in our community in understanding and realizing that Glasgow High School is a great place to be.”
Howard High School of Technology (New Castle County Vo-Tech School District)
Principal Stanley Spoor praised his school community as he celebrated the results of their hard work.
"We are extremely proud of our DCAS results. Our progress is the result of the focused, hard work of our staff and students,” he said. “We implemented a dynamic instructional plan centered on the small learning community concept, a structure that allowed for common planning time for teachers, the teaming of students and teachers and individualized instructional time for underperforming students. Goals for student achievement levels were established at the beginning of the year, and we are very pleased that we exceeded those goals. "
Positive Outcomes Charter School
*Not reported due to low numbers of students tested (“n-count”)
“When we compare the end of year performance of 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 school year, we can say that our Partnership Zone Plan is having a positive impact on our students performance,” School Director Edward J. Emmett said. “Over this past school year, the support from all of our partners and the Delaware Department of Education has been extraordinary. Everyone has worked together to help make our school the best that it can be.”
Stubbs Elementary (Christina School District)
*Not reported due to low numbers of students tested (“n-count”)
“Our entire learning community is excited about our progress. It truly was a collaborative effort,” said Principal Merridith Murray. “I am extremely proud of our students and teachers. We recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done, and we are committed to the process of continual improvement.”
NOTE TO MEDIA: Those interested in photography/videography opportunities to go with this story are welcome to contact Wendy Lapham at the Christina School District to set up a visit to Stubbs. There is an enrichment camp this week in partnership with the EastSide Community School. Students arrive at 8:30 for breakfast, then spend 9 to 11:30 a.m. in classrooms doing academic enrichment. After a break for lunch, they continue with fun activities in the afternoon until they dismiss at 3 p.m. On Fridays they go on field trips. Contact Wendy at (302) 552-2610 to arrange.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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