The Delaware Department of Education has named 28 educators who each have earned formal recognition and a $10,000 "retention incentive" as part of the first cohort of the state's Talent Retention initiative. The initiative, part of the state's top-ranked federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant, recognizes some of Delaware's highest-performing educators in some of the state's highest-need schools.
The financial award of $10,000 under year 1 of this initiative is a "retention incentive," which recognizes the need for the educators' contributions to continue in their schools and provides an incentive for at least two additional years (inclusive of the 2012-2013 school year). The award is distributed in two equal amounts in the fall of 2012 and the fall of 2013.
"These are teachers and school leaders who are driving improved student learning outcomes, often in the face of immense challenges," Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. "They are often working in environments with students entering their classrooms years behind their peers. Because of their dedication, mindset, hard work and talents, our children are succeeding.
"We are always thankful to have outstanding educators working here in Delaware and even more grateful that this first cohort has committed to continue working in their schools for at least two more years," Murphy said. "Great learning happens because of great teaching. These educators are committed to ensuring every child in Delaware has that opportunity."
In the first round of this initiative, the Delaware Department of Education, in collaboration with participating schools and districts, identified select top-performing principals, assistant principals, math teachers and English Language Arts (ELA) teachers in grades 3-10 based upon their student achievement results and their commitment to the state's highest-need schools. The overall goal of the program is to recognize and retain educators as they continue to drive student achievement in their classrooms and school communities.
Initially 30 high-need schools were invited to participate in the initiative.
Six schools are represented among the 24 teachers and four school leaders who will be recognized this round: Capital School District's Dover High School; Laurel School District's Laurel Middle School; and four charter schools: Kuumba Academy, Academy of Dover, Prestige and East Side Charter. The state is working to identify the set of schools that will be invited to participate in the second year of the initiative as it expands to include additional grades, subject areas, program features and educator responsibilities.
The 24 classroom-based educators qualified in part because they earned an "exceeds" rating on the student growth component of the state's educator evaluation system (DPAS-II) as well as strong marks in their evaluations. Thus, their strength in planning and preparation, building a positive classroom environment, cohesive and rigorous instruction and overall professionalism combined with their student achievement results, all of which are required for program eligibility. School leaders were selected based upon building-wide student achievement results.
As part of this initiative, DDOE will maintain communication with the selected educators as they mentor colleagues, serve on a program evaluation focus group and have their exemplary classroom instruction videotaped or cataloged for sharing with colleagues. As the initiative evolves, these educational leaders will be invaluable resources for other educators who are teaching, or seeking to teach, in our highest-need schools.
The initiative is based on research that shows financial incentives are effective at increasing the retention of high-performing educators in high-need schools, which in turn is important for raising school-wide student achievement. The initiative complements the state’s Reward and Recognition school efforts, which provide school-wide financial awards (which also can be used for incentives) to top-performing schools. Seventeen schools received those awards earlier this month; two others were recognized for their Continued Excellence. Read more here.
Secretary Mark Murphy will meet with the members of the cohort at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29th for a roundtable conversation to discuss their strategies for success and answer questions about the program. Members of the media are invited to attend. Please RSVP to public information officer Alison Kepner at email@example.com for more details.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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