Delaware has won a national award for innovative education policy that is making systematic changes to improve student outcomes across the state.
The Education Commission of the States will honor Delaware in May for winning the 2013 Frank Newman award for State Innovation, which recognizes “states and territories for enacting innovative education reforms or implementing innovative programs that go beyond marginal or incremental changes to improve student outcomes on a large scale.”
The Governor’s plan for strengthening Delaware schools laid the foundation for Delaware’s 2010 first-place win in the federal Race to the Top and 2011 win in the federal Early Learning Challenge grant competitions.
“With this award, the Commission is recognizing the hard work of Delaware’s educators,” Governor Markell said. “Our teachers and school and district leaders deserve this national spotlight. As those working closest to our children, they are the ones making policy changes real for our students. They are the ones driving our students’ success.”
“Delaware has emerged as a national leader in comprehensive education reform. Their innovative ideas, tremendous student gains and focus on data collection systems have paid off,” said Jeremy Anderson, ECS President. “Delaware embodies the spirit of the Frank Newman Award by implementing bold policies that go beyond incremental changes to impact student learning across the state.”
“Delaware’s plan was developed with lessons learned from national and international research and best practices. We are honored by this award and the opportunity it gives us now to share our successes and challenges with other states and countries,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.
The nomination cited significant progress underway in Delaware. This includes: higher standards and online growth measures for students, new evaluation systems for educators, focused supports and new strategies to improve the lowest performing schools, significant investments and quality initiatives for early learning programs.
The award highlights several initiatives in Delaware that “have broken new ground, are yielding results, are replicable, and are scalable,” including one of the best data infrastructures in the country and a statewide system to provide support and time for all educators, which includes 90 minutes per week to work in professional learning communities.