John posted this link and within it was Rodel’s history of the Educational Reform in Delaware. If you didn’t know, there is a huge attempt by Rodel to scrub everything in its past up to now, and this topic being extremely important I wanted to do my part and preserve it… Below, is Delaware’s history of reform…. Warning: once you start you will want to read to the end.
Education Reform in Delaware, 1997–2010
Adapted from the Delaware Education Reform Timeline, accessed online at the Delaware Department of Education and materials from the Rodel Foundation of Delaware.
Delaware State Testing Program legislation passes, including a provision creating the position of Secretary of Education, shifting authority from a state board to the governor.
The Education Accountability Act passes, establishing the parameters for student, school, district, DOE and parent accountability.
Valerie Woodruff is sworn in as the first secretary of education.
The Rodel Foundation of Delaware (Rodel) releases Opportunity Knocks, a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the state’s public education system.
In partnership with the business community, Rodel convenes the Vision 2015 Steering Committee, a coalition of education stakeholders, to make recommendations on the report.
Steering Committee releases Vision 2015 plan with 45 recommendations in six key policy areas.
Rodel launches comprehensive, statewide communications strategy balancing its voice with that of its diverse coalition of stakeholders.
Legislative setback when omnibus legislation to fund Vision 2015 is defeated in committee.
Governor Minner establishes Leadership for Education Achievement in Delaware (LEAD) Committee by executive order to make implementation recommendations on Vision 2015.
Delaware General Assembly passes Senate Joint Resolution 7 supporting Vision 2015 and the LEAD committee and Delaware Early Childhood Council is written into law.
Rodel forms the Vision Network to implement recommendations of Vision 2015.
The LEAD Committee releases (1) Cost Efficiency Study which identifies $86‐158 million of cost savings in the state’s $1.65 billion education budget, and (2) Report on Education Funding in Delaware, calling for changes in the way funds are distributed for public education.
Dr. Lillian Lowery, superintendent of schools for Delaware’s largest district (Christina),
appointed secretary of education.
Education Voters is launched to inform the public about pressing education issues.
President Obama signs the federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law, which includes the $4.35 billion Race to the Top competition.
Delaware joins the Common Core Standards Initiative.
Delaware General Assembly passes legislation enabling the Delaware DOE to implement a new assessment system—the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS)—based on the recommendations of Vision 2015 and those issued by a legislative task force in 2006.
Delaware State Board of Education approves crucial regulations to ensure greater flexibility and accountability in public schools, addressing key elements of the Race to the Top application.
Delaware submits a $107 million application for federal Race to the Top funding.
In April, the U.S. Department of Education announces that Delaware’s application has the highest score and, along with Tennessee, is a Round One winner with an award of $119 million.
Vision 2015 Recommendations Facilitated by the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, The Broad Foundation, and several Delaware business leaders, Vision 2015 was developed by a 28-person Steering Committee of senior public, private and civic leaders from throughout Delaware.
(1) We must set our sights high, with challenging expectations for every child, coupled with high quality curriculum and additional instructional time to give students a good shot at meeting the higher standards.
• Academic standards as challenging as the world’s best
• A statewide research-based curriculum so that all Delaware students are learning at the same high
• Aligned model lessons, teaching tools, diagnostic assessments and classroom-based professional coaching to help teachers meet each student’s learning needs
• Assessments that measure individual student gains over time
• State funding for an additional 140 school hours a year with guidance on how to use the time best
• Implementation of the state’s stronger graduation requirements
• Expanded online distance learning to allow true 24/7 learning opportunities
(2) We must invest in early childhood education, targeting more resources to high-need children.
• Tuition subsidies for more low-income three and four year-olds
• Required participation in the Delaware Stars for Early Success Program, which sets high-quality program standards
• Annual license renewals for all early child care and education providers to ensure consistent high quality
• Additional professional development for providers so they have the knowledge and skills to serve our youngsters well
• Data systems to share information and follow educational progress of students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12
• Increased coordination across service agencies for children from birth to age three
(3) We must develop and support great teachers in every classroom who are able to customize instruction to each and every child.
• A new career path, with advanced positions such as mentor and master teacher
• Advancement based on skills and performance, not seniority, with student achievement as one measure of performance
• A negotiated statewide salary structure to reduce inequities across the state
• Incentives to attract teachers to high-need subjects, like math and science, and to low-performing, high-need schools
• Bonuses for schools that meet or exceed agreed-upon goals for improvements in student achievement
• A formal evaluation process that measures teacher progress against clear standards and provides specific and actionable feedback
• Professional development based on the state’s academic standards and focused on in-classroom coaching and mentoring rather than on isolated workshops
• New professional development centers to encourage the sharing of information and best practices
• Creative approaches to recruit and train an expanded pool of new teachers, including those who want to change careers
• More supports to help new teachers succeed, such as realistic course loads, assignments and class sizes
(4) We must empower principals to be great school leaders, with enough knowledge, authority and flexibility to get results.
• Broader principal control of decision making related to people, resources and time
• Increased accountability for student achievement and school performance
• The flexibility to choose from among approved providers of educational services
• A statewide leadership academy for world-class principal recruitment, induction, retention and development
• A statewide base salary schedule, with significant bonuses tied to student achievement
• More easily accessible data on student performance, staffing and finances to help principals make better decisions
(5) We must encourage instructional innovation and family involvement and require the accountability of all partners.
• Multiple efforts to inform and involve parents and families, including leadership and advocacy training and an online Web portal to share school information
• A statewide Office of Innovation to share information on best practices and encourage new programs
• An “equity advocate” to ensure that the special needs ofstudents are met with proper resources
• Stronger partnerships with community organizations and businesses to provide more support for students: from better health care to on-the-job internships that tie to coursework
• A common scorecard that shares information about student gains, family-school interactions, fiscal accountability, and the satisfaction of educators, parents and students
• A stronger accountability system that focuses on student achievement, not simply how well educators comply with federal and state rules
• On-site school reviews and school improvement teams that can rapidly improve underperforming schools
• A commitment to identify and replicate schools and programs that work
(6) Finally, we must have a simple and fair funding system whereby resources follow individual students and are allocated based on their needs.
• A weighted student funding formula that allows students who need more support (special education, low-income, gifted/talented, etc.) to get the support they need to reach the same high standards
• Funds distributed directly to districts and schools, giving principals flexibility for how funds are spent, along with the accountability for results
• State funding high enough so districts and schools do not need to rely on local referenda to meet Vision 2015 standards
• A negotiated statewide teacher salary schedule tied to the new career path
• Understandable budget information that is readily accessible to all, from principals to parents</
• A common scorecard to hold schools and districts accountable for the academic results of their spending choices
• A careful analysis of how current education dollars could be spent more effectively
There you go. The big changes scrubbed from the original plan, is that in the Rodel plan for 2020, all mentions of increased state funding have been erased, as well as all points precluding the allowing of teachers and any local districts input into the decision making process.