For the past few years, we have looked to our North Star and six core areas for change to guide our path towards improving Delaware public education and preparing every Delaware student for a lifetime of success.
As our communities face a global pandemic, unprecedented unemployment and civil unrest, we see even more plainly that our most vulnerable students—our children of color, those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, and those that don’t speak English as a first language—need systemic change.
Now more than ever, we remain steadfast in addressing the recommendations in the plan that over 4,000 Delawareans helped write, Student Success 2025. The past few months have brought to light many of challenges articulated in the six core areas in our plan.
–Expanding state funded pre-K to all 3-and 4-year-olds
–Supporting early learning professionals
–Increasing meaningful work-based learning experiences at scale
–Helping students navigate college and career choices by increasing in-person and virtual counseling
–Developing online tools for students to show their mastery of both “soft” and “hard” skills
–Increasing state broadband capacity and student access to internet devices
–Expanding physical and mental health services in schools
–Moving to a system in which students advance based on what they know versus “seat time”
Educator Support and Development
–Ensuring all teachers are prepared for remote learning
–Supporting the ongoing professional development and mental health support of all teachers
–Increasing the diversity and training of teachers, especially in our highest need schools
Fair and Efficient Funding
–Updating the system so that funding addresses each students’ unique needs
–Creating incentives at the local and state levels to increase efficiency, particularly for sharing of services such as technology or professional development across districts and public charter schools
–Allocating a larger portion of district/school dollars in flexible funds so that district and school leaders can expand the ways they educate children to meet specific student needs, rather than in one-size-fits-all categories
System Governance, Alignment, and Performance
–Assessing where students are academically and emotionally will be a critical step to helping them get back on track
–Expanding the use of two-way—in-person and virtual—communication strategies between schools and families in this time of uncertainty
While roadblocks on our path to the North Star have appeared, so have a multitude of opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
Delaware Education will never look the same and it is our job to ensure that the future focuses on excellence and equity, placing the highest priority on what students, especially those in high-needs populations, need to succeed.
It is not going to be easy and it is not going to happen overnight but the Vision Coalition Leadership Team remains committed to aligning relief efforts, supporting the implementation of state and community plans, and sharing updates on progress made.
We look forward to collaborating with you over the next few months and hope you all stay safe and healthy.