Core Areas

With the North Star lighting the way, the 47 recommendations for student success revolve around six core areas. Three areas deal directly with the student experience:

  • Quality early learning for all children,
  • A personalized educational experience, and
  • Postsecondary success that includes work and training beyond high school.

The remaining three areas act as vital supports that enable students to reach success:

  • Educator support and development,
  • Funding, and
  • Governance.

Six Core Areas of the Plan

North Star
System Governance, Alignment, & Performance
Advancements in instruction and learning beg for system-wide changes that must be reflected across school types and from birth to K-12 to higher education and career.
Fair & Efficient Funding
Delaware is one of only a few states where education funding doesn’t reflect the needs of individual students like those who receive special education services or are English learners. This model is an impediment to innovation such as distance learning opportunities.
Educator Support & Development
Teachers and school leaders are the two most important in-school factors contributing to student achievement. Preparing all students for the future begins with providing every educator with the preparation, development, and support to excel.
Postsecondary Success
While we know that an increasing number of jobs will require a four-year degree, we also know that there are many good jobs in Delaware that do not. Today’s measures indicate that too few students are ready for challenges beyond high school.
Personalized Learning
While all students are required to reach the same high academic standards, personalized or student-centered learning empowers educators to tailor instruction for each unique student—recognizing strengths, interests, needs, and pace.
Early Learning
The window between birth and age five represents a brief but critical period for building early literacy, language, and math skills. When children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn, they are more likely to thrive in school and in future endeavors.

Reimaging Learning in 2025

Delaware students are calling for change. They want their middle and high school years to feel connected to real-life college and career experiences. Many have interests they’d like to explore after high school, but most are unsure of the steps to get there. In a survey, only about half of Delaware students said they see how the schoolwork they are doing now will help them after high school.

Our young people are competing in a global economy–one that grows more competitive and interconnected all the time.

The North Star vision rethinks all aspects of our education system–from how we measure results to how we train our teachers, spend our public dollars, and even how we design and define schools. The vision for the next decade reimagines where and how teaching and learning occur and a new generation of students who control their educational destiny.

To ensure education is relevant to students’ future aspirations and helps them to develop holistically, the North Star reimagines what learning could–and is beginning to–look like.

Personalized and expanded experiences will be essential to achieving the North Star. If we as Delawareans want our students to become more innovative, creative arts experiences will need to play a bigger role; if we want them to be more globally aware, world language proficiency will need to start earlier; if we believe certain content areas like science, technology, engineering, and math are key job growth sectors, we need to expand those opportunities. And if we want our students to have relevant skills when they leave high school, work experiences and career-oriented online learning will need to be incorporated into every child’s education.

Delaware students are competing against global peers for job opportunities. Today, experts approximate that if compared to global peers, Delaware would rank internationally:

  • 20th in reading
  • 31st in math
  • 19th in science


An increasing number of jobs will require a four-year degree. Today, only 26% of working-age Delawareans hold a 2- or 4-year college degree.


The U.S. remains among the top five countries for overall educational attainment for adult citizens (ages 25-64) who have two-year, four-year, graduate, or professional degrees. However, in the past decade, many international peers have begun to outpace the U.S. in terms of increasing educational attainment of the adult population.