Delaware doles out $400,000 to boost teacher training

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell talks with students at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School. (photo courtesy Markell admin./Flickr)

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell talks with students at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School. (photo courtesy Markell admin./Flickr)

Twenty one schools across Delaware will receive a combined $400,00 to accelerate teachers’ embrace of the Common Core State Standards.

Governor Jack Markell awarded the grants in a surprise ceremony held Thursday at W. Reily Brown Elementary School in Dover.

The announcement marks a new phase in Delaware’s implementation of the Common Core, a set of curricular standards first adopted in 2010.

For the past three years, Delaware’s main mechanism for implementing Common Core has been a program called Common Ground for the Common Core. Common Ground was a state-led initiative that aimed to immerse a handful of leading teachers in the nuances of Common Core instruction, with the idea that those teachers would spread the Common Core gospel to others at their respective schools.

Now Delaware is shifting to a model where individual schools dream up professional learning plans and compete for state dollars based on the strength of their programs.

“A stable foundation has been built, and after three years of Common Ground, we now are incentivizing schools that are committed to continuing this important work while also strengthening the professional learning for their educators,” said Steven Godowsky, Delaware’s Secretary of Education. “The grant applications of these 21 schools is a clear indication that they are ready to embrace this challenge.”

The winning schools were spread across seven school districts. Those districts are the Appoquinimink School District, Capital School District, Caesar Rodney School District, Colonial School District, Milford School District, New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District, and Smyrna School District.

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