Race to the Top report card shows Delaware schools making progress

The mid-term Race to the Top grades show Delaware school students are 54 percent proficient in reading and 49 percent in math.

The report for the winter of 2012 show there are still some gaps in students based on race and income. Their best gains were among middle school students.

Individual school district results varied, depending on the district. A bright spot was the Cape Henlopen school district. It showed a 60 percent improvement in math in both grades 3-5 and 6-8. The Capital School district, which has a newly added Partnership Zone school, was well below the statewide average. However, it did show a 5 percent improvement from last year.

The mid-term report is new. In past years one test was given in the spring. The results weren’t known until the summer when it was too late to help students and teachers. With a year round testing approach, state education officials hope to show Race to the Top dollars dedicated to Delaware are being put to good use.

“[The] most exciting for me is that in several districts we see significant improvements already, and those gains correlate with where initiatives are underway,” Education Secretary Lillian Lowery said. “The data provides a call for focus, not a conclusion.”

Charter schools are not a part of this evaluation. The education office says those schools are being monitored, but because they receive less money were not a part of the overall evaluation.

There will be a state meeting of superintendents and principals next Thursday where the results will be discussed. Governor Jack Markell, D-Del, will also attend the session.

A $119 million federal dollar grant was given to Delaware three years ago as part of an Obama administration education initiative to improve student performances.

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