Our Focus Areas

Explore the issues we’re mobilizing the community and policymakers around in our nine Focus Areas. And discover all the progress we’ve made so far.

Postsecondary Success

National research indicates that by 2025, around 70% of the family-sustaining jobs in Delaware will require at least some education beyond high school. Today, less than 60% of our 25-year-olds have that level of training. To be ready for life after high school, a student needs the knowledge and skills to be successful in work and be ready to take on additional training. Rodel and the state have invested in initiatives to track and increase college readiness and access, with the aim of providing all students with options for attaining professional certificates as well as an associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.

Learn more about Rodel’s work on Postsecondary Success.

Rodel is one of many partners involved in Delaware Pathways, a public-private partnership that includes the Governor’s Office, higher education, and major local employers—all working toward creating meaningful job experiences and college-level courses for high schoolers.

Rodel recently led an effort to secure over $3 million in grant funding to help more than 9,000 students explore career pathways. Check out our reports related to Postsecondary Success.

Social and Emotional Learning

Academics are critical but so is a child’s social and emotional development. It’s important young people receive holistic educational experiences that maximize who they are as individuals. This includes instilling skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, empathy, creativity, and emotional intelligence.

Learn more about Rodel’s work on SEL.

Read Creating A Common Language for Social and Emotional Learning in Delaware from the Rodel Teacher Council; and A Broader Vision of Student Success: Insights and Opportunities for Social and Emotional Learning in Delaware.

Early Childhood Education

All Delawareans reap the benefits when our youngest learners receive high-quality early education. Early childhood development is economic development. Children who participate in early childhood education programs are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college or job training, and have higher earnings.

Read about the policy changes we’re pursuing when it comes to early learning.

Get to know your local Delaware Readiness Team. This statewide, grassroots initiative strengthens local communities and helps children from birth through age eight get ready for school and life.

Funding and Equity

Funding equity in Delaware is long overdue. The system Delaware employs to fund its public schools is more than 70 years old. It was built decades before desegregation and the introduction of technology. To meet the needs of the 21st century—and more importantly, the needs of our students—it needs to be overhauled.

Get involved with Education Equity Delaware, a group of organizations committed to delivering excellent and equitable education opportunities to all Delaware students through efficient funding that better adapts to modern needs. Check out our reports related to Funding and Equity.

Read our Fact Sheets to learn how the funding system holds back English learners in Delaware.

Personalized Learning

The common school model—a teacher in front of the classroom with students at desks—has been used since the Industrial Revolution. Building on strong instructional practices like data-driven decision making and differentiation, personalized learning  offers an opportunity to redesign our learning environments so that individual students are at the center.  In addition to providing stakeholders with information on best practices, we are working to support school districts throughout the state to increase personalized learning opportunities, train teachers, and create “model classrooms” where teachers can see this work being implemented in real time.

Explore some additional resources and reports about Personalized Learning. 

Meet the Rodel Teacher Council, a group of teacher leaders dedicated to finding solutions, improving their craft, and leveraging their voices for the benefit of their students.

Read our blogs about personalized learning and explore some additional resources and reports.

Educator Support and Development

Great teachers and leaders are at the core of a world-class education. Research demonstrates that teachers and leaders are the most important in-school factors impacting student learning. This makes educator support and development integral to positively impacting student learning.

Explore some additional resources and reports about Educator Support and Development. 

Read our blogs about educator support and development and explore some additional resources and reports.

Standards and Assessments

Preparing students for college and careers begins with strong standards, curriculum, and learning assessment. Recognizing the need to ensure all students are prepared to collaborate and compete globally, Delaware has adopted stronger standards supporting 21st century learning, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in math and English, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A student’s performance on a given academic test doesn’t tell the whole story, but we do believe that it tells an important part of the story that students and their parents deserve to know.

Explore some additional resources and reports about Standards and Assessments.

Read our blogs about standards and assessments and explore some additional resources and reports.

English Learners

Delaware is one of four states that does not provide additional state resources to English learners – students who come from non-English speaking homes and backgrounds. As the number of English learners in the state continues to grow, we need to better understand this population of students so we—as schools, as parents, as advocates, as policymakers, as a community—can effectively and equitably meet their needs.

Read our blogs about English learners and explore our fact sheet series on the subject.

Delaware Education Overview

Delaware public schools serve a diverse student population with complex needs and immense potential. Learn about the schools, students, and issues facing Wilmington, Delaware’s largest and most populous city. Plus, Race to the Top, special education, and more.

Check out our reports that provide an overview of Delaware education.