Beating the Odds in 2013
The week before Christmas: the parking lots are packed, and students and teachers are eagerly looking forward to a much-deserved break to relax and recharge in preparation for the year ahead. This is also the time of year when we see many “year in review” features and “top ten lists” about the happenings over the course of the year.
There is a lot happening in education here, and a highlight worth mentioning again is the progress being made in schools with high percentages of low-income students that are “Beating the Odds” by demonstrating high levels of proficiency in math and English language arts (ELA).
This chart taken from our 2013-2014 Delaware Public Education at a Glance, shows the top three performers in both subject areas when looking at the percentage of low-income students attending the school and the percentage of students that are proficient.
These are just a few of the bright spots we are seeing around the state. For example, Stanton, a middle school in Red Clay, was named a Priority (formerly Partnership Zone) school last year, a designation meaning it was one of the lowest performing schools in the state. Serving a population that is 86% low income and 75% minority, it had one of the highest increases in student proficiency in ELA in the state, jumping almost 11 percentage points. While work remains to be done (overall ELA proficiency was 63%), such a significant increase deserves to be celebrated especially in a year when changes in student performance was largely flat across the state.
Looking ahead to 2014, we should continue to examine the work that is taking place in these schools that is helping students achieve these results.
We’re grateful for the work being done by the more than 10,000 teachers and leaders with the 130,000 public school students in our state as we continue to strive to provide the best education possible for our children. Wishing everyone happy holidays and a joyous and successful new year!