Delaware Opens Door to Turnaround Partners

August 8th, 2011

Category: News

The Delaware Department of Education published a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for Lead Partner organizations to help turnaround student learning within our state’s lowest-performing schools chosen to participate in the Partnership Zone Initiative.

The RFI will solicit and evaluate proposals from interested Lead Partners, resulting in a list of approved providers that could help Delaware schools conduct this difficult work.  If selected, potential partners will be invited to present their model to district and school leadership teams in late September/early October, and, if there is a potential fit, give them an opportunity to see their approach in action.  After each district and/or school chooses a partner organization, they would sign an MOU that would hold the Lead Partner accountable for results while giving them the authority and autonomy over operations, staffing, curriculum, and other critical components that drive school success.

This is a positive development and addresses some of the concerns brought up before, namely that districts require extra capacity in order to ensure that the policies and practices implemented can dramatically improve student learning.  By bringing in proven providers that understand what’s necessary in terms of learning time, campus leadership, instructional programs, and financial resources, Delaware districts and schools will be given the supports necessary to succeed.

We hope organizations with proven track records decide to apply, including KIPP, Scholar Academies, and Friendship – especially since our state recently enacted legislation that would allow them to expand and operate multiple campuses under one charter.    

We look forward to working with all stakeholders to help bring these best practices to Delaware and would be delighted to continue showing Delaware educators what’s possible – since we know that our students can’t wait any longer.

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Brett Turner



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