Governor Markell Continues Fulfilling “Blueprint” for Education
As the legislature moves forward to review Governor Markell’s proposed budget, it was inspiring to see that the Governor’s State of the State reflected his vision for education in Delaware well before he was elected Governor. In his “Blueprint for a Better Delaware”, then Treasurer Jack Markell outlined his policy goals to make Delaware’s schools globally competitive. On January 17th, Governor Markell gave his annual State of the State address to the General Assembly, and the blueprint continues to guide his policy initiatives for our state’s future overall and education specifically.
Education initiative highlights from the 2013 State of the State:
- Work with higher education institutions to strengthen the admissions requirements and create more rigorous teacher preparation programs.
- Create role of Teacher Leader with appropriate compensation.
- Re-examine that pay structure so we can incentivize teaching in high-need schools and critical subjects, raise starting teacher pay, and reward teacher leadership.
- Establish a central location for information on Delaware’s schools and create a common application to make it easier to apply to multiple schools.
Compare these initiatives to the policy goals outlined in the Blueprint for a Better Delaware authored by Governor Jack Markell and you won’t be surprised.
- “Recruit students with the highest academic potential into teacher preparation programs.”
- “Create mid-and late-career roles that provide additional compensation for different types of non-management work within the schools (e.g., new teacher training, academic leadership, curriculum development, peer mentoring.)”
- “Create economic incentives for teachers to make long-term commitments, including additional salary stipends and/or contributions to deferred compensation accounts. These are especially important in hard-to-staff schools in order to attract skilled, veteran teachers to difficult teaching environments.”
It is encouraging that education policy continues to be at the forefront for Governor Markell, and each year has focused on new initiatives from his plan. Our state continues to make strides, and he should be commended for the successes of initiatives proposed in his Blueprint, such as the world language immersion program and the commitments to early learning. Much work remains to be done, but we can be optimistic about the path set forth by Governor Markell as he continues to move ahead making the education of Delaware’s children his priority.