In Case You Missed It….June State Board Meeting Update

June 20th, 2011

Category: Policy and Practice

This month at the State Board meeting, the main items of interest were the impending legislative agenda, the delay of the announcement of funding for districts’ Race to the Top plans, and the rollout of DPAS II (the teacher and leader evaluation system).

Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery announced forthcoming legislation in regards to the framework of Delaware’s charter schools targeting the areas of governance and financial management. The bill will be heard in the House Education Committee Meeting this Wednesday.

Each district has submitted their full district Race to the Top plan for 2011-2014, with funding decisions to be finalized and shared by June 30. Final announcements had previously been scheduled for early June.

Dan Cruce, Deputy Secretary, offered a high level overview of the progress of many statewide RTTT initiatives over the past month.  He stated that, overall, we are “on track” with RTTT activities thus far except for areas such as the sharing of data from early childhood to post-secondary education. DOE plans to reengage the P-20 Council to require higher education institutions to report specific data as set by the council. Additional members of the Council, including cabinet secretaries and key leaders of DASA, DSEA, and the DE Charter School Network, will also be proposed in upcoming legislation. In regards to the Delaware Leadership Project, a contract was signed with Innovative Schools to bring in two cohorts of residents over the next two years. This program is designed to prepare aspiring principals to successfully lead the state’s highest-need schools, a critical component of Delaware’s Race to the Top initiative. Within the School Turnaround Unit, four Partnership Zone (PZ) schools were awarded SIG grants. In addition, a MOU has been finalized to solidify the monitoring process to ensure success of the four PZ schools. 

Dr. Amelia Hodges, Associate Secretary of College and Workforce Readiness, reported the proposed changes to the rollout of DPAS II components for the 2012-2013 school year. DOE has been consulting with DASA, DSEA, and DASL over the past 5 months to finalize the changes and additions to the components (the 5 areas on which teachers are evaluated). Component 5, “Student Improvement”, has yet to be defined. The Race to the Top plan commits to releasing a plan to evaluate all teachers, leaders, and specialists using “multiple measures” of student achievement by June 30, 2011 for implementation in 2011-2012. The DOE has not announced how this will be handled; however, we know the state is not ready to roll this out as promised next year.

As the new evaluation system is rolled out, training is a big emphasis.  The RTTT plan provides administrators with development coaches, who will work with administrators to ensure evaluations are reliable, valid, and calibrated across the state.

Look for the July update to highlight charter school activities as well as the announcement of RTTT final plans and funding.

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Christy Vanderwende



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