Vision 2015 Conference: “Race to Deliver” Luncheon
The “Race to Deliver” forum luncheon began with Bill Budinger, Rodel Foundation Founder, highlighting the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made in order to build the society we all enjoy today. However, Budinger stated that America is facing new economic threats from other countries that could dismantle many of these advances. Budinger highlighted the importance of increasing student achievement across numerous indicators, particularly college and/or career preparedness.
Next, Mary Pinkston, the 2010 Delaware Teacher of the Year, highlighted that there were numerous education leaders present at the conference, from both inside and outside the classroom, that were humbled by the tremendous opportunity present and ready to utilize the moment to begin the difficult effort of reforming our education system.
Governor Jack Markell followed the 2010 Delaware Teacher of the Year by making the connection between our economic health and the effectiveness of our education system. Governor Markell highlighted the importance of education practitioners working collaboratively with the business community to outline the requisite knowledge and skills for the evolving economy and incorporate those into our everyday instruction. Governor Markell then discussed how Delaware is leading these efforts, through the adoption of the rigorous common core standards, providing feedback in real time to educators through robust assessments and data systems to help drive increased learning, the creation of career ladders to reward and retain our most effective teachers, and creation of the Partnership Zone to incorporate national best practices to help turnaround our persistently low-performing schools.
New York City Chancellor Joel Klein followed Governor Markell by recognizing the incredible moment we now face in education reform, both within Delaware and nationally. Chancellor Klein focused his keynote address on the importance of educators and the need to professionalize teaching through the alteration of current policies that treat teachers like widgets. Klein highlighted that these policies will prove difficult to change since the system is designed to benefit certain parties. However, by recognizing student achievement as our ultimate goal, we can begin having the difficult conversations that address these policy shortcomings. Klein highlighted that there are examples within New York City that incorporate these reform policies that are wildly successful. These schools, which serve traditionally underserved students, achieve on par with their more affluent schools. It is now up to us, both within Delaware and nationally, to take these lessons learned and apply them nationally to ensure all students have access to an excellent education.
These live updates are being shared throughout the day at the Vision 2015 Annual Leadership Forum, “Delaware’s Race to Deliver” on Tuesday, September 28, 2010. You can also follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about Vision 2015, and check back on our blog for post-conference coverage.