What Will Delaware’s Children Need to Know in 2025?

June 24th, 2014

Category: Early Childhood Education, News, Policy and Practice, Postsecondary Success, Student-Centered Learning

Today’s The News Journal includes an op-ed written by Ernie Dianastasis, Chair of the Vision Coalition of Delaware‘s Leadership Team. Our President and CEO also serves on the Coalition’s Leadership Team, alongside eight other public and private leaders in our state. We join Ernie and the respective organizations of the Leadership Team members to invite you to engage with the Coalitions’ draft plan (called ED25) to better prepare Delaware students for a lifetime of success. Read Ernie’s op-ed to learn more about these engagement opportunities.

What will Delaware’s children need to know in 2025?

Industrialist Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Eight years ago, a coalition of state education, government, business and civic leaders came together to create the Vision 2015 plan to put us on a path toward providing a world-class education to all public-school students in Delaware.

Since the launch of that initial plan, we’ve kept together, continuing our collective efforts to ensure every child receives a world-class education. Our leadership team, which I chair, has enjoyed representation from a broad range of public, private and civic interests. The team has met regularly to align our efforts, evaluate progress and sustain momentum.

Over the past eight years, we have been successful in seeing much of the original plan implemented. More children are in high-quality early learning centers than ever. We have adopted higher standards and have efforts underway to better evaluate and support teachers. We have one of the best data infrastructures in the country to determine what is working for students and what isn’t. Our dropout rates and graduation rates are the best they have been in 30 years, and our overall growth on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) suggests that our growth trajectory is the third fastest in the country over the last 20 years. And while this is good progress, we aren’t satisfied yet.

Today, we are working together to build a Vision for Education in Delaware in 2025 (ED25). Why? There is still more work to be done, and frankly, there are aspects of how the world has changed in the last decade that we didn’t anticipate back in 2006. A decade ago, “Google” was not yet a verb, the iPhone didn’t exist, and “cybersecurity” was not one of the top 10 “hot” college majors. In short, the world is changing quickly, and we need to continue to adapt and rethink our public schools to anticipate what the next generation of Delawareans will need to know and be able to do a decade from now.

Collectively, we have a tall task: To prepare our students for careers, postsecondary education and citizenship in a world we cannot predict. As an employer and as a father, there is nothing more important to our future than ensuring every child in Delaware has the opportunity for life success.

To that end, in January of this year, our Vision 2015 leadership team began to gather input from some of the best thinkers from around the state, country and world to give us candid feedback on the progress we’ve made and the challenges we still have ahead. We took that information and built it into a series of structured conversations with some 300 Delawareans. At this point, we have some initial ideas of where we think we need to go from here, but to make sure this plan reflects the views of our communities, we want to share our initial thinking well before it is finalized. We plan to gather input for the next several months, refine our vision in the fall and produce a plan in the early part of 2015. This draft plan will build on the foundation of the original Vision 2015 plan and look ahead to the skills our children will need in the future.

Over the next several months, we’ll be holding community conversations about the draft plan across the state and also interacting online at ED25.MindMixer.com. We hope you will join us as we continue this important work to prepare our students for a lifetime of success.

Ernie Dianastasis is the managing director of CAI (Computer Aid, Inc.), a global IT firm; the chair of the Vision Coalition of Delaware, www.vision2015delaware.org, a public and private coalition working to improve our schools; and the chair of the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee.

Community Conversations

June 24 (Sussex County)

  • 9:30 am: Sussex County Council Chambers Room (2 The Circle, Georgetown, 19947)
  • 5:30 pm: Laurel Fire Department (205 W. 10th St., Laurel, 19956)

July 16 (New Castle County)

  • 9:30 am: Wilmington Public Library (Commons Room, 10 E. 10th St., Wilmington, 19801)
  • 5:30 pm: Appoquinimink Community Library (Multi-Purpose Rooms 1 and 2, 651 N. Broad St., Middletown, 19709)

August 6 (Kent County)

  • 9:30 am: Dover Public Library (Multi-Purpose Room A, 35 E. Loockerman St., Dover, 19901)
  • 5:30 pm: Harrington Volunteer Fire Company (20 Clark St., Harrington, 19952)

Can’t Join Us In-Person?

Visit ED25.MindMixer.com, to share your ideas and give feedback.

Brittany Mason




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