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Last month, Race to the Top plans were approved for all 19 Delaware school districts by Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery. These plans were the result of a year-long effort by individuals of various sectors of each district. As a joint committee, each group identified and analyzed challenges facing each district then developed ways to meet them. The plans, while staying in line with the state’s goal, addressed the specific needs of each district as well.

The plans were approved for their full three-year periods. However, funding will be approved on a year-to-year basis, depending on the performance within the districts. Secretary Lowery has allocated $18.4 million in funding for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. The total $119 million awarded to Delaware will be divided in order for the state to implement initiatives state-wide and districts and charters to fund their particular plans.

To obtain approval and get state funding, the districts had to outline how they would do the following, which is not an all-inclusive list:

•           Begin using college and career assessments and standards

•           Improve access to and use data systems

•           Ensure fair distribution of effective educators

•           Provide deep support to lowest-achieving schools

•           Involve families and communities in being active supporters of students’ success

The funding and plans of Race to the Top are a win-win for Delaware’s students. Our plan was ranked first among the 16 finalists in 2010 when the initial round of funding was awarded.

First place for the first state = academic improvement and excellence. “It’s good to be first!”

To learn more visit Delaware Department of Education.

For 25 years, Back to Basics in Wilmington, Delaware has been recognized as the area’s undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring. In addition, the firm offers a unique Delaware private school for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for adults. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

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