Thursday, December 3, 2009

RTTT in the News

Race To The Top and related:
Yesterday saw a splash in the paper with the release of the Delaware Department of Education strategic plan. This year many of the plan's initiatives are tied to positioning Delaware for the program known as Race To The Top (RTTT). RTTT is a federal program that provides competitive grants to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform. Delaware is eligible for a grant between $20 million and $75 million.

Within that framework are guidelines under the following headings: Great Teachers and Leaders; Turning Around Struggling Schools; Standards and Assessments; and Data Systems to Support Instruction.

Delaware had many innovations already in place that fit well with RTTT guidelines. The remaining changes needed are for the most part regulatory versus statutory. This means that the Department of Education can draw up new regulations and have those approved by the State Board of Education instead of needing to draft legislation and have changes made to the Delaware Code. This is another advantage for Delaware because the deadline for PhaseI applications is January 19th. If changes to law had been required it would have been close to impossible to meet the deadline with the General Assembly not beginning session until January.

DSEA has been involved in discussions with the Governor's office and DOE. DSEA is encouraged by the communication and collaboration with the Administration. There is a sincere effort to make educators into partners with the RTTT program.

Everyone has to work together to make sure educators are given the resources they need to implement new ideas because all reform innovations eventually boil down to a teacher with a class of students.

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