- Delaware’s accountability system is built on the backbone of strong college- and career-ready standards and tests, and it has put in place a number of policies to steer more students toward college and career success.
- Delaware clearly sought out and respected the feedback from stakeholder groups. Throughout its plan, it cites specific feedback as an explanation for why it’s pursuing the option it chose.
- Delaware has carefully selected a simple list of high-quality indicators to include in its accountability system, including a focus on students being ready for college and careers.
- By lowering its minimum group size from 30 to 15, Delaware is ensuring more schools will be asked to pay attention to the performance of important subgroups of students.
- By including science and social studies in the accountability system, the state is signaling the critical importance of a well-rounded education for all students. Delaware’s approach to measuring English language proficiency contains a number of interesting, innovative experiments, although its accountability system undermines those efforts somewhat.
- Finally, in addition to the indicators used for formal school-rating purposes, the state has clearly articulated another set of measures that it will track and report on school report cards for public transparency purposes. Delaware includes these measures in its robust school report card.
- While Delaware’s framework is strong, its plan is vague in several areas. It does not articulate how most of its individual accountability components would be measured, or how they would factor into overall ratings. Delaware’s plan seems to propose multiple school-identification systems that the state is still considering, but all are underdeveloped.
- Similarly, Delaware’s plan lacks clarity on how exactly it would hold schools with large achievement gaps accountable. It doesn’t specify how many schools would be identified or what steps they would be asked to take.
- The state’s plan for improving low-performing schools lacks specificity and could allow schools to stagnate rather than improve.
- Finally, the state’s long-term vision is not fully reflected in its ESSA plan, so it is difficult to follow the through-line from vision to implementation.