Opportunity Knocks: Assessing Delaware's Education System

Jennifer Leischer

Rodel Foundation of Delaware
July 2005

The Rodel Foundation has produced a substantive and helpful (if perhaps slightly na??ve) report card on the First State's K-12 education system. It gauges student performance across all grade levels (pre-K, elementary, and secondary) as well as "system conditions" that affect that performance (teacher quality, leadership development, school finance, school choice, standards and accountability, and community and family engagement). Interestingly, according to the authors, Delaware's standards come in at 12th in the nation - based on AFT rankings for standards and accountability that fail to assess the actual content of those standards. Fordham's own standards evaluations showed less reasons for pride (see here for more), ranking Delaware 34th in math and a distressing 48th in English. Also, the rosy claim that "we rank third nationally in the percentage of kids in charter schools" is a bit over-simplified; Delaware has a considerable distance to travel to inform parents of existing choices and create enough high-quality choices that parents have plenty from which to choose. But overall, there's a lot of useful information here and a format that could be well employed by other policy groups and philanthropies looking to evaluate their home state across a range of telling criteria. Check it out here.