2015 Reinventing Delaware Ideas
Delaware Medical School – Create a medical school in Delaware and bolster research capacity in the state. UD already has great schools for other research in UD physical therapy. It will strengthen research in Delaware. I am proposing a research base medical school that is distinguishable form Philadelphia Medical Schools.
Destroy the Department of Education. The education system is broken with loads of administration problems and inertia in the education system, Solution; fire leaders and find new directors of education who are non-government so the government is merely a landlord, a vetting process will be created to create new schools. This proposal calls for eliminating most school districts, State will have assessment devices to measure schools are doing well.
Camp Inspire – DSU should host a series of summer camps for inner city kids, and expose them to; Aviation, Agriculture, Bio Technology, Coding, etc. The facility is under-utilized in the summer, and this is at a time when inner city kids really need mentorship. Tutoring and mentoring could also be offered.
Eliminate all school boards – every school becomes independent entity with Principal/CEO; money follows the student.
Teach for Delaware – Teach for Delaware will be based on the Teach for America program. Participants will be recruited from the University of Delaware, Delaware State and Delaware Tech. Tuition assistance/incentives will be provided to those individuals who commit to teaching in public schools and in challenging environments.
Narrowing the Achievement Gap – Outliers. Achievement Gap or “Vacation Gap”? Probably the single thing that everyone involved with or concerned about public education can agree upon is this: some children — often minority or English language–learning, but almost always “economically disadvantaged” — have not done as well as others. We usually call this the Achievement Gap, and the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind was intended to close such gaps. Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s variation on the theme of using carrots and sticks to fix our schools, is equally concerned with closing the gaps. The idea is to have all our children — rich and poor, white and minority, native English speakers and not, those with disabilities and not, boys and girls, migrants and not — becoming equally well educated.
The children studied began first grade in different places, but the achievement gap between high- and low-socioeconomic-status children nearly doubled over the elementary school years. But neither differences in native ability nor in teaching quality explained this phenomenon. Because they were given the California Achievement Test at the beginning and the end of each year, test results could show that poor children actually “out-learn” rich ones during the school year (at least insofar as CAT reading scores can indicate). During the summers, however, the poor children fall behind and the more privileged ones surge ahead. The achievement gap really stems from what is not happening for poor children when they are not in school.
The Delaware initiative is focused on addressing the Achievement Gap, focusing on Wilmington children.
World Class Collaboration in Education. Create a system and culture whereby all who are involved in the educational system (parents, students, educators, administrators) are constantly sharing experiences and cultures, with the hopes of exposing best of class methods in education
Focused Tutoring – The education gap can be closed with a focused tutoring effort, where teachers identify students when they start to fall behind. Teachers meet weekly to identify troubled students. School hours are extended, and students are caught and helped quickly. This technique has been effective in other schools.
After School Activities – Public safety is a significant concerning Delaware, Enhance Boys and Girls Clubs and provide them with extended hours , Expand youth recreational program after school Ask corporations or the city if Wilmington residents to support it.
Coding is the blue collar job of the future. Deploy a two-year coding and entrepreneurship curriculum in Delaware schools. Immerse kids in coding and help them generate revenue off their work before they graduate high school.
Establish a charter school to educate the prison population. Remove the Department of Education from educating inmates due to poor performance.
Create a district where any public school within that district can opt to operate under the same rules as a charter school. By allowing individual schools to experiment without being held to stringent regulations.
Consolidate 3 Vo-Tech School Districts into 1 District and further focus education on job skills in demand by local employers (i.e. technology, health, banking, manufacturing, service, etc.)
Permit traditional public schools to convert to public charter schools based on the majority vote of the parents (without a veto by the teachers and/or unions)
Alternative testing for 11th graders not on college track; encouraging multi-track options for every student.