Race to the Top


Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy is stepping down and will be replaced by Steve Godowsky.

Godowsky was the former superintendent of the New Castle County Vo-Tech System.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that its sources say Murphy’s departure was expected.

Governor Jack Markell praised Murphy’s work and the results that are being seen in the classroom especially in graduation rates and more students going to college.

Murphy also oversaw a number of reforms that were tied to the federal Race to the Top program.

governor photo

The nation’s top education official defended the administration’s Race to the Top program that saw $119 million go to Delaware for educational initiatives.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the First State’s record a model for the country.

During his visit to the state yesterday that included the classrooms at Howard High School of Technology he touted Delaware’s lowest in-decades dropout rate, more students applying to college and unprecedented investments in Pre-K education.

Delaware government website

Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy got a grilling by lawmakers yesterday.

It came over his bid for $7.5 million to sustain the federal Race to the Top grant that runs out this year.

Several lawmakers complained to Murphy that too much of the federal funds went to bureaucracy and too little to helping out teachers in the classroom.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the lawmakers questioned whether the state’s resources might not be better spent somewhere else.

Especially, they added, when the state budget was so tight.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell says Delaware should be proud of the progress it's made under the federal Race to the Top education reform program.

Markell discussed the state's Race to the Top progress Monday in a speech to the P-20 council, a group formed a decade ago to coordinate and align education efforts across all grade levels.

Markell said the state has used more than $100 million in federal Race to the Top funding to develop a sound foundation for school improvement, but he knows there's much hard work still left to do.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - State officials are reviewing Delaware's progress in implementing Race to the Top education reforms.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join education secretary Mark Murphy on Monday to update state Board of Education member on what Delaware has done with the four-year $119 million federal grant it received in 2010.

Monday's discussion will be followed by a visit to Wilmington on Wednesday by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to mark the four-year anniversary of Delaware's selection as one of the first two states to receive Race to the Top funding.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Education Department says Maryland has taken important steps in implementing its $250 million Race to the Top grant and has shown encouraging signs, but a department progress report says the state faced multiple challenges in the third year of the initiative.

The department is releasing a progress report Wednesday.

It says Maryland continued to score well above the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress last year.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware education officials are asking for a 4 percent increase in the Department of Education's operating budget for next fiscal year.

DOE representatives told state budget officials Wednesday that the request for more money includes $37 million to continue funding certain existing budget items, including periodic salary increases and funding to accommodate enrollment growth.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say school leaders aren't being tough enough when they evaluate teachers.

Department of Education figures show that only one percent of Delaware teachers were rated ineffective in the first full year of the state's teacher evaluation system. Overall, 51 percent of teachers were rated "highly effective" and 48 percent were rated "satisfactory."

Don Rush

The Capital School Board is protesting tying teacher evaluations to student test scores.

The board says it is unfair to the teachers and should not be used in rating the school’s employees.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Capital School Board President Mathew Lindell said its concerns appeared to fall on deaf ears at the Department of Education.

Meanwhile, the Dover district’s administration says it is trying to figure out where to go from here.


            Somerset County officials say they got the official okay to restructure Crisfield High School.

            But the State Department of Education still wants some clarification on the plan about staffing and class schedules.

            The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the state also wants more input from the stakeholders since many of the previous public meetings focused on consolidation of two high schools.