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Education

EDUCATION

Yes, Education Matters

Some of us may believe that if we are no longer in school ourselves, or our kids are long out of school, then Delaware's educational system shouldn't matter to us. Oh, but it does. Education matters, for ALL Delawareans. And here's why.

 

FACT - Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce.

 

States can increase the strength of their economies and their ability to grow and attract high-wage employers by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do. ANYTHING ELSE!

 

Investing in education is also good for state budgets in the long run, since workers with higher incomes contribute more through taxes over the course of their lifetimes. Even democrats should like this.

 

So, if you prefer to live in a state that is rich in culture, opportunities, activities and services, then you want a state with a strong educational foundation for its children and young adults. Education matters.

 

A state that does not offer high quality meaningful education is one where the youngest and brightest will move out of the state looking for better opportunities, thus leaving the state in more of a financial and demographic deficit. Without our most productive younger citizens, we don't have innovation, we lose our industry, and we lose people power. Without education, the state's economy will decline. Education matters.

 

And what does a declining economy lead to? Poverty and dependence on the State. An increased population dependent on the State leads to increased taxes and more poverty. Poverty, through lack of opportunity and increased taxes, leads to .... CRIME! Crime leads to a lack of basic safety and security in our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and our homes. With increased crime and decreased security comes decreased freedom and independence. Not to mention decreased leisure services, decreased essential services such as health care, and a decrease in a whole slew of small business services, mom and pop shops that we all rely on from lawn care, hair services, and even childcare. It all comes full circle.

 

So, YES, education MATTERS! The education system in Delaware affects YOU and the ones you love. So how does Delaware's education system stack up?

 

FACT 60% of University of Delaware students come from out of state. As per UD's President, Dennis Assanis - “I am not the one holding back the kids in Delaware to come into the university. ... We need better-qualified students who come out of our K-12 [schools]. Because we don’t want to put them into a first-class environment and then lead them to having mental health problems.” - UD President Dennis Assanis, 2020.

 

So the entire state of Delaware cannot furnish enough qualified native students to provide a simple majority of the enrolled students at our state university. In fact other than only two other universities in the nation (Martin Luther College, MN and the University of Vermont), the only other universities in the nation that have more out of state students than UD are the military academies! In-state University student enrollment. That's it, West Point, The Naval Academy, The Air Force Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy. And UD. Hmmm.

 

FACT Only 31% of the 10,000 Delaware seniors who took the SAT in 2019, met college-readiness benchmarks, as per CollegeBoard, (Inc. 1899) the company that facilitates SAT testing. What does the SAT measure? Reading, writing and math. So even if a student does not intend to go to college, doesn't every student in Delaware deserve to be proficient in reading, writing and math?

 

OK, so this is the fact based evidence that our Delaware children cannot compete with students from neighboring states or across the nation at our own University. So, let's take a look at our K-12 schools.

 

 

K-12 SCHOOL PROFICIENCIES IN DELAWARE

 

FACT there has been a consistent decrease in scores for both math and reading in both the 4th and 8th grades since 2013 - 2022. So this has been going on for a while.

 

FACT Delaware ranked 47th in the country with the 4th worst overall test scores.

 

FACT 17 schools throughout Delaware have single-digit proficiency, that's below 10% and sometimes it's only 3% proficiency in math or English. Read that again: SINGLE DIGIT proficiency in math or English! Here they are.

 

BUT THIS IS DUE TO COVID, RIGHT?

 

And no, it's not from Covid. According to NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) data show that Delaware's declines in both reading and math started in 2013, years before COVID-19.

IS IT DUE TO LACK OF SPENDING ON EDUCATION?

 

Delaware's abysmal education is not due to a lack of spending money.

 

FACT The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau (2020) shows that Delaware ranks as the 10th highest state in overall education spending.

 

FACT Roughly one third of the state's budget is spent on education. You heard that right, ONE THIRD OF OUR STATE'S BUDGET is spent on education!! Do you think education matters now?

 

FACT Delaware spent on average $17,235 per pupil. The average in the nation is $13,494 per pupil. Even California spends less on average per student than Delaware and ranks higher than Delaware in academics. That’s revealing!

 

While Delaware spends like other Northeastern states, Delaware students' test scores are near the bottom along with with West Virginia and Oklahoma for dead last. It really can't get any worse. It really can't.

 

FACT As is evident from this data, Delaware is in the top 10 for education spending in the country. Yet our students continue to perform at the very bottom compared to all other states. And Delaware democrats plan to spend even MORE money on a failing system! This is UNACCEPTABLE!

 

We are failing our students and if we continue on this same path, Delaware will fail as well. It is time for a systemic change to Delaware's education system to improve our students' success. How do we do that??

REPUBLICANS HAVE A PLAN!

 

Like most things Republican, Republicans plan to shift the responsibility and the accountability and the rewards to those who actually "do", to our teachers and the principals, away from the ineffectual behemoth the Board of Education in Delaware has become. Republicans plan to provide our teachers with the tools they need to succeed, and to reward their accomplishments through new legislative bills.

 

Republicans plan to implement the following:

 

  1. Adopt less restrictive teacher licensure requirements - let the best and the brightest of us who have the knowledge, experience, aptitude and desire to teach, be able to teach our young. Right now, we don't allow industry experts to teach without a cumbersome licensing process.
     

  2. Give back control to teachers to find the best way to teach their students in their classroom. Right now, it is the remote BOE that sets the standards for what and how teachers teach, dictating the programming aka the indoctrination of lesson plans in the classroom.
     

  3. Hold schools and teachers accountable, for not only their failures, but their successes as well. Reward teachers with higher pay and benefits for better results in their classrooms, and let go of those teachers without improved results. Bring back the passion and the motivation to teach, and improve teacher's salaries.
     

  4. School Choice Vouchers - the money should follow the student. Delaware does have some school choice but (according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, as of May 2016) Delaware provides no financial assistance (either in the form of vouchers or tax credits) to parents wishing to send their children to private schools instead of public schools. Money talks and when money walks away from failing schools and is instead given to succeeding schools this can make the difference.
     

  5. Improve the attendance rate. Bring accountability back to students as well.

WANT TO KNOW HOW YOUR SCHOOL IS RANKED?

 

Check out the Delaware Report Card and review the stats on your school. Here in the 38th district let's examine Indian River High School.

 

English 47.48% of students were proficient in English language arts (ELA) during the 2022-2023 school year. Did you catch that, less then 50% are proficient in ..... ENGLISH!

 

Math 23.95% of students were proficient in math during the 2022-2023 school year. LESS THAN one quarter of students are proficient in math! Math is required, for lots of stuff, to balance a checkbook, pay bills, run a household, balance a budget!

 

Attendance 68.89% are on-track in attendance for the 2022-2023 school year. Meaning, ONE THIRD of students are not attending school regularly! ONE THIRD. Half the battle is probably showing up.

 

Graduation 88.93% of the class of 2022 graduated high school in 4 years with a regular high school diploma. It is sad that it is not 100%, but, OK, this is average across the Nation.

 

Career Ready 92.62% of students finished 12th grade "college or career ready" in the 2022-2023 school year. OK, wait, what? 92% are college or career ready yet only 47% are proficient in English and only 23% are proficient in math??!! Who came up with THIS statistic??

 

If Delaware is to turn around and meet the demands of a civilized society again, then it needs to turn this abysmal track record on education around, and the democrats are just not the ones who are going to do it. They haven't, not since 2009, and they won't do it now and they won't do it in 2024. Their big plan is to throw even more money at this money pit, which is worse than not helpful, it's downright destructive.

 

Delaware deserves better, and First State students deserve a first-rate education. It's time for change, vote out the party in power since 2009, before we can't. In 2024, vote Republican! Share this with your friends.

 

Please email corrections to info@38thdrcp.com

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