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Superintendents, Secretary of Education, sign Wilmington Learning Collaborative agreement

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Rachel Sawicki
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Delaware Public Media
Brandywine, Christina, and Red Clay superintendents and Secretary of Education Mark Holodick officially signed the Wilmington Learning Collaborative Agreement Tuesday.

Brandywine, Christina, and Red Clay superintendents officially signed the Wilmington Learning Collaborative Agreement Tuesday.

Now that the agreement is signed, work is underway to appoint the Wilmington Learning Collaborative Council that will steer the collaborative and conduct a needs assessment.

The focus of Governor John Carney’s signature education initiative is improving outcomes at the elementary and middle school levels. And Carney says that starts with third-grade reading levels.

“You learn to read from preschool to third grade and then you read to learn the rest of your way," Carney says. "If you can't read proficiently at third, it's going to be tough to do your work in fourth, fifth, sixth and so on. We have a focus on middle school math as well.”

Carney and others involved concede it will take some time to see results. But Carney says if successful, the collaborative could open doors for similar efforts in high schools, and help parents understand what their educational choices are.

He notes Howard High School is one of Delaware’s great historically important schools, and wants to fill every open seat in its classrooms.

After working for two years to get the Wilmington Learning Collaborative off the ground, Carney says it shows that the districts involved - despite some reservations - are committed to creating more opportunities for city students.

“The fact that we've got three districts that unanimously approved it, to try to do something different, to really lean in, I think makes a real statement of the commitments there and that's what it's gonna take,” he says.

The remainder of the current school year will be a planning phase for the collaborative - with a governing council put in place, an executive director hired and a needs assessment completed.

The goal is to start making collaborative-related changes in Wilmington schools next fall.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.