Delaware Public Media

Progress report shows mixed results for Delaware's teacher prep programs

Dec 13, 2018

A recent progress report shows some of Delaware’s teacher preparation programs improved from two years ago while others did not.

Legislation passed in 2013 created the biennial Education Preparation Reports meant to use data to evaluate programs preparing aspiring and novice Delaware teachers for the workforce.

The reports are weighted most heavily on the performance of new teachers who have graduated from a Delaware preparation program. But the scorecard also considers other metrics like the number of graduates remaining in the First State to work as teachers and the number of graduates who go on to work in high-needs areas.

The 2018 report shows gains for some programs while others faltered since 2016.

“It’s not as well as we would like,” said Delaware’s Director of Educator Effectiveness Shannon Holston. “That’s why we’re really trying to focus on, particularly, novice educator retention. We’ve seen pockets of success. Not as much across the board, I would say, as we would like.”

Holston says the state has recently expanded its mentoring program for new teachers to try to improve these scores. It has also given out seven grants to school districts partnering with university education programs.

“Bring those two worlds together, focus on building that partnership so we’re talking about the same things—about what we need from our teacher workforce and to be able to support our teachers,” Holston said.

The 2018 report also shows state teaching programs have become more ethnically diverse, with one in four teacher candidates identifying as an individual of color, compared to one in five two years ago.

Many of the state’s educator programs did not receive a progress report due to low enrollment.