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New Education Secretary takes up effort to improve education in Wilmington and beyond

Warner Elementary school Wilmington
Tom Byrne
Delaware Public Media
Warner Elementary School in Wilmington is among the schools that would be managed by the Wilmington Learning Collaborative

Last week, we brought you the first part of our interview with Delaware’s new Education Secretary Mark Holodick – a discussion about the continuing impact the pandemic is having on schools and students

But there are other issues Holodick faces as he settles into the job – and in part 2 of our conversation we cover a few of them, including the Wilmington Learning Collaborative.

Part 2 of Delaware Public Media's Tom Byrne's interview with Dept. of Education Secretary Mark Holodick

New Secretary of Education Mark Holodick takes over at a time when Gov.Carney is pushing the Wilmington Learning Collaborative to improve schools in the city.

The collaborative seeks to improve outcomes for city students while also creating consistency for everyone in city schools and the surrounding communities.

It involves multiple school districts in the city, and Holodick concedes success is needed early.

"We need to have success in year one. So that we build momentum," said Holodick. "Of course there are going to be setbacks with any kind of initiative like this we're going to have circumstances of setbacks that we struggle with, but the successes should far out way those setbacks."

He also notes communication with the community and making sure they understand what is going on will be important.

Holodick feels he enters this situation with a good idea thanks to attending Wilmington Learning Collaborative meetings prior to becoming Education secretary.

He said having school leaders with a pulse on the city communities will be a big help.

“I see the governance piece of this puzzle as being instrumental in change that having a superintendent and the school board member that represents the city on this governance board I see that being particularly important. Because when you look at the three superintendents in Dorrell Green, Dan Shelton, Lincoln Hohler, they're all pretty well connected to their city communities," said Holodick.

That connection to the city is important to Holodick because he feels many city residents don’t have a true connection with school decisions.

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