Just 29.48% of First State students are proficient in math.

Posted on 01-24-2023

…That’s one problem this framework aims to address…

What Framework???

Delaware LIVE News

The Delaware Department of Education is championing higher-quality math curriculums, spending more time on the topic and offering more professional training to teachers.

It is part of what the department calls a framework to help combat the state’s atrocious scores in math, including 18 schools that have single-digit proficiency scores. 

Just 29.48% of First State students are proficient in math, according to the state report card.

It’s the first statewide math plan and it will  serve as a complement to Delaware’s literacy plan. 

The reading plan was released in 2019 with the goal of having students proficient in reading by the time they finish third grade. 

Designing a new framework for state math classes wasn’t plug-and-play.

“We looked at a couple of frameworks that had been published by other states and there were very few to even be able to reference,” said Jamila Riser, executive director of the Delaware Mathematics Coalition.

Some legislators questioned how the framework will be effective if it doesn’t include goals and metrics to measure success.

“It’s a lot of words that don’t have a goal beyond lofty aspirations,” said Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown. She is on the House Education Committee.

She thinks the plan is filled with a lot of jargon and fluff-words that aren’t specific enough to make her feel confident that math outcomes will improve. 

“Parents want to see some real specific goals and proposed outcomes for student achievement in mathematics, not what they’re going to do or the collaborative efforts or all these workgroups,” she said.

The ultimate goal of the plan, defined by the Education Department, is for students to competently and flexibly use mathematical ideas to think critically and solve problems through various life experiences. 

It outlines five key components to a successful math education:

  • Academics: All teachers make skillful use of high-quality materials to ensure that all students have meaningful access to grade-appropriate, culturally responsive Tier 1 math instruction.
  • High-quality professional learning: All educators engage in high-quality professional learning that directly builds their capacity to ensure excellent, equitable math instruction within their role and context.
  • Collaborative leadership: A shared vision and sense of responsibility brings educators together in service of student success, while effective communication and collaboration ensure their collective efficacy.
  • Culture of access and equity: All resources–including time, knowledge, materials, talent, expectations, and learning opportunities are allocated equitably to ensure that every adult and student can succeed.
  • Community and family engagement: Families and other stakeholders, including educator   preparation programs, are welcomed equitably and leveraged effectively as vital partners in the execution of the state’s math visions. 

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Jarek Rutz

Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.

Jarek can be reached by email at jarek@delawarelive.com or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz and on LinkedIn