Monday, June 20, 2011

Delaware's Education System

Last Monday I attended a discussing group at the Woodlawn Library in Wilmington titled "Waiting for Superman- A Candid Discussion about DE's Education System". In the beginning, an excerpt from the documentary "Waiting for Superman" was shown.

Then a discussion was lead by four panel members who included, Christopher Ruszkowski, who is the Deputy Officer of the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit for the Delaware Department of Education, Catherine Weaver, Superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Dr. Mervin Daugherty, Superintendent for the Red Clay School District and Dorrell Green, former principal for Harlan Elementary and new Director of Elementary Education, effective July 1st. 

The panel members discussed their thoughts on the education of children in public schools in Delaware, touching on issues that they feel need to be addressed as well as highlighting positive aspects that are already in place.  There were disagreements among things such as how vital are smaller class sizes.  Many people feeling that smaller class sizes are very important and other people disagreeing with the opinion that if the teacher quality is there, the size of the class is not as essential.  The role of socio-economic backgrounds for children and their families was also discussed in terms of how it effects education.  Schools no longer just focus on education, but they also have to make it a priority to make sure their children are healthy, safe, clothed and fed. 

Overall, it was a interesting discussion that was unfortunately not very well attended.  There were, at most, 30 people in attendance.  This includes parents and educators.  The largest group there consisted of educators at Concord High School, who had four or five educators who were in attendance.  Because this is such an important issue, why was there such a low turn-out?  In my opinion, it was probably because this open discussion was not marketed very well.  I happened to hear about it about two hours before it was to take place and spread the word to my friend who is in early education. 

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