Legislative Hall Duo Leading Delaware Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities

DE Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities

On Thursday’s State Board of Education agenda, there will be a presentation on the progress of the Delaware Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities.  This was announced by Governor Jack Markell when he showed up at the State Board meeting to make a big speech about this grand idea.  It was no coincidence the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee, led by Tony Allen, were also there that day to make a presentation on their recommendations for the future of Wilmington education.

My first concern in reading this presentation when it appeared on their agenda last month was who the stakeholders are.  Since Executive Director of the State Board of Education Donna Johnson is one of the co-leaders on this initiative, alongside the DOE’s Susan Haberstroh (another frequent DOE individual seen frequently at Legislative Hall) I reached out to Donna to see who the stakeholders are.

Hey Donna, I was looking at the Power Point for the SREO presentation at the meeting on Thursday.  Who are the stakeholders that are frequently mentioned?  It would really help people to understand these types of things if they knew who was going to be involved!!! Thanks,


She did respond, and very fast I might add!

The SREO is not a task force nor does it have additional meetings scheduled at any set intervals. The presentation listed on the SBE page is from the SREO mtg that was held on June 1st, the first mtg was held on April 27th and reported on at the May SBE mtg. 

The SREO is a project to collect data, make some projections based on data trends, and then let policy makers and other stakeholders utilize the data to inform decisions or policy recommendations. It’s hard to limit the stakeholders to a defined subset, the data report will be public. We announced the first and second meeting at the SBE meeting and the DOE site, since we are co-leading the work, to invite anyone who was interested to attend and help provide suggestions to further clarify the scope of work. 

Once the RFP has closed and is scored, we will likely announce another meeting to discuss the data collection process, especially since some of the data is not in the state data system but in the individual districts/schools. We have been very transparent in the process and engaged people that will be directly impacted or engaged in the work of this project as much as they wanted. Legislators, researchers, DSEA, DASA, superintendents, GACEC, WEAC, parents, charter reps, school board members, etc. have attended the two meetings to help provide guidance in finalizing the scope of work and research questions in the RFP.

The information is all detailed in the RFP, which may have gone live today, if not it should tomorrow. 

The biggest confusion seemed to be what the SREO was versus what it was not, thus the slide that you saw with that title.

Donna Johnson (Sent from my iPad)

I was skeptical when Markell first announced this, and I’m even more skeptical now.  This just seems like another pep rally to get the ball rolling on more charters and “specialty programs” at magnets and vo-techs, while students not interested in those programs are left out in the cold.  I do see they will review special education kids with this, but my fear is what the cold, hard data will tell them, if they are completely honest about it.