This is interesting. Priority schools get a press conference in front of Warner Elementary School with the Governor and legislators in attendance. The citizens of Delaware are told these schools are failing, for all to see. Recognition schools get a party, on a secure Air Force base in Dover. Ten of them get $8,000 each to do with what they will. Priority schools get over $5 million, divided by the six of them, to send Wilmington into a tailspin. Six are shamed and eleven are honored. They are all Title I schools, but some get favor while others get false labels. One is open for the world to see while the other is closed. Priority demands a chunk of the money goes to a company called Mass Insight while the rewarded ones can form a voluntary committee to allocate the funds. Priority gives teachers stress and frustration while reward gets banner and a shiny headline. Priority gets a picture of failure and recognition gets a picture with Secretary Godowsky.
From the DOE press release to the media:
Media Advisory *Please note RSVP deadline below*
Contact Alison May (302) 735-4006
REWARD, RECOGNITION SCHOOLS TO BE HONORED
Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky — joined by principals, superintendents, educators, parents and students — will honor the 2015 Reward and Recognition School award winners during an event at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19 at Dover Air Force Base Middle School, 3100 Hawthorne Drive, Dover.
These awards, created by legislation passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2009, formerly were called Academic Achievement Awards. They recognize schools for closing the achievement gap and/or showing exceptional growth on state tests for two or more consecutive years.
This year, there are two Reward and 10 Recognition schools that will receive $8,000 each. Additionally, there is one School of Continued Excellence that will be recognized. There is no monetary award with this honor. Each county is represented among the winners.
Reward schools are Title I schools identified for being either highest performing or high progress. Recognition schools are chosen for exceptional performance and/or closing the achievement gap. The School of Continued Excellence is a school that has received a state award during 2014 and continues to qualify for Reward or Recognition distinction in 2015. It is designated a School of Continued Excellence to recognize its sustained accomplishments.
As in years past, each school will appoint a committee (with administration, teacher, support staff and parent representation) to determine how the award will be used. All schools’ representatives will receive banners and will have pictures taken with Secretary Godowsky.
Because Dover Air Force Base Middle School is located on a secured military facility, the state must submit information about all those attending the event in advance so visitors can receive security clearance. Journalists planning to cover this event should RSVP with their names (as it appears on his or her driver’s license), driver license number (please note state if not Delaware) and date of birth to Alison.May@doe.k12.de.us no later than 8 a.m on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Dover Air Force Base Middle School (3100 Hawthorne Drive; Dover, DE 19901) is accessed by Del. 1, exit 93. (This is south of the Del. 1 and Rt. 10 intersection.) After taking Del.- 1 exit 93, proceed west toward Base Housing on Old Lebanon Road. There will be a security guard gate. Continue on Old Lebanon Road. Make a right (north) on Hawthorne Drive. The school will be immediately on your left (west).