Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Delaware was one of just two states to win Race to the Top funding last year in the first round of the federal competition. Now it's using $8.2 million of those funds to implement a data coaching program in its schools. The two-year program's goal is to help teachers in all grade levels across the state learn how to broaden and deepen their ability to use student data to improve instruction and learning in their classrooms. Data coaches will meet with small groups of about six to 10 educators at least two times a month to review student data, help teachers identify areas of deficiency and progress and adjust and individualize instruction as needed. Otherwise, all educators in core subjects will meet for 90 minutes weekly. The program wants to ensure teachers develop the technical and pedagogical skills to use data from state tests, formative assessments and other sources to improve instruction and student achievement. Other goals include "monitoring progress continuously; intervening early, intensively and in targeted ways for students who are drifting off track; collaborating across classrooms and grades; and enhancing family and community involvement in the improvement process," according to the press release. The first five of 29 data coaches began working with teachers in early March. Delaware won about $100 million in the $4 billion Race to the Top grant competition, which asked states to change education policies to raise standards, drive school turnarounds, reward teacher quality, offer students alternatives, and incorporate data analysis.