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VIEWPOINT: Technology could be a key piece of Delaware's educational puzzle

Delaware’s education ecosystem can take advantage of a technological boost. Despite numerous education reform efforts, many students struggle to reach their full potential, squeezing the state’s economy, threatening the workforce of the future. Now, with teacher shortages threatening to make learning outcomes even worse, we need to adopt technology tools that help promote better learning environments and higher levels of academic achievement. Washington leaders must recognize how important digital learning tools are to students and support policies that encourage innovation and expand their development and availability.


Delaware spending $1.4 billion a year in education, has no measurable return on investment. School struggles, on the other hand, are clear. In Delaware, only half of grades K-8 (54% to be exact) can read at grade level. Mathematics scores even worse, at only 44% at the grade level. Only 86% of high school students graduate in four years, and an estimated 18,000 state workers choose to live in Pennsylvania to avoid sending their children to schools in Delaware.

Poor performance in our schools is putting pressure on the economy by shrinking the size of the state talent pool and discouraging workers from settling in the communities where they spend money and pay taxes. As a result, local economies have been hit and both state and local governments have less revenue available to address key issues, including investment in education.

The failure of the education system also puts pressure on civic engagement.Studies consistently show that A higher level of education corresponds to a more active citizen, but declining educational achievements are making young people less involved in civic life. With so much debate about democracy and justice, we have a duty to transform our education system into one that inspires lifelong civic engagement.

As is the case nationwide, the collapse of Delaware’s education system is hitting marginalized communities hardest and deepening existing inequalities. Delawareans for Educational Opportunity and NAACP of Delaware, October 2021 announced a settlement A lawsuit filed in 2018 alleges that the state did nothing to address the disparity in resources provided to low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners.

Technology has great potential to improve learning outcomes and address inequalities among Delaware students. Digital learning tools can complement traditional instruction with engaging and intuitive lessons, helping students better understand material both inside and outside the classroom. The power of AI and machine learning can also help tailor programs to meet students’ individual learning needs. With shortages leading to ever-larger class sizes, these tools can be a godsend for both teachers and students.

However, digital learning platforms are only useful if they are successfully developed, marketed and distributed. This requires a robust national technology ecosystem for start-up entrepreneurs to get the resources they need, from access to capital to cloud computing services, to create new innovations in edtech. is.small tech companies Acquisition options by large companiesto reward the hard work of entrepreneurs and enable the widespread and effective distribution of new tools.

It is clear that the education system in Delaware needs to change. Technology is a key piece of the puzzle, helping to keep students engaged and reduce the burden on overworked teachers. Employing Edtech prepares the next generation for successful careers and helps Delaware empower itself for the future. Our elected officials must recognize this and pursue policies that support, not hinder, the next generation of digital learning tools.