The Delaware Early Literacy Research-Practice Partnership: Catalyzing Educational Equality

This grant will strengthen the partnership between the University of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Education.

The University of Delaware’s College of Education and Human Development and the Delaware Department of Education will partner to assess and strengthen alignment among policy, assessment, and instructional practices to improve K–3 literacy outcomes. The research team will collate and analyze data on K–3 literacy outcomes in the state alongside administrative data on child, teacher, and school factors. They will also collect qualitative data from teachers and staff and analyze school and district policies to strengthen the state’s capacity to support districts, schools, and teachers in improving student literacy for Black and Hispanic students, English Learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families. The grant will also enhance the capacity of the Department to use research evidence in the selection of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and screening material strategies; in the prioritization of topics for professional development; and in the differentiation of supports to meet varying district and charter school needs. At the university, the College of Education and Human Development will pursue policy-level changes to departmental and college promotion and tenure guidelines. The college will also work to establish practical supports for engaged scholarship, like guidance for how to incorporate engaged scholarship in sabbatical proposals, summer funds for graduate students to support faculty engaged scholarship projects, and the inclusion of engaged scholarship as a start-up fund expenditure.

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