Pettyjohn and Buckson: Republican senators share thoughts about state test results


The results of statewide assessments for the most recent academic year demonstrate that Delaware students still require further resources. Only 40% of pupils in grades three through eight achieved a competency level in English language arts, a decrease of two percentage points from the previous year. Only 32% of children in grades three through eight achieved scores in mathematics that were at or above grade level, an increase of 2% from the previous year.

One of the few districts in Delaware defying the trend is the Lake Forest School District. The accomplishments there demonstrate that Delaware school districts are able to raise student achievement levels, but it’s obvious that more work has to be done.

Additionally, our state must do more to hold school districts responsible for students’ academic outcomes. The current mechanism in place for holding schools accountable is ineffective. It is time for the state to establish a new system that recognizes school districts for their accomplishments and holds them responsible when they fall short of their objectives. Accountability is key.

Delaware must also deal with disruptive behavior that is happening in the classroom, which is making it difficult for teachers to teach and students to learn. Bold steps are needed to not only ensure that Delaware students are learning the material but that the material is reflective of what is expected of students once they graduate from our public schools to enter the workforce or continue on their educational path.

Senate Republicans are ready to face these challenges. We recently solicited feedback from educators, administrators and constituents for their recommendations, and these ideas will come together in the form of a legislative agenda focused on education. More information and specifics will be made available closer to the General Assembly’s return in January 2024.

The 2023 state assessment results can be found at

Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown

Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover

Members of the Senate Education Committee

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