Delaware to Launch Personalized Learning for 9th and 10th Graders

The Delaware Department of Education is launching a personalized program for 9th and 10th graders that will create customized learning paths for each student based on testing data.

Beginning next school year, the program will use students’ performance on Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests to create the personalized paths for freshmen and sophomores in all 43 of the state’s public high schools.

The state is contracting with CompassLearning, which previously has provided similar services to Brandywine, Colonial and Seaford school districts.

“The results from the districts that are already using CompassLearning have been supportive of students at all levels – even more importantly, students find the content to be engaging and compelling,” Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery said. “As educators, if we can engage students at the appropriate level and in a compelling learning environment, we can empower our teachers to help students not only to succeed academically, but to develop the 21st century skills they need to succeed in life.”

The state pursued this program at the request of district and charter school educators who already were using similar resources the state provides for elementary and middle school students.

Students take DCAS tests at least three times, with a fourth optional opportunity. Upon completion of each test, students’ results will be used to automatically create personalized learning paths that can help keep them from falling behind, catch up or advance at their own paces. The data can be aggregated to track academic growth of a single student, a class, an entire school and, in this case the entire state.

“We’re proud to be part of such an innovative and forward-thinking program,” said Eric Loeffel, CEO of CompassLearning. “We still haven’t seen all that our program can do for the teachers and students of Delaware. I think it has the opportunity to be transformative.”