Delaware Public Media

Gov. Carney unveils strategic plan for English language learners

Dec 20, 2017

Gov. John Carney visited North Georgetown Elementary Wednesday to offer his strategy to help students whose native language is not English.


English Language Learners make up more than 60 percent of North Georgetown’s student population. Delaware has more than 12,000 students who fall into the English learners group.

But while those students have made gains on state proficiency tests in recent years, less than 20 percent of them are reading and doing math at grade level.

Carney had an opportunity to see what’s being done at North Georgetown to make them more successful in school.

“We were just in a classroom and I was blown away," he said. "I was blown away with what I saw. A differentiated learning. Each little group of children were doing something a little bit different as they were learning their words. In first grade, first grade.”

Carney said his plan calls for assessing each student’s needs and giving them the support need to make academic gains.

He also said the advisory council on English learners he created will monitor the plan’s implementation.

“I’ll talk about just a few of the priorities that are in here, but essentially it’s to make sure that every child in our state is successful no matter what language their parents speak, that’s spoken in the home where they come from,” he said.

The plan also calls for increasing their access to career pathways so they can prepare for college or future employment. It also calls for providing more training and professional development opportunities for teachers.