This article, written by Megan Pauly, was originally featured in Delaware Public Media.

The Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now – or DelawareCAN – launched Monday.

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Founder and Executive Director Atnre Alleyne bills it as a grassroots education advocacy group that intends to unapologetically place kids first.

“It’s when it’s about your kid – or kids first – there’s an urgency about that,” he said. “Because you know that they don’t have decades to get things right. Every day in the classroom matters.”

Its mission is based on a statewide “listening tour” Alleyne conducted last year- sitting down with over 150 Delawareans to discuss education.

“There was a lot of interest in – how do we get better information out in the hands of parents, stakeholders to make decisions about their schools and know where there’s excellence,” Alleyne said.

So, Alleyne says DelawareCAN will push for greater transparency when it comes to information on school quality and student outcomes, especially in Delaware’s final implementation plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA.

The group also wants to ensure the state’s ESSA plan – due in March – is set up to help schools identified as struggling in an appropriate way.

Alleyne says the group’s policy goals for 2017 include developing an equitable funding formula for Delaware schools.

DelawareCAN advisory board chair Rod Ward says it’s just the start of the group’s plan to tackle a wide range of issues.

“We think they’re all connected – great teachers, rigor in the classroom, choice, equity, transparency – all of these things are related so how do we work together to move them all forward,” Ward said.

DelawareCAN will also receive research and support in other areas from the national education advocacy group 50CAN; Alleyne was a 2016 50CAN fellow for the group.


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