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Governor Markell Recognized for Leadership in Supporting Data Use to Improve Student Learning and Achievement

Governor Markell Recognized for Leadership in Supporting Data Use to Improve Student Learning and Achievement

WASHINGTON—March 19, 2014—Delaware Governor Jack Markell was named today as the winner of the Data Quality Campaign’s (DQC) 2014 State Policymaker Award for the establishing the statewide vision and collaborative work needed to use data (which include student attendance, demographics, and college-readiness scores) to improve outcomes for Delaware students.

“We are pleased to honor Governor Markell’s leadership as Delaware creates a culture in which education data are used as a tool to improve student achievement,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, executive director of DQC. “Through his leadership, the state has worked to provide stakeholders at every level the data they need to make decisions, from the statehouse to the kitchen table.”

Delaware recently became one of the first states to achieve all of DQC’s 10 State Actions to Ensure Effective Data Use—having marshaled the leadership, policies, and resources to overcome the barriers of turf, trust, technical issues, and time that many states still face. Much of this is due to Governor Markell’s leadership.

Even prior to the start of his tenure five years ago, Governor Markell ranked effective data use as a top priority in his education platform. As governor he worked with the Delaware General Assembly to pass legislation that provides data on how teacher candidates perform in the classroom back to the colleges that prepared them—a promising step in using data to improve teacher preparation in the state. In partnership with the Strategic Data Project, Delaware has used data to create a call to action for stakeholders at every level to improve education in the state.

Governor Markell laid the foundation for Delaware to build the state’s data systems, from early learning to higher education and careers, and to nurture a culture of data-driven decision making. The impact of this work is exemplified by the implementation of professional learning communities (PLCs). PLCs provide educators statewide opportunities to work with data coaches and collaborate with their colleagues to improve instruction. They are considered strong practice in professional development and data use.

Without Governor Markell’s leadership, selecting great staff focused on improving outcomes for students in Delaware and relentlessly focusing on the power of data in meeting these lofty goals, Delaware’s focus on data would not be on its current path to improving education in the state.

“Our strategies to improve educational opportunities can only succeed if we fully understand the obstacles that prevent students from reaching their potential,” said Markell. “Whether it is in improving early childhood programs, enhancing professional development, or better identifying resources students need to get into college, having great data is critical to understand how all of our students are doing and ensuring they get the support they need.”


DQC’s Recognition Program awards policymakers, district leaders, and advocates who have demonstrated a focus on using education data to support families and educators in their efforts to improve student achievement in four categories.

Contact: Dakarai Aarons,, 202-997-6519



The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization committed to realizing an education system in which all stakeholders—from parents to policymakers—are empowered with high quality data from early childhood, K–12, postsecondary, and workforce systems. To achieve this vision, DQC supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote effective data use to ensure students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and the workplace. For more information, visit