Academic Achievement

Student performance in Delaware is middling. The state hovers around the national average in the percentage of 4th and 8th graders at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading and math exams. 

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Delaware earns an above average grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Twenty-five percent of low-income 4th grade students score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Delaware is low relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Delaware posts above average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Delaware earns a failing grade preparing its students for college and careers. Students’ chances for college attendance by age 19 are especially low compared with the national average.

21st Century Teacher Force

Delaware does an average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The First State does well identifying effective teachers but poorly removing ineffective ones.   

Parental Options

Delaware does an excellent job providing parents with strong school choice options. Its charter school law does not cap the number of charters that can operate in the state.

Data Quality

Delaware earns an excellent grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data, one of only two states to meet all 10 action items judged by the Data Quality Campaign study as indicative of effective data use.  


Delaware receives a very poor grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have very limited access to high-quality digital learning options.

International Competitiveness

Delaware earns an average grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy, with only 31% of students proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard. In addition, only about 1 out of 100 students passes an AP foreign language exam.

Fiscal Responsibility

Delaware receives very high marks on fiscal responsibility. Eighty-eight percent of the state’s pension is currently funded.