DE DOE Apocalypse: Smarter Balanced Field Test Scores or How To Spin Failure @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE #edchat

And there came a pale rider, and his name was Smarter Balanced. Next month, or maybe never (my fondest hope), the DOE will release the Smarter Balanced Assessment field test scores. Three million students in 22 states took the test last Spring. The purpose of these field tests was to see how the test actually went. If I had to guess, since it’s taken five months to determine the scores, there was a lot of tweaking with the test.

Last month, I submitted a Freedom Of Information request for the unreleased scores. I received a response from Alison May, the public information officer for the Delaware Department of Education, that the month of October would be used to determine achievement levels. In early November, each state will vote on the chosen achievement levels. I’m guessing this voting group will be members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. According to May, the Delaware DOE does not know the release date of the actual field test scores since they haven’t been determined yet. But she did assure me they will be released publicly. ‘

One tidbit I did notice in May’s email was she didn’t respond to the test as the Smarter Balanced Assessment. She called it Smarter. I don’t care either way what it’s called, cause either way it’s just Dumber.

This is my theory: the students did really bad. Say there’s a 100 questions. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy has already said he expects 70% of students in Delaware to fail the test next Spring. What are you basing that belief on Mr. Murphy? I’m sure you’ve seen some of the results already. So I’m guessing the average score was 30 out of 100. How in the world do you make benchmarks out of a test most students failed?

Governor Markell, this is the jewel on top of your common core crown. This is your big achievement? A failing test? When all of this goes south, and it will, who will be the fall guy? Murphy? The DOE? The schools? The teachers? Or maybe it should be you. You were the one who praised common core like it was the second coming. Even President Obama is saying enough with all the testing. Let’s face it, you passed your peak as Governor of Delaware a while ago. Now everyone is just counting the days until someone new comes in. It’s called a lame-duck for a reason Governor Markell. I’m not sure what your next step is after you leave office, but please do not go to DC hoping to be the next Secretary of Education. The proof of your tenure here can be seen everywhere in the state, but most noticeably our schools.

No state legislature should ever be subjected to voting on a test that was already bought by the Governor and the DOE. And then when you vote on it in your Senate, stick to your original vote.

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten

Delaware’s Governor Markell wants to get Kindergarteners ready for college by having them take standardized testing. What a crock! I’m convinced this is just a big Ponzi scheme and someone is making a lot of money off all these tests.

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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