Mike Matthews Email To Mark Murphy re: Accountability Waiver Meetings & How To Piss Off 12,000 People @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @Apl_Jax @dwablog @ecpaige @nannyfat #netde #eduDE #prioritizethat

Delaware DOE


Wow!  I would have assumed the press release from the Delaware Department of Education about the town hall meetings scheduled for the first three Wednesdays in November would have gone out to anyone with an email that ends in k12.de.us.  Apparently this was NOT the case, and many teachers are very fired up.   Mike Matthews, the President of the Red Clay Educators Association, shot an email to Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy tonight about this very topic.  Mike posted the email in the comments on my article from earlier today about these meetings, but I felt it deserved a post all its own.  It highlights the severe frustration teachers are having with the DOE.

It’s a very terrifying thought that my little blog is becoming a traditional news media outlet Mr. Matthews!  I wish the DOE would be more forthcoming with news like this as well.

Sec. Murphy:

I received word of a planned series of three public meetings regarding school accountability tonight. I did not receive word via an email or any traditional news media outlet. I read about it on the Exceptional Delaware blog (link at end of email.) I have concerns that these meetings 1) Are announced just a week before the first meeting, 2) Were not more widely broadcast, at the very least to the nearly 12,000 educators, administrators and key stakeholders on the State email server, and 3) Are being held on two evenings when other key education meetings are being held, namely the compensation work group on November 5 and the IEP Task Force and Wilmington Council meeting on Priority Schools on November 12.

In my District, our teachers are having a tough time understanding the rationale behind much of what DoE has been doing these past few years. It’s moves like this that make it seem like DoE is truly not interested in being a collaborative partner with the individuals in our schools working with our students every day. I’m disappointed that whoever does the scheduling at DoE didn’t notice the “double-booking” on these days and attempt to find an alternate date.

As president of a local association representing more than 1200 teachers, I’m asking you and your department to PLEASE TRY HARDER. These meetings should not be scheduled on dates when other department/education events are being held.

I have members emailing me and coming up to me all the time saying “Why doesn’t DoE ‘get it?’” I’m afraid it’s business like this that has continued to sour teachers on the work the Department does, no matter how critical that work is.

I will be sharing the press release from the blog with my 1200 members. I will also urge them to complete the survey. I provide to my membership my interpretation and opinion of one of the questions on the survey asking for feedback on how schools should be identified. I call this the “Stoplight question.” I will urge them to copy me on the free-form comments they submit. I want to make sure the Department includes all answers from the survey in any reports made public at these meetings.

In the future, I would respectfully ask that you please consider never double-booking meetings on nights when something is already planned. As someone interested in both meetings on November 5, I don’t believe this is a choice I or my interested members should have to make.

Thank you,



Delaware DOE Wants Public Input On New Accountability Waivers, Let’s Give It To Them! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @ecpaige @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @TNJ_malbright @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE

Delaware DOE

The Delaware Department of Education wants to hear from the public on new accountability standards in Delaware’s public schools.  In a press release announced today, the DOE’s public information officer Alison May states the following:



CONTACT:  Alison May (302) 735-4000


  The Delaware Department of Education is seeking public input on a new accountability system. 

A survey, available here, seeks feedback on what the public would like measured and reported on the state’s public school accountability report card. And the department will host three town halls in November to gather public feedback on the state’s new approach to reporting school performance and its submission of a waiver for renewed flexibility from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The new accountability system will have two parts. Part A includes metrics that we know to be critical to measure for public schools, and that align with federal accountability. This includes student proficiency and growth on state tests, college and career readiness benchmarks, chronic absenteeism rates, and on-track to graduate measures.   

The state recognizes there are additional measures that are critical to Delaware residents. Part B will include those measures, as informed by the survey results. 

“We need to hear from parents and community members about what information is important to them,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “This is about providing relevant and transparent information so our families can make the school decisions best for their children.

The survey will be open through December 31, 2014.

 The Town Halls are scheduled for:

  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 5 at the Carvel State Office Building at 9th and French streets, Wilmington
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 12 at the John Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 19 at the Sussex County Council Chamber, 2 The Circle, Georgetown

 Staff from the department will present the state’s proposed new accountability system and outline the process for renewal of the ESEA flexibility waiver. Time will be devoted to answering questions and seeking public comment on both topics.

I took the survey and found it to be ludicrous.  They are asking the same questions, and not one damn thing on special education.  It’s all about making the DOE look good and the public schools bad.  What was with that moronic picture chart with the letter grades, a stop sign, the charter school performance framework statements and symbols (check mark, an “x” and a star)?  I can see it already, “What grade did you get in science Johnny?” “I got a check mark Mom!” “Great job Johnny, let’s go to Friendly’s and celebrate!”

The way I see it, this is an attempt to reach out to the public to get their input on things that are already in place.  People will think they are trying to work with parents, but the reality on the ground is all of this has been decided on already.  They just want to wrap the package and put a shiny bow on it.

I think any parent against Common Core, the Smarter Balanced Assessment, other Standardized Testing such as countless SRI and SMI tests, Standards Based IEPs, Teach For America, Priority Schools, Large Classrooms, or Teacher Accountability based on Standardized Testing should go to these town hall meetings and publicly state they are against the way the Federal and State government have invasively intruded on the fundamental rights of local educational agencies.  This is parents’ opportunity to steal the conversation from the DOE and let them know the change parents want, not what the DOE wants.

I already see a scheduling conflict.  The IEP Task Force is scheduled to meet on November 12th from 4:30 to 6:30pm in the conference room at the John Collette Education Resource Center.  The Town Hall is scheduled from 6 to 7:30pm.  I would think Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn scheduled his meeting first, so he would get preference!