Delaware DOE Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging Now @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @Badass TeachersA #netde #eduDE #Delaware

Only 11 people here!  What a turnout!  DOE looking for 25 people to expand efforts to get people to take survey.  They need more input from the community.  I’ve never seen these people from the DOE before.

Giving explanation about ESEA waiver renewals and new guidelines.  They are asking the public for input and only two items are set in stone.  They are 1) setting up the new accountability system for the state and 2) standardized assessment guidelines are what they are.  There will be stakeholder meetings during January.

Members of the public can go to the new DOE website and go under “New Accountability System” tab to find out more information.

I’m pondering whether or not to slam the DOE during their q&a portion of this kool-aid fest.  Greg Mazotta from Kilroys advising DOE about the Baldridge program recipients.  Another member of the public is asking about how low test scores can still generate high graduation rates.  He doesn’t realize he is talking about standardized testing scores.  Same man is saying in three years we will be having the exact same conversation.

Another parent asking how IEPs will fit into this school accountability system.  Asking how IEP and IDEA laws will conform with this.  DOE rep said that’s what this town hall is for to bring these issues up and work it out.

Previous member of public talking about social graduation rates again.  He is asking how students can get all F’s and still go to the next grade?  DOE rep said she talked to him in hall and that is local school district issue.

Teacher talking about how if a student does F work they don’t pass the class.  He stated problems working with regular students and students with IEPs.  He claimed it’s a double-edged sword, you help the regular students the IEP students suffer and vice versa.

I gave public comment based on standardized testing and corporate education reform.  I advised the DOE no matter how you present this, it’s not about students, teachers or parents.  It’s about making money off these individuals.  If Secretary of Education Murphy is basing school accountability on Smarter Balanced scores, and he expects 70% of schools to fail, how does that work?

Gentleman from DOE stated that is only one portion of the accountability framework.  I asked how many educators are on this group?  DOE rep said all of them.  Someone asked where all the Race To The Top money.  I said Rodel!  (They didn’t get all of it, but way too much in my opinion).

Parent asked why school districts aren’t giving parents this information?  Someone else said cause they don’t want to.  DOE Rep said he was giving flyers for survey to trick or treaters who came to his house on Halloween.  Really?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  How desperate are you?  Give the kids candy!

I advised the DOE reps using standardized testing scores only benefits what you do with that data.  I gave the very recent example of the Priority Schools in Wilmington as evidence of this.  Using testing data the state doesn’t even want anymore to take six schools within a mile radius of the empty Bank of America building designed for charter schools.  I advised they aren’t fooling anyone and parents are wising up to them.

What a train wreck that meeting was!  And yet the DOE doesn’t want to discuss the impact Common Core is having on students and teachers and parents.  I asked if only 1/2 of standardized testing is being included in these school accountability ratings, why is it used as the primary measurement for teacher effectiveness in DPAS II.  The DOE rep said that’s a separate group.  Well excuse me DOE, maybe you have too many damn groups conflicting with each other.

The reason school districts don’t want to promote the DOE’s monkey survey is because the DOE has screwed over teachers far too much the past few years.  Why would any school district give the DOE more ammo?  They would be out of their minds to promote this nonsense.  I advised the DOE reps tonight that this is ALL about standardized testing.  I told them “If Johnny comes home failing the Smarter Balanced Assessment, who is the parent going to blame?  The school and the teachers.  Not the fact that it’s a bad test.”

I did ask the DOE rep how many surveys he got back from his Halloween adventure, and he said he gave them to parents but he didn’t “mark” them so he doesn’t know.  The reason school districts don’t care about this stuff is because they know it’s all about making them look bad over stuff the state initiates.  It’s about making parents sick of school buildings so Markell and Rodel and 2Revolutions can push their agenda of kids attending school on their laptop from home and their personalized learning nonsense.  Enough DOE!  You will all be gone in a couple years, and like others said tonight, we will be having the same conversation under a new administration.

I can’t believe you pushed the IEP Task Force out of the room they have used for their past four meetings, opened the partitions between the two rooms, caused technical issues that delayed the start of the task force, double billed two important education events on one night, to have 11 people show up for it.  And two of them were reporters and another was a wife of a DOE employee and her son.  So you had 7 people from the outside public show up including 2 who drifted over from the IEP Task Force meeting.  Bravo!  Job well done!

Another parent (also a teacher) asked if anyone on this group is still teaching.  None of them are.  They all have their cushy jobs at the DOE and don’t care about the impact in the classroom the DOE is causing.  Who wants to have a DOE Accountability Town Hall meeting?

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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

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