Rumors Abound About Mark Murphy’s Resignation & Governor Markell’s Response

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A couple months ago, the Delaware blogosphere lit up one Friday afternoon regarding a rumor that Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy was either going to resign or be terminated.  One blogger heard what they felt was a solid rumor that Murphy and Associate Secretary of Education David Blowman were terminated.  This rumor, squashed by Executive Director of the State Board of Education Donna Johnson, was put to rest.  However, many things have happened since then.

The Christina, Red Clay and Delaware State Educator Associations have all issued a no confidence press release regarding Mark Murphy.  I even denounced him at the Parent Press Conference last week (not that my voice carries that much clout in the First State).  Murphy appeared on The Delaware Way and said parents aren’t allowed to opt out.  Many seem shocked Governor Markell would continue to let Mark Murphy be the leader of education in Delaware.  But he is still here.

The latest rumor, which I’m hearing from a few sources, all unconnected, is that Murphy already gave Governor Markell his letter of resignation, but Markell won’t accept it.  While everyone is begging for the Secretary to be replaced, the Governor is holding onto him as if he is the lifeline of education in Delaware.  Others seem to be hearing about a July 1st resignation date, which would make more sense given the start of a new fiscal year, but we have all heard these rumors before.  As always with Delaware education, we shall see…

Let’s Do The Timewarp Again! A Peek Into The Past At The DOE Shows Current & Future Agendas

This is the FOIA file that keeps on going, and going, and going…

This one shows a document from October, 2013 showcasing what the DOE’s most important goals are, especially for the current academic year.  Once again, we get confirmation that SATs and PSATs are being aligned to the Common Core Standards.  This is happening at a national level as a state does not have the ability to dictate what appears on these tests.  The College Board does all the legwork for these assessments.

I would have to guess at this point that Accountability 2.0 is the new accountability standards the DOE is trying to get in place for schools.  This would involve legislation according to this memo, so look for something to be introduced in the General Assembly at any time.  It will be interesting to see who sponsors this legislation at first, because that would mean they are probably in tight with the Delaware DOE.

So What Exactly Will Teachers Be Rated On If It’s Not The Smarter Balanced? And Why Administrators Are So Against Opt-Out!

Another Delaware Department of Education FOIA file!  This one shows a question and answer document regarding teacher and administrator evaluations for the 2014-2015 academic year.  For non-educators, to understand this document you would need to know about DPAS-II, the current evaluation system in Delaware for educators.  Even if the Smarter Balanced Assessment won’t be used as part of Component V from DPAS-II for this year and possibly next year, it is clear from this document the DOE holds all educators to very high standards, some of which may be beyond their ability to control.

As well, administrators evaluations are directly tied to the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  For both groups, their goals need to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards in preparation for the assessment.  It sounds confusing, and it is to me, and I welcome any educator feedback on this article.