Newsworks Interviews Legislators Over Opt Out & Mark Murphy

“Opting out is something actually that I’m concerned about, because at the end of the day we’re putting so many state resources into education you have to have instruments to measure them.”

Avi Wolfman-Arent sat down with four members of the 148th General Assembly recently to cover topics in education such as parent opt out of standardized testing, Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, and the proposed redistricting of schools in Wilmington.

The four members, Senators Dave Sokola and Ernie Lopez and State Reps. Earl Jaques and Kevin Hensley, all seemed to agree on parent opt out.   They don’t want it.  But the above quote, attributed to Lopez, shows a glimpse of the legislators mindset.  All this money has gone into the Smarter Balanced Assessment, so they are afraid it will be wasted.  Resources = money for politicians, but I don’t think these four understand the human dynamic at play here.  Parents don’t want THIS test.

Tomorrow, school starts again after Spring Break, and many schools will either start or continue administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Do not let politicians sway you one way or another over issues that once again come down to money.  It’s about what is good for your child, not funding.  If you want to opt out your child, it is never too late.

“That said, the opt out movement seems not to have penetrated the mainstream inside Legislative Hall.”

Avi is awesome, and he offers a much different slant to education news reporting, but this line he wrote is biased based on who he is interviewing.  I can name other legislators who are very much for it, but they weren’t interviewed.  We will find out how much penetration the movement has on April 22nd, when the House Education Committee meets to discuss House Bill 50, the parent opt out bill.

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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!

4 thoughts on “Newsworks Interviews Legislators Over Opt Out & Mark Murphy”

  1. Yes, Avi’s selection of the unified panel is terribly disappointing. Needs counterbalance. I am hopeful he will sit down with 4 like minded PRO opt outers ASAP.


  2. Avi here. This wasn’t a panel on opt out. It was a panel on education wherein I asked a single question on opt out. I can’t host a coherent, 5-minute discussion if I invite people on every side of every issue. To be honest, I was surprised no one said even a single positive thing about opt out. But that’s what happened. I believe this panel was fairly representative–2 leading Dems and 2 republicans. Obviously this does not mean 100 percent of lawmakers oppose opt out. But I stand by my statement. It does not seem to be a popular idea among mainstream pols (including both committee chairs). You even said yourself, Kevin, that Lopez’s comment was indicative of the “legislators mindset.” And that is exactly what I meant to imply. If I’m wrong, the votes will bear it out.


  3. Avi. In the real world one (you) sends out invitations and gets responses. Don’t feel you have to defend your selection… After all, with busy schedules who even knows who will volunteer to show up?

    Actually I wasn’t surprised by these legislators’ reaction. They express a valid concern, and it too deserves airing. When you as a legislator wasted literally millions of dollars on throw-away trinkets, you are going to justify those Manhatten glass beads or beanstalk magic beans as something really worthy; Hopefully the public will swallow your bluff, but if your public wakes up, you really do have to worry that such a mistake will mushroom to become YOUR Fisker, YOUR Bloom, your TDC, ..

    What so needs to be expressed here after this airing, is that WE whenever we vote, don’t elect politicians to worry about “their” future. WE elect them to worry about US, our future, our children’s future… It was quite clear on your show that any sentiment of concern for the average Delawarean citizen, does not make an appeareance in any of these four’s decision making processes., and that in itself, is a remarkable noteworthy event. (For future reference and I constantly chide Allan at WDEL over this, in Delaware balance is not achieved by an even number of Dems vers the same number of Republicans. Instead one must sort out an even number of pro-Delaware Way-bought politicians, versus the same number of anti-Delaware Way politicians. You can find both in the Republican Party; you can find both in the Democrat Party. Which means one has to be most astute in ones selection than just looking at party appelations.

    In the future, that might be a smart way to balance discussions in order not to have one wave of full agreement unite across the entire board, whose selection which in itself, represents a very narrow view of opinion not beholded by the majority of Delaware’s Citizens… instead applying to just those “beholden” to those in control of the Delaware Way… 🙂


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