Tonight, the third school board in Delaware, Red Clay Consolidated, passed a parent opt out resolution, which you can read below. The vote was unanimous among the six board members present, with no discussion needed. This is after several individuals, myself included, gave public comment supporting the board.
This is a pivotal moment in the Delaware Parent Opt-Out movement. Three of the biggest school districts in the state now officially honor a parent’s right to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Following Capital and Christina, Red Clay is now a part of this school district triumvirate.
Superintendent Merv Daugherty reported to the board that the letter the school district sent to parents who opted their kids out was based on Federal and State dictated guidelines, but the district approved all requests. Not that it was their decision, but I appreciate it. To date, Red Clay has between 50-60 opt outs (waiting on clarification), Christina has 113, Colonial had 62 as of last night, and Capital is lighting the way for all districts at 11% of their student body, which could be between 400-700 students if they are counting the entire student body or just those grades taking the assessment.
Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams was in the audience, and State Rep. Michael Ramone left early. Yvonne Johnson and Bill Doolittle with the Delaware PTA, RCEA President Mike Matthews, a parent, and myself all gave public comment supporting the board. Doolittle announced the latest ESEA reauthorization bill also has a parent opt out clause within the bill.
The next stop on the Parent Opt Out train stops at Legislative Hall on Wednesday April 22nd, at 2:30pm (waiting on the official agenda to come up to confirm that time, check http://www.legis.delaware.gov for clarification). Apparently, the entire House Education Committee meeting is designated for this one piece of legislation, House Bill 50, which is somewhat unusual. I would get there early for parking and to get a good seat. I will be there, as will several other parents. I will be very curious if Governor Markell or Mark Murphy would dare to show their face there.
In the meantime, I will celebrate Red Clay’s board resolution and encourage ALL the other boards to take this measure as well. For now, I’m calling it the CCR effect (not Creedence Clearwater Revival). Add in DSEA and Delaware PTA’s recent resolutions, and there is a very big coalition that will take aim at the DOE next Wednesday…