My Conversation With Penny Schwinn Today About Smarter Balanced & SATs

After I wrote about the State Board of Education meeting last night, I thought I would reach out to Penny Schwinn, who publicly stated there is talk about replacing the SAT with Smarter Balanced in 11th grade.  I emailed her this morning, and I wasn’t really expecting a response, but I did make sure to include the Public Information Officer at the DOE, currently Tina Shockley (since Alison May is out on maternity leave).  This is the exchange that happened:

Clarification on State Board of Education SBA Presentation Yesterday 

  • Today at 10:32 AM
To:  penny.schwinn@doe.k12.de.us
CC:  Tina Shockley

Good morning Mrs. Schwinn!

I attended the State Board of Education meeting yesterday in which you gave a presentation on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  At one point, you discussed the possibility of the Smarter Balanced Assessment replacing the SAT in 11th grade.  I wanted to reach out to you to get some more information on this and what the motivation behind it might be.  In my opinion, the SAT is a long-term, proven and effective measurement test, while the Smarter Balanced Assessment is new and unproven.  This will be for an article on my blog, Exceptional Delaware, so any comments you make would be made public.  Thank you very much,

Kevin Ohlandt

I received the following response 24 minutes later!  I bolded one part of her response for effect.

To:  Kevin Ohlandt
CC:  Shockley Tina

Good morning,

As part of the 5-year Assessment Plan, we are currently soliciting stakeholder feedback and welcome any and all comments. Specific to 11th grade testing, we discussed reducing the number of summative tests, which may include students not being required to take two summative assessments at the end of the year. At this point, the SAT is not a test we would consider cutting.

Please let me know if you have other questions.

Best, 

Penny Schwinn

Sent from my iPhone

Of course, this didn’t really answer my question, so I sent another email:

To:  Schwinn Penny

Mark Murphy’s Authority, Charter Schools, Immunizations, and Suicide Prevention Legislation Introduced in Delaware House of Representatives

When the Delaware 148th General Assembly returns from recess on April 21st, five new education legislation submissions will be on their plate.  These bills cover the authority of the Delaware Secretary of Education (currently Mark Murphy) and Labor Relations, the charter school enrollment radius, charter school applications being approved by the local school board before the Delaware State Board of Education, suicide prevention training for Delaware teachers, and immunization requirements in the event of an epidemic and how this would impact students who do not get immunized based on religious beliefs.  All the legislation introduced can be seen below.  The Mark Murphy Authority bill is sponsored by State Rep. Sean Lynn, the charter bills by State Rep. John Kowalko, the Suicide Prevention bill by State Rep. Valerie Longhurst and Senator Nicole Poore, and the immunizations bill by State Rep. Sean Matthews and Senator Bethany Hall-Long.

FOIA Release: Governor Markell’s Office Refuses To Release 3rd State Email Address

On March 26th, Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s office for a release of all of the Governor’s state email addresses or any private email addresses he may use for state business.  The below was the response, sent by Markell’s attorney, Andrew H. Lippstone.  Kowalko has informed me he will have a response to this later today.

Presentation from Penny Schwinn To The State Board of Education, Also Common Core & Great Leaders Presentations

The following were put as attachments on the State Board of Education website for the agenda on yesterday’s meeting.  Schwinn’s presentation says nothing about the bomb she dropped yesterday concerning the DOE considering replacing the SAT with Smarter Balanced, but the audio released Monday or Tuesday will confirm that one!

***IMPORTANT***House Education Committee Meeting Time Changed To 3:30 On 4/22/15, House Bill 50 Parent Opt Out Focus Of Meeting

Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko sent me the following information:

Please note and alert all potential participants that the House Education Committee will convene at approximately 3:30 on Wed. not 2:30 as previously reported. This should give extra time for those parents, children and teachers to get away from their work day a tad latter and be there. Urgent that you are all there and all (with your friends and neighbors) contact every legislator who sits on the Ed. Committee and tell them to release HB 50 for floor consideration.

Respectfully yours,

Rep. John Kowalko

I hope this brings more parents to this meeting.  Please do your best to make it.  This is crucial to the opt out movement!  Here is the agenda for the meeting:

Chamber: House

Chairman: Jaques

Location/Room: House Chamber

Date/Time: 04/22/2015 03:30:00 PM

Revision Num: 2

Agenda

HB 50 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION ASSESSMENT.
Sponsor : Kowalko

HB 100 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE TAX RATE AND ENROLLMENT FOR THE SUSSEX COUNTY VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT.
Sponsor : Schwartzkopf

HB 90 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION IN SCHOOLS.
Sponsor : Longhurst

Teacher to Parents: Save Your Children! Opt Out!

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a powerful letter from a teacher in New York City who realized that the test mania has grown out of control and must be reigned in. Although, as she puts it, she is not a risk taker, she concluded that she had to speak out. This is her letter:

To the Parents of New York City Public School Children:

I must preface this letter by stating that I am not a risk taker. I have played by the rules my entire life and prefer it that way. Follow directions, work hard, get rewarded. But what do you do when you feel like you are playing fair and square against an opponent who isn’t? I’ve been a teacher in the New York City Public School System for 10 years. I’ve watched the emphasis on, and stakes attached to, standardized testing in New York State increase each year, while simultaneously…

View original post 1,708 more words