US DOE Letter To Mark Murphy About Parent Opt-Out, This Is An Empty Threat And Here’s Why…

The Delaware Department of Education provided me with the letter Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy referenced yesterday from the United States Department of Education in regards to potential losses of $90 million.  You can read the letter below.

Nowhere in this letter are any dollar amounts referenced.  Nowhere is an indication this WILL happen to any schools or districts.  But the most important part, and this is crucial, the entire letter is about what the schools and districts have to do.  I don’t know of any school or district not ensuring that the state assessment is provided for every student.  No school in Delaware has said “We aren’t giving this test to students.”  This is the key to the 95% game the US DOE and the Delaware DOE have been playing.  If the SCHOOL or DISTRICT fails to administer the test, or in simple terms, if they don’t give the option to every student, then they are out of compliance.  If a parent opts out after the school has ensured they will give the tests to all students, that is not on the school.  They have already provided their due diligence in allowing all students to take the test.  Nowhere in this letter does it state a parent cannot opt their child out of the state assessment in ANY state.  Nowhere in this letter does it state that due to opt out would a state lose Federal funding.  If the school, district or state DOE tells students, “you don’t have to take the test” and they go below 95%, that is when the law kicks in.  As for a law a state may have in regards to allowing parents to make this decision, this letter states nothing about that.  So all the threats of funding cuts from the Feds have been easily thwarted thanks to a letter from the US DOE!  Thank you!

I would highly recommend every single Delaware State Representative and State Senator receives a copy of this letter along with my information about this letter.  It is obvious far too many have been sucked in by the empty threats thrown their way by the DOE, Mark Murphy and Governor Markell.

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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 “US DOE Letter To Mark Murphy About Parent Opt-Out, This Is An Empty Threat And Here’s Why…”

  1. Well said, Kevin. The purpose for the 95% law is so that the schools or districts don’t disqualify too many of their students from the state tests.
    If, for example, a school could opt out every child THEY WANTED to opt out, such as those students with IEP’s who they know won’t do well on the test, then most schools would opt out a a good 10-20% or more of their students. So the feds made the 95% rule to prevent schools from doing that. The threats of repercussions are for schools or districts who attempt to somehow make their district look better by not having a representative sample of their actual students take the test. The rule has never applied to parents opting out their own kids. And the feds have no authority to sanction a school or district because parents opt out their children. So I”m not exactly sure how Duncan or Murphy or Markell or anyone is actually thinking that the feds can actually “step in”? Just as you say, Kevin, empty threats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it so interesting. I am an art teacher and get the largest classroom budget in the school to buy supplies. 11 years ago I received 1500 a year for 450 kids. Today I get 500 dollars for about 450 kids. RTTT came about in the past 5 years….. That 90 million lost me 2/3’s of my budget!!!!! DOE can take that money and #€%^¥ it! I have never seen it, so who cares!!!!!

    Like

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