Once again, the leadership of the Delaware Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens is opposing House Bill 50 by communicating links to their membership and those on their email list. The latest is an article by a Home School organization talking about Arne Duncan’s funding cut threat. I would post a link, but honestly, I’ve seen tons of these same articles in the past week. It’s a hollow threat, said by a man who is astonished that parents don’t agree with his education reform.
I responded to the GACEC with this email:
Thank you for forwarding this. I received a link of this last night. Here is how I interpret Arne Duncan’s threat of “stepping in”. The federal law clearly dictates all schools (public) must give the test. This is because some schools have, in the past, excluded certain students so their scores were better. The law is written for the schools, not parents opting their kids out. Being that NO school in America has received federal funding cuts due to going below the 95% threshold, and many have in the past few years, I see this as an empty threat. As well, the Chancellor of Schools in NY publicly stated last week there is some latitude given to each state in how any cuts would be handled. These are false threats, given by a desperate man who is in the process of watching everything he built start to crumble. And the mold he is made from is the exact same one that fits Mark Murphy and Governor Markell.
So please, leadership of GACEC, please thoroughly review this stuff before you send it out and scare people. I have seen about three dozen articles linking Duncan’s quote since he said it last week. I have also seen just as many that prove he has no legal basis to implement ANY funding cuts due to opt out.
I am not sure why you are trying to railroad this bill so hard. We all know Governor Markell is against it, but I thought the GACEC was able to make up their own minds on issues in the best interest of all citizens with disabilities. I have talked to the parents who are watching their children stress out so hard they are vomiting. I’ve talked to the mothers who are in tears because their school and district are giving vast amounts of threats and pressure to talk them out of opting out. I’ve seen the letters that go to parents in Delaware, signed by superintendents, when it is in reality a DOE contractor paid a great deal of money to “convince” parents of the Smarter Balanced Assessment’s validity. I’ve read about Governor Markell’s “remedial classes” plan with Smarter Balanced and the colleges and universities in Delaware and also know that when the DOE was asked to provide the professors that validated the Smarter Balanced as an effective test, they were told to ask the universities.
So please GACEC, do not rely on links that are spread around the internet every single day that just boast of the threats but don’t do the research behind them. If you want to take a true stand on this issue, it is far too important to not educate yourselves on every single facet of the issues. At the end of the day, this is about a parent’s right to decide for their children. If the GACEC can’t stand for that, what can you stand for?