No sooner do I write an article about sources and information I receive, when I get this bomb the Red Clay Consolidated School District is sending to principals to then sending to teachers. Can we all see this district policy Merv? Was this policy approved by the Red Clay Board? Below is what was sent, and the red parts are my responses…
Please share with staff as we have had questions from teachers.
Like “Why am I telling students they will get a zero on the assessment and the district is telling us that but they aren’t putting it in writing?”
Update on Smarter Parent Refusals (“Opt Outs”)
The district’s position on refusals (“opt outs”) has been, and continues to be, respectful of both federal and state law, as well as parent decision.
Your board passed a resolution supporting it but you continue to try to talk parents out of it and have teachers give false information to students. I don’t see a whole lot of “respect” there.
The district would like to thank teachers for directing parent concerns relating to state testing to the school principal. Having principals as the primary contact for refusals (“opt out”) was set in place in December and explained to administrators and test coordinators.
I’m glad you have a policy for this. Not that it’s been followed, but good to get out there. Was this conveyed to parents to let them know this policy? No. Can’t have parents even thinking this is an option, can we?
March’s district eNews also explained this was district protocol, as it was intuitive for parents to address concerns with the principal. This is important so each parent’s concern can be addressed with the individual student in mind. For example, some concerns can be addressed by requesting a medical exemption, by putting certain accommodations or supports in place, or by strategizing other solutions.
Yes, get the parents in with the principal who can attempt to coerce the parent into rescinding their opt out request. Nothing like adding pressure to a parent! Red Clay is walking a very fine line here…
Principals are also sharing DDOE’s document Requirements to Test Students on Statewide Assessments and a district letter. If, after the discussion with principals, parents still do not want their students to test, we are honoring their requests.
You should be honoring their requests the second you receive a letter and call it a day right then and there. This coercion tactic is not only immoral and unethical, but gives the impression you know what is best for a child more than their own parent.
Additionally, principals have been provided information to help address common misconceptions. Many people in our community are not aware that the test items were written by educators, not a testing company.
Really? Please name these educators. Since the schools and the state pay for the test, were these educators paid for their work by UCLA or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and will they be given credit on the assessment?
Many people are not aware Common Core State Standards were developed at the request of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), not federal DOE.
We all know this, but they were not written by educators. The educators in the initial phases of this dropped out of the design of the standards. But the Federal DOE certainly intruded into local control numerous times with the Race To The Top and their current enforcement of their regulations and codes and their ESEA waivers.
Others were not aware of the data privacy in place.
Yeah, it’s so private teachers can’t even see the questions ahead of time or the results. Just a number or score. That will help the students…NOT! And FERPA guidelines in terms of corporations receiving this data are nothing short of a joke!
Many are not aware that students will receive subtest scores, and scaled scores to measure growth over time.
Growth over time for the next grade, or for the next round of say, 3rd graders with the same teacher? It makes absolutely no sense. And I can’t wait to see all these scores that will measure “growth”. It’s going to be a blogger bonanza on that day!
Others were not aware that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is managed by UCLA, not a testing corporation.
Yeah, cause the Federal grant money ended and they had to do that starting January 1st of this year, but the consortium has been around for about five years and those testing corporations, like American Institutes for Research, call the shots on the test. I’ve seen many contracts and I beg to differ.
Many are not aware that Smarter assessments were piloted and field tested for two years.
And based on those results, Mark Murphy said 70% of Delaware students won’t make proficiency. Echoed by former Director of Assessment Brian Touchette that this will go on for “a few years”.
If you have unanswered questions about the test please refer to the FAQ posted on the district DeSSA Intranet page, or speak with your principal.
Or read Exceptional Delaware or the other Delaware blogs or the many national ones like Diane Ravitch and Deutsch29 where you will get a more realistic perspective about what this test really is.
Currently under 2% of our students eligible for testing have had parents request that their students not test.
And what is the coercion percentage? How many parents were talked out of opting their child out?
The district will notify DOE at the end of the window which of its non-participants were due to parent refusals.
But you will announce the percentages to Newsworks without hesitation to make the movement seem small. Let’s see if you are so willing to release those numbers a year from now, after parents see the atrocious scores their children received on this year’s test!
As a reminder, teachers are to direct all parents with questions on state testing to the school principal.”
Because we know better than teachers and the Delaware DOE told us to do it like that!