“And we’re not being honest with kids about what they need to be proficient.”
In an article in the News Journal, Governor Markell said there is an “honesty gap” between state standardized tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. First off, with all the news going on with education in Delaware, how is it that reporter Matthew Albright’s biggest education news of the day yesterday was a conference call with Markell, Achieve, and the Collaboration for Student Success? I can think of at least three dozen other matters that are more newsworthy.
Governor Markell is scrambling. So are the big education reform companies. They will say and do anything to attempt to gain the trust back in their corporate education reform agenda. Now they are tackling the biggest problem they will have in the next three months: when the scores come back on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. What Markell and Achieve don’t mention in this article is how Achieve is in a contract with the Delaware Department of Education right now with the Assessment Inventory initiative. This was Markell’s rocket science idea to get rid of other assessments to justify the Smarter Balanced.
When the issue of parent opt-out came up during this conference call, Achieve President Michael Cohen said:
“While we’re here talking about making sure parents get honest, accurate measures of performance, parents are actually opting to get no information about their performance,”
You are absolutely right Mr. Cohen. The parents who are opting their children out do not trust the test or Governor Markell. Teachers don’t trust it either. Sure, maybe the chosen few who become Teachers of the Year or become part of the Rodel Round Table over at Camelot, aka 100 W. 10th St. in Wilmington. These are the dying embers of a failed policy, but Markell is too stubborn or too invested to just throw water over them and just let it cool down. This is his Achilles Heel. Whenever his baby is threatened, he pulls these stunts. And this widens the gap between himself and the rest of us.
Where is the honesty with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Governor Markell? Teachers can’t see the test beforehand, and they don’t see the answers the students give or the actual graded tests. Parents don’t see it either, but they are supposed to trust a score? But this is okay to measure schools and teachers? I don’t see a lot of honesty in that Governor. So keep peddling your proficiency measure like some guy selling Rolex watches in New York City, and us parents will continue to opt our kids out. The debate is over, but you are too foolish to realize it.
Matt Albright, you are better than this. Stop taking phone calls from the Governor and start covering real education stories.