On May 15th, Congressman Tom Reed from New York introduced H. R. #2382, a parent opt-out bill that would allow parents to opt out of any standardized assessment required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For many states, this would include the Smarter Balanced Assessment and the PARCC Assessment. Co-sponsored by Democrat Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut and Republican Chris Gibson from New York, the bill will go to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
I would strongly urge all supporters of parent opt-out to contact their United States Representatives and Senators. If this bill goes through it would make this the law of the entire country. No text for the proposed legislation has been released at this point, but it will certainly be one to follow closely. Two of the main sponsors are from New York, which had the most amount of opt-outs in the entire country. If you currently have a parent opt-out bill in your own state, don’t think this will replace that. If this bill does not pass and your state bill does, it would be more fuel to get something through at a Federal level down the road.
The legislators know Race To The Top is kaput. So why keep existing programs? This was their response according to Jonathan Starkey with the Delaware News Journal. Out of the $7.5 million extra Governor Markell put in the budget, only $3.75 million is left. So what got the axe? 10 high-paid positions at the DOE. Less funding for data analysis, recruitment costs, and teacher prep initiatives. While I hate to see anyone lose their job, the Delaware Department of Education has become a bloated beast in the past seven years. While I would like to see the whole $7.5 million cut, the Joint Finance Committee put a major dent in the DOE’s plans.
Yesterday, on the agenda for the State Board of Education, six new positions in the Department’s Office of Assessment were proposed for data analysis. One would assume this is to measure and collect data from the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Here is an effective cost-cutting proposal: opt-out! Less data, less spending to “data-dive” and find “root cause analysis”.
I’m not sure how this came about, but the other $3.75 million went through to fund teacher prep programs (I guess these are different than the ones they cut?), a student “data portal” for teachers (Big Brother doing his thing), and more funding for the upcoming new science curriculums (funded by many and the scariest of all the education reforms).
This was my favorite quote from the article:
Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley, said it was “refreshing” to see the 10 positions in the Department of Education eliminated from the budget, but called the remaining funding “extraordinary” and unnecessary.
Please note Markell’s proposed budget didn’t have funding going directly to help schools that are cash poor based on cuts from the last recession that were never restored and pay through the nose for “consultants”, Common Core, and the technology needed to administer the dismal Smarter Balanced Assessment. God knows our schools need more special education funding. Christina School District is trying to save jobs and resources while Jack Markell wants to give out more ridiculous salaries to inexperienced DOE employees who would rather play Human Capital than human compassion.
This is the real deal here. I’ve received a ton of comments on my article from Sunday about Charter School of Wilmington, but the one I received today scared me. Not because of who it was, but what they wrote about. It sounds to me like Dr. Paoli has some major issues. I don’t care what anyone says, there is a way to treat students, and this is not it. Here’s the comment from CSW Student. I do know his real name, but I will not reveal it.
I am another student from the Charter School of Wilmington. I like ‘Bill’ am white and do not, in my own opinion, fit the mold of a typical Charter student. Another thing me and ‘Bill’ have in common is we both have a history of discipline. I was involved in a few minor disciplinary issues both my sophomore and junior years. During my senior year I was involved in another incident that had been a much more serious offense than my previous ones. I, like ‘Bill’, was brought into the conference room in the office and was given the whole “good cop, bad cop” routine with Mr. Eddy as the good cop and Dr. Paoli as the bad cop. Similar to what happened in ‘Bill’s’ case, they said they had video evidence of me committing the offense and they told me that if I tried to lie I that they would call the police and have them take me away in handcuffs. They basically in doing this forced me into making a statement without having someone that would be in my best interest to speak on my behalf. After they basically brought me to tears, I was convinced to make a statement. They then called my mother and told her I needed to be picked up from school and they said they would explain more when she got there, just like they told ‘Bill’s’ mother. After a lot of discussion among Mr. Eddy and Dr. Paoli, they decided to suspend me for 5 days and told me on my first day back I would have to meet with the Review Board (same teachers) and they would suggest to Dr. Paoli how he should determine what my future at CSW entailed. The only further discipline I received was that I was banned from extracurricular activities such as athletic events, playing a spring sport, prom, etc.
All of this being said, 100% believe and support ‘Bill’ and his mother. I strongly believe that, not only does the Head of the School target certain students, but he also illegally forces them into making a statement when they are not in the right state of mind. I hope ‘Bill’ is allowed to walk at graduation and I would love to see the administrators faces as he walks across the stage and they hand him his well earned diploma. When President Baldwin stepped down, Dr. Paoli was just next in line and I think he has failed to do even half as good as President Baldwin did. I do not think Dr. Paoli is a good person for the job in any way, shape or form.