Will the eight members of the Senate Education Committee vote yes or no for House Bill 50 tomorrow? My gut tells me yes. It’s what happens afterwards that concerns me. The legislation needs to move to a full Senate vote as soon as humanly possible after tomorrows vote. The Delaware General Assembly has numerous bills in front of them. Due to the Beau Biden viewing at Legislative Hall on Thursday, there is now one less day for legislative action this month before it comes to an end on June 30th. And say it passes the Senate. Will Governor Markell pass it, veto it, or sit on it?
Meanwhile, the News Journal is giving full court to parent opt-out and House Bill 50 opinions. Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko and I wrote a piece which will appear in tomorrow’s newspaper (oddly enough, only I got credit for it but it was a co-authorship). You can read this here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/06/02/parents-know-smarter-balance-test-bad-kids/28383361/
I really wanted to delve into the Smarter Balanced field test scores. I always knew they were much lower than even I expected for the children in sub-groups of low-income, African-American and students with disabilities. But actually studying them, and comparing them to DCAS scores was very revealing. It really drove home the realization this test is designed for nothing more than failure, especially for these three sub-groups. Which is also why I can’t believe any civil rights group would stick up for the effectiveness of this test. This test is not about reaching that “higher bar”. It’s about one thing, and one thing only: money. Not money that will ever reach the classroom, but money that goes straight into investor pockets. It’s the greatest scam of our generation: using education “need and necessity” to basically steal taxpayer money to get rich. I can’t even keep track of all these education reform companies out there anymore. But when all this is said and done, watch them fold up their tents like a cheap carnival trying to get out of town as fast as they can.
What comes after? Is there an easy solution? I’m already hearing rising talk about school vouchers and more “personalized learning” on computers. Meanwhile, district funding and how schools use their money is coming up more and more. Apparently, it’s not even just charters being investigated in the State Auditor’s office, it’s also some school districts. Education is reaching a boiling point in Delaware. Radical ideas will come up. It’s going to take a revolution to fix all this. But I can promise you one thing, parents WILL be a part of whatever comes next.
We will not allow the future of our children to be tied into corporate money-making schemes ever again. We closed our eyes when this all started, but our eyes are wide open now. We won’t be fooled twice. The DOE may or may not realize this false ideology is falling apart. If I were a DOE employee, I would be getting my resume together fast. When it does collapse, and all stands revealed, I would not want my name associated with any of it.
The more these civil rights groups and Delaware business leaders push this damaging test, the more citizens will being to wonder why they are advocating for such an irresponsible and short-sighted test. If any of these businesses or groups are concerned about public perception, they might want to reconsider their DOE/Markell tainted stance. Will the “Delaware Way” be enough to stop the wave of parents demanding accountability and transparency for the funds involved in this education craziness? I doubt it. If opt-out has proven anything, it’s that parents do have a very loud voice, and the more you fight us, the louder we get!