On Wednesday, June 3rd, the parent opt-out bill, House Bill 50, will face off against Senate Joint Resolution #2, the assessment inventory resolution. The supporters of standardized testing have been out in full force in opinion pieces in the News Journal and the Dover Post, but so have the supporters of opt-out. Backed by a 36-3 vote in the House of Representatives, House Bill 50 has a great deal of momentum coming into the Senate Education Committee meeting tomorrow at 3pm.
The monkey wrench in the House Bill 50 path is SJR #2. Whether this “assessment inventory” legislation was created by the sponsors, Senator Sokola & House Rep. Jaques, or Governor Markell’s office, or the DOE is immaterial. It was created to distract from parent opt-out. The opponents are realizing this bill could clear the Senate very easily, and are attempting to put up ever possible roadblock they can think of. The civil rights groups in Wilmington are out in full force arguing the merits of the Smarter Balanced Assessment with very little facts, even bringing up Brown v. The Board of Education from 50 years ago. The argument simply shows further segregation of low-income and minority students as evidenced by standardized testing scores since No Child Left Behind began.
Meanwhile, the Delaware PTA, the Delaware State Educators Association, many teachers and a legion of parents are supporting House Bill 50. For one simple reason: they do not want their children taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The flaws are out there for every one to see.
SJR #2 is now referred to as the “Staying In” resolution because of Dr. Teri Quinn Gray’s editorial in today’s News Journal where she states she wants parents to have the courage to “stay in” with the Smarter Balanced Assessment instead of opting out. She even brought up her own child in the editorial who is a sophomore in college and not subject to the SBAC.