I spoke with Senator Sokola this evening, and he informed me exactly what his amendment to House Bill 5o, the parent opt-out of the Smarter Balanced assessment legislation, would entail. It would include any state assessment and any district-wide assessment. It would also change some of the timeframes involved in notifying parents. He did say a Delaware Senate attorney will be looking it over and he hopes to have it in circulation tomorrow.
Originally, House Bill 50 included any state assessment. When the House voted on the bill on May 22nd, it was changed to just the Smarter Balanced assessment in an amendment introduced by State Rep. Sean Matthews. If passed, this amendment would change the bill for a third time.
Sokola is a firm believer in standardized assessments and believes in international benchmark standards for education. He referenced Singapore, China, Finland and Quebec in Canada as areas around the world who perform the best in education. He believes teachers should be great, and there are schools in Delaware who are getting it right and the rest of the schools should be copying what they are doing.
He stated that usually there is a limited public comment time during the Senate Education Committee, but last week he allowed additional comment time to the parents of Autism children for Senate Bills 92 and 93, and since House Bill 50 was not heard on last week’s agenda, he wanted to extend the courtesy this week.
What remains to be seen is the actual amendment and the exact wording of it. We shall know more later today…