All Hell Broke Loose Today At Delaware State Board of Education Meeting

DE State Board of Education

The Delaware State Board of Education meeting today didn’t have anything major on it’s agenda.  An overview of the Smarter Balanced Assessment administration survey was the big highlight.  Unfortunately, I left very early.  Right before the meeting began, I received THE call.  The Governor Markell vetoed House Bill 50 call.  I got a story up just in the nick of time for me to give public comment to Mark Murphy and the gang.  I gave my public comment about special education and the DOE screwing me over so bad on a FOIA I had to file a complaint with the DOJ who ruled the DOE overcharged on the FOIA five times higher than they should have.  An Academy of Dover parent who has a child with special needs gave public comment about how AoD failed to give her child an IEP and how a teacher abused her child.  Mike Matthews then gave public comment about how the DOE was screwing over Red Clay with priority schools funding.  That was just the beginning of the meeting.

At this point, board members Heffernan, Gray and Melendez commented on Markell’s veto of House Bill 50.  They all gave the same tired old excuses about how they need the data, and blah blah blah.  At this point in time they were going over the legislative update for the last six months.  Mark Murphy starts talking about the assessment inventory bill, Senate Joint Resolution #2 which Markell did sign today.  I got up, gathered my stuff, and yelled “It’s never been about the other assessments, it’s always been about the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  You people are a joke.”  And I walked out and didn’t look back.  I will no longer go to the chest-thumping meetings where idiots use words like rigor and robust again.  I can’t.  My stomach can’t take the nausea I feel.

I will now rely on Mike Matthew’s Facebook posts on the rest of the meeting:

Here at the State Board of Ed meeting and I’m disgusted to hear so many members praising Gov. Markell’s veto of opt out.

Department of Education just gave a presentation on this survey that teachers received last month. Click the link. Some of you, particularly RCEA members, will remember this.

At the State Board meeting just now, Sec. Murphy’s team presented on the results of the survey. They did NOT include any of the typed comments that I know many of the teachers in my district gave.

Very disappointed. I’ve requested the release of this information and have copied the leadership of the House and Senate Education Committees.

DOE reports Smarter Balanced data won’t be available until “early fall.” Fall starts Sept. 20, right? So how will this help teachers?

Newark Charter School awarded $250,000 to build a STEM lab.

Christina School District lays off 100+ teachers.

I’ve had enough. Time to leave this State Board meeting. When they start talking about giving “need-based” awards to charter schools who have no real need because they pick and choose who can enter their school, then there’s really not much I can say. I’ll be back next month!

The difference between Mike and I is that I will not be back next month.  If I absolutely have to hear it, I’ll wait until they put the audio up a few days after.  But this unelected and clueless state board of education is worthless, as well as the DOE they support.  I told them in my public comment I don’t hate them and in an alternate reality Mark Murphy and I could be bowling buddies (not a reality I would want to live in).  But I told them their mission statement is out of synch with reality.  Never has that been more true than today.  I turn my back on them just like they have done with all of Delaware parents.  And our Governor as well.  But trust me, they WILL hear us.  They will not be hearing about opt-out, because it is now REFUSE THE TEST!

4 thoughts on “All Hell Broke Loose Today At Delaware State Board of Education Meeting

  1. I am curious as to the results from the teacher survey reported by DOE. Could you provide the link referenced by Mike Mathews? Thank you!


  2. I understand that you are upset and disappointed about HB50 but I had a hard time getting past the statement that there was nothing major on the agenda today! I knew at least two teachers and administrators that were super excited about the opportunity to share the work they have been doing for the past year around personalized learning and with BRINC. They said the Board was extremely engaged and interested in continuing to learn more about their work and how they can provide policy structures that allow them to continue with these innovative practices. Despite your outburst they said their presentation still went well and were very glad to present to the Board. It was an important topic and while it might not matter to you it is a very big item to those involved and from my experience has a positive impact on student learning.


    1. In my eyes, something major on the agenda usually translates to some big huge charter thing that tends to draw a crowd, or some big teacher regulation thing that drives them in. Funny you should mention BRINC, I’ve been slowly working on an article on that very subject!


    2. In terms of my “outburst”, sorry about that, but the “applause” on the veto of HB50 was a bit much. It just kept going on and on. Furthermore, I’ve seen the DOE email that explicitly said SJR #2 was intended to counter HB50, so when Murphy started talking about that, I knew at that moment I couldn’t be in that room. And he kept going, and I lost it. I’m only human. But I would love to know how many people in that room have children who would take the SBAC. When President Dr. Gray kept saying “as a parent”, it was literally nauseating me, because I know she has no skin in the SBAC game as a mother, so that comment is very misleading.


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