The Delaware Department of Education is going to meet with members of the General Assembly and let them know what the results of Smarter Balanced were in the coming weeks. This will be weeks, if not a month, before the results are released publicly. I would think they would release the results to everyone all at once, especially parents and schools. But there may be other motivations on the DOE’s part.
They know the General Assembly is coming back in five months. They also know these scores will be very bad. Under Governor Markell’s expert advice I’m sure, they are going to meet with the legislators to soften the blow. They will give them every assurance of the following: “It’s only the first year.” “Through going over the data, we have recognized the parts that need to be fixed.” “We aren’t going to give the SBAC to juniors anymore since they already take the SAT.*” “We need to give the test a chance and work out the bugs.” “We realize the test is too long, so we are going to shorten it a bit.” “We really can’t have parents opting out. Can we trust you to look out for the kids and not vote for an override of the veto?”
I find it very interesting the DOE feels legislators need to know this information BEFORE parents. The DOE is getting very desperate these days and their nervousness is beginning to show. They are no longer operating under the arrogance we have known in the past. They are scared. They know most of them, at least the higher-ups, will be gone come January 2017. They truly felt Delaware was unique and would survive the storms going on across the country. They didn’t count on parents and teachers rising up as much as we have, and the domino effect this has caused. They thought they were protected and untouchable, but now they know the game is over. How long have they had the results?
Meanwhile, Governor Markell seems to think the veto override won’t even make it to the table! I’m guessing he really thinks he owns the General Assembly and they will do whatever he tells them to do. We know this is true with some of them, but I wouldn’t count them out Jack! You also didn’t think House Bill 50 would ever pass the House or the Senate. It must have been embarrassing to see your biggest education initiative railroaded in a bi-partisan show of support for parents. But I’m sure you’re right Governor. I’m sure they will ignore thousands of constituents during an election year and do whatever the lame duck demands they do.
For the schools that gave parents a rough time over opt-out: how does it feel knowing the DOE is sitting on the data that caused so much grief in your schools the past year? They already have the results and they aren’t sharing it. They need to spin it first, so when they do give them to you, they already have their scripted responses for all of you and the media.
To the legislators of Delaware: Don’t buy their spin. Remember the reasons why you voted yes for House Bill 50. Carry that with you over the next five months. The DOE is trying to clean up the mess they created by causing havoc and chaos in the schools of Delaware. They will use you. They want your voice to soften the blow. You were not elected to be Governor Jack Markell’s servant. You were elected by the people in your district to serve them, to look out for their best interests. Not Jack’s. For those who voted no on the opt-out bill, was it worth it in the end? Do you trust the Governor that much to think he can truly deliver on what he promised you? He used all of you to further HIS agendas, not yours. When he leaves in January 2017, he won’t give any of you a second thought…
For the parents: was any of this worth it? Our state Department of Education has the results of a standardized assessment your children took months ago and they are not giving them to you. This is a slap in the face. You won’t even know until your child is back in school for a few weeks. I will tell all of you again, this test does not matter. When you get the fancy letter in the mail from the DOE, with all their fancy graphs and growth trends, and all the pretty colors, take it for what it is: a gigantic waste of time when your child could have actually been learning instead of being a guinea pig for the DOE and their corporate buddies. Remember the millions upon millions of dollars that were taken out of your child’s classroom so the DOE could unleash this test. Remember this and say never again. This year, Refuse The Test. On the very first day of school. If the DOE can’t give you the respect YOU deserve so they can put a Band-Aid on a gushing flesh wound, than they don’t deserve to receive more data at your child’s great expense.
*Since the College Board is aligning the SAT to Common Core, there is no need for high school juniors to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. They essentially already are…