Cold Hard Proof DOE Is INTENTIONALLY Embargoing Smarter Balanced Results & Have The Results Already

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They say a picture paints a thousand words. This one paints well over 200,000. That will be the words of the Delaware parents of the 133,000 Delaware public school students when they find out the Delaware Department of Education has INTENTIONALLY been holding on to the scores of the Smarter Balanced Results AND when they get the results in the mail in a month. That’s right, a month. But the districts will start to get data on Monday. I’m sorry, in what world does this make sense?  I would think with ouster of Mark Murphy they would start to wake up, but with what I’ve seen SINCE last Friday, they are getting worse…

To the 148th General Assembly, if you don’t begin to reign this Department and Governor Markell in, we the people will make BIG decisions on Election Day 2016.  My advice, call a special session, override House Bill 50, pass emergency legislation to get rid of Smarter Balanced, pass emergency legislation to dismantle the leadership of the Delaware DOE, and start impeachment proceedings against Governor Jack Markell…

Christina’s Attorney Gives Legal Opinion On Opt-Out But Forgets Some Of The Basics…

Well this is interesting. Christina School District Board of Education has an opt-out policy in the works, similar to House Bill 50, and a district administrator goes and gets a legal opinion on it from their own attorney. Mother mercy, board member Elizabeth Paige, who worked very hard on this policy, will not be happy about this…

Okay Delaware parents who support opt-out. We’re going to play a game and see what you’ve learned. It’s called “Spot the Fallacies”. First one to get them all gets a no-prize!

Red Clay Audio Of Board Meeting Raises Lots Of Questions About Wilmington Education Improvement Commission…

Who is funding the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission?  Who provided funding for the paperbook book for the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee?  What role will all four school districts in Wilmington play?  Will more committees be added to WEIC?

These are just some of the questions that were asked by the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education to WEIC Vice-Chair Tizzy Lockman and Policy Advisor Dan Rich.  The 2nd part is where the real debate kicks in between Dan Rich and board member Catherine Thompson.  She raises some very valid points about the potential of Red Clay getting clobbered in all of this.  Dan Rich, at another point, raises the whole point about WEIC not just being about the redistricting, but also education reform for the whole state.  Which raises my question the other day: why should the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, filled with representation from only one of the three countries in the state, not have many representatives from Kent or Sussex County?

Part 1: WEIC Presentation Begins around 27:00 mark

Part 2: WEIC Presentation continues about 3/5ths into the audio

Say It Ain’t So! Academy of Dover Violating Probation Terms With DOE! **UPDATED**

In a shocking and unexpected announcement yesterday, the Academy of Dover is not meeting the terms of their probation!  Once again, it is all related to financial transparency!  Seems they can’t get their act together…

When will they ever learn?  And do I mean the DOE or Academy of Dover?  Both!  This school has been flaunting the rules for years now.  The DOE needs to shut them down.  If they aren’t following the terms of their probation (which I think they got off very easy with), they need to go back on formal review!

UPDATED, 8/21/15, 1:47PM: I reached out to DOE Public Information Officer Alison May to find out if the State Board of Education acted on the news Academy of Dover is in violation of their probation terms, and she indicated they did NOT take any formal decision on the violations.

They should have always had a Citizens Budget Oversight Committee.  The fact they can’t even get this group to meet regularly with the majority of members to actually show up is sending a clear message to citizens and parents of Delaware: we will do what we want and the DOE will let us.  Only the DOE can reverse this arrogant trend!

And the oddest part about this report? The last page entitled “Good News” with a blank page. This says it all!

DOE Releases All State Assessment Results EXCEPT Smarter Balanced, Five Year Assessment Plan

Yesterday at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting, Dr. Carolyn Lazar with the Office of Assessment at the Delaware Department of Education gave a presentation on state assessment results but did not release any Smarter Balanced Assessment results.  This presentation also included school and district proficiency information, which can be found on this page.  The only reason I didn’t Scribd them is because they are stamped “embargoed” which I find hysterical because they are putting them on a public website!

https://www.scribd.com/doc/275482146/Doe-Assessment-Presentation-82015

These DCAS results are mixed.  For regular students, they went down from last year in Science and Social Studies.  For severely cognitively impaired students, who take the DCAS-Alt tests, the results are up and down depending on the grade.  Overall, with the exception of 7th and 9th grade, these types of students appear to be reading better, but social studies, science and math are showing a downward trend compared to last year.

This also went into the DOE’s five-year plan for state assessment and the release of Smarter Balanced scores in the coming month.  I absolutely love how they specifically mention who they met with to discuss this roll-out, but FAIL to mention their one-on-one meetings with members of the General Assembly.  Not one mention of legislators at all.  They know this information is already public, so why would they omit this?  If the DOE wants to convey clear communication with parents and community members about this test, than they should make public all contracts, addendums, emails associated with this test, and the exact date they got the results back.  No parent will ever take this Department seriously if they continue this embargo and withholding information from the general public.

As for Senate Joint Resolution #2, the assessment inventory, when can we expect to see who is on this task force?  Who picks the members?  We can’t forget, Lindsey O’Mara who is the Education Policy Advisor for Governor Markell, publicly stated Smarter Balanced can be included in assessments up for discussion on this task force!

Once again Delaware Parents: REFUSE THE TEST DELAWARE starts NOW! And Parent Freak-Out 2015 begins the moment Smarter Balanced results are made public!

Arne Duncan’s Threats Of Federal Funding Cuts For Opt-Out Go Up In Smoke!

Kate Taylor wrote in the New York Times today an article stating New York State Chancellor of the State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, would not give any district with high opt-out rates any Federal funding cuts for going below the 95% participation threshold in standardized tests.

But on Thursday, the chancellor of the State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, said that the federal Education Department informed the state’s Education Department “a couple of weeks ago” that it was leaving any decision about financial penalties to the state. And Ms. Tisch, whose board oversees the state agency and appoints the commissioner, said the state did not plan to withhold money from districts.

All that melodrama from United States Secretary of Education and state education leaders and Governors about Federal funding cuts, including Title I funds, was nothing but empty threats.  I’ve been saying this for months, as well as many others, but no one in my state, Delaware, would indicate this would or would not happen.  I heard from one state legislator in Delaware who indicated he opposed our opt-out legislation, House Bill 50, because “you don’t know what Arne Duncan told me he will do if this passes.”  Now we have a crystal clear answer: nothing.

In Delaware, in approximately one month, we will experience Parent Freak-Out 2015 when Delaware parents receive the Smarter Balanced Assessment results.  As I stated when Governor Markell vetoed House Bill 50 in July, opt-out is dead, just REFUSE THE TEST!  But I still want the 148th General Assembly to override Markell’s veto, because it is a great bill!

On the first day of school, starting next week for many Delaware students, just give the letter to the principal stating you refuse to let your child take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, you expect your child to be educated based on their current curriculum, and you do not want to discuss it further.  This is your right Delaware parents, and no one can stop you from doing this.  Do what is right for your child and REFUSE THE TEST!