Parent Opt-Out Is Now Policy In Christina School District After 6-1 Vote, Board Member George Evans Hates Parents!!!!

At the Christina School District Board of Education meeting tonight, the board passed their opt-out policy in a 6-1 vote.  This policy closely mirrors House Bill 50, the vetoed but still on life support parent opt-out legislation that Delaware Governor Jack Markell kicked to the curb in July.  The same board passed a resolution earlier in the year, but this now makes opt-out a policy in the district.  I sincerely hope George Evans takes some time to assess his decision not once, but twice this year, to disrespect parents this way.  Hopefully he can come to terms with this before he loses his next school board election and enjoys his last term on this board.

Congratulations to Christina School District for becoming the first district in the First State to have an official opt-out policy! Perhaps others will join in and stop fretting over what the DOE will do.  The worst they can do is knock your school down on their ridiculous school report card a grade or two.  This is great news is for parents, who should care far more about opt-out then some silly little crappy and hastily designed report card they get from the DOE.

I’m sure this will give the DOE and Markell one more reason to hate the Christina School District, but for parents across the state who are going “Why the hell doesn’t my school district do this”, they will be very envious.  Christina needed a big win, and this is it!  Stew on that Jack!

The Opt Out Movement Is Parent-Led and Can’t Be Captured or Stopped

Diane Ravitch's blog

I recently read James Scott’s “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” which is a good read. Scott is a professor at Yale who wrote one of my favorite books, “Seeing Like a State.” It explains as well as anything I have ever read how grandiose top-down plans fail  because they ignore the people way down there on the ground, the people who actually know how things work, not how the planners think they ought to work.

In “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” Scott makes an important point about movements. He says that authentic grassroots movements do not have a single leader. They have many leaders, and as one drops away, another takes his place. That struck me as a good definition of today’s opt out movement. There are a few well-known leaders, like Peg Robertson in Colorado and Jeanette Deutermann on Long Island, but the true leadership is everywhere.

The only way that…

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Delaware DOE Up To Their Usual Tricks With Outright Lies

Today, the Delaware Department of Education issued a press release about the upcoming school report card launch.  Apparently they want help in getting the “right” design picked, out of two whole possible choices.  Of course they don’t want actual feedback of the content of the report card, just how it looks…

For immediate release
 
Contact Alison May (302) 735-4000
PUBLIC INVITED TO VOTE ON SCHOOL REPORT DESIGN
Parents, students, educators and other community members are invited to help choose the look of the soon-to-be-launched Delaware School Success Reports.
The Delaware School Success Reports will improve the presentation of information on the state’s schools, making it easier for families and other members of the public to find the information they need about schools across the First State. Launching in October 2015, they eventually will replace the school profiles on the state’s web site. In addition to the online accessibility of all reports, families will receive a snapshot report on their children’s school mailed to their home beginning in 2016.
Development of the reports comes after months of community engagement and feedback. In partnership with the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration and the Delaware Academy of School Leadership, the Delaware Department of Education hosted nine focus groups across all three counties to solicit feedback on the online and paper School Success Reports currently under construction. A hundred parents, teachers and community members participated in these facilitated, in-depth conversations about school performance. Demographics of the participants closely mirrored Delaware’s diverse communities, and most focus group members had students enrolled in the state’s public schools. Of the 100 participants, more than 70 percent were parents, 30 percent were educators and the remainder identified themselves as community members.
Beginning today, the public will be able to vote to choose their favorite School Success report design.
“While the focus groups informed what parents and the community want to know about their schools, this additional feedback is important to ensuring that Delaware’s School Success Reports significantly improve the presentation of the information on our schools so families have intuitive access to the information they need,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.
Voting is open through 11 p.m. on Sunday, September 13. 
Email questions and other feedback to engagement@doe.k12.de.us.
Okay, I’ll bite.  When were these nine focus groups?  I know they had the four town halls groups last fall.  They had their Survey Monkey crap as well.  But now we find out there were 9 meetings nobody knew anything about?  Who were the attendees?  Where are the minutes? The agendas?  What came out of these meetings?  They are such filthy liars.
And why are they only giving this until 9/13?  Are they planning to have the State Board approve this monstrosity at their 9/17 meeting?  With the participation rate factored into the roficiency portion of the report card?  You know, punishing schools for opt-out rates, that whole thing.  Meanwhile, absolutely NOBODY from our General Assembly has done a thing about contacting Pete Schwartzkopf or Patti Blevins about calling for a special session to override Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50.  Even the sponsors!!!!  All I hear is, “They will never do it.”  Did anybody ASK them?  I’m just getting tired of excuses.  That’s how the DOE gets away with everything, because the General Assembly LETS them.  They sit back and expect someone else to do it.  No more.  They voted Smarter Balanced into law, so this is all on them!  I’ll bet Governor Markell just sits back and laughs at the puppets he controls.
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September 17 is REFUSE THE TEST PARENT STRIKE in Delaware! Press Conference at 12:30pm!

Parent Strike is a coordinated effort across America to take back public education from the corporate education reformers and those who would do our children irreparable harm with state standardized assessments.  In Delaware, we will be celebrating this momentous day, September 17th, with other states across our country.  I invite all parents and press to attend a press conference outside Legislative Hall in Dover at 12:30pm, where I will announce the violations and complaints against Governor Markell, the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware State Board of Education, and other entities within Delaware that have contributed to this toxic environment against our children.

If you want to make a statement during the press conference, please let me know ahead of time.  I will also help parents coordinate opt-out/refuse the test for their local schools.

Following this, at 1pm, is the Delaware State Board of Education meeting across the street at the Townshend Building.  I invite every single parent to attend this meeting, at least for the first half hour to forty-five minutes.  After they do their roll call and approval of minutes, it opens up to Public Comment.  Each speaker gets three minutes to speak on a topic.  Those who give public comment are not allowed to speak on an item that is up for action that day, but there is nothing in their agenda covering standardized testing or parent opt-out or Refusing The Test.

During the State Board of Education meeting, they will announce the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment for the different sub-groups: low-income, English language learners, students with disabilities, African-American students, Hispanic Students and Asian students.  This is where we will see the very real impact of the Smarter Balanced Assessment on the most vulnerable of students.  They could have announced this information last week, but they chose to hold off on it.  Parents will also begin to receive their children’s official report on the test that week.

Please join in and let the unelected State Board of Education know your child is more than endless data.  Let them know your child is more than a pawn in their attempts to “fix” education.  Let them know their vain attempts at stifling parents is not allowed.  Be loud, be a parent, and let them know you will not tolerate this madness one more minute.  This is Parent Strike Delaware!