At the State Board of Education meeting today, it was a packed house as several public comments were given in opposition to Regulation 103. The Delaware State Educators Association slammed it, the Red Clay Educators Association slammed it, Delaware PTA slammed it, I slammed it, and parents slammed it. One parent slammed DOE’s Smarter Balanced Assessment and their obsession with proficiency. In my public comment, I advised the DOE and State Board of Education of the state and federal complaints I filed against them in the last week. I could have gone on, but the clock ran out. State Rep. John Kowalko lambasted the State Board of Education on their regulatory practices when the General Assembly is not in session and vowed to fight DOE and the State Board on these matters.
One parent was denied the chance to speak. Because of the huge crowd, and a regulation stating you must sign up for public comment 15 minutes prior to the meeting, several people were told they couldn’t speak. Board President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray did give one last chance to sign up for public comment, but the sign-up sheet was at the Board table, not in the hallway like it usually is (even way after the 15 minute “regulation” mark). After all the comments ended, I advised Dr. Gray there was one more speaker who didn’t hear her “last chance” comment. Dr. Gray refused to let the parent give public comment. This parent is going to be sending me her public comment today and I will post it on here.
The ParentStrike press conference went well. NBC Philadelphia and reporter Tim Furlong were there, and will be airing a segment during their 5pm broadcast. The News Journal, Dover Post, and others were in attendance between the Press Conference and the State Board meeting as well. I spoke, as did Rep. Kowalko, State Senator Dave Lawson, and RCEA President Mike Matthews. I had to leave the State Board of Education early to pick my son up from school, but I will be getting updates on their discussion of Regulation 103 and the Smarter Balanced Assessment results for all the sub-groups.
Any goodwill the Delaware DOE had is quickly evaporating as no one seems to be taking their side anymore. The House of Cards has collapsed, but I did wish departing Secretary of Education Mark Murphy good luck in his future endeavors, as did others. He was given a gift by the State Board so he could “write it all down”, which if I had to guess would be a future book???? Please don’t call it “Murphy’s Law” Mark…that would be too much…
Oh yeah, what about the Accountability Framework Working Group, otherwise known as AFWG? Apparently, the notes from their meetings I published a few weeks ago, did not show the true story about what went on during these meetings. It wasn’t all harmony and agreement like the minutes suggest. DSEA member of the group, Deb Stevens, gave public comment. She spoke as the representative for all of the non-DOE members of the group. She indicated that this coalition from the AFWG wants the State Board of Education to defer a ruling on this until it can be flushed out even further and does not believe it is a final product at all and needs a lot of work.
I did find out former US DOE employee Deborah Delisle apparently sent a letter to the Delaware DOE indicating the participation rate MUST be used on the ESEA mandated school report card as a “consequence”, although there is nothing on the US DOE or Delaware DOE website with this letter or language. I just emailed Penny Schwinn for a copy of this letter. Even if it is in there, it is not regulation and the Delaware DOE is in way obligated to enforce a simple warning.