State Board of Education: “Poverty Is Not An Excuse…It Is Not Destiny”

The Delaware State Board of Education continues to ignore the effect Poverty has on students in high needs schools in our state.  As part of their presentation on the Smarter Balanced Assessment at Grotto’s Pizza in Dover, the State Board presented a slide that said:

Poverty Is Not An Excuse…It Is Not Destiny

Once again, the State Board is using the data that helps to further their cause of convincing the state the Smarter Balanced Assessment is necessary for our children to succeed.  The biggest challenge for the State Board and the Delaware DOE is the issue of low-income and poverty.  To fight this, they are hand selecting schools that fared well on Smarter Balanced.  But do some of these schools already have extra programs that could warrant higher Smarter Balanced scores?  Yes they do.

Lewis Dual Language Elementary School (Red Clay), South Dover Elementary School (Capital), and John M. Clayton Elementary School (Indian River) are all part of Governor Markell’s World Language Immersion program for Spanish.  Booker T. Washington (Capital) houses the district’s gifted and talented program for their elementary schools.  As well, Capital only has 3rd and 4th grade in their elementary schools and no 5th grade.  Other schools cited by the DOE as “beating the odds” (my words) are Long Neck Elementary School and Georgetown Elementary School (Indian River), Town Pointe Elementary School and North Dover Elementary School (Capital), Lake Forest South and Lake Forest East Elementary Schools (Lake Forest), Banneker Elementary School (Milford), Kuumba Academy and Thomas Edison Charter School.

An important distinction to make with all of these schools is that they are elementary schools.  The DOE did not praise any middle schools in this presentation.  The tests 3rd graders take are very different than those for 8th graders.  Comparing the two is not a true indicator for why 3rd graders did better on the Smarter Balanced Assessment than their peers in 8th grade.  As well, this ignorance of poverty does not take a large portion of the poverty issue to task: the very real part that deals with addiction, violence and crime in many of these students’ homes.  All of the schools the DOE talks about are in lower Delaware with the exception of two charter schools in Wilmington.  There are no Red Clay, Christina, Colonial or Brandywine schools “beating the odds”.

As well, the State Board emphasized the Smarter Balanced Assessment is just one indicator of how our schools are doing.  Then why are measurements from the Smarter Balanced Assessment going to account for 90% of elementary and middle schools accountability ratings and 70% for high schools in the upcoming accountability system called the Delaware School Success Framework?  All the other indicators the State Board talks about, growth and resources, are tied to students doing better on this test.  Education in Delaware is now based on performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Poverty DOES matter, and there are facets of poverty Governor Markell said last March “that you and I can’t imagine“.  But it sounds like Governor Markell, the DOE, and the State Board of Education are unable to not just imagine it, they don’t have the first clue how to understand it.  Below is the entire presentation Donna Johnson, Executive Director of the State Board of Education, presented to a group comprised of mostly educators and very few parents last night.  If any of you have more knowledge about what these schools may possess that other schools don’t, please share this information in the comments section.

4 thoughts on “State Board of Education: “Poverty Is Not An Excuse…It Is Not Destiny”

  1. Deez guys have jumped the shark… It’s as if they are extolling creationism despite overwhelming evidence that evolution played the vital part…

    Who picks these dumb geezers?

    Someone tell them we got something for them…..

    (What?)

    (Deez nuts……. ha, ha… gotch you)…..

    Like

  2. Pingback: Big Mouth Strikes Again: What Did Earl Jaques Say This Time To Diss Parents? | Exceptional Delaware

  3. “Poverty Is Not An Excuse…It Is Not Destiny”
    First of all- those two statements really have nothing to do with each other and should not be attached. (The first is a blame game, the second is nihilistic.) Second, um yeah, actually poverty not only is an excuse, it is destiny. It ‘is very sad to say, but we do so little about ingrained poverty in this country that generational poverty is indeed destiny. Should it be? Absolutely not, but the shame of our country is that it has “successfully” separated the masses into classes from which the vast majority of citizens cannot move. It’s called extreme capitalism, and those who have it have figured out how to keep those who don’t right where they are. One example of course is Charter schools and Education “Reform,” but of course it is in all aspects of our society. Thank you Kevin and Kavips for doing so much of the math to keep pointing it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Fix Is In; Are You Just Going To Lay There And Let It Happen? | kavips

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