As heard pretty much everywhere, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan along with President Obama’s administration called for a limit on standardized testing and state it shouldn’t take up more than 2% of class time. Do Not Be Fooled! The words Smarter Balanced Assessment and PARCC were never mentioned in this press release. Many states have called for a reduction in testing. But not the ones that people REALLY want to disappear. It is my contention that the feds are mimicking what many states are doing: trying to get rid of district assessments in lieu of the big state standardized assessments that Obama and Duncan just love so much.
Last March, Delaware Governor Jack Markell called for a limit in testing. Coincidentally, this happened at the exact same time the opt-out movement in Delaware was gaining steam. Coincidentally, Delaware Senator David Sokola introduced Senate Joint Resolution #2 within a week after the House of Representatives passed the opt-out legislation in Delaware, House Bill 50. SJR #2 was the legislation to go along with Markell’s test reduction announcement. Coincidentally, the task force to examine all of these assessments has done absolutely nothing. Aside from some legislators being assigned to the task force, no planned dates have been announced for it whatsoever. And coincidentally, when Governor Markell vetoed House Bill 50, take a wild guess what Markell and the DOE’s main reason was for this? Because we are already going to reduce testing.
I got a ton of heat for casting fingers on SJR #2, but I have yet to be proven wrong. Now the Feds are playing the same game. And people are getting excited. Once again, don’t be fooled. Parents aren’t opting out of district assessments that gave immediate feedback and actually help teachers. They are opting out of SBAC and PARCC. Because they don’t help students or teachers, and there is no immediate feedback. Hell, teachers can’t even see the questions or the answers. Until President Obama publicly apologizes for the policies and non-Congressionally approved mandates coming out of HIS Department of Education, and abolishes all of these standardized assessments and the punitive measures they have on teachers and schools, I don’t believe a word he says about this matter.
Want to know when the SJR #2 Task Force will start to meet? Probably the second a legislator brings up the veto override of House Bill 50!