The United States Department of Education granted Delaware an extension on their latest Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Renewal. The deadline had been October 31st, but the Delaware DOE was granted a reprieve until November 24th. This will allow the State Board of Education to vote on the Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF) which is the only pending item from Delaware’s ESEA Flexibility Renewal originally approved in July.
The DSSF gained quite a bit of controversy when this blog revealed to the public there were plans to have harsh penalties to Delaware schools if they missed the 95% participation rate based on opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The Accountability Framework Working Group met in September and October and the group opted for the participation rate penalty of no school being a Reward School if they did not meet the 95% threshold. As well, schools must write a report to the DOE on how they plan to get the participation rate back up. A high school in Red Clay had 40% participation with high school juniors. The prior penalty had the proficiency rate of schools multiplied by the participation rate.
This could still happen if the State Board of Education, who has the final say, votes for that part of the school report card. The State Board of Education meets on November 19th. Public comment will not be allowed on this due to it being an action item for the meeting. The new Secretary of Education for Delaware, Dr. Steven Godowsky, said he doesn’t think the multiplier will be approved by the State Board, but he did not come out and say this as a definite. The DOE claims they MUST have some type of punishment, but this is highly controversial based on the US DOE not having this written as a law or approved regulation. The US Congress has never approved anything of this sort.
If the State Board does pass the multiplier penalty, look for the DOE and State Board getting a ton of grief. In the end, the final say is actually Delaware Governor Jack Markell. The Secretary and the State Board are appointed by Markell, and they “serve at the pleasure of the Governor”.