This is why you need to opt your child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tomorrow on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015. And you need to send this message to every single parent you know who has a child in public school in the entire state. Use Facebook, Twitter, email, text and calling folks to let them know tomorrow is Opt-Out Day. Schools can not punish you or your child for your right to exercise your rights for what is best for your child.
The Delaware State Board of Education does not care about our schools and our students. These are unelected officials, along with the Secretary of Education, who serve at the pleasure of Governor Markell. Let’s get this out in the open for those who are not aware. They do not care about the path of destruction they leave in their wake with the excessive amount of standardized testing, interim testing for the standardized testing, labeling schools, and evaluating teachers based on those assessments. They do not care about the impact this has on children of poverty, race, and disabilities. They will do what they want, when they want, and how they want. They do not care if they are usurping the authority of the General Assembly. They do not care about the rights of parents and insist on having negative consequences for schools over opt-out, even if at the most the US DOE simply states in non-regulatory and non-Congressionally approved guidance that schools must have a “consequence” for opt-out. They do not care about the recommendations of the very committee they formed to give suggestions for this so-called “Delaware School Success Framework”. The only reason they even created this group is because it was required by the US DOE as stakeholder engagement. It is a charade and a sham, perpetrated on every single citizen of Delaware.
Delaware Parents: It is now your essential duty, as well as your fundamental right, to opt your child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The powers that be will not listen. They have made this crystal clear. The only way to stop this is to opt your child out now. Do not believe the lies and propaganda coming from the Governor, the DOE, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of Education in Delaware. They will come up with any reason, any task force, group or committee to try to stop you from opting your child out. They will use other state agencies, such as the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens to get you to believe the lies. They will throw civil rights in your face while violating the most basic tenets of civil rights in their test and punish environment. They are causing even more segregation over the shaming of schools over standardized Their latest attempt at mind control is getting rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment for high school juniors. They are retooling the SAT to match the very same Common Core State Standards the Smarter Balanced Assessment already has. Last Spring, it was announced more than 850 colleges and universities dropping the SAT in the application process. Warped methodology is their best friend, and they utilize it without regard to the damage it does.
So please, tomorrow, give a letter to your child’s principal telling them (not asking) that your child will not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. If they have opinions, questions, or attempt to talk you out of it, let them kindly know you respect their opinion but your decision is final. They will definitely tell you now how it will affect their school’s ratings and so forth. Let them know you understand that but you are the only one who can advocate for your child. Advise them you expect your child to receive an education while the other students are testing, and stand firm with your decision. The Delaware General Assembly could override Governor Markell’s veto of the opt-out legislation, House Bill 50. The ESEA reauthorization will most likely leave it up to states to handle opt-out, which the DOE and Markell are attempting to do with Regulation 103, which would become law 60 days after the State Board votes on this. This is why, if you are going to opt your child out, you need to do it tomorrow. The State Board meets on Thursday to decide on this. Let’s show them how ignoring parents will not end well for them. They disrespect us and underestimate us. Let’s show them who is really calling the shots!
This is for all traditional school district and charter school parents. We need to stand united with this and take back the conversation. We need to show the DOE and the State Board we will not stand for them punishing schools. In a sense, just making your child take the Smarter Balanced Assessment is a punishment in and of itself. Because it does not help your child and the DOE uses it as a punishment. That is the message they told every single parent in the state today. There are no positive consequences in the picture the DOE wants to paint. It is all about money, greed, and a severe lack of knowledge about what is truly best for students.