Delaware PTA, DSEA & Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens:
You hold a great deal of power in your groups. We the people need you to band together and unite for the students of Delaware. The ESEA reauthorization is all about more testing, more federal mandates and waivers, and even “social impact bonds”. I know your bosses in the National PTA, NEA and Governor Markell are all behind this federal legislation. But that does not mean you need to endorse legislation that has not even been seen by the public yet.
Delaware PTA: You know I love you for your support on the opt-out movement and House Bill 50! We need you to take a serious look at the personalized learning models and competency-based education supports embedded in this legislation. These are not good for students over the long-term, especially those students who are most in need. This bill is big on accountability systems created at the state level, and we all know what that kind of power can have in a few corrupt minds in our state. Please, do not endorse this bill and let your National PTA know they shouldn’t either.
DSEA: I have to admit, you folks are an enigma to me! From my perspective, the best words I can think of are this- you always want a seat at the table but don’t realize you are actually on the table as the main course. I’ve seen this with the Delaware School Success Framework, teacher evaluations, and Race To The Top. I know you wish there didn’t even have to be opt-out, but the plain simple fact is that it is here and it is necessary for parents to do this. I get that teachers endorsing opt-out could put them in rough waters, but they are already in that position because of the state and federal mandates coming down. Please do not endorse this bill that will make sure teachers lose even more voice.
GACEC: You are a Governor’s council run by the state, which puts you under the shadow of Governor Markell. But your mandate is to look out for exceptional citizens, those with disabilities. Please tell me how supporting the Governor against opt-out helps those citizens. Please tell me you truly want the best outcome for children with special needs. Please tell me you do not support this latest edition of the ESEA reauthorization. We’ve seen the outcome of Smarter Balanced for our children with disabilities. They are now further behind. That isn’t progress, and I’m sure you have seen how Delaware wants these children to go from 19% proficiency to 59% in six years. That is insanity, brought on by Governor Markell. Please stop siding with the DOE on matters that only negatively impact our kids.