At 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month of January the gavel came down in the Delaware State House of Representatives to complete the second leg of the 148th session to tackle tough issues such as education, a budget deficit, and public safety. But this isn’t the story of what’s happening in the House, this is the story of the boy that, that House built.
The year is 2012, the grade is freshman year. I am an anxious child, moving around in a fashion most young people are accustomed to when they’re excited! Our class was taking a field trip to many Dover landmarks including the place which I now call home: Legislative Hall.
As I sat in Senator Bushweller’s seat I proudly exclaimed that “this will be my seat one day!” With a roll of eyes from those in the room I knew that day, that I…
Always a man has plans. Like that’s the heart of it. Love your big plans. In the big money. Am I right Jack? Now I’m sure you think it’s excellent. Cause for years now you have been building your alliance. Exactly what is a man to do?
Fixing education. Oh yes Jack, that’s a play on words. Really, all of these are.
Every day I knew it. X marks the spot! Cause it is not just about our children’s future, but your own as well. Exactly how much will it cost the students of Delaware? Love the method. Love the money. Exactly who do you stand for? Now tomorrow is a big day. To codify parents rights or they say no.
Endings and beginnings. Do you feel the pressure? Underneath all those smiles. Cascading into night sweats. Always scheming, always thinking. The road to the override. In through the out door. Over the top. Night falls.
The Delaware State Education Association’s executive board voted on an official stance on the House Bill 50 Veto Override and released this information today publicly:
DSEA’s position on opt-out is the same as it has always been, we support a parent’s right to opt their child out of excessive state mandated standardized testing. At the same time, we believe that the state, with direction from parents and educators, must reduce the time dedicated to standardized testing. More importantly the state must ensure the tests that are taken are valid measures of student progress in the given subject area, and provide clear direction on how to improve student growth. As an organization, DSEA will continue the push to eliminate excessive, invalid testing and tying the results of these tests to educator evaluations. With that being said, we will respect the individual decisions made by legislators regarding whether or not to override the Governor’s veto of House Bill 50.
I wrote a few days ago about how the Delaware State Education Association was not going to come out and support the override of the veto on House Bill 50. I would like to take this moment to publicly apologize for my reaction to this. As well, I want to clarify some things.
Nobody from DSEA has contacted me in regards to this. Nobody is forcing me to write this. It is coming from my own conscience. I am a very firm believer in parental rights. As someone who experienced the stripping of those rights, on more than one occasion, I truly understand what it feels like to have no say in matters concerning my own child in an educational setting. Those defining moments can leave scars that harden the soul.
I did reach out to DSEA, both publicly on this blog and to their President, whom I have met on a few occasions. I understood that DSEA publicly supported a parent’s right to opt their child out of standardized testing. They acknowledged this publicly last spring. What I could not understand is why they were not saying anything about the override of the veto on House Bill 50. They supported the bill last year.
I have no doubt DSEA has many everyday tasks and priorities and HB50 just isn’t on their radar right now, for whatever reason. That does not give me the excuse to completely lambaste them. So I would like to apologize to Frederika Jenner, Jeff Taschner, and Kristen Dwyer. My comments were way out of line. I reacted in the heat of the moment in a very limited time to post something. I should have waited, reached out, and sought out your side of the story. I can’t take back what was said, but I sincerely hope you will accept my apology.
It is my wish that DSEA would support the override, but it is their choice. My article about DSEA was not a reflection on the opt-out community in Delaware and I apologize to them if others felt that way. I know some may view me as the “leader” of the opt-out movement, but I firmly believe this is an individual choice each parent makes. There are no true leaders in this movement, it is individual parents making decisions for their own children. Once again I acted in haste and anger, and there truly are no excuses. I deleted the post, and I encourage others to do the same. Thank you.
The never-ending saga of House Bill 50 and opt out marches on. Since a couple of days before Christmas, it has grabbed a lot of headlines. When the US DOE issued letters to states about potential funding cuts for opt-out, I knew the conversation would heat up fast. Here is a chronology of links to the latest on the override of Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50 in Delaware, with a few other kernels thrown in: