I Encourage & Want All Delaware Parents To Opt-Out Of Smarter Balanced Today!!!!

Here’s the bottom line.  Our legislators had a chance to make this something civil.  They jacked it up.  Our teacher unions and parent-teacher organizations had a chance to make a difference.  They jacked it up.  Most teachers can’t or won’t talk about opt-out for fear of getting fired.  Everyone can talk about supporting a parent’s right all they want, but unless they do something about it they are essentially empty words.  Common Core is bad for our kids.  The testing around it, no matter what they want to call it: Smarter Balanced, PARCC or some other meaningless acronym for that state, is bad for our kids.  This is the time when we as parents need to do what needs to be done: massive opt-out on an apocalyptic scale.  Not an apocalypse for us or our kids, but to bring down these corporations that want to brainwash our kids for an end goal of keeping our children down.

All this nonsense with “we support opt-out, but the national or state heads don’t” coming from these groups and organizations are not doing anyone any favors.  I don’t care who first came up with the idea of opting out.  Just do it.  Opt your kid out.  Even if he or she gets every single question right.  Because it does NOTHING for your child except fuel the Common Core engine taking over our schools.  This is a revolution.  If you aren’t behind it 100%, get the hell out of our way.  Because we will just move on to the next parent willing to listen.  We aren’t organized.  We don’t pay membership dues.  We spread the word.

Don’t go to all these education meetings and Legislative Hall thinking it will make a difference.  It is a waste of time.  The education reformers have dug their heels in and turned all the decision makers into their own puppets.  By a vast majority.  But we will expose every single last one of them.  And we will shame them and vote them out.  We will take over the school boards, slowly but surely.  We will watch legislation and support our state legislators who bring good bills to the table.  We won’t support those who ride on the coattails of our state embarrassment of a Governor and his posse of enablers.  Don’t bother with the News Journal.  Or Rodel.  Or Vision.  Or Student Success 2025.  Or the DOE.  But do watch what your schools are saying and doing.  Find out where the data is going.  Make FOIA your best friend.  If a school resists you, on anything, demand to know why and fight for your child.  Make sure ANYTHING you sign from your kid’s school is in the best interest of your child and doesn’t compromise their personal information or security.  Do NOT sign up for these ridiculous after-school SAIL clubs.  They want your kid’s medical information.  They want to burn your kid out for nine to ten hours a day instead of six or seven by promising their celebration of the arts your kid should be getting during the regular day.  Opt out of that one too!  And whatever you do, DON’T TAKE THE DAMN SURVEYS!!!!!!

Stop believing the lies that this is all about helping kids who are a minority or low-income.  Funny how they keep saying that and they keep getting richer.  That’s the truth.  I don’t care if Bill Gates himself comes to your house.  The man is a billionaire.  I don’t care how good the eclairs are at the Rodel-Vision fest.  Just by going to these ridiculous  parties feeds them.  “Oh look at me, I’m at Visionquest.  I’m somebody important.”  By going along to get along, you are allowing your child’s rights to be violated more and more everyday.  And for all the “how will we measure how our schools are doing?” crowd, they are either in on it or actually think these tests are a valid measurement.  They aren’t.  Not at all.  And shame on all these Civil Rights groups.  You’ve been paid off by Gates and the gang.  You do a disservice to the very children you pretend to represent.

Don’t support opt-out because of teacher evaluations.  If the reformers want them gone, they will find a way to make it happen.  But if their evaluations should not include standardized testing scores, the reformers will say “Hey, look what we did” while they continue to raid and plunder our schools and get your kid’s data.  Don’t fall for their traps.  They set them all the time, and actually think they are being crafty.  I can see them coming a mile away.  I knew House Bill 50 wasn’t going to pass.  I knew our legislators would cave.  They think they are so smart, but they are cowards.

If you need more information about how to opt-out, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/387537074787803/ and ask any parent.  If anyone tries to talk you out of it, let me know and they are out of the group.  This doesn’t mean someone giving you practical advice about how to do it or who to talk to will get the boot, but if someone says “You shouldn’t opt out cause of…”, I will personally kick them to the curb.  This is a Refuse The Test page, not a debate club.

My problem was I thought having the support of these different groups would help the cause, and for that I apologize.  We don’t need them.  We just need to refuse.  You can help by spreading the word.  Tell everyone you talk to about opt-out.  Tell them why they need to do it whether they realize it or not.  Tell them, yeah, it’s a choice, but make the right one for your kid.  Do be slightly obnoxious about it.  Don’t let people try to word-beat you with reasons why these tests are good.  Do your research.  Do your own homework.  And be a parent your kid can be proud of.  And if you are a charter parent, you’re going to have work three times as hard to get parents to opt out their kids.  But once you get one, and they get one, and so on, you got a movement at a school.  Do it one parent at a time, and keep doing it, and make sure they do.  And Sussex parents, boy oh boy do they need to get the word!  Big time.

And if anyone says “Don’t listen to that Kevin guy, that blogger guy, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he’s just a confused guy, he doesn’t know how to get along with people, don’t align with him, he’s angry, he’s paranoid,” they are probably right.  I am confused why grown adults would allow this kind of crap into our schools.  Sometimes I don’t know what I am talking about cause I try to talk in their language with all their big acronyms and their big reformer words.  Sorry, I don’t know how to get along with the enablers of those who would mess up education for our kids.  They are monsters in my mind.  Sure I’m angry.  I’m pissed off.  These are our kids.  I have good cause to be paranoid and you should too!

While our legislators sit around for the next five and a half months trying to figure out how to tackle “the opt-out issue”, I’ll be telling everyone “Opt Out Now”.  Screw their committee meetings and their debates.  If they don’t get it by now, they are NEVER going to get it.  Or they belong to Education Inc.  I still love some of them, but let’s face it, they are few and far between.  And even though the vast majority of people in the know love them, the votes rule the day in Dover.  So let’s put them all in a position of thinking “Damn, we should have allowed HB50 to go through!”  For the bills I support, you will know it.  For those I don’t, you’ll know it.

I’m not a leader.  I’m a messenger.  Let’s get that straight.  I’m not going to host opt-out town halls or come to your kid’s school to be an Opt-Out Advocate.  If you want me to make some noise, I sure as hell will.  I have no qualms about emailing any son of a bitch that pressures you about opt-out and I will make it public with your permission.  Did it before and I’ll do it again.  But I have too much going on to start travelling all over the place.  No offense.  If I plan a rally again, it will be during a time when ALL parents can try to make it and not when our bone-headed education leaders want us to.  I would love to do a march.  Let me know your thoughts and ideas.  No leaders.  No meetings.  Just grass-roots making it happen parents.  We don’t organize.  We refuse.  Join the Refuse The Test Facebook page in the link above and let’s start making some serious noise.


*To clarify something in the last paragraph.  After reading what I wrote about rallies and “bone-headed education leaders”, the thought was regarding the State Board of Education who finds the time to hold meetings at the most inconvenient time possible for parents and teachers.  This was NOT in reference to the Delaware PTA Sponsored rally last week to support the override of the veto.

Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

3 thoughts on “I Encourage & Want All Delaware Parents To Opt-Out Of Smarter Balanced Today!!!!”

  1. Take the test. This is the 21st century. We are all part of The System and we are also individuals within it. We measure systemic scores to assess system-wide value creation.

    I don’t want to be blind to system performance. You do. So the “elegant solution is for you to tune out and for me to tune in. Do your part.



    1. Welcome to the Exceptional Delaware comment thread Publius. So nice to see you venture over here from Kilroy’s. Spoken like a true “education reformer”. Your “system performance” is rigged and we both know it. Or maybe you don’t and you are just going along with the flavor. But I know it, and the big guy certainly knows it. That’s why he is so scared of opt-out, because he knows that will bring the whole House of Cards tumbling down. So I will keep encouraging parents to tune out as you so eloquently (but not with one quotation mark) put it.


  2. I have some time on my hands, so I decided to breakdown Publius’ short comment from the beginning:

    1. “This is the 21st century” – Well, yes it is. Being that it is the 21st century, we have learned the benefits of using software to breakdown data to provide meaningful information for improvements. We have also learned, through the error of others, that not properly handling data can lead major issues in any organization. We have, in the 21st century, learned that the successful use of data begins with having people in place to adequately mine the data, remove outliers, & provide any variety of reporting with said data. That is something that is not adequately being done by DOE or the School Districts. Instead, DOE believes that producing data without properly breaking it down & tracking trends can adequately measure “value creation”. Since this is the 21st century, I would expect that if DOE decided that data was the best way to determine success or failure of a system, then they would be able to acquire the necessary software & hire data experts (please don’t insult anyone by saying they have hired “Data Coaches” to do such) to mine the data. Instead, DOE has decided that sending out a bunch of numbers & asking Educators to mine, then interpret the data is the best method. That is not an acceptable practice in the 21st century.

    2. “We measure systemic scores to access system-wide value creation” – You start off on the right foot, but don’t take the next step. The key to gathering data is to not only measure value creation. Having a report saying you do or don’t create value is worthless unless you: 1) are sure that the data is adequately broken down & interpreted to make sure that you are comparing apples-to-apples, 2) have an upfront action plan for the actual value you want to create, with that plan being as specific as possible (which gets back to item one of breaking down the data correctly determine if you are moving towards success in each action step), & 3) using the data to build upon success & shore-up areas of concern. I do not see any of those areas being addressed with the data being gathered.

    3. “I don’t want to be blind to system performance.” – This is the most dangerous statement. Using data incorrectly often provides more disastrous results than having no data at all. When Coca Cola rolled out New Coke in the ‘80s, they definitely did it using data; however, they would have been better off simply not having the data. Coca Cola took samples from taste tests to determine that a formula change was needed. The resulting backlash was tremendous. So, data in & of itself is not good. It is the mining, analysis, & use of the data which is key. A big problem is that many of that data sources (i.e. student test takers) are flawed to begin with. I don’t mean that in a bad way; however, it is a simple fact that the data cannot be gathered in any controlled manner. Being that the data sources here are children, you are already dealing with a more volatile data source than normal. If the data source is an adult, there is, for the most part, more of a control data source because as adults we have learned to adapt, control, & understand many things that children cannot. This leads to more consistent results, which is why a business can use data to measure productivity of employees, but school systems will always struggle to measure productivity of students.

    4. “Do your part” – I think many of us who reject the test are doing just that. We are trying to provide reasons to show why the test is flawed, for whatever reason. The fact is that DOE is not doing its part to ensure that what is being measured is being done for a purpose, with a plan in place for how to handle the information received in a manner which is best suited for creating improvements. To me, what is currently being done is much more dangerous than doing nothing at all. Doing something just to say something is being done is never the best action. If you want to truly do something, then I say influence DOE to create a detailed action plan in conjunction with ALL stakeholders (i.e. students, parents, administrators, teachers, business leaders, & the community) for the direction in which you want education in the state to go. After that is done, the get more detailed to create plans for student groups (based on regional, socio-economic, etc. factors). After that create action steps as to how you want to achieve those plans, broken down by timeframes. After that, you begin testing in the form of making sure, via small samples, the data you are getting is providing you the necessary feedback & you are able to create useful reports. Finally, you can fully roll out your means of gathering the data; however, even then you should be analyzing the process to ensure it is providing data which is of actual value. Somewhere in there; however, you need to make sure you are hiring the right people.


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