Senate Joint Resolution #2 in Delaware created legislation for the state’s assessment inventory. All assessments given to students are included in this, with the exception of final exams and end of unit tests. This includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment. At their Rep Assembly last weekend, a business item was introduced for the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) to recommend eliminating the Smarter Balanced Assessment in Delaware. It was a unanimous vote.
Last Spring, when discussion on inclusion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the assessment inventory was discussed at a Senate Education Committee, then Education Policy Advisor for Governor Markell Lindsay O’Mara assured the large audience it would be. During the last assessment inventory meeting at the Delaware Department of Education, the Smarter Balanced Assessment was a large topic of discussion. State Rep. Sean Matthews argued the state does not provide any real identifiable data and takes away far too much classroom time.
While DSEA doesn’t have the final say on the assessment inventory, it is a very positive step that they would unanimously pass a recommendation based on the entire rep assembly at their event last weekend. I would love to see the test gone from all schools in Delaware, but I also fear for the future of standardized assessments.
With personalized learning invading our schools in mass quantity, the writing is on the wall for the future of assessments: much smaller standardized assessment chunks embedded into digital format through the modules for personalized learning. As the brilliant blogger EducationAlchemy pointed out in a recent post, what makes personalized learning so personalized if it is a student using a computer? It is all about the data. The predictive analysis algorithms built into the Schoology systems used in Delaware. That legislation to protect student data does not cover at all. All to determine career paths for children at a very young age and guide them toward that profession when they leave secondary education.
Our children are not test scores, and they certainly aren’t your data guinea pigs. The intrusion into children’s personal lives is at an all-time high. We must stop this and take back public education from the reformers who not only want to get very rich off children but also want to mold the future with people on pre-determined career paths.