Let me start by saying that Atnre cares about students. With that being said, I agree with some of the facts he presents that many may not know. What I do not agree with is what comes from these “known knowns.” As well, by stating “But while decision makers in Delaware spend time debating things like parents’ ability to opt out of state assessments, this data point gets relatively little play in policy conversations”, I feel the author misses the point about why opt out is such a huge discussion. Parents are ignored in much of the policy decisions. Those who make these decisions almost (in my opinion) see parents as meddling and interfering non-stakeholders who are annoying. They fail to realize, time and time again, that parents are and should be the cornerstone to education policy. Yes, many parents do participate in decisions. They are also parents who belong to organizations and groups that subscribe to the point of view of the DOE. It is a stacked deck in favor of the corporations who distort the clear picture about what is going on.
Delaware’s State Board of Education recently made a high-profile decision that has the potential to shape the future of schools in Wilmington. While this decision has garnered significant attention and discussion (and rightly so), there are many decisions made each year that impact students’ learning and their experiences in the education system. Who is making these decisions and to what extent are they basing them on evidence?
Should a given school principal’s contract be renewed? Which teachers should be assigned to which students? Should the state change its school funding formula? Which approach to classroom management will be most effective in a given classroom?
Such decisions take place at all levels – from the classroom to legislative hall – and vary in terms of their potential for impact. But evidence (qualitative and quantitative) and facts (instead of conjecture, anecdotes, bias, and political convenience) should be a major factor in all…
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