The Assessment Inventory Committee for Delaware finally has a date scheduled for their next meeting. It will be on April 26th, from 4pm-6pm, at the main Department of Education Building in Dover. The meeting will be held in the Cabinet Room where the State Board of Education meets on a monthly basis. No agenda has been set for the meeting at this point in time.
I highly encourage parents and teachers to attend this meeting and give public comment. This is the time and place to make your voices heard where it could potentially have some sort of impact. At the last meeting, I sensed some hesitation from State Rep. Tim Duke. Prior to this meeting, I perceived Dukes as a pro-standardized testing, anti-opt out legislator. He talked about walking through schools and really listening to teachers and hearing their concerns. I would have not thought this was possible a few months ago.
This is a committee that is largely controlled by the DOE. There is a parent representative on the group, but she only attended the first meeting. I find this to be unacceptable. State Rep. Kim Williams has emailed the DOE several times about this glaring hole on the committee without any response from them. The Delaware PTA has also been very vocal about the lack of parent representation on the committee.
It is very important for parents and teachers to give their opinion on these matters to those who have the ability to make a difference. While you may think your voice does not matter, it does. It always has. Don’t be afraid to use it. The timing on this meeting is crucial given that the Every Student Succeeds Act is in the process of issuing regulations that could dictate how much control states have over high-stakes testing. Our children need you to speak up. They need you to be their voice. Do not let them down! The Smarter Balanced Assessment must go. But we also need to make sure it is not replaced by something comparable or worse. As well, the data output from the state assessment and personalized learning must be protected so children are not tracked and used as guinea pigs for testing companies or other corporate entities. This is a non-negotiable in my opinion!