“We believe this lack of confidence is due to a failure to engage the education community in a shared decision-making process and the failure of the leadership of the Department to implement reform without creating trust.” -Kevin Carson, Executive Director of the Delaware Association of School Administrators (DASA)
In a Delaware News Journal article published last night, nine out of ten Delaware school administrators that voted on a survey showed no confidence in the Delaware Department of Education. They join the Delaware State Educators Association and their local chapters in the Christina and Red Clay school districts, the Delaware PTA in regards to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, several legislators, and several parents in the state.
The DOE responded to the survey in a statement by their spokeswoman, Alison May:
“If we had to choose between making extraordinary progress together and avoiding controversy, we would choose progress for our students every time.”
It is the very nature of this progress that is the rudimentary question these days. Many folks in Delaware do not see standardized assessments as a true measure of progress for students. With the roll-out of Smarter Balanced this year, this feeling has only intensified as the test has not been validated nor does it offer an actual growth model.
As well, the DOE seems to thrive on controversy these days and are not engaging in true stakeholder input. Perhaps they are just putting on a tin shell to defend themselves from all the potshots that are lobbed their way with statements like these, but it certainly doesn’t help their cause.
Another strong indictment against the DOE by DASA is the fact that the DOE has “flawed systems for evaluating teachers and schools and has stumbled to find a better way to pay educators,” according to the article written by Matthew Albright.
Relations between the DOE and the most essential stakeholders in the state have deteriorated to an all-time low. When the most important groups in education have NO confidence in the rigorous work you are doing, at what point do the light bulbs finally turn on? Will the entire state have to endure Secretary Mark Murphy until Governor Markell leaves office?