I found this very interesting item today… On October 5th, there will be a tentative special Delaware State Board of Education Workshop on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and Accountability. While it is not on the State Public Meeting Calendar, they already have the agenda up if you go to the above link, along with documents to be used in the presentation. I wrote yesterday about the DOE’s plans to use teachers as scapegoats for the Smarter Balanced Assessment results, and from the looks of this, the Delaware PTA may be used in similar fashion.
State Board Workshop on State Assessments and Accountability 10/5/2015 – 5:00 PM
Date, Time and Location all TBA
Below are resources that may be helpful in providing additional information about Delaware State assessments
Here is the link to the Smarter Balanced practice test: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/
A website with lots of resources and information on Delaware’s standards and assessments: http://delexcels.org/
Additional information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment: http://bealearninghero.org/classroom/smarter-balanced
Smarter Balanced Assessment Guides developed by Delaware PTA and the National PTA:
Resources to review specific skills aligned with Smarter Balanced Score report information by grade level: http://bealearninghero.org/skill-builder
Grade by grade overview of English and math standards: http://www.pta.org/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2909
That’s a whole lot of mention of Delaware PTA in just one part of this presentation. This will be a couple weeks after parents get the kid’s Smarter Balanced scores, and they will be freaking out. Here comes the State Board to the rescue. They are going to make this a big thing. all parents are invited. Media will be on hand and probably already got their “save the date” email. The State Board will say “We didn’t design the test. Teachers contributed and the Delaware PTA directed parents where to go.” And that will be all parents need to hear: teachers and an organization to help shoulder the blame. The State Board and the DOE will promise to look into this. They will assure parents they will do everything they can to make this assessment more tolerable this year and will work with the schools and districts to make sure they are doing it right. And then comes the usual “we want all children to succeed,” most likely from State Board of Education President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray.
Unless some soothsayer blogger predicts this a month and a half ahead of time and publishes it on his blog… 😉
What the State Board of Education and the DOE may not realize is the Delaware PTA was the biggest advocate of parents opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. While they did provide links to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, it was a way for parents to find out what this test is really about. They came right out and said they don’t think the Smarter Balanced Assessment is an effective measurement for student success. I would be hard-pressed to find anyone more dedicated to parent engagement than Delaware PTA President Dr. Terri Hodges and VP For Advocacy Yvonne Johnson. One of them was at every single debate and meeting on House Bill 50, the parent opt-out bill, at Legislative Hall. They formed the town halls on opt-out that ignited the fire. They know how bad this test is.
If parents want to blame someone for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, they can look to the following individuals and groups: Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Former Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, the un-elected Governor appointed Delaware State Board of Education, the entire leadership of the Delaware DOE (including David Blowman, Penny Schwinn, Chris Ruszkowski, Susan Haberstroh, Karen Field-Rogers and Michael Watson), U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Delaware Senator David Sokola, Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques, former Delaware State Rep. Darryl Scott, Rodel, The Vision Coalition, the Delaware Business Roundtable, and the Delaware Charter Schools Network. If parents want to take action on their frustration with these people, there is no easier way to do that than to say NO MORE! Refuse the Test for your children! Opt-out! And email-bomb every single member of the 148th General Assembly: State Reps and Senators, demanding they override Governor Markell’s House Bill 50 veto the first day they come back to legislative session in January 2016. And while you are at it, demand legislation removing the Smarter Balanced Assessment as the state assessment of Delaware! Parent’s voices were heard with House Bill 50, and those who voted no will be held accountable. But the vast majority voted yes, and they will again when the override comes. Especially when they receive ten times the amount of emails, calls, Facebook messages, tweets, and messages.
I encourage anyone reading this to keep coming back to this link. So when the big news does break with the scores, and enraged parents get on Google and start researching Smarter Balanced Assessment and Delaware PTA, this will be the first link they see on Google. Share it, spread it, email it, write it down and put it on cars at the mall!