At the State Board of Education Fall Retreat today in Dewey Beach, Dr. Steven Godowsky made his first big move as Delaware Secretary of Education, and it was not a good one. I have been writing the past couple months about the Accountability Framework Working Group and the Delaware School Success Framework. At their last meeting in early October, the group unanimously agreed not to have opt-out penalties where the proficiency rate of a school was multiplied by their participation rate for the school report card. They agreed to a lesser penalty whereby the school would have to write a report about how to improve the participation rate and no school could earn a status of “reward” school if their participation rate fell below the 95% mark.
Today, Dr. Steven Godowsky undid all the work this group did, their 14 months of meetings and discussion, and overrode their recommendations. That’s right, the same guy who told the New Castle County school boards at their combined school board breakfast just two weeks ago:
“It’s not a final decision, but it looks like from all levels of the department…that harsh sanctions will not carry the day,” he said. “There will be minimum sanctions that are required.”
So what made him override this? Looks pretty easy to me: he got confirmed by the Delaware Senate last week. If I had to guess, if he came across as the tough guy the Senate would have pounded him. I never thought I would say this, but thank you to Senators Greg Lavelle and Colin Bonini for saying no to this guy getting confirmed. All his lies about being more transparent and communicating better with the public. He just gave the middle finger to the public school system and parents in Delaware by doing this.
Godowsky is a water carrier for Governor Markell and his buddies at Rodel. He is NOT his own man, and he is a coward. He met with members of the Delaware Senate before his confirmation to talk about the changes he wants in the DOE. He will make no changes without Jack Markell whispering in his ear, I can guarantee that! This jacked up move of his assures the State Board of Education will vote on this and pass Regulation 103 which will put this into the books at their November 19th meeting. And now schools will be coming up with even more nonsense concerning opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Delaware Parents: Just refuse the test now. Do not lie down and let this happen. Let’s beat New York’s 20% opt-out rate, and get it up to 50%, or higher! The only way this cockamamie test is going to go away is unless we MAKE it happen. That’s right, We The People! I was starting to believe Godowsky’s line of crap about making things better. I know he has his defenders, and I’m okay with the heat I’m about to get, but this man is a liar! He is worse than Mark Murphy, because he does have the experience, and he is still okay with putting the screws to the public school system. And he used to run a few of them!
If the 148th General Assembly doesn’t override the House Bill 50 veto by the equally cowardly Governor, there is going to be hell to pay for those who say no. And if the leaders don’t even let it get to a vote, they will NOT be re-elected. I will make damn sure of that! We have all been victims of Jack Markell for far too long, and now he is on the cusp of completely destroying parental rights and the voice of educators. The State Board is in Markell’s pocket just as much as Godowsky. So we need to strike NOW!
Email your legislators today and start pounding the State Board of Education right away.