The Rick Jensen Show on WDEL just announced their Weasel of the Year for 2015, and by a very wide margin, the Delaware Department of Education led by Executive Director Donna Johnson and State Board of Education President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray took the award! Other nominees were Bloom Energy, Paul Ryan, Governor Markell, and more. But the DOE won by 27 votes. Congratulations to the DOE, Donna Johnson, and Dr. Gray! You certainly worked very hard all year long to get this prestigious honor!
Once Rick gets the podcast of this on the WDEL website I will definitely put it up on here!
Knowing the power structure down at the Townsend Building down in Dover, I have no doubt Donna Johnson will be very irate at being called the leader of the Delaware DOE. I let Rick know this on the air as well, but I also said they are essentially the same thing. Maybe not in the formal Delaware State Code, but you know what I’m saying. The best part? Even though Governor Markell didn’t win, this is reflective of him because he appointed all of the key personnel at the Delaware DOE. So this is a double victory in my book!
I can’t believe I first watched this video last night! This is classic! It was the Delaware Education Desk, hosted by Avi Wolfman-Arent of WHYY/Newsworks and the two guests were State Rep. John Kowalko and State Board of Education President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray. The date was 6/10/15, the same day as the wild and crazy Senate Education Committee meeting on House Bill 50. When the subject came up about teacher evaluations tied into standardized test scores, Dr. Gray completely loses her composure and gets very angry. This is the same type of Dr. Gray we saw at the December State Board of Education meeting when the subject of the Christina Priority Schools came up. What can I say? Jack Markell picked her…
After the President of the Delaware State Board of Education, Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, was quoted in different media sources about House Bill 50 and opt-out, former blogger and current teacher and President of the Red Clay Educators Association Mike Matthews shot out an email to Dr. Gray and several others in response to Gray’s comments. With Mike’s permission, I present his email:
I read with some concern a comment you made to WDEL, which was:
“It [SBAC] does provide information for parents, teachers, educators and the community about how we’re doing in terms of implementing curriculum.”
Could you please detail for me the information that is provided by this test? Further, can you provide for me details on how this information will at all be relevant for teachers to provide immediate feedback to students and parents as well as their ability to shift lesson planning to address those needs, especially considering scores won’t be revealed for more than three months after the test has been administered? Also, I’m a bit confused by your statement that this test will measure “how we’re doing in terms of implementing curriculum.” The Governor and many others have said for years that Common Core is not a curriculum, but your quote would seem to say otherwise.
Further in the article, you state “Most of the students will benefit from the test.” Again, could you provide meaningful data or evidence to back up this statement? How will students benefit? For nearly 15 years, students have been subjected to standardized tests, but neither the Executive nor the Legislative branches of government over two administrations have done much of value in taking the deficiencies we KNOW our schools have and then addressing those deficiencies in a tangible way. It’s my expectation that we will continue this status quo under SBAC: Test, Label, and Punish. More Priority Schools. More of the same. So, how exactly do students benefit? I look forward to hearing your specific examples.
Wishing you all the best and looking forward to seeing you at the HB 50 hearing this afternoon.
Well said Mr. Matthews. Between the DOE’s current bid proposals for upcoming contracts regarding school accountability, the pending “discussion group” regarding Delaware colleges and universities embedding Smarter Balanced into more areas, and pending priority school contracts, it seems like the DOE and the State Board are not thinking twice about backing away from Smarter Balanced. The drums of war between those who side with the false ideology of Governor Markell, the DOE, and the State Board of Education and the realistic logic of teachers, parents, the Delaware PTA, and DSEA are getting louder by the minute folks.
Dr. Teri Quinn Gray wrote an editorial in the News Journal called Summing Up the Courage to “Stay In”. I had to get some Maalox after I read it. As President of the State Board of Education, Dr. Gray can certainly have her say. Doesn’t mean I’m going to listen. My favorite line in the whole letter:
How can we truly know where our strengths and weaknesses lie? How do we improve that which we cannot measure?
Dr. Gray, that’s pretty much how I feel every time I file a FOIA request with the DOE! Want to know a secret Dr. Gray? Shhh, don’t tell anyone. You ready? Okay. Here it is. In the mid 1990’s I lived in Sweden for a couple years. Apparently, they put this stuff in the alcohol there that makes you automatically throw up if you drink too much. That scenario is very similar to how most of Delaware feels right now. The “sunshine” coming from all these opponents of opt-out is so nauseating and unpalatable. I truly think I would rather stab my eye out with a pencil than to hear about all this gap closing and rigor and standards and the whole “that’s why were looking at other assessments”.
It’s hard for me to value your opinion when you weren’t publicly elected. At least with the Governor I have a choice. I’m not sure which was worse, this letter or the speech you gave the Christina Board of Education when the DOE was on their priority schools rampage. Are you guys done with that hissy fit? Probably not….
“…to determine which schools should be recognized for success or slated to receive additional support to address low performance…”
If you want to stay in with this dying corporate education reform movement, be my guest. I’m sure when the new Governor is done with this State Board you will get some STEM job somewhere. And when Smarter Balanced is a distant memory, just remember, you pushed it. Delaware’s greatest failure. As for me, I’m opting out!
If you want to read this, thing, just go here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/06/01/summing-courage-stay/28323159/
If you want to read valid and well thought-out reasons why House Bill 50 is awesome, go here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/05/31/truth-parent-opt-hb/28267687/