Senate Joint Resolution #2 in Delaware calls for recognition of the assessment inventory currently going on in all our public schools. As well, with the amendment added on 6/3, it gives the General Assembly more ability to make recommendations on it. According to Lindsey O’Mara, Markell’s education policy advisor, Smarter Balanced will be a part of the discussion. But what this will not do is get rid of Smarter Balanced, if it even could, until the 2016-2017 school year.
I don’t think Smarter Balanced can be removed from the assessment equation in this assessment inventory. State law is very clear there has to be a state assessment, and the law is for Smarter Balanced. This is required by Federal law currently. O’Mara said this, very fast mind you, at the Senate Education Committee meeting. Furthermore, any legislation coming out of this discussion group, would still have to be signed by Markell if it passes the General Assembly. He is a lame duck. There is no way in hell he will sign legislation getting rid of Smarter Balanced. Even if it passed unanimously through the House and Senate.
If a veto process carried past June 30th 2015, this would guarantee Smarter Balanced for the 2016-2017 school year. Yes, there would be a new Governor and a new General Assembly starting in January 2017, and they would have to start from scratch all over again. Which then brings us to the 2017-2018 school year. Over two years from now…
If the only reasons DSEA is supporting SJR #2 is because Smarter Balanced was included in the discussion and the fact that it gives the General Assembly more abilities in the process, this is a weak argument. I am still sticking with my original articles on this the past couple days. I do not think the actions of DSEA and the RCEA President are intentional in deriding HB 50. But I firmly believe they have been duped, and as a commenter wrote yesterday, DSEA is still trying to differentiate between a “seat at the table” and “being on the table”. They are very eager for change, as we all are. But if they fall over the cliff on this one and something happens with House Bill 50 as a result, the relationship between parents and the DSEA may never be repaired.