“Information to be included on the Snapshot Report Card will be informed by feedback on a public statewide survey, statewide focus groups, and stakeholder committee feedback, with the final approval of the Secretary of Education.”
The Delaware Department of Education put out a bidder request for contract DOE2015-16 last month, and the bidding has already closed as of June 3rd. The potential vendors for this school accountability initiative have been made public, and they are Diamond Technologies, Tembo Inc., and Public Consulting Group.
Diamond Technologies is used to working with Delaware state agencies, including work done with the Division of Unemployment Insurance, and even the Delaware DOE, under Secretary Lillian Lowery. Their previous work with the DOE included an update to the DOE’s digital scholarship information.
Tembo Inc.’s last contract with the DOE was an effectiveness report on Teach For America in Delaware. This controversial report drew the ire of State Rep. John Kowalko at a House Education Committee meeting last February. The results of the report led to legislation already signed by Governor Markell extending Teach For America in Delaware for another three years.
Certainly no stranger to Exceptional Delaware, I wrote extensively about Public Consulting Group, otherwise known as PCG, last summer. They are the contracted vendor with the DOE and the Department of Health and Human Services for the Medicaid reimbursement program. This is a company with many controversial issues around data collection.
The Report Card Survey is based on the DOE’s ESEA Flex Waiver with the US DOE, which hasn’t even been signed off on yet by them. This school accountability system would allow parents to see a letter grade for each Delaware school, just as students receive letter grades of A-F. I will come right out and say I do not trust any survey the DOE creates or has a hand in. Furthermore, this survey is based on standardized test scores in part. If students are already expected to do bad on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, will parents know enough to differentiate the issues with standardized testing and how their child actually learns in school?
The main areas of the school report card will be the following: academic achievement defined by the DOE as standardized test scores and overall growth on these assessments, college and career readiness, chronic absenteeism, and how many students are on a graduation track. That’s it. Nothing about special education, community outreach, school climate, bullying, discipline, cleanliness, or anything else. Just everything tied to the Smarter Balanced Assessment and throwing in chronic absenteeism just for kicks.
To view the DOE’s bid proposal, please go here: http://bidcondocs.delaware.gov/DOE/DOE_15016ReportCard_RFP.pdf
To view the DOE’s list of bidders for this contract, please go here: http://bidcondocs.delaware.gov/DOE/DOE_15016_PR.pdf