The Delaware DOE has been saying they want community input and parent engagement to determine accountability. Recently they have received exactly what they were looking for. And the majority of parents who are engaged are telling them the same thing: the path you are on is bad for our children. As the Smarter Balanced Assessment started rolling out last month, parent opt-out started rolling its engines and left its mark on the First State. Now the DOE and Governor Markell are scrambling to stop legislation which would codify this God-given, fundamental right.
I’m hearing crazy stories from Legislative Hall. I’ve seen some crazy things at Legislative Hall. Watching a Governor’s Education Policy Advisor trying to get to a legislator who everyone knew was a swing vote right before a vote would have been comical if it wasn’t so offensive. How desperate has the Governor of Delaware become? And yet he won’t show his face during these debates. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Every single thing Markell has done as a result of parent opt-out has met with firm resistance from the opt-out crowd, teachers, and even legislators. And the sad, sad DOE… Where do I even begin? What happens when a State Representative with a third grader opts out? Will they give remedial recess time? Either they just don’t get it or they think their little “treats” will sway us.
The usual lobbyists have been in full swing down at Legislative Hall. Rounding up Earl Jaques and giving him pointers and advice. More like tying him up and giving him the Kool-Aid IV drip.
In the meantime, I am meeting some great and awesome people. Folks who have never spoken out against anything before in their life are taking to the podium and talking from the heart. It is truly an awesome thing to see. Delaware parents are finding their voice, and they are speaking loud and saying this isn’t the best thing for my child. They are exercising the very rights this country was built on. Freedom from tyranny and oppression.
A year ago, the DOE were so sure of themselves and very cocky and arrogant about it. I have to wonder what the atmosphere is like in those two buildings these days. Is all that zeal and zest replaced by fear and more clicks to their resumes? If I were working there, I would be updating my resume fast! I can picture them going to meetings and saying “let’s try this, maybe this will stop it.” They just don’t understand, and at this point I’m beginning to doubt they will. Even as the bricks and mortar of their corporate education reform movement fall around them, they will still be talking about rigor, assess and data.
And the legislators, God bless them. They are starting to realize “these parents are making a lot of noise, we better listen.” Some of them were already, and they have been fighting the good fight for all of us. And we have the Delaware PTA and the DSEA on our side as well. When all is said and done, the Race will be over, and hopefully our children will emerge out of this era wanting to learn. I can’t wait for that day, and it can’t come soon enough. Because they are holding the DOE accountable.