My Thank You Note To The DE House of Representatives

House Bill 50, Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

To the Delaware House of Representatives,

I just wanted to take the time to thank all of you, even those who voted no or were not able to make it, for the sincere discussion about House Bill 50.  I’m sure it goes without saying I am very much in support of the bill, but even the opposition has the right to voice objections, which in turn fueled further discussion on the matter.  And I’m sure were not done yet.  The important thing is Delaware parents feel like you are listening, and we want to take that momentum to engage in further discussion on how to best serve our children.  I’m sure a lot of you probably don’t want to hear the words “opt” and “out” for a while, so I will end on that note.


Kevin Ohlandt

Please take the time to thank your reps!  And get going on the Senate!

My Conversation With Penny Schwinn Today About Smarter Balanced & SATs

Smarter Balanced Assessment

After I wrote about the State Board of Education meeting last night, I thought I would reach out to Penny Schwinn, who publicly stated there is talk about replacing the SAT with Smarter Balanced in 11th grade.  I emailed her this morning, and I wasn’t really expecting a response, but I did make sure to include the Public Information Officer at the DOE, currently Tina Shockley (since Alison May is out on maternity leave).  This is the exchange that happened:

Clarification on State Board of Education SBA Presentation Yesterday 

  • Today at 10:32 AM
CC:  Tina Shockley

Good morning Mrs. Schwinn!

I attended the State Board of Education meeting yesterday in which you gave a presentation on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  At one point, you discussed the possibility of the Smarter Balanced Assessment replacing the SAT in 11th grade.  I wanted to reach out to you to get some more information on this and what the motivation behind it might be.  In my opinion, the SAT is a long-term, proven and effective measurement test, while the Smarter Balanced Assessment is new and unproven.  This will be for an article on my blog, Exceptional Delaware, so any comments you make would be made public.  Thank you very much,

Kevin Ohlandt

I received the following response 24 minutes later!  I bolded one part of her response for effect.

To:  Kevin Ohlandt
CC:  Shockley Tina

Good morning,

As part of the 5-year Assessment Plan, we are currently soliciting stakeholder feedback and welcome any and all comments. Specific to 11th grade testing, we discussed reducing the number of summative tests, which may include students not being required to take two summative assessments at the end of the year. At this point, the SAT is not a test we would consider cutting.

Please let me know if you have other questions.


Penny Schwinn

Sent from my iPhone

Of course, this didn’t really answer my question, so I sent another email:

To:  Schwinn Penny