Big Vote In The House Today On School Suspension Bill

SS1 for Senate Bill #85 should get a final vote in the Delaware House of Representatives today.  If it passes and Governor Carney signs the legislation, it should mean Delaware students won’t receive out of school suspensions for ridiculous offenses.  The bill would make schools report the offenses they suspend students for and, data shows, schools don’t like being called out for zero tolerance policies!

The bill came out two years ago as part of the 148th General Assembly but it didn’t make it out of that session.  Senator Margaret Rose Henry tweaked the bill and after more than two months, the bill comes down to the House vote today.  If this is Senator Henry’s education bill swan song, it will be a good one!  Senator Henry is retiring after the end of this session.

This Act draws attention to the types of discipline used in schools by capturing data about out-of-school suspensions and publishing that data, in an effort to help schools identify areas where the data regarding out-of-school suspensions indicates there is room to reduce such suspensions. This Act is meant to increase transparency, improve overall school climate, resulting in improved student outcomes. The collection and publication of this data will also help the Department of Education and community partners identify opportunities to provide greater supports to schools, students, and their families. According to data provided by the Delaware Department of Education (“DOE”), thousands of Delaware students receive out-of-school suspensions each year for minor infractions, such as being unprepared or late for class, dress code violations, and disrespectful behavior. In 2013, only 2% of out-of-school suspensions were for serious offenses such as weapons, drugs, or serious violence. Out-of-school suspensions do not address the root causes for the misbehavior, and only serve to put the students further behind in class. Furthermore, DOE data shows that, in 2013, African-American students made up only 32% of the student body, but accounted for 62% of out-of-school suspension, and students with disabilities made up 13% of the student body, but accounted for 24% of out-of-school suspensions. Federal discipline guidance, developed jointly by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, instructs schools to commit to regular evaluation of school discipline policies and practices, and monitor progress toward the schools’ climate and discipline goals. The federal process requires schools to collect and publicly report disaggregated student discipline data and solicit feedback from students, staff, families, and community representatives. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the guidelines of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Substitute Bill makes the following changes to Senate Bill No. 85: 1. References the existing definition of “disruptive behavior” in Title 14. 2. Includes “disability” as a category for data collection. 3. Extends by 1 year the years stated in the requirements to retain the same time frames. This is necessary because this Act will be enacted in 2018, not 2017 when it was drafted. 4. Clarifies what information is required for reports and provides deadlines for the required plans and reports. 5. Clarifies that schools must develop plans and strategies with stakeholder input. 6. Clarifies content for professional development.                    

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High School Parent Watch: Tell Your Children To Give Only Necessary Information For SAT And PSAT

The College Board is asking for a lot of information from students they don’t need.  Such as social security number, family income, religion, and things like that.  A commenter named MEMO just posted a brilliant comment on an article I put up a long time ago.  Delaware is unique though compared to all the other states in that all students are required to take the SAT.  So you may not be able to get out of providing the student identification number.  But all the stuff listed below under “none of their business”?  Don’t let your kid provide that info because it truly is none of their business.

Please remind parents that the in school SAT will be taken by 11th grade students across the state- PSAT for 9th and 10th graders also. The ONLY information that students need to supply is Name, Address, Gender, and Date of Birth. You do not have to enter your student id. The proctor will encourage student to complete the none of their business questions- parent education level, income, religion, GPA, coursework taken or planing to take, etc… etc… do not provide your cell no, ss#, personal email, twitter, Facebook, etc.. keep everything separated from College Board. Have your child ask specifically which information is optional!

You can protect the amount of data going out on your child.  Get involved and make sure your child’s private information stays private!  As well as your own!

Delaware School Choice Application Data For FY2017 By School District

The New Castle County Data Service Center compiled a report on school choice applications by the residing district for the Fiscal Year 2017 school year.  These are applications parents sent out to choice schools for the school year that began this year.  So these applications went out during the school choice calendar from November, 2015-January, 2016.  At least the bulk of them.  These are applications only, not actual acceptances in choice schools.  A student could have applied to five different choice schools so that would count as five different applications.  There are many districts that do not send this information through the system the Data Service Center provides.  Most of them are in Sussex County, including their largest district, Indian River.

While this is missing a lot of information, especially in Southern Delaware, it does give a good indication of which districts have a lot of choice activity going on and where students are applying.  This is very apparent in Christina.

Last week at the Strategic Plan for Specialized Educational Opportunities meeting at the Delaware DOE, Jeff Klein gave a presentation on this report.  Senator David Sokola asked why the applications don’t address low-income or disabilities.  I responded (as a member of the public) that wasn’t a good idea, especially since the Enrollment Preference Task Force (of which Sokola was on) recommended NOT having those items on choice applications.

Do You Want To Believe?

Belief is a funny thing.  Some people need to see something splattered all over newspapers and major news outlets to believe something is real.  Others just need to hear one thing to think something is true.  When it comes to education, what do you believe?

I recently had a conversation with someone who told me I was a conspiracy theorist.  That what I am saying about the vast plans that have been going on with education and what is to come is nothing more than that.  That I have no basis to prove my theories whatsoever.  This person also informed me they don’t care about my theories and they have more important things to do with their life.  I encouraged this person to do some research on their own and to come up with their own conclusions.  When you talk about the agendas for public education to someone who is not deeply engrossed in the minutiae of what has been going on, it is very easy to sound like a crackpot.  It won’t be the first time someone has expressed that I am crazy or wearing a tin hat.  I’m sure it won’t be the last.  But as I left that person, they were on Google looking up “Common Core conspiracy theories”.

To an outside observer, many of us who do the research with corporate education reform do sound crazy.  But they haven’t poured through contracts and websites, or followed the money to see where billions of dollars are going.  They haven’t read everything we have.  They can’t accept how deep the tentacles reach.  That this involves much more than education and has ties with the U.S. Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Labor.  That what is going on in public education will redefine society as we know it and strip away substantial rights of citizens in the future.  It sounds so crazy it would have to be a conspiracy theory, right?  And that is exactly what they are counting on, these masters of wealth and foundations, these billionaires who throw money around like it was nothing.  “But these foundations do good things,” I’ve heard.  Of course they do.  They help people around the globe.  If all they did was fund Common Core and personalized learning and education technology, it would be MUCH easier for people to follow the trail.

Our country is run by corporations.  I can’t make people see this.  I can’t make them understand that politicians are bought and sold like discounted goods on Black Friday.  I can’t make them see the major media blackout on so much that is really going on.  I hear so many people say “You can’t believe what you read on the Internet or on blogs.”  I’ve seen it myself.  There is a ton of bad information out there.  I’ve published bad information before based on bad information or a misunderstanding.  It happens.  But when all the same trails lead to the same conclusions repeatedly, after a while the truth sinks in.  It’s not like a lot of these companies are hiding what they want to do with data.  They are announcing it on their websites or pushing it with policy briefs for the Every Student Succeeds Act.  But who has the time to look at all that?  If I weren’t hip to a lot of this stuff, I wouldn’t give any of it the time of day.

It is no longer theory when something has been proven.  It is fact.  And it is a fact that there are corporations and foundations, run by some of the richest people in the world, that want today’s youth and future generations to become servants to their masters.  They will accomplish this through education by turning it into a data tracking system that will affect every facet of their lives: health, careers, outside interests, media, technology, and higher education.  Everyone will be plugged in and led to believe what their lives should be.  The data will tell them so.  Meanwhile, those who aren’t plugged into the Blockchain technology coming our way, the masters, they will happily reap the profits of those who don’t want to believe.

As those who want to save our children from this future, how do we reach those who don’t want to believe?  Who honestly don’t have the time or an inkling of how grand this scheme is?  That it doesn’t matter who is President or this Secretary, they are just following the script written decades ago?

Delaware Opt Out Numbers By School District: Who Rose? Who Fell? And What About The Charters?

Thanks to the always faithful Delaware Department of Education for their obsession with data.  It makes my job a lot easier!  As I announced earlier today, opt out numbers went up this year for Delaware students in 3rd to 8th grade.  Despite whatever flawed data system the accountability gurus at the DOE are using.  Because they seem to think opt out went down this year.  But in my eyes, they went up:

2014-2015 ELA: 1,269

2015-2016 ELA: 1,375 (+106)

2014-2015 MATH: 1,116

2015-2016 MATH: 1,267 (+151)

These numbers do play games with my head.  Why are some parents just opting kids out of ELA and not Math, or vice versa?  I believe any increase is good.  That means more parents are wising up to the high-stakes testing regimen and telling schools they don’t want their kids to be a part of this nonsense.

So which districts saw more students opted out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment?  Which saw less?  And where the heck are the charter schools actual participation rate numbers?  I guess since charters are “special” and have “autonomy” we can’t see their numbers….  But we can see Prestige Academy and Gateway Lab School definitely didn’t make the 95% overall participation rate, Family Foundations Academy is questionable, and 4th graders at Kuumba missed the mark.  Great job charter parents at those schools!  Too bad the document only has ELA numbers…whoops!  I can say I was able to determine that 161 students in the combined charters were opted out of the Smarter Balanced ELA and 111 were opted out of Math.  I am basing this on the total of the below numbers for this year subtracted from the overall numbers for this year in both ELA and Math.

OPT OUT NUMBERS BY DELAWARE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

Appoquinimink:

15-16 ELA 101 (+14)

14-15 ELA 87

15-16 MATH 138 (+45)

14-15 MATH 93

Brandywine:

15-16 ELA 167 (+90)

14-15 ELA 77

15-16 MATH 138 (+55)

14-15 MATH 83

Caesar Rodney:

15-16 ELA 56 (+5)

14-15 ELA 51

15-16 MATH 41 (-7)

14-15 MATH 48 BOO

Cape Henlopen:

15-16 ELA 60 (+17)

14-15 ELA 43

15-16 MATH 75 (+25)

14-15 MATH 50

Capital:

15-16 ELA 118 (+62)

14-15 ELA 56

15-16 MATH 83 (+30)

14-15 MATH 53

Christina:

15-16 ELA 246 (-77)

14-15 ELA 323 BOO

15-16 MATH 231 (-52)

14-15 MATH 283 BOO

Colonial:

15-16 ELA 92 (-15)

14-15 ELA 107 BOO

15-16 MATH 86 (-28)

14-15 MATH 114 BOO

Delmar:

15-16 ELA 6 (+5)

14-15 ELA 1

15-16 MATH 7 (+6)

14-15 MATH 1

Indian River:

15-16 ELA 34 (-45)

14-15 ELA 79 BOO

15-16 MATH 39 (+16)

14-15 MATH 23

Lake Forest:

15-16 ELA 27 (+4)

14-15 ELA 23

15-16 MATH 31 (+6)

14-15 MATH 25

Laurel:

15-16 ELA 15 (+9)

14-15 ELA 6

15-16 MATH 9 (+5)

14-15 MATH 4

Milford:

15-16 ELA 27 (+3)

14-15 ELA 24

15-16 MATH 28 (+9)

14-15 MATH 19

Red Clay:

15-16 ELA 198 (+1)

14-15 ELA 197

15-16 MATH 175 (+26)

14-15 MATH 149

Seaford:

15-16 ELA 20 (-8)

14-15 ELA 28 BOO

15-16 MATH 26 (0)

14-15 MATH 26 SORT OF BOO

Smyrna:

15-16 ELA 49 (+6)

14-15 ELA 43

15-16 MATH 37 (+3)

14-15 MATH 34

Woodbridge:

15-16 ELA 13 (-9)

14-15 ELA 22 BOO

15-16 MATH 12 (-1)

14-15 MATH 13 BOO

It looks like Christina and Colonial shed a lot of opt outs this year.  There could be different reasons for that.  8th graders who were opted out last year wouldn’t count for this year.  And by my recollection, those were the second highest opt out numbers last year behind juniors.  Those 2014-2015 8th graders are not represented in opt out numbers now that they (luckily) don’t have to take the test anymore.  Which also eliminated the vo-tech school districts from these kind of comparisons.  How convenient it was for a former vo-tech Superintendent to become Secretary of Education for Delaware and one of the first major things he does is get rid of the “opt-out problem” for the vo-techs.  I never made that connection until just now… you do learn something new every day!  I did have to help a few parents in Christina with regards to opt out even though their board passed a policy honoring a parent’s right to do so.  But never underestimate a principal who just won’t have that in their school.  While they may have felt powerful at the moment, I’m sure they didn’t by the time I advised the board.

In terms of gains, it looks like Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Cape Henlopen, Capital, Indian River (Math) and Red Clay (Math) were the biggest gainers.  But Indian River is weird cause they lost 45 opt outs for ELA.

There is one district listed on here I am very happy to see the numbers on.  And I know one mom in that district who is as well.

No man is alone who has friends.

As always, my door is always open for any parent who has questions about opt out or is having issues with a district about it.  There are Opt Out Delaware: (Insert District Name) Facebook pages for all districts and one for all charter schools.  Now that I have opt out baseline data, I know what I have to do next year and which districts I need to reach out to.  In the meantime, I encourage all Delaware parents to really question these scores when you get them in the next couple of weeks.  What does it tell you about a test where only 41% of Delaware students were proficient last year and only 44% this year?  Considering the cut scores for these things, and how a lot of schools fell on those cut scores, within a 200 point range in the mid 2000s, what are we really using this test for?  When you get the scores in late July or early August, how is that going to help your child next year with a new teacher and new classes?  Not to mention the data going out like the Hoover Dam just burst to education “research” companies?  You do realize your kid is just a guinea pig for companies, right?  No matter what the DOE or the district or the school tells you, you know in your heart what your kid can and can’t do.  Does this test tell you the same thing?  Does it change anything?  Will it make your child “college and career ready” just because someone tells you it will?  Only you can answer these questions.  But if your heart has that nagging feeling that you know this test is bad, opt your kid out next year.  I got your back, and so do 1,375 other parents in Delaware.  Maybe Governor Markell doesn’t, but he will be gone in six months.  Hopefully the next Governor will care more about parents than this one does.

The Future Of Education Is A Very Dark Place. The Future Is Now.

Thank you to my friend for putting this document together based on this map.  It is frightening how much of these events are happening right now.  The Every Student Succeeds Act is allowing a great deal of this to come to fruition.  In many states, legislation is happening right now to ensure this future comes to pass.  We are seeing this with personalized learning initiatives in many school districts.  Students with disabilities and those who don’t conform will be re-engineered through medicine and simulations.  Teaching as we know it will be gone.

Why was 2015-2016 so important for education?  If you haven’t been paying attention, there is a flurry of activity going on with more changes than any one person can keep track of.  These events were planned years ago.  Some say 2007, but I estimate much of this has been planned since 1992.  There are more political and corporate players involved in these agendas then we can imagine.  It is a cabal of billionaires and futurists carefully and methodically transforming society to their warped ideals.

People wonder why I get so upset about education and lose patience quickly.  This is why.  We don’t have time for the endless chatter about what we should be doing.  Especially when more than half the people at the table are already sold on these ideas.  They may not know the full scope and chances are I don’t either.  But the pieces are coming together fast and if we don’t get a handle on this and expose all of this we have no chance of stopping any of it.

If you wonder why I shudder at the possibility of President Hillary Clinton, this is why.  I’ve been slammed for only looking at education for her qualifications.  This goes way beyond education.  This is a complete remodeling of society as we know it.  If you don’t think Hillary is involved in this, think again!

Updated, 12:33pm, EST:  The Scribd document embedded in this article keeps disappearing.  I don’t know if I am being hacked or what is happening.  It is still on scribd, which you can see https://www.scribd.com/doc/304979065/GEFMap

Updated, 4:37pm, EST: I changed my WordPress password after the Scribd document disappeared a third time.  It has not disappeared since.  Which means someone knew my password.  Which I have never shared with anyone.  Which also means I ticked someone off big time.  I would hope logging into the State of Delaware or the Delaware Department of Education’s free wi-fi doesn’t mean they could possibly get into my accounts.  Or that one of the big boys thinks they can do what they please.  I will find out who got into my account and I will pursue it.

Kavips, Where Are You? We Need You!

Kavips, you need to come back.  I haven’t seen anything on your blog since January 5th.  We had a major legislative battle with House Bill 50.  While the bill is still in limbo, aka Pete Schwartzkopf’s desk drawer, we need a rally.  I truly don’t think the House Republicans hail Mary bills are going to do anything except waste oxygen.  Once I discovered opt-out, your blog was the first place I found.  With all the Smarter Balanced Assessment questions and all the brilliant posts about why the test sucks so bad.  I don’t know if you are chilling for the winter, or up to other stuff, but your presence is needed!  You need to come back and help make sense out of all this as well as a way forward!  This year is crucial in education.  The reformers are getting their dream lists ready and going to town on them.  And they are happening.  I’m going to come right out and say I need your perspective on all this.  It isn’t just Common Core and SBAC, it’s everything: after-school community centers, the 5Essentials Survey, data going out of our schools like crazy, WEIC, priority schools 2.0, charter audit bills, etc.  We need your take on all this.  Rodel is going full-steam ahead with their copy and paste job of the DOE website into one big look at Delaware schools.  The charter bias is unreal.

COME BACK KAVIPS!!!!

Thomas Fordham Institute Data Guy Went On Rick Jensen, Listen To What Happened!

One of my favorite talk-show radio hosts in Delaware is Rick Jensen on WDEL.  While I may not always agree with him on every issue, we stand united in our hatred of Common Core and both actively advocate for parent opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Or as Rick calls it, the “Not So Smarter Balanced Assessment”.  He had this guy from the Thomas Fordham Institute on the show today.

I love how this guy refuses to call Common Core a curriculum.  Really?  Then why is it I put an article up with a copy of my son’s math homework a year ago, and it generated 15,000 hits in less than 24 hours?  Because parents across America were Googling this homework that night, when kids all across the country had the SAME homework, with teachers teaching to that math that day.  If that is just a standard, then I strongly suggest this man buys a dictionary and learns the difference between standards and curriculum.

And let’s not forget one thing that most folks don’t know.  The NAEP test, that has been a “steady” barometer of our children’s success in America, is based on tests designed by American Institutes for Research.  Who is also a vendor for numerous states and their standardized assessment, including all the Smarter Balanced Assessment states.  Of course kids would do worse on a test they helped create against a test they helped create.  A company like that doesn’t get $38,000,000.00 from a small state like Delaware, and who knows how much at a national level, if all children are succeeding.  They need kids to fail this test, in great numbers, so they can continue their profit margins.  That’s what it’s all about.  So when these “think tank” guys talk about how much we need this data, they need that data so they can line their pockets with taxpayer money.  It’s not about the kids.  It’s never been about the kids.  It’s about greed, pure and simple.

Why are these Fordham guys showing up in the News Journal and WDEL all of a sudden?  Because folks like Dr. Paul Herdman of Rodel are asking them to.  Because they know opt-out numbers are going to go through the roof next spring, and they want to get the spin control out now.  Because these corporate intruders, and that’s what they are, are scared to death of the 148th General Assembly overriding Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50.  But like the Smarter Balanced Assessment itself, they will fail.  Because they are missing the crucial ingredient in all of this.  A parent’s love for their child.  There is nothing greater aside from the Almighty Himself!  So Jack, Paul, Mark, all of you, listen up.  We will not give up.  We will not surrender.  We will not stop.  We aren’t idiots who believe whatever lines you throw our way.  We are parents.  We are our children’s voice.  You all need to stop before you embarrass yourselves even further.

Delaware State Rep. Sean Matthews Tired Of “Test And Punish” & “Cash In The Trash” Education!

Delaware State Rep. Sean Matthews has had enough!  Something I think many of us agree on!  As the Delaware DOE announced the long-awaited and much dreaded Smarter Balanced Assessment results, folks immediately started crunching the data to see what it all means.  On Delaware Liberal and Those In Favor, graphs were made showing the relationship between low-income populations in Delaware schools and the Smarter Balanced results.  These graphs were very telling, and show these high-stakes assessments are not doing any favors for low-income students.

This is what State Rep. Sean Matthews had to say about all this:

Enough already! The corporate education “reformers” keep pushing their “test and punish” agenda. It’s failed. It’s failing. It will continue to fail until we address the endemic poverty plaguing some of our students.

The millions we spend each year on standardized testing is nothing more than “cash in the trash.” If we just collected parent/guardian’s income levels, we would get the same data. There is a direct and enduring correlation between a family’s economic health and school performance.

Don’t believe me? Check out these 2 graphs. One from Red Clay School District and one from Christina School District. Keep in mind that within each district, the curriculum, teacher training and governing district polices are the same. The only major difference is the % of low-income students from school to school.

csd_sbac_pli

RedClayPovertyScores

Rep. Matthews hit the nail on the head!  None of this is about the kids.  It’s about other agendas which results in schools being labeled and punished.  We have seen this sad tale all over America, in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and New York City.  Why is it so necessary to turn public education into something it’s not?  These are the tough schools.  The ones where teachers go to, day in and day out.  They don’t have to teach in these schools, they want to.  They want to help these kids.  It’s not for a paycheck, or to have the summers off.  Their unions can’t protect them too much when a school is shut down over high-stakes testing results. They want to be, if they can, the difference in some of these students lives.  I hear so many stories from adults who came from poverty, and very often, they reference a teacher who made a difference in their lives.

When is America going to wake up and realize these kids don’t need the labels.  They don’t need companies and management organizations coming into their schools to “fix” them.  They need consistency.  They need compassion.  They need what they already have.  But the education reformers don’t think that’s enough.  They would rather test these children, all the while knowing the tests they are giving to them are designed for failure, so they can “turnaround” a school.  It all comes down to money, and it makes me sick to my stomach that anyone would use children in this manner.

Someone genuinely asked me if they should continue to send their child to a school like this or send them to a “high-performing” school.  Every time a parent makes a decision in favor of the latter, they are killing public education, one student at a time.  And that’s exactly what the reformers want.  The data in these graphs says one thing.  These tests are great for those with money and very bad for those without.  It’s not about the caliber of the school, or the teachers, it’s about the world these children live in.  The reformers can’t grasp the notion that if they spent their vast millions upon millions of dollars on actually improving communities and creating jobs, that would do far more for these children than any standardized assessment would ever do.  That would be the real reform our children need.

We keep hearing how the Delaware DOE needs this data, and that parents need it. What does it tell you?  You won’t see these graphs on the Delaware DOE website.  But they are more important than any amount of data they will ever put out.  Thank you Rep. Matthews for saying what so many of us are saying.  You have a powerful voice, and we need you to speak for a long time.

*Thank you to Delaware Liberal and Those In Favor for creating these graphs!

Smarter Balanced Results If Delaware DOE Understood Poverty Matters & Special Education Was Understood

As Delaware journalists, schools and parents dove into the Smarter Balanced data this week, Delaware Liberal and Those In Favor released two graphs. Both of them showed how low-income and Smarter Balanced results worked against each other fairly consistently in the Red Clay Consolidated and Christina School District.  Did the same hold true for charter schools?  The below information tells the tale.  As well, I went a step further and played with some different weights into what really matters in education data.

Statistically, schools with small amounts of low-income students had higher scores on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Those with high percentages of low-income students fared worse on the assessment.  Now if our Delaware Department of Education truly cared about factors affecting high-stakes testing, the results would be completely different.  The below chart shows all Delaware charters and their average Smarter Balanced results.  By simply adding ELA & Math and dividing by two, we see each charters average.  And this does include Positive Outcomes and Gateway for reasons which will become clear very soon.

As a guide, the following abbreviations are as follows:

LI: Low-Income

PF: Proficiency Factor (average proficiency for each school multiplied by low-income percentage)

SE: Percentage of special education students (having an IEP) at each school

PFSE: The proficiency factor multiplied by the special education percentage for each school


DELAWARE CHARTER SCHOOLS LOW-INCOME & SBAC PROFICIENCY RATES

Charter School of Wilmington- LI: 2.3% ELA: 97.5% Math: 96.3% Average: 96.9%

Newark Charter School- LI: 7.2% ELA: 93.1% Math: 84.1%, Average: 88.6%

Sussex Academy- LI: 7.8% ELA: 95.6% Math: 73.9%, Average: 84.75%

Odyssey Charter School- LI: 17.9% ELA: 77.7% Math: 69.5%, Average: 73.60%

MOT Charter School- LI: 5.9% ELA: 75.4% Math: 71.1%, Average: 73.25%

Providence Creek Academy- LI: 18.3% ELA: 66.0% Math: 43.3%, Average: 54.65%

Kuumba Academy- LI: 58.0% ELA: 44.6% Math: 39.9%, Average: 51.3%

Campus Community- LI: 38.3% ELA: 61.9% Math: 36.9%, Average: 49.4%

First State Montessori- LI: 10.0% ELA: 57.4% Math: 41.1%, Average: 49.25%

Las Americas Aspiras- LI: 25.0% ELA: 51.0% Math: 40.7%, Average: 45.85%

Delaware Military Academy- LI: 6.9% ELA: 54.0% Math: 27.6%, Average: 40.8%

Family Foundations- LI: 44.4% ELA: 36.5% Math: 28.9%, Average: 32.7%

Academy of Dover- LI: 64.8% ELA 35.7% Math 25.9%, Average: 30.8%

Thomas Edison Charter School- LI: 76.2% ELA: 33.7% Math: 20.9%, Average: 27.3%

Reach Academy- LI: 55.2% ELA: 31.2% Math: 17.0%, Average: 24.1%

East Side Charter School- LI: 77.3% ELA: 19.9% Math: 23.4%, Average: 21.65%

Prestige Academy- LI: 58.1% ELA: 17.6% Math: 13.4%, Average: 15.5%

Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security- LI: 27.0% ELA: 20.6% Math: 7.4%, Average: 14%

Gateway Lab School- LI: 20.8% ELA: 15.4% Math: 4.8%, Average: 10.1%

Positive Outcomes- LI: 31.7% ELA: 15.7% Math: 2.0%, Average: 8.85%

Delaware College Prep- LI: 77.8% ELA: 5.8% Math: 7.5%, Average: 6.65%

Moyer- LI: 73.1% ELA: 8.3% Math: 1.4%, Average: 4.85%

Of course, the highly-praised Charter School of Wilmington is on top and the recently closed Moyer is on the bottom.  The two special education charters are near the bottom of the list as well.  These are solid numbers based on DOE website data on low-income populations and Smarter Balanced results.


DELAWARE CHARTER SCHOOL SBAC RESULTS WITH LOW-INCOME WEIGHT ADDED IN

Kuumba Academy 58.0% ELA 44.6% Math 39.9%, PF: 24.5%

Thomas Edison Charter School 76.2% ELA 33.7% Math 20.9%, PF: 20.8%

Academy of Dover 64.8% ELA 35.7% Math 25.9%, PF: 20.0%

Campus Community 38.3% ELA 61.9% Math 36.9%, PF: 18.9%

East Side Charter School 77.3% ELA 19.9% Math 23.4%, PF: 16.7%

Family Foundations 44.4% ELA 36.5% Math 28.9%, PF: 14.5%

Reach Academy 55.2% ELA 31.2% Math 17.0%, PF: 13.3%

Odyssey Charter School 17.9% ELA 77.7% Math 69.5%, PF: 13.2%

Providence Creek Academy 18.3% ELA 66.0% Math 43.3%, PF: 10.0%

Sussex Academy 7.8% ELA 95.6% Math 73.9%, PF: 6.61%

Newark Charter School 7.2% ELA 93.1% Math 84.1%, PF: 6.38%

Delaware College Prep 77.8% ELA 5.8% Math 7.5%, PF: 5.2%

First State Montessori 10.0% ELA 57.4% Math 41.1%, PF: 4.93%

MOT Charter School 5.9% ELA 75.4% Math 71.1%, PF: 4.32%

Delaware Acad. Public Safety & Security 27.0% ELA 20.6% Math 7.4%, PF: 3.78%

Moyer 73.1% ELA 8.3% Math 1.4%, PF: 3.5%

Positive Outcomes 31.7% ELA 15.7% Math 2.0%, PF: 2.8%

Delaware Military Academy 6.9% ELA 54.0% Math 27.6%, PF: 2.8%

Charter School of Wilmington 2.3% ELA 97.5% Math 96.3%, PF: 2.3%

Prestige Academy 58.1% ELA 17.6% Math 13.4%, PF: 2.2%

Gateway Lab School 20.8% ELA 15.4% Math 4.8%, PF: 2.10%

Las Americas Aspiras 25.0% ELA 51.0% Math 40.7%, PF: 1.14%

Everything changes when you factor low-income and poverty into the equation.  But is that enough?  Many of the schools with high populations of low-income students also have high populations of students with disabilities.  What if we add that to the equation?


DELAWARE CHARTER SCHOOL SBAC RESULTS WITH LOW-INCOME AND SPECIAL EDUCATION WEIGHT ADDED IN

East Side Charter School 77.3% ELA 19.9% Math 23.4%, PF: 16.7%, SE: 14.8%, PFSE: 2.4716

Academy of Dover 64.8% ELA 35.7% Math 25.9%, PF: 20.0%, SE: 11.7%, PFSE: 2.3400

Positive Outcomes 31.7% ELA 15.7% Math 2.0%, PF: 2.8%, SE: 65.9%, PFSE: 1.8452

Campus Community 38.3% ELA 61.9% Math 36.9%, PF: 18.9%, SE: 8.3%, PFSE: 1.5687

Kuumba Academy 58.0% ELA 44.6% Math 39.9%, PF: 24.5%, SE: 6.3%, PFSE: 1.5438

Thomas Edison Charter School 76.2% ELA 33.7% Math 20.9%, PF: 20.8%, SE: 7.1%, PFSE: 1.4768

Gateway Lab School 20.8% ELA 15.4% Math 4.8%, PF: 2.10%, SE: 59.9%, PFSE: 1.2579

Moyer 73.1% ELA 8.3% Math 1.4%, PF: 3.5%, SE: 29.8%, PFSE: 1.0430

Reach Academy 55.2% ELA 31.2% Math 17.0%, PF: 13.3%, SE: 6.4%, PFSE: .8512

Family Foundations 44.4% ELA 36.5% Math 28.9%, PF: 14.5%, SE: 5.3%, PFSE: .7685

Las Americas Aspiras 25.0% ELA 51.0% Math 40.7%, PF: 1.14%, SE: 5.7%, PFSE: .6498

Delaware Acad. Public Safety & Security 27.0% ELA 20.6% Math 7.4%, PF: 3.78%, SE: 16.5%, PFSE: .6237

Odyssey Charter School 17.9% ELA 77.7% Math 69.5%, PF: 13.2%, SE: 4.4%, PFSE: .5808

Providence Creek Academy 18.3% ELA 66.0% Math 43.3%, PF: 10.0%, SE: 5.1%, PFSE: .5100

Prestige Academy 58.1% ELA 17.6% Math 13.4%, PF: 2.2%, SE: 22.0%, PFSE: .4840

Newark Charter School 7.2% ELA 93.1% Math 84.1%, PF: 6.38%, SE: 5.6%, PFSE: .3573

First State Montessori 10.0% ELA 57.4% Math 41.1%, PF: 4.93%, SE: 5.4%, PFSE: .2662

MOT Charter School 5.9% ELA 75.4% Math 71.1%, PF: 4.32%, SE: 6.1%, PFSE: .2635

Sussex Academy 7.8% ELA 95.6% Math 73.9%, PF: 6.61%, SE: 3.6%, PFSE: .2380

Delaware College Prep 77.8% ELA 5.8% Math 7.5%, PF: 5.2%, SE: 2.5%, PFSE: .1300

Delaware Military Academy 6.9% ELA 54.0% Math 27.6%, PF: 2.8%, SE: 3.0%, PFSE: .0840

Charter School of Wilmington 2.3% ELA 97.5% Math 96.3%, PF: 2.3%, SE: .2%, PFSE: .0046


PRIORITY SCHOOLS

Now where all of this gets really interesting is when you start comparing this to traditional district schools.  Since it would take me forever and a day to get all of them, I thought I would start with the six priority schools announced a year ago yesterday.

Bancroft- LI: 80.5% ELA: 11.0% Math: 6.9%, PF: 13.5%, SE: 24.2%, PFSE: 3.2670

Shortlidge- LI: 81.0% ELA: 20.9%, Math: 15.7%, PF: 14.8%, SE: 14.9%, PFSE: 2.2052

Highlands- LI: 65.2% ELA: 29.5%, Math: 17.9%, PF: 15.5%, SE: 12.2%, PFSE: 1.8910

Warner- LI: 82.6% ELA: 13.4%, Math: 10.6%, PF: 9.9%, SE: 14.2%, PFSE: 1.4058

Bayard- LI: 78.2%, ELA: 9.3%, Math: 3.2%, PF: 4.9%, SE: 27.2%, PFSE: 1.3328

Stubbs- LI: 86.5% ELA: 8.1%, Math: 7.1%, PF: 6.6%, SE: 11.6%, PFSE: .7656

Bancroft would have beat ALL the charters, and even Stubbs, at the bottom of this list, would have beat  over half the other charters.  So what is the reason we are judging schools on high-stakes assessment scores when so many other factors need to be considered?  Maybe we can get a new funding program based on these calculations, but please hold the SBAC!  But seriously, as these numbers prove, our “greatest schools” aren’t so great when they don’t have high populations driving a need for additional support and services that are not coming into those schools at the rate they should be.  This is Delaware’s #1 problem, not proficiency scores on a useless once a year test. Governor Markell, poverty does matter and special education plays a huge role in the overall dynamic in Delaware education.

 

Smarter Balanced Assessment in Delaware…What’s Next?

The shot heard round Delaware went off yesterday, and most citizens don’t know what the hell any of this means!  Half the kids aren’t proficient in English/Language Arts and 61% aren’t proficient in Math.  But they did better than what they expected, or at least that’s what the Delaware DOE and Governor Markell are spouting.  But here’s the crucial truth: nobody knew what to expect with any of this.  I’ve heard from more than one source the DOE just kind of picked a number for proficiency and above.  But this is the nature of standardized testing.

With high-stakes assessments like this, not everyone can be proficient.  And not everyone can be failing.  There will always be that bar.  It is set up like that for a reason.  The DOE can’t label and punish if everyone is doing great.  With all the talk of poverty schools, which are Title I schools, the system is specifically designed to punish those schools.  The ones who promote getting these schools the resources they need to succeed (Markell, DOE, Rodel, Delaware Business Roundtable, etc.) are the exact same ones pushing the standardized testing agenda.  And parents and citizens buy into it hook, line and sinker.  The State Board of Education and Rodel have reached the point where it is hard to distinguish one from the other.  In an email sent out today from Donna Johnson, the Executive Director of the State Board, she cites Rodel’s huge help in getting resource material on the State Board website to “help” parents.  Dani Moore is the Administrative Secretary for the State Board of Education.  The key part is bolded for emphasis.


From: Moore Dani <dani.moore@doe.k12.de.us>
Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 8:15 AM
To: Moore, Dani L. (K12)
Cc: Johnson, Donna R (K12)
Subject: Additional resources available on SBE website, please feel free to link to your site and share with others

Dear Educational leaders, Policy makers, and Community Partners:

In recent weeks we have developed and finalized additional materials to assist with the Smarter Assessment Score release and continue to provide information and resources to our educators, parents, and community partners. 

Our website (www.destateboarded.k12.de.us) has several new tools and resources that may be of interest to you.

1)      Two one page documents that provide an overview of Smarter Assessments as well as an big picture overview of the shift to new standards and assessment. I have also attached them here as pdf’s.  (I greatly appreciate the help from our SBAC partners in WA, CT, OR, and WV as well as the huge assistance from Rodel and DOE in pulling these together)

2)      Two short videos – one is a 30 second overview of why we shifted to these assessments and what it means for students, the other is a little over 1 minute description of the Smarter Balanced assessment suite and how it can be used as well as some big ideas about the summative assessment

3)      A link to a table of resources that provides additional tools and resources for educators, parents, and the community (this is also given as a word document so that others can utilize it directly in case that is more useful)

You will see throughout all of these resources we prominently link and direct people to the DelExcels.org website, which is the existing partner site for information regarding Standards and Assessments.  That site is a partnership of DOE, DSEA, PTA, and Rodel. 

We have an additional video that should be available soon.  It is a narrated Prezi, in video clip format, that talks you through the components of the Smarter score report and basically verbalizes much of what is explained in written form within the Parent guide that will accompany the report. I will post this to our website as well as provide a direct link when it is ready to go live.

Here are links to the videos directly that are posted on our home page:

–          SBA 30-sec Promo   http://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib09/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/170/033115_SBA_National_30sPromo.mp4

 –          SBA system overview  http://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib09/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/170/PFL_National_Short_English.mp4  

I hope these resources are helpful to you, again please do not hesitate to give me feedback or suggestions that could improve upon these items and again please feel free to share these with others.

All my best,  

Donna


In terms of the DelExcels website, I have heard from quite a few people the Delaware PTA does not have an active role in this and haven’t for a long time.  But the DOE will get their name out as much as they humanly can just to attach Smarter Balanced with the Delaware PTA.  The PTA was very active in getting House Bill 50 to pass, and were instrumental in the legislative sessions surrounding it.

The key part of all this is the scores this year don’t matter…for this year!  They will be huge NEXT year though.  This is what all the growth measurements will be based on, this year’s scores and next year’s.  For a school like Eastside Charter School, who performed horribly on this test (if you count SBAC as a valid measurement of student performance which I don’t), they are pretty much set up to show huge growth gains based on their scores this year.  Most schools are, especially the Title I schools.

What is very telling is the fact DOE did not release the sub-group data.  They have it, because all states do.  States like Connecticut already released their statewide sub-group information.  There is no reason the DOE could not have.  I’m sure they will come up with some reason, like they are still aggregating the data and whatnot, but I believe they did not want this information out yet.  The DOE and the State Board are masters at using timetables to their advantage.  They will only release information on their timing, so it can serve them best, not the true stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, schools, districts.  But you better believe Rodel was probably one of the FIRST organizations to see the Smarter Balanced data.

The State Board of Education meets next on September 17th.  They will release the sub-group data and come up with a shock and awe strategy to cover up the simple fact that the Smarter Balanced is a BAD test.  It’s what they do.  Meanwhile, schools don’t know what to do with all of this.  Parents are wising up faster than I anticipated them to and are asking if we even need this.  Yesterday, 105.9 covered the Smarter Balanced results and asked the audience if they felt Governor Markell should reverse his House Bill 50 veto.  When we are at that point, and the entire state knows what a colossal waste of time, money, energy and resources this has been, all involved in this assessment need to suck it up and say “Yeah, we need to admit failure and move on for what’s best for Delaware students.”  But that won’t happen, instead they will keep trying to fix what is irreversibly broken.  I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it.  Last year, at a Christina School District Board of Education meeting, member John Young said “You want to know who needs great leaders? The Delaware DOE needs great leaders.”  Never has this been more true!

And DOE, stop calling it Smarter.  It sounds stupid, because we all know now the test is DUMBER than any test ever created!

Delaware Children Are Pawns To American Institutes for Research & Not Just For The Smarter Balanced Assessment

“When you are using the test for accountability, you’re not really using it to measure the kid, but you are using it to measure the school or the teacher or the district.” Jon Cohen, President of Assessment at American Institutes for Research

Today we find out the Smarter Balanced Assessment results for Delaware.  This test was designed by American Institutes for Research.  They also created DCAS.  Known as AIR, they are everywhere.  Your child is a mere data point to them so they can help states hold schools and districts accountable for their own tests.  I first wrote about them at the end of April, and what I found shocked me then.  Watch this video, and think of your child taking this assessment.

This is a company who promises Delawareans they will keep your child’s data safe.  Which is interesting, considering they can’t do the same for their own employees so how safe is your child’s information?  This is a company that proudly boasts on their own website how they delivered 60 millions tests to students this year, including 12 million Smarter Balanced Assessments.  But they aren’t just satisfied with American students, they have their paws in international organizations as well with their project called “International Development, Evaluation, and Research”:

IDER is developing a benchmarking tool as part of the World Bank’s System Assessment and Benchmarking for Education Results project that will allow countries to analyze their progress in implementing curriculum based learning standards. The tool will be developed in conjunction with extensive research on the conditions and policies needed to promote standards-based education systems.

I wrote last week about how these assessment developers really operate, and the very dangerous implications it can have for students, especially those with disabilities.  But did you know AIR’s founder, John Flanagan, was heavily involved in eugenics experiments to help the “superior” race.  You can read about this very sordid past with the practice of eugenics which is defined as:

Eugenics: the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis.

In a sense, what the corporate education reformers are doing with education isn’t really different than what the eugenics movement attempted.  They are trying to improve the student population by controlled standardization to increase the occurrence of desirable outcomes: the complete destruction of a particular “race” of education: public education.  What companies like AIR do is create the conditions and situations for our schools to be seen as “failing” and then set up the method by which to prove it, tests like Smarter Balanced.  As seen in the accountability matrices for Delaware, and the fact that future priority and focus schools will be based on these measurements, and they are all based on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, is it any wonder our schools aren’t improving?

Even when states like Florida, who withdrew from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, still used AIR to implement their state assessment, major problems still occurred.  So much so that their own Governor issued a findings report on AIR’s psychometric practicalities and the bungling of the test last Spring.  That report just came back, but unfortunately Florida’s Governor used education reform companies who are well-connected with their Governor to issue the report.  Furthermore, the analysis was done using AIR employees as part of the state’s Technical Advisory Committee.  You can read it all here:

http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/FSA_Final_Report_08312015.pdf

This is a company who has their hands in every aspect of education: assessment, turnaround schools, discipline, achievement, academic standards, accountability, teacher evaluation, and more.  Aside from a few states, I have not seen AIR mentioned as one of the chief education reform companies, but in my eyes, as well as thousands of others, they are at top of the list.  They have received over $1 billion dollars from the US DOE, and in just five years, $38 million from Delaware.  What are the results of this companies assessments in our state?  What progress has been made?  We all know the answer to that.  Remember this company and the above video when you hear so much about the Smarter Balanced Assessment today and in the coming weeks.  Remember their dark history and their very influential present.  Remember they’ve had their hands on Delaware student data for over five years now.  And ask yourself, why does this company know EVERYTHING about my child?  After you finish reading this article, go to AIR’s website.  Peak around, check them out.  See how many countries they are involved in.  See how many different areas of everyday life they have a direct hand in.  Do the research yourself, and if you still don’t have that queasy, unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach, if you aren’t horrified by this company, then do some more research.  Look into all these companies.  And ask yourself, how in the world did education ever become about this…

Mark Murphy And His Magical Educational Journey To Excellence

I’ve seen Mark Murphy speak a few times and he was definitely playing it up a bit for the news cameras on him at the Senate Education Committee meeting a few days ago.  If there is one thing you can say about the former gym teacher, he is certainly consistent.

Thank you Senator.  We are all, all of us, appreciative of Senator Townsend’s sentiment that we are all supporting our children as they take this educational journey to excellence. And hopefully that will lead into success not just in 4th grade or 5th grade, but obviously success well into high school and beyond high school years.  In order to help deliver our children into a place where they are successful in the world we have to measure their progress along the way.  And to understand whether they’re on track to be successful in those middle school years, in those high school years, and beyond.  So that’s what this is about, this is about measuring progress.  When we use that progress, when we use that measurement, in order to understand what’s working.  Our pedalogical approach is working, our curriculum is working, the way that we organize our schools, the way that we allocate budgets, the way we resource schools and which schools need additional resources.  If we do not have measurement of how our students are doing against the standards that their teachers are teaching to them, then we are unable to make well-informed great decisions.  Certainly at this level, also at a school and district level.  Measurement matters.  We also agree, that we are testing too much.  We have said that a number of times over these recent months and we have launched an initiative to take a look at how many assessments our children are taking.  And more importantly than the number of assessments they are taking, is the quality, whether these are redundant assessments.  If they test the same thing the child was assessed on a week ago.  Are they relevant assessments for what the child needs to be learning to be successful later? Are they high quality?  Do they give us good data in order to make informed decisions?  And so while we recognize that we are in the middle of that process, we are asking that we allow that process to take hold, before we start making major decisions about opting out of important measurement tools.  Finally, these assessments help to unlock doors for us, the decision-makers, for our kids, for our parents, for our educators, in regards to decisions they can make to support the children better.  And that information is available at the student level, the teacher level, the school level, and the state level.  And we all need this information to move forward.

Is it just me, or does it kind of creep you out when he keeps referring to “our” children?  Not my kid Mark!  The information available Mark, does that mean we can ALL see the tests and the answers and the actual questions?  Sorry buddy, but a lot of parents have jumped off your train trip to la la land.  Cue the Puff the Magic Dragon music, we are out of here!

The Delaware DOE Wanted Parent Engagement, Be Careful What You Wish For….

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.

Part 3 of Christmas Presents for the Enemies of Delaware Public Education @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @Roof_O @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE #Delaware #edchat

touchette

First up is a man who is not known outside of the education world in Delaware.  But he will have a huge effect on the education landscape starting in March.  He is the spearhead of the Smarter Balanced Assessment at the Delaware DOE.  He is also a data freak.  Brian Touchette, we have found a more effective way for you to play with data.

datatoy

This is data you can play with anytime you want.  It can’t be used to close schools or judge teachers and students.  You can play with Data 24 hours a day, all week long.  But please, stop using our children as data.  They have individual minds.

ruszkowski

Next up is our surfer dude at the DOE.  As chief of the teacher effectiveness group, Chris Ruszkowski is tasked with finding ways to make teachers less effective by drowning them in professional development and more nefarious ways to make them look bad.  His plans didn’t work out too well in 2014 as 99% of teachers in Delaware were effective or better.  We know there is a contract bid for an evaluation of the system your group helped to create, but might we suggest something that has worked through the years?

ruskowskipresent

For your Christmas present, we thought you could benefit from a group skydiving gift certificate.  The key word here is group, as it takes a collaborative effort with all stakeholders to get results.  Demeaning and ridiculing our educators is NOT effective, and the only way you will ever get their respect is through something we like to call teamwork!

visionnetwork

For the group that can’t seem to figure out what year their conquest of Delaware schools will happen, we have a simple Christmas gift for you.  Like Mr. Touchette above, this is a vision you can play with anytime you like.  We just don’t want you sharing your vision with our state moving forward.  Your plan reeks with the stench of corporate education reform, and we grow tired of it.

This is Vision.  He’s an Avenger.  This will be his year, because he will be in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.  The Vision is a soulless android who can become intangible.  Kind of like your vision for education in Delaware.

IMG_20140716_210455

Assessment Office At DE DOE Didn’t Get Charter School SAT Scores From College Board…Oops!

In yet another colossal blunder, the Delaware DOE didn’t get the charter school SAT scores from the College Board.  At the State Board of Education meeting last Thursday, Brian Touchette and Rita Fry from the Office Assessment gave a presentation on the SAT scores for all of the high schools in the state.  But he forgot that one crucial part…the charter schools.

According to the office of assessment, SAT scores were slightly down for African-American and slightly up for Hispanics.  Touchette explained he was unable to get the information for low-income students because of glitches in the system due to the new DOE website.  What is it with this DOE and low-income data? http://kilroysdelaware.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/delaware-department-of-education-busted-for-falsifying-low-income-data-washingtonpost-huffingtonpost-edude-netde-neatoday-nsbacomm-natlgovsassoc-usedgov-arneduncan-educationoig-destateboar/

When giving the presentation, it was very visible on the graph that Red Clay was much higher than the other districts.  Touchette explained this was due to the fact charter schools are part of Red Clay Consolidated School District.  Board President Dr. Gray asked Touchette why the other charter schools weren’t included.  Fry advised her “It was not part of the table received from The College Board.”  Gray seemed perturbed by this, and Touchette said he would go back and ask for that data.

My question would be if they didn’t give them to you, and you knew you were giving a report to the State Board of Education, why wouldn’t you ASK for them?  This isn’t rocket science.  I’ll bet if it was a standardized test the DOE can make money from, they would have been the first ones at the door the day the scores were announced.  But no, that must not have been important, those scores.  Not to an ASSESSMENT office!  This DOE is proving to be more ineffective by the day.  Hopefully, they will come in one day and forget all about Common Core, Smarter Balanced, Priority Schools, Gateway, their side deals up in Wilmington, and their love affair with all things charter.  Yeah, and maybe I’ll get a singing donkey for Christmas!

Back to the SAT conversation.  In 2012, the Delaware DOE, in their infinite wisdom, became the first (and only) state to require all students to take the SAT.  As a result, their data is inconsistent with the rest of the USA.  The national average above that magic score of 1550 was 43% and for Delaware it was 21%.

The board tried to figure out why Delaware was so low.  Touchette explained the national average of 43% was roughly twice the amount of Delaware’s percentage, so they are on track if only 50% of students in the USA take the SAT.  Mark Murphy said “We’ve spent hours discussing this.  We’ve been unable to make comparisons to the different groups.”  Now I’m not as much of a data freak as the DOE is, but I’m smart enough to let them know they didn’t need to spend hours discussing this, because IT’S DIFFERENT DATA!  You can’t put a round peg in a square hole.  Yes folks, this is who leads education in this state!  But that wasn’t even the best quote of the day…

What the DOE was very concerned about was how many students took the test during SAT day.  Only 90% took the SAT during that day.  This was very crucial for them to include this.  Not sure why, but in a moment of absolute confusion, Brian Touchette actually said “These numbers don’t match and that’s intentional.”  And that pretty much sums up the current mindset of the Delaware DOE…