State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf Will Not Vote For HB50 Veto Override, Cites SJR #2 As Reason

In an article today by Melissa Steele in the Cape Gazette, Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf emphatically said no to any type of veto override for House Bill 50.

On the House side, Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, said he will not support an override attempt. He voted yes for the bill in June, but he said he would call no special session to override the veto, and he will vote no for the override if it comes up after the legislative session resumes in January.

How does that song by Cyndie Lauper go, “I’ll see your true colors, shining through…”.  It sounds like he swallowed the poison pill that is Senate Joint Resolution #2 as well.  This is the statewide assessment inventory resolution that was always meant to counter House Bill 50.  Schwartkopf even said so in the article:

Schwartzkopf said based on the joint resolution, a task force is being established, and a lot of concerns of over testing may be resolved by its recommendation.

“Let’s give the task force a chance to look at this,” he said.

For those who may not recall, I was livid when SJR #2 was introduced, and even beforehand.  Once Markell announced his “overtesting” initiative, I knew this would be his huge attack against parent opt-out.  I even called allies out in their support of SJR #2, because I knew what it was meant to do.  And here we are, with a veto of an opt-out bill and a push for SJR #2.  If ANYONE thinks Smarter Balanced will be a major discussion point in the assessment inventory, in terms of eliminating that test, they are going to be fooled.  The talk will last for five minutes until someone says “We can’t get rid of it, it’s a federal requirement.”

Perhaps the day has come where Schwartzkopf shouldn’t be able to run the show anymore on the House side in Dover.  Maybe the House Bill 50 veto isn’t the only thing that needs to change down  there.

Meanwhile, Delaware State Senator Ernie Lopez is very much in favor of overriding the veto.

“Smarter Balanced has been the culmination and been on the receiving end of frustration on all levels,” he said. “All of us are disappointed in the governor’s response.”

Now that is a legislator quote I can agree with!  Once and for all we will see which legislators side with parents and which side with Markell in any veto override attempt in January.  And yes, as Senator Bryan Townsend said during the final senate vote on House Bill 50, legislators are being tested with this vote.  And with 11 out of 21 senate seats and all 41 of the House Representative seats open for re-election in November 2016, you better believe it!  Parents are watching what our legislators do like never before.

Newsworks Interviews Legislators Over Opt Out & Mark Murphy

“Opting out is something actually that I’m concerned about, because at the end of the day we’re putting so many state resources into education you have to have instruments to measure them.”

Avi Wolfman-Arent sat down with four members of the 148th General Assembly recently to cover topics in education such as parent opt out of standardized testing, Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, and the proposed redistricting of schools in Wilmington.

The four members, Senators Dave Sokola and Ernie Lopez and State Reps. Earl Jaques and Kevin Hensley, all seemed to agree on parent opt out.   They don’t want it.  But the above quote, attributed to Lopez, shows a glimpse of the legislators mindset.  All this money has gone into the Smarter Balanced Assessment, so they are afraid it will be wasted.  Resources = money for politicians, but I don’t think these four understand the human dynamic at play here.  Parents don’t want THIS test.

Tomorrow, school starts again after Spring Break, and many schools will either start or continue administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Do not let politicians sway you one way or another over issues that once again come down to money.  It’s about what is good for your child, not funding.  If you want to opt out your child, it is never too late.

“That said, the opt out movement seems not to have penetrated the mainstream inside Legislative Hall.”

Avi is awesome, and he offers a much different slant to education news reporting, but this line he wrote is biased based on who he is interviewing.  I can name other legislators who are very much for it, but they weren’t interviewed.  We will find out how much penetration the movement has on April 22nd, when the House Education Committee meets to discuss House Bill 50, the parent opt out bill.