The Delaware Governor’s ESSA Advisory Committee will meet tonight at Legislative Hall in the House Majority Hearing Room. The fun starts at 6pm. Will Jack Markell show up? It would be very tight. At 5pm he will be in Wilmington for the Delaware Open Data Launch, and then he has to be at Dover Downs for the 2016 Volunteer Awards ceremony.
I can’t believe there has been no announcement concerning who is actually on this committee. I know State Rep. Kim Williams, Deb Stevens from DSEA, and Appo Superintendent Matt Burrows are on it. If I were a betting man, I’m sure Kendall Massett from the Delaware Charter Schools Network is on it. She rarely gives up a spot on any committee for a designee. Someone from Rodel. Perhaps Kevin Carson from the Delaware Association of School Administrators. John Marinucci from the Delaware School Boards Association. I have a feeling I will know most of this crowd. See you tonight!
At Grotto’s Pizza in Dover, DE, the State Board of Education held a workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Capitol Room at Grotto’s was jam-packed with administrators, teachers, advocates, Delaware DOE employees, State Board members, a Congressman, education company employees, and even a blogger or two. Sadly, there were not that many parents there. Yes, many of these people play that role as well as their other jobs, but for a meeting the Delaware DOE will say is a true “stakeholder” meeting, this key group was missing. I recognized a lot of the faces, but there were some I didn’t. Some I was able to put together based on conversations I overheard. This was the State Board of Education Workshop on ESSA. Notice some of the tables where certain people are sitting together. Especially the one Secretary Godowsky was sitting at…
I did not take these 60 pictures. They were taken by an employee of Secretary of Education Dr. Godowsky’s office and put on the Delaware DOE Facebook page this morning. Which means they are part of a state agency which puts them in the public domain! Thank you DOE Photographer!
State Board of Education Executive Director Donna Johnson at the microphone, Deputy Secretary of Education Karen Field-Rogers in the pink jacket with striped shirt in the back, Susan Haberstroh with the DOE with the mid-length brown hair and glasses, Governor Markell’s Education Policy Advisor Meghan Wallace with the ponytail and glasses, Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky to the right near the screen.
The largest teachers union in America is going to have representatives from each state as part of their Every Student Succeeds Implementation Team. This group was formed so they can comb through the recently passed ESSA signed by President Obama last month. I know a few of the folks on this team, and I certainly hope they can help Delaware students, parents, teachers, and schools navigate through this transitional period.
There is news below about the ESSA and opt-out. I strongly urge all Delaware parents to read this as the new law allows for opt-out policies to be made at the state level, not the Federal level. This comes at a crucial time as the Delaware General Assembly is on the cusp of overriding Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50. The ESSA does not allow for the feds to issue letters about funding cuts whatsoever. The key words in this are “maintains requirements that assessments be administered to at least 95% of all students“. Schools control that, but they have absolutely no control if a parent chooses to not have their child take the assessment.
From their monthly newsletter, “Professionally Speaking”:
The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in December has raised an overwhelming number of questions from educators and other education stakeholders as to what is actually contained within the law. Over the next few issues of DSEA’s digital newsletters, Professionally Speaking and Legislative Matters, we will feature some of the key differences between the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this issue we focus upon Standards and Assessments:
For any of the changes outlined above, it is important to remember that successful implementation of this new bill will be dependent upon the decisions made at the state and local levels. Educator input on state and district policies covering testing, accountability systems, and how ESSA can best support the whole child will be crucial to ensuring that the bill truly works for students and schools.
To meet DSEA and other state affiliate needs, NEA has created an ESSA Implementation Team. This team will have its first meeting in Washington, DC on January 22-23, 2016. Implementation team members will learn more about the core aspects of the law, provide advice about how best to equip affiliates and members with tools they need, and formulate strategies for connecting affiliates, members and staff together in this implementation effort so that we learn from each other and can help each other.
State affiliates were asked to submit name of staff and educators to be part of this team. DSEA team members from Delaware include Kristin Dwyer, DSEA Director of Government Relations, Deb Stevens, DSEA Director of Instructional Advocacy, Jesse Parsley, an Association Rep and 8th grade math teacher at Milford Central Academy, and Jill League, a member of the DPAS II Advisory Committee and a 5th grade teacher at Brandywine Springs Elementary. Watch for more information about ESSA implementation from our team in the near future.