Governor Markell Takes It To Facebook And Receives The Beat Down Of His Life!

Has Jack Markell ever lost anything?  Any of his races for elected official?  Cause this is a guy who is so drunk with power he doesn’t realize when he is beat.  He cannot admit he is wrong on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He is holding on for dear life to his failed ideology like it is his lifeline.  I don’t get it.  As I said on his Facebook post (see below), he has done far more for the opt-out movement than anything I ever could.  By writing what he did today, he is causing even more people to unite against him.  Sure, 48 people liked his post.  Among them, the Delaware Department of Education, members of his staff, Donna Johnson and some people I’ve never heard of before in my life.  But the comments… I love it!

To see the action, cause I’m sure by the time I post this there will be more comments to read, please go to Jack Markell’s Facebook page.  I would like to say one thing to our “education” Governor.  Spell-check should point out spelling errors on most social media.  I’m really not sure what “musn’t” is, but I know I mustn’t bust you too much on it…

We musn’t undermine such an important tool for understanding whether our children are learning and our schools are improving.

Schools could damage an important measure of accountability.
  1. Gov. Markell’s education agenda has failed. And he’s flailing about to hold on to anything to keep his precious standardized tests. It would be an important tool IF our governor used the results of the past six years to ACTUALLY support needy schools. He hasn’t. Read here for more. And please share the article: http://www.delawareonline.com/…/opt-out-veto…/78362468/
  2.  I agree with Kim Williams State Representative, 19th District ” If the assessment gave meaningful data to a teacher immediately on individual students, I would agree. My question to the writers, how is this a useful tool if the test comes seven months later, after the student has been promoted to the next grade? What are we learning from this needed data? Is the state developing educational programs from this needed data or are we just going to continue to label schools with this needed data? Are we going to continue to tell communities that your school is failing with this needed data? Are we going to tell these communities that we are going to continue to collect the needed data for another 20 years ignoring what we already know that we do not properly fund what the needed data has been telling us for years -that there is no funding for ELL students, we do not fund Basic Special Education Kindergarten through 3rd grade, and that we have been ignoring poverty since the needed data has been collected? So why would anyone continue to support this state assessment when the needed data has been screaming at us for years what our state needs?”
  3. with all due respect, SBAC does not give parents valid information about their children. It’s not a true growth model, it does not inform instruction ( results are received after the student moves to the next grade), it’s a test designed to trick students rather than encourage them to think outside the box,this bill is about parental rights. The people spoke! The democratic process happened . You did not support that which saddens me. I know you believe you did the right thing but you didn’t! Please reconsider! Give parents back their choices and their voices!
  4. Jack Markell what drugs are you using???? Seriously. I want to know. I want to become just as delusional as you are. You see, I am both a parent AND a teacher who has given the SBAC test, and I have yet to see how it is such an important tool to “understand whether our children are learning and our schools are improving.” Are you trying to start a new Jim Jones style cult? Which flavor of Kool-Aid are you serving? Oh, and since you are hell-bent on taking away parents’ rights, I will be dropping off my daughter at your office after school tomorrow, mmmm-kay????
  5. This is not an important tool and I will determine whether my child participates in this test or not. And I chose not. I do not agree with this test (no matter what you are calling it this year) or with the current system of education as it stands.
  6. We had tests years ago to measure this and we all ACTUALLY learned things. Teaching to prepare for tests does NOTHING but give our children anxiety. Let’s go back to actually teaching our children!!
  7. I used to like you governor. When I was a student twenty five years ago we took standardized testing but our teachers still taught us art, math, science. Free thinking. They weren’t just teaching to lead up to the test….this is why other countries are beating us.
  8. How about teach the way the children learn, not teach them the test. How about increasing the school’s budget so they can hire better teachers and more of them? How about we put the responsibility back on the student to learn rather than fault the teacher? Have you been in the classroom to see what teachers are forced to endure? Its no wonder children aren’t learning when teachers are spending 40 mins trying to get a class to settle down. 
  9. To address this in its entirety, please stop issuing guidance and rhetoric on why parents should stop advocating for their children. Unless the child is a “ward of the state” stay out of my house and what I believe is best for my children.
  10. I refuse to teach because of standardized tests and the way we have handicapped teachers. I, also am a liberal. But we must understand we are a nation of 300 million plus not every kid will be a scientist or straight A student. Go back to standardized tests as just a gauge on how kids are doing, not on wether teachers will be fired or students course work will change. Stop forcing teachers to change their classes around for one or two students who need IEPs. And if your a parent DO YOUR JOB and stop demanding ridiculous things from your teachers and education departments.
  11. These standardized tests are not a gauge of what kids are learning. Other older tests did a better job of that.
  12. Sir, this is why I will never teach in a classroom either. When I work with a child, I will do whatever it takes to get that child to be successful. I measure that child’s success on only themselves and their needs. 
  13. Governor, the tests and the publishing companies who sell them to us are not being undermined. Teachers, students, and parents who stand for real education and respect are being undermined.
  14. Wow! Is there anything else left to say, Governor? #HeresYourSign
  15. Unfortunately, Jack, the turnaround time between test administration and the receipt of scores undermines your argument.
  16. Wrong here Governor
  17. OMG Governor Markell, are you kidding me? Did you really think you were going to get a lot of support on here? Listen to what the people are saying. Just…give…up… It’s over. This could have gone a lot differently, but you had to keep poking the parent bear, over and over again. Your fighting opt-out did far more for the cause than anything I ever did. You have probably caused at least 10-20 more parents to opt out just by posting this. Maybe more. The Smarter Balanced Assessment will never be respected in Delaware. Not by those that REALLY matter: the voting public. You may have your buddies in the DOE, and Rodel, and all that, but at the end of the day, the people have spoken, and they say NO!!!!
  18. My daughter, who tests scores are always above grade level, both, for DCAS and Smarter Balance, got palpitations and I had to rushed her to the A.I. DuPont hospital last May, after three weeks of testing period. It is not about having the children tested, is about which test and how it is done. I agree children have to be tested but I don’t think all these testing combined is done right, otherwise, children wouldn’t be under this sort of stress.
  19. Everyone’s being all nice about this. How about a different prospective. How dare undermine my child’s education for some BS test score to satisfy you federal grant requirements… Just like everything else government has had a hand in, thanks for doing your part in killing our education system. You don’t know what’s best for everyone else’s kids and you should never have a say in it. You need to opt yourself out of our lives…
  20. Mike Matthews article: “Under Markell’s administration, educators have had to tolerate an evaluation system that disrespects their performance in the classroom and lends far too much credence to a standardized test that has changed three times in six years. Using test scores to judge teachers in all of our schools — but especially our least-supported and most challenging schools — is just dumb and has been disavowed by the American Statistical Association.”
  21. That’s why most teachers send their children to private schools cause they know the real deal! Standardized testing is all about politics and money! Truthfully I don’t like how my daughter being taught in school! I’m looking for other alternatives!
  22. There is a direct correlation between those tests scores and poverty levels in schools. We don’t need another measure of poverty….we need solutions.
  23. Standardized testing is NOT an accurate indicator of student learning. If you do not have teachers who are capable of grading students accurately based on their body of work and how much they have progressed or not, then you need better teachers. Standardized tests are junk!
  24. I don’t have nearly the eloquence of some of your other constituents who have already spoken. But I am one more so thinks these tests need to be reconsidered. As a mom of three who works closely with their teachers, as a volunteer who had done Read Assist tutoring, I have yet to hear ONE educational professional speak of these tests positively.
  25. Give our classrooms back to our teachers.
  26. Not many teachers support the damn tests because the whole curriculum is based on them and teachers have no flexibility. There has got to be other ways to measure student’s progress. Also cutting or reducing funding to low performing schools accomplishes nothing positive. It just makes it harder for poorer schools to compete.
  27. Yes we should and yes I will ! Teacher are too worried about a test then actually teaching our children
  28. We as parents should have every rite to opt out if its our choice they are our children and the government or any one else should mind there busy unless our children are being physically harmed
  29. As long as teachers are being held accountable on DPAS for these scores, students will continue to be taught to the test. Therein lies the problem.
  30. Did someone forget a T? Maybe we should be testing our government officials for culpability and competence?
  31. Students opt out whether you like it or not. Giving the parents an option to pull them instead allows you to account for students who otherwise draw pictures on these tests.
  32. I don’t agree I just found out my son has scored horribly on these test but he was tested to be in a gifted program…. We have to do better as a whole for this children
  33. Amazing , how our elected officials should be voting and deciding on issues in the manner the public wants ! I don’t have children, but seems to be all about $. If we score high more grants ….. Forget the grants and give the people what they want for their children .Better idea, all that money we give to the refugees that are allowed to come to Delaware give that to the schools and make the public happy.
  34. Everyone should make themselves familiar with their local elected officials
  35. State representatives and state senators and blow their email boxes and phone lines up !
  36. These people should be doing what people want , if not vote them out. 
  37. I attended school in the 50’s and 60’s I have children who attended in the 80’s, 90’s and now have 2 daughters currently in elementary school. I’ve served on school boards and my wife is a teacher. What I have personally experienced and witnessed is the systematic in 50+ years is the systematic dumbing down of our public education in this country.
  38. We, the parents, and the teachers know if our kids are
  39. Get rid of “common core” and bring back “common sense”
  40. How about removing common core from Delaware’s education system as well?
  41. So teaching only what is on the test so each school can brag about how they’re doing is ok?
  42. Grow a skin, buckle up and do what is expected. Stop seeking reasons to not. This test may not be the best in reasoning but to the the few that are boo boo whining please enough. What’s next ? Opting out of mid terms? (Editor’s note: always a naysayer in a group!)
  43. If this is so good for the kids and the schools, tell us why !
  44. Maybe if there is this much opposition to these tests, we need to look at alternative assessments???
  45. Does it matter Jack? Delaware public schools are horrible.
  46. No testing should happen twice a year but teaching shouldn’t be the answers on the test!!!
  47. These tests are a complete waste of resources!
  48. The error is in thinking there is a single standard for intellect.
  49. Don’t say “we” and “our;” they’re not your kids, you arrogant dictator. (Editor’s Note: One of my favorites)
  50. Which is why we now homeschool.
  51. These tests do not help anyone. (Editor’s note: Yes they do, many hedge fund managers, testing companies, and Governor Markell’s stock portfolio and his golden ticket post-Governor job)
  52. I could not disagree more
  53. Hit the road, Jack. (Editor’s Note, another one of my favorites)
  54. Let’s vote on it.
  55. Nobody asked you for your opinion sir
  56. BS 
  57. Your tool SUCKS!

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…