Melissa Froemming with the Delaware Department of Education wants community input on the School Report Card system at three different meetings, all in New Castle County. Which really helps the citizens in Kent and Sussex Counties. Thanks for that Melissa! This is all part of the agenda the DOE hatched last fall with their lame surveys. They purposely put horrible answers into the survey so their pre-selected answers would look like they were gaining feedback from parents and citizens. Then they had town hall meetings to feed the illusion of community input even more. Oldest trick in the book….
Grading schools from A to D is insanity. But what can we truly expect from the same state department that brought us Smarter Balanced, human capital, and priority schools? This latest venture is all part of the ESEA flexibility waivers. What happens when a school gets a D? Will they become a priority school based on this grade? Cause we all know how well the priority school initiative worked the last time DOE…
If you plan on going, please blast the DOE for this stupid and idiotic idea. And what’s the point of soliciting community input if you don’t have these meetings through the whole state? Just shows their lack of caring for parents, as usual….
Delaware State Rep. Sean Lynn introduced legislation today to have another year added before Delaware teachers would have the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores be a part of their rated teacher effectiveness. This current year was already part of last year’s waiver since Smarter Balanced was just rolled out, but this would stop the madness for another year. I am sure everyone would be happy if it was gone altogether, but this is a good step!
In the Delaware Department of Education presentation to their state House Education Committee today on the Elementary Secondary Education Act waivers, State Representative Kim Williams advised the DOE she is “appalled” at their vast overreach in terms of state code.
Mike Matthews wrote on Facebook:
Rep. Kim Williams just leveled an amazing charge against the Delaware Department of Education, asking why they requested language to be added to Epilogue Language that allowed for DOE to OVERRIDE state code. Rep. Williams said she was “appalled” that DOE acted in a manner to override her authority as an ELECTED official. Bam!
Her exact words: “The agency should explain why the addition or deletion is necessary and it should not be hidden away like it was. I’m really appalled by this. I’m embarassed to know this…I was elected by the people to create laws and you guys took it away from us and I’m not going to let that happen again.”
Many questions were asked by legislators and the public why Secretary of Education Mark Murphy would not sign off on the DASL report by the University of Delaware which rated two of the priority schools in the Christina School District as improving. Rep. Sean Matthews asked why charters were not included in the priority school selection process. Delaware DOE Chief of Proficiency and Accountability Penny Schwinn said they were not, but schools like Moyer and Reach had been ordered closed due to low academic achievement. State Rep. John Kowalko advised the DOE of his FOIA results and there was specific language in regards to the charters not being part of the decision on the priority schools.
Schwinn did say no more priority schools will be chosen this year, but she did not specify fiscal year or calendar year.
At the end of the meeting it was announced that next week, on January 28th from 11am to 1pm, the Vice-President of Policy of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers will present during an information session sponsored by the Office of the State Board of Education to discuss issues concerning charters in Delaware and how they relate to other states. As well, on February 18th, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy will be asked to rationalize the Race To The Top spending in Delaware.
More information on this meeting will come later tonight, so stay tuned!
The Delaware Department of Education has been invited to present the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Process to the Delaware House of Representatives Education Committee. The meeting is scheduled for 1/21/15 at 2:30pm.
This will be the first chance many of these legislators get to meet the DOE’s Chief Proficiency Officer, Mrs. Penny Schwinn. Even though he is not on the committee, I’m sure John Kowalko will make an appearance! Other DOE reps slated to attend are the following: Ryan Reyna, Challis Breithaupt, Chantel Janiszewski, Tina Shockley, and Mary Kate McLoughlin.
The Delaware Senate Education Committee has a meeting posted for 3:00pm the same day with no other information provided (but due to Schwinn’s often hectic and busy schedule, I’m sure it’s probably to meet with both the education committees at the same time). Both of these meetings are open to the public.
On January 6th, the Delaware State Board of Education had a State Board Workshop with Local School District and Charter School Boards and other “stakeholders”. Led by Executive Director Donna Johnson, this workshop went over the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the upcoming ESEA waivers, and school accountability. Included is the entire presentation for the public to view.
I have to wonder exactly which schools had the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test last Spring. How many of these schools and classrooms had “Vision Network” teachers administering these tests. How many classrooms had a high population of minorities, low-income and special education students. The parameters around the success of these field tests are only as good as the pool of test takers.
Once again, if students aren’t expected to do as well the first few years, how in hell can you blame any teacher or school for the results of a test you have already admitted is too hard and only provides a baseline? This is a system that is pre-stacked against those who care more about education than this department.
As far as the “Common Themes” from the Town Hall meetings the DOE had in November with the public, I was at one of them, and the common themes were not so common at the one I attended. It wasn’t all about “clear consequences for lack of performance” unless you counted complaints against the Delaware DOE. If anyone needs to be measured to by that standard, it’s the DOE. But they seem to have no consequences for their actions, whether they are legal or not.
Delaware parents, do not get sucked up into the Departments web of lies and coercion. This is spin, and it only spins in their direction. They want to hold entire school districts accountable for performance based on a test that has already been deemed to fail. How is that right or just? This is a corporate education reform agenda to privatize our public school districts and turn them into charter schools which have never been proven to be more effective than regular schools. In point of fact, they have been proven in this state to have no transparency, financial mismanagement, and severe discrimination across the state to the most vulnerable of students. Don’t drink the kool-aid they want you to drink public! You are better than them.
If you thought there was controversy over the six priority schools now, just wait until you see what the DOE has planned with their next set of ESEA waivers! Three words: Priority School Districts! Who didn’t see this one coming? More charters coming to town. To lots of towns if the DOE has their way. Must. Read. Document. Especially the bottom of page 6. Don’t let the wording fool you. This is the goal. The true Vision of Rodel and Markell. And that’s how they will implement this.