Governor Markell sent an email to teachers and administrators thanking them for the latest Smarter Balanced Assessment results. Meanwhile, people don’t care. In the grand tradition of the former and very much lamented Transparent Christina, I hereby present the red-line edition of Jack’s chest-thumping email!
From: Markell, Governor (Governor)
Gee really, you need to write it down twice?
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2016 2:01:51 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
To: K12 Employees
Subject: Thank you to educators and school administrators
Thank you Governor Markell for forcing students to take this test and for teachers to administer them. God bless the opt out parents!
Dear Educators and School Administrators,
What, no love for the parents?
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer.
You too Jack. Speaking on behalf of teachers, thank you for interrupting our bliss and harmony with this email.
As many of you may have seen, today the state released our annual data showing student performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The improved scores across subjects and grade levels throughout our state serves as yet more evidence that your hard work is producing great results for our children and I wanted to take this opportunity to send a note of thanks.
In other words, over half our kids still aren’t proficient in math based on Smarter Balanced Standards and only 55% of them are proficient in ELA based on those same standards. I see what you’re doing here. Thanking teachers for their “hard work” for bad results. The joke is on you. Anyone who doesn’t know this is a crap test has been living in a cave somewhere.
Our transition to higher standards for what students should know at each grade level has contributed to making the last few years a tremendously challenging time for all of our educators, no matter what subject you teach, and all administrators. At a time when it’s clear that students will rely on their education more than ever to reach their potential, we know they deserve these higher expectations aligned to what colleges and employers will expect of them after graduation.
Newsflash Jack, education has always been needed for students to reach their full potential. This isn’t anything new. Stop making it a crisis. We get it. They don’t “deserve these higher expectations”. That’s like saying “I’m going to hit you in the face. It will hurt. But it will make you stronger.” Colleges hate Common Core, hate your stupid high-stakes tests, and I have yet to hear any employer say “what were your Smarter Balanced scores?” in an interview.
Accepting the higher standards at the state level was the easy part. Our progress is the result of what happens in our classrooms every day.
Yeah, rigor and grit. Lots of academic sweat that still hasn’t produced the results you think we want but you don’t really because as long as kids our doing bad they still need to be fixed. This story is getting as old as your time in office. Like the citizens of the state had much say in accepting these “higher standards”. When you dangle carrots like “Look, we’re getting all this money from the feds during a time when I had to cut teacher raises. Hip Hop Hooray! Come and board my train. It will be fun. Please fasten your seat belts cause you are going to get ridiculed and tested like never before. Don’t worry about the scores or the growth. Progress is progress. As long as my friends make money, that is the true progress!”
The improving proficiency levels released today represent another data point to show that what you are doing is working. Our graduation rates are at record levels, and recently led the country for the biggest growth. More students than ever are being prepared to be fluent in another language, and to pass college-level dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses before they graduate. And you are making possible the incredible growth in our Pathways to Prosperity program, which just 2 years after it launched with about 30 students, will give more than 5,000 students this fall the chance to take courses that prepare them with college credit and workplace experience in growing industries from IT to health care to culinary arts.
But most of those students will need to go to Del-Tech. Way to spend millions of dollars on programs that benefit your buddies over there. Your asskissery has no limits. More flavor in the favors, that’s all this is. While I don’t mind students learning other languages, the fact that your “World Immersion” programs limit the number of kids who can enroll, especially students with disabilities, will just ultimately create more discrimination and segregation. Why is it whenever I see pictures of these programs I see mostly white kids Jack? But let’s take the time to thank Governor Markell for yet another data point that states the obvious: your ideas DON’T WORK!!! Maybe to the sycophant Delaware DOE, State Board of Education and the suck-ups who don’t realize they are on the table and still think they are at the table.
More than anything, I want to thank you for the daily efforts you put into making your classroom the best possible learning environment, taking time after the school day ends to provide the best extra support, and developing lessons that meet individual needs of each child.
Individual needs measured by a standardized test that does not differentiate between those individual needs and set up to make those with the highest needs look like failures. Teachers are burned out with your absolute hypocrisy and BS Jack. How many more months? I’m sure all the teachers are eternally grateful they have to spend so much of their day outside of their regular hours that get sucked up with professional development. I’m sure they are real happy about that. I’m sure they love the extreme waste of hours it takes students to take this cash in the trash test. Thank you for not providing the true funding our students need to be truly successful and giving all those corporations their big tax breaks. Thank you for giving the middle finger to parents and basically saying to them “Shut the hell up about what you want. This is MY Delaware,” followed by “If you thought those after-school hours are bad now dear educators, wait until your schools become all-day community centers from fetus to the grave!”
I look forward to following your lead and making the most of all of my remaining days in office to provide the support our teachers and students need to make the most of their talents.
I have no doubt you will spend your remaining days finding new ways to further your corporate education reform agendas for your Wall Street, Rodel, and big campaign donor buddies. Don’t forget Jack, you have to put those final nails in the public education coffin by getting those competency-based personalized learning plans into shape. How long before the announcement that Smarter Balanced will replace final exams and tlater will serve as end of unit tests? Can we take a peak at your stock portfolio? God help us all if you do anything education related at a higher level after you (finally) leave office…
“Not really but I have to play this up…suckers!”
Jack A. Markell
Lame-Duck! Quack Quack!