In February of 2017, during the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center crisis, a Delaware Department of Education employee working as a Prison Education Teacher gave information to the News Journal about the situation. The next month, Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting fired him for “misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty” according to public court documents. Continue reading
A former Delaware Department of Education employee is now a Principal at a Delaware school district. As part of their evaluation, for the DPAS-II teacher evaluation system, they are measured on five components. In Component V, it states the following:
If an administrator is not assigned to supervise and/or lead at the grades levels assessed for the Statewide ELA/Math Assessment, he or she shall use Part B1 & B2 to calculate the Student Improvement Component which will be weighted at 50% each, unless administrator and evaluator agree that Part B1 will include 100% of the Student Improvement Component during the Goal-Setting Conference.
A Principal has to be certified to supervise the administration of the Smarter Balanced Statement. This ex-DOE employee who is now a Principal at a Delaware middle school, and actually worked in areas around accountability, is exempt from having Part A apply to this Princpal’s evaluation because this Principal is NOT certified in this area. Talk about a complete hypocrisy and the ultimate irony! So we can consider any DOE employee who enters the school system as a Principal, looking at this through a history lens, as BC, while others who actually do the work and get certified as AD. Incredible!
And for teachers, the very damaging Component V is still a part of their evaluation. Even though House Bill 399 passed the General Assembly in the wee hours of July 1st, Governor Markell has yet to sign the bill. The original recommendation from the DPAS-II Advisory Committee Sub Group was to have teachers and the Principal choose which measures to use and not have Smarter Balanced be an automatic 50% of their evaluation. But Senator David Sokola turned the bill into a pilot program for three schools and added controversial amendments. Remember that on Election Day folks! Markell has given no indication whatsoever if he is even going to sign HB399. His public schedule is blank this week. And school starts on Monday for most students. Way to go Jack! He is probably out there pimping for Blockchain or some other ludicrous education get rich scheme.
The Rodel Foundation came out with a blog post on their website about not looking too much at declining NAEP scores. This is in huge contrast to how they felt just four years ago. The new blog post talks about apples and oranges in comparing the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, but the article from 2011 talks about how we have a long way to go. Back then, Rodel had the Vision Coalition and their Vision 2015 goals.
However, such large gaps between our current state and our four year targets raise the question: will RttT be enough to move the system or is even more sweeping systemic reform needed?
In 2013, Rodel Foundation CEO Dr. Paul Herdman wrote about Delaware’s 2013 NAEP scores:
Through Race to the Top, Delaware has implemented many of the successful policies that took hold in Massachusetts two decades earlier. While our current NAEP results since 2011 are modest, our overall, long-term growth tells another story. It’s a story that positions Delaware on a trajectory that catches up to and eventually surpasses national and world leaders like Massachusetts.
That said, I’m impatient. As Charles Osgood wrote back in 1986, if you want to be great, pretty good just isn’t good enough. Delaware is on the right track; we’re moving, but we need to maintain a sense of urgency because the rest of the world is moving, too.
So it seems NAEP scores are transmutable to whatever Rodel’s current flavor of the month is. In other words, they are playing YOU- the Delaware citizen- with their obvious attempts to align you with their line of thought. NAEP scores used to be very important to Rodel. Now that the Smarter Balanced Assessment is in town, not so much.
Rodel is a marketing firm. They market their product to Delaware citizens, and they desperately want you to buy it. Which is why they write blog posts with their own initiatives written into them:
We know that Delaware educators are hard at work implementing higher standards in the classroom and many other initiatives are underway to help students achieve success.
The Vision Coalition launched their latest 10 year plan with Student Success 2025 and had a big pep rally at Del-Tech a couple months ago followed by their chocolate eclair fiesta at University of Delaware last week. Make no mistake, the Vision Coalition IS the Rodel Foundation. Maybe not in name, but it is ALL Paul Herdman. Who also sits on the board of Innovative Schools, the charter school management organization we have heard so much about recently. Eventually, the Rodel Foundation will go the way of the encyclopedia salesman. Once people realize we don’t need them anymore (and we never really did), they will lose their luster and just disappear. Rodel sells the need for their services. Education reform companies always sell “the need” and “the fix”. But as current NAEP and Smarter Balanced Assessment scores show, these faulty agendas do nothing for student improvement.
We all know Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE just love Rodel, because Markell and Herdman designed all of this for Delaware. The epic failure that was Race To The Top? Who do you think wrote most of our plan to the feds? Doc Herdman!