Last night, a presentation on the Smarter Balanced Assessment results was given to the Christina Board of Education by Dr. Dan Weinles, the Supervisor of Assessment, Research & Evaluation for the district. It was revealed that Delaware’s testing vendor American Institutes for Research royally screwed up on mailing the test scores to well over 1,000 families just in Christina alone, and probably accounts for well over 10,000 families in Delaware if the same mistake occurred statewide.
NOTE: The State Department of Education’s (DE DOE) test vendor (AIR) did not include apartment numbers in its mailing list. As such, many Smarter Assessment parent reports have been returned by the US Postal Service. To date, the Christina School District has received well over 1,200 returned reports. The DE DOE retrieved returned parent reports on Friday, Oct. 9, and the test vendor has committed to re-mail these reports with corrected addresses.
For a company that is so obsessed with proficiency, that is a huge and colossal mistake on their part. But it isn’t just AIR that screwed up. Christina reported there were numerous issues with the DOE’s reporting of participation rates in Christina. Which I find ironic since Penny Schwinn said the DOE “rounded up” the participation rates as much as they could. Did the DOE intentionally try to make Christina look bad? Again? You can read the full presentation below:
While this may not seem like a huge number, keep in mind that more than 5% can cause huge problems with the construct of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Capital was the first district in Delaware to have their board pass a resolution honoring a parents decision to opt their child out of standardized testing with no penalty from the district.
I must admit, I wasn’t hearing from too many Capital parents throughout the whole opt out season, and now I know why. They weren’t reading about opt out, they were just doing it! This is good news, no, make that great news. Now I am understanding why Markell is on the warpath against parent opt out. And it is now becoming clear that all his initiatives: reduce “other” tests, have students that do well on Smarter Balanced not taking “remedial” classes at Delaware colleges and universities, they are all meant to get parents to change their mind.
As the very first parent to opt their child out of Capital, I must say I am very pleased with these numbers. And if I am hearing it right, they are rising. More to come on this later I’m sure!