Capital School District sure has changed in just two years. Back in 2014, their board was railing against the Smarter Balanced Assessment and fully supporting a parent’s right to opt their child out of the test. Flash forward to now, and their board will be discussing something called a “Balanced Scorecard.”
This balanced scorecard is five-year goals for the district. Some of the goals are good: getting behavior referrals down, more parent involvement, things like that. But then I wanted to vomit when I saw goals for Smarter Balanced proficiency. Keep in mind this is just a draft. The board hasn’t decided on this. I’m at their board meeting now. I thought their meetings started at 7:30 but I haven’t been here for a while so it looks like they changed it to 7:00. Otherwise I would have assuredly giving public comment based on what I’m writing in this. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the worst test Delaware students have ever taken. Why in the name of public education is this district wanting to kiss the DOE’s ass and follow their own despicable goals based on standardized test scores?
What truly shocked me was a goal of “increasing students exiting out of special education”. Currently they are using a baseline of 31% but they want to increase this to 41% in five years. I’m sorry, how do you put a measurement on unique disabilities that affect an individual student? While it is certainly true that students can fall out of needing special education for varying reasons, that seems like a very high number. As well, decisions on special education are decided on by an IEP team, not based on a district-driven strategic plan. This is highly disturbing on many levels. The last thing special education students is a district trying to hit some arbitrary goal and pushing schools to have students get out of IEPs.
The board is discussing this now. Board member Matt Lindell asked why the district can’t use this as their accountability scorecard. Superintendent Dr. Dan Shelton explained how the Delaware DOE has no intention of removing their own Delaware School Success Framework. That was the only question. Three members of this board sat in front of a very similar audience two years ago and proudly passed their opt out resolution. Now they seem like they have accepted the horrible status quo that is killing public education. The board is voting on the scorecard, passed 5-0. What the hell is wrong with this board? They are prescribing to the point of view of the Delaware DOE. They have fully accepted Common Core and Smarter Balanced as legitimate for their district.
In talking about technology in their ongoing Strategic Plan, there is a lot of talk about collaborating with BRINC and increasing ed tech in the classroom. More personalized learning. They have no clue, as they talk about building configuration, how they are signing their own district death warrant by signing on to all of this junk. The board is not asking questions about anything they should be asking. This isn’t the first time I’ve pointed this out with this board. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid Capital! You should be better than this! And I distinctly remember when Matt Lindell was President of the Board when they approved a letter to the General Assembly urging them to override Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50, the opt out bill. They never overrode the veto, so why has this district not come forth with an opt out policy like Red Clay and Christina did?
Tomorrow night is the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education meeting. One of the action items is a parent opt out resolution introduced by board member Adriana Bohm last month. All Red Clay parents who have either opted their children out or are planning to, need to go to this meeting and give public comment and support this measure. If you are unable to attend, please email the board:
Kenneth Rivera, President: Kenneth.Rivera@redclay.k12.de.us
Michael Piccio, Vice-President: Mike.Piccio@redclay.k12.de.us
Adriana Bohm: Adriana.Bohm@redclay.k12.de.us
Faith Newton: Faith.Newton@redclay.k12.de.us
Catherine Thompson: Cathy.Thompson@redclay.k12.de.us
Martin Wilson: Martin.Wilson@redclay.k12.de.us
Kenneth Woods: Kenneth.Woods@redclay.k12.de.us
If Red Clay follows suit with Capital and Christina on these types of opt out resolutions, it will be very huge. Three of the biggest school districts in the state all honoring a parents right to opt their child out of standardized testing without penalty to the student. Do not follow Markell’s agendas about reducing “other” tests or his ploy today about remedial college class waivers for students scoring well on the Smarter Balanced. He is doing this because the opt out numbers are growing by the day. And when a legislator publicly announced they were opting their high school junior out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, look what Jack did a week and a half later.
Red Clay Board and Parents: Delaware education needs you. Our 148th General Assembly needs you (even though some of them don’t know it yet). But most important, our children need you. Do the right thing!
Tonight at a full Delaware PTA meeting, members overwhelmingly voted for a resolution passing parent opt out in Delaware. They are also fully supporting House Bill 50, the parent opt out legislation introduced by State Rep. John Kowalko and State Senator Dave Lawson in February. They are also sending PTA Members to the Parent Press Conference outside Legislative Hall on April 1st to discuss these matters.
The Delaware PTA held their meeting at the Eden Support Services Building in the Christina School District with many members in attendance. Yvonne Johnson with the Delaware PTA said “We are happy that parents are using their voices and using their right to make the choice. Parents are much more educated on the issues now and if parents are confused about these issues, they should definitely educate themselves.” Johnson said there were quite a few parents on the fence, but voted for the resolution after hearing the pros and cons of the issue. There was one sole no vote at the meeting.
More details will be announced tomorrow in an official press release from the Delaware PTA.
Every school district and charter school needs this on the agenda for their next board meeting. Except for Capital and Delmar. Capital passed this type of resolution last October, and Delmar discussed it in their February meeting for a future vote. It’s great to see the Christina Board joining the party. Any takers for when Brandywine gets this going?
The Delmar School District Board of Education is considering a parent opt out resolution like the one Capital School District’s Board passed last October. This resolution would allow a parent to opt their child out of the state assessment, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessment, without any penalty or punishment to the student.
If you are in the area, and would like to support this school board, please attend their meeting tomorrow night, February 23rd and give public comment to support this resolution. Or you can email their board at the following email addresses:
Shawn Brittingham, President: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Burton, Jr., Vice-President: email@example.com
Thomas Elliott: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Coco: email@example.com
Farrah Morelli: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see their agenda, see below: