DSEA Statement On House Bill 399

The Delaware State Education Association issued a very strong statement on the passage of House Bill 399.  The teacher evaluation bill which was completely gutted by Delaware Senator David Sokola with his amendment will affect teachers throughout the state if certain aspects of the pilot program become a permanent thing.  Obviously, there is a lot more they could have said about what happened, but this is a an official statement from the organization.  I am fairly certain there will be many discussions about what happened with this bill moving forward.  If I were DSEA, I would think very carefully about who they are endorsing in the 8th Senate District…

Update on House Bill 399:

HB 399 finally passed the Senate in the wee small hours of Friday morning. However, it’s passage came with two senate amendments attached to the bill which the House had already passed by a unanimous vote.

DSEA is deeply appreciative to its members, parents, and members of the community who supported our efforts to secure passage of the original bill passed in the House. The letters, emails, and phone calls which were made to legislators were very helpful in maintaining a firewall of support for the bill as it endured an onslaught of attacks from groups who sought to kill it. While the results of the bill were not “perfect”, politics rarely produces “perfect” results. We believe this is an important step forward, one which will help repair the damage done to DPAS in years past.

It must be noted that the final result was not a “compromise bill” in our eyes. We fought throughout day and night (literally) to maintain the original integrity of the bill, opposing Senate Amendment 1, but were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, we think the changes will help improve the quality of educator evaluations in Delaware going forward. Full text of the bill is available at: http://bit.ly/hb399-final.

The main victories which were maintained in the bill:

(1) Each component of DPAS will have equal weight in the overall score. This ends the past practice where Component V, which was built on the student score on the state standardized test, played a disproportionate level of influence on an educator’s evaluation.

(2) Codified the requirement of annual evaluations for all educators holding an initial license and all other educators to be evaluated every two academic years.

(3) Codified the allowance for the educator to select/determine a measure which they feel will demonstrate student improvement, in addition to measure(s) selected by their evaluator.

Senate Amendment 1 (http://bit.ly/hb399-sa1) to HB 399 was authored by Sen. David Sokola. DSEA opposed the amendment. Sen. Sokola’s amendment made the following changes to the bill:

(1) Clarifies that administrators maintain the “final say,” or discretion, to determine whether the State standardized assessment should be used as part of an educator’s evaluation.

(2) Clarifies that the proposed changes to the DPAS II evaluation system, as recommended by the DPAS II Advisory Committee, are intended to be piloted in three local education agencies to evaluate their effectiveness before any changes are permanently incorporated.

(3) Inputs comments received from stakeholders to include parent and student surveys in the pilot as well as include the alternate evaluation systems in the evaluation study.

Senate Amendment 2 (http://bit.ly/hb399-sa2) to HB 399 was authored by Sen. Bryan Townsend. Sen. Townsend’s amendment helped to codify the requirement that the educator be able to select/determine one measure of student improvement (see item #3 in “victories” listed above).

Delaware Senator Sokola DOES NOT Care About Parental Rights, Who Else Voted No On HB50, & New Amendments

Delaware Senator David Sokola attempted a Kill Bill style execution of House Bill 50 today in the Delaware Senate.  By adding his amendment to the parent opt-out legislation, he guaranteed this bill will go back to the House of Representatives even though it passed the Senate.  Senator Bryan Townsend, who at least had the courage to vote yes, also added an amendment allowing high school juniors to not take the assessment.  Both of these amendments will stall the bill, and should Governor Markell choose to veto it, he can do so safely when the legislators aren’t in session.

Senator Sokola: Why introduce an amendment on a bill you don’t support and have never supported?  You are a hypocrite when you say you value opinions from your constituents.  You are a public school back-stabbing liar of epic proportions.

And the DOE’s new boy toy: Jessie Parsley.  He should be on every public school teacher’s most wanted list because he sold all of you down the river tonight.  This is a Rodel guy through and through.  He has big aspirations and what we saw tonight was him trying to kiss his ass up to the top.

What shocked me was Senator Colin Bonini’s statements concerning, when you boil it down, smart kids being encouraged to take the test and dumb kids being encouraged not to.  Interesting he received the classic slip-it note from Governor Markell’s education policy advisor, Lindsay O’Mara before it all began.  And this guy wants to run for Governor?  He lost my vote with this.

The following NO votes do not support parental rights and believe all the crap the DOE and Markell have been shoving their way:

HB 50 w/HA 1 + SA 1, SA 2 Kowalko Passed

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION ASSESSMENT.

Date: 06/17/2015 07:44 PM Passed

Vote Type:SM Yes: 14 No: 7 Not Voting: 0 Absent: 0

Blevins Y Hocker Y Peterson Y
Bonini Y Lavelle N Pettyjohn Y
Bushweller N Lawson Y Poore Y
Cloutier Y Lopez Y Richardson Y
Ennis Y Marshall N Simpson N
Hall-Long Y McBride Y Sokola N
Henry N McDowell N Townsend Y

HB50