If Delaware Is Like Connecticut, Most Students Failed The Smarter Balanced Assessment

Connecticut, although larger in population, may be a good comparison for what Delaware can expect when we release our Smarter Balanced Assessment results next Wednesday, September 2nd.  Governor Malloy of Connecticut announced the statewide results today, and according to Jon Pelto‘s blog, Wait What?, the state did not do well on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Pelto writes:

“As designed, intended and projected, the vast majority of Connecticut students have been labeled as failures according the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC math test results.”

In fact, for the math scores, with a high of 48% proficiency in 3rd grade and a low of 31% proficiency in 11th grade, I would consider this an abysmal failure.  For special education students in math, only 8% made proficiency, English-Language Learners, 7%, and low-income, a range of 15.4% to 26.4% depending on their free or reduced lunch fee status.

Connecticut has some very wealthy areas, specifically in Fairfield County with many workers commuting to New York City from the suburbs.  Based on this, I would venture to say Delaware’s results will be worse than Connecticut.  Pelto, like myself, has been wondering when his state was going to release these scores.  With the track record of states releasing results, it seems like they are waiting longer to release them if the kids did really bad on the test.

I am hearing low-mumbled groans about some of Delaware’s results, but nothing I can officially talk about.  Delaware did not do well on this test based on what I am hearing, but I will wait for the “official” word on 9/2.  I am fairly sure the DOE and Governor Markell are dreading this day.  Not released in Connecticut are their opt-out numbers.  As I always say in Delaware, parents have the right to REFUSE THE TEST if they don’t think Smarter Balanced is a good assessment for their child.

UDPATED, 4:26pm: The Connecticut Department of Education released a briefing on the results.  The scores are so bad in this state, they can only compare them to NAEP results from two years ago…

DOE Releases All State Assessment Results EXCEPT Smarter Balanced, Five Year Assessment Plan

Yesterday at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting, Dr. Carolyn Lazar with the Office of Assessment at the Delaware Department of Education gave a presentation on state assessment results but did not release any Smarter Balanced Assessment results.  This presentation also included school and district proficiency information, which can be found on this page.  The only reason I didn’t Scribd them is because they are stamped “embargoed” which I find hysterical because they are putting them on a public website!

These DCAS results are mixed.  For regular students, they went down from last year in Science and Social Studies.  For severely cognitively impaired students, who take the DCAS-Alt tests, the results are up and down depending on the grade.  Overall, with the exception of 7th and 9th grade, these types of students appear to be reading better, but social studies, science and math are showing a downward trend compared to last year.

This also went into the DOE’s five-year plan for state assessment and the release of Smarter Balanced scores in the coming month.  I absolutely love how they specifically mention who they met with to discuss this roll-out, but FAIL to mention their one-on-one meetings with members of the General Assembly.  Not one mention of legislators at all.  They know this information is already public, so why would they omit this?  If the DOE wants to convey clear communication with parents and community members about this test, than they should make public all contracts, addendums, emails associated with this test, and the exact date they got the results back.  No parent will ever take this Department seriously if they continue this embargo and withholding information from the general public.

As for Senate Joint Resolution #2, the assessment inventory, when can we expect to see who is on this task force?  Who picks the members?  We can’t forget, Lindsey O’Mara who is the Education Policy Advisor for Governor Markell, publicly stated Smarter Balanced can be included in assessments up for discussion on this task force!

Once again Delaware Parents: REFUSE THE TEST DELAWARE starts NOW! And Parent Freak-Out 2015 begins the moment Smarter Balanced results are made public!

Arne Duncan’s Threats Of Federal Funding Cuts For Opt-Out Go Up In Smoke!

Kate Taylor wrote in the New York Times today an article stating New York State Chancellor of the State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, would not give any district with high opt-out rates any Federal funding cuts for going below the 95% participation threshold in standardized tests.

But on Thursday, the chancellor of the State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, said that the federal Education Department informed the state’s Education Department “a couple of weeks ago” that it was leaving any decision about financial penalties to the state. And Ms. Tisch, whose board oversees the state agency and appoints the commissioner, said the state did not plan to withhold money from districts.

All that melodrama from United States Secretary of Education and state education leaders and Governors about Federal funding cuts, including Title I funds, was nothing but empty threats.  I’ve been saying this for months, as well as many others, but no one in my state, Delaware, would indicate this would or would not happen.  I heard from one state legislator in Delaware who indicated he opposed our opt-out legislation, House Bill 50, because “you don’t know what Arne Duncan told me he will do if this passes.”  Now we have a crystal clear answer: nothing.

In Delaware, in approximately one month, we will experience Parent Freak-Out 2015 when Delaware parents receive the Smarter Balanced Assessment results.  As I stated when Governor Markell vetoed House Bill 50 in July, opt-out is dead, just REFUSE THE TEST!  But I still want the 148th General Assembly to override Markell’s veto, because it is a great bill!

On the first day of school, starting next week for many Delaware students, just give the letter to the principal stating you refuse to let your child take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, you expect your child to be educated based on their current curriculum, and you do not want to discuss it further.  This is your right Delaware parents, and no one can stop you from doing this.  Do what is right for your child and REFUSE THE TEST!