It turns out Rodel is having a Personalized Learning Workshop on February 27th. Because I “liked” the Rodel Foundation on Facebook, I get to see all their ads. Every. Day. I only did it so I could see what they are doing. Honest. But one thing is for sure: I have never been in one of their advertisements. Mike Matthews, the President of the Red Clay Education Association… that’s a different story:
The big question: Is Mike going to this Personalized Learning Workshop? Is he indeed a double agent? The clues are all there. I have seen Mike at Legislative Hall the same time as Rodel lobbyists. I even saw him there the same time as Paul Herdman, the CEO of Rodel. As for me, I won’t be attending this event. For me, it’s about as exciting as a fart in a spacesuit.
If you are friends with Mike Matthews on Facebook, get the real story.
The Delaware Department of Education said they would be mailing individual student Smarter Balanced Assessment results yesterday, Friday September 18th, and on Monday, September 21st. Depending on the mail system, some parents could be getting those results today. This is the moment where many parents will get these scores and say “What the hell is this?” And God forbid if ANY parent in this state who opted their child out gets actual results in the mail.
If anyone wants to share information about this with me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. All is confidential, and if I write about the results, it will not include any information about YOUR child. Unless that is something you want to comment on after the article is published.
This will be a very interesting week. If you are very upset about this, I strongly suggest going to the State Board of Education workshop on the “Smarter Assessment” on October 5th at Grotto’s Pizza in Dover, DE at 5pm. Light refreshments on the State Board (if they follow what they did at other Grotto’s State Board workshops). This usually does NOT include free pizza! Let the State Board know how you feel about this test they praise as the greatest thing since the Vega! (This is not quoted anywhere, nor was it ever said, but it will be the end result).
When you see these results, ask yourself… “How did we get here?” “What do I do?” “Is this test really worth it?” And take action. All the fluff and stuff you get from DOE will say “Contact your child’s teacher if you have more questions.” But which one? Their current teacher or the one they had last year when your child took the test? I would say neither. They don’t have the answers or any of the cut score information. All they get is the overall results and their classes scores from the previous year. But the cut score was an arbitrary number pulled out of a hat. Another option to consider, if you haven’t already, is refusing the test for your child. Opt them out. Do it now. Some schools will give you crap, but stand your ground. The only way to make this go away is to ignore it. Opt out is ignoring it. It’s saying “Take your stupid test, your useless, untimely, not validated, not statistically normed, not internationally benchmarked, waste of time test and stop treating my child as data for your proficiency mongering.”
On January 6th, the Delaware State Board of Education had a State Board Workshop with Local School District and Charter School Boards and other “stakeholders”. Led by Executive Director Donna Johnson, this workshop went over the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the upcoming ESEA waivers, and school accountability. Included is the entire presentation for the public to view.
I have to wonder exactly which schools had the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test last Spring. How many of these schools and classrooms had “Vision Network” teachers administering these tests. How many classrooms had a high population of minorities, low-income and special education students. The parameters around the success of these field tests are only as good as the pool of test takers.
Once again, if students aren’t expected to do as well the first few years, how in hell can you blame any teacher or school for the results of a test you have already admitted is too hard and only provides a baseline? This is a system that is pre-stacked against those who care more about education than this department.
As far as the “Common Themes” from the Town Hall meetings the DOE had in November with the public, I was at one of them, and the common themes were not so common at the one I attended. It wasn’t all about “clear consequences for lack of performance” unless you counted complaints against the Delaware DOE. If anyone needs to be measured to by that standard, it’s the DOE. But they seem to have no consequences for their actions, whether they are legal or not.
Delaware parents, do not get sucked up into the Departments web of lies and coercion. This is spin, and it only spins in their direction. They want to hold entire school districts accountable for performance based on a test that has already been deemed to fail. How is that right or just? This is a corporate education reform agenda to privatize our public school districts and turn them into charter schools which have never been proven to be more effective than regular schools. In point of fact, they have been proven in this state to have no transparency, financial mismanagement, and severe discrimination across the state to the most vulnerable of students. Don’t drink the kool-aid they want you to drink public! You are better than them.