Delaware Department of Education is trying to intimate parents who support opting-out state testing. @Washingtonpost @huffingtonpost #edude #netde #neatoday @NSBAComm @NatlGovsAssoc @usedgov @arneduncan @educationOIG @destateboarded @NRP @degop @greg_lavelle @dedeptofed @DariusJBrown @WDEL @delawareonline @TNJ_malbright

Parent Refusal to Student Assessment
What you need to know
The Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing all students for success in college and careers. Delaware’s move to the Smarter Balanced assessment system replaces previous tests, offering significant improvements over assessments of the past. The Smarter assessments provide an academic checkup by measuring real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, through optional formative assessments and a digital resource library and interim item bank, Smarter provides information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help.

In Delaware, the purpose of state testing is to ensure students get the help they need to graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to make the most of their talents. The Delaware Department of Education recognizes state testing as an important part of understanding how schools, districts and the state are doing in educating and preparing students for college and careers. This is the primary way we can know if we are making appropriate progress toward educating students on the academic standards. Student testing also helps districts and schools identify if there are specific populations within their school that are behind and may need extra assistance. And state testing helps parents understand how their child is doing in comparison to students in other schools.

That said, we cannot spend precious student and teacher time on assessments that do not offer this important information. The Delaware Department of Education over the past two years has eliminated some required tests and its switch this year to the Smarter assessments will reduce the number of times students take the state English language arts and mathematics assessments from up to three times a year to only one. There are no provisions in state or federal regulation that allow Delaware to have a system for parents to refuse student assessment. In addition, state and federal laws are clear that there is an expectation that all students will participate in the state assessment system. The only instances in which students can be excluded relate to exemption requests. Only two reasons are allowable for requests for exemptions: extreme medical incidents or for reasons of mental health of the child (each requires documentation from a physician).

State Code: http://delcode.delaware.gov/title14/c001/sc04/index.shtml
ESEA, Subpart 1, Subsection 1111(b)(3):
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html

State law says this, § 173 Data reporting violations. School districts and individuals shall not: (3) Exclude a student from participation in the state assessment except in accordance with the regulations of the Department;

Make note defintion of “individuals” means this “4) ”Individual” means a student, teacher, administrator, local or state school board member, or other employee, agent or contractor employed by the Delaware public school system whether local or at the state level, and including an employee, agent or contractor of a charter school;”

Parents are not noted as “individuals” in the scope of this law. Therefore, The Delaware Secretary of Education’s posting of this memo and lies to Delaware PTA is improper and acting in bad faith in regards to parental involvement guarantee within ESEA. Furthermore, there is clear violation of Title 1 Section 1118 on the Delaware Department of Education and local school districts who approved Race to The Top, support Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment which required participation of Title 1 Parents in design and review of Title 1 programming. Title 1 parents as all parents were indoctrinated after the district and state approved Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment. DE DOE and the districts took the NCLB Wavier and decided to disregard Section 1118 with DE DOE’s support.

There is nothing in state law that forbids parents from opting-out their children from state assessments.

I urge the Delaware PTA to address this DE DOE memo posted on DE DOE’s webpage and seek ruling from the Delaware Attorney General. As far as parents of special ed students. please demand state testing be exclude via IEP. Your child should only be held to goals within IEP.            

Like I said, force busing still exist in Wilmington Delaware re: City to sue DE DOE over Moyer’s closing

Wilmington sues to keep Moyer open Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Wilmington officials are taking the rare step of suing the state Department of Education in an attempt to keep it from closing the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute charter school.

“The economic viability of the city and the safety of its residents depends in large measure on the availability, within the city, of a high-quality public education,” Mayor Dennis P. Williams said in a statement. “We cannot idly sit by as another city high school is put on the chopping block to be closed.”

Because there is no traditional public high school in Wilmington, city officials say current Moyer students would likely be forced to take buses to outside high schools. They have long criticized that system, a legacy of Wilmington’s messy desegregation saga that split the city into four different school districts joined to its suburbs.

“Our city has faced the closure of general, public high [and other] schools and the busing of our kids to schools far from their homes,” Williams’ statement reads, “and as a result, parents have been precluded from participating fully in their children’s education due to a lack of transportation.”

Closing Moyer isn’t the problem! City leaders turning their back on lack of equity re: traditional neighborhood schools in the city of Wilmington is!

City commercial and residential property ownesr help fund the expansion of new schools in the suburbs particularity Red Clay whereas Red Clay refuses to address the lack of traditional middle and high school needs within the city of Wilmington.

If the city of Wilmington is successful in reversing governor Markell’s decision to close Moyer charter school the repercussion with be, every other charter school ordered closed will yell FOUL! Governor Markell is running a puppet show at the Delaware Department of Education seeded with a bunch of Rodel clones. Markell and Sec of Ed Murphy need to close low performing school to show “they” have courage. This is about their lives after Markell leaves office and the Sec of Ed giving the boot by the next governor. Stop playing cowboy in the mirror because you might shoot yourself in the ass! Address the big picture! 

Mr Mayor, I commend you on stepping up however, you’re pissing in the wind! The time now is to demand the dismantling of four school districts dividing Wilmington Delaware. It’s time to end the fragmented voice divided by these district boundaries. Perhaps it’s time to amend the Delaware charter school law allowing the city to charter schools within Wilmington. Wilmington parents need one voice and unified community leaders excluding those providing contractual services to the school district and charter school. 

Interesting Red Clay Cab observation! Male Discrimination @ Cab ?

Update !!!!!!!!! 11/24/2014 There isn’t a bias toward females and the fact is, males students aren’t applying to Cab at the same rate of females. I wonder if the Markell agenda to compete in the global economy via STEM downplays the importance of the arts? The arts can be a career path and furthermore the arts has a big impact on academics.  Red Clay parents, don’t rule out Cab as a choice school for your sons. I focus on academics is equal to that of the arts at Can. They go hand and hand. The arts educates the inner self and raises self confidence which is very important to academic and career success even out side the arts. So my question was answered and my point was, millions of dollars are spend on the data dashboard and data collecting. It’s there to review and question. The Cab data in question just jumped out and I had to engage! But again, parents of male students don’t rule out Cab as a good academic choice and yep they have that specific interest clause. And yep, Cab us a Red Clay magnet school often confused at a charter school. Another note, Cab and CSW do share resources benefiting both Cab and CSW. Down boy (Publius), I am not sell the coexistence of charter and traditional schools.  If Cab were a traditional school were we could measure impact we could play that card. End of update…..  

According to the Delaware Department of Education holy grail data driven website Cab Calloway “magnet school” has enrollment of 70.1% female students and 29.9% male students. Also I noticed Richardson Park Learning Center has student enrollment of 70.6% male students and 29.4% female students. Central school has 69.2% male and 30.8% female.

Sure kilroy has too much time on his hand however, what is the sense of having data if no one reviews it and ask question when there are disparities. I’ll admit, the validity of data provided by the Delaware Department of Education is weak.

All other Red Clay schools with the exception of the three I noted have a reasonable balanced re: male and female students. Wait DMA is 65.1% male and 34.9% female. But then again the arm forces tend to be male dominate.  

Cab’s data is begging to be explored as to why such disparities? Is there bias towards female applicants?  Could a rejected male applicant yell discrimination? Charter School of Wilmington has male population of 49% male and 51% female! So much for boys are better at math than girls :). But for real, does Cab have a hidden specific interest favorable to females?  Yep, Kilroy will run this one up the Red Clay flag pole! Well once Kenny comes down ;).

Delaware Department of ED tells State Board of ED glitches in data base

Assessment Office At DE DOE Didn’t Get Charter School SAT Scores From College Board…Oops! by Exceptional Delaware 

Touchette explained he was unable to get the information for low-income students because of glitches in the system due to the new DOE website.  What is it with this DOE and low-income data?

Read entire post here ……………………….

Delaware parents asleep at the wheel while their children are being abused by the Delaware Department of Education

Scores to plunge on new standardized test Matthew Albright, The News Journal 

Parents and students should brace for scores on the state standardized test to plunge this year as Delaware moves to a much more difficult national exam, with fewer than half – and, in some cases, fewer than a third – of students taking it likely to score proficient.

Delaware is one of 17 states giving its students the Smarter Balanced Assessment, designed to measure the new, tougher Common Core State Standards. Just as the Common Core aims to set higher expectations for what students should know and be able to do academically, state officials say Smarter Balanced is much tougher than the old test, DCAS.

When will Delaware’s parents wake-up and say no more being political lab rats stroking the ego of Jack Markell and standing by as a band of Rodel clones infest the Delaware Department of Education.  

“Because the new content standards set higher expectations for students and the new tests are designed to assess student performance against those higher standards, the bar has been raised,” said Joe Willhoft, Smarter Balanced’s executive director in a news release. “It’s not surprising that fewer students could score at Level 3 or higher. However, over time, the performance of students will improve.”

State officials say the projected scores more accurately represent how likely students are to succeed in college and more closely mirror performance as measured by the national NAEP test.

“We think this is a more realistic representation of what we are seeing after high school,” said Brian Touchette, director of assessment at the state Department of Education.

So let me get this right! Our most neediest students can’t meeting the current bar set lower than the Smarter Balanced Assessment and the answer to improving their education is raising the the bar?  

If the NAEP is already measuring Delaware student performance against peers in other states why do we need a state test that does the same? DCAS was a growth model “assessment” taken-three times a year in efforts to offer academic intervention. The Smarter Balances Assessment is given at the end of the year way too late to offer students academic intervention. “We think” Mr. Touchette  says! And when Markell’s house of cards come crashing down in two-years we’ll be hearing “we thought”! Just like Rodel “thought” DSTP was a good thing! 

Numbers are not available at the state level because not all states had representative samples, Touchette said.

Touchette emphasized that scores on the test will probably improve steadily as teachers and students begin to more fully implement Common Core.

And Governor Markell is “probably” and ass but we won’t know the fully extent until he is fully out of office. We cannot serve children on “We think” or “probably”. To me those are code word signifying lack of confidence in one’s work!

“We have schools and educators who are dedicated to better instruction in classrooms, and we are confident the scores will start to show that,” he said.

If they could meet the objective of NCLB via DCAS what makes you think they’ll do it here?  

The state has taken steps to blunt the initial shock parents will likely feel when many students who had previously performed well come home with scores telling them they are not meeting the standards set for them.

And parents need to send a blunt message back to corporate owned Delaware Department of Education by opting-out their child from taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The is no Delaware law on record saying they can’t and certainly there is no penalty for doing so!

Teacher evaluations for this year, for example, will not include standardized test scores, a sticking point for some educators.

But the data will be used to set next years priority schools which will be skewed data. Student test schools will be view by many charter schools as par of their admission process and we know about the cherry-picking! If this test is used to measure school performance you can bet charter schools will be going after student who school at proficiency. 

“What we are really trying to emphasize here is that students and teachers are not doing any worse,” Touchette said. “We are just asking them to meet a higher bar.”

And I am the town idiot with a GED and a pocketful of college credits. You are asking them to kiss Jack Markell’s ass and stroke Rodel’s misguided ego!

The sad part of this academic nightmare is, we have two more years of Jack Markell’s education wrecking-ball. You can bet and the next governor will clean house and purge the most unprofessional kiss asses in DE DOE this state has ever seen!

Did you notice the News Journal didn’t interview one parent or one teacher for their opinion! Not even the PTA!

Where are our state legislators in all of this? When will parents get some relief from this nightmare!

How many more children must endure senseless test anxiety?

markellgirl 

OMG! Is Delaware PTA waking up from a Markell induced coma?

Join us on Saturday November 22, 2014 for our Annual State Convention

State assessments are given for the purpose of measuring school accountability. Individual tests results provide information to parents and teachers about student knowledge and understanding. The assessments are aligned to the standards taught in Delaware public schools. As Delaware transitions to the new Smarter Assessments, there is growing concern among parents and educators across the state with regards to how the data is used, the appropriateness of the test and the impact to students, educators and schools. As a result of these concerns, parents are beginning to call for the right to “opt” their student out of state assessments. The purpose of this session is explore what “parent opt-out” really means, understand the short and long term implications of advocating for a parent’s right to opt-out of state assessments and gain a better understanding of what parents can expect from the new Smarter Assessments.

Wow !!! Read between the lines! This is a bold statement coming from PTA. And guess what folks, there in nothing in Delaware Code Title 14 that requires penalties for parents and students opting-out of state testing. 

The law describes the district and school responsibilities and cheating! Good for PTA taking a bold tactful step to address this issue. I’ll bet Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and DE DOE’s mouth piece are walking around the floor of the PTA convention with heads red as fire trucks! If the question was sent to AG Denn, I wonder what his ruling would be? 

As far as the Smarter Balanced Assessment, even DE DOE officials says first-year results are going to be poor because of higher standards! Bullshit! We need to end school ratings based on skewed state standards test!

Exceptional Delaware October 15 ,2014: “The Board of Education for the Capital School District passed a resolution at their meeting tonight to allow parents to opt their children out of standardized testing.  This is a major victory, not just for Capital, but the entire state.  This is the shot heard round the world for education in this state.  This is a district saying no to the DOE.  This is a district saying parents have a choice in their child’s education.  I wish I was there for it, but I am still very happy!  I will update this as I get more information!” 

UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform 

In the summer of 2013, United Opt Out spent all of June writing 50 state opt out/refusal guides to arm everyone with an essential tool, specific to their state, in order to halt corporate education reform via opt out. This summer we have taken it a step further. We have documented our activist journey in an effort to share a broader understanding of “opt out” – “opt out” is much more than simply refusing high stakes tests. As we reclaim the conversation on public education with An Activist Handbook for the Education Revolution we share with you our UOO personal journey, detailed actions, and research to support you in 2014-2015. All proceeds from our book will be used to further our efforts at

United Opt Out to educate, take action and allow all children to have the following – as stated in our demand: United Opt Out National serves as a focused point of unyielding resistance to corporate ed. reform. We demand an equitably funded, democratically based, anti-racist, desegregated public school system for all Americans that prepares students to exercise compassionate and critical decision making with civic virtue.

WOW! What a promise Early College High School! 30-60 transferable college credits!

Save the full expense of college by having your high school student graduate with 30-60 transferable college credits which will eliminate the need for 1-2 years of college. Your son or daughter could be a member of the first class of Delaware’s first-ever Early College High School!

Amazing! 30-60 transferable college credits on top a world class high school education! Sound like students enrolling in this charter school must be very focused! Maybe the last post about discipline issues was a rumor! Image going onto college and graduating in two years instead of four! 

Is Delaware newest charter school Early College High School tripping out the gate?

Could be one of those rumors but  I am hearing Delaware newest charter school, Early College High @ Delaware State University is tripping out the gate re: discipline issues.

Many of us know there is a misconception about charter schools being this safe and secure setting where students are all well behaved and don’t bully others. Kids are kids and without proper intervention programs the best of kids will display negative behavior. But when it comes to calling the police into a school the clock ticks re: persistently dangerous schools. 

What I am hearing is, Delaware newest charter school opening this year is having discipline problems and doesn’t have staff trained in crisis intervention. Though the problems could be minor it appears it’s bad enough for parents to start complaining.

Word has it some parents did address the Early College High School board of directors at yesterday’s board meeting, November 20, 2014. Seems the response was a bit lame-ass!

To the parents of Early College High School: Your charter schools is a “public school” belonging to “you”. Never forget that! I urge you and you PTA / PTO to demand the school board digitally record their board meetings and until a time they agree you should take on the responsibility! Those of you who have a smart phone have a built in digital recorder and video record. I urge you to use those “tools”. The board may tell you digital recorders are expensive and I say bullshit !

Philips 8GB Voice Tracer 898 Digital Meeting Recorder   $129.99

Parents must stay engaged in the issues and not sit around clueless like mushrooms growing the dark. However and more importantly, parents and the community must be an active part of the school and yes issues. Don’t let Early College High School end up another Pencader or be forced closed like other charter schools. The school founders made a promise in their charter school application and “you” must hold them to that promise.

To the PTA / PTO of Early College High School: You have the greatest responsibility to ensure this school delivers the “promise”. Keep this board working in the daylight and I suggest you also, record your PTA / PTO meetings. Pencader and other charter schools “ordered” closed failed to keep the accountability cards on the table!  

Most of you know, once you choice you child into all charter or out of district school your child is stuck there for one year! Unless there is “good cause”. Do keep in mind this rule is about money not kids! The local funds from feeder district are required to follow the student to charters or out of district choice schools.

Do keep in mind all new charter schools have growing pains but that should mean physical or emotional threats towards your child by other students. Always remember this, if another student touches your child in any way with aggressive intentions it is called ” offensive touching”.  You don’t need your school’s administration to call the police! If schools are acting in good faith by acknowledging or address safety issues they aren’t good protectors of your child.  

I honestly hope what I am hearing is all rumor! I did weigh the source and it was enough for me to express my concern. Too many things get swept under the rug in this state and we can’t take chances with our kids.  

Charter School of Wilmington leaders and board member comes out swing at Red Clay Board President re: Specific Interest

If you take time to listen to Red Clay school board meetings you’ll hear Charter School of Wilmington’s school leader and board member blast Red Clay’s school board president for raising concerns about CSW discriminatory Specif Interest Admission Process.  However, in their defense was Red Clay’s own discriminatory admission process for Conrad, CAB and other specialized programs! The underlining message from CSW officials was don’t throw stone if you live in glass houses.

At the end of the day, public schools are failing to see the importance of diversity of programming needs within each and every public school buildings! The process allows schools skim and cherry pick students while other schools feel the impact of the brain drain leaving them to serve the most neediest.

Well one thing for sure is, CSW officials finally went on record to justify their Specific Interest.  I think the CSW board members and school leader who chastised Red Clay’s board president need to take some personal inventory!  CSW can’t even post their board minutes in a timely manner and forget about recording CSW board meetings! If CSW had better transparency there would be better understanding of their position.

At this point in time I’ll support CSW position because their pointing out Red Clay specific interest being used at CAB, Conrad and other Red Clay specialize programming has merit. As far as the misconceptions regarding CSW perhaps the needs to be a little more transparent. Look how many months it’s been sine CSW posted board minutes! But the will be changing with some Red Clay leadership changes. Hear me well pal! If the webpage isn’t updated by this coming Wednesday there will be some Red Clay administrative changes.     

Some parents say ,Red Clay School Board lacks transparency! Listen to that lack of transparency here!

Listening to public comments during the November 19, 2014 Red Clay school board meeting many say Red Clay isn’t transparency. If Red Clay is hiding something re: transparency what’s missing on these recordings of board meetings?      

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