Thank you Rep Debbie Hudson and Sen Greg Lavelle for victimizing school children and their parents

Tough new Delaware testing concerns parents Matthew Albright, The News Journal

But because of the more in-depth approach, scores are expected to plummet on the new test.

Fewer than half and, in some cases, barely a third of students are expected to score well enough to be considered proficient. On the previous assessment, the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System, about 70 percent of students met that bar.

The end-of-the-year test also will take longer than DCAS.

For elementary students, the English portion could take four hours, and the math section could take three hours. For middle school students, the test could take seven and a half hours, while juniors might need eight and a half hours – about twice as long as the SAT or ACT college-entrance exams.

Debbie and Greg, two Republicans who claim they are against the overreaching arms of the federal government yet both supported House  Bill # 334 and Governor Markell’s wrongheaded education agenda.  And as a bonus Hudson abandoned her own House Bill #23 that would require all school board to record the public session of their board meetings. Shame on you Debbie and Greg! Mushrooms grow better in the dark and that’s where Debbie wants to keep parents! 

State education leaders say Common Core is a necessary step to “raising the bar” so Delaware’s students can compete with kids from countries with the most elite educational systems in the world. And Smarter Balanced is the way to figure out how close students are to vaulting over that higher bar.

Looks like Jimmy Olsen inhales! 

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12 responses to “Thank you Rep Debbie Hudson and Sen Greg Lavelle for victimizing school children and their parents

  1. Kilroy, state education leaders, in order to “raise the bar” need simply to take note of national role model schools and learning more about their quality education journeys.These are available from the Delaware state quality program, for which I’ve been a point-of-contact, since 1993.

    Simply sending teachers to visit Montgomery Cty Schools, a 2010 Baldrige/Education recipient for observation is to ignoring the fundamental transformation work done from 2000 to 2010.

    Delaware’s last Baldrige/Education recipient was New Castle County Vo-Tech in 1994. I sent a plan to the Education Cmtg. for consideration to make these critical resources available to
    ALL schools.

    Perhaps, Capital, Laurel, Red Clay, and Seaford could benefit most.

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  2. Also, an excerpt…

    Improve education with Baldrige program, $1 million gift

    OCTOBER 04, 2013 12:00 AM • LARRY POTTERFIELD

    Public school districts around the country are struggling. They encounter budget pressures, discouraged teachers and administrators, and children so distracted by the world around them that learning is sometimes secondary.

    Missouri is no different. But it does not have to be this way. If we seriously want to improve our state’s public education system, there’s a tried-and-proven place to turn to help: the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

    The Baldrige Criteria provide a framework of leadership and management principles that school leaders can use to drive continuous improvement from the classroom to the district office. Six K-12 public school districts from around the country have improved their graduation and dropout rates, raised their SAT and ACT scores, and achieved an array of other important education goals that helped them win a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. These districts range in size from staffs of 22 to the 16th largest school district in the U.S. A Missouri district has yet to win a Baldrige Award.

    All of the Baldrige winners — Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland (2010); Iredell-Statesville Schools in North Carolina (2008); Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Okla. (2005); Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine, Ill. (2003); the Chugach School District in Southcentral Alaska (2001); and the Pearl River School District in Rockland County, N.Y. (2001) — have made significant progress. Each of these districts received the prestigious Baldrige Award based on their outstanding performance and results. The Baldrige Award is our nation’s only presidential award recognizing performance gains so significant that the winners are deemed to be role models.

    For instance, the Montgomery County schools in Maryland insist that by using the Baldrige Criteria, they have embarked on a “journey of continuous improvement that has produced the school system’s outstanding academic and operational results.” This includes a low employee turnover rate. In 2009, the teacher turnover rate was 12.2 percent below the national average; in 2010, Education Week cited Montgomery County schools as having the highest graduation rate of any large public school system in the country. Furthermore, classroom results are outstanding: From 2007 to 2009, the percentage of middle school students earning a proficient or advanced score in reading comprehension increased significantly, with gains of more than 13 percentage points for African-American (13.3 percentage points) and Hispanic (13.5 percentage points) students.

    Moreover, Montgomery County schools have a strategic plan that aligns goals from the district level to the classrooms, with each student charting her or his own progress.

    By applying the Baldrige Criteria, we can have this kind of success in Missouri school districts, too.

    The Baldrige Framework is not a standardized system or set of processes. Winning a Baldrige Award ensures that innovation and a culture of continuous improvement are recognized and the story of how organizations achieved such high performance is shared so others can learn from these benchmarks. An objective of the Baldrige program is to help organizations achieve ever-higher levels of performance, taking them from good to great.

    The Baldrige Criteria helps organizations gauge where they stand in contrast with high performance organizations in the same fields that are using the key Baldrige concepts and principles to achieve benchmark results. The real challenge for organizations, such as Missouri school districts, is establishing strategies that allow for the constant growth and perpetual betterment of their administrative operations and education in the classrooms. That’s where Baldrige can help.

    Most importantly, Baldrige helps school districts identify the best opportunities for improvement by helping them identify and focus on the most critical areas. It then structures paths for leadership, communications, strategic planning efficacy, and better educational outcomes for students. If Missouri’s K-12 public school districts pursue the Baldrige National Quality Award, our children will benefit from the quality education that they deserve.

    That’s why my wife, Brenda, and I are offering a $1 million gift challenge to Missouri’s education system. We are donating $1 million to the Baldrige Foundation to be awarded to the first K-12 school district in Missouri to win a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence. The more school districts that get involved, the better it will be for all of us.

    We want to impact our public schools and produce better life outcomes for more children. Following the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, will help make our school districts more effective and lift Missouri public schools to be amongst the best in the nation.

    Larry Potterfield is CEO of MidwayUSA and a 2009 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

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  3. End of year testing? What about the interim (SBAC) testing that is taking place presently…as well as the SRI/SMI (already given twice this year) and the Performance Plus in every subject (already given once this year) that will always occur at the end of the year? It’s far more than 7.5 hours of testing between now and the end of the year. I’m amazed at how little the News Journal knows….but then again, it is the News Journal. It’s well over 20 hours (over 30 for the whole year considering testing that already took place in the fall and winter). Let that sink in. Students are going to sit for another 20 hours between now and the end of the year taking tests that their teachers did not create – and teachers won’t do anything with the results, given the fact that the SBAC tests results will come back…in July or August. Imagine what schools could do with another 30+ hours of instruction. Never mind the planning man-hours taken away from teachers in the form of training, grading (yes, they will be grading a portion of Interim SBAC)…it’s lunacy. And yes, the end of year SBAC will be graded by “college graduates”, some of whom have no experience in education, for about the same $$ as what a substitute teacher is paid; some of whom were alerted to the job vacancy via Craigslist. Well played, educrats. You’re killing me. Platitudes like “we want the best for our kids!” are about as worthless as the test-graders paychecks.

    Let me summarize the amount each test takes away from instructional time:
    Performance Plus in every subject – fall, spring (~8-10 hours total)
    SMI – fall, winter, spring (~5 hours total)
    SRI – fall, winter, spring (~5 hours total)
    SBAC Math – winter, spring (~8 hours total)
    SBAC Reading – winter, spring (~8 hours total)
    DCAS Science (selected grades) – (~2 hours total)
    DCAS Social Studies (selected grades) – (~2 hours total)

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    • As a teacher who is going through all this, I concur. The technology that I use an an integral part of my instruction will be commandeered for testing for the whole month of March for the interim testing, which is just practice for the real test in the spring. That is all it is being used for… practice. Also, the results of the tests provide no guidance for me as a teacher. The results are data for others. I know my kids and what they need because I teach and assess my students. And you should see the security requirements this year. You would think we are protecting secrets from the spies. Silliness.

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    • Publius e decere

      Is it possible that the test will show gaps in learning? Why be unwilling to face that? And address it? Raising the bar, changing the format, and being accountable for outcomes is the way the world works.

      I’ve watched people in business and non-profit careers refuse to change, refuse to evolve with the organization and refuse to embrace the core technologies of the organization. I know my job, management doesn’t know jack, blah blah blah. They invariably find themselves on the outside.

      The answer to the too-much-testing dilmenna might actually be to make the teaching time more effective and efficient, to allow for the more appropriate evaluations which the SBAC is designed to assess. Please spare us the no room for improvement response — there always is. At least, for the people on the inside.

      Publius

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  4. …not to mention that nearly every piece of technology in the buildings are being used for testing; the libraries are effectively off limits; and the school counselors’ time is now monopolized by test administration and planning. We can do better. This is all the result of federal intrusion into our schools. Nobody at the local level would ever dream up this mess.

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  5. WNJ’s unscientific poll on this topic has garnered 850 responses since it launched this morning, with 4% abstaining and 75% favoring parents’ right to opt out. Testing regime appears to be unpopular.

    http://www.delawareonline.com/news/education/

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    • That would be only 170 votes which should mop up all DOE’s supporters in the Mid Atlantic Area… (Yes, Lowerey, we know you voted too). We should begin to see that percentage total drop as word gets out… So spread the word…..

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  6. So let me see if I got that last piece correctly… The DOE says that since our children can’t jump over a 3 foot bar, they are going to raise it to 5 feet, and fail all those who can’t make it…

    How does that make those who can’t jump 3 feet, suddenly miraculously be able to jump 5? Hell, I can’t even jump a 5 foot high bar.. (which actually is a very good description of my taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment; have all of you taken yours?)

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  7. Our future ex Secretary of Education once stated that the DCAS was preparing kids for college and careers. A test. Preparing kids. Sec Ed.

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  8. Give me a break

    I ask all those who don’t understand SBAC, all those that support it to volunteer a few hours this spring, sit in a classroom watch kids take it, look over their shoulder and try a few questions….
    And if you want a good cry make it a special education testing section. The state of Delaware DOE should be charged with child abuse

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