Delaware PTA knees are buckling under the weight of Markell’s parent power grab

It appears Delaware PTA retreated back sitting on the fence. Governor Markell poked his finger in the eyes of every parent in Delaware and the Delaware PTA re: vetoing the testing opt-out legislation. So I am wondering, is this Delaware PTA statement saying, it is what it is and we’ll have to make due but voice our opinion? Sounds that way to me! I understand Delaware PTA needs to maintain a professional image but, what Markell did warrants a major protest by Delaware PTA. Yea it is what it is but thank God we have people in the social media exposing Markell’s sins against the people. 

Good see this;

Delaware PTA Issues Statement On Smarter Balanced Assessment Results by Exceptional Delaware 

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13 responses to “Delaware PTA knees are buckling under the weight of Markell’s parent power grab

  1. Kilroy, I think this is an actual attempt to have parents take a good and honest look at this assessment and ask themselves if it is what they really want for their kids. Don’t forget, we’ve just seen statewide data. Parents haven’t seen their kids actual scores yet. That’s when Delaware Parent Freakout 2015 will begin in earnest. The PTA isn’t going to be as vocal as you or I might be, but they have been very firm in their opposition to this test.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Dog chasing it’s tail BS! We’ve been down this road before with DSTP and DCAS. The growth model was to be the plan as it was address critical needs (intervention) on the fly as needed. At the end day, all what had to be said was said during the push for opting-out! The “it is what it is” bullshit needs to stop.

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    • Kilroy, the “growth model” doesn’t work when it is set up to label and punish schools. I think the DE PTA’s stance on Smarter Balanced has been very open and honest. From their website:

      Delaware PTA recognizes the importance of assessments and assessment data as one of multiple indicators in measuring student growth and achievement. We support the use of assessments that are limited in quantity, developmentally appropriate and provide useful instructional feedback. We do not believe that the current Smarter Balanced assessments meet this standard. Delaware PTA believes that;

      1. The SBAC in its current form does not provide a true growth model, nor does it have a nationally normed reference.

      2. The SBAC in its current form is overly subjective, and in some cases, offers partial credit for wrong answers and no credit for the correct answers. Therefore, it is not an accurate assessment of student knowledge, skills and abilities.

      3. Our educators have not had sufficient time to teach and our students have not had sufficient time to learn. Some districts are still struggling with full implementation of CCSS. Students are being tested on material they have not been exposed to.

      4. The impetuous decision to move to the smarter balanced assessments was not a student centered decision, but a financial one.

      5. Accommodations for certain groups, like Haitian English Language Learners are not available.

      6. The results of the test will not be available until after the academic year as ended, providing no real value to teachers or parents.

      I think that is an excellent vantage point the Delaware PTA has. I don’t see a dog chasing it’s tail. I see a dog barking at the danger in front of it. To say Delaware PTA only supports this stance to pass the opt-out bill is disingenuous. They opposed HB334 as well, but were not even given a chance to testify in front of the legislators cause it was put on the agenda with very little warning to anyone. Let’s not bash those who are making a difference. We can beat everyone up for their roles in Race To The Top and DSTP and DCAS, or we can move forward with what we now know. We can’t change the past, but we can change the future! I don’t think anyone is saying “It is what it is.” I don’t think Delaware citizens have ever had a greater opportunity to change the face of education in this state than they do right now.

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    • The release of the scores to parents might have the opposite effect on PTA parents. By this I mean: Children of involved parents tend to do well academically overall, and particularly children of PTA leaders. You can confirm this anecdotally by talking to some PTA leaders. It is a human tendency to look at your child’s scores and say “Whew… at least my child did better than most of the others.” At that point it becomes difficult to be a crusader against the test.

      My kids do very well on standardized tests. We have never stressed out at test time and never sweated the results. My daughter took the 5th grade SBA last spring, and I expect her scores to be low but somewhere in the upper half or better. But I know better than to either freak out or relax based on the single data point of my child. I plan on looking at the aggregate results, not just my child.

      My kids are now in 6th and 11th grade, and I intend to opt them out if they wish. They both have heavy honors courseloads and this politicized hot mess of a test is the last thing they need when trying to finish up their work and maintain GPA next spring.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      “Kilroy, the “growth model” doesn’t work when it is set up to label and punish schools. I think the DE PTA’s stance on Smarter Balanced has been very open and honest”

      Boy I am going to come down there and kick you in the nuts :). The Growth Model is good to ensure timely academic intervention! Rating school is certainly wrong! Holding teachers accountable with the use of many indicators that include parental engagement is the right thing to do. Way before DSTP , DCAS and now SBAC school were rated by parents and community.

      As far as PTA they don’t want to be perceived as political but yet the jump at the chance to sit at the right hand of God aka Markell. Markell is wrong and the time has come for PTA to call him out by name and trash the shit out him!

      “We can’t change the past, but we can change the future!”

      Bull shit! Many are saying Race to The Top is all water under the bridge and for me to move on! Bullshit, DSEA and RCEA were cheerleaders as was PTA. I know the political Markell ” I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse! But John Young did! Becnel did! When Markell is out of office, Merv will be the last man standing re: part of Markell’s RTTT D.C. Dream Team! The now is a result of those trying to change the future and EACH TIME an agenda is set in motion without real collaboration of real people ! Even PTA leadership has be trained to put the blinders on! As far as unions like RCEA and DSEA, have they once said WE MADE A MISTAKE SUPPORTING RTTT? Mr Mathews aka RCEA and the DSEA Queen pretty much disown me because I REMEMBER who danced with the Devil Markell! As long as PTA stands down with horns pulled back in, Markell owns them! They need to pull from his table to sent a clear message to the next governor!

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    • I might not feel the kick with the pain meds I’m on, but don’t miss and get my hernia stitches. That would hurt! 🙂

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    • lastDEconservative

      “The SBAC in its current form … offers partial credit for wrong answers and no credit for the correct answers.”

      Is there NO limit to what government can get away with? Are “we” really that dumbed down, that indoctrinated, that busy slumbering to the long playing lullaby – in such large numbers – as to give government a collective “meh” to such as this?

      I guess so.

      Point to the leviathan for pushing the envelope and coming to a new and very dangerous realization as to the collective lack of critical reasoning skill and discernment among the great unwashed.

      PS: Haitians that can’t speak English weren’t accommodated? Okay, now I’m with the denizens, SBAC is BS!

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    • Unfortunately last, far too many swallow the kool-aid and don’t ask questions. That’s usually what gets us into most messes. And far too many of our legislators go along to get along. This is a key moment in history though, and the “great unwashed” can choose to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. It all depends on how quick they are able to speak up and rise.

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  2. What did we learn from RTTT? How did spending $119 million benefit our children?
    We must not forget RTTT.

    How does go along to get along benefit our children?

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  3. kilroysdelaware

    This is what pisses me off! There were many people including PTA charging up the hill Re: Opt-out legislation. The legislators sided with PTA and those fighting for the opt-out legislation! Markell Vetos the legislation and now it seems like PTA telling parents how to unitize the Smarter Balance results.

    When looking at these scores, parents should be asking the following questions:

    1. What does this score mean for my child at the classroom level?

    2. How is the state ensuring resources are making it directly into the classroom to help my child and other students?

    3. How is the state supporting districts and teachers in using this information to make instructional changes?

    4. How is your district using the SBAC scores? Are they using them as a single indicator of student success?

    And this :

    “We have long maintained that an assessment is only effective when weighed against its intended use and purpose. The true purpose of assessments should be to determine gaps in learning and ensure that the state is directing the appropriate resources to the students and schools that need it most. As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that any assessments our children take serve this purpose and this purpose only. Testing outcomes used for any other purpose, have no value for parents, teachers or students. ”

    Is PTA saying we oppose it but since we can’t beat Markell we’ll just have to live with it and make do??

    Markell’s veto was an insult to PTA and sure this little proclamation has merit. However, PTA should be calling for Markell’s resignation. Too extreme you say? Well damn, wasn’t Markell’s veto extreme! Collaboration seems to be on Markell’s terms and even PTA can’t oppose!

    1,2,3 and 4 questions are noting more than beating a dead horse! We’ve been through the same BS with DSTP and DCAS.

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    • lastDEconservative

      A distinction needs to be made here, sir. The recent actions of the PTA are not of the PTA per se, but of the so-called leadership thereof. Those few, enticed by the scent of the inner sanctum, as with most sycophants at the teat, swelled up with pride and of late act for themselves alone, not for the cookie baking, greeting card selling, Joe Corbi freezer full moms and dads (and guardians and fosters and the like) out there expecting something else. I fully expect that sorry lot to appoint a commission to examine and report on what’s going on with the legislature … harumph, harumph …

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  4. Publius e decere

    PTA: “The true purpose of assessments should be to determine gaps in learning and ensure that the state is directing the appropriate resources to the students and schools that need it most. As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that any assessments our children take serve this purpose and this purpose only”

    I get it. If the test tells parents that the state or district is applyintg the wrong resources (evidenced by the gap) then the parents should vigorously advocate for a change (directing toward more appropriate resources).

    Not enough dollars? Then vote for more at referendum. Good luck to you. You might want to apply conditions on thos extra dollars.

    Ineffective teachers? Then vote against status quo district board candidates and vote against any referendums which purport to carry forward that inadequate status quo.

    We have pleny of moolah in the system. For a little state we are in the top tier of spenders. So use it to pay for effective teachers and stop using it to pay for ineffective practices which have marked time but not results. I am sure the people promulgating those practices and cultures mean well, but we can’t afford to carry them in suspension of results for for decades.

    Publius

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  5. Here is the most telling statement:

    ” The true purpose of assessments should be to determine gaps in learning and ensure that the state is directing…”

    THE STATE. Ergo, school districts and school boards are meaningless. the state dictates the funding and how it is best used. Save a lot of angst and just have one state wide school district and let them take control. they already do.

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