Right out the gate DE acting Sec of Ed is a coward hiding behind the PIO’s skirt

Opt-out penalty for schools considered  Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware is working on a new accountability system that will give parents a score to figure out how well their school is performing. The U.S. Department of Education requires such a system and insists it must include “consequences” for schools that don’t get at least 95 percent of their students to take the statewide exam.

Department of Education spokeswoman Alison May said there are “a range of possible consequences for low participation rates that would be acceptable to the U.S. DOE, and Acting Secretary [Steven] Godowsky has not yet chosen which recommendation he will propose to the State Board to approve for U.S. DOE consideration.

So much for change at the Delaware Deapartment of Education! When a leader has to hind behind their Public Information Officer they are week-kneed leaders. As the “decision”, we all know Markell calls the shots!  

State Rep. Kim Williams, who attended several of the last few working group meetings, says the state should just take the group’s advice.

“They are the experts,” Williams said. “You’re talking about years and years of educational experience here. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just take the recommendation.”

Williams is one of several state lawmakers who want to see Delaware put up more resistance to federal mandates. In her mind, the working group’s recommendations “do the least damage” out of any of the options.

The federal mandates in this case are only applicable to the federal “grants” they are tied to. At the end of the day the feds gave Delaware the rope to hang itself. The ass-hats down in Dover legislative hall supported changing state laws and education “regulations” to mirror provisions in the Race to The Top applications / MOU. Our teachers unions including DSEA supported the Race to The Top MOU knowing Common Core and The Smarter Balanced Assessment were part of the deal. The unions worked in the shadows re: Parent Opt-out. The the agenda was railroad the 95% testing requirement to reduce the validity of the testing outcome. Remember DSTP? The unions cried, give us a growth model plan and we’ll be glad to be held accountable to “student growth”.  Many the of state legislators are clueless cluster-fucks when it comes to education reform. So pretty much the union and cluster-fucks got in over their heads and we’re stuck with their mess.

10% of Delaware education dollars comes from federal funding and not all is tied to testing. How much of that 10% goes towards administrative cost, required testing cost, testing development cost, consultants and staff development? Where have Senator Carper, Senator Coons and Congressman Carney on these issue critically impacting Delaware? Carney wants to be governor! So what is his education plan? And do make note, only 6% of charter school funding comes from the feds. According to Charter School of  Wilmington’s preliminary fy 2016 budget they receive only $147, 950.00 in federal aid. But what is the cost for their compliance to all the fucked up mandates?

Some of the items in Race to the Top, a $119 million federal grant Delaware won, also have drawn criticism, like teacher bonuses and performance evaluations tied to test scores.

“I think people are really tired of just being told ‘well, this is what the feds say we have to do,’ ” Williams said. “I think people want to see us start pushing back when we can.

But remember, it was Governor Markell holding the door open for federal control. He signed up Delaware for Common Core without consulting parents. He signed up Delaware for Race to The Top without consulting parents. He signed up Delaware for The Smarter Balanced Assessment without consulting parents. What he did after the fact was indoctrinate parents and the PTA’s willingness to educated parents on these programs was shameful. Honestly, there comes a time to fuck professional protocol. We all the , “it is what it is”, is because we have no backbone. There needs to be an organization for parents separate from teachers. Not to be counterproductive or undermine teachers but rather free from the infiltrators who penetrate parents groups and movement so they can sow seeds for the benefit of the union goals and agenda. Real! What do parents get out of opting out their child re: state testing? No a damn thing!   

To the Republican Party of Delaware! You have all the answers and all the bullshit talk about federal intrusion yet you struggle to take control. However, we know who blows who during the Delaware Star Chamber meetings. School Vouchers are coming and that’s the payoff for the likes of Hudson and Lavelle who bitch-slaps Markell in public but kisses his ass in private! So there is something for everybody in the Washington Wall Street Ponzi scheme! Except for the kids! Mark my words, traditional public schools “had” to fail to justify charter schools and now charter schools “have” to fail to justify school vouchers. 

As for the new acting DE Sec of Ed, man up! Stop hiding behind the PIO! Markell wrote the script for Murphy! So are you going to allow him to do the same for you? 


13 responses to “Right out the gate DE acting Sec of Ed is a coward hiding behind the PIO’s skirt

  1. Publius e decere

    “The experts” — I’ve now seen it all. Will be laughing all day.

    “Push back on the Feds” — another laughable one. But what I see is really “push back because we don’t want to honor the conditions of the money and heck they will never pull the money”


    Remember that Delaware is a small state. Where one might even be able to experiment. Race to the Top in Delaware — because of innovation or because we are small? Take pride out of the equation and think about it.

    Federal Experiment #2: Cut off federal funds to Delaware because it is a small state and we can see more clearly the effect. And the impact will not be fatal since many in the state have opted out to private schools anyway.

    It is near-zero possibility in New York. The odds are much greater in Delaware. Keep pushing all of this ostrich-like head-in-the-sand whining about a test which measures what the kids are supposed to know anyway, and we may be the next Federal funds guinea pig.

    Delaware: The Petri-Dish State. The cake-and-eat-it-too State.

    Take the test.

    Publics Delawarius c2015


    • Or Delaware can be a litmus test for what happens when you just say no to the feds and their non-regulatory and “guidance” supported mandates that have NO Congressional backing whatsoever. “Take the test”- NO. Not this one Publius. It doesn’t give us data that we don’t already know, but it makes tons of outside companies money that should be going into our classrooms. Would we even be having all these funding discussions if so much money wasn’t going to everything revolving around THIS test? Maybe so, but not at the levels we currently are.


    • Publius e decere

      ” Take the test …”
      Publius Delawarius c2015


    • Publius e decere

      Ruh roh Scooby Doo —- looks like SAT will also “take the test”. Looks like everyone’s getting on the bus — LEAs, SEAs, DOEs, and ETS. Alphabet soup for the bold. To opt out is to lose out — Down With Ostriches!

      The Common Core STATE Standards are slowly but surely prevailing. Society will increasingly know and routinely expect to know whether or not students have learned what they should, and if learning falls short we will press our schooling system to address it. While making personal choices all along the way, seeking institutions which get results. Long live Schumpeter.

      ” — take the test –”
      Publius Delawarius c2015


    • Publius, I know your side THINKS they are winning. However, transparency rules the day. Thanks for reading my post about SATs! Every single day more and more parents are wising up to these money-making agendas that are truly bad for students. When it all comes down, heads will roll.


  2. NJ article:
    “The group recommended a much softer approach. They want to require schools to submit a detailed explanation of why their rate fell below 95 percent and a plan for how to bring participation back in line.”
    “We thought this was a thoughtful way to address the federal department’s concerns about making sure students take the test,” Doolittle said.

    But they don’t count “Opt out” kids??? What?
    “Submit a detailed explanation…??? “…Thoughtful way…” ?
    Talk about falling on the floor LMAO. I hope everyone is wearing hip waders to navigate that level of BS. Maybe if we hold hands and sing kumbya the bad test scores will just blow away.

    -Funding and accountability were linked from the very beginning to an unknown test. Forrest Gump could have written the plot line for this dystopian play. School administrators, DOE, DSEA, and the governor ALL signed on the dotted line knowing full well what it entailed, unfinished or NOT. Don’t blame the test makers for supplying the accountability noose. Blame those who handed it to the residents and kids to take their place. Seriously, the bad test is but a small piece of this huge malfeasance. They should all be explaining how they never intended to abide by the Feds guidelines. The real accountability should be applied to all those who signed on. The head is corrupted and dead, cut it off. Teachers didn’t sign on. Students didn’t sign on. Parents didn’t sign on.

    A test that establishes whether or not kids are at grade level IS necessary. SBA was not the right test but the time to deal with it was not AFTER signers signed on the dotted line. You don’t like making your child pass a test? Then don’t make them, but how would you know they are capable of passing the next grade level’s work? Wouldn’t it be irresponsible of educational staff to send them to the next grade without the ability to execute or learn the next grade’s assignments?


  3. It’s stunning, how little meaningful data/information is available from this $$$$ monstrosity of a test.


  4. My question is – districts have been using “data driven decisions” for years and have been building their own internal models to interpret the data but it seems the data never provides the right direction. When will it?


    • When they stop relying on “data” and just let the teachers teach!


    • The only data they need is what does it take to help one student do better, and then go on to the next kid, and so on. They want to clump them all together. That is not education, that is herd mentality.


    • Come on Kevin, you know doggone well the “left” and “right” (but more often the left) and all things progressive use data to justify everything. They beat everyone about the head with whatever statistic they can, to justify actions (i.e.: spending program). What they fail to inform the uninformed / underinformed (low information voters) is that they manipulate, bias and twist every piece of “data”, statistic, or poll to get it to portend what they want it to. Lies, damn lies, and then statistics.

      While your “just let them teach” is very folksy, it doesn’t come close to justifying the amount of money collected from residents. The state owes every resident (especially NCC) a yearly report card on why we spend so much on education and seem to have less than satisfactory public education. If it was “just that easy” to believe a 20 year teacher with tenure was doing everything possible to educate, none of these questions regarding RTTT, NCLB, NSA, Title I, Common Core, etc, would even be discussed.


    • Publius e decere

      In recent memory, “just let them teach” looked ike this:
      A social studies teacher — on school referendum election day — took her class outside for a “lab day” to get involved in how elections work by making signs, walking the entrances, etc. Now, what do you think it took to earn an “A” in class that day? I think that objecting to the referendum was a quick trip to remedial education.

      “Just let them teach” is an empty and lazy canard. TEACH WHAT? If they are not teaching things which conform to the standards, or something equally relevant to proficiency, then what exactly ARE they teaching to justify our $325,000 per classroom ($13,000 per student times 25 students per classroom). I expect the employees to delivery proficiency.

      The CCSS standards are reasonable. The schooling systems are free to teach in any way which results in reaching proficiency. But the system should not quarter unaccounatable professionals.

      I believe that most teachers know this. Their “representatives” are not on this page at all. We have contracts which permit the highest paid (i.e., “best”?) teachers to unilaterally elect to work in the schools of least “need” (a code word which itself could use a long and uncensored debate), and when something like RTTT tried to incent employees to work in high-“needs” schools with incremental compensation you would have thought the dam had burst above the town with all of the complaints and posturing from the “representatives” and their close kin (certain members of the CSD board). What exactly were they afraid of? Human nature?

      M Ryder is right — let’s be sure we are getting our money’s worth. He/she may or may not think that testing is the way to do so. I think it is.

      ” … take the test …”
      Publius Delawarius c2015