Is DE Acting Sec of Education Godowsky putting on an act re: Opt-out

Delaware’s acting education secretary says no harsh sanctions for opting out by Amy Cherry / WDEL

No hard-hitting policy was expected in Dr. Steve Godowsky’s remarks since he’s not officially education secretary yet. But the former New Castle Vo-Tech superintendent did mention the opt-out movement, saying important recommendations on participation rates are due next month to the U.S. Department of Education and the state Board of Education.

“It’s not a final decision, but it looks like from all levels of the department…that harsh sanctions will not carry the day,” he said. “There will be minimum sanctions that are required.”

Godowsky said that the 12 schools within three districts that didn’t meet the required 95 percent participation rate in the state’s new Smarter Balanced assessment would not suffer.

“We’ll all be satisfied that that’s not going to be a stumbling block with harsh sanctions or consequences for those schools,” said Godowsky.

Mr. Godowski, no one is asking you to embrace the naysayers position. The best advice for you is to listen to the debates playing out on social media such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and even the News Journal’s online comment section after each article. Somewhere between the left and right of debates is the truth which is often found in the middle. When you get a chance read up on Title 1 Section 1118 and they go back a find where and when were Title 1 parents part of the “planning” of Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment. Go and “try” find an MOUs signed by Title 1 PAC at any district! Wait, the district swept Title 1 PAC under the rug! Title 1 parents were not part of the decision making process promised under Federal Law Title 1 Section 1118. 


4 responses to “Is DE Acting Sec of Education Godowsky putting on an act re: Opt-out

  1. Since there are obviously no consequences for not taking the test why not just opt out of all tests? Since the main argument is the tests and results are fundamentally flawed then wouldn’t tests given by individual teachers and graded on an individual basis with individual bias be even more flawed?


  2. No. You don’t understand the difference between the information gleaned from a standardized test and a formative or summative test given by a teacher in a classroom. I received my current students’ scores on their SBAC from last spring. It’s a number. 2400. It means nothing to me. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I also found out whether the student was working above grade level, on grade level, below grade level, or very far below grade level. That’s it. 4, 3, 2, 1. Contrast that with the quiz I gave on Friday, where I now have very clear examples of student work in my hands (that I’m grading on a Saturday night pro bono) that show me exactly what my students understand, and more importantly, what they do not. I am now more informed to be able to re-teach specific points in a small group on Monday, while other students work on more advanced material independently. I’ll be working on those plans tomorrow, on a Sunday (pro bono). Meanwhile the SBAC data will sit in a database in Dover, rarely accessed at all by teachers. You can almost hear the digital echo when someone opens the door.

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  3. Contrast that with the quiz I gave on Friday, where I now have very clear examples of student work in my hands

    I’ve been making this point for years – that the best data is daily classroom data from eSchool. Only daily data can provide the real-time data needed for interventions with individual students. None of our evaluation systems take daily data into account. We are using the wrong metrics.


  4. Mike, what prevents the student from bringing home to quiz, and the parent going over it with him/her? Even if the parent accesses eschool (and most do not, by the way), a number means nothing unless he/she has seen the quiz. So while HAC is great for informing that a quiz took place (and oh, by the way, the score was xx), the only real intervention that is going to take place at home is if the parent asks to see the quiz in the first place.