Delaware Governor Markell chokes on his soap on the rope re: student testing

Juniors won’t have to take Smarter Balanced exam  Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware high school juniors will not have to take the controversial Smarter Balanced Assessment this year, the state Department of Education announced Wednesday.

Instead, the state will use the SAT college entrance exam, which is already offered in-class to every Delaware public school student. Students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the test.  

Lets get on thing straight! Delaware Department of Education only made the announcement of the actions Governor Markell is taking! Jack is trying to beat-back the override of his veto on testing opt-out legislation.

The Delaware Parent Teacher Association spearheaded a campaign last year to pass a bill protecting parents who “opt out” of Smarter Balanced. That bill passed by overwhelming margins in both houses, but Markell vetoed it. The stage is set for an override vote of that veto when the Legislature goes in session next week.

And Delaware PTA under Terri Hodges leadership said NO MORE! We are playing your puppet bullshit! But for the record Kevin at Exceptional Delaware blog gets the most credit for pushing the issue via social media. 

“By substituting a widely accepted standardized test that juniors already take, your administration could alleviate many of the concerns students and parents have raised about the additional burden Smarter Balanced places on high school juniors,” 10 Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Markell last month.

What our dip-shit governor doesn’t tell you is, all subjected to USDOE’s approval. States are required to test at-least one high school grade-level. Though the “states” can pick their assessment tests! All subjected to USDOE approval. You can bet Markell is looking for Delaware PTA to bail him out on the veto override movement!   

Terri Hodges, president of the state PTA, called the move “common sense.”

“It’s a good thing for the juniors, because they really were over-tested,” Hodges said. “But it does not speak to the heart of the issue, which the concerns over the amount testing and Smarter Balanced itself as a test”.

Terri PLEASE stay the course on the veto override movement. Do take one step backwards! This is a defining hour is regain REAL voice for parents. Don’t let other whisper in your ear ! Many legislators followed Markell down the wrong road! Don’t give them an escape-hatch. Dover serves  the people and the people spoke and Markell said fuck all of you with his veto! DON’T SURRENDER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   


8 responses to “Delaware Governor Markell chokes on his soap on the rope re: student testing

  1. john kowalko

    I can forward some “smarter balanced tests” as attachments by email if any of you are interested in posting on your site. My IT skills are those of the typically older male who still has trouble (occasionally) with the TV remote

    John Kowalko


    • Publius e decere

      Kavips has already posted Math and ELA SBAs for grades 3,4,5,6,7 and 11 on his blog. The link to it is on the right side of this Kilroy screen. Set aside the hyperbole and the fear-mongering and the unrestrained casting of aspersions. Go review the SBA examples. I did.

      Having reviewed all of the example tests, I see that they are appropriate and reasonable measures of mastery of the standards (the CCSS). These are 21st century expectations. If a school or district does not deliver on these expectations then we (the funding public) deserve to know.

      Far from the high-strung accusations (by TV couch potatoes), these assessments are in fact assessing broadly-expected skills with math and with reading interpretation. They are assessing thinking skills. 21-century skills. Necessary skills. Skills which will provide all students with an equitable opportunity to pursue happiness and achieve personal liberty.

      The “opt out” movement (which is narrowly targeting just the SBA) appears to be reacting to individual discomfort with the increasingly higher expectations of capabilities which are demanded by our society and our national and global viability. The answer is not to mimic The Ostrich. Nor to channel Ned Ludd. The answer is to focus on flexible learning, expect and push for rising capabilities, and then objectively assess it. If the length of time in testing is a burden, then manage that. But do not toss out the standards and their SBA (or PARCC) asseements. These are skills which the rising generations will be EXPECTED to master as they enter careers.

      We (the funding public) deserve an objective assessment about how our large investment in schooling is turning out. “Trust me, I am a teacher” is not enough. Reagan said it best: trust — but verify. My guess is that most teachers and administrators will rise — constructively — to this challenge when removed from the hysterics of the vocal minority.



  2. “These are skills which the rising generations will be EXPECTED to master as they enter careers.” Publius, do they do drug testing at your place of employment, because I could swear I think you just started smoking crack. Who determines this? Show me anecdotal proof of your assertions. Show me that the SBAC tests are done with fidelity and test GRADE LEVEL standards. Show me how this test was ever validated based on these standards other than the DOE consensus group of the week putting a rubber stamp on them. Tell me how these tests are in any way fair (if you would even know what that means) to students with disabilities?


    • Publius e decere

      An objective review shows that these standards and assessments are well-vetted, built by a broad consensus of professionals, and focused on the 21st century. Are you suggesting that students with disabilities should be assessed against a different standard? That might be perfectly reasonable if it is broadly agreed among professionals. Whatever standard applies, it should constantly “raise the bar”, assess objectively, and be reportable by state, district, school, “program”, and classroom. And be reportable by identifiable groups which the state colossus declares to be meaningful distinctions such as race, ethnicity, family income, ELL, etc..

      We manage what we measure. I suggest that we measure student proficiency with agreed-upon standards. Then manage any gaps in achievement of those standards, by relevant means applicable to each gap, and without undue delays which obstructively seek “perfection” and “unattainable proofs”. The perceived attainment of the “80/20 Rule” should be sufficient substantiation.

      Everyone has a standard to meet. Schools, professions, employers, governments, marriages, etc. Exempting students from the reality of having to meet challenging standards is to grossly disserve them in their preparation for life and living.



    • Publius, I could explain my point of view on this and you could explain yours, but we are never going to reach a point where we can agree on this. I do not object to standards. What I do object to is young children become “college and career ready” at the expense of things that make them unique individual minds. Lost in the quest for “proficiency” are things that make every child unique: creativity, the arts, and so forth. Love of learning starts in those parts of the mind, not making sure they align to standards. And you can put as many links from SBAC, PARCC, or some Common Core website as you want. The 21st Century is what we make of it. I firmly believe, as do many others, this is NOT the way. As students reach high school and college, certainly we want to prepare them for life after. But my God, when students in Kindergarten aren’t getting recess and coming home with homework, we are tipping the scale from proficiency to insanity.


    • Kevin,
      Publius described exactly what you asked for. If you look up the SBAC consortium, there gobs of references for who, what, why, there as well. Lots of Ph D’s too. So you got a response and then your response is, more or less: it doesn’t matter. You don’t see that as intellectually problematic?

      The point is that you believe YOU know what is “fair”. Unfortunately your perspective / opinion is biased towards wanting accommodations for every conceivable exception. You say there should be standards but then you want all sorts of exceptions. That’s the same argument used by the DSEA and the schools for teacher evaluations and staff accountability. There must be lines in the sand. There must be thresholds established. Our trouble is our government/ schools don’t like limitations. Unlimited taxpayer funds and unlimited time to hash, rehash and re-evaluate, in their view, is their “right”. As far as children with disabilities, they are not what should be used to establish standards. While accommodations can be made, if they can’t pass grade appropriate material, then they shouldn’t move to the next grade. If they are incapable of grade level material in a normal setting then they are in the wrong setting.

      You’ve got some big cojones to make the below statements and expect quality consistent education. You are literally advocating for the antithesis of preparing youth for a real world. You are presenting the very thing that is leading to our youth being self indulgent and unfocused. Please define how a teacher could possibly instruct someone to have a “unique individual mind” while being responsible for 90 other students. That’s a mighty big expectation to drop on a teacher. Let’s see the study that defines exactly how to do that!
      “things that make them unique individual minds.”
      “Love of learning starts in those parts of the mind, not making sure they align to standards.” Rather hippie esque isn’t it?

      Students do not learn everything they need in a classroom, THAT’S WHY THEY NEED HOMEWORK. Do athletes become great athletes just by going to the game? Do employees become great employees by putting in the bare minimum time? Even kindergartners need to practice how to commit things to memory or comprehend the months and seasons of the year.


  3. M Ryder – how do you measure teacher accountability using the results of a standardized test when many students refuse to give the test any kind of effort. That is reality. If you don’t believe me, come visit a school some day when students are taking these tests on computers and see how many times the proctor has to wake up the student. Once is too many. Sleep is just one issue. Some students finish the tests very very quickly, answering questions in seconds. So I ask, again, seriously. How do you measure accountability of teachers when the entire PROCESS is flawed? Never mind whether or not the test is well written, reliable, valid etc…we have students who are so tested-out, they don’t give a crap about these things. And in many cases, neither do their parents. So you want accountability…I get it. You can bang your head against this wall all day long, and I’m here to tell you, you don’t have the information you want/need, and you’ll never get it from a standardized test. THAT is at the crux of the argument against testing.


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