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I need you to put away the anger, the hoopla, the diatribes and all the anti-slogans of Common Core you can muster. Put them away! We will need them; we will use them; but at another time…

This time, here and now, I want to spend on one Common Core homework assignment…  One single assignment.  If you work through this with us, you will finally understand that Common Core is not a political issue… it is actually dangerous to our future national security….  We will be dealing with only math in this lesson.  The ELA homework is another fight altogether….

Before you start, open another tab and park this there… It is the homework sheet we will work off.  As you will see in the top right corner, this is Common Core Lesson 1.8; Common Core Standard CC 5; NBT 6

The first problem was done…  The gray print was the answer put in place to show how to think like Common Core. After staring for 5 minutes while trying to think what are they trying to do, it became apparent that the test maker took the answer 14, multiplied each digit by 5 to get 50 and 20….

If one was just looking at the number 70, and figuring how it should be split, the following options come to mind…. (This is as an adult thinker mind you)  70 = 2 X 5 X 7 when broken down to prime numbers, therefore there are only three options if we discard 70 X 1:  they are  2 X 35; 10 X 7; or 14 X 5….. Since we are deciding to divide by 5, the 5 X 14 option appears the best, so let’s use it….

We then break the number 14 into tens and ones and get a 10 and a 4….. Since we divided those by 5, it seems reasonable that we should multiply them by 5 since we are backwards-solving so to speak.  Therefore our first step is to write 50 + 20 under the problem…. We were instructed to use the multiplication and distributive properties so we backwards-use the procedure  just used a second before, and come up with (5 X 10) + (5 x 4)   Now, plain as day we can see if we know mathematical principals that we take the 5’s out, and have 14…..  Voila… You and I and the little kids doing this with us have learned a valuable mathematical concept….

70 is really 5 groups of 14 objects…. Common Core is not really that bad now, is it?  Oh but wait… we already had the answer didn’t we.  And we like the Common Core homework maker worked backwards from that answer to get the problem to work… didn’t we…

So … let me just throw a random question out there…. like… what happens when we don’t know the answer?  Hmm?

Let us explore our options in the same way a child would….  70  is a combination of 3 prime numbers:  2, 5, 7….. Since 2 is easier, let us go with our guess of 2 X 35….

(2 X 1) X (5 X 7) = 70…  Do you see the 50 + 20 ???   Me neither … Scratch that one…  Let’s try another option which makes the most sense…. Seventy is 7 X 10:  that is why it called seventy….

(7 X 1) X ( 2 X 5) = 70… Do you see the 50 + 20?   C’mon, you know it is there… Look… Where is it.  It has to be there (unless of course they gave us a bogus problem to begin with)…  But no… Scrap that one too… Lets try the other one…

(2 X 7) X (5 X 1) = 70… do you see the 50 + 20?   What, where did it go?  We just did that problem and got 14 X 5 = 70…And we did it with a 50 and a 20… So where are they now?  I’m confused.. How can we do a problem when we know the answer and we can’t do it when we don’t know the answer?

You see, the entire Common Core hinges on creating things out of thin air.  50 and 20 were added to get 70, yet we were doing multiplication… So why were 50 and 20 arbitrarily chosen?  Was it because the homework crafter knew the answer was 14 and that times 5 would make it seventy?  Did the homework crafter know that since the answer was 14 that 50 and 20 would then therefore work?

But what about the child who doesn’t know?  Were we born knowing multiplication tables?  I wasn’t. Were you?  Out of all the numbers added together to make 70, why couldn’t it be 35+ 35?  Why couldn’t it be 30 + 40?  Why couldn’t it be 25 + 45?  As children we don’t know if they would work..  we try them all….

(7 X 5) + (7 X 5)  (do you see 5 X 14?)

(6 X 5) + (8 X 5)  (do you see 5 X 14?)

(5 X 5) + (9 X 5)  (do you see 5 X 14?)

Are you still with me, or did you say “fuck it” already; I’m clicking onto something else?  Well your child clicked out a long time ago…. and he still has how many problems to complete for his assignment?  (10 on this page) (6 on the next)…

If adults cannot understand this, how can children?  Now whenever we put these problems up, someone can’t wait to show how smart they are and completely solves all the problems saying  “gee, they weren’t bad. I solved them all in my head… “

And one can, once one understands the trickiness of the homework assigner.  Problem 2 would be 36 and 60 making 96 to give you 16.  Problem 3 would add 35 and 50 to give you 17.

We laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh at them… Stupid fools.  So proud of themselves for solving little kid problems.  Obviously Common Core is not about finding an answer… They gave you the answer for heavens sakes.  The real intellectual part is trying to figure some hidden reasoning underlying the system they are teaching; that is what gives adults headaches.  Doing well in Common Core as you can see above is only about being lucky and happening to guess exactly like the person who created the test or homework.. randomly picking the exact same option they decided to go with… and ignore all, in this case 68 other possibilities. that would not work doing this way….

69 + 1

68 + 2

67 + 3

etc….

Mark Murphy says Common Core makes kids think…  If you followed me this far through all the math, tell me if you agree?  Or is it simpler, faster and far more effective to teach them the old way….

70 / 5,,,,  5’s go into the 7 one time. with 2 left over… 5’s into the 20 left go 4 times…  10 + 4 = 70

There are other easier ways… Break 70 into prime numbers   2 X 5 X 7;  Now take out the 5, what do you have left? 2 X 7 = 14… Answer is 14.  Common Core is not about finding the answer and to most of us in the real world, that is why we do math… Not to play around on the bosses time, but to get correct answers….

  • “Dr.Smith, will this rocket be able to carry this new payload into orbit? “
  • “We could try it and see if it works?  Like shoot it up and if it doesn’t make it, we can send something lighter next time”
  • Can’t you do the math?
  • Uhhh. I learned  under Common Core and it only covers simple numbers…. so, no.”

And indeed it does.

Where as a normal student from the 1970’s could do a problem like this easily….

15,349 + 2(7832) =

If you only learn properties… where do you start?  Prime numbers?  What are the prime numbers of these two?

Crap… 15,349 is a prime number in itself…. How much time will you spend trying to factor it down?  Now what if you don’t know how to add the old fashion way?  And THIS, coupled with the earlier satellite analogy, is why Common Core is very dangerous to America’s future security.  Only a handful of people will be able to guide our nation mathematically.

Instead of Common Core teaching how math is actually done, it does little but teach a series of short cuts… One can remember some but not all. If one doesn’t know how to add, subtract, multiply or divide, all not taught by common core except through memorization of little shortcuts, one cannot solve problems.  If one cannot solve problems then one is math-illiterate.

Common Core sets math back 3000 years, to an existence before the Greeks….  3000 years of civilization simply wiped out by David Coleman and those who foist this upon our children… Our children deserve a better future than we are giving them… Common Core needs to die and to have a sweeping mass protest all opting out of the test, is the only thing that will quickly kill it.

You need to opt out… If you are a grandparent… you need to insist your grand babies DO NOT TAKE THIS TEST. If you are a parent, do likewise… If you are a student.  get sick, don’t take it.   If you are Sweeney of the News Journal, crawl back into your hole and pull your blanket over your head…. you’ve done far too much damage already…..

How much was revealed last night at Capital School District’s Board Meeting?… The discussion began on the governor’s takeover and charter switch planned for 6 schools up north.

The first particle of discussion was in the “way” the DOE was handling Red Clay and Christina.   Board member Lindell indicated the basis for these decisions is test scores, but the DOE has been known to make errors in the past….

Lindell and Superintendent Dr. Thomas spoke about Capital’s graduation rates having many errors in the past, but once the DOE officially publishes these numbers it is difficult to fix.  No one knows what will be published until it is already done.  Anyone can substitute any thing they want, before it goes to publishing….

This raises concerns over all credibility of these numbers.  Tests are taken, scored, and tabulated by outside interests.  The results then sit in the Delaware Department of Education… who then releases them in bulk once all tabulations are complete.  What stops the DOE from creating any result it wants for purposes it wishes to fulfill, such as those that may help influential friends, but ruin children in the process?

Schools and districts must accept what they are given. For once published it is impossible to fix.  If the DOE were deemed to have no subtle political agenda, but to consider its job being to give the most accurate snapshot as possible, there would be no reason to doubt the data.  But when you have an administration like this one tied as close as it is to Rodel, an administration that has a very narrow extreme and hostile political agenda, and one that has so far used secrecy, obfuscation, and false facts to achieve those means, then all credibility in that organization and in the data it emits, is now suspect……

What if the scores for these six schools were really in the 50’s?  And not the 10’s and 20’s?  What if the scores of East Side Charter were really in the 50’s?  And not in the 60’s and 70’s we were led to believe?   Who would know?

We have to look at impact evidence.   If  these scores being reported for these schools were legitimate,  there could be no way that 97% of Delaware’s teachers could be rated as highly effective…. Those not, at 3%… based on these scores, could be at best only 261 teachers spread across this state who were rated as NOT highly effective… That small amount would only fill just one half of all our charters, which would be the most likely place one would find them….  Leaving the other half of charters and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF DELAWARE’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS FULLY STAFFED WITH TEACHERS WHO BY THESE VERY SAME TEST SCORES ON EACH CLASS BASIS, WERE ALL RATED HIGHLY EFFECTIVE…  Yet the same scores were used to show the very schools they work in to be in grave danger….

Does something not right stand out to you?   It certainly appears that since teacher data can be verified (teachers know) but schools and district data banks are too large to be verified by anything other than faith, that the school numbers were simply created out of thin air, and made-up to achieve the purpose of mis-characterization….

Due to the short time frame given us on the MOU, it now seems obvious that an injunction be immediately sought before Sept. 30th in order to stay the execution of this plan,  until we can get verification on these numbers whose validity now seems very suspicious. … In that court process, if so ordered by a court who can wield a heavy hand and levy penalties of contempt, we can get the information either verifying this action or denying it, in real time, and not have it ignored by the DOE as is frequently done in every single other FOIA request….

Legal action now seems to be a citizen’s most expedient way to go.  I recommend trying this in Federal Court since manipulation of educational records is now a Federal crime, and since there would be less mechanization attempting to stop this process, than would be found within a friendly state-run justice system,

Later, Lindell again stated he wants parents to be able to have the choice to opt-out of standardized testing.  He stated that if special education parents have the choice, all parents should.  The only apparatus that allows students not to take the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment is the legislation passed through Senate Bill 229 in Delaware, which allows for the most severely complex special education students to have an alternate test. New legislation needs to be passed and signed before the Smarter Tests begin in April that guarantees every Delawarean parent the right to opt their child out of the test…. It will then be up to the DOE to sell parents on the benefit of the test.  If they cannot do so, parents should have first right of refusal…

But as it stands, if we cannot trust that the DOE is even giving us correct test scores, it is far too fast to make what the Governor called “catastrophic changes to the status quo”, when perhaps there is nothing broken after all….

As all school boards and all 19 Superintendents already well know…. The DOE has made similar mathematical errors in the past….

Concerned parents and protective organizations need to file suit immediately… And opt out….

If one needed more evidence that our educational policy was being run by Clowns Anonymous, (and I most certainly intend that only as a most-complimentary term) it would be in the “breaking news” yesterday that you never heard.

Let me set you straight.  Wilmington Charter School which last year won a prize for being the best (Markell handed it out himself as a presser) was rated as failing that exact same year…  Yes, that is right!  Our top school that culls from only the top students in every northern district, was written off as failing by the current Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and his minions he has in place who do the writings…

Reason was:   the Secretary’s measure of performance is infallible.  Therefore it can only be the “school’s fault”. This is very parallel alongside his argument that schools he deems to be failing by his standards, have to be so by the “teacher’s fault”, the “school leader’s fault”, the “union’s fault”,… It is always everyone else’s fault because, face it, his method of determination is infallible; his decisions and measurements shall not be faulted….

So….

Therefore since this is how the entire assessment, his entire modus operandi for judging schools has been set up, when a top school in the state does not fit in with that formula, despite all appearances to the contrary, it too, like Warner, Shortlidge, Baynard, Bancrot, Highlands, and Stubbs, has to be failing… It too, did not meet growth targets.

“His formula says so… “

I’m just throwing this out there of course, but duh…. WHAT IF THE FORMULA BEING USED FOR ALL THESE CALCULATIONS IS THE INCORRECT ONE?  What if this anomaly of Wilmington Charter School is the very data that shows the entire premise to be someones once-thought-up magical illusion… What if Wilmington Charter School is today’s equivalent to the observation that Mars sometimes retraces its steps backwards, which is really evidence suggesting that perhaps the world is not the center of the planets, our sun is……  What if Wilmington Charter School disproves this philosophical model of only measuring growth, as moons orbiting Jupiter disproved all things only rotated around us here on the earth?

If you didn’t hear what happened, (and since neither the News Journal or radio picked this up there is good reason you didn’t),  Mark Murphy and the DOE berated Wilmington Charter for not showing enough growth this past year…

As Steve noted hereDE DOE officially lists CSW as failing in “growth” in both English and Math. Seriously …
98.8% of CSW students meet Math Standards, but only 42.9% reached their “growth targets.”.
99% of CSW students meet English Standards, but only 52.4% reached their “growth targets.”
In other words: DOE’s high-stakes testing growth targets are officially unreachable for ANY school in Delaware.

It is also worth noting that Charter School of Wilmington (CSW)” is listed as the 10th Best High School in the entire United States, that the AVERAGE SAT score coming out of CSW is 1880, and that the school is filled with the “cream of the crop.” (I will acquiesce to Steve’s better knowledge here without further verification.  Two of his own graduated out of there last spring.) Yet our illustrious educational leader apparently did not even know this so failed them because they did not fit into his short ranged model.

THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS OFFICIALLY LOST HIS MIND.

Let me explain the math.

Assume some freaking, blooming idiot boss demands you increase your output by 5% or risk firing….  If you are doing absolutely nothing at work that is easy… work 5% of the day, take the other 95% off and you have earned enough improvement so your job is safe… If you are only doing 20% of your potential, then do 25% and loaf the rest of the 75% of the time for you are safe… But if you are a go-getter already doing 97% of what is theoretically possible, at best you can only do 3% and that last 3% is very hard to do, and you come under the edict of 5%; sorry chum, you failed. You get fired….

How can a Secretary of Education not know this fundlemental principle of mathematics?    His flippant response:  I don’t do math; I was a gym teacher.

This is what happens when you pluck little kids who will only do what daddy tells them to do and put them in dangerous positions of leadership, which now, two years into Markell’s term all are beginning to see is the entire Achilles heel of this administration…  it’s all appearance and no depth. …

So the ranked tenth best school in America is flunked by a Secretary of Education who doesn’t even understand what a percent is!…..  (isn’t it one of those curly-cued things with a slanted line and two little circles at top and bottom? See, I DO know what a percent is)…..

When are the adults finally going to take over?

Looks like it is going to be a “rough” winter………..

Parents can opt out their children without permission…  Just like you are “supposed” to drive 55 on the I 95 corridor. they  can’t stop everyone.

But it would be nice if they had something solid to base their decisions on.  I mean, who would opt out of a test the teacher gave?  No one because both parents and students trust those tests to be fair…

Everyone has complained about the lack of sunshine in implementing Common Core. More like…. “surprise!  Sorry, no objections allowed; it was voted and signed yesterday…No, it was not on the agenda.”

The Attorney General even stated that Delaware Law required these secret groups to be open to the public.

As we rush into Common Core this year, with the Smarter Balanced Assessments scoring our children on difficulties two grades ahead of themselves, parents, teachers, administrators, the Chamber of Commerce, should be asking this question:  HOW  DID  THOSE  CHILDREN  IN COMMON  CORE PILOTS SCORE?

Yes, it makes great sense to ask that one question…..

Here is why.  If Common Core was indeed a great program, and I’m paraphrasing Governor Markell here:

“Second, Delaware is effectively transitioning to the Common Core education standards thanks to the leadership of our administrators and the educators in our classrooms . They have benefited from a voluntary statewide initiative called Common Ground, which meets individual school needs for resources and support for teachers. That program has also brought together educators throughout the state to share best practices and develop lesson plans. Raising expectations for our students to be ready for college or career is critical across the country and Delaware can set an example by tackling this issue successfully.”

We would have evidence shoved down our throats showing how Common Core students were able to perform at consistently higher levels… Instead  we get led through a labyrinth of thought-models and exquisite prose and no scores to back them up.  It should have gone like this:

“Here are the kids who piloted Common Core.  This is their “before”; this is their score “after”.  And these are the same age of students who didn’t take Common Core.  Their “before” … which was the same, and their “after” score here…..”

it is apparent there is no evidence… Not only in Delaware, but across the entire nation. No one has evidence showing any benefit from Common Core….

In fact, people who have seen the raw scores say the opposite is happening… They stress shock that the Common Core taught students scored poorly on the DCAS; far worse than the group that was not piloted on the new methods.

Since published scores are a complete aggregate, the Common Core classes are buried inside the entire school’s one score… This downward pressure from the Common Core test classes in years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, are the aggrevator which has kept Delaware scores flat since the the first year jump, in which zero Common Core was taught.

Furthermore, the scores do show that the non-Common Core classes continued the same gains made in the first year of the DCAS, while all those classes using the Common Core curriculum all performed in the negatives…..

This is important knowledge.   It is being kept secret by the Department of Education….

It is time all interested parties submit a FOIA request to see their school’s breakdown.   Exactly how well did the experimental Common Core class perform compared to the control class?

This needs to be FOIA’d by every concerned legislator.  It should be FOIA’s by all 19 School District’s superintendents.  It should be FOIA’s by the News Journal, whose credibility will be entirely erased when proper material is disclosed…. They were duped into cheering for Common Core, again over a complete lack of facts or data.

Everyone needs to know how bad this program is.  Everyone needs to know how this program is failing, especially before we commit all our evaluations upon this one test.

FOIA the data.  Simply fill out a FOIA form and email it in….. It can be found here, printed or copied,  and it looks like this….

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC RECORDS
PURSUANT TO THE DELAWARE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
29 Del. C. ch. 100

TO: DELAWARE’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

YOUR NAME DATE OF REQUEST__________________________________

MAILING ADDRESS________________________________________________

TELEPHONE (optional) EMAIL (optional)__________________________________________

RECORDS REQUESTED: (Be as specific as you can, describing types of records, dates, parties to correspondence, subject matter, etc. The public body will make every reasonable effort to assist you in identifying the record being sought . Requests for voluminous records may be delayed.)

========================================================

AM REQUESTING ALL RAW DCAS TEST SCORES GROUPED BY CLASSROOM IN ______________________________ DISTRICT SHOWING THE SCORE LEVELS ACHIEVED BY ALL COMMON CORE PILOT CLASSES AS WELL AS THOSE OF THE NON-COMMON CORE CLASSES EXISTING AT THE SAME GRADE LEVEL, WHICH WERE USED FOR COMPARISON.

AM REQUESTING DCAS SCORES FROM YEARS  2011-2012, 2012-2013 ..  WE REQUEST BOTH THE FALL SCORES AND THE WINTER OR SPRING SCORES OF EACH GROUP TO VERIFY GROWTH.

=================

There may be costs involved in responding to your request. The public body can require you to examine

the records at the office of the public body. Refer to the public body’s policy or regulations for
information about costs and access to records.
PLEASE CONTACT ME IF COSTS WILL BE GREATER THAN . $5.00

*Within 15 business days from receipt of your request the public body must either provide you with
access to the records, deny your request, or state that additional time is needed.*

NOTICE: Under Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, 29 Del. C. §§ 10001-10006 (“FOIA”), a FOIA request or petition,
along with any information contained therein or any documents attached thereto, submitted to any “public body” subject to FOIA, including, without limitation, any board, bureau, commission, department, agency or committee of the State, may itself be deemed a “public record” subject to disclosure under FOIA.

======

Meeting “standard” at the 11th grade on the SB test, means the student is ready to take credit-bearing courses at college.

Isn’t that premature?  Above the standard, perhaps. But meeting the standard in 11th grade now means a child is ready to take courses at Princeton? WTF? What’s then is the point of 12th grade?  This is absolutely insane…  I certainly wasn’t ready for college in the 11th grade. Were you?  Did it devastate you both personally and professionally because you weren’t?

Given that roughly 30-40% of American students graduate and enter college, SBAC anticipates 30-40% of students gaining proficiency on this test.

So let’s be clear: for at least the first year, only 30-40% of students will earn proficiency on this assessment by the very nature of its creation.  Conversely… 60% to 70% will be below standard...  Meaning that 3/4ths of our children are not ready for college in 11th grade…   Well. Duh!

This system will be used to build a growth scale of student learning from the 3rd through 11th grade.  

Since 70% of students WILL fail in the 11th Grade, 70% will have to fail in the tenth, the ninth, the eighth, the seventh, all the way done to kindergarten….  If you don’t perform 2 years ahead of your level when you first enter kindergarten, you are already behind!… Being one year ahead of your age, is now simply chicken poo… The minimum standard is now that you are 2 levels above, and to be considered excellent, you have to be either 3 to 5 years ahead of your age. Kind of hard to do in kindergarten.

To SBAC, “multiple measures” means different types of questions (multiple choice, short answer, etc.), NOT different types of assessments.

When you think you are getting a thorough evaluation using multiple measures of your student, you are not. “Multiple measures” is just a fancy name to say that the test is not all multiple choice.  Duh.  Something we’ve been doing for a very long time….

As the data “drifts” over time, the more difficult questions will be added to ensure grade-level fidelity to Common Core State Standards. They are defining question difficulty by the percentage of kids who get the question correct.

Last spring’s (2014) field testing was an attempt to assign difficulty points to each of the 40,000 some questions in their data bank.  The questions were not rated on standards used since the dawn of time which is:  should a normal person be able to answer this.  Instead they were rated strictly on the numbers of correct answers each question got and how high or low was that percentage … Here is a simple model of how it works.  You are trying for a 75% fail rate.  If a question received a 50% fail rate, then that question was too easy.  If it received a 95% fail rate, it was too hard… If it was between 73 and 77 percents, it was about right and will be on the test.  If another state desires a higher pass rate, say 50%, then his state’s questions will be culled from those answered  between the 48 and 52 percents….  That way every test can be individually different, and can be sold to whomever has the money to buy. (Since it is all on software, there are no printed costs involved when switching standards… Just a push of a button.)

The SBAC stresses complexity over difficulty.

Complexity of questions refers to the type of learning, where there are multiple steps, whereas difficulty refers to the academic challenge of the questions themselves.  For example,  figuring out a problem with 30 steps requiring use of single digit numbers would be complex… Most 11th graders can add, subtract, divide, and multiple. Comparing the surface areas of two unrelated objects, one a pyramid and the other a sphere, would be difficult…   yet easy to do if one knew the formulas and then could make a simple comparison.  As parents have mostly complained, the Smarter Balance Assessment is designed to test complex simpleness, and not knowledge. (Def not good for ADHD kids).

The “adaptive” test situation can allow for higher- and lower-grade testing, outside the assessed grade.

The test questions will then change in difficulty based on the responses the student gives. The questions are supposed to “draw on the student’s knowledge of CCSS skills and allow for problem-solving within a real-world setting”   (I’ll confess, I’m not sure exactly how one can draw on their CCSS skills).

If your state is not cheap, it can buy into the digital library of half of the pooled questions (the other half is reserved for the test) and for a fee (don’t you just love capitalism).  

States can have their teachers probe those 20,000 questions reserved to use for interim and formative assessments. Teachers now have opportunity to use questions from grades outside the ones they are teaching and can use them to determine higher- and lower-grade level abilities of their students. These interim tests are now available this mid- to late-fall, and although these tests will be delivered online, the results flow to the user, not to SBAC.  Worried teachers can now even invest their own fortune to get a preliminary jump on this test as well. The online resources for teachers to use to improve on-going assessment practices were added in response to the general feeling that many teachers are  not entirely comfortable with in-class formative and on-going assessments. These resources are well worth the cost, but I wonder how many financially strapped states have purchased them..

The sole purpose of the test is to determine a way for students to show what they have learned.  SBAC insists that this tool cannot be used to evaluate teachers…

It was not designed as such, and will give erroneous readings if used for that very purpose.  The SBAC should not be used to close schools … It should not be used to compare states to other states, districts to other districts… It is not designed for such… It is actually flexibly designed against doing such… It should only to be used as a vehicle to allow students to prove what they know, and nothing else. Some of us were incredulous over that statement.  How can that be, we wondered?  If you test kids, you get an accurate picture of what they know and don’t know and can fire people accordingly… No, says the SBAC.  That would be immoral. It is just a tool, and depending on its use, the purpose can stay true or be perverted to some other focus; say, for instance, teacher evaluations. Clearly this is not the intent of SBAC.  When pressed for an example we were offered this: in an inner city school cursed with students entering having only a limited vocabulary under 5000 words, an elementary teacher can make superlative gains in their growth, be one of the most phenomenal teachers ever created, yet still not have her students settle into the top 30% of the population… To be held up as bad teacher for not putting all her students in that range would be a gross tragedy and a misapplication of management malfeasance.  Hence, the SBAC should NEVER be used in any Component 5 evaluations; EVER.

The Opt Out movement for now is gaining steam among the parents of school aged children.  The insanity of testing children to determine not what they know…. but what they don’t know, and then rank them as either a success and failure solely by their arbitrary luck of a guess, cannot be good for society or the future security of our nation…

To hire and fire teachers,not on evidence, but lack of any thereof, also cannot be good for society or the future security of our nation.

To turn schools over to privateers, not on evidence but on any lack thereof, certainly cannot be good for society or the future security of our nation.

So for now, opting out as a form of civil disobedience is, and can be, the greatest display of true patriotism one may bear in ones lifetime… At least this threat that masses (6%) will opt out, needs to emerge so that across Federal, State, and local landscapes it truly appears that a trillion dollars has been thrown away in vain.

Perhaps, that will get the non-educational public’s attention and cause protections to then be codified, safeguards that outlaw the use of this test for anything other than assessing what each student knows.  Till then, all parents of school-aged children should prepare and plan on some type of flu hitting their household some time this Spring when the Assessments are slated to be given their schools.

Opt out.

kavips:

Someone tell me why we are rushing into the Smarter Balanced Assessments again? Oh, yeah, Greg Lavelle. That’s right.

Originally posted on Minding My Matters:

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a well-run presentation by the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) related to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System, currently in a revised state of its second iteration (DPAS II (r) ), and it got me thinking.

It is no secret that I am a card-carrying, wristband-wearing, federal Department of Education-occupying, National Education Association (independent) caucus member of the BadAss Teachers Association, and have been a member since a few short weeks after its inception. My daughter and I own matching opt-out t-shirts, and I fully plan to send a notification to her school this year stating that she will not be taking the Smarter assessment, formerly known as the Smarter Balanced assessment.

However, I am a firm believer that one may not complain if one does not participate in the process, and furthermore that one may not complain with opinions and anecdotal evidence. “Show…

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in the running debate between which is better, charters or public schools, the evidence is appearing overwhelming. Public schools are better.  If you wish to see the negatives we currently have in EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR CHARTER SCHOOLS,   go here…. 

Now for an overview, here is what an independent educational association discovered about charter schools… Remember, anyone can run a charter school; only “real” professionals can run public schools.  That distinct difference in leadership does indeed make a difference, as you will soon see….. From the report:

There is little or no
evidence of a clear
and consistent
understanding of the
mission and vision
by school leadership.

There is no clearly
designated school
leadership team
involvement in the
developing or
implementing of the
School Success Plan.

The school
leadership provides
no instructional
support.

School leadership does
not ensure that school
policies are focused on
improving student
achievement.
 School leadership does
not ensure that school
structures are aligned
with district/school
policies.

The school building leader’s
decisions are not focused on
student achievement.

The school leadership has not
implemented a school
monitoring process to evaluate
the effectiveness of the School
Success Plan on improving
student achievement.

After fixed costs are
considered, school
funds are allocated
based on minimal
consideration of
school and student
needs and
school/district
priorities.

Professional
development is not
systematic or
collaborative.

The process for
assigning teachers to
classes is based only
on schedules and
teacher preference.

The process for
assigning students to
classes and
interventions is
based on schedules,
available staff and
class-size policies.
 The process does not
include input from
teachers, parents,
pupil resource
provider, or the
student (if
applicable).

The school has not
implemented a
written curriculum
related to State and
Common Core State
Standards.

The cognitive demand
of instruction is low.

Curriculum content
and school
implemented
instructional
strategies are not
supported by
research.

Little or no evidence
of compliance with
the State response to
intervention
regulation exists.

Not all students are
provided with
instructional
materials.

State required
assessments are the
only assessments
administered in the
school.

Unit/lesson plans
are not aligned to
the State and
Common Core
State Standards or
address student
needs based on
assessment results.

There is no
evidence of
standards-based
grading
procedures.

Individual student
assessment results
are reported to the
educators.

The school professional
development is
unrelated to student
achievement results.
 Not all teachers
participate in school
wide professional
development.
 No evidence of a school
professional
development plan.

The school does not
provide follow-up
support for
professional
development.

The school does not
use assessment data
to evaluate the impact
of professional
development.

There is no
evidence that the
school
communicates
awareness of or
expectations for
meeting State and
Common Core
State Standards.

The school does
not demonstrate
high expectations
for teacher and
principal
performance.

There are no
policies or
procedures in
place or
enforced to
provide a safe
environment.

There is no
evidence of
school policies
and procedures
regarding
disciplinary
actions for
students with
inappropriate
behaviors.

There is no
evidence of
school policies
and procedures
regarding
students with
physical health
concerns or
positive
nutritional or
physical activity
practices.

There is little or
no evidence that
the school has
parent and
community
involvement in
the school
success process.

There is little or
no evidence that
the school
encourages
parent
involvement or
communicates
with parents.

Against these observations, Charters consistently respond that many of these items are not in their original charters. They insist they are not supposed to supply Social Services for their students.  In fact they respond, that is exactly why they work so hard to cull the poor and minorities from out of their ranks. Their job has very little to do with kids.  The main focus is making money for their investors.

Putting such lists of these expectations in the public’s mind, say Charter Schools, is what keeps them from fulfilling their prime directive: making money for their investors.  Charter Schools insist that their jobs would be simpler, if the state would just simply leave them alone, let them lock kids up in a room for 6 hours, collect the money, and send it upstream to their investors.  That alone, they insist, is their reason for being. They are only there to make money, not elevate students to reach arbitrary educational standards created by geeks sequestered in a Washington DC hotel conference room….

In their defense the Charter School Association reiterates:  “No one invests in Wal*mart for its customer service”.  The prime reason customer service is bad at Wal*mart is because the prime job is being done very well: increasing the profit of the Waltons. Charter schools are just another business and deserve the same respect and bending of the law that Wal*mart always gets,”, they say.

If you run your schools like Wal*mart, you get the results of Wal*mart…..  In a nutshell, that is what Charter Schools offer.

Little mention was made around here, but the New York debacle in its imposing Common Core and accountability spawned considerable backlash, and two nobody candidates against New York Governor Cuomo, took 40% of the Democratic primary vote.

That would be like Rebecca Walker taking 40% away from Markell… yes   and all because of Common Core.

Democrats should take that lesson to heart.  Stuck in their own little bubbles they seem to have turned a political tin ear to parent’s concerns… Something of which Republicans are beginning to take notice. 

I borrowed this from Peter Greene and tweaked it for local consumption…

Detecting A Bad Boyfriend Is Like Seeing Through Common Core.

Clues:

“…The crying kids. When your boyfriend makes your kids miserable, that’s a sign that he’s toxic. When your educational reform problem sucks the joy of learning out of children,… something is wrong.

The addictions. If bad boyfriend is an alcoholic, you can argue that he’s not the problem—it’s just the alcohol. But the truth is you can’t separate the two. The common core has a bad addiction to high-stakes testing, lesson micro-management, and invalid teacher evaluations. It’s technically true that CCSS and these other reform ideas are separate, but like alcoholism and alcohol, they come as a package.

The lies. If you catch bad boyfriend lying about his job, his age, and his family, all the charm in the world can’t keep you from wondering what else he has lied about. Common-core boosters claimed it was written by teachers, internationally benchmarked, and research based. Turns out none of that is true

The money. Money is not inherently evil. But when it turns out bad boyfriend has been taking money out of your purse, that doesn’t help the romance. Common-core-based reform keeps revealing new ways to suck money out of schools and deliver it to corporate interests.

The blaming. Bad boyfriend is sorry that he yells at you, but you shouldn’t have made it necessary. The common-core narrative asked teachers to see themselves as failures, regardless of what they could see with their own eyes…”

Email you Legislator… Tell him/her to kick that lazy no-good abuser bum of a boyfriend out!

From Delaware Politics… 

The following Resolution passed overwhelmingly at the 2014 state GOP Convention.

WHEREAS…America is a society which values rugged individualism, family, excellence, and diversity;
WHEREAS…The Common Core Approach to education is a one-size-fits-all standard, regardless of personal and professional goals or individual talents, thereby conflicting with the aforementioned American values;
WHEREAS…Common Core is based upon a high stakes test which is contrary to the best research which supports local regular quizzing and classroom testing;
WHEREAS…America has long valued local control, and the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution leaves Education in the hands of the States and the People;
WHEREAS…Common Core is a national standard masquerading as local standards and has bypassed the process of legislative approval, public development, and has had limited local control;
WHEREAS…Common Core is being rejected by teachers, parents, and concerned citizens across America;
WHEREAS…Common Core, as currently being proposed to be implemented, will harm special education students and their rights under federal law;
WHEREAS… Common Core will cost tens of millions to implement in Delaware in addition to the money already spent, in order to purchase new curriculum.
WHEREAS…Power is being taken from local school boards and elected officials and concentrated in the Delaware Department of Education and the Federal Department of Education;
WHEREAS…The Common Core Assessments and Implementation have been criticized even by those who supported it in 2012, such as the DSEA and DE PTA. Opposition to Common Core crosses party, ethnic, religious, and ideological lines; and;
WHEREAS…Common Core will undermine centers for excellence in education such as home schools, private schools, unique charter schools, and even affects colleges and universities;
THEREFORE… Let it be resolved by The Republican Party Of Delaware Assembled at Convention this September 13, 2014, that THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF DELAWARE SUPPORTS THE IMMEDIATE ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION TO REPEAL COMMON CORE AND SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

SUBMITTED BY

DELEGATE
DAVID L. ANDERSON, KENT COUNTY

JOINED BY…

DELEGATE
LORRAINE O. GLOEDE, KENT COUNTY

DELEGATE
MIGUEL PEREZ-FABAR, Sussex County

DELEGATE
JOHN RADELL, NEW CASTLE COUNTY

DELEGATE
CHERYL PRECOURT, KENT COUNTY

This is a game changer.  All will now look at Republicans with different eyes.

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