This headline explains a lot.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Acquire Scholastic Ed-Tech Businesses for $575M
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So what does that mean.

  • It means with consolidation that many (almost half) high paying jobs will be lost.
  • It means that whereas two independent entities were previously competing on innovative educational techniques, now there will be only one, meaning less innovation.
  • It means that $545 million  (5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants) will not now be spent on education because it was just spent on this.
  • And it means that from society’s overall point of view, that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was overpaid $575 million. We could have gotten our goods cheaper….

But whenever a larger company buys up a smaller company, all of society loses.  Any efficiency you gain, is sucked up right out of daily economic activity.  it goes straight into a vault of the profiteers, never to be used in active economic activity again. And educational companies like everything else have simply gotten too big….

You can regulate companies, but that is a nightmare of arguing and documentation…  There is an easier way… Tax them Tax away the money they are wasting on petty purchases… Tax them fairly, and thoroughly. IF HMH’s money had been taxed fairly and thoroughly prior to this company’s purchase, or if much of that had been put toward research, capital investment, or raising employees salaries just to avoid taxes, all would be better off…

As it is now, there was no benefit to anyone other then those purchasing.  If we were talking about quarters for gumball gum, we could probably live with it… But we are not… We are talking about 5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants, now completely wasted for 99.999999999% of the population…..

This big money is why you are never heard…  If you want your country back, you have better vote on those who promise to raise tax rates on the top 1%….   In truth, we really don’t need more taxes. We need more real investment and every chart the US Treasury and Federal Reserve can procure, show that real investment was a lot higher when any money leftover was taxed before going to the shareholders. I hope you too can through this one example exactly how the Bush Tax Cuts have changed our country from the land of bustling opportunity we had up to 2000…. to today….

The object lesson is that we should have no deficit by always paying our bills and those with most of the money, should be the ones paying them….

Dear Legislator:

I found you here:

And got your address here:

I need a favor and will certainly remember it in the next election cycle.  I need you to support HB 50 which will guarantee that my sons and daughters will not be punished because I am keeping them home during the Smarter Balanced Assessment.. I really had no other choice, they are sick… Wink Wink.

This is a bad test.  Although I was on the fence before, after taking the tests myself, I am certain that keeping my child away from this thing is the right thing to do….

I understand that in any vote, there are arms and legs of yours getting pulled from each side… Those making money off this probably have a stronger grip on you than I ever could… I just ask you to realize what you are about to do…  You are about to say to parents, that despite you not knowing what this test will do, you are going to mandate that all children must take this test regardless of any parents looking out for their child’s best interest who strongly disagree.

Understand this:  this is exactly the same as if you were asking the population at large to take a shot of live germs to protect us against something most of us will never get, let us say Ebola.  The vaccine was rushed and has barely been tested, but even those initial few tests contaminated massive numbers of the population with a live disease and who will never be the same again. A) This vaccine has never been proven safe. B) It has never been shown to work, C) It has never been independently certified. In fact: contrary to statements of its supporters, all evidence out there points to its being dreadfully unsafe and its having no positive value whatsoever…. Those investing in the medicine are making expansive arguments and sweeping claims, which when investigated across two years time, all stand on zero proof… Those against this vaccine are simply saying we need to see more positive proof and to see less harm, before we allow this upon our children…

If you are a parent yourself, you already know THAT is the fundamental right, if not duty of all parents.  It supersedes religion. it supersedes government, it certainly supersedes education.

We now need you to do the right thing and allow parents to opt out without penalty…..it is a right up there with their rights to free speech and to freedom of religion.  It should be guaranteed in the Constitution;  it is their freedom to raise their child.

Please weigh this heavily. This may be the vote that decides your next election…. Those lobbying a “no” vote will be long gone or have endorsements that carry no weight in November 2016.   But rest assured that whichever way you choose to vote, every time the words “Smarter Balanced Assessments” get uttered, every parent in your district will remember….

I hope the tone of this comes across as just stating facts; that is the way it was intended….. nothing more, nothing less.

We all make mistakes. When we do, our real character becomes public… Do we choose to continue harming others to support our own misguided judgment for no other reason than personal vanity?  Or, do we switch sides when the evidence is overwhelming, and admit our mistake (*we were lied to) and fight all the harder to make what is “right”, happen for those powerless and counting upon us?……

Hitler is an example of the first… The morphing of the Apostle Paul from the Hebrew Saul, is an example of the latter…..

Both Deborah Wilson and Jea Street were quoted in the News Journal being against HB 50, the Parental Opt Out Bill… Both cited inner city children as the reason for their assessment….

Their difference in opinion comes from the stark difference between their dreams and the reality of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  No one should be held up to ridicule for their dreams…

Their dream is noble;  I fully support them.  Where we differ is that their actions are harmful to that dream’s achievement, whereas ours are supportive…  I sort of liken their attitude to those Reconstructionist blacks elected in the South after the Civil War, who became convinced that an ignorant populace was detrimental to the advancement of blacks and allowed and even supported the imposition of poll tests and poll taxes which soon eliminated all blacks from voting…  Whereas ideally only enlightened people, well educated on all government’s details, should be allowed to cast their votes, their decision to back that, disenfranchised black votes for almost 100 years…  Until the Civil Rights Acts, blacks never could overturn those bad choices because they could never vote….

Blackie, how many jelly beans are in that jar?

Blackie, use the connect line tool to determine the boundaries of rectangle that has 875 square units (problem 609 on the 5th Grade Smarter Balanced Assessment).

Their dream and mine, is to make it possible for ever child, no matter how poor, to have the opportunity to become a doctor if he/she so desires…  And they are absolutely correct:  education is the only tool that can ever make that happen.  But like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar, the Smarter Balanced Assessment actually makes that dream harder to achieve, not easier….

It does so in these ways.

A).  It sets the standard so unrealistically high, no inner city child can ever reach it.  Imagine… setting this minimal standard for being allowed on a beginning level basket team:  hitting over 70% of 3 pointers shot…  That standard will never create inner-city basketball stars because no poor child is ever given the opportunity of joining a team, then receive instruction to grow and develop ones skills by trial and error until that level can be reached…. yet the daughter of one of New Castle’s top land developers can be have such an opportunity because they were born with a basketball court in their back yard…

Yet what would work (to continue the basketball analogy), would be to set up basketball camps every summer which all inner city participants could freely participate and even recruit NBA superstars to show up and give helpful tips and teach role modelship.

Whereas the ideals are consistent; the direction taken is as wrong as is the difference between success and failure.  Deborah Wilson and Street misleadingly think that supporting “a high standard”, will in itself create good players… Creating good players is the right goal; they are mistakenly backing the wrong approach.

B)  It like the horror stories of Communist Russia and Communist China under which many of us grew up hearing as to why “we always should be proud and supportive of America”…. the Smarter Balanced Assessment will catalog each child by the time they are eight as to what their future should be.  Imagine if you were cataloged at age 8…   Would any inner city child at age 8 be cataloged as a future doctor?

This test is not some buoying buttress raising poor children from out of the raging flood… Instead, it actually cuts the ropes previously in place, from the bridge preventing anyone lucky enough to catch one, from ever pulling themselves out.

What IS needed to achieve that dream, is dedicated teachers with a union behind them strong enough to stand up to power junkies who would use your children just to enrich their own pockets.  That is exactly what we don’t have, and why we are considering “OPTING OUT” today.  Were their unions actually strong enough to say, “NO” to the smarter balance assessment during its inception, as did all who privately were part of the decision to go forward,  this would never have created the political vacuum in our legislatures allowing this bills to pass.  Teachers would simply not have it.

But laws banning strikes have undercut the power of teachers so much that if any teacher today speaks her mind about the damage Common Core is doing to American Education overall, they will be fired… Which explains why there has been too much silence up to now coming from teachers over this topic.

Imagine if every teacher had only 11 students and their job was to make sure each of those students improved over the course of their tutelage.   Now imagine if each class of 11 students were all at similar levels of development.  Now imagine the teacher could go as fast forward, or as slow as necessary as her group of eleven children needed to grow and develop to their point necessary… Imagine if the only grade those children got, came from their one teacher, who knew what they were capable of and who knew exactly what they did or did not know?

This concept of teaching works…  Arbitrarily guessing answers on a test you don’t understand (and no adult understands) does not ….

C)  There was a time (and both Jea Street and Deborah Wilson remember them), when students of color and poverty, were written off.  Their schools were token shells and though their teachers were well meaning, resources were lacking to give all children of color an education equivalent to those white, right, and having money.  To this extent, both of the above are trying to prevent this return and both see having schools be accountable to a test, as the one way to make sure the slide backwards does not occur….

However, that said, and to use the basketball analogy again, this test and its cutoff of failing the bottom 70% of population, is not the answer. It is harmful to the dream…

Another test, any other test, perhaps might be conducive.  But it would have to be created by educators, real teachers. real professors, and not corporate shills who once slept in a Holiday Inn Express because its bill was paid by one Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation.  Experts in education?  Not.

D)  The Smarter Balance Assessment can become the equivalent of the wearing of a Jewish star in Nazi Germany.  It separates those who are considered the pathetic underclass from the rest. This rebuts what was presented by one of Markell’s butt-lickers in the House Education Committee hearing on that bill.  He was concerned the pickanninies of the inner city would encourage opting out, blessed with the hat tip from schools who didn’t want them lowering the scores. This he stated, would give false readings…  The truth is that with massive non-involvement, all ratings would be null and void because the 95% threshold of test-taking would not be met… His entire argument is moot, in other words.

However if his concern was genuine, he should instead look to a solution… That solution is to insist and finance all schools with over 50% of reduced lunch in grades k thru 5 and in 9th grade, with an 11:1 student teacher ratio.  All personal experience as well as psychological research point to this indelible effect of teaching:  we only learn what we want to learn.  If we don’t want to learn something, our brains won’t let us learn it…

There are two ways to make one want to learn… One is through threats like this : if you don’t pass the Smarter Balanced Assessment you will fail:.. The other is through inducements…  and the greatest inducement in human behavior is praise from someone we desire to receive praise from….  “You got it!  I’m so proud of you!”

That latter one cannot happen as long as the Smarter Balanced Assessment is the only determinant worth of every child…. We are not machines, nor should we ever strive to be.  We are human beings whose brains receive no influence by how dark be our skin,  and we all learn when our emotions “like” something so much, they indelibly etch those moments on our gray matter forever.

If you want doctors to come from poor homes in the inner city, you can have them, lots of them… but you have to go down the right path to get them…  You have to invest in teachers who have time, past experience, and the dedication to teach.  You need teachers who deeply care about children as human beings, and to whom the children love being taught.. You also need an efficient system to remove those disrupters who repeatedly interfere with learning…. Except for a few exceptionals, that would usually be the teacher in an 11:1 student teacher ratio.

WE can achieve the dream…

The first step is allowing parents to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment thereby undermining any credibility those who wish to keep children of color down, will draw from.  That means pass HB 50.

The second is to fund an 11:1 Student Teacher Ratio in all schools with larger than 50% reduced lunch, from ages K through 5 and 9th Grade….

The third, is to remove The Smarter Balanced Test from the test regime all together…  Return to the DCAS or do nothing; both an improvement over the status quo.

The fourth, is to stop charter schools from stealing public school funds.  Either let public schools inherit the Charters as they expire, or fund all charters by line items in the state budget as are vocational schools, and raise taxes on the top one percent to pay for them. Let public schools keep all funding the public voted for them to have.

The fifth, is to put students in classes grouped on their same level… This allows more efficient teaching than having to alternate between teaching exceptional children and severely challenged while losing those in the middle of all the same class..

When and if inner city schools again become places where learning is fun, we will get our fair share of doctors…  Hard work can be fun, whenever there is a viable reason behind it…   The Smarter Balance Assessment has as much reason behind each of its questions as was the reason behind guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar….

So how will you assess how well this new educational program is doing?  Simply count the large number of doctors you can now create….

But first, you have, utterly have to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment as the first step… And that does mean opting out en masse… 

In any argument, after enough time goes by, so much dirt gets thrown it becomes hard to realize in real time what the fight was originally over… just as every  marital argument always goes back to the time “that women” bent over to pick something off the sidewalk, and the husband looked at her in a way he’s never been caught looking at his lifelong partner… Who cares if the original argument started over taking out the garbage?….

So it is with opt out… and HB 50….. |

Here is the original argument.

HB 50 allows parents to opt their child out of the state test without having their child being singled out and punished for their action.  ..  That is all.

HB 50 is required because the DOE, the administration, Rodel, News Journal, Earl Jacques, Dave Sokola, Delaware Charter School Network, Vision (whatever year it is), all say children are required  by law to take this test….  (They aren’t; parents can and could have opted them out at any test previously).

Parents need to opt out of this test because it is dangerous for their child.  Never before in the history of American education have we forced 8 year olds to take tests on par with the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT’s, both in their age-level difficulty and the test’s importance to their future…. 100% of child psychologists all say this is extremely harmful for little children whose brains are barely developed.

No previous test has ever been this dangerous, harmful, or damaging.  This is about you as a parent, strictly opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment to keep your child from a) either stressing out; or b) having this ridiculous label of FAILURE permanently stamped on his record…. CHILD DID NOT MEET MINIMUM STANDARDS ON SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT 2015 (even though all other tests have labeled him/her as exceptional or proficient.)

Not even professional adults can pass these tests…. The ELA’s have 4 correct answers and each child must decided which of the 4 was deemed to be “the best” answer… (I always get these wrong) This is subjective grading and therefore is unfair and must be disallowed.

These tests do not give feedback to students… No student, no teacher, no administrator ever knows what question each child missed… There is zero credibility here… Any student can be given an undeserved FAIL with no way to challenge it by showing the test to be mistaken.. Recently one Pearson test had Annapolis as the correct capitol of Delaware. Likewise, another student can be given an undeserved EXCEPTIONAL with no way to challenge it (as if someone would)… one possible example: one male student in Wilmington Charter School who shares the same last name with our governor…  These scores are released in the middle of summer, long after a school year has ended….  when the old tests (DCAS) could be graded on the spot…. The reason for the delay, is because this test is not scored based on right or wrong answers.  This test is based on a curve… set by predetermined percentage… Even if every student previously passed the DCAS, it has been fore-ordained that only 30 percent shall survive the Smarter Balanced… Why?  Because the order went out to pass only the top 30 %…..

Bottom line, ITTS… It’s This Test, Stupid.  Children must not take this test, and if our school is intent on “following orders” despite their implications upon children’s lives, it forces parents to become the adults in the room and keep their child home or at minimum, force their school to divert them to a study hall during testing. …

That is what this bill is about…  There is no dollar amount of educational data that is worth the suicidal death of any child. Anyone who votes against HB 50 is, like it or not, voting for the forced continuance of child psychological torture to save their own future financial security, and nothing else.  You are saying, by voting NO on HB 50, that this state can allow whatever any future corporation wants to do to our state’s children and henceforth, all parents are powerless to do anything about it…

In a moral and just world, there would be zero votes against HB 50…  Anything less than its unanimous passage is criminal.  Voting against HB 50 means you a) either hate children… or …b) are so completely ignorant over what this Smarter Balanced Test does to “their” future, that you could never be elected to office again….  Every House of Delegate or Senator who votes NO against this bill will be forever listed along with their photochopped picture, on the kavips Wall of Shame….. It may not seem like much now, but each of you all know how those play out every other November…   You all know.

With all the hoopla over HB 50, this seems to have been lost in the wash… But our sister RTTT state, Tennessee who was also the first to jump aboard RTTT with Delaware, just voted to dump Common Core….

Let that sink in…. A state which went through the exact same process as did Delaware, … voted to dump Common Core… We are asking our General Assembly to vote soon and extend it 5 more years!

Was it a close vote?  Not hardly.    On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted unanimously (97:0) to repeal Common Core. Tuesday, the Tennessee State Senate followed with a (27:1) vote in favor of repeal….

Their bill, HB1035, also increases accountability by mandating that all educational standards committee appointees be confirmed by the House of Representatives and Senate.  This requires the state board of education or the department of education to cancel any memorandum of understanding concerning the Common Core State Standards entered into with the national governor’s association and the council of chief state school officers.

And every anti-Common Core parent will cheer over the second amendment.. AMENDMENT #2 refers to “postsecondary-and-workforce ready standards” instead of “college-and-career ready standards”, a far more honest appellation.

“Both Democrats and Republicans in my district are strongly against Common Core,” said co-sponsor Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).”  As they should be, as all should be…..

The question is whether their governor, educational reformer Bill Haslam will veto the bill and risk certain political death as a result pf going against its overwhelming support, or go with the tidal wave of anti-Common Core sentiment surging across the rest of America, and sign it.

Allow us to inform you how these people do not tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….  From their op-ed in the News Journal.

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Judging by the sheer volume of blog posts, social media blips, and op-eds – clearly, a lot of Delawareans today are questioning the role of testing in our schools.  “Bout time!

Is all this testing worth the time and stress? As parents, we all worry about over-testing our kids. We want our children to focus most of their time on learning, to expand their access to the arts and other aspects of the educational experience. But testing still holds tremendous value. Like $119 million of free Race To The Top cash for “Friends of Jack Markell”…

As parents, teachers, and community members, we need to know how our kids are doing. Proper test data tells us which students and schools need extra help; it also gives clues on how we should best spend our public dollars. Seriously, ha,ha.. on Consultants?  Therefore, we respectfully disagree with House Bill 50, a bill that would create a process to make the state test optional.  Of course your opponents respectfully return the favor since you are peddling little more than junk science.

Aside from the new financial and administrative burden of notifying parents about the “opt out” process and the subsequent tracking required in the bill, we have issues with the idea of mandating the process through the state, when it is already being dealt with locally. Silly, the only reason it is being dealt with locally, is because of the intransigence within the state’s governing apparatus.  And one has to laugh insidiously at your first sentence, since the current DOE is suffering considerable more financial and administrative burdens this year, trying to combat the opt-out movement. You can’t have cookies and eat them too… 

Parents should always have the right to remove their children from anything they deem harmful. Here! Here! Which is exactly why we need House Bill 50 passed, thank you for your support.  And legislation already exists to provide accommodations for children with special needs, (thanks Nichole) allowing parents to choose (as some already have) at the local level to not participate in testing. (They just admitted they can do nothing if your board opts out) We argue that if our legislature makes the state test optional by putting opt out language in state code, it would undermine the inherent value of a regular and comparable measure of student progress, especially in the middle of the current testing window we are in right now.  And we would argue that there is a toxic harmful contingent to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, not found in any previous tests, that is so excessively psychologically abusive,… that 100% of child psychologists have stressed parents SHOULD NOT LET THEIR CHILD TAKE THIS TEST.

Here are four reasons why testing is important. First, we need a common measure of whether a child is on track to succeed in life after school, or whether he needs extra help. Some might argue, “We already give report cards, isn’t that good enough?” Unfortunately, no. Without a common measuring stick, our definitions of success will vary from school to school, class to class, and state to state.  Ah ha.  What about the NAEP?  And we had the DCAS… and prior to that the DSTP… We still have the SAT, the PSAT, the PISA’s,  We already have data out the kazoo… That is 6 measuring sticks already.. Why then must we put in a seventh test that is incompetent, poorly designed, racially profiling, and abusive to every child taking it? 

Second, the Smarter Balanced test marks an evolutionary step forward for students. It measures new skills that our young people need to succeed in the future. Guessing is not a new skill, sorry to burst your bubble. It’s not a typical bubble test; it’s taken online (with Egyptian hieroglyphics (see for yourself on page 4)), and requires students to not only recall information, but to think critically and solve problems—two skills they need now more than ever. Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?  Any parent who takes these tests, and thinks critically, will quickly come to the conclusion that to solve their problem, they need to opt out their child. Last week, most of Delaware’s colleges and universities announced they will accept this test as a measure of “college readiness.”  Actually they said that the SAT and this test were equally bad, so they might as well use this one too.  Since then, more than 190 colleges out of 4140 or 4.5% around the country followed suit, allowing thousands of students to jump right into credit-bearing college courses after their junior year. (Can we see your data as to WHAT colleges did such?)  University of Phoenix?  Strayer?)

Third, as policymakers decide how to allocate resources and adjust policies from year to year, they need to know what is working and what isn’t. Ha, ha!  That didn’t work when they decided to replace what was working the DCAS with something that isn’t… the smarter balanced. Did it now, Greg Lavelle?  The state test is the only measure we have that is given throughout the academic life of a child.  Today’s eleventh graders will be tested on three different separate tests.  The Smarter, the DCAS, the DSTP… None of them are the same. May we ask what do you smoke? For if what you said had merit, the first test would never have been changed, so obviously we don’t have to take this one test and we should opt out to make it go away. We already know what would happen if such a benchmark did not exist. Less than two decades ago, generations of young people, particularly poor children and children with special needs, were lost in school-wide averages or not tested. We can’t turn back the clock. Not so. The generation before that, turned out today’s doctors, lawyers, dietitians, clergy, scientists. engineers, governors and chiefs for change, and it was all done without any state mandated standardized testing. So if it worked well then, and what we have is not working well now, doesn’t it make a lot of sense to go back to what we did then?  

Fourth, opting out doesn’t make sense for taxpayers. Actually it does. We spend close to $1.2 billion on education in Delaware, a full third of our state budget. Not having any measure of how those public dollars are being spent would be simply irresponsible. We had the DCAS, before that, the DSTP.  We still have the SAT, the PSAT, the PISA, the NAEP, all of which tell us the levels our children are learning relative to those in other states… So why did our state just increase our spending up to $65 million to implement this one test alone?  (Thanks again, Greg Lavelle). Seems like opting out of the Smarter Balanced Consortium by the state of Delaware makes 65 million bits of sense for our taxpayers…..We think your interpretation of “irresponsible” is a little off. 

The end-game of the opt-out advocates is unclear. Actually, not so. The point is to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment and its bed-mate, Common Core. If the intent is to get rid of testing all together, that would be problematic for the reasons described above. If one supports annual testing, but opposes this particular test, then why not try this one out and course correct?  And If one supports disciplining children but opposes throwing them into a wood chipper, why not try it out and course correct?  It is exactly the same analogy. 100% of child psychologists say this test is harmful to children psychologically and  insist, that every child opts out of taking this one test because it is so abusive and cruel. And you would to, if you took the test. We are in year one of Smarter Balanced, and can modify it next year. Yes, but that chlld carries that bullet in his head for life. Opt out now. If the intent is to encourage some children to opt out to make a point, that too is problematic. But far less problematic than having a test so many people abhor, permanently etched on that child’s permanent record for life, forever saying, THIS CHILD IS A BIG FAILURE. If top-performing children opt out, it paints an overly negative picture of their teachers, their school, and our state’s, performance. And if ALL students opt out, it paints a negative picture of Rodel, Dave Sokola, Greg Lavelle, Jack Markell, Penny Schwinn, Mark Murphy, Deborah Wilson, and Paul Herdeman, which is your primary concern, not our little sons and daughters. … And if low-performing students opt out, they may not get the help they need. Exactly, help like prioritizing their school, firing 50% of their teachers, bringing in your friend to play-act as a leader for $160,000 dollars a year… abolishing teachers unions, filling in fired teacher vacancies with cheap substitute teachers to keep costs down and help pay for that $160,000 salary of your “friend”,  Oh, yes, as well as dismissing reports from independent agencies rating those schools as being A+…. We’ve seen our idea of help, and our answer is:  no thank you. 

Support for annual testing is not an isolated point of view. Twenty-seven civil rights groups, ranging from the NAACP to the Urban League, back annual assessments after receiving billions from the Gates Foundation in support of Common Core. . The National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Business Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (all of which have extremely untrustworthy reputations right now… In fact, a safe be tis if they support something, it is very bad). have all recently gone on the record and emphatically stated that having a common assessment once a year in grades three through eight and once in high school is critical.  But did they say the Smarter Balance Assessment is the test that should be the one to do so?  No… The problem is this test, stupid… It’s the test stupid!  As parents you must opt out  your children en masse to quash the corporatization of public education and improve education over the long term.

Should we reduce testing? Yes. Should we do it by banning the Smarter Balanced Assessment?  “Yes” as well. But that reduction has to follow from a comprehensive inventory of the local and state tests being utilized today. Wait, what? This is already underway. This is so stupid. The people of Rodel and the DOE don’t even know what testing is going on in Delaware, but bloggers do?  Of course they do.  They are lying here.  We already have all the evidence we need.

Will the roll out of any new test be perfect? Unlikely. Excuse me… you forgot to tell us why we had to have a new test for $65 million when the old test was working just fine… Hello… Hello.. Can you answer that question please?   That’s why we support the state’s decision to push off the implications of the assessment on teacher evaluations for two years. This allows time for everyone involved to see how it’s working and to make adjustments as needed.  So you’d throw your child into a wood chipper, but wait to evaluate its effect after two years… and make changes if necessary… This reasoning is so darkly sardonic, it is actually funny. People, really!.. It’s about YOUR child.  Not the state. Not the measurements. Not the data. Not the rankings. None of the entire spiel just put to you above… It is about YOUR child. Your child does not deserve to be thrown in a wood chipper… But he can’t do this on his own.  You have to step up. You have to play the adult. You have to stop these people from throwing your child into those shrieking whirling blades. Once they ouch your child, whether good or bad, there is no going back. Nothing good ever comes out of a wood chipper. Be the adult. Opt them out… 

People throughout Delaware are engaged and mobilized around education. And that’s a good thing. We respect parents’ choices at the local level, but we oppose HB50. An optional state test would rob Delaware of critical information. How can we move forward without first knowing where we are? Thanks for asking.

A.  Immediately Pass HB 50.

B.  Then get Delaware out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and abandon Common Core.

C.  Use other existing tests to compare schools if needed or return to the DCAS.  It’s development is free.

D.  Pass significant funding allowing for an 11:1 student teacher ratio in grades k-5 and also in 9th grade, in all schools where the free lunch level is over 50%.  That funding can be found by taxing the top 1% fairly. 

E. Remove Charter Schools from Delaware, or have them no longer steal money from public schools by paying for them as we currently do vocational schools, line items in the state budget. 

Do these, we move forward… with our students… not some lobbyist’s paid client…....

As the opt out movement takes fire with the test-taking in progress pouring on the gasoline, there has been one rebuttal by the testing associations that the News Journal has been slow to debunk….

We need to know how our kids are doing. Test data tells us that.

“Well, not exactly, Mr President”… (borrowed from the movie Independence Day relating to the moment where the President is informed that his curt dismissal of the the “Roswell Legends” is mistaken)

This test does not tell us how our kids are doing…. (You have... taken the test for your child, right?)  if you as an adult have difficulty figuring out what each question is asking (don’t worry, every adult and child has trouble with these tests), you have to ask yourself:  really? What good does this do for my child or any child?…

Most parents who take the test, do ask that question, and like Representative Kim Williams, opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments….. After you take the test, It is the only thing that actually makes sense.

When the State tries to instill the claim that we need data to run our schools, they are embellishing a little on the truth… You the critical reader, must immediately ask:… “So….. how on earth did schools get run all those years before we had data?”  

Exactly. Point made. The checker piece is king’d… You see?  We truly don’t NEED data to run our schools.…  Otherwise you and our Governor would be a nincompoops as would his henchman Secretary Murphy… because both you and them came from schools that had no data gleaned from these mandated standardized tests.  In fact, much consternation  by real parents has been sounded nationally because Common Core’s two biggest proponents, the President and Secretary of Education, send their own children to private schools which emphatically don’t use this type of data to run their schools….

Data is good for those who make money selling it… For the rest of us, it is pretty much bunk.

Now let us delve as to why this test is so horrendous so that every parent needs to opt out, but such was not so for the: DSTP, the DCAS, the SAT, the PSAT, the ACT, the NAEP that all came before it…

Put simply, whereas those tests were based on reality;  this one thrives on fantasy.  it is a fantasy to hand a child a Rubik’s Cube and determine his entire adult future by how quickly he solves it…

The Rubik’s Cube is the best analogy.  You see, no child was ever trained on the Smarter Balanced Assessment; they must guess to figure it out.. All Delaware’s children will be taking it for its first time, so no child has been taught what is on their grade’s Smarter Balanced Assessment.  The Smarter Balanced Assessments are by design, set two grade levels ahead of each child’s class.  There is no preset benchmark passing score, as in being over 70 is proficient…. It will be entirely graded on a curve… meaning if all students actually do well, only the top 30 percent would pass… Likewise, if all students do horribly, the same top 30 percent will pass.   Make no mistake.  All those passing will be white… they will come from affluent parents…. they will have had solid households growing up…. they will be well fed that day, not hungry…. oh, and, did I mention they will be all white?

Taking this test is like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to vote… this IS Jim Crow all over again. (Seriously, you HAVE taken the tests, right?)  You can not argue with any such statements unless you have taken the test. Period…. Take your child’s test!

And this experiment becomes etched permanently on your child’s record.  No parent can read the future.  Someday these scores will be the cut score of who gets in to play, and who stays pushed-out….  Any child not pushed through into the elite by their tiger moms, will be forever marked as “second-rate”… They won’t say it’s because you are not white… at least, not to your face…  But if you are Black, or Hispanic, or an immigrant, you just got regulated to the back seat of the bus… again.

“We should know by 2nd Grade, if a kid is going to college or not”  Arne Duncun — US Secretary of Education and proponent of Common Core.

If our future turns dark suddenly as did Germany in the 1930’s, and mankind become powerless to turn back its tide, there will be two groups of people who will have the power and determine who makes all the money in our future… Those whose parents from day one rigidly trained them to pass the Smarter Balanced Assessment….. and those whose parents, said… “Oh, no!… No way is my child taking this bullshit test;  I’m opting him out… that’s the only positive step  I have left to improve his future…. ”

Don’t delay;  testing is going on today! Opt out your child.

The study was performed by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.   Indiana was the target state. It was performed with no bias, but as an effort to study whether vouchers and charters  were effective…

The study sought to answer two questions:

First, does the actual documented track record of existing voucher programs demonstrate that those programs in fact achieved the desired goal of enhancing student achievement? Here, the short and clear answer is no.

Second, can voucher programs be expected to enhance student performance or improve public education systems, based on the education reforms implemented in the nations that currently rank in the top five in the world in reading, math, and science under PISA? Again, based on the evidence, the answer is no.

This should kill any talk of instituting vouchers and coupled with the now readily available knowledge that parents are voting with their feet and pulling out children from charters to PUT THEM BACK INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, should sound the death-knoll of the entire Charter School Movement…..

Other key findings…..

 None of the independent studies performed of the most lauded and long standing voucher programs extant in the U.S.—Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; and Washington, D.C.— found any statistical evidence that children who utilized vouchers performed better than children who did not and remained in public schools.

 After controlling for school type and student demographics, a comprehensive study commissioned by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush found that students who attend traditional, K-12 public schools outperform students who attend both charter schools and private religious schools, irrespective of denomination.

 One probable consequence of the Indiana Choice Legislation, therefore, will be the diversion of public, taxpayer dollars away from the state’s higher performing public education system to lower performing private religious schools. Because of this, the Indiana Voucher Legislation may actually diminish student achievement in the state over time.

 The nations that have been most successful in improving student achievement over time have focused on systems-based reforms that build capacity of the overall education system and have eschewed reforms based on competition and choice. Meanwhile, nations that have taken the competition choice path to education reform have failed to realize enhanced student achievement. Indiana School Choice Scholarship Program.

 The Indiana Choice Legislation fails to comport with the capacity-building education reform model that has been implemented in nations that have successfully enhanced student achievement over time. Instead, the Indiana Choice Legislation adopts the competition/choice model of education reform that has failed to enhance student performance in other nations globally.

 According to the annual financial report of the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana spent $115 million on its voucher program in the 2014-2015 school year. In context, that means over $115 million of public, taxpayer money annually will be diverted from potentially enhancing student achievement by following the evidence-based strategy of building capacity in the state’s public school system, and instead used to subsidize students attending private schools.  Because the Indiana Choice Legislation prohibits the state from regulating the “curriculum content” at private schools that accept vouchers, public taxpayer money will be spent on education of uncertain quality.

 Subsidizing individual decisions that do not generate a public good or service—even legitimate ones well within the rights of, in this case, the parents making them—is an inappropriate use of public money. The Indiana School Expenditure Deduction is particularly difficult to justify from a public policy standpoint for two reasons. First, it is not means tested and hence is using public revenue to pay for private economic transactions that in all likelihood would have taken place anyway. Second, it diverts revenue from public education to assist children in attending private schools that have been found by the Lubienski study to underperform traditional public schools.

 Because white children as a percentage of voucher recipients in the 2014-2015 school year exceed the next largest racial group by more than 44 percentage points, Indiana’s voucher program will likely lead to increased racial stratification within Indiana’s K-12 public schools.  The School Expenditure Deduction will cause local governments across Indiana to lose up to $1.4 million annually in Local Option Income Tax revenue, thereby constraining their ability to provide police, fire, trash collection and other core local services to constituents. This is difficult to justify, given that the public revenue spent to subsidize private decisions under the School Expenditure Deduction serves no identifiable public interest.

It is time to stop hiding behind the tired charade that the DOE is discriminating.  You were lucky that it worked once.

Instead, it is time to use these two schools to challenge the real argument underlying these closures….

Is it fair and constitutionally viable to use bogus test scores to affect any decision affecting a child over his lifetime…..

If the test was fair… you would not have a case…  But there is massive piles of uncontestable evidence showing that standardized tests are not a fair assessment of what a child knows…

And to close schools on something so prejudicial, is against the law…  It is a violation of CIvil Rights that rich white students can go to Newark and Wilmington Charter Schools, but poor, impoverished blacks cannot learn at a remedial school designed to help them catch up…. where, of course the scores will be low.

These tests are the equivalent of kicking people out of a 2000 m race because they aren’t in the top third after the first lap…

A lawsuit challenging standardized tests, has a far greater chance of winning…. because….. all the evidence is there.

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round

Original Courtesy of Media@ Limited Gov.org

Everyone knows Hollodick is trying to become the next Secretary of Education for the State of Delaware…  Everyone knows that is why his tongue is up Rodel’s ass (figuratively as if Rodel had one) and why he rides the same bus as those who pretend that opting their child out from this horrific test is not a valid parental option!

Everyone knows how bad this Smarter Balanced Test is…. (You have taken it by now, right?)   Why would anyone subject his child to such?

Quote:  “As a former principal and now as Superintendent, I have always supported state assessments….. I too am a parent of children who will be taking assessments this spring….”

WHEN, 100% of child psychologists support opting all students from the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

WHEN, all three of the largest school districts in this state have voted to allow they parents to opt out for any reason what-so-ever with zero consequences.

WHEN, every parent who has taken the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests has said…. “Holy Crap!  This is terrible!  My kid can’t take this!

WHEN, a bill (HB 50) by popular demand, is actually up for the Educational Committee review, overriding anyones authoritarian objection by any who have stated parents are not allowed to opt out their child from being guinea pigs in this national experiment of psychological torture!

WHEN, because “they” are absolutely afraid of this bill passing by popular demand, it is currently being bottled up in committee where it will never see the light of day, unless you get on the phone and demand it be cleared for a vote!

WHY, would you look any other way?

Because you are putting “your own interests” above those of the children under your authority….. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER REASON TO BE OPPOSED TO THE OPT OUT PLAN OTHER THAN ONES OWN PERSONAL SELF INTEREST.

That includes Mark Murphy, lol, chief for change.

That includes Jack Markell, lol, lame-duck governor.

That includes Dave $okola, lol, educational “whore” in the $enate.

That includes Pete Schwartzkopf, lol, Mr.”I’ll-Bury-It-For-You-Jack” in the House….

That includes Greg Lavelle, Mr. “Really, You’ll Get Me On Chuck Todd?”……

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER REASON TO BE OPPOSED TO THE OPT OUT PLAN OTHER THAN ONES OWN PERSONAL SELF INTEREST.

Christina Board has voted for the opt out.

Red Clay Board has voted for the opt out.

Capital Board has voted for the opt out…

Why is is little Hollodick of Brandywine hiding in its little pussy cage?

=====

I say we should bring them out, …out of hiding, …out into the open…  We should start a campaign calling out Hollodick and the sycophants on the Brandywine School Board for being the pussies that they are… Afraid to face facts because it does not jive with their “own self interests”…. To hell with your children!

So, his era as Pussy-meister starts today……  and ends when his board votes to join the opt-out movement.

Will you Join us all in protesting his willingness to sacrifice his children and yours to the alter of the Smarter Balanced, from where all are violated, and only 30% return alive,

CONTACT DR. HOLODICK:
302-793-5001
mark.holodick@bsd.k12.de.us

Dial That number ….. wait for the message…… and cutely say…..”Meow” one, two, or three times….. and hang up….  If they receive up to 40,000 meows that would send a far more powerful message than any formal debate or argument… (Plus, it sinfully is so much fun for us to do; like being kids again/ you know you did it)….  You don’t need to add pejoratives…  A simple meow will get listened to, and registered as a cat-call for being a cowardly pussy.   (Because everyone likes cats/facebook tells us so. )

You should then email their school board members here…… http://brandywineschools.org/domain/103

And since Brandywine is voting soon on two positions….. these four might like to be included….  :)

VOTING DISTRICT B – Term expires June 30, 2020.

Arthur H. Kirksey III
Kristin C. Pidgeon

VOTING DISTRICT E – Term expires June 30, 2020.

Karen P. Gordon
Diana Hornung Hanby 

Just say Meow”……  They will be surprised at first… but eventually word will get back to them and they will figure it out….  It has been so long since we’ve had a protest where we could do so in the privacy of our own time, that was so much fun, and make a point so effectively to those in power…..

Just say:  Meow….  Pussies like to hear Meows…….

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