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?

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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…….

Here is where you can see your child’s questions…. (and answers, thank heavens)

And here is where you can go to experience the hieroglyphics needed to navigate the math pages, to fully understand the manual frustration which is a part of this test.

Now ask these questions:

Is this a genuine reflection upon what my child knows?

Is this material consequently even necessary for my child’s future knowledge?

Should my child have a low score permanently etched on his record for life over this one test?

Why should my child’s long adult life be decided by the results of this one test?  (Arne Duncun:  “We should know by grades one or two if a child will be going to college”.)

What would have happened to you, if you had been exposed to such as a student and held back because of your low score?  How would your life have been if the opportunities you had, had been withheld because you were deemed unworthy by a one day test you did in say, 3rd Grade?

Then contact your legislator

A good starter question for them would be….. have you even seen these tests?  A second good question would be… oh my… how low did you score?

Then call your school….

Hello, this is ________________  mother of ___________________ .  When is my child supposed to take the Smarter Balanced Assessments?… I want him opted out, and if you can’t do that, please let me know and we will just not have him show up for a medical condition on those days…  Yes. I’ll hold…..  ….. ….. ….. ….. …..  Oh, Hi, Ms Principal…. I’m the mother of ________________ and I don’t want this Smarter Balanced Test Score on his permanent  record…  What must I do to MAKE SURE THAT NEVER HAPPENS?  OK, April 22nd, and 23rd?   Ok,,, thank you, thank you… so very much…

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Let’s get this done, people.  Let’s get this over.  Let’s move on to better things for ourselves and our children.

April 1st deadline.  Schools under Formal Review for insignificant Enrollment.

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Prestige 59%,

Freire 35%,

Delaware Design Lab 46%

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Exploding yet another myth by the Charter School’s proponents… (They blah, blah, blah, over at Kilroy’s comments all the time). You see the public doesn’t want Charter Schools.  Those people who make money off Charter Schools want charter schools…. (If you have a building, and a charter school takes it over, you get over $2 million a year for the rent; whereas, right now, it is costing you money) …..

It is a myth Just like the one where “the people” wanted Citizen’s United.  Just like where the people wanted a “power plant for jobs”. Just like where the people wanted the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Just like where the people want a non-union entity to takeover the port of Wilmington, just like where the people want to pay more to support Bloom boxes being made at the Chrysler Plant.  …..

The people don’t want charter schools!  Some do, but those tiny few can’t overrule the rest of us…. “We, the people” now, can they?  Especially when it is clear that for every Charter Student that goes forward, 4 regular students suffer severely to make that happen…….

If we must have charter schools for political pressure reasons only (to take care of my buddy Rich, over there), then they must be funded out of the General Fund  as a line item on our budget and leave the existing funds for public schools (which We, the people, do support), alone….

As the battle to opt-out heats up, we hear from the spokes-legislators of the DOE against it, but not so much from those on the side of parents… Granted the DSEA (teachers’ association) and the PTA both support opting out… and we have John Kowalko’s bill HB 50 removing all penalties to children whose parents opt them out,…. we really don’t have enough noise coming out of legislative hall regarding this single most important issue….

I think we need riots.

Hopefully they come later.  For now we need bills on the floor that limit the damage these tests will do to future children.

As I have said, there is nothing wrong with raising a bar if all understand that raising the bar is just another way to describe the status quo… Poverty for example will still exist and the knowledge retained in each poor students brain will be exactly the same by year’s end, no matter where the cut line for scores gets set…..

They know what they know whether 70% fail, or 70% pass…. It is simply a judgment call where the line will get set in order for politicians to make some hay….

The problem all contend, is that these bogus tests will have real consequences… Instead of rating a teacher on how well she/he teaches, she is rated on how many of her kids are “above” the cut line…. and how many are “below” the cut line. Forget whether they learned anything this year.. Forget that they passed all the in class tests showing they “got it” this year.  Forget that despite their tough inner city lives, they actually learned something and became better future citizens for it…  Because under this regime, absolutely none of that matters…

When an independent agency hired by the DOE to rate teachers to high standards came up that 99% of teachers were proficient, the head of the DOE said the agency was flawed.  When an independent agency hired by the DOE to certify whether our improving schools were improving gave two “A’s” to two of the priority schools, the head of the DOE said that agency also was flawed.. Even though it was the University of Delaware.

This DOE ignores all evidence contrary to its make-believe positions…

So here is what this little state can do…. (modeled off Florida’s recently passed test reform law)….

I   Cap the amount of out of class standard testing to 45 hours….. There are 180 days of 6 hrs each in a school year; 1080 hours leaving 1035 for subject instruction. This high number of test hours accomodates upper-classmates taking the SAT, PSAT, ACT, and AP exams.  It necessarily eliminate the Smarter Balanced for that grade level…

II.  Eliminates the state’s 11th grade exam in language arts.  This test is redundant after the 10th grade test, and makes room for all the other tests juniors must take.

III.  Reduce the weight of student performance on tests from 50 percent to 5 percent of teachers’ evaluations.  This is  what research  consistently tells us is a teachers’ impact versus poverty, lack of parents, early childhood abandonment, hunger, abuse, and self survival. Thus only if a teacher was marginal in all other capacities, would her test scores even matter in her evaluation.  This accomplishes the prime goal of letting teachers teach, and using the tests to gather information on what works and what doesn’t.  Teachers in poverty schools need not worry about a scores impact; they can continue teaching their hearts out.  Teachers in wealthy schools need not worry about a scores impact;  they too can teach their hearts out.

IV.  Require an independent panel (no educational corporation  or non-profit board members) to assess the validity of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment.

V.  Assess the validity over whether scores from this test can ever be used to determine school performance on the state’s signature A-F accountability system….

VI.  Require a uniform assessment calendar to be used by all schools, especially corrupt Charters intent on buying Mercedes  with non-refundable excess student transportation funds.

VII.   Allows districts flexibility in measuring student performance in subjects for which there is no state exam

VIII.  Bars schools from administering final exams in courses for which there are already standardized end-of-course tests

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We need a bill like this to hit the desk this month… That is the legislature’s job,….is it not?

smarter balanced math

Mark Murphy’s Quote here:

“It is an academic checkup.  I think that’s incredibly important for our parents to remember is that at the end of the day we want to make sure as parents that our children are making adequate progress.  That progress that they need to make so that they are ready after high school to be successful.  And the Smarter Balanced Assessment that we will administer once a year provides an academic checkup for parents, for kids, for educators.   Is that child on track?  It’s nothing more than that.”

“But that aside, the information is powerful.  It provides all of us with an understanding about how our children are doing.  First and foremost, the kids themselves, but right on through us policy makers.  And if we do not have the ability to measure the progress our kids are making, then we do not have the ability to make great educational decisions, from the classrooms right through to the Legislature.”

“But let’s not overdo it here, cause some of this nonsensical test prep work that has gone on over recent decades does not help kids.  What we need to do is make sure that kids have great, real, authentic problems to solve in school and that they are demonstrating their knowledge in real life kind of ways”…

Just paging all scientists and engineers:  Does anyone out there use fractionated exponents?   This one never has…. There are far simpler ways to express the above problem…

x divided by the square root of x, (which obviously would be another square root of x since it is it’s own square root.

What the above question does is hand a child a rubiks cube…  with multiple sides requiring manipulation simultaneously on which any block gets misplaced, the entire question is marked wrong…

The concept or Common Core standard being herein expressed is:  does the child know that two similar square roots multiplied back together will give him the original number?

Yes. but even though the child knows that standard, this test will not allow him to express that since he will most likely make a mistake on one of this question’s seven complicated steps….

If the Smarter Balanced Assessment simply asked… what happens when you multiply two square roots of the same number together….. some of what Mark Murphy may have said would ring true….

But it is this test.  This test which does the opposite of what Mark Murphy, Jack Markell, Dave Sokola, Greg Lavelle, Penny Schwinn, Earl Jacques say it is supposed to do…

All this test does is hand your child a messed up rubiks cube and say “here: figure this out and if you don’t WE WILL FAIL YOU; FIRE YOUR TEACHER; AND CLOSE YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL”…….

This test and philosophy have got to go, and only you can eradicate it by exerting your God given will to control your child’s education….. You must opt out to save your child…..

(and this was the easiest question on the test….)

“A five-year old child watched helplessly as his younger brother drowned. In that same year, glaucoma began to darken his world, and his family was too poor to afford medical help that might have saved his sight. Both of his parents died during his teens. Eventually he was sent to a state institution for the blind. Because he was African-American, he was not permitted access to many activities, including music. Given the obstacles he faced, one could not have predicted that he would someday become a world-renowned musician. His name is Ray Charles.”

And so to make better musicians, we need to kill their siblings, poke out their eyes, withhold income from those children’s parents, prevent their parents from receiving medical care, put them in an orphanage, limit their activities, especially including limiting their access to music……

Ludicrous?  Most certainly.  Horrible too.

So why are we taking this exact same pathway with the Smarter Balance Assessments?  Where did this idea come from that to get children to learn we have to psychologically traumatize them, shock them with torture, to make them become better students?

Ray Charles rose above his conditions.  But to force his conditions on all potential musicians in order to make more Ray Charleses, is flat out idiotic.

Yet that is exactly what Mark Murphy and the Department of Education did when they approved the use of the Smarter Balanced Assessment… That is exactly what Greg Lavelle did when he switched his vote from nay to yay and this test became required for all students…..

There are potential risks and costs to grit. It may not always be productive to persevere in the face of challenge. For example, persevering to accomplish goals that are extrinsically motivated, unimportant to the student, or in some way inappropriate for the student can potentially induce stress, anxiety, and distraction, and have detrimental impacts on a student’s long-term retention, conceptual learning, or psychological well-being. Careful research is still necessary to help educators learn how to protect students and to gauge and fine-tune practices and interventions.

Careful research is exactly what was NOT done before Dave Sokola rolled this program out to our students… You now, as parents only have one alternative left to save your child’s education… OPT YOUR CHILD OUT…

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