High Stakes Testing is just that… High stakes… The underlying principle is that we hire you to do a job and if you don’t accomplish that job, we fire you; putting someone better in.

The job the education governor and his Secretary of Education were supposed to perform, was raise test scores.  Test scores went down.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to a teacher when her scores go down?  She gets fired.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to a school when it’s scores go down?  It gets closed.

So under high stakes testing, what happens to the State of Delaware when it’s scores go down?  It loses Federal Funding.

Our scores went down and Federal Funding for Race To The Top is not coming back….

Who was responsible?   Our Governor who put in all these programs, invested millions of dollars in consultants, and paid heavily invested Wall Street educational companies to run our state’s education system…

If a teacher gets fired, if a school gets closed, if a state loses its grants, shouldn’t someone at the top be held accountable?  or is it that high stakes testing only works for the poor, and downtrodden, but those at the top can do whatever they please?

Probably the latter is true, which is why we don’t see Mark Murphy packing his bags and headed to another Common Core State.  Though he did NOT improve our states results (they actually got worse), he does not have to fear for his job.

Why?  Because events were out of his control…  So he shouldn’t be fired…

One would hope, the Delaware peoples’ sense of fairness would come into play here.  One would think..  Why would we not fire the Secretary of Education, but fire his secretary who made his phone calls?  Why would we not fire the proponents of charter schools who are in danger of failing dismally,, but fire those teachers doing well in those public schools competing against charter schools for student funding?  Why would we fire those teachers who make strong gains with inner city children, and heap laud and praises on those in Charter Schools who took last years top students, and made them into this year’s top students?

Why would we use a double standard and fire those on the bottom, but allow those on the top to do the same mediocre performance they have always done in the past?   Why would we fire those on the bottom from whom we tied their hands behind their backs, and pulled all the necessary resources needed to do their job, and not fire those who took those resources away?

“Put simply, the Delaware public should NOT tolerate, a Governor and Legislature who refuse to provide sufficient resources to high need schools and then turn around and blame the schools and communities for their own failures. (all the while, protecting millions of dollars in separate aid programs that drive funds straight into charter schools embedded in wealthy districts).”

They should be fired…  Either one of two things must happen… If we choose to go the route of high-stakes testing, then it needs to apply to those at the top too. Actually first.  If Michelle Rhee had gotten fired, none of the turmoil would have happened causing a whole generation to get lost.   Or if you are not going to fire those at the top for factors they are responsible for, but have no control over, then you shouldn’t be firing those teachers dealing with poverty in their classrooms, with single parent issues, with neglect, with crime, with drugs, with home abuse, with parents who are unemployed.  Sure they are responsible for doing the best they can;  but you can’t have one set of rules at the top, another at the bottom and maintain your office….

Mark Murphy works for Jack Markell.  He gets fired when Jack is tired of him.  Jack will not be running for state office.  He has two  and a half years left on this cycle.

But, next November, we have legislative elections.   We can pressure and fire THEM  based on their attitudes and votes this upcoming session.  If they don’t and can’t get high scores this next summer, and if they run on firing and demoting teachers, they should receive their just desserts.

This is actually very doable in this state.  WE can eliminate all those legislators who state that teachers and parents are at fault for our schools, and turn a blind eye to their removal of “in school” funding, forcing public school teachers to have to do more, with much, much, less…  Anyone who says we need to cut costs in schools, needs to go.  Anyone who promotes a charter school, needs to go…. Anyone who by doing these things that damage the rest of our children who are trying to learn in some of the best public school districts in the country, before school reform began tearing them down…. needs to go.

A short list of those who, by their actions last session, should, unless they change, face the same forms of accountability affecting those who work in public schools.

David Sokola

Patty Blevins.

Greg Lavelle

Earl Jacques

Vote them out……