Dear ____________________ ,

As someone very close to the education of children, I am calling (writing) you to beg that you vote NO on HB 334.   I am alarmed that you do not realize the damage this will do to Delaware’s children….

Under the DCAS system our children have made great gains.  Scores took a giant leap in 2012 over 2011… Then in 2013, scores rose even more except in all those courses teaching Common Core… Those all dropped, pulling down the overall total…..

We are rushing into using this Smarter Balanced Assessment based on hearsay and one-sided marketing… No one has asked the teachers who piloted the Smarter Balanced Assessments for results on how well those tests actually rated their children’ learning….

As a parent close to the pilot, I can tell you they do not rate what children learn!… Because the questions are so bizarre and unfathomable even for adults, the children resort to guessing at the answers…. In other words we will be using pure  randomness to test our teaching and to rank our students….

I’ve seen it. We are teaching our children that the “real world” does not make sense.  In the Smarter Balanced Assessment, good work does not equal good results… Bad work does not equal bad results…  A child can goof off all year and score better than a well-disciplined child who got top marks all year long. This is morally wrong and very damaging to our children…..  When a child has to randomly guess and then the “powers-that-be” decide that same child’s future based solely on his luck that one day of the year, is bad for the future of all society…..

We, the people of Delaware, have something that works well and are being forced to trade it in on something that from all appearances is a piece of junk.  Why are only 10 states still going through with this test if it is truly so great a judge of our children’s performance?

The simple reason is that in all those other states (now backing out like a party which the last person pays the bill), they took the time to look at both sides of the equation!…. In this state, we are being spoon-fed only one side….  Educational for-profit Companies > Rodel > Markell> DOE & Murphy> Sokola and Scott… which is nothing but a sale’s pitch…  “Spend your money here….”

Switching to the Smarter Balanced Assessment is very bad for our children…  Independent experts who have looked at this test, have all guaranteed that some day soon we will one day scrap it; then take ourselves back to the drawing board, and start all over again simply for the reason it is so bad…  Yet, we have something that now works well and to move to a very expensive option that doesn’t, …is costly to both the state’s finances and to the educational potential of all our state’s children…..

Please do not support the Markell administration’s sponsored HB 334.  There are no bad consequences for waiting a couple of years to see how this Smarter Balanced Assessment works out in other states…  because our current DCAS system is working very well……

Obviously the smart solution would be to pilot this over two years at one elementary, one middle school, and one high school in each district.  But that solution is not before you now…

So please vote no on HB 334 and buy all our children more time so they can get the best education our state can afford….. .