How much was revealed last night at Capital School District’s Board Meeting?… The discussion began on the governor’s takeover and charter switch planned for 6 schools up north.
The first particle of discussion was in the “way” the DOE was handling Red Clay and Christina. Board member Lindell indicated the basis for these decisions is test scores, but the DOE has been known to make errors in the past….
Lindell and Superintendent Dr. Thomas spoke about Capital’s graduation rates having many errors in the past, but once the DOE officially publishes these numbers it is difficult to fix. No one knows what will be published until it is already done. Anyone can substitute any thing they want, before it goes to publishing….
This raises concerns over all credibility of these numbers. Tests are taken, scored, and tabulated by outside interests. The results then sit in the Delaware Department of Education… who then releases them in bulk once all tabulations are complete. What stops the DOE from creating any result it wants for purposes it wishes to fulfill, such as those that may help influential friends, but ruin children in the process?
Schools and districts must accept what they are given. For once published it is impossible to fix. If the DOE were deemed to have no subtle political agenda, but to consider its job being to give the most accurate snapshot as possible, there would be no reason to doubt the data. But when you have an administration like this one tied as close as it is to Rodel, an administration that has a very narrow extreme and hostile political agenda, and one that has so far used secrecy, obfuscation, and false facts to achieve those means, then all credibility in that organization and in the data it emits, is now suspect……
What if the scores for these six schools were really in the 50’s? And not the 10’s and 20’s? What if the scores of East Side Charter were really in the 50’s? And not in the 60’s and 70’s we were led to believe? Who would know?
We have to look at impact evidence. If these scores being reported for these schools were legitimate, there could be no way that 97% of Delaware’s teachers could be rated as highly effective…. Those not, at 3%… based on these scores, could be at best only 261 teachers spread across this state who were rated as NOT highly effective… That small amount would only fill just one half of all our charters, which would be the most likely place one would find them…. Leaving the other half of charters and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF DELAWARE’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS FULLY STAFFED WITH TEACHERS WHO BY THESE VERY SAME TEST SCORES ON EACH CLASS BASIS, WERE ALL RATED HIGHLY EFFECTIVE… Yet the same scores were used to show the very schools they work in to be in grave danger….
Does something not right stand out to you? It certainly appears that since teacher data can be verified (teachers know) but schools and district data banks are too large to be verified by anything other than faith, that the school numbers were simply created out of thin air, and made-up to achieve the purpose of mis-characterization….
Due to the short time frame given us on the MOU, it now seems obvious that an injunction be immediately sought before Sept. 30th in order to stay the execution of this plan, until we can get verification on these numbers whose validity now seems very suspicious. … In that court process, if so ordered by a court who can wield a heavy hand and levy penalties of contempt, we can get the information either verifying this action or denying it, in real time, and not have it ignored by the DOE as is frequently done in every single other FOIA request….
Legal action now seems to be a citizen’s most expedient way to go. I recommend trying this in Federal Court since manipulation of educational records is now a Federal crime, and since there would be less mechanization attempting to stop this process, than would be found within a friendly state-run justice system,
Later, Lindell again stated he wants parents to be able to have the choice to opt-out of standardized testing. He stated that if special education parents have the choice, all parents should. The only apparatus that allows students not to take the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment is the legislation passed through Senate Bill 229 in Delaware, which allows for the most severely complex special education students to have an alternate test. New legislation needs to be passed and signed before the Smarter Tests begin in April that guarantees every Delawarean parent the right to opt their child out of the test…. It will then be up to the DOE to sell parents on the benefit of the test. If they cannot do so, parents should have first right of refusal…
But as it stands, if we cannot trust that the DOE is even giving us correct test scores, it is far too fast to make what the Governor called “catastrophic changes to the status quo”, when perhaps there is nothing broken after all….
As all school boards and all 19 Superintendents already well know…. The DOE has made similar mathematical errors in the past….
Concerned parents and protective organizations need to file suit immediately… And opt out….