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…....

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