Let us do the lies in Red… and the truth in black…. Being in the red is bad…. being in the black is goooood…..

Statewide assessments are essential to providing teachers, parents, and education officials with honest, objective information about how children are doing……

First off:  The Smarter Balanced Assessment is not honest.  It is not objective.  Any adult who has taken the test, knows it is rife with tricks, disingenuous descriptions, and simply fails to communicate what each question is asking… Someone really stupid made this test: (David Coleman)… The Smarter Balanced Assessment penalizes children of color.  The Smarter Balanced penalizes children who speak other languages at home. The Smarter Balanced penalizes anyone from a home where combined incomes are less than $100,000 per year…..

Second:  The Smarter Balanced Assessment is not graded on right or wrong answers… Recently a test question was exposed to ask the meaning of a word, then offered 4 definitions in Webster’s dictionary for that word… Apparently one of them is more right than the others, but not even adults can agree which one… This is not honest.  This is not objective…. This is trickery on a massive scale and the only reason we have this test at all, is to fire great teachers and privatize great public schools.  It helps no student who takes it….

Third:  Take Tennessee.   After a year of intense classroom preparation for the test,  results soared… The 2015 scores are quite high… The average  was near 83 ( previously deemed exceptional in Delaware)…. But the cut scores are now being set at 91 in order to achieve the predestined failure rate which is necessary to show how badly schools are doing! Can you imagine: 91 out of a hundred on a very tough, standardized test is passing?   You have to get an A- to pass?

Students are being used for political games… pure and simple…..  This test is not honest.  This test is not objective.

These test results are the only way we know whether students, particularly our highest need students, are falling behind….

“Are there no quizzes?  Are there no homework assignments?  Are there no classroom tests?” — (Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol.)

Gee how on earth did schools function when all of us went to school in 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, and 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014… before we had the Smarter Balanced Assessment?

This is some stupid flat out bullshit being uttered in red here… Someone in Delaware’s DOE needs to be fired on the spot for being so dense, and publishing this dribble, embarrassing the entire educational structure across this state, as well as the entire state…. That statement is grounds enough to make Delaware a laughing stock around the world….

ineffective or redundant tests take away valuable teaching time…..

So why is the Smarter Balanced Assessment still on the table?  If you lack the political will to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (easy to do), than you almost have to let parents opt out of this horrible, horrific, hideous test….

While testing is a serious issue, opt-out legislation is not the answer.  

Correct.  Getting rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment entirely is the answer…. But again, … if you can’t accomplish that this legislative session, then follow the House’s lead and veto proof your passing of the opt out bill with an equally lopsided vote….

Civil rights groups in Delaware and across the country are fighting the opt-out movement because low-income students and students of color have benefited the most from statewide testing requirements.

I haven’t seen this to be evident.  For one, they have not had experience with the Smarter Balanced Assessment. In Delaware particularly, they base their opinion on the DCAS, which if there were any such thing as a good test, it would be that one… If it weren’t for Common Core’s disruption, we would already be reaching goals set 15 years ago….

However any adult who has taken the Smarter Balanced Assessment for their child’s grade level… KNOWS this test is blatantly designed to segregate Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor, as secondary citizens…  All the correct language questions are based on the Upper Midwest accent… what sounds right to them, is the correct answer on the test.  It does not jive with Southern accents.  It does not jive with Western accents.  It does not jive with urban accents. It does not jive with Hawaiian accents…  This test has only one real purpose… To fire expensive teachers and switch public schools over to private ones….

If you are a black child struggling to meet the past assessment set by DCAS, how on earth will you magically find the time and energy to blow away the Smarter Balanced Assessment which is set two grade levels higher than the current grade your child is in?  We do that in the corporate world when we want to get rid of someone… “you didn’t pass your exam; we’re letting you go”… which was the whole purpose of the test anyways…  Whereas before there was only racism to decry that Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor as stupid and lazy, with this test, those racists will now have proof… Arbitrary as it is… it is still proof that going forward, segregation is the better way… Civil rights groups need to switch any allegiance immediately and make sure our legislators know this is very bad for minorities… It is the American equivalent of the Jewish Star.

Those (past) test results have revealed that these students need more resources and support.

So did the NAEP.  So does  the SAT.  So does the PSAT.  So does the PISA……  And were the resources and support forthcoming?   Yes!   if you were an all white school in a district with an affluent tax base!   If not, you had your resources cut… You had your support pulled…   And IF YOU TAKE THE TEST AS AN ADULT,  you see the Smarter Balanced Assessment  does nothing to reveal what we already know… It is confusing. It is disingenuous.  it is disruptive to democracy in that is completely fails to teach minorities their rights and power as individuals under the Constitution. This is a Chinese styled test.  It is not… repeat… NOT American.  (*Take it; you will readily agree)

Twenty-seven civil rights groups, including the NAACP, Children’s Defense Fund, La Raza, National
Urban League, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities signed a letter insisting that the federal government continue to require annual testing of all students…

Fifty years ago was 1965……  There was no Smarter Balanced Assessment in 1965….  That is why this is a ridiculous argument…. A deliberate twisting by the Delaware DOE trying to paint the support for the Federal Role in preventing discrimination, particularly in the South, into support for the Smarter Balanced Assessment….  Here is what the group supports:

  • Access to early childhood education for economically disadvantaged children and those with disabilities (ages birth to 5 years).
  • Equal access to qualified and effective teachers and core college-prep courses.
  • Equal access to technology including hardware, software, and the Internet.
  • Safe and healthy school climate with inclusionary discipline best practices.
  • Supports and services needed by English learners and students with disabilities.
  • Protections for the most vulnerable children, e.g., those in juvenile or criminal justice systems, those in child welfare systems, pregnant/parenting students, and foster, homeless, and migrant youth.

The DOE statement is culled from these statements….. These 27 out of 200 groups support standardized testing only IF 

  • They are valid and reliable measures of student progress and meet other requirements…
  • They provide appropriate accommodations for English learners…
  • They provide appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities….
  • And only if during a transition period, alternatives to computer-based assessment for students in schools that have not yet provided them, are provided with sufficient access to, and experience with, the required technology.

Somehow all that was dropped by the DOE and just the first part… These groups support standardized testing…..

It is obvious they do NOT support the Smarter Balanced Assessments from the qualifications they listed above…..

As for the op-ed by the United Negro College Fund president?  Well those sentiments were compromised by the $25 million gift made by the Koch Brothers this fall…  Sorry, there is no credibility there anymore

As for loss of Title 1 funding due to lack of 95% of students taking the test. but is extremely unlike.  Legislation in Congress in being worked up to prohibit that from happening…  Whether it passes or not, or is vetoed, it would behoove the Feds to cut funding to impoverished schools, in fact, almost forcing Congress to return a veto proof bill the next week or two….

Loss of funding will not happen to states for opting out out of this horrific, horrible test…. It is a travesty, and unconscionable that we allowed non-adults to take it….   Most who did, said it made no sense to them. .

If you wish to keep standardized tests as policy, you need to follow these steps….

  • Decouple Delaware from the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
  • Decouple Delaware from Common Core.
  • Return to the DCAS. which is an objective test… If you get a right answer there, it is right, not a “wait until we figure the cut score is” wishy-washy obfuscation before we can tell you how you did….
  • Decouple all accountability from the returned-to-DCAS to teachers, schools, districts… Use it is a test to measure children, that is all.  Use other methods to determine the viability of teachers, schools, districts… Relying on test scores means really great teachers get fired in poverty schools, and really bad teachers get merit raises in affluent schools… Relying on test scores to determine if a teacher is good or bad, is ridiculous…  But if used only for the student’s evaluation then there is worth in monitoring a student’s progress.  But recognize that tests are no match for an evaluation by a teacher of a student who has been under their tutelage for a full year…  You know… like how we were graded.

Delaware’s Senate needs to follow the House’s Example and vote overwhelmingly, sustaining the veto if need be, for HB 50….

Then it needs to go further and rid Delaware of the Smarter Balanced Assessment all together…. it won’t be the first state to do so……..

But the DOE is taking us over a cliff… For them to argue they know what they are doing as we see the lip of the cliff rapidly approaching us and at a high rate of speed… means sooner or later, We, The People, have to grab the wheel and take matters into our own hands….