DCAS Math 2014DCAS ELA 2014

Those students getting the equivalent of an A+ are in blue… Those getting A’s and B’s are in Green. And those getting C’s are in yellow… The red stands for those who got D’s and F’s… This comes from last spring’s (2014) DCAS testing….

When the Smarter Balanced scores eventually come out… forget the semantics of “proficiency” (A, A-, B+, B, B-)… Instead, look at those who actually failed or are below basic….  The rates are amazingly low…

Which means that our schools are doing a really good job… But… I would bet that because this was intentionally hidden from you and because the News Journal, and the blogs, and the politicians all focused on the word “proficiency”… you were really unaware of just how good our teachers are doing today in Delaware’s schools…

Really?

There are more A+ students than there are F’s?   That is one huge distortion of the standard Bell Curve and can only happen by a lot of hard work by very dedicated individuals…

But, if you and every one else knew that public schools in Delaware were doing such a phenomenal job, you probably would object to $37 million being funneled to “Friends of Markell”  Ie (AIR which makes the Smarter Balanced Assessment)… If everyone was aware of how great public schools were performing, they probably would object to a new charter going up in their district which would TAKE AWAY MONEY FROM THEIR GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOL.   If everyone knew how good Delaware’s children were doing right now, they would abandon charters and return to our public schools…

Which is why we are getting scores that will make schools look worse than what we’ve been told… This August, when the News Journal publishes the Smarter Balanced Results for 2015, and decries that everyone is not proficient (not in blue), the hope is that those who can benefit financially at your expense from a failing public school system, will finally get the chance…

It boils down to semantics.  If someone tells you that Jack is not proficient… it pops in your mind that he must then be a failure… That is just our immediate impression.. Of course, all we have to do is ask… “what is your definition of proficient”  to discern that what they were claiming as the level of proficiency sets a new record for mankind’s highest ascent. If we ask (and we should all scream it in August when the Smarter Balanced Results come out)…. “WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF ‘PROFICIENT'”  (and how does that translate to a letter grade) then we would under the Freedom of Information Act, eventually find out that they are decrying we must change EVERYTHING in education because only 33% of our children are A+ students.

Which is pretty damn good…

So OK. In this semantic inflation, how many are really failures?   From the red in the DOE’s charts above, it appears to be in the low 10%’s … which is also realistically pretty good.  Especially when many of those don’t speak English.. Or get meals at home… Or have parents read to them.   Or have parts of their brains missing and inoperable through no cause of their own…

When you see the  Delaware DOE reporting that they taught 35.8% of all students in 2014-2015 who were below the Federal poverty level (much lower than those previously eligible for free lunch (a higher threshold)).. yhe fact that only 10% of those failed, means we were able to teach and pass those 25.8% of those most vulnerable citizens…

Teachers pat yourselves on the back.. No other civilization on this planet can do what you just did.. Teach and pass 25% of the population who are below poverty. (China sends them straight to factory assembly lines) As a collective force, you are truly amazing….

But…. educational reformers can’t have any of that… How can they fire long-term teachers and replace them with computers or cheap substitutes, if our well-trained teachers are doing a really great bang-up job?

They can’t… and so they have to lie…

Remember: when the scores come out… to grab those hawking the demise of public education, and hold their feet in the fire; don’t let them squirm out. Demand they give you the letter grade of what “being proficient” really stands for:

An A+

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