Standardized test scores are arbitrary…   If I make a test and you make a test and we both test the same children (or adults), my test which was hard will be scored lower and your test which was easier will be higher…  So comparing my test to your test and saying mine is better or yours is worse,…  is pointless… kids (or adults) do their best on both tests.

The only thing that really matters in standardized testing is whether your child gained or failed against the rankings of all other children… not the score. Here is why..

If your child is in a good school with a good teacher in a well funded district, and his ranking to the national average drops, then there is something there that needs looked into.

If your child is in a good school with a good teacher in a poorly funded district, and his rankings to the national average drop from year to year, there is something there that needs looked into…

The flip holds true…

If your child has everything going for him and excels compared to the national average, then things are good.

If your child has nothing going for him and excels compared to the national average, then things are good…

And this is all we can really glean from test scores… so rolling out the DCAS the first year back in 2010 gave us all big pats-on-our-backs because we jumped much higher than our expectations that year.. We then expected the same growth to happen each successive year, but …(with what we know now it is no surprise), scores flattened out…

That original jump in the DCAS did not show our children were learning… All it showed was at what level that new test would score our children who due to genetics and their environment, would learn as much as they could and no more.

The same thing holds true with the Smarter Balanced… It is lower, just because we decided to make a test that had lower scores.  But the overall trends still hold true, in fact mirror the DCAS,… just lower.  Whatever level at which children were learning, stayed the same…. We just said we’ll call it a 50 instead of a 70 on the Smarter Balanced to where we were with the DCAS….

So no one can make pronouncements… No one can say education is failing.  No one can say our teachers failed us. No one can say our education is in disarray.  

For the one consistent test across all time, shows our education had improved constantly since it started in 1984, …. up until it hit Common Core.

And the same goes to the SAT and ACT which were flat (slight decrease) this year…  “‘Oh, look at the test scores, our kids are not getting what they need from Common Core”…   (Lol, wish I could use that one, but I know better.)

The reason the SAT’s and ACT’s are flat is because more people who used to be considered too dumb to take the SAT, are now taking it through state enforcement…..

Here is why anyone who uses the ACT or SAT to justify education reform should be laughed out of the room… Ridiculed mightily…. 

Short version… you have ten people… your top 5 take the SAT….  Top scorers in Math, so let us say the scores are 800, 750, 700, 650, 600,   The average is 700… Extrapolated we’d say… our state is pegged at 700 on the SAT… woot, woot…

But we extend testing to all students….. can you guess what happens to the average?

800, 750, 700, 650, 600,  550, 500, 450, 400, 350….. Average  =  575   Extrapolated… we say…. “Look what Common Core has done!  It has dropped us from 700 down to 575!  It’s an outrage. It’s malicious. It’s, it’s, it’s…. communist!”

No. It is called math, and we teach in in school.  You probably had some courses when you were young…

That is why it is ridiculous to say education is faulty; we need drastic changes… look at the scores!

Now everyone who is over 30, had one person in their grade school or high school who you just knew early on, would never make it to college…

So why are we testing them 6 times before they drop out to see if they are going to college?   Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail…. What is the sense in doing so?  Then firing the teacher? Prioritizing the school? Closing down a district because no one was able to get that child to rise  mightily beyond the limits of his capacity…

Really. Does teaching geometry to someone who can’t do division make them smarter?  According to Jack Markell in response to a parent’s question at last years press conference… “yes”.. But one must ask how?  And when one does,… the reformers’ whole house of cards tumbles down upon itself…

It is easy for a politician to say.. “Our schools are failing our children… 20% proficient?  Ridiculous”…  And some have started already… But when you isolate those children into one district and have 80% who come into your school system with less than a 1500 word vocabulary, and no knowledge of colors, numbers, or names of shapes, then actual teaching becomes a whole different ballgame from the one corporate reformers have tried to script….

For if… you have 80% of your students entering like that… you start out at 20% proficient and will end 20% proficient because the tests like knowledge increase with difficulty year after year…   You don’t give a high school senior a first grade test…

And this was the beauty of the DCAS… Students who knew nothing were taught something… the next year they were taught something more… And if you were a truly good teacher, you taught them something over the course of your class and they learned it.. and the test showed that.

This is also the horror of the SBA… it tests two grades up… So every Wilmington child entering the school system with a 1500 word vocabulary, will by 3rd grade be tested at the 5th grade level..

Can you see the problem?

The Smarter Balanced aggravates all learning gaps by pushing the standard two grades higher than the childpreviously had to meet.   Those rich white children who enter with over a 10,000 word vocabulary do ok on these tests, but that 80% of one district, and 70% of another who enter with only a 1500 word vocabulary upon coming in,  not only have to grow the normal 3000 words expected every year, but have a deficit of 8500 they also have to make up that their counterparts do not….

Making that up is impossible.  and the gaps will continue to widen until someone like Trump says,,, “black people are weighing down our children’s education” and once again… separate but (un)equal becomes public policy… ,

And it will be the fault of those who were too deaf to listen to wisdom…

Bushweller, Henry, Lavelle, McDowell, Simpson, Sokola…

Like Trump is to immigrants… these are to black people… (and all other minorities other than Asian)..

What we need is to return to the DCAS or a similar test which proved most of our teachers were competent, which held our fake marker of proficiency in the 70’s, which improved our showing on the NAEP (the nation’s report card) across all 4 years this test was in use…

We need to defund the Smarter Balanced… then convene a working group of Delaware teachers to modify the Common Core standards, and develop a test ourselves to match those new teachable standards…  these then get approved by community leaders, with as much feedback as was allowed the Wind deal of 2007-2008, and then get the state board to vote on them.

Right now with these new scores, all we have is mush,  And with mush,… any sort of shapes can be seen in the swirls……

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