When Governor Markell vetoed HB 50, the said he could not support encouraging opt-out of the annual state assessment, which provides information for teachers and school leaders to determine areas in which students are excelling or need additional help.

The results are out, and so every parent desperately looks at the chart to see where students are excelling or in need or additional help.

Here is what they see.

They see their child’s literacy score and math score… It ranges between 2210-2724 for ELA; 2235 – 2748 for math.

They see what looks like a thermometer divided into 4 levels.  Across the middle of the graph is a dark line representing he cut score. which in English Language Arts is 2531 and in Math it hovers at 2552.

On the side are listed three headlines…

  • State Average 2523
  • School Average XXXX
  • District Average XXXX

and similar for Math……

  • State Average 2511
  • School average XXXX
  • District Average XXXX

They see a marker like the mercury in a thermometer rising to show their child’s score. They can compare their child to the state average, school average, and district average.

Beneath these graphics on the bottom half of both pages is a box which on ELA is broken down into 4 columns and on Math is broken down in three.

In both ELA and Math the top line reads.

How Did Your Student Do in the Different Areas of the Assessment?

The Columns in ELA are Reading, Speaking and Listening, Writing, Research/Inquiry.

The Columns in Math are Concepts and Procedures, Problem Solving: Modeling and Data Analysis, Communicating Reasoning. 

Then underneath in each column, are a triangle with an exclamation point inside, and the words… Below Standard For This Area..

Finally below that are the announcements…

In ELA,….. Student has difficulty (a)reading closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts); (b) employing effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences);(c) producing effective and well grounded writing for a range of purposes and audiences);(d) engaging in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information)…..

In Math….. Student has difficulty (a) explaining and applying mathematical concepts); (b) solving a range of complex well-posed problems in pure and applied mathematics, making productive use of knowledge and problem solving strategies);(c) clearly and precisely constructing viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critique the reasoning of others)

There is then a FAQ portion which goes like this for both ELA and Math….

The Smarter ELA/Literacy Assessment has four claims: Reading; Speaking and Listening: Writing; and Research/Inquiry.  Each claim is a summary statement about the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate on the assessment related to a particular aspect of the Delaware Content Standards–Common Core Standards for the ELA/Literacy…

The math is identical except for this line which subs for the highlighted line above…

Three Claims:  Concept & Proceedures; Problem Solving; Modeling and Data Analyses; and Communicating Reasoning.


 Then in bold, they  give you advice I’ve been saying  for years now….


Take the test.

Gain familiarly with the test software platform and sample test questions for grades 3-8 and 11 by taking a practice test.


Followed by a paragraph that declares boldly:

Learn More.

On the back of the four page folder, in the top half, is a dark box with buff colored font.

Resources & Facts

Then in white colored font it asks:

Are my child’s scores good enough?

While it is the goal of the school to have your child achieve at the highest level possible at a minimum, children are expected to perform at the Meets Standard level in each subject at each grade level.

How are student prepared for online testing?

A practice test is available to families to try out the on-line testing system at http://de.protal.airast.org.  To use the practice test, you will need to install a free Mozilla Firefox browser on your home computer. The latest version of Adobe Flash must also be installed on the computer. A link to download the browser can be found on the website with the practice test.

What about families that do not have home computers?

Delaware State Parent Advisory Council respects the fact that in order for families to be able to provided optimum support to their children they will need a home-based computer and internet access.  The advisory council may be ablet o provide these valuable resources to low-income families. Please Contact the Delaware State Parent Advisory Council, P.O. Box 643 New Castle, DE 19720. (302) 722-7206.

How will Smarter assessments contribute to student success?

Administered online these new assessments provide an academic check-up0 adn are designed to give teachers and parents information to help students succeed:

  • Smarter assessments replaced existing tests in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school.
  • Scores from the new assessments represent a baseline that provides more accurate information for teachers, students, and parents as they work to meet the demands of college and career.
  • Parents can use this information to better communicate with teachers and school administrators about their child’s success.

Finally one more buff bubble with this inside…

visit http://de.portal.airast.org/  for more information onf DE reports.


That is what is says. here are some issues.  There is nothing that tells parents or teachers what their child is missing.

Student has difficulty explaining and applying mathematical concepts…  So is he bad in division? And is it just long division? Or is it addition, subtraction, multiplying, division, averaging, exponents, formulas, algebraic thinking, pre calculus, geometry, etc…  Where is the specific information we are suppose to get out of this $119 million dollar paln? The DCAS gave us much more detailed information.  This test’s results compared to those of previous tests is a flat out joke.

Student has difficulty reading closely and analytically to comprehend a ranges of increasingly complex literary and informational needs…

“This child’s in third grade”… i just want to know if she can read.  She reads fine in car as we drive by readable signs.  So what part of reading is she not getting?  On this the Smarter Report card is silent….”

We now know why there is a direct correlation between test scores and family income.  My goodness, can you image taking this exam without prior access to computers except when they come in on their first day and take this test.  This is where this test is more discriminatory than any previous.  This slants the higher scores to the wealthy because only they have access to computers at home,. and leaves the poor choking on dust. You must have a computer to do well on this test; versus you only need a pencil to do well on the last test with which we replaced with the Smarter Balanced Assessments.