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First the Con’s.

1) Your child will not get “a score”.

2) No data about your child will be sold to tele-marketers who could (for a fee) send information which could possibly help augment your child to do better his next year.

3) Your child’s teacher, school, district, will not get rated based on your child’s performance.

4) Your school may not meet the 95% testing rate required by the “OLD” No Child Left Behind Bill to give credibility to its ratings. The current bill states that 95% of a school’s students must take the test for it to have any legitimacy, but states now get to decide how to determine who the 95% gets to be… (One option is to allow parents to opt out prior to a posted deadline absolving them from being included in the pool of test takers.)

5) Opting out isolates the state from being the sole determiner of how your child is performing; forcing that important decision to be determined by a lowly teacher who only has just spent 180 days getting to really know your child.

6) If large numbers of people opt out, then we really won’t know how well schools and districts can perform on standardized tests. We will only be left with ancient methods of determination, such as all previous generations (including those currently serving in the General Assembly and Governor’s office) underwent as they progressed though both their elementary and secondary school systems.

7) Minorities and children of color who opt out will have to be rated by how well they did on classroom, homework, quizzes and teacher developed tests to see if they are ready to be passed to the next level. And teachers do not grade with the cold efficiency of a computer.

8) Testing companies will be cut off from large sources of income. To develop this test, $100 million inside Delaware was spent alone on all upgrades required. Loss of this income will hurt some fly-by-night companies currently located outside Delaware in right-to- work states causing them possibly to fold.

9) Think tanks like the Fordham Institute will be the laughing stock of all other think tanks if not all parents require their children to take the test as required.

10) Opting out skews the data. It becomes meaningless to use it because it no longer represents a real reflection of reality.

11) Legislators receiving kickbacks and underhanded payments from educational corporations and lobbyists, will have to find another source of external income, if the opt-out movement completely destroys the testing consortium’s ability to deliver decent product those tests get termed by their state legislatures.


So you see, there are considerable concerns behind the movement to opt out ones child. One should be very careful before doing so because heavens, we can’t have our legislators lose external income, now, can we?

Therefore it is important that we also look at the pro’s, for this is a big decision for each parent and should not be taken lightly. The only way one can make a proper judgment over what is the best future course for your child, is to look at both side, ask yourself how this course affects your child’s future and then make a smart, balanced assessment.

So here are the pro’s for opting out….

1) Your child will not get “a score”. In certain situation, this can be very advantageous to your child. If all the scores from his peers are low, he gets the benefit of doubt and is assumed to be smarter than the rest because their is no data on him proving he isn’t. Therefore he is privy to every opportunity given to the elite of that school, because for all intents and purposes, he as an anomaly is better than those who performed negatively. Opt-outers get the better teachers, better courses, and better opportunities.

Why is getting no score a good thing? The answer is the test. You can take your child’s test here. The test is designed to discourage, demoralize and dishonor you son or daughter. You can see from the example that no real world skills are involved in its being taken.. It is all about knowing tricks, both verbal and mathematics. Instead of learning principles which one can apply across any discipline or any subject, ones learns a plethora of little tiny tricks such as this second grade one: “when subtracting eleven from a number, just subtract 10 first, then subtract one more.” Although simple in a one case scenario, it complicates later tasks involving multiple steps because instead of using one system to subtract all numbers, one if forced to use 10, one each for each number 1-10. Try it here: 4403 – 1211 = ……..

As everyone knows being put in a pool of potential selectees is fine if one is to be selected for a prize, therefore being picked is good. If one is being selected for a punishment however, being picked to be selected, is bad. The Smarter Balanced Test is more of a punishment than a prize. So not getting a score becomes more advantageous than getting a negative one.

2) No data about your child or his parents, will be sold to telemarketers who will cease at nothing to get you to buy their product. “No” is not an answer they understand. Opting-out is your only insurance that your dinners will not be interrupted, since private education companies were granted exemption status from the no-call lists you may have thought were a sufficient barrier. Furthermore prying eyes will not be able to discern the political, religious, or emotional leanings of his parent from his data he is forced to enter when taking the test.

3) Your child’s teacher, school, district, will not get rated based on your child’s performance on this standardized test. Standardized tests rating schools are a relatively new phenomenon. Everyone over age 25 went to school without them. We really don’t need them to determine if a school is working effectively or not. True they can provide some clarity, if the tests are handled in a proper manner. Such as having everyone run a mile around the school track will also determine who your best mile-distance runners are. However, rating a school by that method would be silly. And that is the whole argument behind rating a school by its Smarter Balanced scores. Just as not everyone is physically prepared to run a 4 minute mile, neither is everyone entering the school system at the kindergarten level on track to be college or career ready. Yet corporate reformers are using this very guideline to rank schools. If you are in a fat district your schools’ mile times are low. If you are in an exercising district, you’re ranked well and receive adulation and rewards for it. How well you were coached or taught, has no relevance to the equation. It is not measured on how well you improved, only how fast your tested mile-run was. Had Earl Jacques been rated by a physical program such as this, there is no way he’d graduate to meet proper credentials to be elected legislator from the 27th district, even if his constituents are brain dead from living so close to Cecil County.

4) Your school may not meet the 95% testing rate required by the “OLD” No Child Left Behind Bill to give credibility to its ratings. That is one of the founding principles of opting out. Parents who took the trial tests, realized this test was a stupid pile of crap (to express it politely).  Rating good teachers and good schools by a stupid pile of crap was not responsible adult behavior. Therefore if a parent could cause that stupid pile of crap to be ignored, they would be doing society, themselves, and their children a huge favor.   As we saw with the Priority School debacle put forth last year by Delaware’s DOE, if you have a good school that has low scores, you get kicked out, it gets privatized, and suddenly, your school is a crap-ass charter that can’t do anything right and closes mid-year. as did Delaware MET.  Preventing that from happening by keeping the test scores below 95% is a good thing… a very good thing.

Other tests are credible.. This one isn’t.  (Did you take it yet?)  Common Core and its tests are complete nonsense, difficult for adults to comprehend, impossible for children to follow, and the whole program needs to be shut down forcing us to return to tried and true ways of teaching that brought American society to the high level it is today. Parents who can muster more than 5% of their peers to also opt out, need to do exactly that…..

5) Opting out isolates the state from being the sole determiner of how your child is performing; leaving that important decision to be determined by a lowly teacher who only has just spent 180 days getting to really know your child.  Most parents prefer this.  A teacher knows what your child is missing. They know it very early and do not need to wait after a year to find out after that child has moved out of their class and up a grade. They know and can work with that child to grasp what they don’t know.  Everyone over age 18 was rated by a teacher.  No one in Delaware was held back due to their DSTP, or their DCAS.  If held back it was because their teacher felt they did not have sufficient building blocks to assemble concepts required of the next grade.  PSAT details now show that the United States provides the best educational results across every level of income in the entire world…. (the results showing we are behind were skewed; our affluent beat their affluent; they did not test their poor, whereas we did which of course pulls our average scores down)…

At stake is who in America is responsible for the education of your child? The parent?  The child?  The state?  If the state wants one thing and the parent wants another, who wins?  That is what this battle is over: who is the ultimate decider?  Are we a government for, of and by the people?  Or….. are we people put here simply for the privilege of our government?

This very fundamental American right and concept is  truly at stake here. If opting out is forbidden as 27th District’s Earl Jacques is wont to do, the Constitution of the United States becomes weakened by this precedent. The state (Federal Government) has become more important than any of the people making up this nation. Instead of government being an institution that supports its people’s right to earn their livelihood, it becomes the sole reason for these people’s existence. It becomes their king in essence, 240 years after we threw off that yoke in our Declaration of Independence.   We now must do this thing (Smarter Balanced Assessment)  because our King has decreed we must do this thing. Even though it hurts our children’s development. Failure to comply results in punishment.

Gone is our chance to decide what is best for our child.  Whether as parents we decide to let our child take or not take the test, should be decided upon the quality of the test, not a governor’s intransigence.  If these tests were good, there would be no controversy. But far too many parents have taken the test themselves and know this test is horrific for their child.

In a true America, shouldn’t they have the right and responsibility to raise their child correctly despite a well intentioned government getting it horribly wrong?  That at its core, is what Opt-Out is all about…  It is about Americans doing what is best for them, over what is best for their elected officials who made a big huge mistake initially backing a wrong program…

6) If large numbers of people opt out, then we really won’t know how well they can perform on standardized tests. ..Originally with Common Core there was supposed to be one test for all America.. Four states opted out.. therefore there would be five different tests. Then two consortia were formed, PARRC and the Smarter Balanced. There were then 6. Minnesota only took the ELA; they used their own math. So their were now seven standards.  Indiana dropped out, creating the eighth.  South Carolina created the ninth.  Oklahoma is creating the tenth. Most other states decided to create their own tests.  there are at least 26 different tests in effect. The new ESEA allows all states to make the determination over what they want to use as their assessment. We are back to every state testing to their own standards.  Score comparison this past year between Delaware and Ohio and Massachusetts and California is pointless.

Secondly, there are tricks to scoring well on standardized tests.  Those who take the SAT a second time invariably see a jump in scores because of knowledge gained from their past experience. This would not happen if the tests strictly measured ability. In fact, there are businesses who excel at teaching students “HOW” to take the SAT, citing the benefits their programs give those children in higher scores.  Scores not based on what they know, but based on their strategy in how they take the test.   Those not schooled in such principles rest at a disadvantage. This obviously is not a fair assessment.

However, sitting in a classroom for 180 days in front of the same teacher, does give an assessment that comes close to the mark of actual ability. Therefore opting out and ruining the results for all who didn’t, by dropping schools’ threshold below 95% is a valid way to remove at least the importance placed on standardized testing from our schools.  It is actually a good thing if we do not know how well schools do on standardized tests. It puts them in the same boat as all those students matriculating before state testing became the law of the land…. Instead of focusing on their “public” image, schools  get to return their focus on each of the individual students passing through.

7) Minorities and children of color who opt out will have to be rated by how well they did on classroom, homework, quizzes and teacher developed tests to see if they are ready to be passed to the next level.  No more will their fate be determined by a standardized test written in a foreign language.  Whereas no one has any difficulty understanding the back and forth dialogue in the movie Straight Outta Compton, for someone growing up in an urban environment it is hard to pass a test written in Midwestern English dialect with a sentence structure very different from English learned in minority households. The correct answer should be: “so what if we can’t speak Midwestern.”  If a top selling movie can use dialect and have instant auditory recognition across all segments of American society, this type of dialogue is sufficient for communication in mainstream America. One understands it; it is useful; it gets a point across.  But measuring ones ability to speak as a Midwestern white person of Norwegian/Swedish ancestry and using that as the one single sole determiner of ones English ability, is not very well thought out. There is an valid argument for it even being racist.  Whereas everyone knows blacks and Hispanics have endearing accents, those charms are dismissed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment. “No! You must talk like a white person. and not like a southern white person or a northern, or a western, but as a Midwestern person in order to score well on our ELA tests… ”
Of course. that is totally ridiculous. It is a flaw readily seen by  simply reversing the concept and imagining if we tested all America’s students using the Urban Dictionary as the source of all ELA definitions.  Our morally astute rural Midwesterners, instead of leading the pack would be pulling up its bottom. It is one thing to demand that English be spoken so that we have a nation that can understand each other. But to specify exactly how that English will be assessed for your individual score, when top selling movies make it obvious that for the purpose of communication a standard the equivalent of the King’s English is irrelevant, means this test is flawed.  It is actually unAmerican, because it imposes false standards which prevent all people from having an equal opportunity.

Point being, a teacher can effectively understand and pass a child who is smart, witty, engaging yet uses different dialect to their full advantage.  A computer gives them a score of 150 out of 800 possible on their ELA.

8) Testing companies will be cut off from large sources of income. This is money that prior to testing was spent on educating our students. Recently estimated at $1.7 billion across the US, that essentially averages out to $65 dollars extra spendable on each student…  Whereas we might be jaded at shrugging our shoulders over the cost of a meal at a casual dining chain restaurant, its impact on education can be readily seen if we simply look at its aggregate in one classroom of 20 students… $1300 dollars extra to be spent on that elementary grade’s classroom ( or $216 for each of 6 high school classrooms.)

Although DC moguls will be heart strung to see high priced career employees receive pick slips, one has to ask how can that money be better spent?  A) for drinking alcoholic beverages along Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown? Or B) on children across America struggling to learn in schools struggling to fund themselves?  I may have a bleeding heart but I’ll side with the children every day.  Hopefully you will too and opt out your child to make this happen.

9) Think tanks like the Fordham Institute will be the laughing stock.  

And this is a bad thing?

10) Opting out skews the data.  If all special ed students opt out our score aggregate will be higher. If all minorities opt out, our scores will also be higher. If all affluent children opt out, our scores will be lower.  If lots of people opt out, taking the test becomes a useless exercise having no purpose at all. Apparently those insisting on maintaining these tests think we need more proof that test scores are determined by by the upbringing children have before they enter the school system.. If they enter respectful of knowledge they do well; if they enter dismissive of knowledge, they don’t.  But most of us believe the data from last year illuminated the problem rather well across all states, across all districts, across both private, charter and public education… High standard test scores are not affected by teaching skills. Over and over and over we saw they ran opposite to the amount of children listed as free lunch… Very few, your school had high scores.  Very many, your school had low scores.  it was ubiquitous across every category.  If there was an anomaly, it was accompanied by multiple erasures on the hard-copy tests.

So whereas opting out may skew the data from an aggregate of tests, poverty itself skews ones educational ability entirely.  It is impossible to isolate poverty from influencing education unless you first insist that there be no poor in America, that everyone has a livable wage and can work if not for an employer at least from home.  If we are going to raise our educational levels it must start with raising our nation’s standard of living.  If any good came out of the the Common Core testing regime, it is that we finally have evidence to show that without a doubt, the crises of education rests solely on the crises of having those living in poverty…… There is no doubt over the connection; there is only left, the avoidance of mentioning the real issue.

That said, there are many options.  The best one so far is that instead of insisting on high standard assessments, we focus on seriously letting no child fall behind.  That means we put more teachers in classrooms; that means a mandatory 11:1 student/teacher ratio in k-5 and 9th grade in any school with over a 50% poverty level.  That means abolishing the idea that all children enter school equal, and focus instead on making sure all children get the best possible opportunity to grow and develop during their 13 years of compulsory education.  In challenges like these, investing in human capital is better than trusting machines.  We need to realize this,  and empower human beings to solve it one pupil at a time.  Your opting out, will help make this happen.

11) Legislators receiving kickbacks and underhanded payments from educational corporations and lobbyists, will have to find another source of external income.  

They will cry. wring their hands, and wear sack cloth.

Screw them. Vote them out for they sold out your kids future to line their own pockets.

There is no reason for insisting on NOT allowing parents to opt out their children from standards assessments , ….except that they are somehow on the take, and doing so will somehow interfere with their personal accumulation of income.

Any politician who is against opting out… has a personal angle funneling your child’s misfortune directly into their or their friends billowing pockets.


















Graphs are nice for a glance. But they are difficult to flip between when finding comparative data… And if you saw the graphs in the post below this, congratulations.  And if you haven’t yet, flip here and accept my congratulations .  These numbers come from those graphs….

Here are Excel spreadsheets to augment other comparisons.

Excel ELA levels for SBA

Excel MATH levels for SBA

And here are the visuals.

img sba ela

img sba math

A couple of trends stand out. One is that obviously that 11 Graders did not take this test as serious as their counterparts. For them there was no reason to take it and they obviously did not invest any effort.

Second is that those Delaware students in first and second grades whose curriculum WAS Common Core in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, received enough training and skills to do well on this test in 3rd and 4th and 5th grades. Expect this trend to continue and as each year graduates and marches across the columns… In 5 years the third graders will be in 8th Grade and the entire row will be near the top. (Congratulations to the Governor in office during 2020 under whose term amazing progress will be claimed to have been made in education….)

This simply means that if you were trained in Spanish two years before your Spanish test, you did better than those who weren’t trained in Spanish who had to convert everything from the original language learned, into the language now being tested.. I hope everyone gets the analogy so I don’t have to explain it.

We tested in a brand new way. Those trained in the new way did better than those trained in the old way whose brains had to translate what they once learned, over to what they now were being tested….

But caution should still be made when comparing our state to other states. No one can be held accountable for these scores because they are so many variables still in play.

One example: Delaware is well wired for the internet and all of its tests were done electronically.

That creates test taking problems in the higher grades. The student may do the complicated problem correctly but err in its input. Other states, particularly those outside the compact East, took their most of their upper level tests with pencil and paper, not having sufficient internet in place to test every student electronically. This pencil and paper testing familiarity could play in having the Midwest states score surprisingly higher in the upper grades, despite their scores being below Delaware’s in the early grades…

But quite strikingly…. whereas other states range of scores were consistent across their grades, Delaware’s change occurred because our state’s grades tumbled between 5th and 6th to then hold at that level, not the level of the first three grades. That precise pinpoint in time was the year we began teaching Common Core.  What this test proves is that if taught a new method you can be tested on the new method;  but if taught the old method, you are lost. Whereas other states (not as forwardly prepared for the Smarter Balances as Delaware) were lost across the board,  we were only lost 6th Grade on.

Each state sets their own cut scores.  So although Missouri may have taken the same test as Delaware students, it deemed a lower score as proficient in comparison to us.  All this graph shows us is the percentage of proficients.

All which support one developing conclusion. The idea that these tests would allow cross comparison across all boundaries is now defunct. Meaning that these tests if further developed to improve student development, may have some future merit, but to have them used for any accountability or ranking indicator, is shameful.

This test bears false witness as to whether a child is proficient or career or college ready.  We need to return to the old method. At least then, we knew….

Here is actual footage of Delaware’s Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkoph reminiscing what he could have been;  “if he’d only had the nerve……”

I’ll send you over to Exceptional Delaware for the details…

But…. here is what you should take away from this…..  The right to opt out…. which passed the House of Delegates by a margin of 36-3… which passed the Senate by a margin of 14-7…. which would now be law across the entire state, from Delmar to Claymont, from Fenwick Island to Corner Ketch but for a governor’s veto…. … is now law by independent action in the giant school district of Christina…

Any child can opt out in the Christina District without fear of any consequence whatsoever….  As an example, 20% of students opted out in New York State… THAT IS ONE OUT OF EVERY 5.

With such an overwhelming public support for getting rid of this test, can we not see all the other districts bypassing our cowardly bottled up legislature and following the same procedure?

Citizens… call your school boards and administrators and demand they make opt out without recrimination legal in your district too…. your child should not take this test!

Kent County

New Castle County

Sussex County

One down… 18 more to go…..

Teachers don’t take the stupid test…. Children do…

This test is the most stupid piece of organized corporate illiteracy ever seen….. and any of us who’ve worked for corporations have certainly seen our fair share. That is why every parent needs to protect their child, gather them up in their arms, and opt out against the test….  Our kids should be learning, not trying to succeed by chasing constantly shifting goal posts which will never stay still if we don’t stop the process by opting out NOW.

The adulations corporatists use in defense of this test, fall to pieces whenever an adult finally takes the test… This is about the test… This test is abysmal, this test is ridiculous, this test is dangerous if allowed to dictate Delaware’s education over years to come.  We’ve been tearing apart this test for a year now. The time has come to accept it is offal and rid ourselves of it… anyway we can…  Which, of all the choices given to us…. the easiest is to opt out…

If more, and more, and more, and more parents opt out every day…. the teachers will then have the clout they need in legislature to join us… right now, if teachers tell the truth… they get dismissed….  Privately, you cannot find an experienced teacher who is no longer wet behind the ears, still supporting this or Common Core.  If every district even gets one opt out a day, forget charter schools, at 19 each day in 100 school days, or by test time, we will have 1900 opt outs.. = 1.5 %… if two?  3.0%.. if just three per district every school day… 4.5%!   So let’s get 4!!!

Really I wonder how many parents would let their children be put in harms way if public school teachers were behind something almost as silly such as mandatory hypnosis…   I’m sure all parents would chipe up and say… “Well, we know it is harmful but we will put our kids in harms way just to support the teachers union…..”


If it doesn’t work that way, Mr. Corporate, it can’t work your way…….

So I’m just going to come right out and say it….   “What a stupid jerk you all are….. ”  Thinking parents are opting out because of teachers unions…  The reason we opt out is because we saw the test; we took the test, as adults, we loathed the test.   You are worried about money… Don’t be. They print more money every day…. As for our children…. there are not any other like them in the whole world….

You all are so stupid….


High stakes common core developed tests are still in the experimental phase of development as they are being currently used on special education students, as well as every other child in public schools in the nation.

Evidence strongly suggests that the above-named testing consortia and developers, supported by tax payers’ dollars, may in fact be in the midst of the largest, most comprehensive experimentation –as defined by the Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association— on American public school children, in our nation’s history.

(See APA Ethics Codes 8.02 “Informed Consent to Research” & 8.07 “Deception in Research” & 9.03 “Informed Consent In Assessments”

The basic foundational purpose of conforming assessment and research practices to ethics codes is to ensure that vulnerable populations, such a special education students, are not exploited and/or harmed.. We know what worked well in the past.  We have no idea what this new idea pulled from the hat, will do to our children.

Particularly at issue is Arne’s claim number 8

Claim Number 8: “Parents and teachers have the right and need to know how much progress all students, including students with disabilities, are making each year toward college and career readiness. That means all students, including students with disabilities, need to take annual Statewide assessments.”  Arne Duncun.

Research cited:  none.

Scope & Limitations of Cited Research: none because there was none….

it would be reasonable and proper for parent so know how their child was doing academically. The USDOE, however, insists that parents and teachers need to know about students’ “career and college readiness.” What exactly is “career- and college readiness” and how does such a confusing and undefined standard apply to children and teens with diagnosed learning disabilities?  Bottom line is that we don’t know.  How is it possible to know if a ten year old disabled child, is on track to be college or career ready?  For example, in an independent study funded by he Florida legislature over their standardized tests on disabled students, they questioned how on earth could a verbal reader reading the test to a blind child, describe this to a student taking the test ?Blind leading the blind

Is this fair to compare that blind student given a graph to one who can readily see well with both eyes?  How does one even describe geometrical graphs, with three axis, and points and parabolic shapes which some equations make when asking a question to one who cannot see?

If there is one exception, or one child who gets hurt by Arne’s ruling… shouldn’t it be the governments position to not enforce it? Is it really our government’s right to hurt children?  Perhaps if we were ruled by kings, I suppose,… But if there are thousands, millions who will be assessed incorrectly by this action, shouldn’t parents be the ones making all the decisions, and not a well intentioned federal government?

We have heard repeatedly in the opt out movement from our state officials that the federal government gives them no leeway on letting parents opt out…  They have no choice but to conform to the Federal guidelines or else their schools will be unfunded… Yet, these very same people are the ones who in support of common core, say almost with the same breath that these tests are parent and teacher developed state led test and do not represent any Federal intrusion of what should be a local issue, local education….

Say one thing, then say another…

We get it.

This is the federal takeover of all education and all words to the contrary are lies whose intent is merely to deceive us.

Now… when the Federal Government told our great grandparents and grandparents it was against the law to drink alcohol… what did they do?  They disobeyed….

When the Federal Government told our highway commissions we needed to lower all interstate speeds to 55 mph, what did most of the population do?  They disobeyed……

When the every state government told us we need to stop texting and using our hand held cellphones in our cars while driving… what do we still do?  What does every police officer himself do when he gets a call on the road?  We disobey…..

Why?  Because there are some things that are too private to us and are too unenforceable because so many of us want to do them….

Now…. the Federal Government is telling you that your child must be rated by this test which 100% of child psychologists have agreed will destroy your child’s chances at having a decent education at all…. And especially if your child is a special educational student… too bad… you should have aborted him when you found out his deficiency…….

So are you going to just let your child get in line to get slaughtered by people who don’t even know his capacities or capabilities?  Who think only those who do well on the arbitrary standardized tests they made up, are worthy?

Or are you going to opt out and persuade everyone you know to do the same and that way like Prohibition … People override their government and the bad things goes away and we can all get on with our lives?

It is your choice… It has always been your choice… and the sooner all opt out… the sooner real changes that help our children get implemented, because all the damn money is no longer going to this test….

On September 21st the Federal Government takes over Special Education... Prior to that, states could create independent tests for special ed students and modify their curriculum as well for those special students.

1. All learning-disabled students can become grade level scholars with no differentiated learning– they just need great teaching and great supports.

2. The new testing (Common Core/SAGE) is valid for ALL students with ALL learning disabilities.

3. These new tests are so good that we don’t need alternative or modified tests.

4. The ONLY thing reading and math disabled students need, to become grade level scholars, are good teachers.

5. These new tests are so perfect that they were designed specifically to perfectly measure academic achievement in ALL learning-disabled children.

6. States and ground-level teachers have denied proper instruction for divergent-learning students; therefore, we no longer need individual states to make special tests, because now special education students will be saved by the new Common Core Standards.

This was done by decree by the Secretary of Education.. No Congress. No discussion. No parental involvement.  In fact this took place a the same time the Secretary was placating Congress with how states would reign supreme, not the Federal government, in order to get ESEA passed.

To support the Department’s decree, that special education students don’t need special education, it cited a 2010 research journal article: “Do Special Education Interventions Improve Learning of Secondary Content? A MetaAnalysis.”

Here is what the researchers have found about that report……

In other words, another faked study.

To support the Department of Education’s decree that special education students will benefit from taking Common Core/SAGE tests,  it claimed that “new assessments have been designed to facilitate the valid, reliable, and fair assessment of most students, including students with disabilities who previously took an alternate assessment”.

Other studies, that were also used as references by the USDOE, openly urgedcaution in interpretation of our findings given the small number of participants,” and warned: “no instructional method, even those validated using randomized control studies, works for all students” — serious cautions that the USDOE clearly did not heed….

Imagine that a parent takes a very sick child to the doctor’s office and the doctor prescribes eating “Fruit Loops” three times each day while watching SouthPark episodes.  The doctor cites research to support this course of action, taken from the journal of gynecology, and expects the parent to comply.

They only get away with it because you let them…….

Every parent and teacher knows that if you teach special education students in regular classrooms, they miss what’s important because it is taught faster than they can grasp, and the rest of the class never advances past his level.. You can only go as fast as the slowest student.

One of the most interesting thing about receiving tons of data, is that it opens ones eyes to inconsistencies and errors in ones old interpretations and previous accounting methods.

For example.  I too was guilty years ago of looking at scores listed in the News Journal each time educational decisions came up and saying “wow, that’s a really good school” or “wow, that’s really terrible… ”

That primarily is because I was full of trust regarding whatever I was told.  I assumed it was done on good authority and that the results were scientifically accurate to within a certain margin of error…  After all… why would anyone, want to skew data to make a bad school look good?  Or a good school look bad?  .. Back then it was inconceivable to think anyone would ever want to do so…

But we had very limited data.  In honesty, we pulled the News Journal page, a magnifying glass, a legal pad, and a writing utensil…  That was the only knowledge we had with which to make a decision….

Things are different now.  Much different now.  We now have the world of knowledge at our fingertips.  Make that everyones fingertips…  And we now have tons of money, unlimited money that can control the data we now get fed both from Google, or from the News Journal so it presents a certain slant, a slant we’d probably otherwise believe, if we didn’t have opposite information so readily available as well…

Every cloud has a silver lining and every silver lining masks a cloud…  We can blindly choose as human beings to see one or the other, but the wisest of us are those who constantly see both.. In this regard, our rush to hold those teachers accountable in our poorest districts, by making them raise scores to a certain level or get fired, has brought to the forefront like nothing had before, the gigantic impact poverty directly has on education…

98% of a child’s test score…. hinges on the amount of household income his parents have..  There are a few exceptions.. (At 2% they amount to 1,000,000 students across all America… who do not fit into the income/score related profile.)

With massive amounts of data, the idea of returning to the black hole of having no accountability, something that unfortunately once happened to those who were not white before the civil rights movement gave them protections, has problems.  How do we know when a child is just being babysat, and not taught?  How can we tell before it is too late whether a child of a minority is truly being taught, or just passing time to keep their race in check?

As for now, we acknowledge we need some type of benchmark to keep track of students. but we also recognize we cannot use scores solely as their one rating tool..  Teaching itself cannot be tied to test scores since those being tested are not equal coming into the system…. The average low income child entering the school system has a vocabulary of 1500 words and no number or shape recognizing skills.  The average high income child reaches that level before they are 2….

Obviously using the same scale for both, hides a lot of hard work those teachers of low income students must undergo just to raise scores a little, as well as it hides a lot of laziness those upper class teacher can coast on  because their kid’s scores are always high.

One of the most noticeable things jumping out from the charts across the state and nation as a whole was the remarkable similarity of how adding just the percents of low income to the percents of  ELA proficiency, gave you a number close to 100….

This is just an observable trend that seems to hold consistent, and must be considered more of natural phenomenon than any other mechanism..  Just my stating it here, means it should be scientifically investigated at some point, and not that all should jump on board when it could turn out to be as false an assumption as ones one stating Charter Schools would improve children’s education. (They did not; they do just the opposite).

But that said…. here is how it works..

East Side Charter School…   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  77.3%  +  25.9%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   103.2 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fourth Grade;  77.3%  +  27.0%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   104.3 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade;  77.3%  +  10.8%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   88.1 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are far below the expectations of 100%…  this grade’s score is the cause of Pandora’s surprise at East Side Charters low average. Which again, proves how micro inspection of data can reveal solid reasons behind grand statements like that of saying:  East Side Charter results are really surprisingly low…..  (and i’ll divert here a moment because this is some of the good part of having data).

Why did this grade come in lower?  Teacher? Students rushed through the test? Course material? Bad questions? Grading anomaly? Opting out at higher percentages?  Students learned the basics before the switch to Common Core? This is an example showing that without any testing, this grade would simply get passed up the ladder and we would never know that something important was missed.. But on the flip side, since only one of those possible excuses was a teachers fault, blanket firing of teachers for low 5th Grade results in an educational system, is counterproductive and immoral…  Here’s why.

East Side Charter 2013-2014

As we can see here… those in forth grade last year had similar lower scores than either of the the two grades sandwiching them in… Of course the next year they’d be in 5th grade, and one would expect their scores to also be lower… “Ta da!!”  Guess what?  They were.  So throwing shade at East Side Charter and its headmaster due how their lower scores compared to others, is really bogus.. Even more so: .. Firing that 5th grade teacher or making threats to fire her, is equally bogus…  “You had better have your scores bounce up this year, or you’re fired..”  Well looking at the class she has coming in this next year… guess what?  Her scores are going to be up, unless she works backwards to undo what they already know….

And this is the whole point of the controversy really.  Tests are neutral by themselves… Using tests for anything other than each student’s development over time, is evil. unless a very open system is available for all data to be perused by both sides, so a determination can be made if the error was due to personal fault.  Since that is logistically hard to do while keeping private data private, it truly points to the fact that having scores show up on evaluations at all, is bogus. They do not belong as weight on anyones evaluation of employment.

So bottom line is that we have mixed results at East Side charter… If one remembers, the previous years accolades were all the result of one class passing through, which exceeded expectations… not the entire school. as we pointed out back when those accolades were reported erroneously  in the News Journal.

But if any credibility can be given to the kavips Coefficient, it does show that teaching in this school is in positive territory. and that is what is important…  And one more grade from East Side Charter School, 6th, shows this years fifth grade score to be an anomaly …

Sixth Grade;  77.3%  +  24.5%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.8 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Anyone who has visited East Side Charter during class time would in all truth say… that school should be in positive territory….


Next, let us take a priority school… Since a year ago this week, the priority school speech was made on the steps of Warner, let us take Warner….

Again… Warner Public School (Red Clay) …   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  82.6%  +  15.6%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   98.4 meaning they are just shy of meeting the theoretical expectation. .  However, they are exceeding the expectations of the 5th grade of East Side Charter….

Fourth Grade;  82.6%  +  18.6%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.2 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade:   82.6%  +  5.0%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   87.6 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are not exceeding the expectations of 100%… But coincidentally … it is also 5th Grade that scores so low… (East Sides was 88.1)

What this shows is a better rating of schools than just pure test scores.  Imagine a school with 82.6% of your students below the poverty line?  Those are Indian Reservation levels.   Yet if you want to measure effort and determine who is doing a good job, looking at the kavips Coefficient instead of just comparing test scores…. is a far better determination.. Though you’ve heard of the success stories from East Side Charter, and you’ve heard from the DOE of the (alleged) failure of Warner,  by using the kavips coefficient, you see this comparison…

……………………..East Side                    Warner     (kC stands for the kavipsCoefficient)

3rd  ………………….103.2 kC…………………….98.4 kC

4th…………………..,104.3 kC…………………….101.2 kC

5th……………………..88.1kC……………………..87.6 kC

Which pretty well shows the bias behind only using test scores to determine data….   So just for fun, how does this stack up against our top schools?

Newark Charter School …   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  7.2%  +  93.1%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   100.3 meaning they are just over meeting the theoretical expectationof 100%

Fourth Grade;  7.2%  +  94.7%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.9 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade:   7.2%  +  86.2%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   93.5 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are not exceeding the expectations of 100%… But coincidentally … it is also their 5th Grade that scores so surprisingly low… (East Side’s was 88.1, Warner’s was 87.6)

So when you compare these coefficients, you see that for one school to trumpet… “Whoo Hoo… We are the number one in the state” … it also stands for…. “Whoo,Hoo….We have the richest parents of students in the state”….  So upon seeing the kavipsCoefficient, the inequality of of holding teachers accountable for the income of the parents, hits you directly in the face with its boguosity. (root word bogus).

……………………..East Side……………………… Warner…………………………….Newark Charter

3rd  ………………….103.2 kC…………………….98.4 kC…………………………………….100.3kC

4th…………………..,104.3 kC…………………….101.2 kC…………………………………..101.9kC

5th……………………..88.1kC………………………..87.6 kC…………………………………….93.5kC

And that is all Charter Schools do… Applying the kavipsCoefficient gives an accurate description of who is doing a good job regardless of parent’s income… and who is just plain lazy.. It also cuts through a lot of hidden data and points to the real problems which we will address later, as in:… What is wrong with the 5th Grade Smarter Balanced test……

When you do your own comparison of district and state schools, I highly recommend you use this formula to determine real success and failure… In the meantime, we got to focus on 6th grade this year and catch them up…  Remember.

Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

which is the only fair way to rank schools.

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……

First to understand the headline, Go here…

Through minutes buried on the DOE website, Keven shows us their game plan for the future…  It is all about coming up with an arbitrary way of rating schools…

If they like your school’s principal… They will give it a good rating… (There, there, you did exactly as we said, Mr. Principal. Thanks for forwarding OUR agenda OVER those of parents… here is your good rating…..)

If they don’t like your school’s principal… They give your school a bad rating… (Sorry, Mr. Principal.. you did not fully support the bogus fake test we rolled out called the Smarter Balanced Assessment and therefore you get a fail……)

And one can’t complain back, because this rating system cherry picks ratings for each school … For example, Charters get let off the hook, their neighborhood public school gets pummeled even though all old data shows the charters failed as did Moyer, REACH, and Pencader, and neighboring public schools improved greatly (from a 45% to 72%).


What this is like,… is ‘New Coke’ being forced upon you (for those old enough to remember it)… One marketing person thinks that ‘New Coke’ is better and convinces everyone in the company to go forward with it, though employees are shaking their head as they take their orders from on high…

What happened was… no one liked it; no one bought it.. It just sat on the shelves… Coke rushed to get the old coke back on shelves calling it Coca-Cola Classic and in their absence literally everyone switched to Pepsi…  This became “the classic” example of epic marketing FAIL…

Now for us, one person thinks this Smarter Balanced Assessment is better, and has used their power to convince a majority in politics that we need to go forward.  The employees closest to the action are all shaking their heads saying “it is crazy”, but would lose their jobs if they didn’t comply and since they have no other way to make income, they do what they are told, just as would you or I…  And just like ‘New Coke’, this gets forced on the public.. Just like ‘New Coke’, the public obligingly takes their first curious sip……

Just like ‘New Coke’:   EWWWWWWWWW… they all say.

What is the equivalent of Pepsi (opposite of Coke) to Delaware’s public schools?   Yes, charters and private schools… And it is no secret that those in charge of formulating this policy were all former Charter Nazi’s at their former jobs.

So IS this just a misguided attempt to better a product, one that no one except its creators want to buy?… Or is it an attempt to fool the public into thinking their public schools are failing and that only charters can save and help their child get properly trained for adulthood?…

The sad thing is as more and more children go to charters, the public schools implode from lack of funding, and eventually serve only as a collective receptacle of all those unable to meet the high bar of charter entry, and yes,  it does indeed becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So is this deliberate swipe at demeaning public schools (not the first time tried by this administration) indeed a sinister plot to springboard huge corporate interests into the Delaware Market?… KIPP and Great Oaks are just two.

If so, why would Penny Marshal want to destroy public schools and go with charters?  

Answer as always, is money.

Here is how it works.  In the waning years of the Clinton presidency a tax credit was passed to allow free- enterprise-zones in our blighted inner cities.  Made sense to do so..   That offers a 39% tax credit…   yes.. 39%.

This allows a charter schools more than any other business, (charter schools incomes are set; other businesses are determinant on fluctuations.) to double their investment in 7 years...

Works like this…

You are Charlie Copeland  and you put up $5 million up for your charter schools…  the tax credits are designated by percentages for each year and they go like this for seven of them…. 5%, 5%, 5%, 6%, 6%, 6%, 6%……..  You are allowed to take that percentage off your original investment.   So add the $5 million times either 5% or 6%…. $250,000, $250,000, $250,000, $300,000, $300,000, $300,000, $300,000….. for a total of $1,950,000 which is often rounded up to $2 million. Which makes your total investment in those schools come down to a net of $3 million…  To double your investment (2 X 3) in 7 years, you would need to hit the $6 million mark by that time frame….

Doing math here….. $6,000,000 divided by 7 years gives your yearly target requirement, $857,000… or rounded up to $860,000.  To double your money you would need to hit that per annum…..

When a child moves from public school to a charter, roughly $3700 follows him… The best charters (profit wise) skim 33% off the top… therefore to meet this doubling guideline, they would need…[ (x)  X .33($3700) = $860,000 ]  so x = 704 students….  How can you get 704 students to go to the former Bank of America charter schools?  Simple… Close down city schools all around it.

Now don’t forget “the” rents.   The Longwood Trust got this for free but don’t think they won’t charge rent… Since a charter can do what it wants (it is in their charter) they can pay rent.. The National Charter School Network recommends that rent stay under 20% of all earnings. But that is unenforceable and there are Charter Schools in Rick Scott’s Florida paying 43% rent… but they are non profits being run by real estate companies who hold the properties they are on…. So a large part of the cost of that child’s education goes to the rent… (normally one fifth, but sometimes two fifths)…

I bring this up so you understand why this is happening…  I’ve been just as guilty as others of using speech tactics to amp up the audience and for the most part, almost everyone else has likewise chimed in and has said… WTF are they doing… all this is crazy!

No, it is not crazy.. It is pretty smart actually. It is a way to go around existing law and privatize public education which is perfectly legal.  We set these rules up for good reasons and they are being used to make people wealthy which was their intention… So these guys are not crazy in the least….

What is crazy, is that this is being sold as being good for children.. And it all ties together..  Common Core, Charter Schools, Race To The Top, Data Mining, Privatization of Education, Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Charter Schools would be dying out now based on their overall performance, but for the Smarter Balanced Assessment which as you see from Kevin’s revelation above, …. will be used to rate them higher and public schools lower.  The Smarter Balanced would not exist if not for the Common Core initiatives.  And no one would have paid Common Core any mind, if not for the free money attached to the Race To The Top initiatives.   Data mining fits in.  Your child will be refused entry if there is any previous problem and we track those now and no child is ever forgiven.

It all ties together and it works its way out whether you do anything or not…

For you see, we’ve really come down to a war for your child…  Is your child a commodity to be used at investor’s discretion, and thanks for your property tax dollars btw, but no, sorry,  you have no accountability over them……

Or is your child a human being, one you are charged with making the best choice for and for which you hold the responsibility over how he turns out?

Bottom line…. either way it is always going to be your responsibility… If charter schools fail… they blame it on you.  If test scores are low, they blame it on you. How many times have you read… “it’s these dumb parents’ fault?  Too many I suspect.

The question you need to face now, is… a),  whether you want to turn over your child to someone who cares nothing for them and is not accountable ( never forget the closings of 3 Delaware schools)….

Or b), do you want to be able to go to a school board and make your points directly. have them discussed and enacted, and then vote those people out who want to ruin your child’s future so their friend can double his investment in 7 years……

You see… this is war… for your child.  It is as if someone marched into Delaware and imposed martial law, It is as if an invading army used all your resources for their benefit.. As history will tell, you have only two options… The first is to bribe them… and that is always temporal… They raise the demands until eventually you can’t pay the ransom and by then, you are too broke to fight their invading armies….

Or you can fight them from the get-go..  War is a term which means you fight to the death because there is no other way to resolve the fact that you both want possession of something, and the winner is the one who has the fewest causalities and all who survive accept him as the winner.

We are in one now and most of Delaware is asleep. When they wake up and the invaders are here, that’s when they first realize what the night-watchmen on the parapets were yelling about in the dark…

Occasionally in life, you really have to call things as they are… make your choice and then take the consequences… Our forefathers did so when they called out the king of Great Britain; they won, but primarily because they won over the French…. Likewise our Southern section did so when they fired on Fort Sumter… but they wound up losing because of Lincoln’s overwhelming will to keep the union together, and greater numbers of men and supplies which the North had over its Southern counterparts. In both cases, war settled the issue in the US’s favor.

What we see here instead, is very similar to the conquest of the Old West by speculative money and investment.   We, The People, are the Indians… If we wait until we see their full cavalries arrayed against us… we’ve lost.  just look at Indian reservation children today to see what’s coming… But if we wipe them out first… as they struggle to get their toeholds, we end the onslaught. No longer for them, is the business deal worth pursuing.

But there is a difference between the Indians and us, though our plights are now similar. The Indians didn’t have a Constitution. The Indians didn’t have elected officials. The Indians didn’t have voting power…. and they couldn’t just stop the advancement, by opting out.

That is why,…. what Kevin shows us in their own words,  is deeply troubling.  A wake up call really.  In closed door sessions, they are trying  to take away those rights and turn us into Indians…..

What you need to ponder is:……. Are you just going to do nothing and let them?….