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But is that what really want? Didn’t we go through a three year war to fight against such a brutal style of governing that completely discounts human life?

With the flip flop of Senators Ennis, McDowell, McBride, and Lavelle, the Smarter Balanced Assessments are now unleashed upon our children….  Here is the  link so you can take the tests……  If you haven’t yet, I recommend you do so now so you will know what your child will go through…

Keep in mind that these tests are proprietary information…  If what the test makers released to sell themselves is this bad… what on earth will be unleashed when there are no prying eyes to see?….

 

HB 334 which would implement the national test (that every other state is abandoning like the last person holding on to them will pay the entire bill), was defeated tonight in the Senate…. It was a surprise, really. The House had passed it 30-9… But it was one of those bills that “protect a client” and tend to get passed by insiders whether or not it hurts the people it affects… The People have been speaking out about this bill before it was offered last year, and in a rare surprise, they were heard…. The bill was defeated….

Yes: 8 No: 13 Not Voting: 0 Absent: 0
Blevins Y Hocker N Peterson Y
Bonini N Lavelle N Pettyjohn N
Bushweller Y Lawson N Poore Y
Cloutier N Lopez N Simpson N
Ennis N Marshall Y Sokola Y
Hall-Long Y McBride N Townsend N
Henry Y McDowell N Venables N

There was audible commotion.  A lot of gasping from breath holding from the halfway point as the count had progressed… One hour later, as the eyes started to glaze over from a long day pushed even longer, a surprise motion and a second to rescind the vote was offered and a re-vote taken….   Exactly 4 people over that 63 minutes from passage to passage changed their vote…..

 

Yes: 12 No: 9 Not Voting: 0 Absent: 0
Blevins Y Hocker N Peterson Y
Bonini N Lavelle Y Pettyjohn N
Bushweller Y Lawson N Poore Y
Cloutier N Lopez N Simpson N
Ennis Y Marshall Y Sokola Y
Hall-Long Y McBride Y Townsend N
Henry Y McDowell Y Venables N

I think every one reading this already knows the huge consequences this act will have on children…  so I don’t really need to explain it here….

Insiders can instantly guess what happened by the red highlights above….

In hindsight, blaming these people may be a little harsh…. but they will probably be judged harshly by Delaware Society anyway… Just like we judge Judas today even though inevitably Jesus would have had to go down the same path….  Judas still gets 99% of the blame…

The real blame back then was Caiaphas, head of the Sanhedrin or Pharisees…. the person pulling the strings.  In order not to lose focus you need to remember that 30 House members voted for this, and it was supported by the Governor, Secretary of Education, US Secretary of Education and the President himself…. Plus those members of  the Senate itself, who know better, but went along to get along….

But still…. a Judas is a Judas….   And though that 30 pieces of silver looked good at the time, if you remember the story,  it’s luster did not last long…..

Dear ____________________ ,

As someone very close to the education of children, I am calling (writing) you to beg that you vote NO on HB 334.   I am alarmed that you do not realize the damage this will do to Delaware’s children….

Under the DCAS system our children have made great gains.  Scores took a giant leap in 2012 over 2011… Then in 2013, scores rose even more except in all those courses teaching Common Core… Those all dropped, pulling down the overall total…..

We are rushing into using this Smarter Balanced Assessment based on hearsay and one-sided marketing… No one has asked the teachers who piloted the Smarter Balanced Assessments for results on how well those tests actually rated their children’ learning….

As a parent close to the pilot, I can tell you they do not rate what children learn!… Because the questions are so bizarre and unfathomable even for adults, the children resort to guessing at the answers…. In other words we will be using pure  randomness to test our teaching and to rank our students….

I’ve seen it. We are teaching our children that the “real world” does not make sense.  In the Smarter Balanced Assessment, good work does not equal good results… Bad work does not equal bad results…  A child can goof off all year and score better than a well-disciplined child who got top marks all year long. This is morally wrong and very damaging to our children…..  When a child has to randomly guess and then the “powers-that-be” decide that same child’s future based solely on his luck that one day of the year, is bad for the future of all society…..

We, the people of Delaware, have something that works well and are being forced to trade it in on something that from all appearances is a piece of junk.  Why are only 10 states still going through with this test if it is truly so great a judge of our children’s performance?

The simple reason is that in all those other states (now backing out like a party which the last person pays the bill), they took the time to look at both sides of the equation!…. In this state, we are being spoon-fed only one side….  Educational for-profit Companies > Rodel > Markell> DOE & Murphy> Sokola and Scott… which is nothing but a sale’s pitch…  “Spend your money here….”

Switching to the Smarter Balanced Assessment is very bad for our children…  Independent experts who have looked at this test, have all guaranteed that some day soon we will one day scrap it; then take ourselves back to the drawing board, and start all over again simply for the reason it is so bad…  Yet, we have something that now works well and to move to a very expensive option that doesn’t, …is costly to both the state’s finances and to the educational potential of all our state’s children…..

Please do not support the Markell administration’s sponsored HB 334.  There are no bad consequences for waiting a couple of years to see how this Smarter Balanced Assessment works out in other states…  because our current DCAS system is working very well……

Obviously the smart solution would be to pilot this over two years at one elementary, one middle school, and one high school in each district.  But that solution is not before you now…

So please vote no on HB 334 and buy all our children more time so they can get the best education our state can afford….. .

Nicole Poore’s Bill 229 will exempt certain children from the state’s standardized tests.   It has the support of the following:

  • Sen. Hall-Long
  • Rep. Longhurst
  • Rep. Q. Johnson
  • Rep. Ramone
  • Rep. M. Smith
  • Sens. Blevins,
  • Bonini,
  • Bushweller,
  • Ennis,
  • Henry,
  • Marshall,
  • McBride,
  • McDowell,
  • Peterson,
  • Lopez,
  • Pettyjohn,
  • Sokola,
  • Townsend,
  • Venables;
  • Reps. K. Williams,
  • Jaques

This bill rectifies the current Murph’s law that Delaware students with severe cognitive disabilities must currently be forced to take statewide standardized assessments over the objections of their own parents and teachers…..

As well as, that students with severe cognitive disabilities who are clinically incapable of producing valid results on standardized assessments must be forced to take those steps even against a doctor’s note stating it can be harmful to those students…

As well as, that any students in Delaware diagnosed to have dyslexia or other learning disabilities that severely limit or prevent them from decoding text, cannot be held exempt from taking the tests…. and must be forced to take them.

Murphy’s law takes another hit.

With passage, (but there is a good chance that Markell will veto this bill since his track record on educational reform other than his own is dismal), students can opt out of the test because of severe mental disabilities…..

It is time to stop the public sanctioned torture of these young human beings, for no apparent viable reason than it is viewed as a sport to watch within the DOE.,….

Nicole’s Bill goes a long way to fix that….

it is kind of technical.

What Tennessee did was strip out everything not sanctioned as Common core by Dave Coleman….

This cut down the number of items on the test, therefore making it harder for students to meet proficiency requirements that have risen steadily year after year…

In plain speak, it is like a teacher gives you a 20 question quiz and you miss two…  Now  she gives you a three question quiz and you miss two…

Big difference….

Common Core ruined Tennessee’s education policy this year….  Delaware needs to get off Common Core as fast as possible.  I believe by the beginning of next school year, we will be the only state still on Common Core, if I’m not mistaken?

The only state on a program out of which all 49 other states will have bailed…

This legislative session we need to keep the DCAS for two more years…. It expired this May.  Simply change the year date and do not pass any legislation utilizing the Smarter Balanced assessments.

The controversy over the SBA (Smart Balanced Assessment) is nothing new.  We face similar challenges across our entire life.  Often they are based on faith… since we cannot see into the future to know what will really happen… For example….

  • Should I marry X…. or break up and look for something better….
  • Should I buy this house, which looks good now, or wait and try another one later…..
  • Should I have my operation now, and take the 50/50 risk of death, or wait to see if it is really necessary….
  • Should i SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE for this car…. or wait,  maybe keep the one I have which has no problems…..

Now if you are like me (human) you probably base each huge decision upon data… Such as, how does this person act when I’m not around:what did the inspectors find out about this house: what are the past results of this doctor with this operation: are their any consumer reports on this new car I’m about to buy…..

If you apply this type of searching on the SBA (Smart Balanced Assessments) you come losing if you go forward……

One:  the only good thing going for these tests is the salesman’s own pitch:  “this is the best product on the market”  There are no comparative studies.

Two:  All reports emanating from the testing of the SBA (Smart Balanced Assessments) show myriads of problems are being created to achieve the same results we currently have now without the problems.

Three:  All competent independent analysis of this test, show it to be a lemon of catastrophic proportions.

Four:  If we go forward with this test, and the consequences are not rosy, we lose half of everything we have.  The consequences are enormous…..

So you want to buy a new car, huh?  You want one which breaks down daily, right?  You want one that goes backwards when you shift it into drive, right?  You want one with no navigational system, right?  You want one that eats 20% of your income over the next 4 years, right?  You want one that most people once they see it, say…”Ewwwww, hope you paid next to nothing for that piece of junk.”…

Meanwhile you have a car that hums, you’ve only paid for brakes, gas mileage is in the thirties even though rated at 24.

Do you jump to something you know not of, and get rid of something totally reliable?

Why?

Just because their salesman is telling you to?

===

Guess what, dudes!  It’s my money, not yours. And I say pull the plug on this phony sale’s pitch NOW.:

Unsubstantiated reports from within the DOE are pointing to a 98% failure rate because of the Smart Balanced Computer system crashing during the taking of the tests…. So much so, that if we do get actual results made public, they are to be very suspect.

For if no one actually took the tests, how were these results supposedly obtained?  Were they made up?  Were they created out of thin air? Could that have been the plan all along?  One of creating a dismal picture of public education in time to get legislature to go along with the whims of this administration?

All those are speculation… And every one of these speculations are extremely believable if you have ever had any personal experience in the current environment involving the intrigue and secrecy that takes place under the cloak of Delaware’s secret Department of Education….  It is almost like Hogwartz has been taken over.

Every concerned parent should FOIA the Delaware Department of Education to find out what the computer crash rate was on their child’s test in their child’s school!

On the national level, the Smarter Balanced Test consortium said their computer outages ranged around 697 per day. Pearson averaged 1100... In the four weeks of testing so far, that would be 20 days or 13,940 or 22,000 breakages, depending upon which service you used…

Oklahoma found the reported breakages within their state, were quoted far under those amounts that actually occurred…. (As one would certainly expect to find in any corporate reporting.)

So the 98% failure rate is becoming believable and credence to this can be given to any major media report simply by having their on site reporters either calling or visiting each of the 19 districts and asking (off the record.. since retribution is quick and swift for anyone who tells the truth)..

Therefore it is incumbent upon every parent of every child to find out for themselves.  Furthermore It is incumbent upon every elected school board official to call out the Department of Education and request to know the failure rate in their district, over their charges, over their responsible areas.

Under Delaware law, you have that right and now, that responsibility.

29 Del. Code, Chapter 100) establishes that “it is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner” and that “it is vital that citizens have easy access to public records in order that the society remain free and democratic.”

Senate Bill 87 passed in the 146th General Assembly and signed by Governor Markell on October 20, 2011, requires that a standard form for requests under the Act be made available to the public.

Executive Order No. 31 approved by the Governor on October 20, 2011, requires executive branch agencies to adopt a standardized policy for requests……

Here is the standard for the state Education Department ….

 

Public Body


To    Select a Public Body   Agriculture    Attorney General’s Office    Auditor of Accounts    Bank Commissioner    Children,Youth & Their Families (DSCYF)    Corrections    Economic Development (DEDO)    Education    Finance    Fire Marshal    Fire Prevention Commission    Fire School    General Assembly    Governor’s Office    Health & Social Services (DHSS)    Housing (DSHA)    Insurance Commissioner    Labor    Lt. Governor’s Office    Management & Budget (OMB)    National Guard    Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)    Public Advocate    Public Integrity Commission    Public Service Commission    Safety & Homeland Security (DSHS)    State    Technology & Information (DTI)    Transportation (DelDOT)    Treasury Office    University of Delaware    Other     

Requestor


Name 

Mailing Address

Address1  
Address2  
Address3  
City  
State  
Zip 

Contact Information

Phone 

E-mail 

Records Requested


Be as specific as you can, describing types of records, dates, parties to correspondence, subject matter, etc. The public body will make every reasonable effort to assist you in identifying the records being sought.

Note: Requests for voluminous records may be delayed.

(Insert below:  Number of Smarter Balanced Assessment computer crashes during field testing for _________________________________________ School(s) or District(s).

a

There may be costs involved in responding to your request. The public body can require you to examine the records at the office of the public body. Refer to the public body’s policy or regulation for information about costs and access to records.

Please contact me if costs will be greater than 
* Within 15 business days from receipt of your request the public body must either provide you with access to the records, deny your request, or state that additional time is needed.*

 

NOTICE : Under Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, 29 Del. C. §§10001-10006 (“FOIA”), a FOIA request or petition, along with any information contained therein or any documents attached thereto, submitted to any “public body” subject to FOIA, including, without limitation, any board, bureau, commission, department, agency or committee of the State, may itself be deemed a “public record” subject to disclosure under FOIA.

So please!  All news agencies, all elections school board officials, all concerned parents should click the above link and request to know what the failure or success rate was for their individual school….  We need to get to the bottom of whether this 98% failure rate is true.,.. and once proven so, we then need to scrap the Smart Balanced Assessments……

Yet the current DCAS are working fine. We are already testing every student. When you have already lost $116 million, how many millions more do you throw down the same hole afterwards in your last ditch effort to try and save it?

“it is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner”

 

 

 

 

 

One of the benefits of thinking through outragous possible comibinations associated with the math portion of the Smart Balanced Assessments, was that it forces one to look at even the most ridiculous approaches to the most ridiculous possible problems….

So one should not be surprised that a very young child applies that to writing the date down on his homework, and  come up with what for the first time, has been made public….

Every day this week … the date is the same forwards as it is backwards…

Sunday,        4 13 14

Monday        4 14 14

Tuesday        4 15 14

Wednesday  4 16 14

Thursday      4 17 14

Friday            4 18 14

Saturday       4 19  14

 

Others may look to check it out, but we may never see another such a perfect aligned week in our lifetimes…..

 

I’m sure that Dave Sokola, Darryl Scott, Mark Murphy, and Jack Markell are breaking out the champagne and opening the caviar to celebrate something good coming out of Common Core… But did we really have to spend $116 million (Kilory 🙂  ) as a state to achieve this fantastical observation?

Did you know that the trials for SBA testing were a bust?  That computers crashed and student data was lost?  Did you know that it was very frustrating for the children to log in, then get” loading”.. forever… finally to log in again, and get “loading” forever? Did you know that hardly any child, I think only those in two classes across the entire state, were able to finish the test?  The rest will retake it later when the bugs are worked through…..

Wha?  You didn’t hear this?  The DOE didn’t make an announcement telling you how badly the rollout was going?  But this is something every DCAS student has done for years, but now is crashing and becoming completely frustrating with the SBA test! Wait a second!  What?  You didn’t hear this?  You meant to tell me that the News Journal hasn’t reported on how the rollout was going?  What? It hasn’t hit any media, any blog, even though its debacle is the 40 -minute  talk of every teacher’s lounge conversation across the state?  What?  You haven’t heard of this?

Now… but…. did you know when Obamacare rolled out, they had trouble with their computers?   Hell, everyone knew.

And now we have 7.1 million newly insured on that exchange, we have increased benefits for all US citizens regardless of their plans, and we have dropped the roles of the uninsured from 20% of all Americans down to 15.2% of them….

It was done in public, it was messy, it got fixed. and we moved on…

Compare that to something so secret, no one knows anything.  Something so secret, everyone has to sign confidentiality agreements before becoming privy to the results, and something so protected, no one outside those who know it is a complete failure, know nothing about…..

On one we have an open governmental process, with pros and cons fighting it out and I think that over time, and I’m pretty sure about this now, we will have a new program like Social Security and Medicare which make us again proud to be Americans….

On the other we have a corporate process that is so top secret, so closely guarded, known only to a handful, and no one else knows it is a complete failure, which can’t even get itself together…..

Don’t let anyone tell you that private business can get things done better than government……   What they are saying, is that private business needs to be selfishly left alone, so it can take your money without accountability…..  Government takes longer, listens to both sides, becomes emotional and messy, but…. in the end, usually gets it right. Far more often than secrecy and confidentiality agreements can attest…….

Time to circumvent the official DOE lines of propaganda, and get reporters butts into the schools to ask “anonymous sources” (confidentiality agreements, remember?) what is really going on…..

The rest of the world might be surprised….

Anyways, at least Obamacare is working well….