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Much misalignment of the Minner administration has been forthcoming since she left office.  Much of that is puffed up. There is one thing she did very well.  That was to allow the building of a consensus for bringing wind power offshore to Delaware.

Hearings were held up and down the state.  Everyone was allowed to speak.  And extra hearings were even scheduled when the demand for talk outweighed the time allowed!

What came out of that, was a thorough knowledge resonating throughout the entire public, that establishing that operation though risky, would benefit Delawareans so much, so that going forward was better than going backwards….

We need the same openness with Common Core.  Because without that openness, we have the stigma of having something horribly bad for us being shoved down our throats!

We need to hear all the good that Common Core will do…  No, not in some op-ed piece whose factual basis is torn apart by experts within hours, if not the next day…. But if there is anything good in Common Core, it needs to be vetted out into the public where it can be cross examined on the spot..

Likewise we need to hear from everyone, including those who don’t like Common Core.  Even those those who have no other gripe than to say it is unconstitutional!  If that is what they believe, they are citizens too and have just as much right as citizen Alan Levin or citizen Mark Murphy, to speak before any commission.

Whereas the Public Service commission handled the hearings for wind power, the Department of Education is not altogether neutral in this contest.  The secrecy with which it alchemied SB 51 and HB 165 last year, precludes it from holding neutral hearings on Common Core.  Simply put, if allowed, it will hold… “one sided” hearings regarding Common Core, by selecting the participants, instructing them what to say, and cutting them off with no questions being asked by concerned parties differing in view.

No!  General Assembly! We need an independent commission…. Their job will be primarily not to make the final decision, but to allow the public within the state to speak.  Education is very important, if not the most important responsibility a state has to its citizens. Yet we have more oversight over our toaster ovens than we do over Common Core coming into our classrooms.

We need a commission and we need to pause the further advances towards implementing Common Core until we have heard back from that commission…

We need this commission.

The robot that grades your child’s test?  Thinks that is a really good prose sentence… giving it the highest marks….  Humans who have to grade 5 essays a minute, averaging 12 seconds a child, are not much better…( Uhhh, looks good… Uhhh, can’t tell give it a 2…”) .

Yet these scores will fire teachers and close schools…

This is Pearson which landed the contract to do all the testing in the PAARC consortium next year. (Delaware uses the Smarter Balanced Assessments).  Pearson is training its robo grader to take the place of humans for next years onslaught of grading: half of America’s students….

(Common Core was all about money; all along… It was never about students.)

Robo-graders do not understand content.  For them, all commands it receives, are based on algorithms and classifications of words placed in certain order. It is further augmented by counting the number of letters in each word, assuming the longer the word, the more “intellectual” it is… and by counting the number of words in each sentence.

Most human-taught writing uses Hemingway as an example and teaches the exact opposite:  use the minimum amount necessary to convey the message.  Long winded sentencing is deemed bad writing.  But not now.

Recently, three computer science students, Damien Jiang and Louis Sobel from MIT and Milo Beckman from Harvard, demonstrated that these machines are not measuring human communication. They have been able to develop a computer application that generates gibberish that one of the major robo-graders, IntelliMetric, has consistently scored above the 90th percentile overall. In fact, IntelliMetric scored most of the incoherent essays they generated as “advanced” in focus and meaning as well as in language use and style.

“Well” say Common Core supporters. “We are in the testing phase and there is a year to test it out and work out the bugs…” But, one will never know.  This will be tested internally within Pearson.  It could be horrible.  It could fail completely as these tests showed. It could become the next Edsel…. But we will never know.  it is proprietary.  Like a new car, it will be bought sight unseen, paid if full, and a year later we will get delivery… Is it a good car?  We can’t know!….

Most people do not order cars in this way for a reason.  We want to test drive it first…. If we test drove a Buick LeSabre and the wheels fell off, the steering column broke, the passenger door opened while driving… ( hmm, that might be a nice feature…) and we still awaited its delivery a year later, we’d be fools.

That is what this test does… It scares us to death for the safety of our children’s future learning….

Pearson refused to have their program tested. When asked, they said:  “We won’t let you test it because you are going to try and show how it does not work….”  


Do you want your children to unknowingly suffer so Pearson can make its profit line?  It is your child… Do you love them?

If you do, tell your legislators to let teachers teach and get rid of Common Core…..  It is sad that the making of toasters have more government oversight than the education of your children…..    I mean… who comes up with these ideas?  Aliens?




A.  It IS a form of civil disobedience.

B.  The Feds were silent on the issue. The Fed’s left it up to the states.

C.  The Opt-out movement is growing.

D.  Last week between 1000-2000 students 3-8th grades opted out of the Illinois test.

E.  Cities of Denver and Port Jefferson Station, NY held rallies to persuade parents to opt out.

F.  New Coalition, … Testing and Reform Spring was launched in February, is working to coordinate local efforts at opting out.

G.  Opting out is one powerful tactic to make policymakers aware that parents are fed up with testing overkill..

H.  In most states few guidelines exist outlining what rights parents have to refuse testing on behalf of their children.

I.   State laws generally require districts to administer the assessments, but students are not required to take the tests.

J.   In California, the education code explicitly grants parents permission to refuse the test on behalf of a student…

K.  In Illinois and New York, the student, not the parent, must refuse the test.

L.  Parents may have the right to opt out of state tests, such a decision could end up hurting a school’s ability to meet the 95 percent testing participation rate mandated under the No Child Left Behind Act law. Triggers could go into effect.

M. The lack of explicit guidelines is designed to discourage parents from availing themselves of their right to opt out.

N.  United Opt Out National, an advocacy group that provides parents with guidance as they navigate the unchartered testing-refusal waters, has seen a marked increase in requests for help.

O.  Parents face intimidating tactics from school and district administrators seeking to keep students in their seats for the tests. Parents also have been told that schools could lose funding and have their reputations damaged..

P.   In Chicago, a coalition of parents began a testing boycott March 3.

Q.   Anti-testing activists aren’t the driving force behind opting out… It is mostly parents who are seeing that their kids do not love school anymore,

The Lie That Our Schools Are Failing


Graphic courtesy of Yes Magazine

With scores going up in every category, how do they contort that into saying education is failing? It’s not…

Here is how it is done. This same trick was tried last year by Harvard, Mark Murphy and Jack Markell and is used every time they say Delaware’s SAT’s are below national average..

Duh, we test every student. Very few other states do…..

So we are hurting our children by making Draconian reforms that were never needed in the first place… If a foreign government was hurting our children as is Common Core, we’d be at war now.

Yes strikes are illegal.  And contracts are signed.  But there are almost 9,000 Delawarean teachers.  At legal fees reaching skyward of $100,000 per teacher, it would cost the state $900,000,000  or $900 million.  1/3rd of our yearly State Budget.  I doubt that they would take contractual legal action against all, and if not all, then most likely… against none.

What would happen to Common Core?  RTTT?  Our state test scores would tube.  Parents would be outraged that our Secretary of DOE let things get out of hand, so every teacher just threw up her hand and said… “I’m done.  I’m doing something else.  I can’t take this anymore!”

What would  then happen if all the administrators quit the same time?  No administrators. No teachers. No transportation supervisors?

I know the smart school districts would announce schools were closed until further notice. The dumb school districts would try to make an appearance to show they had things under control and set up a giant babysitting organization perhaps using work-release prisoners to keep classrooms under control.

The National Guard would have to be deployed to schools.  How much would that cost?   And what would those kids learn? Would their education go forward? Stay the same, or go backwards?

Just imagine every family forced to suddenly change their schedules?  Maybe in two member families, people pull back from their jobs.  Leaves of absences.  Simply quitting on short notice?  Got to do what you got to do.

Imagine being in Jack’s seat if it happened?

First he’d try to break the strike.  Intimidate teachers.  Maybe put Fredericka Jenner in a dunk tank, and threaten to throw the first ball if teachers and administrators don’t return to work?  No. That wouldn’t work.

Second, he needs to figure out how to break the strike.  The national guard would be the obvious first course. They can’t say no.  That could keep children in their seats. Then a national call for Teach For America, SCABS or college students, to “Please Come To Delaware, For The School Year…..  Everyone quit and we got lots of room.  .. You can earn $100 a day  by coming off the sidewalk….”

Whereas the Pullman strikes and miners strikes got violent over use of SCAB labor…. it would be best if teachers left them alone, not even picket…  Sure, go ahead.. Put those non-professionals in.  Let them teach.  Teaching is easy, everyone says.  Anyone can do it.  You don’t need a degree, or a masters.  You just tell children to do their work and twiddle your thumbs…  Oh. Let’s see those assessment test scores?  You gonna’ fire the temps if THEIR scores are low?  What?  No?

The Education Governor, huh?

Unlike a skilled laborer, unlike a skilled coal miner, a skilled teacher cannot be replaced with someone who doesn’t know how to teach… Just look at the abysmal failure of Charter schools compared to Public schools, if you want to see evidence of what happens when you replace teachers with regular joes who just want a job….

In fact, sometimes as any Mom will tell you… if you feel undervalued and unappreciated, just stop.  Do nothing and drive home the point of everything you do that gets taken for granted…

As for jobs.  Other states would love to have skilled teachers moving in.  Or creating your own private school in your own home, could be an awesome option that many parents would jump at, considering the collapse of the complete infrastructure of the County…

Can you imagine?  Wilmington, both business and government would be completely  and devastatingly short staffed and disrupted, Dover would be completely at a standstill.  Probably nothing could grind Delaware to a halt as it would, if every teacher quit.  Every administrator too…..

There is only one option for the man in the Governor’s chair…..  (and it might take a while for him to realize it too…..)

“What would it take for all of you to come back….”

Now.  As parents of school children, we are finally getting somewhere…. my guess, their answer would be…..” Just let us teach…. “