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Delaware voted Thursday night to not roll out the Smarter Balanced Assessment...  The vote was 13 against, and 8 for....  It wasn't close; 62% voted not to go forward... The  legislation called for replacing the State test, one that was hammered out among all parties including the teachers union. with the Smarter Balanced Assessment...

Out of 50 states, only ten including Delaware were left taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.... At 8:31 Thursday night... that count went down to nine....

Spectators had just witnessed a miracle.  No one had seen it coming... the Delaware House which is run by an iron fist of the Markell administration had passed this bill 30 to 9... But 4 Senate democrats under pleas of their constituents joined the minority of 9 Republicans to ditch this horrible test.

The Markell administration jumped into action with a full court press...  45 minutes later a motion to rescind and to re-vote was made in the chamber and seconded.... This second vote then came up 12-8 in favor of this bill... It passed... The time stamp was exactly 63 minutes later...  The number of states taking the Smarter Balanced Assessments was back up to 10......

How did this happen?  We are beginning to hear.... The Republican tweeted that the Markell administration told them the Smarter Balanced Test would be the accountable test in Spring, whether or not, the necessary bill passed at all.....

Is that even constitutional that a program can go forward even though the law allowing it was defeated in the legislature.  Imagine the uproar if republicans rescinded Obamacare (they will too, if Democrats don't swamp the polls everywhere this November) and Obama said, too bad, we're doing Obamacare anyway... That the best description of what happened in Delaware...

Being an all blue state, legislators were not in the practice of contradicting their one party apparatus... 3 Democrats caved not to embarrass the party, and the lone Republican flip-flopper, got some really good political deals that will keep him from having a democratic challenger in his district for a long, long time...

And about this time next year you will hear how only 30% of Delaware's children scored proficient on this test...  Not because they are not well educated but because not even 30% of professional adults who have taken the test, can pass it... And if this is what they are putting out to sell teachers, parents and politicians, what they give our kids in secret is beyond imagination..  Who knows how many mistake

It is impossible to trust the results of this test; it is so tarnished already...  

Had this test not been rescinded, the state could have put its old test back in circulation

Practice tests are here... if you want to take them...

Delaware's children will suffer; the bill passed both houses and will be signed.  But this should give every single parent in every other state hope... For Delaware was the first state to jump into Common Core.  We have diligently tried to work together through all the thorns and bristles.  All parties were committed to make it work... Our teachers union head, who some now call a traitor, was actively working with the governor to keep teachers in line and in favor....

Then parents started noticing that their children stopped caring... Concerned, they discovered it was this new curriculum and something called rigor that was causing mass waves of children to become disaffected with school...   They began organizing and fighting back...

If a state where Common Core has been worshiped these past 2 years, can get 61% of one house to vote against changing the test to the Common Core test, then there is plenty of hope in states where Common Core is not so well liked....

Parents of children are driving this fight... It is disorganized, loose, and unstructured... But it is passionate... So passionate that for one single hour and 3 minutes,  the number of states taking the Smart Balanced Assessment count held at 9.....

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Comment Preferences

  •  Shared with the Badass Teacher Association. (6+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 04:48:52 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand the opposition (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, slowbutsure, Lujane

    to Common Core. What's wrong with setting higher standards?

    Millions have been spent on it's implementations across the country. Here in NC, it was just implemented the past school year, and the nutcases in the state legislature are already trying to repeal it before the impact can even be seen.

    Leading the charge against Common Core are home school and charter school advocates, which makes little sense since they are exempt from Common Core.

    Repeal would lead to a lot of wasted time, effort, and money - and here in NC would lead to unqualified Teapublican legislators setting new state education standards. Jesus rode a dinosaur is coming to a classroom near you.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 05:57:30 AM PDT

    •  Opposition on left is primarily to the tests (7+ / 0-)

      It's one thing to change standards, it's another to have high stakes tests without any serious investment in preparing curriculum and pedagogy aligned to the standards. That is your are testing for standards that haven't actually been taught. Consider this, the standards in each grade assume mastery of the standards in the preceding grades. And to be clear the common core includes standards for skills that were not anywhere in the old standards of many states. Now imagine you are an 8th grader being tested after only being exposed to the common core standards for a grade or two. Doesn't really make much sense.

      Other problems with these standards include they are being rolled out on a national scale without ever having been field tested. That amounts to educational malpractice. In addition early childhood experts have labelled a number of k-3 standards developmentally inappropriate. This is largely because the developers were more versed in secondary standards and were focused on the end product of "college readiness".

      The bottom line for me is that these are standards more attuned to my personal preference (at least in theory) emphasizing skills and higher order thinking over content and rote memorization. But the fact is, we have had a standards movement for more than 20 years now and there is zero evidence (not a single valid study) that shows standards by themselves improve student achievement. If you want students to achieve you can't focus on measurements you have to change classroom practice.

      I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution. Barbara Jordan

      by Lcohen on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have also read that the standards don't match up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        across subjects.  In particular, one of the middle school science tests requires a level of mathematics that is beyond the level required to be taught by the standards at that grade.

        I'm fine with standards that make sense and are consistent, but am very much opposed to the high-stakes testing.  Teacherken has written eloquently about many of the pitfalls that have not been addressed.

    •  There are two issues: (6+ / 0-)

      1.  Common Core standards, which conceivably could be implemented badly, but could also be done well
      2.  High stakes testing:  take one test every damn year and that is the sole measure of your learning.  Just moved to the US and don't speak English?  Take the test.  Mom had a baby last night?  Take the test.  And private companies get $$$ for creating the test and schools have to pay to give the test and have it graded every year.

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bear (8+ / 0-)

      The teach the test sickness is something I've deplored since the 70's for the simple reason that the public school education I was lucky to receive in the 50's is unavailable to kids today. At first I thought "education reform" was simply mis-guided; I was wrong, it is intended to turn public education into a profit center. It has morphed into "teach to the test, OR ELSE". And hence we deprive our children the chance I had.

      "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

      by Joe Jackson on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:21:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why do you want to raise standards? (8+ / 0-)

      You're using two thinking fallacies here. First, you're in favor of "throwing good money after bad": CC is already being implemented, so even if it's bad, lets just allow it to continue and disregard the opposition. Rather, if an idea is bad, it doesn't matter how much has been invested, it should still be abandoned. The Common Core standards "movement" (it's actually an astroturf campaign funded by neoliberal billionaires) is arguably a bad idea that will harm public education and should be stopped or at least delayed, regardless of any investment.

      Secondly, just because conservatives are against it doesn't automatically mean that they are wrong and that liberals should support it. They may have kooky and partisan reasons, but they are fundamentally right to oppose Common Core. As a reality based liberal, you should be able to overcome your own partisan tendencies and consider the voices of opposition from the education experts and the teaching community.  

      As for the idea that raising standards is somehow inherently good, I would ask a few questions of those who support CC:

      Why raise standards when a significant percentage of kids can't meet the existing ones? The real reasons for poor education outcomes have been known for many years: poverty and culture. Those reasons are intractable and entirely external to the classroom, so why the focus on standards? How can it be that "raising the bar" and causing failing poor kids and minorities to fail MORE will magically fix the problems? The answer is that it won't. Instead, it will put pressure on public schools in poor areas to abandon real education and teach to the test. It will falsely make schools look like they are "failing", and will give the impression that the teachers in those schools are "bad teachers". It will make the teachers unions who object to bad CC implementations look like anti-education "thugs". Now who do you think will actually benefit from this?

      The idea of standards is great, but are these specific standards pedagogically sound, were they developed by education experts, subjected to proper review and have they been tested prior to nationwide implementation? The answer is no to all. The CC promoters claim that their standards were developed by experts with "consultation" by teachers. The reality is that the standards were developed in private with little or no academic input and then run by some teachers as a finished product. If the corporate promoters of CC were really interested in meaningful and appropriate standards development then there would be an open national conversation among experts to craft standards that work at all ages. Then there would be a trial period (with no consequences to students and schools) where the new standards are tweaked, then a limited roll out (again with no consequences), and finally a national implementation - but only if the prior tests were proven to improve educational outcomes. Why was none of that done?

      Who is really benefitting from CC and the particular implementation that is being forced on everyone? It's not the children who are doing poorly. Nor is it the underfunded public schools and their teachers struggling to do the best they can with the limited resources they have.
      Nor is it the school district administrations who are now being pressured to improve performance on tests, rather than improve real learning.  Who benefits: the Wallstreet backed  education privatizers, anti-union conservatives, neoliberals and corporations; private charter schools and their supporters; Pearson and the rest of education industry that will make billions selling curriculum,  tests, training materials, etc.

      My public school teacher wife got a spam email from Denis Richardson (R, OR) last night that detailed his opposition to the CC implementation in Oregon. It was the first time we actually agreed with the guy. Strange times we live in, when a Republican makes sense and the Democrats are shoving a load of pro-corporate, anti-union, teacher bashing, sell-off-the-commons bullshit...

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:59:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent comment, Quill. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, Lujane, Roadbed Guy

        I'd like to share it with my fellow teachers.

      •  There are some states that do need (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, bear83

        higher and better standards, especially in the South. It would have been wise to push for rollout in those states first with other states coming along on their own timeline, rather than Duncan's very aggressive moves to get all states there immediately, which made no sense pedagogically or financially.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 05:12:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          This gets back to my first question: why impose tougher standards if kids are failing for external reasons, as is the case in the South? Raising standards won't improve education in that environment, no matter how hard you ride teachers. It just encourages the "teach to the test" mentality and widespread cheating as the test becomes more important than education.

          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:26:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I understand it, in some of the southern states (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bear83, quill

            the kids aren't really being taught what as a larger group we might consider, "the material". I think your point is a good one, but it presupposes a certain level of curriculum in place to start with.

            Teaching to the test is an even worse problem if the test doesn't cover worthwhile topics. I'm not seeing that in those states that they are having a valued education system that is in danger of being lost.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:17:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Higher standards aren't this issue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill, Lujane, pdxteacher

      poverty is.

      But since the latter is almost impossible to solve (especially in today's political climate) a simplistic solution is to construct a straw turkey (is that what this is, I'm not good in logical fallacies) that teachers and (a lack of standards) are the problem.

      When neither is.

  •  I can't tell you how angry I am about this. (7+ / 0-)

    The senate just rolled over and Dems are already reaching out to teachers to have us help them. (I'm not doing a damn thing for them.) State and local Ed Associations lobbied hard to keep this from happening. This test makes up ~20% of some teacher's eval. We don't know how much because the state refuses to tell us how much. And it only applies to teachers who have tested subjects/grades.

    And just so you know, Gov. Markell would love to take Arne's place.

    "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" Juan Ramon Jimnez

    by Teiresias70 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:58:35 AM PDT

  •  I don't often comment on my posts because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, Lujane, codairem

    I find it very frustrating.  It is if at the end of a argument on a complicated topic, (randomly let us pick global warming) which after years of presenting evidence and combating falsehoods only to have someone brand new jumps into the conversation for their first time and say: Gee, what's so bad about global warming..Temperature changes all the time)

    Therefore I let others answer and as above, they have done a good job.  Please don't be offended by this rant, for I hold no blame or animosity,  I can't... I was exactly the same ... wow, its been little over one year and 4 months ago....

    At that time while others were beginning to describe the apocalypse that Common Core was bringing, I shrugged my shoulders and said with a yawn, ... "whatever"....

    Then, when my friend's daughter went from an A+ student to an F one in English, her favorite subject, I had to look into it...   I read the homework (holy shit), I talked to the teacher (she's cool but had no choice in it), and principal (he told me privately Common Core was about $$$)  and I started reading where this crap came from....  Fortunately my friends daughter was at the high end of high school and was promoted out of Common Core into regular classrooms and is doing fine now with old school type instruction...

    As an English major looking over her homework, I could not fathom what Common Core was even trying to teach... Gone were rationality, gone were logic.  Gone were all the definitions that have existed though out the history of the language.... "Nouns", "verbs", "indirect objects", "direct objects" had all had their names replaced with another word... a... (get this)... copyrighted word....  No shit.   Our children are not going to be able to communicate to other children, unless those children were lucky enough to be taught by the same corporate entity....

    She said... "We learned all this in 5th grade... (she was in 10th..)... All we do is write sentences off one paper onto another.....  and she had lots to do... It seemed as if someone who has no idea of how children learned, assumed that if children wrote hours of stuff from one paper onto another, they would become model students....


    They quit... Because it's truly a waste of time. They soon figure out that talking to their friend has more learning value than does Common Core.  AT least in talking to their friend, they are learning about who is seeing whom....

    And though this rant is not directed at anyone here on this thread, there is a common occurrence on many other education threads... That is to run to the DOE's website for Common Core and read the standards for the first time.  Because in the big picture of things, if when someone is telling you in strong terms how common core is not good, it is pretty silly to argue that because the very people pushing Common Core say it is good...then it must be so....

    It is just like those companies putting horse meat in their burgers, advertising their meat being tasty... It is just like those Chinese companies selling pet food that killed pets, telling you their food is very nutritious for pets...  it is just like GM advertising  their cars are safe, never mentioning on TV what the recalls are doing to their reputation....  

    Never take marketing at face value!... There is always another side and good marketing is defined as making us choose not to look at that other side.... to forget about it and stick to the one we see in front of us....

    Why people run to the people putting out the bad product in order to find out the real truth is frustratingly beyond me.   "Baghdad Bob, Are you losing the war in Iraq?"  "No, we are winning the war in Iraq... We will chase all the Americans into the ocean tomorrow. They will all drown."  Gee, why didn't we believe him? Could it be facts contradicted him?

    No one ever takes the word of the accused at face value.... "Sir, you are on air, did you kill her?" "No, I'm innocent, I was eating a hamburger." "Why are you covered in blood?"  "My hamburger was juicy and squirted its contents upon me." " Why is there a machete with blood dripping off it in your hand?" "I was using it to cut my hamburger."

    Well, let me change that.  It appears that some do take corporate's word at face value..  So let me rephrase that.  No one SHOULD ever take the word of the accused at face value...

    •  The standards themselves are not so terrible (0+ / 0-)

      but there are some terrible implementations of the standards. Most of the teachers I've talked to locally are pretty happy with the standard and they like the emphasis on going deeper and doing more project-based learning rather than a shallow skim of lots more topics, as they had in the old California standard.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 05:15:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You expect a 30% pass rate? Hmm... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    And about this time next year you will hear how only 30% of Delaware's children scored proficient on this test...  Not because they are not well educated but because not even 30% of professional adults who have taken the test, can pass it...
    That argument is a bit sketchy, because there are many "professional adults" who haven't had to do that kind of math in years; there's a big difference between "folks who haven't touched geometry/algebra in 15 years" and "kids who have spent the last X years doing geometry/algebra."  If I gave a contemporary OB/GYN test to doctors who hadn't done anything in that area since medical school, would you expect a high pass rate?

    (Me? I'm a Swiss Army Nerd on the tail end of getting four kids through high school; as far as I'm concerned, there wasn't anything outrageous in those 11th-grade exams.)

    More to the point, I looked at the 11th- and 8th-grade exams and saw almost nothing that my non-Common-Core public high school and middle school don't (respectively) cover.  Anyone who passed our high school's Algebra II class (which is usually taught to 10th/11th graders) and Junior English (a non-AP course for 11th graders) should be able to pass those SBA exams.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 01:50:55 PM PDT

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