Tag Archives: Accountability Framework Working Group

Trust is Not Given; Trust must be earned!

group

Yesterday, I attended an AFWG meeting that was called by Secretary Godowsky; the group had finished their work last month and had their recommendations ready to send to the State Board. The Secretary called back the Accountability Framework Working Group; he wanted to discuss with them some changes that he and State Board have decided to make to the AFWG recommendations. The State Board and the Secretary have decided that they are going to alter this group’s recommendations (AFWG) after the group had met 16 times over the last  1 1/2 years.  When the group had made their recommendations last month, all members of the group, except for Donna Johnson who was representing the State Board, all agreed with the proposed recommendations which would be submitted to the State Board for approval and then sent to US DOE. The only other person who had an issue with this group’s recommendation was the Governor.  It makes me wonder why Ms. Johnson serves on all of these committees and the actual State Board members do not. They are the ones who were appointed to the board. When I served on the Red Clay School Board, I was assigned to committees and when the committees met, I went to the committee meetings. It is important to attend these meetings so board members can get the views of the entire committee and not just one person’s views.

During Secretary Godowsky’s opening remarks, he spoke about how he wanted a workable agreement that included all stakeholders.  I was a little confused by his statement because he and the State Board were making changes to the AFWG recommendations and their changes have not been vetted through the DESS advisory committee which is the DOE’s stakeholder group. DESS approved the final recommendations of AFWG but they have not seen or approved these new proposed changes from the Secretary or the State Board.

DOE will be submitting the AFWG recommendations which will include the Secretary and the State Board’s changes to the US DOE. At the meeting, I requested that DE DOE make it clear to US DOE that the changes to the AFWG recommendations were not supported by the AFWG members. The changes were not vetted through DESS, the stakeholder group, and that members of the General Assembly spoke out against these changes.

I just cannot understand why the State Board and the Secretary want to punish schools who have no control over parents opting their children out of the state assessment.

I have to say I was so disappointed that our newly, appointed Secretary did this, he is a long-time educator. The State Board did not think that the recommendations that were put in place by the AFWG with regards to participation in our state assessment was not a strong enough penalty; they wanted something a little harsher.

I am hopeful that the Secretary listened to the group and public yesterday and will have a change of heart tomorrow and will do the right thing at tomorrow’s State Board meeting.

 

The Accountability Framework Working Group Submitted Their Final Recommendations but the Group Has Been Called Back to Meet for One Last Time

The Accountability Framework Working Group will be meeting on November 17th – 10:00 – Townsend Building – Cabinet Room in Dover. The group submitted their final recommendations at the last meeting which was to be their final meeting. It is my understanding that certain folks are not good with their recommendations and they are going to try to convince the group to change their recommendations. It is my understanding there are issues with the recommendations surrounding the participation rate penalties. I am hopeful the group will stick to their final recommendations and not be swayed.

The group is going to be informed that  the 11th graders will no longer be required to take the Smarter Balanced test, instead the state will be replacing Smarter with the SAT. The SAT is given to all 11th graders throughout the state so no high school will drop below the 95% participation rate.

My issue is what about the other grades, what if participation drops below 95%, then what? How can you hold schools accountable for something they have no control over? If a parent wants to opt out their child, they have every right to and the school cannot do anything about it.

If the state does replace Smarter Balanced with SAT, I am glad that the 11th graders will have one less test to take. I guess before replacing one test with another, maybe some questions should be answered. What baseline are we going to use – what score will determine if a child receives a 1, 2, 3 or 4 or will the student have to score 1550 or more (college readiness score) to determine whether or not the child is proficient or not? How will the state measure growth if we are using the SAT as our state assessment for 11th graders? How will this test tie into evaluating our teachers and labeling our schools?

I am going to be honest here. I am going to be extremely disappointed if the new Secretary asks the Accountability Framework Working Group to change their recommendations. I know the Governor would like to see the recommendations changed as well as the State Board. I am hoping this is not the case, I will be attending the meeting on Tuesday and will report back on the meeting.

November 19th – State Board of Education Committee Meeting

The State Board of Education will hold its regular monthly meeting starting at 1:00 on November 19th. The meeting will be held in the Cabinet Room – Townsend Building in Dover. Click here to view the agenda.

The Accountability Framework Working Group recommendations will be voted on, it will interesting to see if the State Board changes the recommendations that the AFWG submitted to DOE. WEIC will be presenting, they just presented to the State Board at their retreat on November 5th.

Why does the state continue to insist on punishing schools?

I have to say that I am very disappointed that the state may not take the recommendations of the Accountability Framework Working Group who met for over a year and a half. Instead, they are doing exactly what Donna Johnson with the State Board and the Governor’s Office wanted which was stronger penalties for schools who fell below the 95% Smarter Balanced state assessment participation rate.

I was at the last two meetings of the AFWG and I heard first hand what the Governor’s Office wanted; stronger penalties to be placed on our schools. Donna Johnson stated that the State Board was probably not going to approve the final recommendations that the group made. She indicated that the State Board would want stronger penalties as well. Really, how did the State Board come to that conclusion because they were not at the meetings. How would Donna know that they would not agree with these recommendations because the group just decided on the recommendations?

The AFWG recommended that if a school fell below 95 percent it would be required to submit a report explaining why that happened and how to improve participation and that school could not be named a reward school. The group decided on this penalty because it would cause the least amount of damage to a school. The group would have preferred not to put any penalties in place, but the state told the group it was mandated by the feds.

The group members consisted of school administrators from charter and traditional schools, the Delaware PTA , the Delaware State Education Association, and the State Board. The entire group, except for one, did not want to punish schools because the administrators at a school have no control as to whether or not a student takes the state assessment. If a parent wishes to opt their child out of the state assessment, a school has no control over that, so why does the state want to punish that school for something a school has no control over?

In an effort to ensure as many students as possible are taking the state standardized test, the state Department of Education is recommending schools lose points on a new “scorecard” if fewer students than expected take the exam.

That’s a harsher penalty for schools with low participation rates than a panel of administrators and teacher and parent advocates recommended.

Their plan, which the Working Group had previously rejected, would multiply a school’s score by its participation rate if that rate fell below 95 percent.

“The state feels this is a fair proposal that takes into consideration participation, crediting schools that work to ensure every child’s learning growth is considered,” May wrote.

Click here to read the entire Delaware Online article.