I have many issues with the State Board of Education. I thought maybe the answer was to write a bill and have the State Board elected and add appointed members such as legislators, members of various organizations etc. to the board. I am beginning to think we really do not need a State Board of Education. It is just another bureaucratic body that is just not necessary–it is time to remove the middle man.
Research is being done so I can have a better understanding about our state’s history with respects to the State Board of Education and Delaware Department of Education.
I have filed two FOIA complaints against the State Board of Education–one was filed on January 24, 2016 and another on February 25, 2016.
Please take a minute and “LIKE” E.R. Educators to the Rescue on Facebook. This page was developed by two Delaware public school teachers. Below is information about their page.
This page is for public education teachers and those who support public education in Delaware. We sincerely want to improve the learning experiences of our students/children.
This page is meant to provide information all public school teachers and parents must know about testing; the who, what, when, where, why and hows of its creation, its longevity and the intensity that never lets up.
Our classrooms have transformed from actively engaging, creativity-based, vibrant learning environments that promote learning and foster a love of learning to a monotone atmosphere of digitalized learning, scripted lesson plans, assessment-laden daily activities. A severe disconnect from the joys of learning and discovery has occurred. The lights have gone out in our classrooms. Young children especially need interaction with a human teacher and one another, not a computer or tablet for a large portion of their day. They need to hear and see and feel and do and experience and observe. High-stakes testing has robbed us of our profession and taken the joy from teaching and from learning.
This intent of this page is to be nonpartisan and will support any and all political figures that provide assistance in helping to rescue our students from the over-use and developmentally inappropriateness of high stakes testing.
Simply put, you can hold schools, their teachers and administrators accountable for their job duties and end high-stakes standardized testing.
Join our group, get informed and start taking action. We ask all members to maintain conversations and comments to a professional level. If you fail to do so, you will be dismissed from the group and all offensive material will be deleted.
“Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou
As a teacher with 15 years of experience in both regular and special education, as well as being a certified Reading Specialist, I can confidently answer this question with the following:
The Smarter Balanced Assessment scores WILL NOT help your child to improve over the next school year. What will help your child to improve? With an 11th grader, if the student is having trouble with a particular subject, I think that it is best if that student reaches out to the teacher for help first. Teachers love when the student is responsible for his/her learning and is autonomous in this endeavor. However, if that doesn’t work, then the parent would have to open up a line of communication.
If the student isn’t having any trouble, and the question is being asked about general improvement during the next school year, the ONE thing that will help a child with their progression is teacher-made assessment and feedback. Just like a doctor, the teacher is constantly giving check-ups in the classroom with quizzes and tests. Pay close attention to the grades and feedback that come back on those.
A Delaware teacher wrote to me. I asked for permission to share the email and the teacher agreed to me posting the email.
I write to you today because I am seeking your support for the students of xxxxx School District. I am a teacher at xxxxx. I have dedicated the last 18 years of my life to the students who go to xxxxx. I have relationships with generations of families, love teaching those “tough” kids and have great successes everyday in my classroom.
The testing cycles in xxxxx have begun and I feel that the administration has again let us down. There is so much testing on my calendar it will be extremely difficult to teach all the standards I am required to teach, let alone get kids who are behind, caught up. Something MUST be done to stop all of this insane testing!
Let me assure you that I am not a person who ducks assessment. I believe in knowing where students are so that I can design lessons and work with them in small groups to fill in gaps and push students to their greatest potential. This is about too many district or state mandated assessments that give me no information. They seem to serve the purpose of proving that xxxxx students will fail no matter what we do. Let me explain…
I have already given an oral reading assessment individually – Dibels Next (8-10 minutes per 30 kids = nearly 300 minutes of class time). I’ve given a “cold read” – a reading comprehension test and a math diagnostic and placement test. This week I will be finishing my first unit in math and giving the unit test. I’ve also done a spelling inventory to check for phonics skills and other informal writing samples. Week 2 is over and I know my students pretty well. I’m ready to teach and get kids where they need to go!
I am now told that I must give the Amplify reading and math pre and post test. I am supposed to schedule 2 days in the computer lab for each subject. I am also told that I must use this test as a measure for my component 5 rating. I’m not sure if you are familiar with Amplify. Its the same company that produces Smarter Balanced. Same kinds of questions, same ridiculous length, and complexity of directions. I am also told that they will be taking THREE interim assessments, for a total of FIVE times they will take this test, plus Smarter, plus all the other tests that actually help me guide instruction.
There are many layers to why this is wrong for students.
One, I need to be teaching for 4 days in September, not having students staring at a computer screen to take a test I know that they’ll bomb!
Two, giving this assessment FIVE times a year eats away at my precious teaching and learning time. Testing is not teaching!
Third, after 18 years I can look into the crystal ball and tell you how May is going to go. After students have taken 5-6 days of Smarter Balance testing, we will again set them in front of a computer screen and ask them to show us that they can take another hours long assessment of what they’ve learned this year. How do you think that will go? I KNOW how 8,9 and 10 year old people will react. They will not show what they know because they will be burned out and exhausted, leading to most xxxxx teachers not making their component 5 goals. More “unsatisfactory” teachers in xxxxx. That will hit the News Journal, and more students bleed out from our district.
I don’t want to walk down that path again and again. xxxxx kids and teachers work very hard and deserve better! I am embarrassed at the administration’s decisions for our students. Who else can and will speak out for children in xxxxx?