Tag Archives: DOE

A Teacher’s Perspective


The following is a response from a teacher under a post titled: A Parent’s Question, What Did Smarter Balanced Scores Tell Us?  

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.


School Choice Begins on November 2nd and Ends on January 13th

Choice Application Timeline

  • Monday, November 2, 2015 – 8:00am – Online Choice Application Opens
  • Wednesday, January 13, 2016* – 4:00pm – Online Choice Application Closes
  • Monday, February 29, 2016 – District/School Notify Parent of Invitation Status
  • Friday, March 18, 2016 – Parent Notify District/School of Acceptance Decision

*Charter Schools, Vocational-Technical School Districts and Magnet schools may continue to accept applications after 1/13/2016 to fill remaining availability. Those holding a lottery will include applications received by 1/13/2016. Kindergarten applications can be submitted until the first day of school.

For more information on school choice, click here.

State Board updated their agenda for their meeting on Thursday adding DE Met, Will DE Met be placed on formal review?

The State Board of Education has updated their agenda for their meeting on October 15th. They added Formal Review of a Charter School for Action. Lets hope they are placing DE Met on formal review. Click here to view the October 15th State Board of Education Agenda 

I have written to the DOE on 6 separate occasions about my concerns for the students at Delaware Met. I and Rep. Kowalko attended their Special Board meeting on September 28, we had many questions after attending that meeting. I also was contacted by a DE MET parent who had requested on numerous occasions to have her child released from the one year charter agreement. The parent did not feel that her son was learning and that the school was not ready to open. The school had to close down for three days for unknown reasons. DE Met finally released the student stating that the parent requested the student’s release on September 30th after dismissal, knowing full well that they would be keeping funding for that student. I have a copy of the letter that DE Met gave to the parent and it was dated September 29, 2015 not September 30, 2015. The games that are played in order to keep the funding. Again, the only ones who suffer are the students. 

Here is State Board’s summary:

The DOE Charter School Office is seeking to submit  the charter of The Delaware Met to formal review to determine whether the school is violating the terms of its charter and whether to order remedial measures under the Delaware Code.

The issues for formal review include, but are not limited to, concerns about the school’s compliance with its charter, financial viability, policies regarding student conduct and discipline, and appropriate strategies to accommodate the needs of at-risk students and those needing special education services.

In accordance with the requirements of 14 Del. C. . § 511(c), the Department is seeking the assent of the Acting Secretary and the State Board of Education to the formal review of The Delaware Met.

Delaware Department of Education playing a shell game – Delaware State News | Delaware State News

As a legislator, this is so frustrating, seeing how the positions were funded using vacant positions. How many vacant positions did the Department of Education have to use to fund these positions: 8, 10, 15, 24, 30 – no one knows.

Last spring, the Delaware Department of Education asked for $7.5 million to, among other things, continue funding 10 Race to the Top positions. The Joint Finance Committee was quite clear on the subject when we told DOE, “No.” We gave them $3.75 million as direct pass-through money to go to programs in schools and very […]

Source: Delaware Department of Education playing a shell game – Delaware State News | Delaware State News

Elect not Appoint!

Brian Stephan left a comment on another post:

Something that was brought up at the Progressive Dems for Delaware meeting last week (and frequently over the last few years) was making SecEd an electable position rather than a gubernatorial appointment. Same thing with the State Board, well, probably more so with the State Board. Boards of Ed around the state are all elected…except for the State Board. I think if Education is to change in DE, then it has to begin with Statewide Education Leadership.

I agree with Brian, I and others have been saying the same thing for some time now. We have no checks and balances in place with the Secretary of Education and the State Board Education appointed by the Governor. We need folks who are going to question and challenge education items not sit there and just agree. You see that so often, folks just sitting there and nodding their heads.

Things Need to Change in DOE, When is This Going to Happen is the Question that I Hear Most?


When are things going to change? That is the question that I hear over and over from folks. It seems that most people are angry, frustrated, tired and disappointed with the current direction of US DOE and Delaware’s DOE. I hear teachers, administrators, parents, students, community members, elected officials screaming “when will things in education change here in Delaware” and no one seems to be able to answer that question. It appears that there are a few people running everything and listening to no one.

We will be electing a new Governor next year, I hope he or she is working on an educational plan that Delawareans will approve of, so we can get back on track educating our students instead of all the other items that the feds and state officials are demanding of our teachers and districts.

Before supporting a candidate for Governor and Lt. Governor ask them for their educational plan first, then make a decision.

Things Might Be Different for 11th Graders Next Year When It Comes to Our State Assessment

The 11th grade state assessment may not be Smarter Balanced Assessment; it looks like the state may be going with the SAT reported at the Accountability Framework Working Group meeting on Monday. I thought our Delaware colleges agreed to using Smarter Balanced as a way to measure college readiness and would be accepting it in lieu of a separate placement test.


Accountability Framework Working Group Update Interesting Meeting

I attended the AFWG Meeting Number 16 yesterday. There were 10 committee members present and 3 members of the public in attendance. Secretary Godowsky popped in and sat in the meeting for a while and thanked everyone for participating. It was really nice seeing the Secretary of Education at this meeting, this was the second time I have seen the Secretary popping into a meeting.

The next steps: share the recommendations with DESS Advisory Committee (stakeholder group), which happened today, State Board will review and hopefully accept recommendations as presented (State Board representative indicated the board may not accept the recommendations as presented), and then the approved recommendations from the State Board are sent to US DOE.

The members stated again to DOE, what supports are going to be provided to the schools once a school is labeled? We label the schools but there are really no supports in place.

A school can become a Focus, Focus Plus, Priority, Action, Watch, Reward, Recognition, or a Blue Ribbon School.

  • DOE reported they must add a consequence for not meeting participation rate. The group decided on the following:
    • School must write a plan for how they will address low participation rates.
    • Cannot be a reward school if the participation rates is less than 95% using NEAP.
  • DOE did state the Governor recommended and would prefer the multiplier for schools that are below 95% only, as the consequence the participation rate, but members stated they did not agree with that choice.
  • The group decided on using a 0 to 500 point system.

The group was made up of district and charter administrators, a PTA, a DSEA, and a State Board representative. Most of them really did not like labeling the schools especially with no permanent supports in place. I really appreciated the conversation of the group. The group made it clear over and over that they did not like the system but knew most of it was being driven by the feds.

During the conversation, I got the impression that the Governor wanted certain things to come out of this group and I got the same impression from the State Board representative. Why do you put these committees/groups in place and waste their valuable time away from their schools if we are not going to listen to them, they are the experts. I hope the Governor and the State Board will respect the opinion of the experts and keep the final recommendations from the Accountability Framework Working Group as is. It will be interesting to see what the State Board does at their October 15th meeting.