Article here: http://delonline.us/PWG09t
Where to begin? It’s hard. I’ll break it down into chunks.
That includes fully implementing Common Core State Standards, which provide clear goals for student learning in mathematics and English language arts at each grade level. Delaware was part of the state-led effort to draft the standards, using the best and highest state standards in the country and the world as the building blocks. The standards are based on evidence of student learning, align with college and work expectations, and reflect rigorous content and skills. Teachers and parents from across the country were part of their development, ensuring they are realistic and practical for the classroom.
Teachers and parents were involved? OK, then why weren’t Delaware stakeholders engaged, MEANINGFULLY in content development. I don’t count committing to training classes after the fact or “signing” onto a multi-state consortium as engagement. Also, what of ALL the other subjects that matter like: PE, art, science, social studies, music/band, drama, library skills, economics, business, foreign languages just to name a few? Ahh, they must not count I guess.
And the year will include continuing to support the professional growth of our teachers with the use of a teacher evaluation system that incorporates student growth.
Really? Using student tests to evaluate teachers? I know, I know 400-600 teachers in DE shaped this aspect of their reviews. So you say. If you count giving them a menu consisting of: “take it” or “take it” a genuine choice then sure, they shaped it, the day their FORMER union leader signed on in 2009/2010 to the ill conceived RTTT plan.
We have momentum as we enter this new academic year: The state performance results released last month show more than 10,000 additional children left school in June proficient in reading as compared to last year, and more than 9,000 additional students reached proficiency in math.
This is the biggest load of all: proficiency against a test administered a 4th time compared to the 3 times the previous year so as to muddle the comparative landscape and then a use of growth data, NOT proficiency data to determine ratings. A complete sham. Anyone who believes in Delaware’s improvement need look NO FURTHER than the proficiency rates of schools compared to NCLB goals PRE and POST ESEA waiver and see the truth of dysmal failure against the sham of growth to measure a system. Growth only helps us to MAYBE measure the value of one aspect only of what educators do, they are a ridiculous premise for rating schools and systems. The worst part: Mr. Murphy, Governor Markell and the SBE President KNOW THIS, but foist it upon us anyway.
The details are what happen for our children each and every day. The details are what matter most for the experience they have in the classroom and how that translates to their preparation for the future. The details are how policy decisions made in Washington or Dover affect teachers and principals leading this work in our schools. In this coming year, I ask every teacher, principal and district administrator to be focused on getting the details right, and I call on all of us at the state to support them in that work.
Is this even real? Did he really just write this? We should be making sure policy folks in Dover and Washington, D.C. are getting their policy wonky, evidence-less reforms done to their intended precision? Local control much? Federal strings much?