Diane Ravitch's blog

A few days ago, my six-year-old grandson, who attends first grade in a public school in New York City, called to ask a question.

He said, “Ama, I am doing a data analysis. I need to ask you a question.”

I said, “You are doing a WHAT?” He repeated, “I am doing a data analysis.”

Then he asked whether I would rather be a porcupine or a hedgehog.

I thought a minute and said I would rather be a hedgehog.

He was very surprised. I knew he was doing something related to the Common Core, but I still thought he was a little young to get my mini-lecture about Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay about War and Peace.

He asked why I wanted to be a hedgehog, and I said that the hedgehog knows one big thing.

He asked me what the big thing was that I knew.

And I…

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So last night I went to TELL Delaware for a response rate update, and this happened. #eduDE #netDE #nocontrol

So last night I was checking in on the survey and I started here: http://www.telldelaware.org/

and was greeted with an update:

Feb. 18 UPDATES: The statewide response rate is now over 54%!   A special congratulations to the district of Smyrna who now joins Appoquinimink with every school in the district over the minimum response rate of 50% and there are seven more districts that are just a few schools shy of reaching this goal. There are now 147 schools across the state that have reached the minimum response rate and will have their own data to use in school improvement plans!

To view the response rate for every school in the state, please click on the “Response Rate” button located above.

 Educators, this is your chance to be a part of the decision making and planning in your own school and district! If you need an anonymous access code to complete the survey, please contact the Help Desk by calling the toll-free number (1-855-258-2818) or click on the “Need Help” button located above.

So I thought to myself that I’d like to see the method for gaining a code by following their instructions and clicking on the NEED HELP button at the top of the page. That lead me here: http://www.telldelaware.org/help/index

TELL Delaware


Submit an issue

Your name

Your phone

Your email

Your school

select a school

Subject of your inquiry
Your comment or question
So, I proceeded to fill out the request. I used a fake name, so I could protect my own anonymity (they don’t make that recommendation and I’m not sure why since this is a one request = one code form), told them I worked at Christina Early Education Center and used an aol.com email address. The response upon form submission indicated they would be in touch. This morning, I went into my email to find this:
—–Original Message—–
From: TELL DE 2013 helpdesk <helpdesk@www.telldelaware.org>
Sent: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 7:37 am
Subject: Helpdesk Response for TELL DE 2013

Thank you for contacting the help desk. The code you requested is listed below 
and is also located in the attached pdf. Please note that each code is unique 
and may only be used once. 

1 codes generated for Christina Early Education Center

This is regarding ticket #3945
PDF_survey_codes_for_ticket_#3945 PDF_survey_codes_for_ticket_#3945
245K   View   Download

Here is the .pdf:

I was a bit surprised. Obviously, I was not vetted. I am not the target audience. The fake name is not on a roster of eligible people. So I have some questions which I sent into the News Journal today. Nichole Dobo has posted them as an update to her blog here: http://blogs.delawareonline.com/delawareed/2013/02/16/deadline-extended-for-tell-delaware-survey/

Here they are:

  • since the form asks for a name and IF someone uses their real name (fake names are not specifically advocated for on the form) when the single code is issued, as this one was, how is that person’s anonymity guaranteed since it is one-to-one assigned to the person?
  • why did they not vet the name submitted against a roster of eligibles at CEEC to determine if a code should be offered?
  • has anyone gotten more than one code, either through this mechanism or by getting additional codes from coworkers who did not want to take the survey for whatever reason?
  • How many ineligible people have been issued codes?

I do have a few more questions:

If I were the Governor, I’d be asking for my money back. The taxpayers deserve it.

Almost forgot, here’s the response rate update: http://www.telldelaware.org/progress/index  up to 55.04% from 54.00% on 2/15/13 when it was extended, a slow slog

*** UPDATE***

Union President not happy with me based on yesterday’s post: http://doesexperiencecount.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/holy-survey-batman/  not to worry Rodelians, we still both care about teachers far too much to not get to the other side of this kefuffle.

lunch time test prep is surely next.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Remember the obesity crisis? Guess not.

In the mad obsession to raise test scores and to outcompete the world, physical education classes are being turned into opportunities to teach reading, math, geography, and almost anything that might be on the test.

The story reads:

On a recent afternoon, the third graders in Sharon Patelsky’s class reviewed words like “acronym,” “clockwise” and “descending,” as well as math concepts like greater than, less than and place values.

“Ms. Patelsky, the physical education teacher at Everglades Elementary School here, instructed the students to count by fours as they touched their elbows to their knees during a warm-up. They added up dots on pairs of dice before sprinting to round mats imprinted with mathematical symbols. And while in push-up position, they balanced on one arm and used the other (“Alternate!” Ms. Patelsky urged. “That’s one of your vocabulary words”) to stack oversize Lego…

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