My letter in Support of HB 50. #supportHB50

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———- Forwarded message ———-
From: John Young <>
Date: Wed, May 6, 2015 at 11:03 PM
Subject: Don’t get distracted: Parents are our student’s first teachers, and your constituents. Not to mention, they fund our schools.
To: “Potter, Jr Charles” <>, Bolden StephanieT <>, Keeley Helene <>, Brady Gerald <>, Smith Melanie G <>, Heffernan Debra <>, Short Bryon <>, Johnson Quinton <>, Hensley Kevin S <>,, Matthews Sean <>, Spiegelman Jeff <>, Hudson Deborah <>, Mitchell John L <>, Schwartzkopf Peter <>, valerie longhurst <>, Johnson JJ <>, Mulrooney Michael <>, Barbieri Michael <>, “Williams, Kimberly (LegHall)” <>, Smyk Steve <>, Ramone Michael <>, Miro Joseph <>, “Baumbach, Paul (LegHall)” <>, “Osienski Edward (LegHall)” <>, “Kowalko John (LegHall)” <>, Viola John <>, “Jaques, Jr Earl” <>, Carson William <>, Paradee Trey <>, Outten Bobby <>, Lynn Sean M <>, Bennett Andria <>,, Yearick Lyndon D <>, Wilson David L <>, Kenton Harvey <>, BriggsKing Ruth <>, Gray Ronald <>, Short Daniel <>, Dukes Timothy <>, Collins Richard G <>

Dear Delaware Legislators,

Please consider full support of HB 50, an act to affirm a right that already exists.

  • Passing HB 50 will not cost Delaware funding:
  • Passing HB 50 does not Opt Delaware out of federally mandated standardized testing
  • Passing HB 50 does not violate a “made up” civil right​
  • Passing HB 50 does not stop the measuring of schools based on tests that has no basis in peer reviewed research while the framework that mandates said measurement, NCLB, has been virtually universally ​​panned as bad policy in a very bipartisan manner
  • Passing HB 50 does not threaten the reform movement or agenda and therefore is no threat in reality to our Governor(therefore demanding an answer to the question: why is he against HB 50 or so concerned by this bill?​
  • Passing HB 50​​ does not permit schools to not administer tests or to opt out ANY children. Only parents have this right, and DE code already compels schools to administer the test. Therefore, concerns over “mischief” by school districts is blatant fear mongering​​, particularly when married to the convenient lie that somehow testing is a necessary component of identifying needs. TEACHERS identify needs, Administrators fight to allocate resources to ​​meet these needs. Let’s put our effort in supporting our professional educators and administrators. ​
    ​Proper funding is a great place to start.
  • Passing HB 50 will give parents and students protections.Protection from schools and districts who will coerce them into taking tests to satisfy mandates that they, the parents and students, were full disenfranchised from the process of determining.​​ (I think we fought a couple of wars over that concept in the past)​
  • ​. Also, its the law that they should have been included:  Title 1 funding, Section 1118…Did You Know…(FROM U.S. Department of Education:
  • (c) POLICY INVOLVEMENT- Each school served under this part shall —(1) convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children shall be invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents of their school’s participation under this part and to explain the requirements of this part, and the right of the parents to be involved;(2) offer a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening, and may provide, with funds provided under this part, transportation, child care, or home visits, as such services relate to parental involvement;(3) involve parents, in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of programs under this part, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school parental involvement policy and the joint development of the schoolwideprogram plan under section 1114(b)(2), except that if a school has in place a process for involving parents in the joint planning and design of the school’s programs, the school may use that process, if such process includes an adequate representation of parents of participating children;(4) provide parents of participating children —(A) timely information about programs under this part;(B) a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet; and(C) if requested by parents, opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any such suggestions as soon as practicably possible; and(5) if the schoolwide program plan under section 1114(b)(2) is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, submit any parent comments on the plan when the school makes the plan available to the local educational agency.
    It’s a about a parent, a child, and a choice.​

Do not get distracted by Common Core​ discussion​s
, or threats of sanctions, or the false notion that relentless measurement via testing is required to allocate resources…we’re all smarter than that I believe.

Lastly, I respect our Governor’s passion on the issue. I often meet that passion head on to disagree with Mr. Markell on education policy, but it’s not because I think he does not care. He does care, but his policies are often reflective of poor use of evidence to support the efficacy of his policies. This is why our teachers have 1) voted no confidence in Common Core implementation,2)  no confidence in his education Secretary, and 3) to support a resolution for affirming a parent’s right to opt their child out of testing. Agree or disagree with DSEA on those three things…it’s notable that they even occurred at all. Teachers loathe politics generally, so why did they do these three extraordinary things? That’s why this debate is so pitched. The fervor against HB 50 from our Governor’s office is a red flag. The status quo is to bully parents and schools to take these unproven tests. Let’s affirm their right to not be bullied on the issue. Those that want to test, get to keep testing. HB 50 changes nothing about that!

 Let’s stand up for our children and their parents.


One time.

No Distractions.

As Parents, for Parents.

As Children, for Parents.


Support HB 50.

Thank you for reading this.