Questions for our future Delaware leaders.

Recently, I was attending a meeting with other school board members from around the state, and someone asked the question, “Is there a public high school in Delaware that is not in some type of review, other then the well off vocationals? If so what are they doing differently?” I did not chime in at the time as it was late, but I did send a comment back to the moderator that night. My comment was this, and it is based on my experiences with 3 high schoolers, the poor results on the ill-fated DSTP seen at the 10th grade level that is affecting the schools is due to teen rebellion. What I mean by that is the students have reached a level of independance whereby they don’t feel the test has any bearing on where their future is going! They don’t see it as a necessary piece to graduate when it is given in 10th grade, and they still have 2 years of credits to take. Also it plays no part in college admission today when even the SAT’s are being phased out as an entry requirement. Finally, their feelings are they have been “tested to death” since third grade, and they only see this as a grade for the schools to keep their accountability! This generation is very smart, although maybe a little too enabled, and is that not what we tested them to be?
My second question relates to this same topic of accountability, but as it relates to teachers. I’m not sure how many other board members are hearing the rumbling, but being so close to the teachers i have heard it quite abit since the budget cuts! Now, I’m not the biggest fan of the DSEA, but some things just don’t help anyone. Since the cuts we have larger class sizes which will only make testing results worst, but then the gurus of education continue to hand down un-funded mandates! Programs to help learning challenged students keep up with the changing bar of NCLB are simply teaching to the test, and does that make the US stronger against the world? Some teachers with tenure are pushing back against everything and anything, and may need to retire, but at the same time we can’t continue to pile more on the new teachers and expect to get more coming out of college! The folks to be elect in 2009, and those already there need to expect that education will be watching to a new direction at ALL levels.

About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
This entry was posted in Delaware, Delaware Politics, Education. Bookmark the permalink.

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