PARENTS EXPRESS CONCERNS WITH DELAWARE EDUCATION INITIATIVES AND LEADERSHIP
Delaware parents call for representation and transparency regarding educational changes impacting their children–
Press conference scheduled for April 1 at 5:00pm, outside Legislative Hall in Dover, DE Dover, DE, March 25, 2015 –
Delaware parents are increasingly frustrated with the management of the educational system in the state, especially given the conflicting messages being issued by legislators and education officials. There is an apparent disconnect between what parents want and what those making decisions are offering, and the children are caught in the crosshairs. Most parents are not interested in having their children used as guinea pigs, political pawns, or leverage in the fight over accountability.
“Our children are more than test scores. I got involved because of the concerns I had with the education of my son, a young student with special needs,” said Kevin Ohlandt, local blogger and parent involved in this call to action. “There needs to be more learning, play,and socialization in school, especially in the early grades. These standards and all the test prep are making students less motivated to learn and it is taking the joy of learning away from them.”
Parents statewide are forming coalitions with other parents, community members, business leaders, legislators, educators, and even local school district officials, including school board members. As the ties between the stakeholders increase, they become more and more aware of the many different hats most people involved in education wear.
“Sure, I’m a teacher, but I’m a parent first and foremost,” said Red Clay resident Jackie Kook. “With two children in elementary school now and two more who will be in the next few years, I’ve got a lot to think about when it comes to Delaware’s educational future. My kids will be directly impacted by the decisions made today, so I need to take action now.”
The parents are concerned with the effect Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment have on schools, the revolving door of education groups taking money from the schools, confusing messages from the Delaware Department of Education about parental rights regarding testing, education initiatives championed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell with very little stakeholder input, and the lack of responsiveness and transparency from some elected officials around educational initiatives. The most immediate event parents are very upset with is the parent opt-out process in Delaware. There has been mass confusion among the Delaware Department of Education, school districts, charter schools and different education groups in Delaware. House Bill 50, introduced by Delaware State Rep.
John Kowalko and Delaware Senator Dave Lawson, would allow for parent opt out in Delaware. However, somepoliticians have publicly stated it will never pass and parents fear it won’t even be held for a vote, much less a discussion, in the 148 the General Assembly. This is a bi-partisan bill, with concerns held by bi-partisan citizens that their voice will be stifled by the policy-makers of our state.
The press conference will be held outside Legislative Hall in Dover on April 1, 2015 at 5:00pm. # # #
If you would like more information about this, please contact Kevin Ohlandt at firstname.lastname@example.org