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  • 1-2-3-PUNT

    Filed at 9:19 am under by dcobranchi

    Delaware’s high stakes testing appears as if it will be put on hold for (at least) two years. The program was scheduled to take effect this spring but parents and teachers have screamed loud enough for legislators to finally hear. The bills to postpone it have strong support from the House and Senate Education committees; it’s probably a done deal.

    4 Responses to “1-2-3-PUNT”

    Comment by
    March 23rd, 2004
    at 5:18 pm

    Wow Am I glad to see this!!! way to go Pam Maier & the DE parents that got the legislators to see the consequences of this tiered diploma system.

    The kids were taking a test in 10th grade that decided what their diploma would say when they graduated no matter what their grades or other testing ex: SAT, PSAT etc..said for their Jr & Sr years… (of note age 16 around 10th grade is also the age of dropping out in DE.) Sure they have the chance to continue to retake the test for the next two years but…

    It’s one test & it measures all students the same college prep, business, tech, general studies. It also applies to any student moving into the DE public system…. so if you transfer your Sr year w/ a 4.0 & good test results from another state you would still be required to take the DE test to graduate. The DE test is based on the new statewide curriculum guidelines that have only been in actively taught for several years.

    You could move to DE from another state late in your SR year & end up getting an I just showed up for school diploma if you didn’t pass it.

    Also this test was never orginally designed to measure individual student progress.. it was to give the DOE some measure of how well school districts were doing against each other in teaching the new statewide standards. The path for this test & statewide curriculum is way older than NCLB as well it goes back over 10 years to when Tom Carper (now a Senator)was Gov in DE.

    It really is a good thing for Delaware kids. This test has also been filled with many controversial issues to as to partial credit for wrong answers. The writing essay exam is subjectively measured by whoever the chosen grader is for that stack of papers.

    I’m not saying scrap the test entirely but Gee Imagine in the workplace you take a test today that will decide your performance reviews two years from now… What if you did poorly that day? Would you still be thrilled to be working for that company knowing that whatever physical work you did for the next two years wouldn’t figure into the equation at all?

    Comment by
    March 23rd, 2004
    at 7:08 pm

    I would be pretty pissed off if I was a senior set to graduate with a distinguished degree, only to have it pulled out from under me at the last minute…

    If the test is flawed, then let’s fix the test… I don’t think that there are many people arguing that any test is better than nothing… As a sports official, I’ve taken my share of tests that had questions that were very poorly written… Bad tests suck…

    So fix the test… Make it the best judge of academic knowledge that it can be…

    Comment by
    March 23rd, 2004
    at 10:44 pm

    Those very, very few kids w/ the distingished diplomas have already gotten scholarhip $ based on the tests & also have that award noted in their high school transcripts along w/ their test scores.

    The $ & the awards aren’t going away in fact they are awarded for all grades that have the big consquences to the testing summer school or diplomas.(grades 3,5,8 & 10) There will still be big Kudos & acknowledgements going to those that did extraordinarily well on the DSTP’s.

    Heck even colleges admit that they use SAT scores(a one day test) as small percentage of the total factor of accepting kids. They look at a whole package, grades, sports, references etc..

    Your diploma shouldn’t be based a quick snapshot test taken 1/2 way through highschool.

    It’s not just a simple as fixing the test either.

    The way the math is graded you can be penalized for having the correct answer & not showing your work… If you’re the kind of person that can just do math in your head you’d better slow down & make sure you right down all the little steps or you won’t get full credit for your answer.

    Here’s a link to everything to all the reports & results, sample questions & scoring criteria etc… for the Delaware DSTP


    I still say the person you were in highschool isn’t always the person you are in college & isn’t the person you are in the workplace. Life is full of do-overs. We’re still talking about young unfinished human beings here.

    AND the big issue isn’t about taking a distinquished diploma away from a few brillant kids it’s about now just giving a “certificate of attendance” to alot more average kids instead of a basic diploma.

    Those kids that already have alot stacked against them. If you’re a C student in general studies & managed stick out 4/5 years of today’s highschool & earn enough credits you deserve a diploma…. not a “certificate of attendance”.

    Heck the GED test is easier than the DSTP’s.

    Not that I even set a big store by a highschool diploma either. In fact, homeschoolers aren’t even granted a state diploma in DE & that suites me just fine.

    Trackback from
    Number 2 Pencil
    March 23rd, 2004
    at 6:26 pm

    Dissing the test in Delaware

    A little bird named Daryl C. mentioned to me that Delaware’s plan to develop a “tiered” high school diploma system – based on standardized tests – may be shelved: Two state representatives from New Castle County said they will introduce…