DELAWARE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION P.O.

Box 1277 Dover, DE 19903 (302) 678-2265 (302) 678-2266 fax Questions for Secretary Murphy Carry-over questions from January: 1. Do we have data on the number of our students who have had to take remedial courses in college? DOE is just starting to collect the data. Bring this question back in February. 2. The need to seriously review equalization funding formulas continues to be a concern in Western Sussex County. What steps might be taken this year to assist the students in this area of our state? This is an issue for the General Assembly. It is not under DOE’s authority. 3. We know that test scores will be going down with the implementation of Smarter Balance. There is concern about the correlation of the two. a. Where are we in the correlation process? b. What do the correlations look like? c. What information will be available to explain the differences, changes, uses and advantages? d. How soon will these results have an impact and be shown as a part of NAEP? (a) DOE is contracting with a psychomatrician to do the correlations. (b) DOE has cut down the amount of mandated testing. However, testing opportunities are available. The new system gives the ability to design formative, diagnostic tests at the beginning or during the school year. This is a local decision. (c) The fall scores on DCAS did go down. Why? Sec. Murphy believes that it is because there is no incentive for teachers or students to do well and there are many incentives to do poorly. 4. Can a parent opt a child out of taking the state test? a. No, there is not opt-out availability. It is mandatory for all students. 5. At our BOD meeting on November 13th, you said that the performance tasks on the state test are sent out to people who are hired to do the scoring. a. Will there be an appeal process to review the scoring? 4 Not at the present time. b. Who is actually hired to do the scoring? 4 A FAQ sheet is being designed. We will get copies. February 21, 2014

6. What is the current thinking regarding the ending of Race to the Top funding? a. How will DOE assist school districts during this transitional period? This is the last fiscal year for RTTT but we will get a waiver for left over funds. DOE’s amount is about $10M. They would like to focus on great teachers for needy students. The local districts can apply for no-cost extensions for any remaining local funds from RTTT. In addition, Delaware is adding $8.5M annually for sustainability purposes. 7 The education professionals in our state are incredibly overwhelmed with the number of administrative tasks and mandates that they currently have. Has there been any conversations regarding how we can remove some things so that teachers can have more time for innovation, planning and teaching? a. Sec. Murphy is working with the superintendents on opting out of some programs. Under question #7 from last month regarding Race to the Top funding, we discussed the state waiver to the USDOE. It was stated that the districts can apply for no-cost extensions for any remaining local funds from RTTT. b. Do the districts apply to the DEDOE or the USDOE? i. DEDOE c. Can these local funds be used for personnel? i. Yes. 9. Last month we discussed that DOE is requesting $8.5 million for RTTT sustainability in next year’s budget. a. What happens if the $8.5 million is not approved in the budget? i. After RTTT funds are spent. b. How does DOE plan to allocate these funds?

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New Questions for February meeting: 1. Is DEDOE considering using Division II funds for DOE positions?

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