Back in December, 2014, District Deeds created a series of articles called State of the District 2014 – Common Core – The Huge Marten Cover Up that highlighted the cover up that Marten was attempting to pull on SDUSD Stakeholders. Although Marten and Board members Beiser, Barrera, Foster, Evans, and McQuary frantically grab for all the money they can get from the City, State and Federal Government through Title 1 and Bond initiatives, they just as frantically RUN from any uniform accountability reporting THAT THEY CANNOT MANIPULATE.
On Monday, Elementary Superintendent Marten sent a Common Core Letter to Parents minimizing the importance of Common Core Testing, Tracking and Measurement (according to a San Diego Union Tribune article titled “ San Diego Unified Criticizes Standardized Testing “)
Marten, per the Union Tribune article, “downplays the significance of the first formal assessment of California’s Common Core academic standards — with information on opting out.”
Later in the article Marten is quoted as saying: “This is about having an honest conversation about the role of testing and assessments,” Marten said in an interview about the motivation for her letter. “This is not about the Common Core standards, which we support.”
“Honest Conversation?!? Really?!?
Maybe “Accountability Avoidance” or “Intentional Cover Up” but hardly an “honest conversation” of any kind.
Just weeks before, Marten and the Board of Education signed a Resolution “requesting that the Federal Government “remove the annual testing requirement from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)”: Board Adopted Resolution ESEA Testing 2-10-15
To make it clear:
Marten and the Board of Education are taking $22.5 million dollars (just to start) to implement the Federal Common Core program (putting $16 million into Teacher Professional Development) and then recommending that NO STANDARDIZED ACCOUNTABILITY TESTING OR REPORTING BE DONE ON THEIR EFFORTS TO SEE IF THEY HAVE ACHIEVED ANY POSITIVE RESULTS!
Is that “honest”?
Is it “honest” to take State and Federal taxpayer money, then do everything you can to avoid being formally measured on your performance so your SDUSD Stakeholders – Parents – Students – Teachers – Principals – Community Members – Staff cannot determine IF you are actually providing the education mandated by their tax dollars that you have promised?
Of course not…taking money and refusing to prove delivery is fraud.
Do you think that Marten and the Board would promote opting out if money from the Fed or State was reduced for every opt out?
Of course not…they would be selling HOW GOOD the tests are…plus where would the senior staff raises come from?
So instead, as usual, they use students as a “prop” and a “shield” for their avoidance of responsibility.
The article mentions: “In her letter, Marten stressed the idea of assessing student performance with multiple measures beyond standardized tests.”
During a Cluster meeting, District Deeds directly asked a current Board of Education Member and Area Superintendent:
“Without standardized testing results, what uniform measurements can a Parent or other SDUSD Stakeholder use to assess the performance of the District overall, the Schools within the District where they may want to send their children and their own childrens’ progress?”
We received the following answer directly, in person, from the Board Member and Area Superintendent:
“WE DON’T KNOW”
Given that answer, and by their actions to subvert Common Core testing, reporting and analysis, the REAL answer by Marten and the Board is:
“We DON’T WANT THE SDUSD STAKEHOLDERS TO KNOW so we cannot be held accountable for the MILLIONS of dollars we are spending.”
District Deeds is NOT saying that the current Common Core Standardized testing is perfect. We are not saying that the measurements are 100% accurate and that they should be used as the sole measure of District, School, Teacher or Student performance. We are also NOT saying that Parents and Guardians do not have the right to have their children “opt out”…it is their child and their tax dollars.
What District Deeds IS saying is that it is wrong for Marten and Board Members Beiser, Barrerra, Evans, Foster and McQuary to diminish the critical first year of testing and measuring on one hand while grabbing for all the money they can with the other.
What District Deeds believes is that (WITH A $22 MILLION investment) attempting to minimize the importance of testing, measuring and tracking the greatest number of students for the Common Core in the first year is a MAJOR MISTAKE because without baseline data, no matter how flawed, you have nowhere to start from to make Common Core testing and measurement better…and cost worthy.
With this Superintendent and Board of Education leadership, WE NEED ALL THE INDEPENDENT MEASUREMENTS WE CAN GET…MEASUREMENTS THAT CANNOT BE MANIPULATED BY SDUSD LEADERSHIP TO COVER UP SDUSD LEADERSHIP INCOMPETENCY!
The sad thing is that “Don’t Know” is the best that Marten and the Board of Education can do…and that they are willing to offer to SDUSD Stakeholders.
Given the current state of education under Marten and Board of Education, “Don’t Know” is NOT a viable option for our District OR for our Students.
We can no longer afford “Don’t Know”.
We can no longer afford…or allow…Marten and the Board of Education to hide the real performance of the San Diego Unified School District…Good OR Bad…ESPECIALLY INDEPENDENT PERFORMANCE MEASURES.
That is our right as Stakeholders – Parents, Students, Teachers, Principals, Community Members, and Staff – WE have the right to “KNOW”.