Delaware’s opt-out challenge

     (<a href=Photo via ShutterStock) " title="l_shutterstock_181407926" width="640" height="360"/>

    (Photo via ShutterStock)

    Will the recently passed opt-out bill end up vetoed by Markell?

    Here is John Watson’s commentary:

    As we come to the end of the 2015 fiscal year, we find the Delaware General Assembly, more or less, just like last year – still trying to decide what to do about important issues of the day.

    There is a recent success story to tell as a result of the Delaware Legislature’s work.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    One of the biggest problems they had to deal with was parents wanting to have their children opt-out of the state’s standardized test.

    For a long time it was a story of give and take between the senate and house. It looked like there would be no winner. The op-out would have to come up next year. But, in this case, it finally passed.

    Before making their decisions, the state legislature had to deal with parents and teachers favoring the op-out idea saying it’s necessary because otherwise, students would be robbed of valuable class time, placing them under lots of stress, and not giving parents and teachers any useful “Information”.

    But Governor Jack Markell and his Department of Education team said op-outs could cripple Delaware’s ability to measure a student’s academic abilities; and this kind of assessment is exactly what is found in high-level, high-performance countries world-wide.

    Needless to say, the parents and teachers are good fighters in such cases, saying Delaware is “test obsessed” and is unfair in using test scores to label and punish teachers and schools – the bill was agreed upon.

    Meanwhile, it’s reported that Markell faces a big problem. Apparently, he doesn’t like the bill that passed. But the state legislature’s votes have a margin that’s veto proof in both houses.

    There is no guarantee that everyone will vote to override the veto, if that’s what he does.

    How would you vote?



     John Watson is a long time observer of Wilmington and Delaware from his perch as a radio talkshow host. You can write him:

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal