Breaking News: Delaware Governor Markell needs a reality check! #netde #eduDE @GovernorMarkell @Diane Ravitch @edtraveler @BadassTeachersA

Yesterday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell did a puff piece about Common Core on NPR. Why are people still buying into this? Markell stated “what is not at all being driven from any kind of top-down basis is what are the curricular materials”. Really Jack? Do you honestly expect us naïve citizens to believe that? Cause I went to a Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens a few months ago where Brian Touchette, the testing guru at the Delaware DOE, stated the curriculum wasn’t changing, but they are introducing “guides” to help teachers better align their curriculum with the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests. Who are we kidding here? You aren’t leaving it up to the districts, because they had no say in the whole reform process to begin with.

When student DCAS scores were released last month, the DOE said they know scores will drop even lower with the new tests. Will suggested “guides” become a mandatory thing? To bring up the test scores? Have you taken the test yet Governor? If so, I would like to know what your score was.

This whole education reform has absolutely been driven from the very top, the US DOE. They dangled money to all the states as they were getting out of a recession, and Delaware gladly took the money without any voice from the people who put you into office. When there was a chance Smarter Balanced could go away after the state Senate voted against it on June 27th, you sent your team in to tell them the vote didn’t matter, because the test would come whether they turned it down or not. Then the House did a revote after that little arm twisting, and House Bill 334 became law. That’s some shoddy politics Jack. You care more about what Rodel thinks than your own citizens. We all know you are in bed with them and Arne Duncan. What are your plans after your last term as Governor ends?

Delaware, don’t let our Governor tell you how education should be. Let the school districts decide, not a government that has so many financial vested interests. When your children are suffering in the 2014-2015 school year because teachers are pressured to “teach to the test” and worrying about their job security with the BS Teacher Evaluation system they just passed in Delaware, remember this. Parents need to opt-out of these jacked-up tests. As Kavips said, who cares if it’s legal. It’s the right thing to do!

News Journal reports on NGSS, fails to inform readers of how they were crafted and adopted: in near total darkness with almost zero Delaware parent or educator input and unread by SBE prior to approval.. #justlikeCCSS

And here comes the science “common core” standards. This means in the next 8 years, my son will be taking English, Math and Science. For 7 hours a day. Three subjects. Say goodbye to history, music, art, health, and all the other subjects that are just as important in education. Stop the madness!

Being A Dad to a Special Needs Child: Who Is Jon’s Loving Father? #netde #eduDE @kilroys_delaware @ed_in_de

When my son was born, I knew he was special. He had a long journey ahead of him, full of wonder and hope. We lived in California when he was born, but after a few months, we moved back east to be closer to family and friends. He was a very loving, playful child. As he got older, and started talking, he would always tell us he loved us.

As the years went by, I quickly realized my son would struggle a good deal of his formative years. I thought this was a cruel twist of fate for the longest time, and I blamed God. It took me a long time to realize God put my son in this place. My wife and I were put in his life for a reason as well, to advocate for him to the best of our ability. This wasn’t something I ever thought I had inside me. A child with Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and a bit of ODD at times is a challenge. I won’t deny that. But I’m learning to see through the disorder and see him in my mind as the vulnerable child who needs his Mom and Dad more than anything else in this world.

Once I realized I had to advocate for my son, I thought that was it. But I soon realized God wanted more from me. He wanted me to advocate for more than my son. Sometimes the ideas that pop into my head for stories are things I have never even thought of. It’s like one door opens to an idea, only to find myself travelling through a whole house of words. My wife complains my stories are too long sometimes. And I agree with her. I’ve tried to keep them a bit shorter. But when I am doing a long story, like my investigative series on the DOE in Delaware, I find so much stuff out.

My name is Kevin Ohlandt, and I am proud to be a special needs father, a husband, and an advocate for any special needs child in need. And what we need is change. Change in our education system, as well as special education. Say no to high-risk testing special needs parents. Opt-out if you have the courage, not for yourself, but for your child. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it will be hard to put it back in. That genie is Pearson or Smarter Balanced Testing. Don’t let our government change IDEA and IEPs so much that they do not benefit the individual child. These are my goals, and we all need to get together and say this out loud. Join my Facebook group, EDPAST, so we can become so large they can’t ignore us. Thank you for all you have done for my son already. I couldn’t have done this without the trailblazers who are already out there.

Delaware DOE: The Eye of the Hurricane in Special Education Part 2 #netde #eduDE @usedgov @delaware_gov

I’ve done some more research on the treatment centers lately, but it’s hard to find concrete information on them. By all appearances, it looks like they are there to help these children. The key word there is appearance. More to come on this…

The Exceptional Infinite

In any hurricane, the outer bands which are furthest from the eye, can cause the most damage. If the DOE is the eye, resting comfortably in Dover, then what lies to the west and north, causing irreversible damage? That would be the children placed in out-of-state private placements because Delaware does not have the capacity.

The Interagency Collaboration Team. What is it, and what do they do? It is a group of nine individuals, from various child services in Delaware. The members are a representative from the following groups: Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services, Division of Family Services, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Office of Management and Budget, Controller General, Exceptional Children Resources Group (DOE), and the Teaching and Learning Branch (DOE). The coordinator is Linda Smith. Care to hazard a guess which of the above…

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Pencader Days, The News Journal Interview With Mrs. Lewis

Charter school parents: Could this happen at your charter school? Do you think something like this could be happening? If so, contact me!

The Exceptional Infinite

http://archive.delawareonline.com/videonetwork/1704081299001/School-leader-questioned-about-PhD

I had heard some things about what happened with Pencader Charter School, the school that was shut down by the Delaware DOE last year, but I had no idea how bad it was until I started watching some videos. Wow! And the fact that so many supported her when this was discovered. I’ve heard of school loyalty, but this is another thing!

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Sensory Processing or Sensory Integration Disorder: What It Is Like For A Child

Since my audience has increased a bit the past few weeks, I’m going to reblog some of my earlier posts today. This video excellently shows what it can be like for a child to have sensory overload.

The Exceptional Infinite

This video shows a boy walking through Walmart and the sounds and stimulation overwhelm him. Sensory Processing Disorder affects many children, including many kids with autism. Different senses can overload in the brain, whether it is sound, sight, touch, taste or smell. The stimuli comes in and it doesn’t filter through correctly, causing a traffic jam in the brain. This is a major reason why children who are afflicted with this go into a “fight or flight” mode. To make this video work, you have to turn up the volume all the way to the top, and not turn it down. I used headphones and I thought I was going to jump out of my own skin.

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More CCSS: a trojan horse?

I feel like a broken horse about this Trojan horse, but it just won’t go away.