Governor Markell Appoints Brian “Smarter Balanced” Touchette as his designee on IEP Task Force #netde #eduDE #specialeducation @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @DianeRavitch @hanna

In looking at http://ltgov.delaware.gov/taskforces/ieptf/ I noticed a very minor change.  It appears Brian Touchette, the high-stakes testing guru over at the Delaware DOE, has been appointed as Governor Markell’s designee on the task force.  Here’s where Smarter Balanced Assessment and Common Core get pushed on the task force.  Brilliant move DOE!  Get the task force going, have all the members talk about the reasons IEPs are suffering in Delaware, and then insert the testing guy.  The one who serves on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as the K-12 State Lead.   My suspicions had gone away, but now I am very suspicious, more than ever before.  This father did not pour his heart out in public only for this to happen.  I was wondering why Secretary of Education Murphy’s designee didn’t have a lot to say.  Now I know why.

I’ve been saying for months that special needs parents need to unite.  Now it is imperative!  We have been marginalized and pushed to the side too many times.  This isn’t right, and we all know it.  I know some of you will be covered with Senate Bill 229, which prevents the most severely cognitive disabled children from taking the damn test.  But how does that help the rest of us?  When the schools can barely accommodate our kids in many situations?  You want them to be proficient on a stupid test they take once a year?  The test that only one member of our legislature took, and basically said it sucked?  What kind of messed up cruel game are you playing here Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE?  Some of us know the game, and we know why you are doing it.  We know the end plan, and it doesn’t bode well for special needs children, minorities, and public school teachers.

So when people comment on me being too hard on people at the DOE, this is why!  Things need to change, and if the people making all the changes won’t do anything, then maybe we need to.

The next meeting has been changed to Tuesday, September 23rd.  We need parents there.  We need A LOT of parents.  We need them to open up the other room in the Collette Building (Michelle, you may need to get more chairs).  We need to speak, and we need to stop this.

Senator Townsend Deserves Another Term! Do The Right Thing Voters of the 11th! #netde #eduDE @delawareonline

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Senator Bryan Townsend is running again for Senator of the 11th District in Delaware.  Primary day is tomorrow, and Senator Townsend deserves your vote.  What I am most impressed about him is that he took the Smarter Balanced Assessment and hated it!  As well, he voted no twice on House Bill 334, which was voted down, and then voted on again when Jack sent the team in to say too bad, so sad, it’s gonna happen anyways.  Townsend stuck to his guns, and voted no again!

When chartermania occurred in Delaware last April, Townsend, along with Kim Williams and others, stood up for public schools and wrote the DOE about what kind of impact this could have on public school districts.  Not that the DOE cared, but we need more Townsend’s willing to challenge the DOE and their love affair with all things charter and testing.  Townsend cares about students, and is willing to fight for what he believes in.  Because of redistricting, Townsend has to run again for his Senate seat, after only two years in office.  Give Senator Townsend four more years District 11!

Being a citizen of Dover, why should I care what goes on in the 11th District?  Because every vote in Legislative Hall counts, and I will support anyone who wants to be the voice of reason in an administration that is turning education into the laughing stock of the world.

From Kavips: Bryan Townsend is Delaware parent’s best defender in the Senate. He is the only Senator to have enough concern over this test to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, was appalled (as were we). and who became one of only two Democrats to go against the threats of their Governor and his whips in the Senate and vote no on HB 334, both times…..  Against this giant, Dave Tackett is just another politician.  Bryan is the centerpiece of reason in Delaware right now.

From Alan Fox on Delawareway.BlogSpot.com: I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for Bryan Townsend, a former student of mine at the University of Delaware, and a terrific young man who is seeking re-election to the 11th District State Senate seat. Though he has been an incredibly effec­tive and active legislator, who has quickly earned the respect and credibility of his peers, he faces a chal­lenger in the upcoming Democratic primary, and I urge all eligible voters to support this conscientious and hard-working senator at the polls in September.

It Needs To Be Taylor Time In Dover! Vote for Ralph Taylor in the 31st District for House Rep! #netde #eduDE @KilroysDelaware @delawareonline

Ralph Taylor needs your vote tomorrow citizens of the 31st District in Dover!  He’s up against city councilman Sean Lynn.  I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Taylor at the 4th of July Parade & Fireworks.  He had his own booth set up, and he was busy the whole night meeting and talking with the citizens of Dover.  When I got a chance to talk to him, I asked him what his views were on Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He opposes both, which always makes someone a fan in my book.  But I asked him why, and he informed me it doesn’t make sense, the test makes no sense, it’s not good for students, and it’s not good for teachers and their evaluations.

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Sean Lynn, his opponent for the Democrat nomination, is a strong supporter of Common Core and standardized testing.  He was endorsed by Darryl Scott, the departing House Rep.  Scott can be blamed for much of the current situations with education in Delaware, including Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He allowed legislation to go through that allows charter schools to get “performance” funds while our public schools have to wait five years for capital improvements.  And now he is endorsing Councilman Lynn, to be his little clone.  We don’t need another Darryl Scott, we need something new in Dover!

In a debate with Lynn last month at Wesley College, Taylor said “Education is the new currency, and students shouldn’t be held back from their potential because their teachers have to adhere to the Common Core.”  His opponent Lynn, stated he is all for it, so kids “don’t have to take remedial course in college”, and had some shocking new information with his statement that “We owe it to our children to make sure they have what they need to be successful, 84 percent of teachers support it and so do I.”  I haven’t seen that poll Mr. Lynn.  Care to share where you received those facts?

If you look at Taylor and Lynn’s Facebook pages, you will see Taylor showing many endorsements from citizens.  On Lynn’s page, you see Scott’s endorsement, and Lynn bashing Taylor.  I know elections can be cutthroat, but I tend to prefer the person who talks about what he wants to do and has great conversations with people.  Taylor is a retired policeman, so I could care less what his stance on gun control is.  He’s earned the right, through years of service to the people, to have his opinions on the issue.  Nor do I care that he is conflicted on the death penalty.  This is a man who has seen horrific crimes in his 20 years as a Dover policeman.

So tomorrow, if you are on the fence, vote for someone who can and will make change happen.  Vote for someone who actually cares about what our children are and will go through.  Vote for someone who knows the high stakes this puts on teachers who deserve better.  Vote for Ralph Taylor!

Kim Williams gets Exceptional Endorsement! Vote for Kim! #netde #eduDE @KilroysDelaware @delawareonline

There are those who run for office that truly want to change things. And there is going to be a great deal of change needed by the time the 148th General Assembly gets rolling. The Red Clay Consolidated School District needs a powerful voice as their representative, someone who will work to get the job done in a fair and consistent way. Kim is the voice for education in the House of Representatives!

Kim’s sponsorship of bills and her voting record is why she needs to be elected again to the 19th District’s House of Representatives. Kim is a champion for education, and she has opposed bills that probably didn’t make her popular in Legislative Hall, but made her a hero in many people’s eyes. House Rep Paul Baumbach wrote that he reaches out to colleagues on special education matters, and Kim Williams is one of them.

On her flyers that went out to prospective voters, she wrote:

“It is a priviledge to be your State Representative and I love serving the people of the 19th District. Over the last two years we have worked together to improve educational opportunities, make government more transparent, create jobs and strengthen our economy. We’ve accomplished a lot but there is still more to do. I ask for your support and vote in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 9 2014”

Kim is very approachable, because she is one of those politicians that’s in it to serve her constituents. It’s not about the power and the politics, it’s about doing what’s best for the people that elect her. And that’s why she get’s Exceptional Delaware’s Exceptional Endorsement!

 

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(above picture from dehousedems.com, Kim with Senator Townsend, another candidate in Tuesday’s primaries who needs your vote for DE Senate!)

The following are the reasons why Kim needs to stay:

She voted no on House Bill 334, which allowed Smarter Balanced Assessment to replace DCAS.

She was one of the sponsors on Senate Concurring Resolution 63, which created the IEP Task Force. She was also one of the instrumental forces in my quest to have parents added to the task force membership. It was her idea for parents to “email bomb” their House Reps and Senators, which they did, and allowed for a re-vote adding the parents!

She sponsored and voted yes for Senate Bill 209, which allows local school districts to review a charter school application to see if it has an impact on the surrounding district.

Voted yes for HB 13, which prevents lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for one year after they leave office.

Voted no for HB 165, which allowed, among other things, for charter schools to get a performance fund. Funds are going to be sent to a brand new charter school, but public schools are falling apart in Wilmington. See my point!

Voted no for SB 220, which appropriated money for the ailing casinos in Delaware. It passed and they received $9.9 million dollars, while once again, schools…falling…apart…

Voted yes for SB 6, to increase the minimum wage.

The following are endorsements for Kim:

From a News Journal article, where former 19th District Rep Bob Gilligan endorsed Kim: “As the former state representative for the residents of the 19th District, I could not be more pleased with the work that Kim Williams has done during the past two years. Kim has been a very good state representative for the 19th District, and she should continue to serve the residents. She is a hard worker who has put in the effort in all aspects of being a legislator.

Kim has done an outstanding job with constituent services, responding to all requests and following up with everyone. Kim is very conscientious, gives individual attention to each person who calls and also regularly attends community meetings. That is the hallmark of an effective legislator.

On the legislative side, Kim had one of the most productive freshman terms that I can remember. She supported efforts to help grow our economy and create jobs for Delawareans, such as voting for a minimum-wage increase and reforming our workers’ compensation laws. As a former Red Clay School Board member, she has been focused on education. In her first two years, she passed major updates to our school choice laws. She also championed a FOIA law to increase government transparency and improve Delawareans’ access to public records.

The residents of the 19th District deserve a state representative who is selfless, works hard and has their best interests at heart. Kim Williams is that person. She has proven herself during the past two years, and she should continue to serve. I hope you will join with me in voting for Kim Williams in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary.

Bob Gilligan, Former Speaker of the House and 19th District State Representative”

From Kilroy’s Delaware: “The parents and community of Red Clay School District with “participation” of Delaware State Representative Kim Williams questioned, challenged and beat back pending changes that “did” impose on the civil rights of special need students and the protection promised by IDEA. We are thankful for Kim’s beyond the call of duty.”

From Kavips: “When Kim Williams heard a hearing was going to be held without the parent’s side of Common Core being told, she risked all and stormed into it, and the chair had her thrown out lest her side of the story get told… Kim is true champion for children, parents, and teachers. With Kim, the ugly side of Common Core gets exposure. Kim stood up and voted no on HB 334, the Smarter Balanced Assessment bill. This is another no-brainer choice. Kim all the way.”

I agree Kavips! Kim all the way! So get out and make the right choice denizens of the 19th on Tuesday and vote for Kim Williams again!