My Special Needs Son’s First Day Of Common Core Division & This Is His Homework

This was my son’s math homework tonight.  My son with special needs.  This was his first day of division.  Can someone, in the name of all that is holy, tell me exactly what the hell this is?  I know what it’s supposed to be.  But it is not.  It is a confusing, prime example of the agony that is Common Core.  Students should not be subjected to this.  My son is in tears right now, missing his 4th grade teacher and he hates 5th grade.  This isn’t what school should be about.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  It should be about learning at an appropriate grade level.

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This isn’t even 5th grade level work with this kind of math.  This is 7th grade or 8th grade.  Really?  Delaware and any state that is using this curriculum needs to be ashamed of themselves.  And you want to test my special needs student on this material?  OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!!  I will not subject him to this hell.  Parents, we need to wake up and open our eyes to this reality.  This isn’t making our children ready for college.  It’s a curriculum that our own Secretary of Education Mark Murphy already expects 70% of our students to fail on the state test next Spring.  What will that do to students confidence?  They will be made to feel like failures.  With that comes rejection and isolation in their perceived view of the world.  This is a sin beyond proportion.

Parents, I have only one more thing to say: Opt-out of this and demand your legislators immediately ban this torture being inflicted on our children.  The ONLY reason schools aren’t against this is because they feel they have no choice.  But parents do, and it is our time to rise up and take back our children’s education.

Special Education, Burden of Proof, Parent Opt-Out, Lockdowns & Funding discussed at Capital School District Board Meeting #netde #eduDE

The Capital School District Board meeting last night touched on very recent topics affecting the state of education in not only the Capital School District, but also the state of Delaware.

Following up from a topic introduced last month at their board meeting, the Capital School Board is pushing for legislators in Delaware to look at Burden Of Proof during Due Process Hearings.  Capital’s stance is the burden of proof needs to be on the school’s side more.  One board member, Matthew Lindell, stated he feels this has shifted more towards the parent’s side, but the Delaware DOE appoints due process hearing officers and they are not partial to parents.  Lindell stated he would like to see a balance in the middle.

At the same time, Capital is looking for the state to increase special education funding which was reduced during the recession that began in 2008 and funds were never increased back to the normal rate.  They had a very long list of other areas where funding was reduced and want back to the previous level.

Updates on the new Dover High School by school principal, Dr. Evelyn Edney.  The top concern by the school as well as the public were traffic patterns.  The school has made changes in terms of signage and assigned parking to help ease the local strain for neighborhoods in the surrounding area.

Board member Lindell indicated he has spoken with other school boards in the state about the way the Delaware Department of Education has treated the priority schools situation in Red Clay Consolidated and Christina school districts.  Lindell indicated the basis for these decisions is test scores, but the DOE has been known to make errors in the past.  Lindell and Superintendent Dr. Thomas spoke about Capital’s graduation rates having many errors in the past, but once the DOE officially publishes these numbers it is difficult to fix.  Lindell indicated there is a lot of discussion about the Delaware DOE and the school boards need to make a firmer stance with them.

Lindell once again stated he wants parents to be able to have the choice to opt-out of standardized testing.  He stated that if special education parents have the choice, all parents should.  The only apparatus that allows students not to take the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment is the legislation passed through Senate Bill 229 in Delaware, which allows for the most severely complex special education students to have an alternate test.

Board member Sean Christensen discussed his feelings on the recent school lockdown in Capital School District when a person was shot in downtown Dover.  He felt parents should have been notified of the lockdown within minutes of the event.  Dr. Thomas explained social media knows about situations before the districts or schools have even been notified by police, resulting in hundreds of calls from parents to board members, the district, and schools.  He reiterated that no parent can enter a school during a lockdown, and no student or staff member is able to leave.  Board President Kay Dietz-Sass felt the schools and district handled the situation very well.  Dr. Thomas said discussion with the Dover Police Department about quicker notification could help ease concerns.

Another big topic was how organizations in the City of Dover have to pay high rents for usage of Capital schools.  Christensen did a comparison with other districts in the state, and found Capital charges higher rents than other districts.  He feels the district needs to give back to the community that allows them to have the buildings in the first place since taxpayers pay for these places.

Capital School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Announces Retirement June 2015 @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de #netde #eduDE

Dr. Michael Thomas, at the Capital School District Board meeting last night, announced his retirement as superintendent of the Capital School District effective June 30, 2015.

Dr. Thomas joined the Capital School District as superintendent in 2002.  For the past 14 years, he has guided Capital into a thriving district.  His leadership has culminated with the latest, groundbreaking new Dover High School.

Members of the board and presenters thanked Dr. Thomas for his years of service.

 

Students With Disabilities At Most Delaware Charters Do Poorly @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @DeStateBoardEd #netde #eduDE

Students with disabilitities seem to do very bad on standardized testing at most Delaware charter schools. As these results show, students with disabilities at the bulk of charter schools in Delaware fit into two categories: they do poorly on standardized testing or the charters don’t have enough special education students to even count in the numbers. Both of these are extreme issues in this state. Granted, not every single charter school can cater to specific disabilities based on an advanced curriculum, such as Charter School of Wilmington. While others may focus solely on complex disabilities, such as Gateway. But somewhere in the middle are the bulk of these schools. This shows a clearer picture of how application enrollment preference can and does boost the academic numbers for some schools.

You will find each charter school in Delaware below, with the academic ratings for students with disabilities. For those that didn’t have enough students, this is based on Needs Based Funding categories for special education. There either weren’t enough students or it fell in a 15 or below status which eliminates them from the state numbers. I did earlier articles when I first started Exceptional Delaware grading each school in Delaware for special education populations. Comparing those reports with this is very interesting. I will also list the grades those schools received after the names of each school from those articles.

The actual academic framework reports for each school are very complex because certain schools didn’t make the growth targets between the Fall and Spring DCAS tests. A school like Charter School of Wilmington, which is ridiculous given the other numbers. But then you have other schools that met those growth targets, but the school was still rated does not meet. But in conjunction with the grades I gave the schools for special education, questions do emerge about how well the students are being accommodated. Some do it great, but most of them seem to be missing the boat .

Academy of Dover, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall School: Does Not Meet (rated Meets previous two years) (got D grade for special education population)

Campus Community, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall School: Meets (rated Does Not Meet previous two years) (got C grade for special education population)

*Charter School of Wilmington, Math and ELA: N/A, doesn’t have more than 15 students w/special education in each NBF category, Overall: Meets (rated Exceeds previous two years) (got F grade for special education population) *CSW is known to have more rigorous studies in science and math and is known for having a more gifted student population

Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall: Does Not Meet (3rd Year in a row) (got F grade for special education population)

Delaware College Preparatory Academy, Math and ELA: N/A, doesn’t have more than 15 students w/special education in each NBF category, Overall: Does Not Meet (Does not meet previous year, Far Below Standards year before) (got F grade for special education population)

Delaware Military Academy, Math: Does Not Meet, ELA: Exceeds, Overall: Meets (3rd Year in a row) (got F grade for special education population)

Eastside Charter School, Math: Does Not Meet, ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall: Meets (was Does Not Meet previous two years) (got A+ for special education population)

Edison, Thomas Charter School, Math: Does Not Meet, ELA: Far Below Standards, Overall: Does Not Meet (was Does Not Meet previous year, Meets year before) (got F grade for special education population)

Family Foundations, Math and ELA: Exceeds, Overall: Meets (Meets previous year, Does not meet year before) (got F grade for special education population)

*Gateway, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall: Far Below Standard (Far Below previous two years) (got A++ for special education population) *Gateway is a special needs school serving a very high population of autistic and complex special needs students.

Kuumba Academy Charter School, Math and ELA: N/A, doesn’t have more than 15 students in each NBF category, Overall: Meets (was Meets previous year, Exceeds year before) (got F for special education population grade)

Las Aspiras ASPIRA Academy, Math and ELA: N/A, doesn’t have more than 15 students in each NBF category, Overall: Meets (Meets previous year, Does not meet year before) (got F for special education population)

MOT Charter School, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall: Meets (Meets previous two years) (got F for special education population)

Moyer Charter School:

Math and ELA: Far Below Standard, Overall: (previous year Does Not Meet, was under K12 Management year prior after formal review, currently under Formal Review again) (got A++ for special education population)

Newark Charter School, Math and ELA: Exceeds Standards, Overall: Meets (Exceeds previous two years) (got F for special education population)

Odyssey Charter School,  Math: Exceeds Standards, ELA: Meets, Overall: Meets (Exceeds previous year, Meets year before) (got F for special education population)

Positive Outcomes, Math and ELA: Meets, Overall: Meets (Does Not Meet previous two years) (got A++ for special education population)

Prestige Academy, Math: Far Below Standards, ELA: Does Not Meet, Overall: Does Not Meet (3rd Year In A Row) (got A+ for special education population)

Providence Creek, Math and ELA: Does Not Meet (Insufficient Number of Students, Results Not Reported), Overall: Does Not Meet (Meets previous two years) (got F for special education population)

Reach Academy, Math and ELA: Far Below Standard (Insufficient Number of Students, Results Not Reported), Overall: Does Not Meet (Far Below Standards previous year, Does Not Meet year before) (got F for special education population)

Sussex Academy, Math and ELA: N/A, doesn’t have more than 15 students in each NBF category, Overall: Exceeds Standard (3rd year in a row) (got F for special education population)

Number of Charters with N/A Status: 4

Charters in danger due to three years in a row of does not meet or below: Reach Academy, Prestige Academy, Moyer (already on formal review), Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, Delaware College Preparatory Academy

 

Updated: Rep. John Kowalko’s statement to @RedClaySchools BOE re: @DEDeptofED and @GovernorMarkell ‘s city school takeover plan. #netDE

State Representative John Kowalko’s comment to the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board tonight. The DE DOE needs to seriously think about their future, because I highly doubt they are making any new friends lately.

To listen to the recording of the board meeting, and John Kowalko’s public comment, please go to http://www.redclayschools.com/…/7083…/September_17th.mp3

Kowalko’s comments are around the 14 minute mark.