THIS IS WAR!!! Rodel’s Plan To Take Over Education In Delaware & Dump Special Education, The DOE & Markell Letting This Happen

2Revolutions, Delaware DOE, Governor Markell, Rodel

I received the below information today, and it is very disturbing.  From what I have heard at various DOE Board Of Education meetings the past few months and what I read about with the Rodel Vision ED25 “Performance Learning” after their conference the other day, I am convinced more than ever that Rodel is just assuming they can do whatever they want because Governor Jack Markell is going to let them.  This is the final straw, and I will be taking a very strong stand against this invasion.  EVERY SINGLE DELAWARE PARENT NEEDS TO AS WELL! 

The below are draft strategies Rodel and their ED25 Committee have formulated in regards to their personalized learning idea that 2Revolutions would be implementing if this goes ahead:

Increase student and parent ownership over learning experiences by creating individual student learning plans that track mastery-based progress from birth to career and clearly articulate skills and knowledge required to progress and graduate. Build on best practices in special education that engage families and students in plan development and make plans accessible online

Build capacity of an organization to support innovation statewide by investing in the development of new school designs or instructional approaches, evaluating what works, and identify mechanisms for scaling ideas with a track record of success. This organization would also be responsible for supporting the change management process for schools and districts and engaging with parents and the public on personalized learning

Support the redesign of schools that provide a broad array of wraparound services to students  (e.g., psychological, counseling, and behavior supports), engage partners to support the whole child and their families, and provide extended hours to expand student and family access to technology

Strengthen use of comprehensive screenings and provide interventions to address student needs and issues at a young age

Create multiple, rigorous learning paths anchored in key industries and the “North Star” and linked to a range of academic and career options that integrate educational and workforce experiences. Provide all students and families with ownership over selecting the pathway that best meets their needs and aspirations

Increase in-person and technology-enhanced counseling supports to engage students at an early age and help students and families navigate the system, targeting those at risk of falling off track or dropping out

Raise the bar on new teacher certification by strengthening pre-service requirements for content and special education expertise. Increase the number of teachers receiving special education certification.

Publicly share performance of teacher preparation programs, both traditional and alternative, and tie state funding of programs to performance. Incentivize programs to train teachers in high-need subject areas (e.g., math, special education) to enable the supply of graduates to better match school demand

Support teachers in developing cultural competencies by ensuring all pre-service teachers are exposed to different school settings during student teaching and providing high-quality professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers on family engagement and working with different communities

Support a robust and transparent evaluation system that enables continuous improvement and incorporates feedback from multiple parties, which could include peers, subordinates, students, and families in educator evaluations

Develop school, district, and state-level scorecards that track growth and performance, utilize multiple mechanisms for measuring performance, and are simple and easy to understand by the public

Incentivize the development of student and parent engagement models that include activities such as student led conferences, academic parent-teacher teams, and parent institutes for advocacy and information development. Moreover, encourage the use of communication strategies between schools and families that is two-way and utilizes a variety of in-person and technology based approaches

Require or incentivize employers to allow employees to take time for school engagement activities

Update student counting procedure to count students more than one time per year in order to better account for student transitions, to support student needs identified throughout the school year, and to incentivize attendance

Publicly share district and school budgets as well as key district/school financial performance metrics that are accessible and understandable to the public

This is it!  This is Rodel’s takeover of Delaware schools.  This is the overhaul the Delaware DOE and Governor Markell have been planning for years and Rodel is the waiter bringing it to the parent table.  But where is the legislative input on these ideas?  If every student has their own personalized learning plan, what does that do to the federally mandated IDEA Individualized Education Plan?  By essentially giving every student their own IEP they have just negated special education in one fell swoop.  Yes, these are drafts, but the reality won’t be much different.  I called this one last summer:

If you like your kid playing sports, or doing the school play, or playing an instrument in band, or joining a club after school, then you need to be against this.  Here’s why, and make sure you take the time to go the links and read about your child’s future.  The other day I posted this article:

This is just more evidence that Rodel & Markell want to do away with school buildings and make everything online and from home in the future.  And I am sure they will profit greatly from this endeavor.  Or allow their corporate buddies to.

All these groups in Delaware: The GACEC, PIC, Delaware PTA, DSEA and anyone who endorses this should be IMMEDIATELY DISBANDED!!!  You are here for the people, not whatever Markell and Rodel want.  You have been serving them for years, and it stops NOW!!!!  We don’t pay tax dollars and union dues so you can just drink the Kool-Aid and shove it down unsuspecting parents throats.

Every single legislator needs to convene and seriously consider impeachment proceedings against Governor Jack Markell and get rid of Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and cut state funding to all of these “non-profit” groups and education think tanks.  If not I will make it my mission in life to get as much support as I can and make sure this does not happen.

Here’s the deal folks, if you thought I was motivated before, that was NOTHING!  I will take this all the way to Washington D.C. if I have to.  We have spent millions and millions of dollars in this state on NOTHING but ideas that financially benefit groups like Rodel and all their idiotic Vision groups.  They have allowed you to think education is messed up to justify their money-making schemes.  Rodel and the Delaware Community Foundation are run by millionaires.  Look at all their boards and their staff.  They are all aligned together.  Markell is aligned with all of them AND the US DOE and Arne Duncan.

Their Common Core invasion of America has allowed them to put teachers in the crossfire over standardized testing scores and it monopolizes educators’ time with professional development and lesson plans based on a curriculum they ALL HATE!!!  Students hate it too.  Whenever you hear someone really enthusiastic about this crap it’s because they belong to one of these Markell groups whose sole purpose is to sell you on these agendas.  NO MORE!  SAY NO!

Go to these town hall meetings the DOE is planning and RAISE HELL!!!!!

***UPDATED 10/31/14*** DOE & Arne Duncan Accused of Breaking The Law With IDEA & Special Education by GOP Senate #netde #eduDE @BadassTeachersA @DianeRavitch


Yesterday I spoke with a staffer named Bill Knutson with the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to get an update on this. Apparently, Arne Duncan and the US DOE have not given an official response, nearly three months later. Knutson explained this is all too common, especially with the US DOE. He reached out to them a couple days ago when I left a message for him about this, and they conveyed they should have a response some time in November. Stay tuned for more details on this! Meanwhile, the very things Duncan and the US DOE were accused of are being implemented in many states around our country…

The Season Of Myths

In a letter addressed to United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, GOP Senators from the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Lamar Alexander, Mike Enzi, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Kirk have accused the US DOE of breaking the law when it comes to special education determinations being based on NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) testing and making changes to IDEA without legislative approval.  The letter was dated August 4th, 2014.

“The changes spelled out in your “Results-Driven Accountability” framework clearly amount to Federal influence on the standards and assessments states and school districts use to direct the educational program of students with disabilities and would give the Federal Government authority to use student proficiency as measured by the NAEP to evaluate and either reward or sanction school districts.  This is clear influence and coercion, if not direct control.  It is troubling…

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Breaking News: The Future Of Education In Delaware and America and Why Common Core & Standardized Testing Are Only The First Part @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @DianeRavitch @BadassTeachersA #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware


The citizens of America can now see where education is heading in many states.  After seeing all the tweets coming out of the Rodel sponsored Vision ED25 Conference today, I did some research on this personalized learning they were talking about. Welcome to the world of 2Revolutions. As seen on their website, this is their mission statement:

2Rev is a national education design lab that designs and launches Future of Learning models and helps catalyze the conditions within which they can thrive. We partner with forward-thinking governments, funders, nonprofits and entrepreneurs to innovate across the birth-to-26 Human Capital Continuum. If you are involved – or want to become involved – in building the Future of Learning, we hope you’ll reach out. Please visit us at

So who are they partnered with? Only the following: Council of Chief State School Officers, Apple, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charter School Growth Fund, Cisco, Ford Foundation, Frameworks Institute, FutureLab, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, IBM, Ideas Lab, Immersive Education Initiative, iNACOL, Innosight Institute, Intel, KnowledgeWorks, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Microsoft, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Stupski Foundation.

Bryan Setser, one of the lead partners of 2Revolutions, gave his presentation to stakeholders today at the ED25 event at the University of Delaware.  This is not his first rodeo in terms of brainwashing an oblivious public to the master plan.  In fact, Setser and the other partner behind 2Revolutions met with Rodel in March of this year, and this came out of it:

This is the future of education, a complete and utter takeover by corporations, which will eventually end schools as we know them and students will learn in a virtual environment at home on a computer. Social interaction will be eliminated. Extra-curricular activities will become a thing of the past. Special needs students will not be tied to a curriculum they can’t keep up with. Everything will be at the speed of the student, and their own motivation for how fast or slow they want to go.

This is what Common Core and standardized testing has been all along, a game of data which will be used to create this new method of learning. The longitudinal data plans have already created a huge warehouse of information on students. All the major technology players are already on board. If you look at 2Revolution’s website, the entire plan is right in front of you.

For example, a subset of industry organizations – including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Stupski Foundation – appear to be coalescing around the need for students to:

• Master core academic content;

• Think critically and solve complex problems;

• Work collaboratively;

• Communicate effectively; and

• Learn how to learn.

In addition, a global research collaborative spearheaded by Intel, Cisco and Microsoft – Assessment & Teaching of 21st Century Skills (AT21CS), which includes participation from 60 of the world’s top education research institutions and over 250 researchers, practitioners and industry leaders – has captured similar priorities with different language. AT21CS advocates that students must develop:

Ways of thinking: creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning;

Ways of working: communication and collaboration;

Tools for working: information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy; and

Skills for living in the world: citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility.

The very first thing they have to do in order for this to be implemented is to break up the teachers unions. We can see this happening across the country as public school district teachers are attacked on many fronts. At the same time, they are doing the following:

» Alignment to national and state standards (i.e., Common Core);

» Depth and choice in scope and sequence (e.g., ability to customize for individual learners as opposed to forcing all students down the same pathway);

» Student-centered/engaging;

» Performance-based learning opportunities;

» World-relevant content and context;

» Content appropriateness;

» Platform agnostic/technology interoperability; and

» Value, cost-effectiveness and flexible pricing

which will lead to:

» Strategies to leverage traditional assessments where appropriate;

» Ability to integrate embedded, “inside the activity” assessments that gauge proficiency within learning activities;

» Strategies to assess deep conceptual learning (e.g., demonstrations of understanding);

» Developing appropriate assessments for project-based learning modalities (e.g., performance assessments);

» “Stealth” assessments (e.g., learner analytics from keystroke data that capture learner tendencies);

» Third-party validation of micro-formative assessments to confirm content and skill mastery in a digital context; and

» Desire for new tools or platforms that enable schools to aggregate assessment data from across multiple learning modalities and activities.

So what happens to the educators of America’s children? Their role will be completely redefined:

» Clarity on the range of new job configurations in this emerging field (e.g., certified versus uncertified; full- versus part-time; “teacher” versus “coach,” “guide,” “facilitator,” “concierge,” or other);

» A matrix delineating new roles, responsibilities and relationships among educators;

» A deeper understanding of the economics and cost implications of educator roles;

» Competencies against which these educator roles can be recruited, selected, on-boarded and managed;

» Clear career pathways that promote and retain effective educators;

» Resources to support more effective training and professional development (e.g., articles, videos, site visits around promising practice);

» Profiles of effectiveness in “blended” models; and

» Awareness of the need to develop a new culture and understanding about the nature of learning and the role of educators within it.

They even have a page on their website devoted to the role of state leaders:

Everything the Delaware Department of Education has done in the past few years is all leading to this.  Now we know what Rodel’s role in this has been and why it was essential for Governor Markell to have Secretary of Education Mark Murphy strategically placed into his role at a very specific time.  If you go through 2Revolutions website, the entire picture will form.  These are the answers to questions people didn’t even know they were asking.  This is the endgame for students.  This is the final destination of the agendas and policies thrust upon the public with no idea of what is really going on.  The only question remaining is if we let this happen.



New Jersey: New Study Shows Charters Enroll Different Demographics


Sounds exactly like Delaware!

Diane Ravitch's blog

This study was released this morning by Rutgers University researchers Julia Sass Rubin and Mark Weber:

New Jersey Charter and District Schools Educating Very Different Populations of Students, Finds Study by Rutgers Researchers

Charter schools across New Jersey educate a very different population of students by income, language proficiency, special needs, race and even gender than their sending district public schools, finds a report released Wednesday by two Rutgers University researchers.

The report documents that New Jersey charter schools educate significantly smaller percentages of economically disadvantaged students, English Language Learners, and special education students than do the public school districts from which the charter schools draw their students. The special education students who enroll in charter schools also tend to have less costly disabilities.

The report’s authors, Rutgers doctoral student Mark Weber and Associate Professor Julia Sass Rubin, point out that the lower rates of economically disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient…

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The Best Of The Vision Conference Today Via Twitter @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @ecpaige @Apl_Jax @nannyfat #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware #VCconf14

Vision ED25 Conference

The Rodel Vision ED25 conference was filled with highlights. Too bad they were all on Twitter and not at the actual event! For your viewing pleasure, more to come!

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All About The Benjamins: Rodel Pays Teachers for Their “Vision” of Personalized Learning Experience @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @Delawareonline @TNJ_Malbright @DoverPost @TheStateNews @DeDeptofEd @NYTimes @WashingtonPost @WSJ @LATimes @DianeRavitch @BadassTeachersA #netde #eduDE #VCconf14


Right now, Rodel is running their Vision conference and they are pimping the “Personalized Learning Experience” to an audience that is sick to death of corporate education reform. But here’s the kicker: The teachers that are trying to sell this to the public have been PAID BY RODEL! That’s right, PAID! They receive a stipend of $1500.00 for 18 months of service to the almighty Rodel. Here’s the proof:

Teacher Council members serve for 18 months and receive a $1,500 stipend for their time, energy, and efforts. The members will additionally meet with key education policymakers, visit exemplary schools where innovation is transforming instruction, and help scale best practices throughout the state.

The proof is in the pudding. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid Delaware. Wake up now to these agendas that the Delaware DOE uses to further their own interests while the students, teachers and public schools of Delaware suffer.

What In The Name Of Mark Murphy Is This??? Gov. Markell, The DOE Is Out Of Control! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @TNJ_malbright #netde #eduDE #edchat #prioritizethat

Delaware DOE, Uncategorized



I think someone is sniffing glue down at the Townshend Building in Dover. Why in the world would they put this on a statewide survey about education? This DOE has fallen off the cliff. If they had one more brain cell it would be lonely. I can’t justify anything they are doing as being good for students. It’s like Secretary of Education Murphy is running some weird freak show down there, and it gets more bizarre by the day. This “Vision” is not for the students of Delaware, and we all know it. Enough with the propaganda!

Delaware Parents: Please, please, please come to one of these town hall meetings and give public comment about how stupid our education system has become in Delaware. I keep saying this and every time I think the DOE can’t do anything crazier, they come out with crap like this. TAKE BACK THE CONVERSATION!!!!! This DOE needs an enema!

Crisis in New York Special Education: “The DOE Killed My Son” @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @ecpaige @Apl_Jax @nannyfat #netde #eduDE #edchat

New York DOE


In an article yesterday on, parents, advocates and educators slammed the New York Department of Education over special education issues in New York City at a City Council meeting.  Much like Delaware, many parents want more oversight and reporting over special education matters, including when an IEP is denied by schools.

One father, Robert Randall, claims the DOE killed his son while the DOE’s attorneys were stalling over a school placement issue.  Randall’s son Dylan needed a ventilator and a feeding tube, and the public school he went to refused to provide this life-saving service.  Robert Randall wanted his son placed in a private school that would be able to accommodate his needs, but the NY DOE and their attorneys stalled this because of “funding issues”.  Dylan passed away the day the decision was finally made to place him in a private school setting.  This story, highlighted in the New York Times on July 27th of this year, can be found at this link:

Other issues brought up were the fact that only 7% of special education students passed the New York standardized tests last year, matters with dyslexia and autism, and legislation in regards to reporting requirements.  From the article in

The bill in question, Intro. 435, would mandate that the D.O.E. report much more data on its special education population each year. The bill calls on the department to report and make public information including demographic data on the special needs population in different areas of the city and with different disabilities; the types of evaluations made for special education students; data on how many students are getting the services they require, and other information.

More information on the city council meeting is in the article by Eliza Shapiro at:

Delaware DOE Embargoed Public Information Yesterday, What Is Their Agenda? @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat #netde #eduDE #prioritizethat

Delaware DOE

Adding fuel to an already huge fire, the Delaware DOE emailed all the legislators about the Town Hall meetings regarding the school accountability waivers yesterday morning.  As of this time, no notice had been received by schools and teachers that I am aware of.  While it is customary for an entity to wait for a press release on matters such as this, why would you notify only certain parties first and not the parties that have the most right to be there?

In observing several different social media sites, I have noticed many teachers and those concerned with the complete and utter disregard the DOE has for its most important stakeholders have become very angry over these issues.  Not only did the DOE not tell these groups, but they also booked these meetings on nights when other very important education issues are going on.  Some have surmised they planned it this way and they do NOT want a large attendance of parents and educators present.  They also feel this is just a big dog and pony show for the DOE to make it look like public outreach.  I am inclined to agree with these individuals.  This is a DOE that has their Board of Education meetings in the middle of the workday, virtually shutting out parents and educators from attending.

The following email had been sent out yesterday morning to all the legislators in Delaware.  But can someone please, for the love of God, let me know why it would be essential to include someone from DelDot and the Office of Management and Budget before educators, administrators, parents and students?

From: Shockley Tina <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 8:51 AM
To: Anderson, Patricia L (LegHall); Atkins, John (LegHall); Barbieri, Michael (LegHall); Baumbach, Paul (LegHall); Bennett, Andria (LegHall); Bentz, David (LegHall); Blakey, Donald (LegHall); Blevins, Patricia (LegHall); Bolden, StephanieT (LegHall); Bonini Colin; Brady, Gerald (LegHall); Brainard, Mark G (LegHall); BriggsKing, Ruth (LegHall); Bushweller, Brian (LegHall); Carson, William (LegHall); Carter, Dick (LegHall); Cloutier, Catherine (LegHall); Contant, Heather (LegHall); Cook, Bill (LegHall); Cutajar-Wynne, Lauren (LegHall); DeStefano, Damian (LegHall); Dukes, Timothy (LegHall); Dwyer, Sean (LegHall); Ennis, Bruce (LegHall); Evinger, Kathryn (LegHall); Finnigan, Sean (LegHall); Flannigan, Beverly (LegHall); Fulgham, Joseph (LegHall); Gordon, Bryan (DHSS); Grant, Jerry (DOI); Graves, Lauren (LegHall); Gray, Ronald (LegHall); Hall-Long, Bethany (LegHall); Harper, Rylene (LegHall); Harrison, Leigh Ann (LegHall); Heffernan, Debra (LegHall); Henry, Margaret Rose (LegHall); Hickman, Nancy (LegHall); Hocker, Gerald (LegHall); Hudson, Deborah (LegHall); Irvin, Alton (LegHall); Jackson, Michael S (LegHall); Jamison, Alexis F (LegHall); Jaques, Jr, Earl (LegHall); Johnson, JJ (LegHall); Johnson, Quinton (LegHall); Kanich, Tammie (LegHall); Keeley, Helene (LegHall); Kenton, Harvey (LegHall); kenton Harvy; Kowalko, John (LegHall); Lavelle, Greg (LegHall); Lawson, Dave (LegHall); Lewis, Elizabeth (OMB); Longhurst, Valerie (LegHall); Lopez, Ernesto B (LegHall); Mantegna, Stephanie (LegHall); Marshall, Robert (LegHall); McBride, David (LegHall); McCartan, Valerie (LegHall); McDowell, Harris (LegHall); Miro, Joseph (LegHall); Mitchell, John L (LegHall); Moore-Dean, Margaret (LegHall); Mulrooney, Michael (LegHall); Osienski, Edward (LegHall); Outten, Bobby (LegHall); Paradee, Trey (LegHall); Park, Evan (DelDOT); Peterman, Jack (LegHall); Peterson, Karen (LegHall); Pettyjohn, Brian (LegHall); Philpotts, Cimone (LegHall); Poore, Nicole (LegHall); Potter, Jr, Charles (LegHall); Price, Pam (LegHall); Puffer, Richard (LegHall); Ramone, Michael (LegHall); Ridout, Ashley (LegHall); Ruberto, Nancy (LegHall); Ryan, Carling (LegHall); Schwartzkopf, Peter (LegHall); Scott, Darryl (LegHall); Seitz, Meredith (LegHall); Shipley, Glenn (LegHall); Short, Bryon (LegHall); Short, Daniel (LegHall); Simpson Gary; Simpson, Gary (LegHall); Smith, Marcia (LegHall); Smith, Melanie G (LegHall); Smyk, Steve (LegHall); Sokola, David (LegHall); Sokola, Megan (LegHall); Spiegelman, Jeff (LegHall); Townsend, Bryan (LegHall); Venables, Robert (LegHall); Viola, John (LegHall); Volturo, Andrew (LegHall); Walker, Rebecca (LegHall); Wallace, Meghan (LegHall); Williams, Dennis E (LegHall); Williams, Jane E (LegHall); Williams, Kimberly (LegHall); Wilson, David L (LegHall); Wilson, Kay (LegHall); Wood, Bonnie (LegHall); Wootten, Sarah (LegHall); Zdeb, Michelle (LegHall)
Cc: May, Alison (K12); Mclaughlin, Mary Kate (K12)
Subject: Embargoed Notice – New State Accountability System

Dear Legislator:

As elected officials, we wanted to give you embargoed notice of several outreach opportunities we will be announcing later today related to a new state accountability system. The Delaware Department of Education will be seeking public input on a new state accountability system through a survey as well as a series of Town Hall meetings. The survey, available here, seeks feedback on what the public would like measured and reported on the state’s public school accountability report card.

In addition to the survey, the Department will host three Town Halls in November to gather public feedback on the state’s new approach to reporting school performance and its submission of a waiver for renewed flexibility from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Staff from the Department will present the state’s proposed new accountability system and outline the process for renewal of the ESEA flexibility waiver. Time will be devoted to answering questions and seeking public comment on both topics.

The new accountability system will have two parts:

· Part A includes metrics that we know to be critical to measure for public schools, and that align with federal accountability. This includes student proficiency and growth on state tests, college and career readiness benchmarks, chronic absenteeism rates, and on-track to graduate measures.

· Part B will include those measures, as informed by the survey results.

The state recognizes there are additional measures that are critical to Delaware residents.

The survey will be open through December 31, 2014.

The Town Halls are scheduled for:
• 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday November 5 at the Carvel State Office Building at 9th and French streets, Wilmington
• 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 12 at the John Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover
• 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 19 at the Sussex County Council Chamber, 2 The Circle, Georgetown

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information about either of these opportunities. We will be announcing them publicly later today.
Tina Shockley
Education Associate – Policy Advisor
Department of Education
Office: 302-735-4105
Cell: 302-632-2143
Fax: 302-739-4654
SLC: D370B

Mike Matthews Email To Mark Murphy re: Accountability Waiver Meetings & How To Piss Off 12,000 People @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @Apl_Jax @dwablog @ecpaige @nannyfat #netde #eduDE #prioritizethat

Delaware DOE


Wow!  I would have assumed the press release from the Delaware Department of Education about the town hall meetings scheduled for the first three Wednesdays in November would have gone out to anyone with an email that ends in  Apparently this was NOT the case, and many teachers are very fired up.   Mike Matthews, the President of the Red Clay Educators Association, shot an email to Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy tonight about this very topic.  Mike posted the email in the comments on my article from earlier today about these meetings, but I felt it deserved a post all its own.  It highlights the severe frustration teachers are having with the DOE.

It’s a very terrifying thought that my little blog is becoming a traditional news media outlet Mr. Matthews!  I wish the DOE would be more forthcoming with news like this as well.

Sec. Murphy:

I received word of a planned series of three public meetings regarding school accountability tonight. I did not receive word via an email or any traditional news media outlet. I read about it on the Exceptional Delaware blog (link at end of email.) I have concerns that these meetings 1) Are announced just a week before the first meeting, 2) Were not more widely broadcast, at the very least to the nearly 12,000 educators, administrators and key stakeholders on the State email server, and 3) Are being held on two evenings when other key education meetings are being held, namely the compensation work group on November 5 and the IEP Task Force and Wilmington Council meeting on Priority Schools on November 12.

In my District, our teachers are having a tough time understanding the rationale behind much of what DoE has been doing these past few years. It’s moves like this that make it seem like DoE is truly not interested in being a collaborative partner with the individuals in our schools working with our students every day. I’m disappointed that whoever does the scheduling at DoE didn’t notice the “double-booking” on these days and attempt to find an alternate date.

As president of a local association representing more than 1200 teachers, I’m asking you and your department to PLEASE TRY HARDER. These meetings should not be scheduled on dates when other department/education events are being held.

I have members emailing me and coming up to me all the time saying “Why doesn’t DoE ‘get it?’” I’m afraid it’s business like this that has continued to sour teachers on the work the Department does, no matter how critical that work is.

I will be sharing the press release from the blog with my 1200 members. I will also urge them to complete the survey. I provide to my membership my interpretation and opinion of one of the questions on the survey asking for feedback on how schools should be identified. I call this the “Stoplight question.” I will urge them to copy me on the free-form comments they submit. I want to make sure the Department includes all answers from the survey in any reports made public at these meetings.

In the future, I would respectfully ask that you please consider never double-booking meetings on nights when something is already planned. As someone interested in both meetings on November 5, I don’t believe this is a choice I or my interested members should have to make.

Thank you,


Delaware DOE Wants Public Input On New Accountability Waivers, Let’s Give It To Them! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @ecpaige @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @TNJ_malbright @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE

Delaware DOE

The Delaware Department of Education wants to hear from the public on new accountability standards in Delaware’s public schools.  In a press release announced today, the DOE’s public information officer Alison May states the following:



CONTACT:  Alison May (302) 735-4000


  The Delaware Department of Education is seeking public input on a new accountability system. 

A survey, available here, seeks feedback on what the public would like measured and reported on the state’s public school accountability report card. And the department will host three town halls in November to gather public feedback on the state’s new approach to reporting school performance and its submission of a waiver for renewed flexibility from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The new accountability system will have two parts. Part A includes metrics that we know to be critical to measure for public schools, and that align with federal accountability. This includes student proficiency and growth on state tests, college and career readiness benchmarks, chronic absenteeism rates, and on-track to graduate measures.   

The state recognizes there are additional measures that are critical to Delaware residents. Part B will include those measures, as informed by the survey results. 

“We need to hear from parents and community members about what information is important to them,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “This is about providing relevant and transparent information so our families can make the school decisions best for their children.

The survey will be open through December 31, 2014.

 The Town Halls are scheduled for:

  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 5 at the Carvel State Office Building at 9th and French streets, Wilmington
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 12 at the John Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 19 at the Sussex County Council Chamber, 2 The Circle, Georgetown

 Staff from the department will present the state’s proposed new accountability system and outline the process for renewal of the ESEA flexibility waiver. Time will be devoted to answering questions and seeking public comment on both topics.

I took the survey and found it to be ludicrous.  They are asking the same questions, and not one damn thing on special education.  It’s all about making the DOE look good and the public schools bad.  What was with that moronic picture chart with the letter grades, a stop sign, the charter school performance framework statements and symbols (check mark, an “x” and a star)?  I can see it already, “What grade did you get in science Johnny?” “I got a check mark Mom!” “Great job Johnny, let’s go to Friendly’s and celebrate!”

The way I see it, this is an attempt to reach out to the public to get their input on things that are already in place.  People will think they are trying to work with parents, but the reality on the ground is all of this has been decided on already.  They just want to wrap the package and put a shiny bow on it.

I think any parent against Common Core, the Smarter Balanced Assessment, other Standardized Testing such as countless SRI and SMI tests, Standards Based IEPs, Teach For America, Priority Schools, Large Classrooms, or Teacher Accountability based on Standardized Testing should go to these town hall meetings and publicly state they are against the way the Federal and State government have invasively intruded on the fundamental rights of local educational agencies.  This is parents’ opportunity to steal the conversation from the DOE and let them know the change parents want, not what the DOE wants.

I already see a scheduling conflict.  The IEP Task Force is scheduled to meet on November 12th from 4:30 to 6:30pm in the conference room at the John Collette Education Resource Center.  The Town Hall is scheduled from 6 to 7:30pm.  I would think Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn scheduled his meeting first, so he would get preference!

DE DOE Apocalypse: Smarter Balanced Field Test Scores or How To Spin Failure @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE #edchat

Smarter Balanced Assessment

And there came a pale rider, and his name was Smarter Balanced. Next month, or maybe never (my fondest hope), the DOE will release the Smarter Balanced Assessment field test scores. Three million students in 22 states took the test last Spring. The purpose of these field tests was to see how the test actually went. If I had to guess, since it’s taken five months to determine the scores, there was a lot of tweaking with the test.

Last month, I submitted a Freedom Of Information request for the unreleased scores. I received a response from Alison May, the public information officer for the Delaware Department of Education, that the month of October would be used to determine achievement levels. In early November, each state will vote on the chosen achievement levels. I’m guessing this voting group will be members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. According to May, the Delaware DOE does not know the release date of the actual field test scores since they haven’t been determined yet. But she did assure me they will be released publicly. ‘

One tidbit I did notice in May’s email was she didn’t respond to the test as the Smarter Balanced Assessment. She called it Smarter. I don’t care either way what it’s called, cause either way it’s just Dumber.

This is my theory: the students did really bad. Say there’s a 100 questions. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy has already said he expects 70% of students in Delaware to fail the test next Spring. What are you basing that belief on Mr. Murphy? I’m sure you’ve seen some of the results already. So I’m guessing the average score was 30 out of 100. How in the world do you make benchmarks out of a test most students failed?

Governor Markell, this is the jewel on top of your common core crown. This is your big achievement? A failing test? When all of this goes south, and it will, who will be the fall guy? Murphy? The DOE? The schools? The teachers? Or maybe it should be you. You were the one who praised common core like it was the second coming. Even President Obama is saying enough with all the testing. Let’s face it, you passed your peak as Governor of Delaware a while ago. Now everyone is just counting the days until someone new comes in. It’s called a lame-duck for a reason Governor Markell. I’m not sure what your next step is after you leave office, but please do not go to DC hoping to be the next Secretary of Education. The proof of your tenure here can be seen everywhere in the state, but most noticeably our schools.

No state legislature should ever be subjected to voting on a test that was already bought by the Governor and the DOE. And then when you vote on it in your Senate, stick to your original vote.

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten


Delaware’s Governor Markell wants to get Kindergarteners ready for college by having them take standardized testing. What a crock! I’m convinced this is just a big Ponzi scheme and someone is making a lot of money off all these tests.

Americas Education Watch

nclbOne of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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Hey Disability Bigots, God Doesn’t Like Discrimination @TouretteNet @Touretteprobs @TicTalkTourette #netde #eduDE

Disability Discrimination

I’m sick of it. I’m so damn sick of it. How ignorant can people be? They are flying off the handle over nothing. A boy looking at a table at a craft fair. The vendor running it. Boy’s mother bumps into something at the table by accident. Vendor starts screaming at mother and saying something is wrong with her boy. It’s called Tourette Syndrome genius. He can’t help it, but you can help your rage. That is a choice. My sons tics are not. Don’t worry, your not the only one. He’s been called a “mother fucker” recently by an adult. Been told countless other things as well and not just by that man.

Many people have remarked how something is very wrong with him. Thanks for that. I needed your opinion. My recommendation: read up on Tourette Syndrome and then buy a book about judging others and how to keep your mouth shut. Or you can read this, but please shut up. And if you are reading this, and you have children of your own with disabilities, you can still shut up. Thank you. I forgive you. I forgive everyone eventually. But I never forget. And all of you have lost a little bit of light in the world by not knowing the awesome boy my son is.

I have to wonder where manners and any sense of compassion went. It used to be people didn’t do this kind of stuff. But it’s happening, more and more. Yes, I have a son with a disability. And guess what, we’re not going anywhere so you had best get used to it. If you can’t, then deal with it yourself. Don’t bring your prejudice and discrimination to my family’s world. We’ve had just about enough of that. If you can’t handle kids with disabilities at large gatherings, then you might want to stay home. Cause kids like mine, he is one of 13% of kids in this state with disabilities. And those numbers are rising. I can’t say why, they just are. Maybe it’s all the crap in the atmosphere. Maybe it’s all those preservatives we love to put in our body. Maybe God is testing us all to learn patience. I don’t know. But I deal with it, every day. Like every parent, it’s a learning experience, followed by trial and error. I don’t always get it right. Sometimes I get it very wrong. We all make mistakes.

A couple weeks ago I was at my son’s school. A little girl was being accompanied by a teacher. She came in an just stared at me. She didn’t speak at all. My guess is she was autistic. The look she gave me was one of hope, of true happiness. She walked over to me, smiling the whole time. The teacher came over and said I’m sorry. I told her it was alright. We are all God’s children, so how can we judge anyone based on that? If God made some of us to have disabilities, it’s cause God knew the person having them would be very strong. I still think He has a plan for all of this. Throughout history we have been faced with these types of tests and sometimes we pass with flying colors. But sometimes we fail, and when that happens, the world suffers. I want to believe that everyone has goodness in theme, and they can use that compassion and do good things. I know I need to do it more. So how about the next time you see a child having tics, or a child freaking out in a store from sensory overload, or a blind or deaf person struggling, how about you ask them if they need help. Maybe reach out a hand instead of throwing a voice.

Common Core Math Adds Up, But Doesn’t Subtract Down



A recent study ( put brain scanners on children and watched how their brains learned Math. While Bill Gates is probably drooling at the thought, the study did confirm what many have long assumed- drilling students on math facts will pay off. “If your brain doesn’t have to work as hard on simple math, it has more working memory free to process the teacher’s brand-new lesson on more complex math.”

Knowing this information, one would assume the 21st century standards of college and career readiness would place a premium on memorizing math facts, but that is not the case. In fact, Common Core Math actually demands less fact memorization than the standards they replaced. Take Common Core Standards in NY, please just take them 🙂 (Be forewarned, fluency and memorization are two separate ideas. A child can fluently subtract 400-388, but can’t do it from memory). Look at the…

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Hewlett Funds a Common-Core-Centered, Statewide, “New Accountability” Push


deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

Before the proverbial ink is dry on the assessments to be given in 2014-15 by both federally-funded testing consortia wed to the never-piloted Common Core State Standards (CCSS), along comes yet another *philanthropic* organization with the Next Great Idea: To structure statewide accountability systems around CCSS.

The Hewlett Foundation *convened* a group of individuals, some of whom I readily recognize as key players in the CCSS-and-assessments game, to formulate this *new accountability system.* Though previously released in September 2014, on October 16, 2014, the group officially released its report, entitled, Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm. The report is credited to Linda Darling-Hammond, Gene Wilhoit, and Linda Pittenger. Darling-Hammond is a Stanford education professor and senior research advisor for one of the two CCSS consortia, Smarter Balanced. Wilhoit is the former CEO of the CCSS copyright holder, the Council of Chief State School Officers…

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Myra Blackmon: Time to Rise Up Against Testing!


I wish the journalists in Delaware would be this open!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Myra Blackmon, journalist in Georgia, writes here about the testing resistance that is growing by the day,

“Despite Georgia’s ridiculous “assessment” of college and career readiness, it’s impossible to predict how the life of a first- or second-grader will turn out.

“All the tests we administer can’t predict a child’s future. The tests don’t measure real learning. They measure test-taking ability.
Research has shown that test scores are most accurate in measuring the socioeconomic level of the student.

“That’s correct. We use tests that don’t measure teacher competence or student learning to make or break careers, categorize children and place them in certain groups or pathways. We assume poor test scores mean a poor teacher, when often the opposite is true.

“We are obsessed with our ridiculous tests. The state legislature insists that test scores make up at least 50 percent of a teacher’s performance evaluation. The lobbyists for Pearson…

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Common Core For “Special” People


I just thought they sucked, but Kavips really explains why they REALLY suck!


Thanks to Exceptional Delaware for spreading the upcoming changes to the IEP process.

Upon a preliminary perusal of the Scribed Document enclosed therein, I see many upcoming problems.  Most likely it will take 29 different separate posts to debunk each of the 29 pages contained therein….

However first mention should be over the underlying premise driving these individual planks of “reform”,  for reform they are not.  They are a push backwards to the pre-Industrial tenants of education…  to the times when education was not intended for everyone.

The driving force behind passage of the IDEA was this:  Children who have special disabilities have the right to learn too.  Anyone growing up in the 60’s and before, knows that before enlightenment,  special people were baby-sat, written off upon their initial classification, and left somewhere to hang in the wind.

The IDEA was pushed through Congress and loaded upon the states because actions like…

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The Delaware Standards Based IEP, Revealed For All To See!

Standards Based IEPs

The Delaware DOE gave a presentation to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) on standards-based IEPs in the beginning of this month at GACEC’s fall retreat. I am putting it here so everyone can see exactly what standards based IEPs are, and how they fit into an IEP. You can judge for yourself if they will help or hinder students with disabilities. Or you can comment. I’d like to see what people think!

As for how I feel about these new IEPs, I think anyone who has read any article on this blog would know what I think and why. It’s one thing to have state standards that I don’t agree with, but to push them into an Individualized Education Plan and use the word “Rigor” on the 2nd page is not going to impress me at all.

***Attention Special Education Advocates in Delaware*** @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog #netde #eduDE


This article is for all the special education advocates in Delaware! I know quite a few of you, but I want to put up a list of who you are on here as well as the best contact information you would like known publicly. Someone in the mental health field asked me for a list, so I thought this would be a good way to do this. I don’t want to give anyone contact information that I know on a personal basis. Please email me at or write a comment on here. Thanks everyone!