Save The Date: Tomorrow, Friday 2/27, 1:00PM, WDEL, 1150AM, Rick Jensen, Me, Parent Opt Out Round Two

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

Rick Jensen with WDEL/1150AM has graciously invited me back to his radio show tomorrow to discuss parent opt out in Delaware.  We will be discussing more of the nitty-gritty on what parents can do and the process on how to go about doing it.  I will certainly put a podcast up if it becomes available.  If you have any questions you want answered, I will do my best to find the answers between now and then.

The  phone number for WDEL is 302-478-9335.  If State Rep. Jaques wants to call to explain his public comment about the Parent Opt Out Bill never passing, and let listeners know why he is against this bill, I would gladly welcome it.

Shock & Awe: This Blog Endorses a DE State Board Event! Please Attend! Free Food!

Delaware State Board of Education

Yes, I am very critical of the Delaware Department of Education and the State Board of Education over many things.  But I do think they have done an excellent job with literacy efforts in our state.  I still remember the old RIF commercials from when I was a kid: Reading Is Fundamental.  These are key words that will never change, and the DOE and State Board have taken several initiatives and ran with them.  To that end, there is a Professional Development Workshop at Grotto’s Pizza in Dover on March 4th, from 5pm to 8pm.  They need an RSVP by tomorrow, Friday, February 27th.  I did reach out to Donna Johnson, the Executive Director of the Delaware State Board of Education about the possibility of free food, and she replied with this important message:

Yes, our grant funding allows us to supply light refreshments, not a full meal.  There is also water, tea, and soda available.”

This was in the release I received today:

Final reminder — RSVPs due tomorrow.  Please forgive the additional reminder if you have already responded. 

The State Board of Education is hosting a professional development workshop related to its Literacy Campaign.  The focus of the meeting is developing a greater awareness of literacy initiatives and understanding intellectual freedom as it pertains to education and the law.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 

Location:  Capitol Room, Grottos Pizza, 1159 DuPont Highway, Dover, DE.

The focus of the workshop will be furthering awareness of programs and efforts throughout the state to increase student literacy and our keynote presentation will focus on deepening your understanding of Intellectual Freedom as it pertains to Education and the law. 

The evening will begin with an overview of present literacy initiatives in the state including programs by the United Way, Reading Assist, Read Aloud Delaware, Boys and Girls Club and resources from the Annie Casey Foundation regarding its grade level reading campaign.

Workshop attendees will then hear Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director for the American Library Association, Office of Intellectual Freedom provide a review of federal and state laws that have been established in history pertaining to intellectual freedom, how the laws pertain to education and how to safeguard our students and our freedoms.  Discussion will focus on how we balance preparing students for real world situations while also protecting them.  State officials, educators and stakeholder groups have been invited.

There will be an opportunity for questions and answers at the end of the workshop as you discuss how to tackle the local policy decisions on intellectual freedom and explore ways to increase or enhance your existing literacy initiatives. Education is a cornerstone of democracy, and the success of a democracy is an informed and educated citizenry.  We sincerely hope that you will join us for this informative presentation, professional development, and engage in robust discussion of the topics afterward.

More information and specific policy briefs related to the SBE Literacy Campaign can be found at our website:

Donna Johnson

Executive Director

State Board of Education

401 Federal Street, Suite 2

Dover, DE 19901-3639

302-735-4010 Twitter: @destateboarded

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Video From Wilmington Rotary Club

Arne Duncan

On 2/19/15, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Delaware for the 5th time.  He went to Howard High School which was also included in his first visit to Delaware.  He spoke to the Wilmington Rotary Club about the “gains” Howard H.S. has made since that first visit.

Two Delaware State Representatives, Sean Matthews and John Kowalko, wrote Duncan a letter the day before his visit asking him to visit one of the six priority schools. Duncan did not acknowledge the letter at all.

In his introductory speech, Governor Jack Markell spoke about the “vitriol” in education talk.  There would be no vitriol if there was true stakeholder input Mr. Governor.  Instead, Delaware had education “initiatives” forced on school districts with strict and fierce warnings of non-compliance.  In my world, we call that bullying.

Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of Standardized Testing


Creative by Nature

“The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.. it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.”


The following is a partial transcript for an interview with Noam Chomsky uploaded to youtube by The Progressive Magazine.

“You take what is happening in education. Right now, in recent years, there’s a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that you have to teach to tests. And the test determines what happens to the child and what happens to the teacher.

That’s guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process. It means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention…

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