Looks Like Big Changes In Dover Coming Up a la Game Of Thrones

We’ve been hearing the rumblings for months now.  Too much power at the top, too many disgruntled folks down below.  They’ve seen so many changes to already implemented plans, and they are frustrated.  Seems a couple groups in the organization have recently stepped up to the plate letting others know they aren’t happy with the way things are being done.  But now quite a few other groups are getting ready to assemble with them.  They want change, and they want it now.  They want their messages heard loud and clear.  They want clarity and transparency.  They are actually very sick of the way Governor Markell is controlling the landscape on their turf, and they want it known.  Of course they can’t stick it to him, but to those at his beck and call they most certainly can.  Do they have some people at the top who will bend, or will the power continue to control?

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

Newcastle County School Boards Meeting Gets Very Heated Over WEAC Recommendations

This morning, the New Castle County school districts had a meeting, and some districts were not too happy about not being included on the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC).  They are also very upset they were not consulted prior to the recommendations put forth by WEAC.

From Delaware State Representative Paul Baumbach’s Facebook post:

At this meeting, of the New Castle County school districts, in addition to an overview by House Education Chair Earl Jaques and Senate Education Chair David Sokola, there was a heated series of statements and questions regarding the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee’s work. Frankly, some of the questions (why wasn’t my school board included in the Governor’s task force) simply point to the structural challenges facing public schools in Wilmington–the city is divided amongst FOUR traditional school district, one VoTech district, and slews of individual public charter schools. The frustration vented at this meeting merely confirms the need to act on the Committee’s recommendations.

And from State Rep. Kim Williams Facebook page:

Several legislators attended this morning’s New Castle County Combined Boards of Education meeting. Local school board members, administrators and lawmakers discussed topics such as priority schools, standardized testing and the work of the Wilmington Education Advisory Group.

And from State Rep. Edward Osienski’s Facebook page:

There was a lot of strong discussion this morning at the New Castle County Combined Boards of Education meeting. School board members, administrators and legislators talked about issues affecting education like priority schools, redistricting and standardized testing. These types of conversations are going to be ongoing all session with many different groups.

I would have to guess the upset districts were Christina and Colonial.  If Christina board member George Evans was there, which my sources are saying he was, than it is a guarantee words were said!

Other legislators in attendance were State Rep. Stephanie Bolden, Senator David Sokola, and everyone’s favorite State Rep., good old Earl Jaques. (shameless plug: please sign the iPetition to request he be removed from the House Education Committee, here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-want-delaware-state-rep-earl-jaques-to-step )

Delaware Parents & Teachers Public Comment at RCEA & CEA Press Conference Last Night

As anyone knows, I’m not really a group joiner!  But I am proud to be one of the founding members of the grassroots organization called Delaware Parents & Teachers for Public Education.  Last night, another founding member named Eve Buckley attended the RCEA & CEA press conference at Warner Elementary School where the local educator associations announced their resolution of no confidence in the DOE, Mark Murphy and the State Board of Education.  Here are the comments Eve gave:

 

Petition Up For Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques To Step Down From House Education Committee

That was fast!  Not even 24 hours after Rep. Earl Jaques very offensive remarks, a citizen of Delaware has started an iPetition to have Jaques step down as Chair of the House Education Committee in Delaware and publicly apologize for his derogatory remarks.

In case anyone has not seen these public comments, it was this:

“To me, opt out is admitting failure,” said Jaques. “[It’s] saying, oh, I can’t measure up. I’m not good enough to be able to take this test. I can’t pass that test. That’s not the American way.”

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-want-delaware-state-rep-earl-jaques-to-step

Please take the time to sign this petition which will be submitted to the Delaware 148th General Assembly once we have reached our goal.  Thank you!

 

 

Delaware Parents Need To E-Mail State Rep. Earl Jaques About Offensive & Disgusting Comments About Students

 “To me, opt out is admitting failure,” said Jaques. “[It’s] saying, oh, I can’t measure up. I’m not good enough to be able to take this test. I can’t pass that test. That’s not the American way.”

Yes, this was said by an elected official yesterday.  This was said by a man who has never been a teacher, but serves as the Chair of the House Education Committee.  As a special needs parent, I was deeply offended by Jaques’ comments.  Usually, I take this education stuff with a grain of salt.  I may get upset, but it doesn’t hit on a personal level.  Mr. Jaques changed all that, because after someone else posted about Jaques calling his own son a failure, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I decided almost a year ago my son would not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  I publicly wrote a letter to the editor in The State News five months ago opting him out.  So in terms of my own son, I haven’t even entertained the notion of him taking this monstrosity of a test in a long time.  For all my talk about opt out, it is truly for the rest of Delaware that I am reaching out to.  Earl Jaques changed that.

Another parent shared with me her email to Earl Jaques.  She gave an okay to publish it, but out of respect for her, I will not put her last name in it.

Representative Jacques:

Today, I learned of your comments regarding parents who choose to not permit their children to participate in Smarter assessments. My first source was a blog, so I tried to convince myself that the reporting was biased or untrue. Not because I don’t trust the blogger in question, but because I did not want to believe that an elected public official would be so dismissive of parents. Unfortunately, I was wrong and the blogs were right. Unless, of course, you want to deny what you said and was reported in mainstream media.

How. Dare. You.

How dare you imply that parents who exercise their rights are not good Americans? Isn’t that what being American is about – knowing your rights as an individual and making choices based on that information?

How dare you be so condescending and dismissive of the community that elected you to the public office you hold? Your arrogance is utterly overwhelming.

How dare you classify children who do not participate in a test that is no more than a giant money grab that has the added benefit of labeling and punishing professional educators as failures? You can’t possibly be that out of touch with reality.

Let me give credit where it is due. Part of your quote is correct. Opting out IS admitting failure. But that is where your accuracy ends. This isn’t about the failure of students, parents, or teachers. It is about the failure of the Smarter Balance assessment to be a valuable tool to measure sound, research-based standards and provide meaningful information for teachers.

Don’t you ever again dare to claim my children are failures or don’t measure up because I made a decision that I believe to be good for them. Ever again. And not just my children, but the children of every parent who has made the same choice that I have to not have their children participate in the testing this season. You don’t have the right.

You owe the community an apology. And your resignation.

Elizabeth 

I am also calling on Earl Jaques’ resignation.  This is absolutely the worst thing a parent can hear right now.  It shows a true disconnect with the people you were elected to serve.  You don’t serve Jack Markell, or the big bad power movers in the corporate education reform movement.  You serve the people of Delaware.  You have no right to judge any child or parent in this state.  Here’s the facts Earl: my son would probably do okay on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He is very smart and very intelligent.  He did great on DCAS last year.  But this test, this very big test, is not designed to give students a better education.  It is designed to tear students down, to feel frustrated, to give data to power brokers who will make money off my son.  I don’t want to hear about any of the excuses people give about what this test will do.  I’ve seen it.  It’s confusing and manipulative.  It has high-stakes, and any test that has this much controversy cannot be good.  So do us all a favor, don’t keep talking.  Just resign, and go in peace.  And please apologize to us all on your way out.

If you would like to email Earl Jaques with your thoughts on this matter, please do so at earl.jaques@state.de.us

The above quote came from this article:

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/delaware/item/79489-delaware-to-launch-qtesting-inventoryq-for-school-assessments