Happy Birthday To The Inspiration Behind Exceptional Delaware

Before Markell and Herdman started plotting together, before Common Core was a gleam in Arne Duncan’s eye, before the words Race To The Top meant gouging schools in America with corporate education reform, a baby was born.  Eleven years ago today to be precise.  Out in Southern California, he entered this crazy world.  It was a beautiful day, very warm and in the 80s, not a cloud in the sky.

After some complications, my son was born.  My wife had some complications as well, so I went with the nurse to the incubator.  Before my son was placed in there, I reached out my hand to his and he squeezed my finger.  Not even 10 minutes old, and I bonded with him forever at that moment.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Here we are, eleven years later.  He came into this world on a warm and sunny day, and he turned eleven waking up to snow.  There have been many challenges along the way, and there will be more.  But there are also those moments of joy that you can never put into words.  Things only a parent can truly know.

His journey through life is his own, I’m just a guide for a certain amount of time.  He has other guides, like his mom, and others.  His story has become my story, and everything I do on here, every word I write, it is to help him, and others like him.  The battles I fight, the secrets uncovered, it is all to expose and to change.  If I, along with others, ever do win these battles, the biggest challenge will be what comes next.  Nature abhors a vacuum, so something must take it’s place.  I pray that worthy voices will very carefully replace the abomination education has become.  For my son, and the students in all of our schools.

I have to believe something better is on the way.  I have hope.  It can’t be this bleak all the time.  In the meantime, I will continue to write, for my inspiration and my moments of joy, happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, curiosity and insight.  Happy Birthday bud!  I love you!

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Special Education Complaints Increasing At A Federal Level

According to an article in Disability Scoop, found right here, complaints to the Office of Civil Rights at the US Department of Education are rising.  And they have been over a six year period.  They are not sure if it’s because parents are more aware of their rights or if it is something more.

I think it’s because of that and also because of Common Core and standardized testing.  Ever since Race To The Top came out, schools have changed. It’s no longer about being able to give more one-on-one attention.  It’s about prepping for the big test in many schools.  What I would like to see is how many of those complaints are from traditional schools and how many are from charter schools.  The article doesn’t break it down.

In 2009, 3,000 complaints were filed.  Last year, it was 3,900.  There is a very strong correlation between the advent of Common Core and these types of complaints rising.  If you are a special needs parent, please educate yourself and know your child’s rights, especially if they are in a lower grade.  This is a pivotal time for them and they need you to fight for them!

MUST READ: Revelations of a Disillusioned Reformer

Diane Ravitch's blog

WOW.

This is a remarkable and candid story of Jorge Cabrera, who joined the reform movement as a believer. He wanted to help the children of Bridgeport, where he grew up. He wanted better schools. He was a community organizer for Excel Schools.

And then he learned the truth.

“As I began my work in the “education reform movement” in Bridgeport, I noticed a plethora of ivy league educated “consultants” and “transformational leaders” that littered the often loose coalition of funders, new organizations and executive directors. From the beginning, it was clear that many of these new “leaders” that were emerging were well credentialed. They had graduated from prestigious universities and, it was presumed (though not by me), that alone qualified them to lead. Many were very young (recent graduates), energetic, unmarried with no children and little life experience. They often exhibited a cultish commitment to “the movement.” Their zeal…

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You Don’t Know Jack: The Markell Edition

Governor Markell, the biggest name in Delaware.  We hear him all the time talking about education in our state.  Why?  What is his agenda?  Is he in it for the children, or does he have other ulterior motives?  To that end, I will let you decide.

I have compiled all my main articles concerning Governor Markell in what spot on this blog, and you can find them all here:

https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/governor-markell/

If you still think Markell is a great man after reading this, so be it.  If you are very concerned about your child’s education after reading some of these articles, please educate yourself some more and read the article right below this one and take a stand!

What To Expect At The Parent Press Conference

If you are coming to the Parent Press Conference on Wednesday, April 1st, outside Legislative Hall in Dover at 5pm, this is what you can expect:

-Parents talking about the damaging effects of Common Core and standardized testing

-A legislator talking about House Bill 50

-Delaware PTA talking about Parent Opt Out

-a potential other organization talking about their stance on parent opt out

Some have called this a rally.  We are rallying for a good cause: change in education.  If you believe that your child is more than a test score, please come.  If you are against teachers being rated based on a standardized test score, please come.  If you are tired of Common Core and other subjects either diminishing or disappearing in your school, please come.  If you are against your taxpayer dollars going to needless programs and services in our schools, please come.  If you are tired of paying school taxes so the Department of Education can sign contract after contract with companies that are interfering in education, please come.  If you want to save public education, please come.

You can find out more information on this event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/962893793730222/