Delaware parents, citizens, and educators: Please sign the change.org petition in support of House Bill 50. This bill will be heard by the House Education Committee on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 3:30 pm, in Legislative Hall, Dover, DE.
I have heard some parents in Delaware want to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment but won’t do so until House Bill 50 passes. This bill does not have to pass in order for you to opt out. This would codify the right you already have. However, this bill would send a crystal clear message to the Delaware Department of Education, Governor Markell, and the entire corporate education reform movement in Delaware. It would also prevent certain schools and districts from taking part in some of the shenanigans they have pulled the past few months with parents in regards to opt out.
Please sign this petition. This will be hand-delivered to the Delaware House Education Committee on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 3:30pm. Please share the petition on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and anywhere you can think of!
I highly encourage parents and concerned citizens to go out and collect signatures from Delaware residents, whether it is in your neighborhood, your local grocery store, church, the beach, your mall, or even your place of employment. Please be respectful of others, especially when it comes to those who do not welcome solicitors. If you collect signatures, please scan them and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on 4/22/15. Thank you!
Mike Matthews, President of the Red Clay Educators Association, Teacher at Warner Elementary School, former Down With Absolutes blogger, and the man who goes to more education meetings than Governor Markell, announced the following on his Facebook account:
Thanks to House Education Committee Chair Rep. Earl Jaques. I submitted a request last night to have the audio system turned on in the House Chambers during the education committee meeting next week. Typically, the audio is only used when the full House is in session and not for specific committee meetings. Because this committee is meeting in the House Chambers, I respectfully asked if they could just “flip the switch” so folks at home who can’t make it to the meeting could listen. Rep. Jaques was super responsive and just got back to me saying he approved the request. Now you’ll be able to listen to the debate and discussion on the parent opt out bill on the General Assembly website live on Wednesday at 3:30.
I still strongly recommend as many parents as possible show up, but if you aren’t able to make it, go the http://legis.delaware.gov to listen to the meeting. This will be one of the most highly attended meetings of this year’s General Assembly, so I would get there early, and get to the door of the House of Representative chamber as soon as you check in so you can get a seat!
I’m going to be doing a story on one individual in Delaware who has done many terrible things. For those who have been following this blog, I’m sure many of you know who it probably is, but you will know for sure when Part 1 comes up either today or tomorrow. In the meantime, this may whet your appetite…
The Wilmington Education Advisory Committee’s Chair, Tony Allen, responsed to the recently passed Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education Resolution in regards to the committee’s recommendations for redistricting in Wilmington. The below document has Allen’s response, and the actual resolution passed by the board on 4/15/15.
A Delaware resident recently sent an email to some very high-level Delaware politicians and members of the media. Floyd McDowell, a New Castle County resident, has many ideas for change in education. This, in my opinion, would be an excellent start. Why do we subject our youth to “farming” hours at many of our schools? And so many want to actually increase the school day? We need to take the lessons from Finland about what is physically appropriate for our children.
This email message and two attachments discuss the need to change school start times to enable our state’s Middle and High School students to get adequate sleep each night. Much readily available medical research informs us that adolescent sleep deprivation is a serious cause of many adolescent mental and physical health and school problems.
One of the two attached articles is based on information in a publication titled Adolescent Sleep Needs and School Starting Times. There are a number of publications listed on Amazon.com under Adolescent Sleep Deprivation. Other information is available on the internet by accessing the same topic. Every adult citizen with an adolescent family member in our state’s Middle and High Schools should become informed and advocate for a sensible solution which is to schedule needed school start times. The second attached article is a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics that more thoroughly discusses this sleep deprivation problem and how to eliminate it. Another similar report was issued by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Our State Constitution gives the responsibility for efficient public schools to our General Assembly. Our Governor has equal responsibility as this elective office appoints members to our State Board of Education and our State Secretary of Education. These responsible educational decision-makers will be the first to receive this information and a request to simply solve a harmful statewide problem by simply changing the start times for the 2015/2016 school; year for all adolescent students. This information will also be sent to state educational organization leaders in the Delaware State PTA, Delaware State Education Association, local School Board members and others. I will also send it to over 200 Delaware citizens on my email list who have shown involvement in activities to improve our state’s civic and political cultures.
As with all other information I share, I am always available to answer any questions or provide additional information for anyone requesting same. Our minds are like parachutes and umbrellas; “They simply won’t work unless open.”