The Wolf of Delaware Part 1: From Newark to the Windy City to the Money

Governor Markell


The Wolf of Delaware comes across as a sheep to his most loyal followers.  They believe he is always right and they will do anything he wants.  Some of these followers can be found in the highest positions at Legislative Hall in Dover.  Many of them can be found at the Townshend Building, home to the Delaware Department of Education.  His people have been placed in important positions all over the state.

To understand the Wolf, you have to read the below document.  While reading it, keep in mind everything that has happened in Delaware education over the past ten years.  Please keep the Wolf in the forefront of your brain while reading and you can almost picture him reading it to you as so many of his speeches and actions have stemmed from this one body of work.

The Wolf of Delaware was born in the First State in 1960 as the son of William and Elaine Markell.  Jack spent his formative years growing up in Newark, Delaware.  As early as Kindergarten, young Jack met a girl who would have a profound effect on his life and would eventually become Delaware First Lady Carla  Markell.  During his youth, Jack Markell attended a summer camp called Camp Galil.

Graduating from Newark High School in the Class of ’78, he next week to college at Brown University in Rhode Island with degrees in economics and development studies.  But it was his time in Chicago that shaped Jack Markell into the man he is today.  The Wolf got his M.B.A. at University of Chicago, and he started working in 1982 at First Chicago Corporation as a banker.  It was his time as a consultant at McKinsey and Associates from 1986 to 1989 that most Delawareans know about during his stint in Chicago.  To this day, Markell brings McKinsey in as a consultant on a variety of Delaware issues and initiatives.

His biggest corporate position was from 1989 to 1995 at a company originally called Fleet Call.  As a Senior Vice-President at Nextel, Markell actually came up with the company name, Nextel.  Markell was in on the ground floor as wireless technology exploded across America in the early 1990s.  Markell left Nextel to become a senior manager at Comcast, but he had his eye on politics, and he ran for Delaware State Treasurer in 1998 and won on the Democrat ticket.

The Wolf’s story will continue as his election results in 1998 set up his future in Delaware all the way to the present.  Unfortunately, it set up our future, and more importantly, our children’s future…

*The above document was written by Marc Tucker with NCEE

**The above graphic was originally on

Teacher: The Day the Light Went Out in My Students’ Eyes


Diane Ravitch's blog

I received this from a principal in New York City. It was written by one of his teachers.

From a 3rd Grade Teacher

“I love teaching!! It fills my heart when my students make connections and get that light in their eyes when they become excited by what they’ve learned. I have some of the brightest bunch of kids this year. They come to school enthusiastic about the day, prepared to learn something new. They challenge me and my thinking, my pedagogy and I reciprocate. Today I saw some of the light in many of my students completely disappear and it broke my heart.

It’s been a grueling three days of testing. Their anxieties manifested themselves in tears, trips to the bathroom because of nausea and complete shutdown. Their self-confidence was stripped from them today and I felt them questioning their intelligence. I believe my 3rd graders were asked to…

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CNN Not Giving Opt Out A Fair Shake

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

The actual article on CNN’s website yesterday was actually very good.  It gave both sides, which I would expect from CNN.  But at the top of the article, there was a video by the woman who wrote it.  While she didn’t mention opt-out, she did talk about “helicopter parents” trying to rescue their kids from being failures.  We should all be those types of parents when it comes to this.  If the only reason I opted my son out was for that reason, I wouldn’t have done it.  It’s the psychological effects this test will have.  Not to mention the effects it will have on teachers, schools, communities, as well as the entire country.  This is a dark path education is on if it remains unchecked.  Those are all the reasons parents are doing this.  We tell our children not to play with guns or talk to strangers because we are afraid of severe damage happening to our children.  That’s how we feel about this test.  You can read the article and watch the very biased video at the below link.

Governor Markell Is Having A Hissy Fit Over Smarter Balanced Opt Out Numbers! #supportHB50

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

Governor Markell wants ALL students to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He isn’t getting his way.  What you are seeing with his announcements about “reducing” other standardized assessments and the whole Delaware colleges and universities and Smarter Balanced is basically a hissy fit of epic proportions on a political level.  Why didn’t Markell throw all these carrots out there before the test started?  Because he didn’t know the opt out movement in Delaware would become as big as it has.

House Bill 50 will be heard in the House Education Committee on Wednesday.  Please read my most recent posts to get all the information on that.  What Markell loathes and hates is any mention of the words “opt  out” in the media.  Because every time someone hears those words, at least ten more kids opt out.  House Bill 50 will generate a great deal of media attention.

Governor Markell banked on the opt out movement not getting a lot of attention in Delaware.  He didn’t count on parents like me pushing the envelope on it to such a degree.  Delaware is a very unique state.  We tend to run behind on the trends of other states.  There are various reasons for this.  Our media has been accused of being biased towards corporate interests and political associations.  Folks in Delaware don’t question items of interest and controversial issues as much as other states.

Jack Markell is fuming in his own head.  He probably thought the Smarter Balanced Assessment would go off without a hitch.  His own ego wouldn’t allow the possibility of parents rising up and turning the conversation around.  Well guess what Jack, it’s happening, and we are NOT done talking!   We are forcing the conversation to those who are in a position to listen AND act.  If it’s all about politics with them, we will make them act based on that.  But I have to think many legislators are now wondering what the political fallout for them may be if they vote no on House Bill 50.  This is a bi-partisan bill with bi-partisan backing from the citizens of Delaware.  If Markell was crying in his sleep over opt out numbers a week ago, wait until he sees what they are a week from now!