Marc Tucker: Time for the Civil Rights Community to Rethink Its Support for Annual Testing

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this brilliant article, Marc Tucker explains why the civil rights community is making an error by supporting annual testing as a “civil right.” He knows their leaders believe that poor and minority children will be overlooked in the absence of annual testing. But he demonstrates persuasively that annual testing has done nothing to improve the academic outcomes of poor and minority children and that they have actually been harmed by the pressure to raise scores every year.

Tucker writes:

First of all, the data show that, although the performance of poor and minority students improved after passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, it was actually improving at a faster rate before the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Over the 15-year history of the No Child Left Behind Act, there is no data to show that it contributed to improved student performance for poor and…

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The untold courage of Beau Biden now revealed

Delaware Mourns For Beau Biden Today

Beau Biden, the former Attorney General of Delaware, died yesterday.  The son of Vice-President Joe Biden, Beau had brain cancer.  I’m sure the family didn’t come right out and say this because they knew the outcome wasn’t favorable.  And I’m sure they wanted their privacy.

As I saw the news break last night, I felt a very particular sadness.  All who lived in Delaware did.  This was a man who, instead of reaching out for personal glory, stuck with a job to put away Dr. Bradley who destroyed so many lives.   Beau taught us all that taking the easy road isn’t always the best road.

Today, hold on to your families a little bit tighter.  Tell your children how much you love them.  Call those loved ones who you don’t always keep in touch with and say hello.  First and foremost, Beau was a family man first.  He would want that.

Christina referendum NO voters are NOT cowards. #netDE #eduDE

This Week At Legislative Hall: IEP Task Force Bill, Parent Opt-Out, Assessment Inventory & More!!!!

This will be one busy education week at Legislative Hall in Dover, DE.  Many education bills are moving to their next phase in the legislative process.  Here is what’s on the docket:

Senate Bill 33 w/Senate Amendment #3: This is the legislation that came out of the IEP Task Force.  It is up for a House vote, and if it passes, it goes to Governor Markell’s desk.  I like this bill with one exception: they took out a part about parent groups at schools.  Originally, it was supposed to be parents who first ask for an IEP will have an opportunity to meet with newly constructed parent groups at each charter school or district.  Now it is only for “existing” groups.  Even if Jack signs it, it won’t go into effect right away, so I would suggest parents get these “existing” groups going now.  No one knows what to look for in IEPs more than parents who have been through the process.

At the House Education Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 2:30, the following bills will be discussed: Senate Bill 62: regarding transportation of students, House Bill 144: another transportation bill dealing with appropriations, House Bill 146: Kim Williams bill dealing w/waiving of teacher licensure fees, and House Bill 148: Helene Keeley’s bill creating the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.

And last, but certainly not least, we have the Senate Education Committee meeting at Wednesday at 3pm.  House Bill 50!!! Parent Opt-Out!  Also Senate Joint Resolution #2: the evil assessment inventory resolution the DOE thinks will stop House Bill 50.  Also Senate Bills #92 and 93, dealing with Autism, and Senate Bill #94, dealing with military identification for students w/military ties in their family.

If you plan on coming Wednesday, GET THERE EARLY and wait for the doors to open up if you want a halfway decent seat!

Bleeding Hearts

I went to bed last night at 8pm.  This is very unusual for me, but I think I know why.  I was exhausted, emotionally and physically.  For months now, I’ve been writing non-stop on here, hoping for change.  I woke up at 2:10am this morning, came downstairs, and caught up on some reading.  I go to work at 6am, and I knew I wouldn’t be falling back asleep.  There was something more to all of this though.  My subconscious was well aware of something.

Two years ago, I woke up to the phone ringing.  It was 3:30am in the morning.  I knew exactly why the phone rang and what it meant.  I wasn’t at my house, I was up at my parents house in Pennsylvania.  That phone ringing meant only one thing.  My mother passed away.

She was on hospice in her home, and my father was taking care of her.  She didn’t want to pass anywhere else, with machines and tubes.  She had been ill for a very long time.  I knew the end was coming, which was why I went up there a few days prior.  I’ve always had a sense for this type of thing.  I’ve never been sure if that was a blessing or a curse.

I went downstairs and my oldest brother just looked at me and said “She’s gone.”  I heard my father on the phone talking to the hospice nurse who would soon be coming over.

I went outside about fifteen minutes ago, and I watched as the blue-green-orange hue started to come up in the east.  Above me, the stars were shining bright in the night sky.  It was quiet and peaceful.  These are the times when I think of my mom the most, when there is nothing else distracting me.

My mom and I are a lot alike.  We both have a very deep passion for the things that bother us.  We also fight like hell for our kids.  She taught me that.  But she also taught me it isn’t just about your own home, it’s about the world that we live in.  We all have a responsibility in this world, to be what we are supposed to be.  We fail at this constantly.  And we never know what this purpose is, I guess, until we drift into the afterlife, into the arms of whatever we believe in the most.

Sometimes I can feel my mom watching over me.  I remember over a year ago when I was going back and forth whether to tell my son’s story on Kilroy’s Delaware.  I knew it would be a bold thing to do, and once I did it I could never go back.  I wrestled with this thought for weeks.  It was at one moment, when I looked over and saw it.  The sign.

A few weeks after my mom passed, I was at Lowes.  I wanted to get a particular plant my mom always loved, bleeding hearts.  I remember as a child my mom showing me how to open them up and see what’s inside.  I always thought it was one of life’s more interesting tricks.  I bought the plant, came home, and put it in a corner near my house.

The bleeding hearts didn’t fare too well that summer.  I watered them all the time and made sure they didn’t suffocate from the weeds.  By the end of the summer, the plant dried up and I saw the stem start to brown.  The bleeding hearts died.  As the summer warmth faded to fall’s crisp embrace, I mowed the lawn one day and accidentally ran over the withered corpse that had been my connection with my mom.

Seven months later, one May morning, I sat on my porch.  I hadn’t been in my backyard too much and I knew I had to mow the lawn soon.  I walked past my fence and that was when I saw it- the bleeding hearts, in full bloom.  What the plant had gone through was just the natural ebbs and tides of life.  but I took it as a sign.  I emailed Kilroy with the first part of my son’s story that evening.

I can’t explain why I do what I do.  I wrote last week about synchronicity and fate.  But what if it’s more than that?  What if this is my thing?  I will never know, but even when I am criticized and blasted by my critics, when things seem at their lowest, I still believe.  I still think things can change.  I think there is more to all of this than what we know.  We can change, we just have to come together.  We need to do this for the kids.  Not for ourselves, not for our own advancement or personal glory, but for them.  They need us.  That’s why I can’t accept all these things going on in education.  If it’s not good for kids, than it really shouldn’t be there.  We just have to find common ground to work from and really turn education into what it is meant to be.  Not just for my own son, but all of Delaware’s kids.  It’s what my mom taught me.

As the seasons pass, and the dawn leads to the day, my heart bleeds for the lost kids in our state.  I pray that we can do right for them and carry them out of the darkness.  It’s always been about them, not ourselves.

Dr. Fleetwood Gets His Contract Renewed At Charter School of Wilmington

Just announced by the individual running the Change.org petition: Dr. Thomas Fleetwood of the Charter School of Wilmington was given a new contract as of 1pm today.  After allegations surfaced that school leader Sam Paoli would not renew Fleetwood’s contract because the teacher called Paoli out on his bullying and intimidation, it appears Paoli doesn’t have total control after all.

This has probably been a rough couple weeks for Paoli getting called out on all this stuff.  But the results of this probably aren’t leaving the best impression with the Board of Directors.  Will they make a change?

DOE Purposely Misleading Stakeholders On House Bill 50 & Parent Opt-Out With “Alternative” SJR #2

The Delaware Department of Education hates parent opt-out.  They can’t do anything about it.  They know this, yet they continually attempt to greatly exaggerate even the tiniest detail, blow it up, and then add layers to it.  Exceptional Delaware was able to get its hands on the actual document the DOE has been sending their “stakeholders” lately in regards to parent opt-out and House Bill 50.  What is very telling is the document doesn’t even have the DOE letterhead on it.  This is a Department that never misses a chance to spread their name, but on this document, it is oddly missing.  Notice how close some of the wording is to the recent Dover Post article on parent opt-out with Secretary of Education Mark Murphy’s editorial.

You can see it in bold print: “There is an alternative- Senate Joint Resolution #2 has been introduced- looking at testing.”  Now if anyone doubts the validity of this document coming from the DOE since it doesn’t have their name on it, I would be more than happy to email it to you.  When you are in the PDF, and you click on file, go down to properties, and it shows you the author “Young Shana”.  Otherwise known as DOE employee Shana Young.  This was written by Young on May 22nd.  Now some of this may seem familiar.  That’s because we have heard it from the DOE numerous times.  What wasn’t included in this document was extra wording talking about the General Assembly not having “formal authority” over the assessment inventory with Senate Joint Resolution #2.

What I would like to know is who the DOE is sending these out to.  I put in a FOIA request for any emails from Shana Young from May 14th and May 15th to any superintendents in Delaware.  Because I know Miss Young knew about Senate Joint Resolution #2 at least five days before it was even introduced, and that would mean this information could have only come from the sponsors of the bill: either Earl Jaques or David Sokola.  I emailed Senator Sokola on Tuesday for more information on this mystery but he hasn’t responded at all.  I did get the FOIA going with the DOE, but I guess I’m not important enough for Senator Sokola.  But I’m sure if it was the DOE emailing him, he would come running.

This is the email I sent to Senator Sokola:

 

To
  • Sokola David

Dear Senator Sokola,

I’m just going to come right out and ask this.  Which legislation are you giving more weight to: House Bill 50 or Senate Joint Resolution #2?  I know your thoughts on parent opt-out based on your interview with Avi at WHYY, but this is not just about your opinion.  It’s about giving this legislation the forum it deserves.  The House passed this 36-3.  I know there is a lot on the Senate Education Committee’s agenda, and this is not the only education bill out there.  But it has been the most mentioned in media (and not just my blog).  We have never actually talked person to person, but I am not a lone wolf crying in the dark.  HB50 is supported by the vast majority of the public.  As parents, we already have the right to opt our kids out.  And we will continue to do so in growing numbers.  What we will not tolerate is the treatment parents have received from many of our schools in regards to opt-out.  As long as one parent is receiving heat from any one school, this matter will not die.

What concerns me the most though is SJR #2 and your history with Achieve Inc.  I know you have a long-standing association with Achieve Inc. and Michael Cohen, going back to 2008, if not longer.  Achieve is also the vendor on the assessment inventory the DOE is pushing so hard.  As well, I have seen a DOE email from the past couple weeks talking about SJR #2 to “stake-holders” stating that SJR #2 is an alternative to House Bill 50.  As well, this email from Shana Young stated that SJR #2 will give no “formal authority” to the results of the assessment inventory.  Since you and Jaques are the primary sponsors on SJR #2, it is obvious SJR #2 is more about killing HB50 than tackling assessment inventory.

You have the power to make sure HB50 is heard, and heard first in the Senate Education Committee meeting on 6/3.  Parents will show up, and it would be a tremendous disservice to make them wait, if it is even heard that day.  Parents are now part of the process on education in Delaware.  It would be a true shame to ignore them.

I think there needs to be an honest conversation about these backroom deals going on with the DOE and their contracted vendors.  It is getting out of hand, and these are funds that should be going to our children in the classroom. 

Thank you,

Kevin Ohlandt

Now since this email with no response went out, the agenda for the Senate Education Committee meeting on 6/3 has gone up, and it has both House Bill #50 and Senate Joint Resolution #2 on it, along with two major autism bills and a bill about identification of students with military connections.  There could be a chance HB 50 isn’t even heard that day and it is pushed back until the next week.  But I can promise you this: if Senate Joint Resolution #2 is heard, and not HB50, Sokola is going to generate a lot of heat and ire from ticked off parents.

In the meantime, I’m sure the DOE will be sending out more “talking points” filled with half-truths, outdated information, and outright lies.  Their high-stakes testing propaganda machine is running out of fuel, so they are obviously googling ANY editorials they can find from other states on civil rights groups opposition to opt-out.  And the 27 number they quote for national civil rights groups?  That changed to 12 last month.  So nice try DOE.  At least get something right!

And what does this line even mean: “Without assessment results that shows where these students need support, the support for these students disappears.” So the only support these children need is based off of Common Core standardized tests like the Smarter Balanced Assessment?  Okay!  Does that mean the DOE won’t give low-income, minority and special needs children support if they don’t take the standardized test?  Are you saying that no school or teacher gives these kids supports, ever?  This scare tactic doesn’t work cause it is based on a falsehood that Governor Markell and the DOE have promulgated onto the public.

They also wrote “Testing, without over-testing, is valuable and provides us important information for our students and schools.”  Who is the “us” Miss Young refers to?  And this line shows this testing is important for the DOE, but not the students and the schools.  They want this information so they can USE the student data so they can PUNISH the schools.

“Under current Delaware law, all students are required to take statewide assessments.”  No, they are not.  The schools are required to administer the tests, but children are NOT required to take them.  Nice play on words there.

And then we have the (yawn) whole Federal Funding cut threats (getting sleepy) and how Delaware can stand to lose $42 million on one page, and $44 on another, but all coming from the same source.  But it never comes right out (zzzzzzzzzzzz…Sorry!) and says it, but there is a “risk”.  Sorry DOE, if the Feds are going to cut Title I funding to schools, they aren’t going to start with Delaware.  They would start with New York or New Jersey, and they would have done it by now.  The only reason they haven’t is because they can’t.  So once again, thanks for the empty threats.

Here is my biggest question though: How can the Delaware DOE already know the Fiscal Year 2016 allocation for Title I funds?  What if a student switches schools?  I truly don’t know the answer to this one so if anyone does, please advise me!

Oh yeah, one other big thing… why is Shana Young, who works in the Teacher Leader Effectiveness Unit at the DOE, writing opt-out talking points to stakeholders?  Wouldn’t something of that sort be covered under Penny Schwinn’s area, Office of Accountability, which has Assessment under that umbrella?  Could it be that standardized testing is more about Teacher and Leader Effectiveness than Accountability?  I’ll let you draw your own conclusion on that one dear readers!

For parents and citizens who are supportive of House Bill 50 and parent opt-out, but against Senate Joint Resolution #2 and assessment inventory, please email the legislators and let them know.  For quick reference, just copy and paste the below information:

Harris.McDowell@state.de.us MargaretRose.Henry@state.de.us robert.marshall@state.de.us greg.lavelle@state.de.us catherine.cloutier@state.de.us Ernesto.Lopez@state.de.us Patricia.Blevins@state.de.us David.Sokola@state.de.us Karen.Peterson@state.de.us bethany.hall-long@state.de.us Bryan.Townsend@state.de.us Nicole.Poore@state.de.us David.McBride@state.de.us bruce.ennis@state.de.us Dave.Lawson@state.de.us senator-colin@prodigy.net brian.bushweller@state.de.us gsimpson@udel.edu Brian.Pettyjohn@state.de.us Gerald.Hocker@state.de.us Bryant.Richardson@state.de.us Charles.Potter@state.de.us StephanieT.Bolden@state.de.us helene.keeley@state.de.us gerald.brady@state.de.us melanie.g.smith@state.de.us debra.heffernan@state.de.us Bryon.Short@state.de.us Quinton.Johnson@state.de.us Kevin.Hensley@state.de.us sean.matthews@state.de.us jeff.speigelman@state.de.us Deborah.Hudson@state.de.us john.l.mitchell@state.de.us Peter.Schwartzkopf@state.de.us Valerie.Longhurst@state.de.us jj.johnson@state.de.us Michael.Mulrooney@state.de.us michael.barbieri@state.de.us kimberly.williams@state.de.us Steve.Smyk@state.de.us Michael.Ramone@state.de.us joseph.miro@state.de.us paul.baumbach@state.de.us Edward.Osienski@state.de.us john.kowalko@state.de.us John.Viola@state.de.us Earl.Jaques@state.de.us william.carson@state.de.us trey.paradee@state.de.us bobby.outten@state.de.us Sean.Lynn@state.de.us andria.bennett@state.de.us jack.peterman@state.de.us Lyndon.Yearick@state.de.us David.L.Wilson@state.de.us Harvey.Kenton@state.de.us Ruth.BriggsKing@state.de.us Ronald.Gray@state.de.us Daniel.Short@state.de.us Timothy.Dukes@state.de.us Richard.G.Collins@state.de.us

Delaware Does The Water Dance

Very interesting article from the folks over at the Caesar Rodney Institute. I’m all for trimming some of the fat in Delaware state departments, especially the DOE. I’ve never been shy about that.

Caesar Rodney Institute Blog

Every year, the General Assembly finds a way to balance the budget, as they are required to do by our state constitution, or at least use accounting gimmicks to move spending around so future liabilities aren’t held against the current FY budget.

This year, the state’s “in a pickle”, so to speak, or maybe something to do with scrapple would fit better. There is a budget deficit in the neighborhood of $70 million, which increased after legislators caved to state employee demands not to pay additional expenses for their healthcare policies due to a wage freeze for most state employees, a freeze which has lasted for years. Not only did they not make this move at the request of Governor Markell, but they added $21 million to the deficit with money we don’t have to keep their constituents happy.

Meanwhile, the state wants money to pay for infrastructure spending, cleaning…

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The Tragedy

I’d like to welcome another new blog in the Delaware education arena. Creative Delaware is written by an art teacher. This is very timely due to budget cuts going on around the state. Classes like art and music are in severe danger, and if you want them saved, now is the time to speak. Creative Delaware will do their part to spread the word to parents, but we need everyone speaking up who supports more culture in our schools.

Creative Delaware

IMG_3005

Today in one of my art classes we were discussing the above art work by Pablo Picasso entilted “The Tragedy”.  We discussed the subject matter, elements of art and principles of design.  We turned to our partners, asked the questions why and what if the image was red instead of blue.  Student gave me specific evidence from the image (text) to support their opinions and/or reasons.  We used all the common core like language required.  Finally, I asked students to think about their life and create an image of something sad.  It could be a global issue like hunger, homeless (referred to by Picasso), or something personal in their own lives.

They started working and then I thought about the same question as I walked around the class.  Some students were working quietly focusing on the assignment at hand.  Most were talking more than creating, whining and complaining about how they…

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Delaware Legislators Add More Education Bills: Librarians, Charter School Audits & School Board Voter Eligibility

In the final month of the 148th General Assembly before they take their six month recess, three new education bills are on the plate.  These ones deal with school librarians, a clarification on a pending charter school audit bill, and new rules for voter eligibility in school board elections.

State Rep. Paul Baumbach wants to make sure no school librarians lose their jobs.  I fully support this bill, but we also need them for art, music and other classes that all children used to enjoy but are on the cutting floor in many of our schools.

More from Kim Williams with Delaware charter school audits.  This is good, but we are still waiting on results from at least three charters and their audits in the state auditor’s office.

I’m not sure how I feel about this bill.  I’m going to have to digest this one.

Why Christina Is Very Different Than The Other Wilmington School Districts: Special Education

I heard a lot of comments in the past 24 hours about Christina School District’s bloated administrative costs and their higher cost per pupil.  While that may be true, did anyone bother to check why that is true?  I did, and it took five minutes to figure out what all the naysayers were unable to do.  I actually posted this in a comment on another blog earlier: https://criblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/whats-next-for-christina-school-district/#comment-3511

As for the difference in funding between Red Clay and Christina, there is a HUGE difference between one portion of their populations: special education. Based on national estimates of extra costs per special education student in America, it works out to be about $9,369 extra per student. Red Clay has 11.9% special education whereas Christina has 17.9%. If you multiply the number of students by those percentages, and then multiply that number by that average special education cost, it works out like this:

Red Clay: $22,635,504 in special education funding
Christina: $33,237,473 in special education funding

Now these are based on national averages. We all know Delaware has some of the highest per-pupil funding in the country. So that nearly 11 million dollar difference is probably about 18-25% higher. As well, Christina has the Delaware School for the Deaf, as well as many of Delaware’s DAP programs. These are not inexpensive programs, and that constitutes a lot of the differences between the two districts. This is something that would also cause additional administrative costs as there would have to be a lot of coordination with other state agencies.

So what these voters who said “No more” essentially did was cut services for many special education kids. That’s why I take such offense at the attitudes of some of these folks who voted no. While I’m sure they believed in what they were saying, I don’t think they realized this essential fact.

I’ve said this time and time again but far too many don’t want to get it.  The key to so many of the problems in Delaware stem around special education.  I wrote the other day how there are probably 20% of Delaware’s students that should be on an IEP, but only 13% actually are.  I also said this is about 50% of the problems with education in the state.  You can read about a classic example along with the comments about how special education doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room it has become in so many of our schools.  Maybe now eyes will start to open.  As for Christina, they have to figure out where to take funds away from and which jobs to cut.  And who suffers the most, the students.  And in Christina’s case, a whole lot of special education students…

Christina Board Member John Young & Christy Mannering Will Be On WDEL’s Rick Jensen At 2pm To Discuss Referendum

After the horrible defeat of the Christina referendum yesterday, a devastated district is left to pick up the pieces today.  On The Rick Jensen Show today, at 2pm, Christina board member John Young and parent Christy Mannering will discuss the implications of the referendum results and what has to happen to move forward.  You can call in at 302-478-9335 and listen in here: http://www.delmarvabroadcasting.com/player/?st=WDEL

Christina School District Should Apply For A Grant From The Longwood Foundation

Why not?  They already give millions of dollars to Delaware charter schools.  Is it even legal for a traditional public school district to do this?  I have no idea.  But I think the very nature of a referendum should not be legal.  Yesterday’s vote on the Christina referendum shows a clear disparity between traditional public schools and charters.  When a charter needs funds fast, there are many organizations willing to donate funds.  But when a district like Christina needs money, they have to beg for it.  The charters will say they need to beg, but when they get extra funds from transportation funds, non-profits, and even DOE awards, you never hear them offering solutions for the districts that give them their main source of funding.  Nearly 6,000 votes should not decide a source of funding for over 21,000 students and cause the termination of 200 teachers and support staff.

Legislators are already calling for change.  Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko sent out an email this morning in response to very concerned constituents in the Christina District:

I do not pretend to offer lip-service or support from a distance. I will meet with a House lawyer this Friday and plan to compose and consider legislation that may be offered immediately to help and legislation to create a task-force with a reporting requirement no later than Jan. 1 2016 to offer a plan to change Delaware public education funding structures and eliminate the referendum process. I am open and willing to hear any and all suggestions to accomplish that and will meet with your group at your convenience to discuss this. I want to thank you for all of your hard work in trying to secure a favorable outcome on the referendum and to specifically applaud all of your group’s efforts to dispel the lie and the implication that some unidentifiable flaw in Christina Board/Administration/educators should cause voters to pause before casting a ballot in support of the referendum. These types of references did much more damage and influenced many, many more negative votes than the weak whispers of support voiced by some leaders with the caveat that the district was corrupt, misusing funds or populated with malcontents. Once again thank you all for your reasonable and intellectually honest assessment of the needs of our public school children.

Respectfully,

Representative John Kowalko

With the topic of school funding already a hot topic in Dover, yesterday’s vote is just going to add fuel to a raging inferno.  Add standardized testing, opt-out, redistricting of Wilmington schools, special education funding, Autism, charter school audits, teacher evaluations, change in the Department of Education and Secretary’s roles, and how to protect our schools.  It is more than obvious that the biggest concerns in Delaware right now are around education.  Should the General Assembly extend their legislative session to deal with these crucial issues?  They essentially have five weeks left.  Three days a week.  With education committees meeting once a week for an hour or two.  They need to do more and act quicker.

Charter School of Wilmington Leader Dr. Paoli Under Fire In Change.org Petition To Restore Dr. Fleetwood’s Contract

The ongoing story about Charter School of Wilmington’s leader, Dr. Sam Paoli, continues.  Last week, stories emerged about the leader and his bullying and intimidation towards students.  This caused a great deal of controversy.  Now it is revealed his attitudes are not just isolated to students.  A Change.org petition to renew a very beloved teacher’s contract is currently under way.  Dr. Thomas Fleetwood has been at the school since the beginning, and students are extremely offended his contract was not renewed.

Some students feel Paoli did not renew his contract because Fleetwood challenged Paoli on the bullying and intimidation we are now learning is directed towards anyone who disagrees with him.  I would have to ask this: why is Paoli the sole deciding factor on faculty?  Wouldn’t this be a board decision?  In most schools, it is the boards who make these types of decisions.  A school leader can make a recommendation, but it should be the board.  I don’t have an answer to this, and if anyone from the Charter School of Wilmington board wants to advise on this, please let me know.

In 2013, Dr. Fleetwood won an award from the Delaware Charter School Network called a “Dedication Award” for his achievements in teaching high school students.  The article on this quoted a parent as saying “he sets a high bar for all of his students, and provides real-world experience that inspires his students to pursue careers in the medical profession.”

The convergence of student and faculty issues with Paoli is something the CSW board should take an immediate look at.  Schools need leaders, not dictators.  In the comments on my articles last week about a discipline incident, as well as other exchanges outside my blog, it was overwhelmingly clear there are major issues with Paoli as the leader of CSW.  Most said he is not a fit leader and bullying and intimidation is common practice with him.  All eyes are on the board at CSW to see what happens next.

The “wealth gap” has come to public education – and the other students are suffering

This is special education in Delaware. This is what is going on with so many students with disabilities. This is a must-read. Not because I agree with it at all, but it is symbolic of the excuses parents of special needs children are forced to endure in Delaware and across America. I posted a very long comment at the end of this article about the parent’s perspective on this.

fixdeldoe

So, we have all heard about the one percent – how the one percent of America seemingly hold 99% of America’s wealth – well, the numbers are not quite at 99% but they are well on their way

As of 2013, 1% of America owns 40% of America’s wealth, and the gap is growing every year.

It struck me today, as I learned how the behavioral demands of one child required the intervention of 4 highly qualified professionals, and I saw yesterday, how the social emotional demands on one child requires the consistent daily interventions of highly skilled professionals.

I saw today how the needs of the rest of the class were compromised and it occurred to me, this is fearfully similar to the wealth gap, and all of those ramifications.

Laws and tax codes and lax oversight have led to the 1% phenomenon.

In schools, it goes something like…

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Delaware Charter School Mystery Teaser

-Which Delaware charter school has a leader that is severely ticking off not only students, but faculty as well?

-Which Delaware charter school is not renewing a beloved teacher’s contract because this teacher called out the same leader on their tactics of bullying and intimidation?

-Which Delaware charter school has students taking a stand: the teacher over the leader?

*Hint: It’s all the same charter school, and you will definitely hear more about this soon…

Delaware Legislators…Listen Up, Those Who Side With The DOE & Markell- Your Days Are Numbered

I’m talking to Senator David Sokola.  State Rep. Earl Jaques.  State Rep. Mike Barbieri.  State Rep. Timothy Dukes.  I’m talking to those who sit there and have your little non-transparent meetings with the DOE, scheming and coming up with more ways to connive with them to screw over the students of Delaware.  You will not be in office after your next election.  You allow the extremely bad ideology into our schools.  You allow students to be expected to be proficient on a test that absolutely sucks.  You insult parents with your ignorance of what is really going on.  You disgust special needs parents with your Markell cheerleading rants.  You don’t even have the common decency to support a bill that would protect parents from manipulation and deceit coming from a State Department and well over half the schools, charters and districts in our state.  You want teachers to lose their jobs because you would rather support a dying reform movement than look forward.  I no longer support anything you do.  I don’t care who cares.  Those who feign false praise on wanting to support Wilmington students carelessly and recklessly did nothing to support a referendum which would have given these students services and resources they need.  You were more concerned with kissing Markell and the DOE’s ass.  Well guess what, they will ALL be gone in a year and a half.  And parents, we will remember.  Teachers will remembers.  Citizens will remember the 10.0 earthquake you helped cause with Delaware education.  What a legacy you will leave the children of Delaware.  You may or may not realize what you are doing, but we all see it.  Come out of your stupor NOW!  Wake the hell up!

Christina Referendum Does Not Pass…Cowards Who Voted No Want Children To Suffer

The Christina School District referendum did not pass today.  Unofficial results for Newcastle County are showing 5,074 for and 5,968 against.  This is a stunning defeat for the children of this school district.  Those who voted no must see these children as Delaware’s most unwanted children in the state.  It amounted to $4.50 a week for the average citizen.  I feel ashamed to live in Delaware right now.  Red Clay is celebrated like the second coming, but Christina is the unloved stepchild of Wilmington.  Did any of you who voted no ever think about that?  What these children will lose?  You voted NO for the future of our state.  You voted NO for the over 13,000 students in this district.  You voted NO on their ability to get the same equal education other districts get.  Your vote guarantees more jobs will be lost.  And with charters getting shut down left and right or going under formal review or probation, not to mention all the stuff yet to come out, there will be more teachers looking for jobs.  Way to screw education in Delaware haters…

House Bill 50 & Senate Joint Resol. #2 To Collide At Senate Education Committee on 6/3

Here we go.  The agenda for the Senate Education Committee meeting on 6/3 at 3pm has been officially announced.  Here’s where it’s going to get real crazy, very fast.  Both House Bill 50, the parent opt-out bill, and Senate Joint Resolution #2, what the DOE feels is an alternative to opt-out with the assessment inventory, will go head-to-head in this committee.  Start emailing them now, cause this one is going to be a doozy!  Further complicating this is Senate Bills #92 and #93.  They are great bills dealing with Autism, but they will demand a lot of conversation.  Or, the committee will say these are awesome bills and pass them fast.  You never know.  Either way, this is going to be a packed chamber.  Opt-out parents, DOE, State Board of Education, lobbyists, parents of children with Autism, school officials, other government agencies, and so forth.  Get there early!

Chamber: Senate

Chairman: Sokola

Location/Room: Senate Hearing Room

Date/Time: 06/03/2015 03:00:00 PM

Revision Num: 1

Agenda

SB 92 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION AND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.
Sponsor : Henry

SB 93 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATED TO CREATING AN INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON AUTISM AND THE DELAWARE NETWORK FOR EXCELLENCE IN AUTISM.
Sponsor : Henry

SB 94 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO A MILITARY CONNECTED IDENTIFIER IN DELAWARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Sponsor : Bushweller

SJR 2 DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO STUDY STUDENT ASSESSMENT TESTING.
Sponsor : Sokola

HB 50 w/HA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION ASSESSMENT.
Sponsor : Kowalko