Delaware PTA’s Yvonne Johnson Will Be On WDEL w/Rick Jensen Tomorrow at 2:30 AND On Delaware Way w/Larry Mendte May 9th on Me-TV

The Delaware PTA has been a HUGE advocate for parent opt-out in 2015.  They hosted Parent Opt-Out Town Halls in Newcastle County and Kent County.  They have gone to many meetings at Legislative Hall.  They passed a resolution supporting parent opt-out.  Now Delaware PTA’s own Yvonne Johnson is on the media circuit.

Tomorrow, May 5th, she will be on WDEL with Rick Jensen at 2:30pm.  This should be a very interesting interview based on Governor Markell’s potential veto of House Bill 50.  When I say potential, that’s if it passes the Delaware House and Senate.

Then, in a pre-recorded segment, she will appear on Larry Mendte’s Delaware Way on Me-TV on Saturday May 9th (time to be announced).  If you don’t live in Wilmington, Mendte puts all his Delaware Way videos up on Youtube a few days later.

Is Yvonne running for Governor?  Just kidding on that one.  I’m glad to see the PTA being so active in this movement.  It’s all about parent choice and their rights!

Delaware Priority Schools: The Truth Revealed Part 28

Mark Murphy finished the final draft of this turnaround one-pager.  Thank God, he only had a week left!  But what is this potential snafu that could come back and bite them five days later?

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Did the attendance zones for Red Clay change to the point where it could have taken them out of priority status?  If students weren’t there that “brought the scores down” was it even legal?  Did anyone ever check into this?

Delaware Priority Schools: The Truth Revealed Part 27

This priority schools FOIA bonanza is like the Energizer Bunny.  It keeps going and going and going.  Without further ado, welcome back!  In Part 27, we are inching closer to the big announcement at Warner Elementary School.  But the DOE still has a lot to do, and very little time to do it in.  Will they get it right? (I’m laughing hysterically as I typed that last line)

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We see the DOE scrambling to make sense of all their data.  What’s the point of having all this data if you don’t know how to use it?  Cohorts, data, proficiency targets, blah blah blah.

And what happened with the RSN the year before?  Anyone out there know this?  Penny didn’t like the surprise she got on the phone.  Oh well…

A Very Special Message For Ted and Eleanor

I know.

A Father’s Cry For His Son, One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, Kilroy’s Delaware posted the first part of “A Father’s Cry For His Son”.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  I remember what drove me to just start writing the night before.  Kilroy and I planned the whole thing for weeks.  It was just a matter of finding the right words and method.  I wanted to tell the story about my son’s years at a Delaware charter school.  As a result, I wrote fourteen very long parts of that story for over a month.  Four days later, Exceptional Delaware was born.

I look back and see things remaining the same, and some are vastly different.  It’s like a science experiment.  First you have a theory, and then you do the experiment, and then you find out if you were right or not.  Along the way you have catalysts and other factors that may affect the experiment.  Was I right?  Did my theories hold the weight of truth?  Some of them did, and others were close.  Some went way beyond what I thought they ever could be.   But to me, it’s the journey along the way.  The people you meet and the things you do.

One thing I do know for sure, but I thought at the time.  Not all charter schools are evil.  I think I realized this when Gateway Lab School was on the potential chopping block and I found myself doing everything I could to save them.  Yes, I write about the problems at many Delaware charters but I think many of those issues are systemic and could improve with the right amount of legislation, some of which arealready in the works.

Once opt-0ut and House Bill 50 are decided on, I want to get back to the basics, making life better for special needs students.  Granted, the ESEA reauthorization may take care of opt-out in one fell scoop with one of the amendments to the Senate bill.  So many of my battles will be decided on if that legislation passes.  Some will remain.  To get a good look at the bill, look at the article prior to this one from the fantastic Mercedes Schneider.  Together, her and Diane Ravitch keep me abreast of all the national education news.

With so many potential looming decisions on the horizon, it’s very important we keep the momentum going and try to figure out what’s next.  It will be a time of rebuilding and making sure the foundations are the right ones for students.  I am no expert on these matters, so I leave that to the many more than capable teachers and parents out there who have the knowledge base to do what’s right.

Take a look back at my humble beginnings a year ago today in the first part of A Father’s Cry For His Son.  I still feel like I can’t thank Kilroy enough for letting me take up so much of his blog in May 2014.  I will always be forever grateful.  They say everyone has a purpose in life.  Maybe this was mine.  History will determine that.