Why Parents Should Opt-Out Of “Staying In” To Let Their Kids Take Delaware’s Greatest Failure

Dr. Teri Quinn Gray wrote an editorial in the News Journal called Summing Up the Courage to “Stay In”.  I had to get some Maalox after I read it.  As President of the State Board of Education, Dr. Gray can certainly have her say.  Doesn’t mean I’m going to listen.  My favorite line in the whole letter:

How can we truly know where our strengths and weaknesses lie? How do we improve that which we cannot measure?

Dr. Gray, that’s pretty much how I feel every time I file a FOIA request with the DOE!  Want to know a secret Dr. Gray?  Shhh, don’t tell anyone.  You ready?  Okay.  Here it is.  In the mid 1990’s I lived in Sweden for a couple years.  Apparently, they put this stuff in the alcohol there that makes you automatically throw up if you drink too much.  That scenario is very similar to how most of Delaware feels right now.  The “sunshine” coming from all these opponents of opt-out is so nauseating and unpalatable.  I truly think I would rather stab my eye out with a pencil than to hear about all this gap closing and rigor and standards and the whole “that’s why were looking at other assessments”.

It’s hard for me to value your opinion when you weren’t publicly elected.  At least with the Governor I have a choice.  I’m not sure which was worse, this letter or the speech you gave the Christina Board of Education when the DOE was on their priority schools rampage.  Are you guys done with that hissy fit?  Probably not….

“…to determine which schools should be recognized for success or slated to receive additional support to address low performance…”

If you want to stay in with this dying corporate education reform movement, be my guest.  I’m sure when the new Governor is done with this State Board you will get some STEM job somewhere.   And when Smarter Balanced is a distant memory, just remember, you pushed it.  Delaware’s greatest failure.  As for me, I’m opting out!

If you want to read this, thing, just go here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/06/01/summing-courage-stay/28323159/

If you want to read valid and well thought-out reasons why House Bill 50 is awesome, go here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/05/31/truth-parent-opt-hb/28267687/

Residential Treatment Center Placements For Students With Disabilities Still Rising in Delaware

The 2014 report for the Interagency Collaborative Team was released, and as predicted, more Delaware students are being sent out of state to residential treatment centers.  144 children were sent to either day schools or residential centers, in Delaware and other states.  These aren’t all 144 new cases, but the trend is growing, up from 90 cases in 2011.

These are students with disabilities who are unable to function both at school and at home.  Many agencies, as you can see in the below document, are involved in these cases.  The final report was written by Maryann Mieczkowski, the Director of the Exceptional Children Resources Group at the Delaware Department of Education.  I will be writing much more about this, but I wanted to get this report out there.

Last Chance Meeting For Academy of Dover, Prestige and DE Design Lab On Wednesday, Freire Will Be Saved By Jack and Murphy

On Wednesday, June 3rd, at 1pm, the four Delaware charter schools under formal review will have their final Charter School Accountability Committee meetings.  The meeting will be held at the Townshend Building in Dover, home to the Delaware Department of Education.

It remains to be seen if Academy of Dover will be able to overcome the odds and save itself.  The key for Delaware Design Lab and Prestige Academy will be their current enrollment figures.  Freire has already met those figures, and at last count was at 93%.  All they needed was 80%.  Prestige will also need to prove if they are worthy enough academically.

This is the major problem with the DOE holding any school accountable for academics at this point in time.  DCAS is over, and Smarter Balanced is here, at least for this year.  Schools should not be double penalized for last year’s DCAS scores.  They shouldn’t be punished at all for standardized test scores.

Academy of Dover has to prove they are financially viable with a $2 million dollar judgment staring them in the face.  They face the academic battle as well.  But the even more dangerous threat for them is one student.  One student with autism who represents the severe danger of this school staying open.  One student whose mother will stand up for him and reveal all.  Blue Ribbon status won’t be enough to save Academy of Dover.  But one student…one student could shut them down for good.

The fate of them all will be decided on June 18th, at the State Board of Education meeting…