Kendall Massett Teaches Parents How To Use Computers (and oppose legislation that makes DE charter schools accountable)

Delaware Charter Schools Network, House Bill 186

Wow Kendall.  Thank you for the computer lesson!  I had no idea how to navigate through a website until you taught me.  Notice on this very important “action alert” she doesn’t give any reasons why House Bill 186 is bad for charter schools, just that it’s “bad for our charters”.  For those who have never heard of Kendall Massett (which is most of the state), she is the Executive Director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network.  Or, in another words, a cheerleader non-profit for Delaware charter schools, backed by other “non-profits” and “foundations”.  Aside from having an annual show called “The IDEA awards” (which has absolutely nothing to do with special education), nobody really knows what they do except show up to charter school open houses, hang out at the Delaware DOE and Legislative Hall, and make very strange videos.

So if you believe your voice matters, and you want our charter schools to stop stealing taxpayer funds, please email your legislator by 7:00pm on Tuesday evening and offer your support of House Bill which makes charter schools in Delaware get a post-audit by the State Auditor.  As the poster in Kendall’s office says, “Change the way you look at things.”  An email or phone call of support will allow you to change the way you look at charter school finances!

The #SignHB50NOW Party For @GovernorMarkell Begins NOW @UnitedOptOut @BadassParents @ParentalRights

Governor Markell, House Bill 50

Delaware will have a parent opt-out bill IF Governor Jack Markell.  Our House and Senate passed it last week.  Our legislative session ends Tuesday at midnight.  We need the Governor to sign this bill! Retweet, post on Facebook everywhere, tell your friends, tell your enemies, scream it from the rooftops “SIGN HB 50 NOW Governor Markell!”  His Facebook page is and I would post this on any education article you see on there.  Message him.  Email him.  His email is and tell him why you want this bill signed.  This isn’t just for Delaware.  This is for ALL of America.  It’s no secret Markell has his eye on a bigger prize than Delaware.  Trust me when I say we don’t want another Arne Duncan!

Oregon’s Governor signed legislation very similar to this the other day.  Let’s make it a two-peat America!

The Constant

My Son


This past weekend I’ve been going through pictures from the time my son was born until the present.  It brings back a lot of memories all at once.  But most of all, I remember the joy.  Every single thing he did was brand new for him when he was a baby.  Learning everything, starting with how to breathe on his own.  All those sleepless nights when he had colic in the first couple weeks were worth it.  All the diaper changes, his impeccable aim, and the messy food.  I wouldn’t trade any of it for a minute.


As parents, we see everything.  We watch our babies crawl, sit up, and then walk.  And talk.  It’s like watching evolution in fast motion.  The term “they grow up so fast” is very true.  You blink, and they look older the next day.


And after they get out of that terrible toddler time, they start to think on their own enough and they are ready for school.  And they have no idea what to expect, but they soon learn Mommy and Daddy aren’t the only teachers.  Things they do at home aren’t necessarily the same as what is expected of them in school.  But they have fun…

Jacob John Dickensons Museum

They start to meet more and more kids, and they start picking up things.  Their minds expand, and curiosity becomes a game of “What happens if I do this?”


You start to see them do things you never thought they would do, and at times you can only laugh.  It’s what makes them unique, God’s gift to the world.  None of them are the same.  They try new things and stretch their boundaries of what they are familiar with…

Speed Star 1.1452384  00

Speed Star 1.1452384 00

They learn how to be part of a team.  But sometimes they have things going against them, and they have to work even harder.  Things don’t always work, but they keep going.  It’s all they know how to do.  But it’s hard for them to keep the smiles going…

Speed Star 1.1417443  00

Speed Star 1.1417443 00

They aren’t always happy, and you can see it more and more as they get older.  The constant smiles disappear more and more, and you have to reach out harder.  But that’s okay, cause that’s why parents are here.  We are here for them during the good times…


and the bad, when they need us the most…


And the sometimes, when they aren’t even watching us, we have to fight for them…


and you meet strange people along the way…

Governor Markell, Kevin Ohlandt and Jacob Ohlandt, 5/14/15

Governor Markell, Kevin Ohlandt and Jacob Ohlandt, 5/14/15

But that’s okay, life is full of surprises and twists.  It’s what makes it so complicated and unpredictable.  What is very hard for parents is to see your child and you view them differently.  You start to realize, they are getting old fast.  It isn’t going to be long now, they are going to be an adult.


But one thing is constant, and that is a parent’s love for their child.  That doesn’t go away, ever…

Laura Chapman on The Big Lie about “Global Competition”


Diane Ravitch's blog

Laura Chapman, a frequent contributor to the blog, comments here in response to an article in the Boston Globe about whether the Common Core was “killing” kindergarten:

THE BIG LIE: “The United States is falling behind other countries in the resource that matters most in the new global economy: human capital,” declared a 2008 report from the National Governors Association. Creating a common set of “internationally benchmarked” standards was seen as the best way to close the persistent achievement gaps between students of different races and between rich and poor school districts.”

THE BIG LIE: I have found only two international benchmarking documents in the early history of the Common Core. The first was in 1998 with comparisons of standards in two states and the math and science standards in Japan and standards available from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS). The second report in 2008. titled…

View original post 665 more words

The People Speak On House Bill 50, And The Vast Majority Want Governor Jack Markell To Sign It

Governor Markell, House Bill 50

In Delaware, there is one place folks can visit to get a true barometer on the overall feeling about an issue, and that is the Delawareonline Facebook page.  This website for the News Journal draws a crowd, and some of the commenters aren’t so nice.  Now that House Bill 50 is sitting on Governor Markell’s desk, I have to wonder if he is bothering to see the state mood on this subject.  These are the comments I was seeing on Delawareonline’s Facebook page based on their June 26th article on the Senate vote, but without the actual poster names for obvious reasons of privacy:

Education needs to be brought back to the classrooms. My kids do not need to go to school everyday to be taught how to study for these state tests. To much focus is on them.

I agree with this measure mandatory standardized tests have taken the creativity out of the classroom. Teachers are now forced to teach to the test.

Teachers will still have to do this

Unfortunately I know. I think they need to reevaluate this system for all students

Exactly..totally agree..most teachers I know hate these tests now!

Those of you that don’t agree with opt out should be in my classroom with the kids who are crying, stressed out, and feel defeated when they have to take a test that is full of flaws. Seriously. I am not against testing. Many give great information. I am against kids who barely speak English being forced to take a test. I am against kids with special needs being denied accommodations they get everyday that they can’t have on testing day because it isn’t on an approved list. I’m also against a test that does not give me results until AFTER my class is gone. How does that help anyone? Before you judge, come talk to the children.

My experience of state standardized tests in school were stress inducing nightmares…

If you ask the frontline teachers what they think about this year’s standardized test, you’ll see why why we fought for the right to opt our children out. Doesn’t mean we will in every case, but my kids won’t be subjected to a test that was predetermined to have a 70% failure rate. Can you imagine the pressure the schools will be under to produce good numbers? There is just too much incentive for schools to exclude low-scoring students and fudge numbers. I trust the teachers who told me about SBA test and until the come out with a better version, my child won’t be taking it. Go ask the teachers…you trust them with your children; trust their opinion of this current testing.

Too much time spent teaching for tests vs teaching how to be productive in life.

The Common Core-associated standardized tests do nothing for the student or, in most cases, the teacher. It’s not really a question of dropping new standards – it’s a question of testing with purpose.

The Feds need to get out of education and return it where it belongs….and where it excelled…to local control

Standardized testing, in its present format, Smarter Balance is a nightmare. I speak as a mother of both a LD and non LD child. Weeks of times wasted on pre-tests, post tests then the actual test. And common core, don’t get me started…Nothing more stupid then taking simple math and trying to turn it into rocket science. Education in DE is a train wreck. My kids didn’t take the SBA this year, and I will exercise my right to opt them out again next year if the same test remains. 

it’s been a train wreck ever since the state seized power from the local school boards, and started dictating what’s best for us.

Standardized testing is horrible. It’s quite clear that it benefits nobody and stresses kids out because teachers pretty much have to drill the information in. There a very specific way things have to be taught to pass that test. I was in Indiana for majority of my school career. I took the standardized state testing in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th, and finally 10th which by the way the 10th grade IStep is the test that determines whether you graduate on time as if students at that grade level aren’t already stressed out enough. Curriculums are fine. Tells teachers what they need to teach now how they need to teach it. Not everyone learns OR tests the same. Standardized testing is only beneficial for the student with the brain that understands everything right away. They suck. Get rid of them. 

It started with NCLB, rolled into RFE, now SBA. They’re all just throwing something at the wall to see if it sticks. Guess what, it’s not sticking.

They want us to differentiate instruction but then turn around and give the same test to everyone. I don’t get it! Just let me teach!

I’m a conservative libertarian and a teacher, (non-union, thanks for asking!) The theory that using excessive, arbitrary testing improves education is ridiculous. All it does is poke at a symptom, it doesn’t solve the problems you think need solving (quite the opposite.) As in, teachers tenure and, ‘inability to be fired regardless of performance’ is another symptom. Schools that are not performing is a symptom of a much greater set of problems. Testing the bejeezus out of kids with different strengths, different learning styles, etc. to try to prove that a teacher is bad, is useless in the grand scheme, as it would be if a manager of a large company assumed that every worker under his care did everything exactly the same way. It only measures one VERY finite, tip of the iceberg skill: do these children take this particular test well? That’s it! Want to raise the standards? Let teachers TEACH! Which clearly the woman quoted in this article doesn’t think is possible, because apparently the only way one knows of a child is struggling is low standardized test scores…. otherwise, oh no, they’ll, “fall through the cracks!” Apparently, teachers are incapable of knowing when students are having a hard time otherwise. To clarify: this doesn’t mean allowing unions to dictate, (or the state to dictate, or the fed to dictate.) It means allowing TEACHERS in their classrooms to guage the abilities, strengths and weaknesses of the kids, and go from there. Otherwise, homeschool for goodness sake!

Follow the $$$ and see who sells the tests to the state and what politicians they support

I opted my children out. For four weeks my daughers were to either sit in the office or library and read. They do not give opted out children assignments or instruction time. When I found out after the first day, I put together things for them to do. My oldest needed help strengthening her math skills so I had her do that and my youngest her reading. Both significantly improved which would not have happened if they were testing. These test aren’t days, they are weeks now that expand half the day where nothing is being taught.

So then what’s the point of enforcing Common Core?

Common Core is terrible.

Make your voices heard! Tell Markell how you really feel about the standardized tests!!!

Standardized testing is a joke. Kids past first or second grade know it doesn’t count towards their grades so they don’t take them seriously.

Look at U.S. on a global scale people.. making excuses about why kids are failing isnt gonna help.. yes all kids are different but the knowledge should be the same.. more and more kids focus on social lives instead of education for the future.. maybe just maybe its not the tests fault they fail.. it rest on the teachers and parents to teach and the kids to learn if any of those aren’t doing their part of course they will have trouble where others don’t

stop making excuses for children that cant keep up with the standards,, you are only lowering the standards of our education system.keep dumbing down our children and we will have the next generation of Burger King fippers…

Why would anyone want their kids to opt out? That is so stupid. I took all the tests I could. They were fun!

There are a lot more test now than before, some taking weeks out of instruction time. If you have children be grateful that they aren’t disabled. I opted out my disabled daughter because she has struggled taking these tests. Her learning style is different than her peers. They do not cater to children that need certain accommodations.

And I understand that. Obviously they are catering to your disabled daughter due to her special needs. I have two step daughters who are also disabled. They are grown now, so I do know what you are talking about. I just think it is not right for “normal” kids to opt out. Where will that leave them when they are required to test for positions later in life?

This is for opting out of the yearly standardized testing. They still have to take all the regular classroom tests and exams. A standardized test prepares them for nothing and is a waste of classroom time

The results for the smarter balanced won’t even be out until mid-summer sometime. How is that helpful? And kids aren’t allowed to brag anymore. My son couldn’t be given his honor roll award in class because other kids might feel bad…

Here is all I can say. The school does not cater to children who have a learning disability by automatically opting them out. My daughter has taken them before and it took me to contact the superintendent to finally get her to stop. Even after several IEP meetings I still had to go above the school. Like **** states, regular classroom test are the best way for teachers to see how each individual student is doing. I opted out my other child who is not disabled. While her peers spent weeks taking a test she took the time to strengthen skills that she struggled with. She now excels and may not have if she had stopped to take a test that puts even more unneeded pressure on her. Kids are learning more advanced skills earlier than when I was in school. I understand we have different perceptions, as your children are now adults, but with children currently in elementary trust me, things have seriously changed. I think if you did a bit of research you will be surprised about how much it has.

My daughter is in the Autism Spectrum. High functioning. The state tests stressed her out unnecessarily. Her mainstream teacher said she felt it was an ‘insult to her dignity’. I opted her out.

the tests don’t lead to any success for the children. There is no relation between this type of testing and the required testing later in life. Those types of tests are more like you and I took in our school years. Just take a deeper look is all I ask. 

Veto the bill, Governor. Let’s stop letting the losers win.

Markell is for himself not DE (Delaware) be glad when he is gone.

We need to get back to teaching.

NBC 10 news just reported that Markell would veto the bill. (Editor’s Note: No they didn’t.  If fact I reached out to their Delaware reporter Tim Furlong who thanked me for letting him know the bill passed but he was on vacation.  There has been zero reporting of Markell even speaking out on House Bill 50 since it passed on Thursday.)

It’ll come back to haunt him if he does. I want to know who has him in their pocket and what is he getting for supporting a sub-par test. The truth will come out when some investigative reporting shows the money trail.

Our kids can’t be standardized so why should we use a standardized test to judge them, their teachers, and schools?

Isn’t that what their grades are for? Requiring an honor roll student to take a standardized test is a waste of time

Like law makers don’t have better things to do. Parents have known the test is crap and has controlled teaching for 30 years.

State tests were a waste of time in the 50’s & 60’s, let the teachers teach, the students study and get rid of at least 50% of the useless so called administrators!!!

This (is) dumb. It lets the teachers know where the kids stand!

Actually, most teachers I have talked to are against these new tests.. its all politics now..and the teachers have to teach to the test instead of having the creative freedom they used to have

As a teacher my classroom assessments tell me way more than any standardized test will. These standardized tests are written knowing that 70% of students will not be proficient. And kids don’t have any incentive- they are not tied to grades, grade promotion, or graduation. So they click through and randomly answer questions. This absolutely does not tell me what they know!!!

Let the people speak

Why bother, kids can fail every class and still get promoted to next grade. Why even go to school??

Oh thank you dear masters and overlords for allowing us to have the teensiest say in our childrens’ lives.

I took those dumb test and they did nothing for me. Except give me stress of if I was going to pass or not. It didn’t help for anything outside of school. Honestly who looks at these test scores? Any place I’ve tried to go to college at hasn’t asked me about these dumb tests. So why take them?

As it is plain to see, people don’t want this test, agree with opt-out, and a rising number of voices in Delaware don’t want Common Core either for their kids.  If you listen to the News Journal (who survives on advertising revenue from many of the same groups who opposed House Bill 50) and commenters over on Kilroy’s Delaware, it is a “handful” or “some” parents who support opt-out.  They have always wanted to lessen the impact of opt-out because of their own vested interests with these matters.

Markell has three choices: Veto the bill, sign it, or allow it to become law after ten days (legislative days which would bring it into January).  I say this: