I received a few notifications of this today. Apparently one of the Delaware House of Representatives is getting another job with another state agency and will be resigning their elected position in August. Who do you think it is? You can ask me until the cows come home, but I’m not leaking this one at all. No hints, no snippets, no Easter eggs and no spoilers. Or did I leave a hint in this already? I know, I’m evil.
When it comes out, everyone will hear about it. Will the readers of Exceptional Delaware care? Some will. But caring can go either way…
Commenter Delawareway posted the following earlier this afternoon:
Kevin, check out the interview on WHYY’s First this week with Markell. He gets a few whammers and gives a sour-faced, lame-ass delivery when answering all of the reporter’s ‘difficult’ education policy digs.
And Jack Markell is going with the crap talk that testing policy is a civil right in defense of ‘not liking HB 50 – the opt out bill.
The governor claims that the legislature hasn’t ‘sent him the bill yet’. FABRICATION. He calls for which bill he wants and, because the DEMs are in charge, he is in COMPLETE control of when he will be facing the rule of the 10 days to decide to sign a bill or not after receipt from the legis.
She claims Governor Markell is full of it! When I called Governor Markell’s office about this, I was promised an answer by the following Monday. That was a week ago. What is he waiting for? For school to be in session so even more parents will be pissed off at him for not signing it yet?
In listening to the interview with WHYY, he had a lot of “uhs” and “uhms” when asked about the opt-out bill. He gave the usual “falling through the cracks” in supporting the civil rights groups. Here’s one for you Jack: my kid is special needs, which is supported by several civil rights groups who do support parent opt-out. Sign the damn bill!
You can listen to the Governor uh and uhm about opt-out here:
I’m hearing from a ton of people the Capital School Board may vote to name the Dover High School football stadium after the recently retired Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas. There are a lot of mixed thoughts with this. Some feel it is way too soon, some say he should definitely receive this honor, and others are saying heck no! What do you think?
Will Delaware Governor Jack Markell veto House Bill 50, the parent opt-out legislation in Delaware that passed the House of Representatives and Senate in the First State in June? According to Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty, indications are pointing to him not vetoing the controversial bill. At their board meeting on Wednesday July 8th, Daugherty said the district is preparing for the legislation to take place later in the summer. He indicated the district may have to notify parents in both September and in the Winter so they are given the options at the start of the school year and prior to the next round of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Weeks later, and Markell has not even asked for House Bill 50 to be brought to his desk. Once he does that, if he fails to do anything with the legislation, it passes into law in ten days. The opt-out legislation would stop Delaware schools and the Delaware Department of Education from bullying and intimidating parents when they decide to opt their child out of the high-stakes assessment. As well, it would stop the opt-out students from counting in the school’s accountability rating and would not count against teachers in their evaluations. Sponsored by State Rep. John Kowalko, a Democrat, and State Senator Dave Lawson, a Republican, the legislation had a five month battle in many areas of Delaware: schools, Legislative Hall, the DOE, the Governor’s office, homes, and on social and print media.
In New York, New Jersey, and the state of Washington, many opt-outs went far below the 95% Federal threshold for test participation. Threats of federal funding cuts have been just that: empty threats. Despite all the posturing and bullying by both the US DOE and the Delaware DOE, no school has received funding cuts due to opt-out by parents. While the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores haven’t been released yet in Delaware, it looks like high school juniors may have gone below the 95% mark.
“The Auditor’s office was concerned by the length of time the alleged financial mismanagement continued while under the oversight of the Board of Directors, Department of Education, independent auditors, Innovative Schools, the Charter School Accountability Committee, and Division of Accounting.”
According to an article by Craig Anderson with the Delaware State News, the State Auditor’s office in Delaware sent their audit report on Academy of Dover to Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn’s office. What the article had, which I haven’t seen before, is this:
Also, the Auditor’s office alleged, “Given the magnitude of the problem at (Academy of Dover), there may well have been additional exceptions prior to July 2011.”
Once again, this article states the State Auditor’s office receive an anonymous tip on their fraud hotline regarding ex-principal Noel Rodriguez’ rampant and unauthorized spending. Rodriguez is trying to find a seat on a non-profit board, according to Anderson. A few sources have told me Rodriguez was working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Middletown, DE until he was let go once the news came out about the allegations leveled against him in the Auditor’s report.
Many have wondered why Rodriguez is being made an example of while they dynamic duo from Family Foundations Academy, Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington, got a get out of jail free card. According to a letter to the DOE, Moore and Brewington settled with the school and hints the attorney general’s office was involved in this financial settlement after they pilfered over $90,000 from that charter school. But one thing to consider is the State Auditor has not officially released a report on Family Foundations Academy yet. They started an investigation into Academy of Dover in August, 2014, and their report came out last month. So if it takes roughly ten months, we might see a report on Family Foundations Academy by September. The $90,000 figure was based on a forensic audit done by Auphsite Consulting, but I have a suspicion the State Auditor will discover a much higher amount of fraud by Moore and Brewington.
As for Rodriguez, it will be interesting to see what his next move will be. Will he attempt to offer a plea bargain? If there were others involved in criminal financial mischief at the school, I could see Rodriguez pointing the finger. The next few months should be interesting for all seven of the charter schools under some type of investigation or review with the State Auditor’s office. I am very curious what kind of financial issues are under investigation with Providence Creek Academy…