Don’t Even Think About It Jack! Do Not Be Cowards Like Senators Coons & Carper! #SignHB50NOW!

Governor Markell, House Bill 50, Parent Opt-Out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment

Governor Markell, do not even think about acting like our very cowardly  Delaware U.S. Sentaors Chris Coons and Thomas Carper did today with their “nay” votes on the opt-out amendment in S.1177.  You have a duty to serve the people of Delaware, and we elect the legislators that write our laws.  They overwhelmingly supported House Bill 50, our parent opt-out law.  The 64 U.S. Senators who voted no on this amendment, including our own, do not realize it is NOT a state right to allow opt-out.  It is a parent’s right.  Pure and simple.  By doing nothing with this bill, you are spitting in the face of every single parent in the state you govern.  You are telling them their rights don’t matter, that it’s okay for schools to treat parents like crap.  I’ve told you repeatedly, on here, on Facebook, on Twitter, and in an email I sent you that you replied to: your legacy in Delaware is at stake with this one bill.  Because it is over this one test, the one you labeled as the “best test Delaware ever made”.  Only someone who could somehow profit over a standardized assessment that has been repeatedly proven to be the WORST test ever made would say something so foolish.  If you don’t step up for your state, for the citizens you serve, than how can you possibly think of moving on politically?  This is not about civil rights groups, and you damn well know that.  This is about honor and respect.  This is about a parent’s choice.  For their children.  I won’t come to your house and tell you how to raise your children, so don’t you dare come into mine and tell me this is the best thing for my child.   Sign the bill Jack.  Sign it tomorrow.

Senator Lamar Alexander: States Can’t Give Parents The Right To Opt Their Children Out, We Already Own That Right!

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing, Senator Lamar Alexander

The United States Senate just killed the opt-out amendment in their ESEA reauthorization bill according to The Washington Post.  Senator Lamar Alexander, according to the article by Emma Brown, spoke against the amendment for the following reason:

“But Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — the Republican co-sponsor of the carefully crafted bipartisan bill — spoke forcefully against the proposal, saying it would strip states of the right to decide whether to allow parents to opt out.”

Excuse me Mr. Senator?  Nothing on this planet will ever give me a “right” or “allow” me to opt my son out except for the fact that I already have that right and allowance as a father.  Politicians created this mess, and you need to get our children out of it.  I take great offense at your suggestions this is not a right I already possess.

I agree with Diane Ravitch who just stated:

“I have great respect for Senator Alexander but his argument is not logical. The federal government mandates the tests, but it leaves to states the power to decide whether parents have the right to opt out. Why is the federal government mandating any tests? Why is this not a state responsibility? If he were being consistent, he would leave the testing and the right to opt out to the states. I would just remind the Congress that the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 was a resource equity act, not a testing and accountability act. It was meant to send money to schools and districts that enrolled students who lived in poverty. It was No Child Left Behind that turned the ESEA into a testing and accountability act in 2001-02. And it was the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 that first proposed that states create their own standards and assessments.”

Both Delaware U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons voted no for the opt-out amendment.  There are two other opt-out amendments in S.1177 Every Child Achieves Act, but this does not bode well for the other two amendments.  I seriously hope both Carper and Coons don’t think the citizens of Delaware will forget this the next time they are up for re-election…

To find out if your state senator stiffed parents, go here:

Major Exclusive: Delaware DOE Email To Red Clay Allocating $750,000 For Each Priority School From November

Delaware DOE, Priority Schools, Red Clay Consolidated

The Delaware Department of Education, in an email dated 11/13/14, assured the Red Clay Consolidated School District of a certain amount allocated for each of the three priority schools in their district.  As well, they placed more demands regarding the school leaders.  Nowhere in this document does it state anything about Title I funding as addressed in the documents I posted yesterday between the DOE and Red Clay from May of this year.

What the Delaware DOE did by not informing the Red Clay Consolidated School District that 10% of Title I funding had to be divvied up between the three priority schools and taken out of other schools in the district is an absolutely disgusting and reprehensible new low.

There is also more “direction” placed on Red Clay in regards to the University of Virginia in this email…

Delaware Charter School Leadership Changes

Delaware Charter Schools

As the new school year approaches, there is movement afoot among Delaware charter schools.  Some are coming from different states, while others are transferring between different Delaware charters.

William Bennett, a former principal from an elementary school in Media, PA has taken on the role of principal at Delaware Design Lab High School after a shocking exit and settlement from his former school.

Rebeccah Forrest, an assistant principal at EastSide Charter’s middle school is taking over the principal position at Gateway Lab School as Stacey Solomon heads over to St. Ann’s, a parochial private school.

At Providence Creek Academy, Chuck Taylor resumes his former role as head of school due to the bizarre illness Steve Esmond contracted in the Bahamas shortly before he was scheduled to start at PCA.  Taylor left PCA in 2013, went to Campus Community for about six months, and returned to PCA to serve as interim head of school.

Dr. Evelyn Edney, former Dover High School principal, became the principal at Early College High School in Dover effective July 1st.

Former executive director Jack Perry of Prestige Academy in Wilmington has landed a new job as deputy chief of academic enrichment for the Philadelphia School District according to an article in  Cordie Greenlea is the new executive director at Prestige after previous stints in Christina School District and most recently Delcastle Technical High School.

One thing you can say for Delaware charters, they certainly like to mix things up!  As long as we don’t get more like Noel Rodriguez, Sean Moore, or Dr. Tennell Brewington.

Delaware DOE Letter To Christina School District From December With Harsh Bullying Tactics

Christina School District, Delaware DOE

We all know the Delaware Department of Education can be bullies when it comes to getting what they want.  But this was never more true than when it came to the Christina School District and their three priority schools.  The extreme amount of pressure they placed on Christina was immense, but Christina stayed strong and stood up to the DOE.  This recently revealed letter from Penny Schwinn shows once more how the DOE would be all smiles in public, but in these letters they reserved the strongest language possible to intimidate the district.

The Big Idea Behind Race to the Top


Joanne Weiss. A name very familiar to Delaware education, as Ms. Weiss sits on the International Advisory Board of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware. For Delawareans, this should give some keen insight into what Rodel has always been about.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Have you every wondered what “Race to the Top” was supposed to accomplish? Did it mean that we would be first in the world if we opened more privately managed charter schools, closed down more public schools (especially in Black and Brown communities), evaluated all teachers by test scores, and adopted the Common Core standards? If so, that clearly didn’t happen. Did it mean that the states who followed Arne Duncan’s instructions most faithfully would surge to the top of the NAEP tables? That didn’t happen either.

Be it noted that a “Race to the Top” is a bizarre metaphor for education in a democratic society. In any race, only a few reach the top, while most are left behind in the dust. That would seem to be a repudiation of the principle of equality of educational opportunity. For sure, it throws the goal of equity away.

For those who…

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