How KIPP charter school handles special ed/IEP students


This is exactly why I never want KIPP getting a foothold in Delaware. If there are any charters in Delaware that practice this sort of behavior to ANY child, I want to know about it. This is a tragedy of epic proportions…

Seattle Education

kipp girls

Leonie Haimson posted this in 2012 and I have linked to it several times over the last few years.

Because I seem to be on a roll about KIPP charter schools, I decided this is an appropriate time to post this on Seattle Ed.

“At KIPP, I would wake up sick, every single day”

At KIPP, I would wake up sick, every single day. Except on Sunday, ’cause that day I didn’t have to go to school.  All the students called KIPP the “Kids in Prison Program.”

A few months ago, Class Size Matters met with a former KIPP student who lives in the Bronx and her mother to hear about their experiences at the celebrated charter school. What follows are excerpts from this interview.  The girl’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Mom: Students who are accepted to KIPP and who have IEP’s [individualized education plans] do…

View original post 1,784 more words

Jack Markell, The People Of Delaware Spoke Out On Your Veto & Their Judgement Is Harsh! Legislators Beware…

Governor Markell, House BIll 50 Veto

A week ago today, Governor Jack Markell earned the wrath of thousands of Delawareans by vetoing the controversial House Bill 50, which does not ALLOW for opt-out, but HONORS a parent’s right to opt-out their child from statewide and district-wide assessments.  They can already legally do this, but this legislation would have stopped the school intimidation and bullying to parents requesting opt-out and would have eliminated the opt-out students from school accountability measures including Annual Yearly Performance and the standardized assessment portion of teacher evaluations.

Reaction to Governor Markell’s veto was fast and furious.  On Facebook, hundreds of parents expressed outrage at Markell’s actions.  A very small amount of parents supported the veto.  This is in sharp contrast to the News Journal’s continuous reporting of “a small but vocal minority” in describing the opt-out movement in Delaware.  Larry Mendte, with NewsRadio 1450 WILM, conducted a poll and 9% agreed with the veto, while 91% disagreed.  The following are Facebook comments from the original News Journal story on the veto, and Governor Markell’s own post about it.  I would say the people have spoken Jack, and they are overwhelmingly saying one thing: YOU SUCK!

Politicians need to stay out of the classroom and let teachers teach something other than how to take a test. I’m disappointed with him to say the least.

Amen!! I’ve lost all respect for him. He’s proved he’s all about the $$$ and nothing else!

Keeping his friends pockets fat while the children suffer.

Like I stated previously, of course he would not approve. Politicians are in bed with the testing companies and he would lose a large piece of the pie when it came time for pay outs. These politicians are getting very rich at the expense of your child. Sickening.

Those stupid tests need to stop. Kids are not learning anything except how to take a test. I know quality of education is important but you don’t need all of those tests. It is overkill. Kids don’t even have time to be kids anymore. Too much stress on the kids. The “No child left behind” law is a joke. More kids are going to be left behind because of it. Not to mention the emotional issues that are now cropping up. They lack “basic skills” which is a disgrace.

Wonder how much money he got for doing this to our kids.

Oh please, like standardized tests are going to make kids smarter and save them from being burger flippers. Did you read that this test is designed with a 70% fail rate. How does that help anyone. Have you even taken a practice Smarter Balanced Test? Do you know what they are asking of 8 years olds. They are not you old Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. They are not even the old SAT of my high school days. Take one of the tests and then see what you think. Or better yet have one of your children or grandchildren take the test.

…my daughter is a straight A student. I don’t need some test to tell me or her teachers how she is doing or how smart she is. Please explain to me how this test exactly helps students.

Do you not realize our children aren’t being taught in school anymore due to these tests? All they learn every year is what is on the tests. My kids know nothing about history, social studies, science, English, literature, or even how to write in cursive!!!! These tests are garbage!

you can’t compare those test. 2 help you get into college. what do the cc tests do. nothing for the kid. it is a test that is hung over the kids, parent, teachers, and schools head. a duh do well on this test and we will give you money… but if you fail the kid is stupid, the teacher is bad and the school is bad. cant compare SAT And ACT to Common Core.

That’s funny. Because, none of the private schools use this type of testing, and all of those students pretty much compete “globally.” I know, because I went to a private school, and testing/practicing for testing wasn’t anywhere in our curriculum. Now, I teach in the public system, and practicing for testing is really all that is going on in the classrooms. I feel sorry for parents and students who have to succumb to this type of schooling.

its horrible. i feel so bad for some of the kids who have to take these tests. and i hate that my kids have to sign something saying they can’t and will not talk to anyone about the test. well i am sorry that don’t fly with me. i have a RIGHT to know what my kid is doing. and again i should have the right to see the test. never have… cause its not allowed. Bologna! We are the parents it is our right to see EVERY little thing our kids does in school. because ultimately WE the parents are responsible to the child. not the phoney bolognas up in dc.

 If you let teachers teach them what they need to know instead of teaching the test they could compete globally.

Thanks Markell! He doesn’t care at all about the kids. One test does not fit all children.

How about you sir go on line and take a ‘practice’ test and then afterwards post your score! Oh……but you can’t post your score bc a human being has to grade the test and that person is probably still being sought by the testing co. As the ‘graders’ of the tests ARE NOT educated teachers they are ONLY temporary workers.
And also, you probably can’t sit still long enough to complete a test. It takes hours and hours for 1 test!!!!

If you researched this particular test and asked your teacher friends about it, I believe you will find that a test with a pre-determined 70% failure rate with results not even released to teachers until after the school year ends so they can’t even help these kids learn from their mistakes a big waste of time and money. Don’t you see that there will be pressure to keep the low-scoring kids out, and fudge numbers so administrators don’t lose their jobs? This bill wasn’t even about dropping this sub-standard test…it was about giving parents the right to determine what is best for their children. My child will not take this test…period.

 Oh, the test is also a big problem…see where I wrote “pre-determined 70% failure rate”? How is that any bit helpful or encouraging to children? We’re not talking about 10-12th graders taking SAT’s….they start with the little ones. And they will not make enough necessary accommodations for children with special needs.

These students have NO stake in these tests whatsoever. Therefore, some choose not to take them seriously. There is NO consequence for them. There are only consequences to outside forces, like myself, schools, and districts. Any scientist knows that a test where the subject being tested have no vested interest is not going to measure anything.

Not to mention, that the test is graded by temporary workers hired from Craigslist for $12 an hour. All they need is 48 college credits. I am a teacher, and I am not even ALLOWED to see the questions that my students answered incorrectly! How is that helping anyone?

Just another example of how the governor does not understand education or what is going on in our schools today. It is nice that he has lunch with a select group of “teachers of the year” on one day, but he knows nothing of the day to day goings on in schools. Tests are but one snap shot of what is happening and if happens to be a bad day for a student, than that snap shot is not going to be good. What if his political career was judged by one day?????. I’d like to pick that day, the one he cut our (teachers) salaries. He failed.

Did we really expect a different outcome? He doesn’t care about our rights to decide what’s best for our youth. It’s all about the money…..always has been n always will be. 

Where to begin with this jacka$$ and DOE? I’m a single parent of three, my oldest is 17 years old and I have twin 8 year olds. My 17 year old has been a straight A student since elementary school. She has taken ever state test and they come back stating the same thing. She meets the standard for the state, district and school. Every year she has mini panic attacks before and during these stupid tests. As a parent I don’t like seeing my kids stressed out over a damn test. It’s bad enough that’s all they are being taught about during class. Once these kids graduate from school and move out into the world. Their not going to be able to understand how to function. Hell I had to teach all 3 of my kids how to count money, balance a check book, and cook. Why, because the schools are NO LONGER teaching this in classes. So I’ll ask our so called governor… are these tests still important for our youths? To me all these test do is determine how the federal funds are divided between the state, districts and schools. They don’t benefit my kids education. So my kids won’t be taking them no matter what! I don’t need a test to show or tell me how MY KIDS are doing statewide, district wide, or amongst their school. That’s why I get a monthly interim report and report cards quarterly.

When’s the final vote gonna be?? My son has issues, PDD/ADHD still in question that would not allow him to take this test and be effective.

This testing nonsense takes time away from actually learning things the kids need.. LOL dumbass, he thinks we need to pass a test but not learn how to:
1. File Taxes.
2. Get a loan for a house or car.

3. How to write checks.
But by god, the kids can REALLY do a test!

How about start with going back to how math was taught back in our days? This whole testing bs is just for bragging rights for the schools and districts. “Oh our schools are better than yours.” How about they just let the teachers teach the class instead of putting so much emphasis on these stupid standardized tests? I wouldn’t want to be a teacher these days and I give them credit for continuing to be there for their students.

You didn’t have to take these tests. The smarter balanced tests are new… My child gets straight A’s. What is the purpose of the grades if they’re intelligence is evaluated based on a test score? What is the test teaching them?

How is it that only 5 out of 67 comments agree with his decision, and those that agree have children who graduated 4-5 decades ago?? (this was posted earlier in the day on July 16th)

Can you please explain to me why you feel this way? I have a child in our public school and can’t for the life of me understand why you support Markell taking away my right to decide what’s best for him? What do you know of this test that I don’t?

This has nothing to do with kids or education, it’s about money. First, the state receives money for every kid that tested from the feds. Second, this is a political payback to the companies that make and develop the test. My kids WILL NOT be taking a test and we get enough people to back this it’s time for a lawsuit.

They spend all school year scaring the kids and holding the tests over their heads. I hate it!

Exactly!!! It’s Ridiculous and has nothing to do with our kids….it’s all about the monies and recognitions that are to be received. has nothing to do with the welfare or self-esteem of a child…therefore the school system is just as corrupt as some major bank or company trying to stay afloat….only at a much higher cost…

Many school districts passed resolutions at the district level in support of “opting out”. Check with your district. Christina, Red Clay and Colonial did, to name a few. (Editor’s note: Colonial had no formal resolution, only a brief discussion about it during one of their board meetings.  Capital was the first school district to pass a resolution on opt-out back in October.)

Says the Gov.: “HB 50 would undermine the only objective tool we have to understand whether our children are learning and our schools are improving.”
First of all, *any* one-size-fits-all standardized test by its very nature is far from objective. Sec
ond, and most importantly, the aim should not be to develop an *objective* assessment tool, per se. Hear me out: instead, an *effective* tool is most critical to ensure academic excellence is appropriately measured. We have thousands of such effective assessment tools working hard in every district and school in the country.
They’re called *teachers.*
Enough with the hyper-focus on using standardized tests as high-stakes assessment tools. When we stop treating students as data points and start letting teachers teach and assess content that matters, the students will learn in ways that matter.
Novel concept.

I’ve been saying for years – even wrote to the Governor when my kids were in school suggesting it, -please read the whole thing before you jump to conclusions – that we should have these test to teach the children. It’s important that they get a feel for what it’s like to take tests like that so when they take the SAT’s they are so ready for it. But to make standardized testing the beginning and end all of a child’s school year is just ridiculous! He’s right it takes all the tools out of the teachers hands. They end up teaching the whole year to a single test instead of the way they should which is to their individual style teaching the syllabus for that grade year. I know I used to love going on field trips with my kids classes, I know I was lucky to be able to do that, but if the teachers have to teach a school year to a single test how much history are our kids going to be taught in the future not to mention science, art, music when these tests are Math and English. These are just as important to make a well rounded child become a well rounded adult.

 Standardized testing is a waste of time. Once kids realize they don’t count towards grades, they don’t put in effort.

This is NOT for the people by the people. Typical sheeple move Markell. Trust me, this is about money, agenda and bureaucratic pressure from higher federal government. Has zero to do with whats good for students or what the people actually need and want….

 Well said!!! Completely agree! Teachers and parents are the main focus regarding the education of our kids…most importantly all kids learn differently…excel in different things…these tests prove nothing but certainly do box/label a child in as possibly not being smart/good enough…it wreaks havoc on their self esteem and self worth….that’s the last thing a child needs or parent needs for that matter…I have 4 children, all are very different and there is a bit of time between the first 2 and the last 2….what is now expected of my 9 year old sometimes boggles my mind!!!! The pressure is absolutely unreal!!! She is now supposed to learn things that my other kids learned well into Middle School!!! She sometimes comes home with spelling words I have a hard time pronouncing let alone explaining to her what the word actually means!!! It doesn’t only frustrate and stresses her out…it stresses me out as well!! What the hell is going on!!! Are we trying to catch up to the Japanese where it is normal for these kids to go to school 6 days out of the week and they get a 2 week break…with homework??? My child came home one day from school…beautiful day out side…she wanted to ride her bike but she was too concerned about her homework on paper and homework on the computer…..she is 9 years old!!!! I told her..go ride your bike baby and after dinner we’ll sit down and do all this homework…get some fresh air and relax…be a kid….as a parent I have a hard time with that….but we really don’t have a choice do we????

You do not need anyone’s permission to opt out. Just complete the opt out request letter for each of your children.
A test that 70% of students will fail, graded by $10/hour employees with no education background, provides absolutely no gauge of my
child’s intelligence or what he has learned this year. The teachers are teaching kids to pass the test, not to enjoy school and learn and be creative.
My son was opted out for the 5th grade test and he will not take any smarter balance test ever, nor will my daughter.

Looking forward to seeing the veto overturned in January!

Does he ever make a good decision?! who votes for him?!?

And this is why I will homeschool or send my kid to a private school if needed. Standardized tests need to go.

$$$$$$$$$ That’s all that went into this decision

 I’m not surprised. Still disappointed though.
There are A LOT of parents in this state. Never try to come between a parent and their child. Parents will always fight back!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

Do away with this common core crap

(in reply to the above comment) There’s too much money involved. He can’t. Lol

I think Indiana just did something similar to allow students not to have to take it here. Those tests are horrible. Hey don’t make any sense and are not a good tool for prediction.

So glad I don’t have children in these schools.

Don’t need your approval to tell me that my children are intelligent. How much did you pocket, Jack?

 Let’s see if 3/5 of both chambers have the gravitas to override and ignore Jack and the educrap lobby that wants these tests to stay. In the absence thereof, I suggest that students bag the tests, enter as many wrong answers as possible. The powers that be can’t hold everybody back. IOW practice a form of that Civil Disobedience that Dr. King spoke of. Besides, a college degree isn’t the golden pathway that it once was.

I hope that if enough of us like-minded parents opt our kids out, they’ll listen!!!

I didn’t vote for him, but maybe those who did will finally see the light!

It’s too late now, Smilin’ Jack is on the way out next year, but wait it will get worse if another “establishment” candidate gets in.

What an idiot!!!! You suck.

So what’s your plan, Governor? We’ve had test scores for 15 years showing deficiencies in our schools. Nothing in seven years of policy and leadership from you has shown any serious interest in addressing the deficits WE ALREADY KNOW EXIST! So, again, I ask…what’s your plan? Specifics, please. I’m a teacher. I will demand the same from you that I do from my students.

Well said sir. I know there are many teachers that feel that way and I’m grateful

All of the money he puts into testing could better be spent lowering class sizes and giving resources such as reading and math specialists at every school! That would make more of a difference than a test that takes 4th graders 10 days to complete! Yes, at the school I teach at it took students 10 days to complete testing!

Ridiculous! I have many friends that are teachers who are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. They all say the same thing.. Too much testing. I know my kids were exhausted of it.

Boo, Jack!! Seriously!!

It’s all about money.

No surprise. You get what you vote for. So much for freedom.

All of the arguments against opt-out are based around one major FLAWED assumption. That standardized tests accurately measure anything. All I saw in the argument was one economic reason after another…. Poor reason to veto a bill so overwhelmingly supported by so many.

 Here’s the thing: We did elect legislators who wanted meaningful reform. They voted overwhelmingly for HB 50. The governor vetoed it.

Glad my parents taught me always to question, especially those in authority, lest I be ruled by the likes of Mussolini. Luis, I hear that there’s a new Jim Jones in town, and he has *the best* Kool-Aid. You should try it!

I see the comments are running 100% to 0% against you here Governor. Out of touch much? This is what happens when you send a screed of lies to the Legislature for the sole purpose of scaring them. We all see through you on this. We are patient though….and we already opt out. (this comment was made within an hour of Markell’s posting, and while it didn’t stay at the same odds it was well above 90%)

Jack Markell, your statement clearly demonstrates that you do not understand what motivated parents to support this bill, so how can you adequately begin to address those issues. Furthermore, Smarter Balanced is not the ONLY objective tool we have to measure student growth and learning. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even an objective assessment, nor does it measure student knowledge, skills and abilities.

You are a joke. Your minions in the State Board of Education, the Delaware DOE, and Rodel are a joke. We have NO faith on you whatsoever, and NO CONFIDENCE. You made a crystal clear decision today: To hold corporate interests over children. You are a mockery and a stain on the state of Delaware. But thanks to your veto, our resolve is even stronger. We are no longer opting out, we are REFUSING THE TEST! Here’s how: For all the awesome parents on here who supported this bill, I am sorry to say, opt-out is dead. it is now time to REFUSE THE TEST DELAWARE! (I will take proud ownership for writing this comment myself)

The SBAC should be on the table for discussion with SJR 2. The tests that districts give which also take up time are a direct result of jumping through the hoops of the SBAC. By the way, the end of course U.S. History exam is a waste of time considering we do not receive the results from that testing (and yes, the most students know this fact) and perform as one would expect when there is no accountability.

For Delaware families that are interested in transparency and learning more about your child’s public school education or haven’t seen these videos yet and would like to, it is well worth the time.

With 2 of the 5 biggest lobbying groups being education, I think we all know why Markell didn’t want this bill to pass. He and his cronies are making big bucks $$$ from the corporate education schemers.…/lobbyists-dover/30193959/

 My children, my choice. I don’t need anyone’s signature.

Gov. Markell’s idea of fixing education was Race to the Top, a federal welfare program for millionaires, billionaires, and hedge funders. This does not count as “what’s best for kids,” Governor!…/the-big-idea-behind-race-to…/

You’re a pathetic Governor! Remember when you actually stood for something?

Wrong choice!!!! Parents Rights for a proper education over the government getting money that never seems to make it to the children!!!!! Stop testing the children and actually get back to teaching kids!!!!

We took tests during the school year with our teacher and at the end of the year we had ONE state test. My kids now are tested constantly and told that the teachers jobs are on the line. Teachers now have to rush through lessons because they have to hit X mark for the test, if the kids don’t understand, they don’t have time to help.

I understand the dichotomy this puts education reform in but as a parent, when your 9 year old writes a poem about what her view of a better world would be and #2 on her list is less tests, it breaks my heart. Is this amount of anxiety that small children feel and the effect of that anxiety on their interest and commitment to learning worth the numbers? I’m not dismissing testing and I don’t pretend to have the answers but you might want to include some students in that discussion. They might be children but they have a voice.

(in response to the above comment) The “dichotomy” you refer to is “manufactured”. This is not a bona fide testing program.  If there are people who think testing is a legitimate part of teaching (and not just out to “monetize” public education, why don’t they use the federal tests that have been used forever and are deemed “the gold standard”, namely NEAP National Assessment of Educational Progress. It is proctored by federal officials and conducted under strict standards. (No Cheating)

(also in response to the above comment) Your words are awesome! Children do have a voice, and Markell ignored them today. No honor, and no respect.

Teachers, students, and parents seem equally aware of how poorly our current testing and even standardized testing in general actually assess a child’s progress, so why can’t our governor see that? Disappointed.

The test in itself is redundant and has obviously proven to be unsuccessful. I haven’t heard a single teacher in support of it.

Standardized testing accurately measures only one thing – the ability of students to take tests. It is neither a yardstick of student progress nor a reliable gauge for teacher accountability. Independent studies have shown this, over and over again.  Standardized testing benefits only the testing companies, not students. Parents should be allowed to opt out.

Standardized scores don’t fix public schools, these schools, according to abundant research, are doing pretty well considering the contexts they are working in. The problem is income inequity and rising % of kids from low income families in public schools. Tests don’t fix this. They do allow people seeking to profit from schools develop a currency that represents education to the public and legally – develop measures that can be scaled – then suck funds out of the public tax pool both through tax write offs and pushing job training off on public education. Teaching to the test is cheap – see the work of Yong Zhao on why the US does not want to replicate China, and David Blacker on the NeoLiberal agenda. If anything standardized tests are making schools intractable legal battles as people fight and panic over the high consequences.

And to be fair, I am posting the comments the supporters of the veto wrote, which ran from normal all the way to the downright bizarre!  I will put them in red:

No wonder so many kids are Whiney and don’t want to follow rules. Parents need to Get over it. keep them home, but when they can’t pass the SAt or any generalized job aptitude test don’t blame the schools or the DOE… It’s just a test, throw the results away and tell your kids they got above average if you are that worried about it. Cry baby parents don’t always win. Good for him!! My kids hate the test. I tell them too bad, do your best and learn test taking skills, they will serve you well!!

Most Standardized testing is a good measure of academic achievement!! Will parents opt out of the SAT and ACT? We need to know that our children can compete globally…

Good, finally the Governor has done something worthwhile. Teachers and their unions and the progressive liberal politicians are poisoning the waters by standing in the way of standardized tests. The reason is simple really, a standardized test presents a credible measure of the educators success at their job. Which is teaching … By the way.

You all are pretty much saying that your schools can do without extra federal funding to help buy what the school needs to educate your monsters. You all should be more than happy to have your children take that test and you should push them to try as hard as they can or your child’s school will end up like some of the schools where I live where students must BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR in order to sit down at school. You people aren’t smart at all.

You people are mean. Governor Markell is very nice and cares about education. He just wants what’s best for kids! He doesn’t have the power to force education reform. He did what he could by decreasing the amount of testing, but it would be silly to eliminate it altogether if the legislation doesn’t include an alternative. You need to elect legislators who will develop meaningful reform if you want things to change, not blame the Governor when he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Shame on you for questioning the Governor’s ethics! He is one of the most ethical men in this country and would never let money prevent him from making the right decision.

Should we also let children vote when deciding if they should eat vegetables or not? Don’t confuse the testing these bills were about with the generic testing that schools do. If you think there are too many tests, talk to your teachers!

Got to make the kids good little liberals so they all vote for liberal commies like Obama and Hillary.

So there we have it Jack.  I could have gone a few more hours doing this, but I hope you get the point.

And as for all of you legislators who are up for re-election next year: how much louder do you think these parents will be when the scores come in on this test?  And if you fail to override the veto, remember this: next year’s Smarter Balanced Assessment scores will most likely come out right before Election Day.  Do you want to have a no vote on a veto override following you directly into an election?  And I’m not worried if you don’t see this article.  I’m emailing it to all of you!


Avi Wolfman Arent’s Fantastic Education Articles Two Days In A Row! Charters & Graduation Rates!

Delaware Education Reporting

I have been a fan of report Avi Wolfman-Arent since he appeared on the education reporting scene last fall.  He writes for WHYY/Newsworks, and he has conducted investigative pieces on charter schools, the DOE, opt-out and has also conducted interviews with Mark Murphy and others in the education landscape of Delaware.

Yesterday, Avi wrote a very well-researched article on Delaware’s climbing graduation rate in an article called Progress or Illusion: Examing Delaware’s Drop-Out Rate.  Last February, the Delaware Department of Education and Governor Markell were praising the rise in Delaware’s graduation rate, but Avi discovered the increase wasn’t what it appeared to be.  He found out it had more to do with better reporting of numbers by school districts than a mark of progress on the state’s part.  And the timing issue was crucial on the DOE’s part the day of the announcement, considering their appearance before the Joint Finance Committee on the FY16 budget, their meeting with the House Education Committee on Race To The Top funding, and Arne Duncan’s visit to Delaware the next day.  As well, they were beginning to feel the mounting threat from the opt-out movement.

Today, he wrote about the rapid proliferation of charter schools in Wilmington in the excellent Wilmington, The City With Too Many Charter Schools.  Avi got both sides and perspectives in this story, with the side of too many charters being pushed by Dan Rich, a member of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee, and the other side by Mike Petrilli, the President of the Thomas Fordham Institute, a “conservative-leaning education think tank” as he described them.  In my research on Rodel, I found the Thomas Fordham Institute is one of the leading corporate education reform advisory groups and has influenced Delaware education reform considerably over the years, especially through Rodel’s Paul Herdman.  I take anything Petrilli says with a grain of salt because he is paid a considerable amount of money, like Herdman, to perpetuate the idea of more and more charter schools.

Avi continues to be a welcome addition to education reporting in Delaware, and I highly recommend checking his articles out and putting Newsworks in your favorites!  Blogs are very different from mainstream journalism, and we don’t always get both sides of the issues, but Wolfman-Arent does this in great detail with great transitions in his articles.

A Night Of Celebration, Reflection, Laughter, & Recognition

Delaware Education Heroes


Last night the Progressive Democrats of Delaware held their annual Firestone Restaurant celebration, and this year myself, as well as John Young, Mike Matthews and Tizzy Lockman were recognized as education heroes of Delaware.  This is an award I’m fairly certain I will never get from Governor Markell or the State Board of Education!


It was great to see so many friends, advocates and legislators in a non-formal location.  John Young talked about how we all owe Kilroy a debt of gratitude as he is the godfather of Delaware education blogging.  I spoke about my outstanding FOIA request with the DOE and how much help I need to raise the funds to cover the rest of it.  Tizzy Lockman thanked everyone for their support with the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee and the upcoming Wilmington Education Improvement Commission and how much work they have before them.  Mike Matthews spoke about the dangerous influences outside forces, like Rodel and Delaware Charter Schools Network, can have on candidates and asked that the party not support candidates who are aligned with theses types of corporate education reform companies.

Delaware State Reps. John Kowalko, Kim Williams, Paul Baumbach & Sean Lynn

Delaware State Reps. John Kowalko, Kim Williams, Paul Baumbach & Sean Lynn

The six Progressive State Representatives who voted no on the state budget on July 1st were honored as well with the PDD Bob Stachnik award.  State Rep. Sean Lynn explained why they voted no as they couldn’t sit by and watch funding be cut for those who need it the most without having any revenue coming in.  He also talked about the extreme difficulty the state will face next year with predicted budget deficits between $160-$180 million.  Reps. Paul Baumbach, John Kowalko and Kim Williams also spoke about the budget.  Kowalko said it was his proudest moment in his many years of serving the people of Delaware.

It was a great evening with perfect weather on the riverfront in Wilmington.  The food was excellent, and the atmosphere was festive.  It was great to talk with others about our kids, hysterical moments in the past year (Schwartzkopf’s Gavel, Christina Board meetings, Burger Girl, a certain video released last week by one of the education heroes) while new memories were created (“Vera”, the armpit –don’t ask–, the coffee mug).

Mike O from the seventh type was there, and we spoke for quite a while about blogging, House Bill 165, and charter schools.  I had never officially met him, so it was great to get a different perspective on blogging and whatnot.  I was given an excellent source for my charter school series of articles which I plan on using immediately!

There is a lot of interesting stuff coming up in the next few months with education in Delaware, and you can read all about it on the Delaware blogs!  I would like to thank President of the PDD, Nancy Willing, and all the members of the party for their recognition of myself and the three others.  It was quite an honor!

If you would like to donate for the Smarter Balanced FOIA request, please go to this link and help us find out what is really going on with these high-stakes tests and their vendors!