Previously Deleted Article Finds It’s Way Back In Celebration Of Mark Murphy, ahem, “Stepping Down”


I wrote this a little less than a year ago.  I labeled the story as “Insanity” in my documents folder.  I took it down because it was WAY out there.  There was a sort of kind of part one to it, but I can’t find that one right now.  If I do find it, or if anyone else has the “Antartica” story saved, let me know.  I deleted it because it was so out there.  But this was the one that, well, you just have to read it!

USA Outlaws Common Core, Testing, & Charter Schools Due To Bizarre Delaware Murphy Verdict!*

After the very bizarre month of March in Delaware, President Obama signed an executive order banning all common core curriculums in American schools, effective immediately. All standardized testing was also banned due to the bizarre effects it can have on people. As well, due to their strange connections with Murphy, all charter schools were closed as well and replaced with real public schools.

The Murphy trial ended as it began, with a full moon and insane people from all over The First State coming in and out of the courtroom. As Murphy was taken away, people shook their heads in disbelief. “I knew the special needs kids would be the reason for all of this ending,” said Jacob’s loving father. “But I never thought the reason would be so weird.”

The story began one day in early March. Governor Jack Markell and Secretary of Education Jack Murphy had just returned from their three month sabbatical in Antarctica, after the rest of the IEP Task Force went down there to find out why penguins needed federal intervention in special education. See earlier story:

Markell left Dover to find out what was going on with the 495 bridge again, and Murphy sat in his office. According to eyewitness testimony, Murphy yelled to his assistant “#22, get me Kraft Foods on the line, yesterday.” Within hours, faxes were going out, emails were flying, and people started rushing into the office. When all was said and done, Markell had bought Kool-Aid from Kraft Foods. With backers from Rodel, The US Charter School Network (now run by Kendall Massett, Michelle Rhee, Campbell Brown and Penny Schwinn), The Bill Gates Foundation and The Good Hearted Teachers Association, Murphy was appointed Chairman of the Board. The last thing anyone heard before they left for the evening was Murphy talking to himself in his office “Who’s drinking the Kool Aid now Kilroy? I am!”

Kilroy had testified during the trial that Murphy had given all the special needs penguins Kool-Aid. Murphy thought they would do better and be like all the penguins if they just drank the Kool-Aid. Kilroy knew it was crazy, but any time spent with Murphy and Markell in a bunker in Antarctica was going to be a few fries short of a happy meal. Kilroy assumed Murphy now thought all the children would do well on the money-making test if they all drank the Kool-Aid.

Murphy disappeared after that. No one saw him for two weeks. He even missed the ribbon cutting ceremony at Chuck-E-Cheese for the donation from the DOE. “Mark planned the whole Common Core Smarter Balance Beam for Chuck-E-Cheese,” said Donna Johnson, executive director for the Delaware Board Of Education. “We just assumed he was in his office sleeping, where he usually is during important events,” said Pat Heffernan, another member of the Board of Education.

What happened next was what caused Murphy’s world to spin out of control. Murphy had already declared that all children in Delaware taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment had to drink the Kool-Aid immediately before taking the test. United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan loved the idea, so he made it national, without congressional approval of course. A week later, oppositition to common core was at an all-time low. Parents couldn’t wait for the test, and children were all talking about Kool-Aid! Even the bloggers wouldn’t write about it anymore. They knew the fight was over. The Badass Teachers Association all met a terrible fate. Since they opposed and rebelled against anything that supported Common Core, they decided they wouldn’t drink the Kool-Aid. And since Kool-Aid is made of powder and water, you can guess what happened.   What mattered was that they were gone, and the corporate education reformers were salivating, waiting for the big test days to begin in April.

But an unexpected event happened at the next Delaware Board of Education Meeting. Everyone came in, and noticed Murphy wasn’t there yet. In his seat was a rather ugly woman. Or was it? It was Murphy, but he was wearing a long brown wig, a black neglige and a necklace. And that was all he was wearing. Heffernan asked Murhpy “Are you alright Mark?” Murphy looked out at the audience. “Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls. Wearing this,” and Murphy threw off the black neglige. “Wearing ONLY this.” All of me Jack.” Nobody had seen Murphy since the night of the Kool-Aid purchase, and he appeared to be a completely different person. And that’s when chaos took over in the boardroom. It was like the scene from Stand By Me with the blueberry pie-eating contest. Because Mary Ann Mieczkowski with the Exceptional Children Group had brought in her sushi soufflets earlier that day. And everyone loved them. Dr. Gray threw up on Donna Johnson, Donna Johnson barfed on Pat Heffernan. Heffernan threw up on Coverdale, and so on. “My god, what’s happened to Mark,” asked a very sad Mark Albright from the Delaware News Journal after he threw up on Kendall Massett. Murphy had always given Albright lollipops when he wrote nice stories about the DOE.

Before anyone could answer, clowns started pouring into the DOE boardroom. Hundreds of them. Murphy shouted, “Thanks to Pat Heffernan’s suggestion a year ago, I am now opening clown schools all over America. Since the Kool-Aid stock has shot through the roof, I am making all charter schools in America clown schools.” Heffernan shook his head in disbelief “Oh my God, someone took me seriously.” But then federal agents stormed into the boardroom and arrested Murphy. “Mr. Murphy,” said the FBI Agent, “you are under arrest by the United States of America for using federal funds for your own personal gain.” “But all politicians do that. We’ve been doing it for years. Just ask Jack!” A clown ripped his nose and red wig off and the audience discovered it was none other than Governor Jack Markell. “You used me Mark. You took my ideas and made them your own. I brought you from a rope in a gym to the Capital of my state. Nobody does that to me, nobody!”

The audience stared and stared. “Thank God this is being digitally recorded,” said John Young, “otherwise no one would ever believe it.” “And it wouldn’t be in the minutes either. It would just say: Presentation-see attached. And there wouldn’t be anything there,” said Kilroy. Mike Matthews was still cutting out props for his classroom, a tradition he had begun in late summer when going to board meetings. “I wonder if I can still give public comment.”

Since this was a federal issue, and Murphy chose his right to a speedy trial, the trial commenced immediately. Since so many of the now accused lived in Delaware, the venue for the trial was chosen to be in Dover itself, at the downtown courthouse. Within days, indictments were handed down against Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, all the charter school network divas, anyone associated with Rodel, and several teachers were arrested as part of the Good Hearted Teachers Association. The charges were extensive. Conspiracy to commit fraud, endangering children, endangering adults, endangering clowns, and conspiracy to just be downright mean. What broke the case?

It was actually Kilroy. Kilroy had heard about the Kool-Aid purchase through his mole in the DOE and decided to check it out himself. He arrived after the ink was dry, knocked on Murphys door, and asked “Hey Murph, can I bug you for a second?” Kilroy was last seen in Antartica chasing penguins who he thought were House Representative Debra Hudson. He wandered the Arctic iceland for weeks, until he arrived back at the base. At first Markell wouldn’t let him in, but reason prevailed. For two months, Kilroy had to listen to Jack and Mark talk about Common Core this, Smarter Balanced that, and he nearly lost his mind. It was Kilroy who convinced the two to give up on the penguins and return to Delaware where greater treasure awaited them. “You want to bug me Kilroy?” shouted Murphy. “Yes,” said Kilroy. “Fine, I give you permission to bug me!” So Kilroy did just that. He put an atomic digital audio recording device that lasted for a straight 30 days under Murphy’s desk and pretended to ask him questions about the upcoming test. “How much financial gain do you stand to make once this test is administered?” asked Kilroy. “This is absurd. I don’t know you and you don’t know me and we are not having this conversation at all. You are rude and uncouth, and presumptuous, and I am leaving now,” asked Murphy. Kilroy had heard this before, but where? He left, and he had an uneasy feeling about Murphy. He had heard rumors about a dodgeball accident when he was a gym teacher, but Kilroy sensed something else.

In the week that followed, Kilroy heard several calls to his secret cabal and consortium. But one night he heard Murphy saying “Yes, I must open the precious.” Kilroy heard a computer voice say “Welcome to the Smarter Balanced Test.” Within minutes he heard sounds of agony and pain coming from the office, like something out of the Exorcist. Thirty hours later, Murphy had completed the test. Kilroy had to go to therapy to deal with the sounds of horror coming out of that office for 1.25 days. (24 hours in 1 day, 30 hours to take the test, 30-24=6, 6/24=1/4, 1 + 1/4=1 1/4=1.25, took 15 seconds to type that, non-common core approved, courtesy of Kavips)

Kilroy gave testimony about what he heard, and supplied the atomic digital audio recording for all to hear. After that, Murphy was declared legally insane. Nobody had taken the full test. There were field tests, sure, but everyone knew the questions on that were the easy ones. After some psychological and intelligence tests were done on Murphy when he was pulled out of the trial, it was found that taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment did indeed make someone dumber, but nobody knew what effect it would have on the mind. Who could have foreseen that taking the test would turn a gym teacher turned Secretary of Education into a crossdressing Kate Winslet from the Titanic? Since the test was based on the Common Core curriculum, President Obama appeared before the nation that evening and announced that Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessments, PARCC Testing, and all charter schools would be outlawed immediately. And to show his willingness to work with the American people, he put on a digital audio recording of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate unanimously reaching across the table to repeal the laws. (They were never laws. They tore up the executive orders. Everyone knows the Feds can’t interfere in public education. Let’s get real people!)

Murphy was taken away, and the verdict was guilty. All of those accused were found guilty. As a result, since all the charter school boards had joined up with the US Charter School Network of America, all the charters were revoked when they had no members show up at the next board meetings. But Obama had already done away with them. The last anyone saw of Murphy in public was him yelling from the paddy wagon “Come back Jack, come back,” crying his/her eyes out.

Since Markell had snitched on his little buddy, he thought he would be given immunity. Instead he had to go through every charter school application in America and find out who had been denied admission due to being a minority, a special needs child, or a chicken plucker in Southern Delaware. This took him the rest of his life, sad to say.

Kilroy went down, and then up. Due to his bugging of a state government employee’s office, he was charged with illegal digitalaudiorecordingtapping. Things were looking bad, but when it was discovered the judge had also had a few screws loose, it ended as a mistrial. Apparently, the judge had tried to help his own son with some Math homework. It was getting close to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and the homework was getting harder and harder. The judge spent hours one night trying to figure out a math-essay problem, and eventually gave up. But the rigor had taken it’s toll on him as well. But why weren’t the children affected?

An unexpected surprise did occur due to Murphy’s manipulations. Since the Badass Teachers Association disappeared, many teachers had to be replaced. Teach For America did a one-day recruitment drive and viola, all of the good teachers were replaced! But students found they didn’t learn anything from them, so they began to teach them. They found dusty old textbooks hidden in closets, in desk drawers, even in lockers that weren’t used anymore. They began to teach the teachers from Teach For America. This helped the students to realize it didn’t have to take them half an hour to subtract 15 from 30! And Common Core began to disappear from their brains. But one day, an even greater miracle happened. The Badass Teachers never died. It was all a plan, hatched by Diane Ravitch. She knew what was coming, and tricked the evil education reformers! Hailed as the Queen of Education, Ravitch became the new Secretary of Education, and to this day, students are taught education that makes sense.

John Young became the Secretary of Education in Delaware. Some people questioned his credentials, but Young said “The last guy was a mother-@!$#%^* gym teacher.” And nobody ever questioned him again.

Kilroy, for his bravery and foresight, became the head of a new federal cabinet. Kilroy became the very first Secretary of Digital Audio Recording. And to this day, any meeting, anywhere, is digitally audio recorded. Even secret meetings about digital audio recordings. We reached out to Debra Hudson for comment, but apparently she was on a safari somewhere with former House Reps Darryl Scott, Peter Schwartzkopf, and all the other state legislators who had voted yes for House Bill 334. They were last seen on the slopes of Mount Kiliminjaro selling notebooks and pencils that said “Common Core Approved” to local villagers. “I knew I shouldn’t have changed my mind,” lamented former Senator Greg Lavelle.

So no one person could hold that much power in Delaware, the governorship was divided among three candidates. Governor Dave Lawson, for being the first legislator to introduce a bill to get rid of common core, Governor Steve Newtown, for helping special needs children everywhere, and Governor Kavips, for, well, being Kavips!

When Obama finished his second term, everyone knew the clear choice for President. Yes, it was him. The one who financed the whole “Re-Education of America” initiative. He single-handedly (after some stock market manipulation and pull from his buddies who weren’t ensnared in the education debacle) restored American pride in education. Since everyone’s hope was lifted, and everyone was in good spirits, the economy soared. Poverty was eliminated in America, and classes were fully inclusive, with every disability, minority and religious student in America working together, in peace and harmony. When President Publius was inaugurated, he went back to his new bedroom, and made a phone call. “Pencadermom, I’m in!”

Meanwhile, back in Dover, Jacob and his loving father sat outside watching the freshly fallen snow. “What was it all for Dad?” asked Jacob. “Why did we have to go through all that?” “Because we needed to be tested. We had to find out what each one of us has inside of us, individually, before we could beat the enemy.” And they had done just that. Jacob and his family had been through hell and back, but because of their fight, and all the other special children’s battles, new laws were passed. All special needs children were granted FAPE, and teachers were taught how to be great special ed teachers, and no child was ever denied services again. Teachers knew the federal law about IDEA like the back of their hand, and IEP Meetings actually turned into parties sometimes, with principals and mothers dancing and singing, and everyone was so psyched to be a part of the process, working together.

Epilogue: Down in Antarctica, outside of a bunker, something was etched in a wall. It simply said “Kilroy Was Here”.

This Is Bad! DOE Picks Public Consulting Group To Handle Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities!!!

Public Consulting Group

The Delaware Department of Education has contracted with Public Consulting Group to be the vendor for Governor Markell’s “suggested” Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities.  Who is Public Consulting Group?  I was all over them last summer when I saw over $400,000 pouring out of the DOE to this company.  They handle the Medicaid Reimbursement for service providers that help out students with disabilities in schools.  People like occupational therapists, psychologists, etc.  If a disabled student is on the state Medicaid plan, Medicaid actually reimburses school districts and charters for those providers.  On paper, it looks great!  The state gets back a lot of money from this.  But the data that goes out to PCG and the DOE during this process is truly frightening!

This company caught my eye a year ago when I was just doing a random search at the money pouring out of the DOE on Delaware Online Checkbook.  I noticed a hell of a lot of cash going to this one company.  As a result, I wrote three articles on PCG that truly became scarier with each one.  PCG has been busy in Delaware lately.  They also bid for the Delaware Report Card Survey, but that contract was awarded to Tembo Inc., out of Philadelphia (they did the very controversial Teach For America report the legislators wanted last year.  Tembo also won the bid for the Report Card Portal contract).  While their financial award for doing this work on the SREO initiative is ONLY $70,000.00 for the next year, I don’t buy DOE’s claim that they are contracting this out so they don’t look biased.  This company already has their hands on a lot of data with Delaware students…

If you read the below RFP for this, the truly horrifying part comes in this one sentence: Data will be available from the state’s longitudinal data system.  So we are going to let a company that already has their hands on actual notes from psychologists into the whole DOE data system?  Are they out of their minds?

This is a company that did the same Medicaid program for New Jersey and if you read the third article on PCG I wrote last year, it shows how New Jersey had some FERPA issues with PCG.  As well, PCG developed the entire data longitudinal system for New Jersey, so they have access to that whole system as well.  And they even set up a system to profile students with their “early warning system”.  What every student needs, the ability to be tracked on a data system to see how you turn out!  Big brother isn’t just watching you, he’s controlling your future now!

It is insane that our DOE and Governor Markell allow so much of children’s data into the hands of outside companies.  As well, if you go to PCG’s website, you can see they are dipping into personalized learning and other online initiatives.  So not only does this company have the keys to get into data systems but they are also developing data systems.  Should one company have this much power?  Probably not, but I’m sure the knuckleheads at the DOE don’t even think of this kind of stuff…

DOE Contract Soliciting Bids To Mix Rodel’s Personalized Learning & Markell’s World Immersion Program

Personalized Learning, World Immersion Program

The Delaware Department of Education has a Request For Proposal (RFP) for middle-school students to have “blended” learning in the World Immersion Program.  I called this last October!  Rodel has been pimping the whole personalized learning thing for the past year, and I am sure it will be a highlight of their latest Vision fest in September.  Blended learning and personalized learning are essentially the same thing.  The RFP states they want students in 6th to 8th grade to be able to take their time learning another language.

World Immersion, on the surface, looks great.  But it is having the undesired effect in some schools of causing special needs students and low-performing students to not be able to participate in this program.  It is already making it’s mark in Capital and Caesar Rodney.  Students from one school in a district are moving to other ones because this program is offered at that school.  This is creating a shift to occur, whereby some schools will do well and others won’t.  And the districts are the ones doing this!  Check out the below RFP and please let me know what you think of this latest venture.  I know some teachers who agree with me on a lot who think World Immersion and personalized learning are great things, but I just see it as something that will separate the “strong” from the “weak”.  And don’t forget, this is all Governor Markell’s baby.  What happens to those schools in districts in a few years that have all the most high-needs students while all the “smart” ones are at the high-performing schools learning Chinese or Spanish?  The way Delaware sets up certain schools to fail continues to astonish me!  I’m going to predict this now: either Schoology or 2Revolutions will get this contract!