Delaware School Success Framework Is Regulation 103: * Opt-Out Penalty * Action Schools * Focus Schools * Priority Schools *

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLE I HAVE EVER WRITTEN AND ACTION NEEDS TO BE TAKEN NOW!!!!

Now Exceptional Delaware has yet another place to look for information and changes the Delaware Department of Education are trying to squeak into state regulation.  I have found the actual regulation for the Delaware School Success Report in the monthly Delaware Register of Regulations for September.  It is still a proposed regulation but the deadline for public comment is 10/1/15.  I’m glad I found yet another source of information for me to be on top of in this state.  I’m going to have come up with some kind of parent guide to navigate through all this stuff in case I ever become incapacitated or die or whatever.

Yes, this regulation already has the participation rate penalty as part of the regulation, even though it was never on the actual ESEA waiver the public was able to view and comment on.  For the calendar of events/public hearing notices in the registrar, it has a listing of what the options are for the public to comment on a regulation or any hearings to attend based on the regulation.  For all of them EXCEPT Regulation 103, it states what the regulation is and what the public can do.  For Regulation 103, all it says is:

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
PUBLIC NOTICE
The State Board of Education will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the Townsend Building, Dover, Delaware.
Hmm…
So I have the actual regulation with it’s exact proposed wording below.  Where is the public notification of this regulation in printed material?  In the meantime, if you have never read a long document on Scribd, this is the time WHERE YOU MUST READ EVERY SINGLE WORD OF THIS BECAUSE THIS IS THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN DELAWARE!!!!!!!!!!!  Every single legislator, parent, teacher, staff member, principal, district worker, district administrator, superintendent, board member and citizen needs to read this.  Because if you don’t act NOW, it will be too late.  AND THERE IS NO WAY THE 148TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL BE ABLE TO OVERRIDE THE HOUSE BILL 50 VETO once this goes into effect because it will go against STATE LAW!  You MUST write or email the DOE by October 1st, and give public comment at next week’s State Board of Education meeting, on September 17th, to voice your strong objection to this absolute state takeover of our neediest schools based on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  The Delaware School Success Report is NOT the same as the Delaware School Success Framework.  The report is just the pretty little report card parents will get on the school.

Laura Chapman Compares Relay “Graduate School of Education” to McDonald’s University

How much is Delaware’s contract with Relay? McDonald’s University indeed!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Relay “Graduate School of Education” is not a real graduate school of any kind. It has been accredited in a few states to award “master’s degrees” even though it has no one on its faculty with a doctorate, engages in no research, has no library, and has no relationship to the advancement of knowledge in education. It was created by charter operators to teach future charter teachers how to control classes and how to raise test scores. Its “faculty” consists of charter teachers, mostly from Teach for America, some of whom claim that they raised test scores more than anyone else in their city. Its deans do not have doctorates in any field of study, although a few say they are working towards earning a doctorate. I admit my own bias; I earned my Ph.D. at Teachers College, where my mentor was Lawrence A. Cremin, the greatest historian of his…

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148th General Assembly Needs To Give The Top Two Floors Of The Townshend Building An Enema!

How much is the DOE going to get away with under your watch?  When are you going to stop them?  Are you ever?  When are you going to stop them from adding regulation after regulation while you just sit back and let them?  When are you going to DO YOUR JOB and put some serious oversight over the most corrupt agency in Delaware?  They make the mafia look good.  With their unelected state board, their division heads signing off on multi-million dollar contracts month in and month out with NO OVERSIGHT!  With a State Board allows charters to steal and plunder from taxpayer funds and lets the schools stay open.  When parents come to you like never before wanting an opt-out bill passed but you allow Governor Markell to veto it and do nothing?  WAKE UP!  Stop worrying about the election next year.  You will always be in election mode, especially in the House cause they have to run the rat-race every two years.  Stop the politicizing and do what you were elected to do! Make laws that make sense!  You have a runaway budget that part of may not even be legal but the DOE spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year on multiple contracts and you sit there and cut funds from the most poverty-stricken in the state?  What in God’s name is that?  I would do something quick or the enema just may show up at the voting booth next year…

Update On Freire Getting Their Own Teacher Evaluation System

I reached out to Alison May at the Delaware Department of Education about Freire getting their own teacher evaluation system and I was informed this will be announced at the September 17th State Board of Education meeting.  Apparently, Freire Charter School of Wilmington jumped the gun a bit in announcing this at their July board meeting.

As May explained to me, if a charter school request this, it is considered a minor modification which means it does not need State Board of Education assent, just Secretary of Education approval.  It first goes through the Teacher/Leader Effectiveness Unit (TLEU) at the DOE, and then to the Secretary.  The TLEU approved it in July, which was announced as an approval at their board meeting, but Secretary Murphy had not approved it at that point.  He has since, and this is what will be announced at the meeting next week.

I am curious though, with all the emphasis the DOE puts on teacher effectiveness, why this would only be considered a minor modification.  Something that big SHOULD have State Board approval as well.  What do you think?  Not that the unelected State Board ever differs from a Secretary suggestion!

DOE Can’t Pay Red Clay Priority Schools Money But They Can Pay Mass Insight Almost $2.5 Million Dollars?

Earlier in the summer, I received a letter sent from the Red Clay Consolidated School District to the Delaware Department of Education and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy.  Red Clay was upset because they were not being given the promised amount designated to them for the priority schools.  The DOE responded shortly after, and I published both of them.  I have heard the situation has been resolved, but nothing has been made public.  In fact, I stumbled across an email from the DOE to Red Clay from last November strongly suggesting they would be sending $750,000 a year to each of the Red Clay priority schools.  But the bottom line for each school in Red Clay is around $366,000.00.

So where did all that “promised” funding go?  The way I see it, each priority school is short about $400,000 a year.  There are six priority schools.  That adds up to about $2.4 million dollars.  I wonder where oh where the DOE could have allocated that money too…If Red Clay somehow compromised with the DOE, I have yet to know about it.  But I ran across this little bit of information today.  The Delaware DOE is paying a company called Mass Insight $2,445,000.00 for three years worth of work with “turnaround school support”.  The contract for this disappeared on the state contract website for a little while, but it’s back now.  What’s interesting is the last time I looked there were only 3 bidders for the project when it was still up for bids.  By the time all was said and done, there were 13 bidders, and the last was Mass Insight and they got the contract.  Nothing suspicious three….

To see this whole saga play out, check out the original RFP for the School Turnaround contract….

And then take a look at the bidders.  It’s like a who’s who of education reform companies in that bunch!

Last, but definitely not least, the awarded contract letter.  Sent to the very last bidder at the last minute I’m sure!

Now if the name Mass Insight sounds familiar, that’s because DOE used them back in 2010 and 2011 when they first started labeling turnaround schools.  Back then they called them partnership zone schools, or PZ for short.  Mass Insight was controversial then, so much so that someone started a blog called Mass Inciter.  It was short-lived but you can still go to it if you Google them.

The DOE and their magic math.  They have Governor Markell and Coach Murphy make a big grandstand on the steps of Warner Elementary School a year ago and publicly name these six “failing” schools.  Emails I posted in a series of articles last Spring showed how the DOE had no clue about how to get “those schools”, so they worked like mad for over a month coming up with the exact formula to get them labeled as “priority schools”.  Jack gave his big speech, and promised $5 million dollars to six schools.  He never told us half of those funds were going to an outside vendor!  That’s just like the DOE and Markell.  Screw over the schools that need resources the most but make the districts feel like crap if they don’t comply.

So while the DOE spends $2.445 million dollars over the next three years, and that’s just on THIS contract, and these schools don’t get the funds they were promised, who can we blame then?  Jack will be gone.  Coach will be gone.  You can’t blame Godowsky, he wasn’t there when this went down.  Will a new Governor keep the whacky regime heading the different areas at DOE now? I doubt it.  You can only play pin the tail on Penny Schwinn so much, but she answers to someone.  But Mass Insight will still get their cash cause the State of Delaware signed a contract with them.  And we can’t waste the money, so let’s just spend it!

The legislators need to, pardon my French, get their heads out of their asses and actually get this DOE under control. Lord knows what kind of damage they can do in the next 16 months!  I’m getting tired of being the ONLY one finding out this information.  The legislators should be all over the DOE, but they aren’t.  The ones that do question the DOE get shunned by their own party!  This is Jack’s world, and us little peons are just living in it.  There must be something that can be done… oh yeah, there is and I’m about to do it!