Below you will find the complete and unedited US DOE Fact Sheet on their recently announced Testing Action Plan. Delaware citizens: Take not of the mention of Delaware. Which confirms my suspicions this is all a smokescreen to get rid of district assessments and make EVERYTHING aligned to Common Core. As long as they have their precious standardized assessment, no matter what the length is, they will do this. I don’t buy this for a second. This is exactly what Delaware Governor Jack Markell did, but on a national scale. Continue reading The Full US DOE Fact Sheet On The Testing Action Plan
Looks like Delaware Met isn’t the only brand new charter school to open this year that is having problems. Turns out First State Military Academy in Kent County is feeling major opening pains as well. First State Military Academy (FSMA) picked the Innovative Schools inspired “New Tech Network” for their model. You would think with a technology-based program the school would have computers for all the kids. Nope, they are thirty short. Oops! Innovative Schools website describes this “New Tech Network as:
New Tech Network (NTN) is a non-profit school development organization that works with districts to build and sustain innovative K-12 public schools. NTN works to create a rigourous and engaging school experience that features the intense use of Project-Based Learning and technology to establish a positive and engaging school culture. In the seventeen years since its founding, the network has grown to 133 K-12 schools in twenty-three states and Australia. Innovative Schools has established partnerships with schools like Delaware New Tech Academy in Seaford and First State Military Academy in Clayton, to help bring the first New Tech Network model schools to Delaware. Learn More About New Tech
But the bigger problem has to do with special education. When FSMA opened they received forty students with disabilities. As a new school and students that transferred, the school has to redo all those IEPs. They have one dual-certified teacher to handle all forty of these students on top of being the one to handle all these IEPs. And here is the kicker- they have to be completed by October 30th. In five days! What is it with these charter schools that don’t anticipate large populations of special needs students? The state average is 13% and rising. Like Delaware Met, they didn’t count on this at all. It comes with the package, and the State Board of Education, the Charter School Office and the Exceptional Children Resources Group should be making sure all new charters have their ducks in a row with this kind of thing.
With this revelation coming out, I feel obligated to reveal a story I wrote about FSMA in the summer, but I never named the school. Yes, this was the school that had a special education coordinator that pretended to be on the IEP Task Force last year. This coordinator quit before school started. I wonder why?
As well, I’m hearing several students are having a VERY difficult time with the curriculum at this school. Some are failing. While these issues aren’t at the level Delaware Met is having, I would say they are very serious. Time to add another one to the pile Delaware DOE?
Is Bill Gates Undercover at Delaware DOE, too?
Guest Post by Anani Maas
A Concerned Delaware Teacher Speaks Out
Emily Talmadge in her blog Save Maine Schools challenged readers to research how Bill Gates has gone undercover in our own states after she discovered how Gates has used his vast resources to drive the corporate education reform agenda in hers.
So, I decided to take her up on her challenge.
Let’s begin with the federal Race to the Top incentive grant, a carrot dangled at states to “force cash-strapped states to make radical changes in education in order to stay in the running—changes a National Research Council report (10/7/09) warned were not backed by research. Instead of dispersing grant money on the basis of greatest need, RTTT chooses a few winners based on the degree to which the states deliver what the feds want: more charter schools, so-called merit pay for teachers and new curriculum standards known as the Common Core” (Ohanian, 2010). As we know, Delaware was one of the very first states to receive the grant in 2010 to the tune of $19 million because they quickly jumped on the “opportunity” the RTTT grant promised. Read the rest of Ohanian’s article to see how Bill Gates’ money was connected to Race to the Top.
It is well documented that Bill Gates bankrolled the Common Core State Standards revolution in Lindsey Layton’s well-researched article for the Washington Post in June, 2014. For a refresher, you can read it here.
This leads to the Smarter Balanced State Assessment that is in place to test student’s acquisition of the Common Core State Standards. And if your school doesn’t have the technology available to administer the tests, Microsoft is ready to help you out! (Even though Bill Gates himself is quick to point out how his efforts are solely philanthropy and in the best interest of ALL children! Bill Gates says so here.)
In addition to Common Core State Standards, Gates has bankrolled the Next Generation Science Standards as well. The authors of NGSS are Achieve, Inc. and, of course, Achieve, Inc. has received generous awards from the Gates Foundation. (see here) Now that Delaware has secured the Smarter Balanced Test, it is time for them to move on to initiate a similar test aligned to the CCSS and the NextGen Standards.
But Bill and Melinda Gates’ money doesn’t stop there. How has their money directly found its way to Delaware in the effort to drive his corporate education agenda?
“Another key requirement [of the RTTT grant] is “using data to improve instruction.” This means basing classroom lessons on data collected from highly criticized standardized tests” (Ohanian, 2010).
Delaware DOE contracted with New America Foundation to implement the Delaware Data Coach Program. “One of only two winners from the original, stimulus funded Race to the Top competition, the Delaware Department of Education dedicated $8.2 million over two years of its $19 million grant to the Data Coach Program” (McCann and Kabaker, 2013). New America Foundation has received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation every year since at least 2009.
Copied from the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation Grants Awarded page.
|New America Foundation||2015||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$2,400,000|
|New America Foundation||2014||College-Ready||US Program||$370,000|
|New America Foundation||2014||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$235,000|
|New America Foundation||2013||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$740,000|
|New America Foundation||2013||College-Ready||US Program||$200,002|
|New America Foundation||2012||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$1,450,000|
|New America Foundation||2012||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$110,000|
|New America Foundation||2011||Postsecondary Success||US Program||$530,000|
|New America Foundation||2010||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$1,300,000|
|New America Foundation||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$450,000|
|New America Foundation||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$1,500,000|
|New America Foundation||2009 and earlier||Global Policy & Advocacy||US Program||$250,000|
Curiosity seized me, so on the same Gate’s Foundation database for grants awarded, I decided simply to put “Delaware” in the search engine and these names popped up:
Delaware State University
Rodel Charitable Foundation
Association of Educational Publishers
Delaware Department of Education
I haven’t quite figured out why Gates gave $400,000 to the Delaware DDOE in 2013 and $322,525 in 2009.
I did see that the Gates Foundation gave a grant to the Delaware PTA in 2012 “to provide parent and community training on CCSS throughout Delaware.” Although, on page 18 of the same report, the DSEA reports that “DDOE has failed to fill this gap and has not provided resources for DPTA to continue its CCSS work” (Johnson, 2015). So what happened to the money?
Gate’s money has paid for yet another set of standards. The Delaware Academy for School Leadership is one of the new organizations that has been developed to train new school leaders throughout the nation in the new The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards. These new standards have been developed through the Council of Chief State School Officers in collaboration with the National Policy Board on Educational Administration (NPBEA) to help strengthen preparation programs in school leadership. Again, searching the Gate’s Foundation database, I found that the Gates Foundation has awarded 21 grants to The Council of Chief State School Officers ranging from $25,000 to $6,148,749 between 2009 and 2015. Therefore, Bill Gates gets to determine what knowledge, attitudes, dispositions, and performance are essential for new school leaders who lead our district schools.
This is only the digging I was able to accomplish in one afternoon! I am so thoroughly enraged at the way Bill Gates and his buddy billionaires have been able to single-handedly determine the direction of every level of our educational system to promote his agenda. He is systematically buying into every level of education to propagate his message: lobbying parents through their trusted PTA’s, brainwashing novice teacher and administrators by controlling their teacher and administrator training programs, contributing to politicians on both sides of the aisle, and stimulating new non-profits, charter schools and department of education cronies who will promote his propaganda.
While Bill Gates conspires to cash in by directing the education of every student in the United States from pre-K through graduate school, Delaware is simply selling out our students to the highest bidder.