Secretary Godowsky Stabs Schools And Parents In The Back With His Cowardly Move

At the State Board of Education Fall Retreat today in Dewey Beach, Dr. Steven Godowsky made his first big move as Delaware Secretary of Education, and it was not a good one.  I have been writing the past couple months about the Accountability Framework Working Group and the Delaware School Success Framework.  At their last meeting in early October, the group unanimously agreed not to have opt-out penalties where the proficiency rate of a school was multiplied by their participation rate for the school report card.  They agreed to a lesser penalty whereby the school would have to write a report about how to improve the participation rate and no school could earn a status of “reward” school if their participation rate fell below the 95% mark.

Today, Dr. Steven Godowsky undid all the work this group did, their 14 months of meetings and discussion, and overrode their recommendations.  That’s right, the same guy who told the New Castle County school boards at their  combined school board breakfast just two weeks ago:

“It’s not a final decision, but it looks like from all levels of the department…that harsh sanctions will not carry the day,” he said. “There will be minimum sanctions that are required.”

So what made him override this?  Looks pretty easy to me: he got confirmed by the Delaware Senate last week.  If I had to guess, if he came across as the tough guy the Senate would have pounded him.  I never thought I would say this, but thank you to Senators Greg Lavelle and Colin Bonini for saying no to this guy getting confirmed.  All his lies about being more transparent and communicating better with the public.  He just gave the middle finger to the public school system and parents in Delaware by doing this.

Godowsky is a water carrier for Governor Markell and his buddies at Rodel.  He is NOT his own man, and he is a coward.  He met with members of the Delaware Senate before his confirmation to talk about the changes he wants in the DOE.  He will make no changes without Jack Markell whispering in his ear, I can guarantee that!  This jacked up move of his assures the State Board of Education will vote on this and pass Regulation 103 which will put this into the books at their November 19th meeting.  And now schools will be coming up with even more nonsense concerning opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Delaware Parents: Just refuse the test now.  Do not lie down and let this happen.  Let’s beat New York’s 20% opt-out rate, and get it up to 50%, or higher!  The only way this cockamamie test is going to go away is unless we MAKE it happen.  That’s right, We The People!  I was starting to believe Godowsky’s line of crap about making things better.  I know he has his defenders, and I’m okay with the heat I’m about to get, but this man is a liar!  He is worse than Mark Murphy, because he does have the experience, and he is still okay with putting the screws to the public school system.  And he used to run a few of them!

If the 148th General Assembly doesn’t override the House Bill 50 veto by the equally cowardly Governor, there is going to be hell to pay for those who say no.  And if the leaders don’t even let it get to a vote, they will NOT be re-elected.  I will make damn sure of that!  We have all been victims of Jack Markell for far too long, and now he is on the cusp of completely destroying parental rights and the voice of educators.  The State Board is in Markell’s pocket just as much as Godowsky.  So we need to strike NOW!

Email your legislators today and start pounding the State Board of Education right away.

Rodel And Their Hypocrisy About NAEP Scores

The Rodel Foundation came out with a blog post on their website about not looking too much at declining NAEP scores.  This is in huge contrast to how they felt just four years ago.  The new blog post talks about apples and oranges in comparing the National Assessment of Educational Progress scores to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, but the article from 2011 talks about how we have a long way to go.  Back then, Rodel had the Vision Coalition and their Vision 2015 goals.

However, such large gaps between our current state and our four year targets raise the question: will RttT be enough to move the system or is even more sweeping systemic reform needed?

In 2013, Rodel Foundation CEO Dr. Paul Herdman wrote about Delaware’s 2013 NAEP scores:

Through Race to the Top, Delaware has implemented many of the successful policies that took hold in Massachusetts two decades earlier. While our current NAEP results since 2011 are modest, our overall, long-term growth tells another story. It’s a story that positions Delaware on a trajectory that catches up to and eventually surpasses national and world leaders like Massachusetts.

That said, I’m impatient. As Charles Osgood wrote back in 1986, if you want to be great, pretty good just isn’t good enough. Delaware is on the right track; we’re moving, but we need to maintain a sense of urgency because the rest of the world is moving, too.

So it seems NAEP scores are transmutable to whatever Rodel’s current flavor of the month is.  In other words, they are playing YOU- the Delaware citizen- with their obvious attempts to align you with their line of thought.  NAEP scores used to be very important to Rodel.  Now that the Smarter Balanced Assessment is in town, not so much.

Rodel is a marketing firm.  They market their product to Delaware citizens, and they desperately want you to buy it.  Which is why they write blog posts with their own initiatives written into them:

We know that Delaware educators are hard at work implementing higher standards in the classroom and many other initiatives are underway to help students achieve success.

The Vision Coalition launched their latest 10 year plan with Student Success 2025 and had a big pep rally at Del-Tech a couple months ago followed by their chocolate eclair fiesta at University of Delaware last week.  Make no mistake, the Vision Coalition IS the Rodel Foundation.  Maybe not in name, but it is ALL Paul Herdman.  Who also sits on the board of Innovative Schools, the charter school management organization we have heard so much about recently.  Eventually, the Rodel Foundation will go the way of the encyclopedia salesman.  Once people realize we don’t need them anymore (and we never really did), they will lose their luster and just disappear.  Rodel sells the need for their services.  Education reform companies always sell “the need” and “the fix”.  But as current NAEP and Smarter Balanced Assessment scores show, these faulty agendas do nothing for student improvement.

We all know Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE just love Rodel, because Markell and Herdman designed all of this for Delaware.  The epic failure that was Race To The Top?  Who do you think wrote most of our plan to the feds?  Doc Herdman!

There is no Palace in the Shadows

fixdeldoe

There is no Palace in the Shadows

Poverty is ugly. Make no bones about it.
Entitlement too.

Elitism is ugly.
Corporate greed has been unleashed

they Kill spirits once made of steel

Nothing good occurs without expectations
And accountability.

Relationships between and among people
Are on life support in America

Pills and magic TV boxes are
Killing all that is good
About us

The boy in the old row home sleeps
Through the night and wakes to
A cold heart a cold shoulder
And a shove out the door

Onto a bus into a school
where teachers try to rescue him

The yellow man fires wildly
Into a warm cave for pleasure
And walks on out forever gone

When survival’s not an issue
And there’s nothing more to do
But sit and live with pleasure pills
A spirit rusts and dulls

The evolution from gratitude to expectation
To entitlement begins…

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Were The Initial Stories Concerning Delaware Met True Or False?

On September 25th, I wrote the first Delaware Met article concerning the problems at the school. Many doubted the veracity of the article at first. I thought now would be a good time to give it the “separate fact from fiction” test.

Today, I got an email from someone about The Delaware Met closing next week. 

The school did not close the last week of September, but their board considered it at their 9/28 board meeting.  The board voted to keep trying.

I’m hearing about multiple incidents of violence at the school…

This is definitely true.  The Wilmington police were called to the school numerous times.

…a student brought a gun to the school on the very first day…

We learned at their formal review meeting yesterday a student brought a “weapon” to the school.  It was not named as a gun, but it was not named as anything more than a “weapon”.

…students leaving the school in mass quantities…

Their opening enrollment on August 24th was 260, and by September 30th they were down to 215, and more have left.

I’m hearing their relationship with Innovative Schools has soured to the point of breaking…

This has not happened, although many are questioning their role in all of this.  Their board president talked yesterday about the great partnership Delaware Met has with Innovative Schools but not all board members are on the same page…

I’m hearing many of the students were at-risk students who were facing issues at other schools including potential expulsion and suspension issues.

This is definitely the case.  Many of the students came from Moyer.  As indicated by Innovative Schools CSO Teresa Gerchman yesterday, many of the students are “comfortable” with the chaotic environment at the school.

I have no idea how many students at this school are students with disabilities.

We know there are 62 “official” counts of IEPs for students with disabilities at the school.

…how prepared was the school to handle these issues?  If the allegations are true, not prepared at all. 

This school did not prepare for this at all.  According to their board president Nash Childs, they were more concerned about the facility and their enrollment and they did not dig in to the school curriculum and the school climate.  Innovative Schools missed the boat on fulfilling the promises made in their application and didn’t do anything about potential issues with culture and discipline.