What Is The Dastardly Delaware DOE Up To Now With Teacher Evaluations?

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The Delaware DOE sure was busy two days before Christmas.  They managed to get yet another request for proposal (RFP) out.  This one is for a teacher credentialing assessment.  This is basically the DOE seeking a vendor to give assessments to folks wishing to evaluate teachers.  They have to pass the DOE’s rigorous standards to be able to evaluate teachers.  And it must align with “college and career readiness” standards.  That’s right, even if the evaluator is observing a Kindergarten teacher, the teacher must demonstrate the ability to make sure those Kindergartners are ready to go to Harvard University!

While the Department of Education has implemented procedures for both new observers (“initial credentialing”) and existing observers (“re-credentialing”) over the past two years, the state is now seeking more robust and streamlined versions of both assessments.

You can read the Teacher/Leader Effectiveness Unit’s request for somebody to do the work they should be doing themselves, but they just aren’t, ahem, effective enough…

15 Who Made An Impact On 2015: Dr. Dan Shelton

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Teachers at Kirk Middle School in the Christina School District were not happy last June.  They were losing their beloved principal, Dr. Dan Shelton.  In June, the Capital Board of Education picked Shelton as their newest superintendent after a more than four-month search.  Shelton, who took the reigns from the retiring Dr. Michael Thomas, began the role in July.  Not only was Thomas leaving, but so was Assistant Superintendent Sandra Spangler and Director of Human Resources David Vaughn.

Shelton and the Board quickly found replacements and set out for the tasks at hand.  Christina’s loss was Capital’s gain.  From all I have heard, Shelton is doing a fantastic job at Capital.  I have heard nothing negative about him at all.  In a recent article in the Dover Post, Shelton weighed in on the Every Student Succeeds Act.  He explained to reporter David Paulk that he was concerned about the “lump” funding for grants but he was glad the federal government was “stepping back”.  While this remains to be seen with the feds based on their recent threats about funding cuts with opt-outs, I am confident Capital will handle this appropriately.

Meanwhile, Shelton will oversee the ten schools under the Capital umbrella and will bring a fresh and innovate look to the district.

16 To Watch In 2016: Harrie Ellen Minnehan

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As President of the Christina School District Board of Education, Minnehan is the voice of the board at their meetings.  She holds the gavel!  With recent events concerning priority schools and the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, the Christina Board will be in the spotlight quite a bit in the coming months.  The biggest matter facing Christina right now is what happens if the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission does not pass.  The State Board of Education votes on the redistricting plan on January 21st, and if it passes it goes on to the General Assembly.

If, at any point, the plan fails to move forward, the DOE will pounce on Christina’s priority schools.  They are already gearing up for it.  But Christina has dire matters on its plate.  The first is their precarious financial situation.  They could be in serious financial trouble if they don’t pass their next referendum attempt, the third in the past two school years.  As well, there is the issue with what appears to be an acting Superintendent stepping a bit outside of his comfort zone on district matters.  Bob Andrzejewski already made this list, and not for good reasons.  Since then, the Christina board voted down his request to join the BRINC Consortium in a 4-2 vote.  But as of last week, it appears Andrzejewski is submitting grant applications to the Delaware DOE without the knowledge of his board.

As the face of the Christina Board of Education, Minnehan will be the voice behind how to reign in Bob A, as he is often referred to in Delaware education circles.  It is essential that the board make Bob A understand they are the deciding authority in the district.  Minnehan will play a large part in how that is done.  The last thing the district needs is an acting superintendent going rogue.  The board will begin a search for a permanent superintendent in February.