House Bill 50 Is Not Dead! Sign The Petition To Pete Schwartzkopf For A Full House Vote On The Veto Override

SchwartzkopfPetition

Despite what others have said, House Bill 50, the opt-out legislation in Delaware, is not dead.  It isn’t finished.  It is merely hiding in Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf’s desk drawer.  It is on the ready list, but Schwartzkopf has not put it on the agenda for a full House vote.  What is he afraid of?  That the House and Senate will pass the veto override?  That the lame-duck Governor Markell will be upset if his veto is overturned?  We the people demand House Bill 50 gets a full vote for the veto override in the Delaware House and Senate.

I am giving this petition a long time to breathe because the General Assembly doesn’t return until March 8th.  I need all your help to make this happen.  I need you to share this petition with every single person you know in Delaware.  I want Schwartzkopf to see this with no less than 20,000 signatures from Delaware citizens.  We have a month to make this happen! Let’s Do It!!!!! To go to the Change.org petition, please click the link:

Pete Schwartzkopf: Put HB50 On The Agenda For A Full House Vote On The Veto Override!

How Delaware Got A “D” On The Network for Public Education 2016 State Report Card

The Network for Public Education released state report cards for their 2016 State Report Card today.  Below is Delaware’s grade determination, for which they received a grade of D.  Personally, I would have given Delaware a grade of D for rejecting high-stakes testing with the behavior over a parent’s right to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Delaware scored very poorly on the “resisting privatization” category.  While Delaware doesn’t take part in any type of voucher system, the push for “school choice” is huge in the First State.  The gap between certain charter schools student demographics and their counterparts in the traditional school districts they reside in is gigantic!

NPEDelawareStateReportCard2016

Delaware DOE Responds Positively To My Request For More Transparency On The Assessment Inventory

I emailed several folks at the Delaware Department of Education about more transparency surrounding the current Assessment Inventory initiative taking place in Delaware.  Since then, they have added a tab on their “Announcements” section on their front page calling for public comment on the assessment inventory.  They have also added the minutes, agendas, and other presentations from the Senate Joint Resolution #2 Assessment Inventory Committee on a new page: Delaware Assessment Inventory Senate Joint Resolution #2.  To be sure this wasn’t always there, I right clicked on the page and checked properties which said it was created today, 2/5/16.  Thank you to the Delaware DOE for doing the right thing and making this information more transparent for concerned parents up and down Delaware!

Now You Are Just Bragging About Your Teach For America Award Senator Coons…

ChrisCoonsSenatorUSA

As if his https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/us-senator-chris-coons-sure-does-love-teach-for-america/ wasn’t bad enough, now US Senator Chris Coons (DE) has to issue a full-blown press release about his Teach For America award.  When is he up for re-election?  Delawareans have had enough of this political bias for charter schools and Teach For America.  Why do we keep reelecting these people???  Enough already!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 4, 2016
CONTACT: Brian Cunningham at 302-573-6054 or brian_cunningham@coons.senate.gov

Senator Coons receives Teach For America Congressional Champion award

Wilmington, DE – U.S. Senator Chris Coons was presented with the Teach For America Congressional Champion Award for his continued efforts to expand educational opportunities for students in Delaware and across the nation. Sen. Coons is one of 12 members of Congress to be honored by Teach For America CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard and founder Wendy Kopp at a luncheon on Wednesday, February 3 at the Capitol Complex.

“I have been proud to support TFA’s work to ensure that all students have access to a quality education, regardless of their background,” said Senator Coons. “Teach For America works to give every child the chance to succeed by harnessing our nation’s most promising leaders and striving to strengthen educational excellence and equity. I would like to thank TFA CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard and founder Wendy Kopp for their vision and leadership of Teach For America, as well as TFA Delaware’s Executive Director, Laurisa Schutt for her hard work across the state. I look forward to offering my continued support to this important organization.”

Coons was selected for his unwavering support for Teach For America in Delaware and Washington, D.C.; Coons has been a champion for quality alternative certification programs, competitive grants such as i3 and SEED that enable excellent teacher training and support, and AmeriCorps funding to support those willing to dedicate themselves to serving our most vulnerable populations.

“Our Congressional champions have played an instrumental role in growing Teach For America’s impact in our first 25 years. Their support for critical funding and key policy provisions  has helped expand educational opportunity for children growing up in poverty across the country and inspired thousands of individuals to join the fight for educational equity and excellence,” said Teach For America CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard. “I am thankful for leaders like Coons who are committed to ensuring that all children in this nation have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”

Teach For America has been a community partner in Delaware since 2009. This year, as Teach For America celebrates its 25th anniversary nationally, the Delaware regional team is excited to launch Lead For Delaware, a new, highly-collaborative, in-house principal certification program that prepares educators statewide to lead high-need schools. Currently, 40 Delaware corps members teach 2,500 local students, and an additional 90 alumni call the state home, working from all sectors to expand opportunities for children growing up in low-income communities.

###

Newark Charter School Recognized As A “Distinguished Title I School”… But They Aren’t A Title I School

The_original_Newark_Charter_School_building,_now_used_as_the_intermediate_school_2014-08-18_20-46

The National Title I Association recently selected 57 schools in the USA to be “Distinguished Title I Schools”.  That’s awesome, helping out the poor kids.  In Delaware, Newark Charter School got the honor.  And what an honor it is!  But there is just one little catch… Newark Charter School is NOT a Title I school.  To be a Title I school you have to have a certain percentage of low-income students.  Newark Charter School has 7%.  But the catch is because they are located in the Christina School District.  The feds go by the geographic area.  So while Christina has 35% low-income in that geographic area because Newark Charter is “on the map”, they qualify for this award.  The feds use some ridiculous census data to determine this, with our Delaware Department of Education providing the data to them.  To receive the award you have to be really good at closing those achievement gaps based on standardized testing.  And guess who Delaware’s Title I State Leader is?  The recently departed from the Delaware DOE diva of destruction: Penny Schwinn.

Funny how the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores don’t count for anything negative but they sure have been a boon to certain DOE ass-kissers when it comes to “Reward” and “Recognition” schools.  And no one takes the ass-kissing award more than NCS!  And leading that pack is their school leader: Gregory Meece.  This is the guy who went insane when the Smarter Balanced scores came out and “his” school’s scores weren’t included in the article.  He was ticked cause he wanted bragging rights over their great scores.

Newark Charter School has a 5 mile radius for applicants.  Within that 5 mile radius is the 35% low-income student population.  How the hell do you have a “random” lottery, year after year, with a huge wait list, and only wind up with 1/5th of that population?  “Random” indeed…  This award means about as much as the stupid “Blue Ribbon Award” as well (which NCS has also received back in 2010).  Another Delaware school, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, also in the Christina School District, was given the “Distinguished Title I” school as well.  They have 20% low-income.  It’s one thing for Newark Charter School to cherry-pick their way to the top, but quite another to get an award for convoluted data that makes absolutely no sense.  But of course the praise will be thrown at them in this never-ending saga of charter love in Delaware.

cherrypicking