Delaware DOE Hits All-Time Low With A Very Scummy Move Against Teachers…

Those no-good, rotten bastards at the Delaware Department of Education have done it again.  This time the after-effects will cause much more than a ripple.  This is going to really damage relations between the Delaware DOE and the Delaware State Education Association.  Things were supposed to be better with Secretary of Education Godowsky, but they really aren’t.  Instead, we have more humiliation for the educators of our state. This post does have an update at the bottom.So what did they do this time?  From last fall going into the beginning of March of this year, the DPAS-II Advisory Group Sub-Committee met to find new ways to reevaluate and make recommendations for Delaware’s teacher evaluation system, the DPAS-II.  The group made their final recommendations in their final report by the due date.  Last month, they made a presentation to the State Board of Education.  They were supposed to make a joint presentation to the House and Senate Education Committees in the Delaware General Assembly, but nothing has been scheduled.

I wrote about the shenanigans coming from the Teacher/Leader Effectiveness Unit during the final meetings last month.  What nobody knew was what the DOE was doing behind the scenes when they  didn’t like the final recommendations coming out of the sub committee.  The group made their recommendations on February 16th with Secretary Godowsky present for the meeting.  Now a former DOE employee but still employed with them at the time, Atnre Alleyne objected to some of the features of the final report at the same meeting.  By the time the next meeting rolled around, Alleyne had rounded up folks from the Wilmington PACE group to give public comment and Chief of the TLEU Chris Ruszkowski was ready for a fight.  You can read all about the craziness that went down in the link above.

On February 22nd, with no one the wiser, the Delaware DOE put up a contract bid which had previously been closed, #DOE_2015-19-AN.  This contract called for an Educator Engagement Evaluation System Design.  They wanted a vendor to help facilitate and lead a new working group to reevaluate and make recommendations for DPAS-II.  What I am not sure of is when the DOE received the seven different bids from companies, but they picked one of them.  That company is even more shocking than the DOE’s dirty games.  Why?  Because part of Delaware educator evaluations are based on the state assessment, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  The DOE actually picked the same testing vendor for the Smarter Balanced Assessment to be the vendor for the DPAS-II contract: American Institutes for Research (AIR).  So they pick the one company that created the state assessment that is a major part of a teacher’s evaluation process to reevaluate their evaluation system?  Talk about a HUGE conflict of interest!

But that isn’t even the worst part.  If you right-click on the PDF for the contract, it shows when it was created: 2/23/16.  It was again modified on 3/30/16.  But on the contract with AIR, the Associate Secretary of Financial Management and Operations, David Blowman, signed it on 2/17/16.  The Initial Work Group Director, which doesn’t show a name (only that it is on file) signed it on 2/16/16.  I am assuming that was Chris Ruszkowski.  So they had the original bid process, but it was most likely canceled due to the creation and passing of House Joint Resolution #6 on June 30th, 2015.  So AIR quickly updated their original proposal (based on the notes at the bottom of the contract) and Blowman and Ruszkowski signed the original contract before AIR had even signed it.  Talk about a rush job!  Because Ruszkowski and Alleyne didn’t like the final recommendations, they brought the contract back to life again and awarded it to AIR within two days of the sub committee giving their recommendations in front of Godowsky.  But the treachery and backstabbing doesn’t stop there…

As part of the contract, AIR is charged with bringing together a group of “teacher-leaders” and “administrators”.  Not teachers, but teacher-leaders.  And they began that process last month.  With nobody knowing.  My question now is if this was going to be another DOE secret group like the one I wrote about yesterday or if some new legislation will spring forth calling for a new sub committee or if the DOE will pretend to be transparent AFTER they already pick a group.  And the best part?  AIR will get paid $128,000 to find new ways to screw over Delaware teachers along with a handpicked DOE stakeholder group.

It is this kind of treachery and betrayal the Delaware DOE under Governor Markell is notorious for.  If I were Delaware teachers, especially the ones who were on the sub-committee, I would be VERY pissed off.  This may be the biggest backstab ever for Delaware teachers and I hope they give their full wrath to the DOE.  The only bad part is Ruszkowski flew off to New Mexico to cause problems with their DOE.  But Alleyne is still blogging and blaming.  Meanwhile, I expect Secretary Godowsky and the new Chief of the TLEU, Angeline Rivello, are going to be getting a lot of phone calls tomorrow from some very upset teachers and DSEA.

The award letter for AIR is below…

 

Updated, 9:50pm: To get another, albeit very slanted and vengeful in my opinion, point of view on Atnre Alleyne’s version of some of the events during the timeframe mentioned above, please read this article on his own blog.  I’ve commented on his blog before.  The way WordPress works, the first time you comment on a blog, it goes into moderation.  Once that is approved, you are free to post comments without it going into moderation.  I commented on his post tonight and it went through.  Two minutes later it was in moderation.  It still is.  But I did do a screenshot…

Moderation

All I can say is this: someone has a hell of a lot of nerve…  And what he oh-so-conveniently left out was several facts: The Delaware DOE is the king of back-door meetings and secret agendas, the same “group” of parents that came he had met with and even hung out with well after their own meetings, and his last day at the Delaware DOE was February 29th.  Would he have invited those parents if he knew he wasn’t already leaving?

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