The Best Ballad Between 1979-1987: Which Is Your Favorite?

In a time before Mike Matthews entered the world, when Jack Markell was just getting his groove, and there were only three movies considered to be Star Wars movies, I discovered music.  I listened to music before that, but never “my” music.  I count 1979 as the start of this era, because it was when I bought my first 45.  The youth of today call this an mp3 or itune.  But back then, for about 99 cents, you could buy this vinyl record.  The first one I got is on this list back in 1979.  If you grew up back then, you probably know which one it was based on the timeline of the different songs.  Or very close to it.

Back in those days, I was really into ballads.  I got into a conversation about these ballads with a friend of mine and he offered what he thought was the definitive and best ballad of the 80s.  I disagreed, thus this poll (at his suggestion).  Now he wanted me to just put his song up against four others.  Sorry bud, but this blogger was faced with an impossible choice.  If you’ve never heard any of these songs, then you didn’t grow up during a time when music was on both AM and FM radio, when the cassingle first came out, and things like roller skating and Space Invaders were replaced by the Commodore 64 and Jolt.  Which is your favorite?

I’m going to follow-up over the next 24 hours with other polls about music and movies.  What the heck.  It’s the 4th of July weekend.  It can’t all be gloom and doom.  You have to have some good stuff once in a while, right Dave?

Student & Parent Surveys Only Seem To Benefit Administrator At One Delaware Charter School

A commenter named 4equity2 wrote a comment yesterday in response to my thinking out loud article.  She wrote about Newark Charter School and the massive amount of abuse that has generated due to parent surveys.  Sounds like this part of Senator David Sokola’s amendment in House Bill 399 is ripe for controversy…

parent surveys at NCS: they are used to serve the agenda of Mr.Meece. A teacher may be informed of the only negative parent comment, and if that teacher has been targeted for anything, it will be the justification for a scant bonus. if parent surveys had as their purpose, improved instruction, all would be shared with the teachers. however, at this school, that is clearly not their purpose.
this is not a healthy practice as it pits colleagues against each other, and makes parents potential anonymous adversaries, rather than transparent partners.
additionally, mr. meece always has a mole or two, and is quick to dispose of them once their dirty work is done. independent thinking is not just undervalued, it is traitorous.
differing opinions are best concealed.
it’s wonderful to teach classes with little to no behavior problems, but not worth selling one’s soul for.

 

DSEA Statement On House Bill 399

The Delaware State Education Association issued a very strong statement on the passage of House Bill 399.  The teacher evaluation bill which was completely gutted by Delaware Senator David Sokola with his amendment will affect teachers throughout the state if certain aspects of the pilot program become a permanent thing.  Obviously, there is a lot more they could have said about what happened, but this is a an official statement from the organization.  I am fairly certain there will be many discussions about what happened with this bill moving forward.  If I were DSEA, I would think very carefully about who they are endorsing in the 8th Senate District…

Update on House Bill 399:

HB 399 finally passed the Senate in the wee small hours of Friday morning. However, it’s passage came with two senate amendments attached to the bill which the House had already passed by a unanimous vote.

DSEA is deeply appreciative to its members, parents, and members of the community who supported our efforts to secure passage of the original bill passed in the House. The letters, emails, and phone calls which were made to legislators were very helpful in maintaining a firewall of support for the bill as it endured an onslaught of attacks from groups who sought to kill it. While the results of the bill were not “perfect”, politics rarely produces “perfect” results. We believe this is an important step forward, one which will help repair the damage done to DPAS in years past.

It must be noted that the final result was not a “compromise bill” in our eyes. We fought throughout day and night (literally) to maintain the original integrity of the bill, opposing Senate Amendment 1, but were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, we think the changes will help improve the quality of educator evaluations in Delaware going forward. Full text of the bill is available at: http://bit.ly/hb399-final.

The main victories which were maintained in the bill:

(1) Each component of DPAS will have equal weight in the overall score. This ends the past practice where Component V, which was built on the student score on the state standardized test, played a disproportionate level of influence on an educator’s evaluation.

(2) Codified the requirement of annual evaluations for all educators holding an initial license and all other educators to be evaluated every two academic years.

(3) Codified the allowance for the educator to select/determine a measure which they feel will demonstrate student improvement, in addition to measure(s) selected by their evaluator.

Senate Amendment 1 (http://bit.ly/hb399-sa1) to HB 399 was authored by Sen. David Sokola. DSEA opposed the amendment. Sen. Sokola’s amendment made the following changes to the bill:

(1) Clarifies that administrators maintain the “final say,” or discretion, to determine whether the State standardized assessment should be used as part of an educator’s evaluation.

(2) Clarifies that the proposed changes to the DPAS II evaluation system, as recommended by the DPAS II Advisory Committee, are intended to be piloted in three local education agencies to evaluate their effectiveness before any changes are permanently incorporated.

(3) Inputs comments received from stakeholders to include parent and student surveys in the pilot as well as include the alternate evaluation systems in the evaluation study.

Senate Amendment 2 (http://bit.ly/hb399-sa2) to HB 399 was authored by Sen. Bryan Townsend. Sen. Townsend’s amendment helped to codify the requirement that the educator be able to select/determine one measure of student improvement (see item #3 in “victories” listed above).