Delaware Senator David Sokola is frantic over his upcoming election. Meredith Chapman, a Republican in his district, filed earlier this year to run against the long-time Senator. So how does Sokola respond to the many allegations that his actions have thwarted Delaware education for 25 years? He writes a letter to the News Journal pimping the very same bad policies he helped create. He does this by praising a report on how America has No Time To Lose, brought to us by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Oh, and Dave helped write the report…
I felt the need to point out some of Dave’s fallacies in this letter.
We’re lucky in Delaware to have collaboration among our public and charter schools, businesses, unions, and higher ed institutions, plus community, foundation, and state leaders. If we are going to succeed, and sustain that success, we need to be open, transparent and inclusive.
In Delaware, we call this the Rodel Foundation and their ten-year roadmap Vision programs and coalitions. They send out surveys that lean heavily towards what they want and call that stakeholder input. And since so many Delawareans believe in “The Delaware Way”, these education leaders and members of the business community feed the fire by sitting at the table. Meanwhile, Dr. Paul Herdman pushes this because, well, that $344,000 salary sure is groovy. Sokola’s firm belief in successful schools led to the creation of one of the most discriminatory schools in America, Newark Charter School. Everything he does props up this school which he relies on for votes every time the election cycle spins around again. And we saw this district and charter collaboration really working this past weekend in one of the shadiest back-room deals Delaware education has ever seen. And I have no doubt in my mind that Sokola was somehow involved in that charter school scam. Which charter school in Delaware would have received the most benefit from this change in funding? Newark Charter School. And it was their idea! Thank God enough legislators acted fast enough to put this very bad idea on pause. He is a bill destroyer when legislation comes around that would actually prevent his own ideas from coming to fruition. His sole pupose in the General Assembly is to pervert the masses with Governor Markell’s very bad education beliefs. In terms of “transparency”, this is a guy who doesn’t feel posting minutes for the Senate Education Committee is important. The same guy who changes agendas for these meetings at the last-minute and yells at parents during meetings when they disagree with him. Yeah, that guy…
We’re piloting innovative clinical residency programs and lab schools, on top of new models for peer observation, feedback, and reflection.
In corporate education reform lingo, we call this Teach For America, Relay Graduate Schools, and other bad teacher practices that put college graduates in low-income schools with six weeks of training. Many of these “teachers” don’t end up staying in the profession and end up working for state Departments of Education or the thousands of education poverty pimp companies out there that take money from the classroom. Sokola gutted a bill that would remove the Smarter Balanced Assessment as a sole factor in one of the components of our teacher evaluation system in Delaware. He also thought having parent and student surveys would be a good idea in determining a teacher’s evaluation score. The bill passed, but our Governor Markell hasn’t signed it yet.
The fact is that most American state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons and on our own National Assessment of Educational Progress, leaving the United States overwhelmingly underprepared to success in the 21st century economy.
Yeah, we were fooled on this when Common Core and Race To The Top came into our lives. Race To The Top ended, and many states are attempting to remove Common Core from their state standards. The experiment failed. What Sokola can’t get through his thick head is that Americans aren’t believing the lies anymore. We don’t care what these reports say because we know they are built on statistics that are created to benefit these reports. Many of the same people involved in this latest report created the very same tests that show we are failing. And now they are telling us to trust them and find a new path for our country at risk (again)? Sorry Dave, you can only tell the same story so many times until it starts sounding like crap. This is a commercial. Paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
And which countries did Sokola visit to make these grand-standing statements?
We visited high-performing systems here in the United States, as well as Beijing and Shanghai, China, to learn more about their success.
Okay, let’s go back to the old chestnut in comparing the U.S. to China. This has been debunked more times than I can count. China uses only the most successful students to take their standardized tests. So of course their results will skew higher. Enough Dave. That is so 2012.
What kills me though is reading some of the names involved in this report. But one stands out above the rest: Marc Tucker. He is listed as the CEO and President of the National Center on Education and the Economy, who wrote their own “Tough Choices, Tough Times” report ten years ago which served as an impetus for Common Core. Yes, that Marc Tucker. The one who wrote Hillary Clinton a letter in 1992 which set the blueprint for all that went down in public education since. The one who believed every single word of the 1983 horror show called “A Nation At Risk”. But now we need to heed these prophetic whispers of doom in this new report, according to Tucker:
This hard-hitting, refreshingly honest report is a bipartisan clarion call for a very different definition of ‘education reform’ than the one that has dominated the American political landscape for years. The country will ignore it at its peril.
Okay Dr. Doom. Thanks for your words of wisdom. I think America is pretty much done with you. How much money have you made on the “fix American education” racket you’ve been involved in for 25 years? Which is about as long as Dave Sokola has been pimping this same bad education policy in Delaware.
Sokola is trying to give himself some credibility where he has none. The barometer of everything that comes out of this washed-up Senator is the standardized test. He lives and breathes on these tests. He ignores the realities behind them and how they aren’t a true measurement of student success. He is a broken record, stuck in the same groove since 1990. He knows he is in extreme danger of losing his Senate seat. But he isn’t listening to anything the majority of Delawareans are telling him: “Shut up Dave!” Instead we get these cash in the trash reports designed solely to make corporations richer that take desperately needed funds out of our schools.
On Election Day this year, do the best thing in the world for the children in the 8th Senate District. Vote for Meredith Chapman and help our children in the 21st Century to be one notch away from bad education policy in Delaware. Look beyond party politics. People like Sokola, who pretend to be Progressives, ride that train so they can get in the system for their own twisted agendas. Dump Dave!