Delaware has a ton of blogs. I have no doubt there are some I don’t even know about. But there are many and they all provide unique points of view you won’t find elsewhere. These are things us bloggers do on our own time. These are just some of my favorites and some I don’t agree with all the time but they are still worth the read:
Delaware First State
Children and Educators First
Homeless1 in Wilmington
E.R. +Educators To The Rescue+
3B: Brae’s Brown Bags
Frank Calio’s Blog
The Urgency of Now
Moments of Clarity
Blatant Self Promotion
Broken Turtle Blog
And you thought election season was over? HA! Not in Delaware! I know, many are suffering from Trump fatigue and depression. But now that Bethany Hall-Long is the new Delaware Lieutenant Governor, there will be a special election in 2017 for her Senate seat in the 10th District. With ten Republicans and ten Democrats, expect a lot of attention on this race. The winner of this race determines party control of the Delaware Senate. I know of a few possible contenders, although none have “officially” thrown their hat in the ring.
State Rep. Earl Jaques: I see him as a top contender. So much so that I asked him about it yesterday at a meeting at the Delaware Dept. of Education. He didn’t rule it out, but he said it is something he and his wife are currently discussing. Odds: 2-1
State Rep. Quinn Johnson: He and Bethany are very tight. He lives in the district. But he is also well-ensconced in the House. Odds: 4-1
New Castle County Clerk of the Peace Ken Boulden: This could be a viable option if the state wants to save money. If Jaques or Johnson won, there would have to be another special election for their State Rep. Seat should they win. If Boulden won, it would save Delaware taxpayers from shelling out more money in what will be a very tight budget year. And I hear there is interest! Odds: 5-1
Dana Long: Would Bethany’s husband run for the Senate? I don’t think he could steal this election! Odds: Infinity-1
John Marino: He ran for Bethany’s Senate seat in 2014 and lost. But it was a VERY close race, with Hall-Long getting 51% of the vote and Marino getting 49%. I can easily picture him making another run. Odds: 2-1
Matt Brown: He ran against Quinn Johnson in 2012. Would he be willing to run for another race? Odds 20-1
THE TWITTER PARTY
Precious Little: She made a name for herself in Delaware one September day in 2014. Does she live in the district? No, she lives in Estonia. But who cares! This is Delaware where no one keeps track of that kind of silly stuff! Odds: 3,000-1
WestEd, a San Francisco based company, was selected as the vendor for the future Next Generation Science Standards state assessment. The contract runs through December 31st, 2017 but it will assuredly get an extension based on the scope of work involved and the timetable for the full release of the new Science state assessment. The amount awarded for the contract is $673,658. Only two bidders sent proposals to the Delaware Department of Education, WestEd and American Institutes for Research (AIR). AIR is the current vendor for the Smarter Balanced Assessment in Delaware.
The plan is to have the field tests for this assessment in the 2017-2018 school year and then all public school students in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade get to take it in the 2018-2019 school year. All states are required to administer Science state assessments to students in these grades and it will be the same for the Every Student Succeeds Act. Currently, Delaware students take the Science DCAS Assessment.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were created by Achieve Inc. and 26 states. It rolled out in 2013 but only five states signed up to implement them. As of today, there are only 18 states that have adopted the sometimes controversial science standards. NGSS is very big on terminology surrounding three dimensions: science & engineering, disciplinary core ideas, and cross-cutting concepts. Okay. How do you accurately explain that? I have an idea! They should use rope to do it! Oh wait, someone beat me to it…
I wrote about WestEd a month and a half ago when I saw they were one of the bidders for this contract:
WestEd, though, is no stranger to Delaware. This is a company that thinks online digital learning games with Curious George are just great for preschool. They also have an extensive list of clients with some very familiar names. Ironically, the Delaware DOE hired facilitators from WestEd for their Every Student Succeeds Act Community Conversations, along with Research In Action. They even went into a partnership recently with NewSchools Venture Fund to expand small business data technology companies in K-12 classrooms.
Lately, whenever I see a corporate education reform company, I check out how much money they have received from the Gates Foundation. WestEd has received $24,164,909 over the past ten plus years. That is no small chunk of change! You can read the full contract below:
Who is the benefactor to the 15 charter schools suing the Christina School District and the Delaware Department of Education? You know, the one where the almighty (or are they?) charter schools want more money? Led and initiated by Newark Charter School who got fourteen other charters to follow suit. Literally. As in a lawsuit. But they had a little problem they had to take care of first. The damn attorney fees.
I imagine taking a case like this would involve a lot of prep work and discovery. Saul Ewing, LLP is the law firm representing the fifteen charter schools in their lawsuit against the Christina School District and the Delaware Department of Education. As the named parties are represented by their own counsel, the charters would have to be able to definitively prove their case. Or at least a perception of their case. That’s what attorneys do. Make a jury or judge believe their side of the story, whether it is right or wrong. It is always about the belief. But who is paying Saul Ewing for this lawsuit? Continue reading So, About Those Attorney Fees For The Charter Lawsuit…