Looks like we have a new blog in town folks! This one hails from the usually very quiet Christina School District…
On Tuesday evening, the Christina School District Board of Education voted 6-0 on a resolution to bring some sanity back to public education. I love, love, love this resolution! Christina Board President Elizabeth Paige drafted the resolution and it should become a policy for every single school district and charter school in America!
Christina School District Board of Education Resolution in Support of Unstructured Learning Time
Whereas, the mission of the Christina School District supports …fostering a nurturing learning environment; and,
Whereas, unstructured learning time has been proven to enhance a child’s social development and ability to problem solve; and,
Whereas, play improves memory and stimulates brain development; and,
Whereas, play is necessary for ELL students to develop social language that is less formal than academic language; and,
Whereas, play fosters an environment of cooperation and scaffolding of learning among children at different ages/stages and encourages children to connect academic experiences to real-world scenarios; and,
Whereas, research proves that children who are exposed to at least 15 minutes of unstructured play time during the day exhibit better behavior during academic time than children who are not offered a break; and,
Whereas, research published in the Early Childhood Education Journal revealed that both free play and adult-guided play can help young children learn awareness of other people’s feelings and that play helps to teach kids to regulate their own emotions; and,
Whereas, evidence informs us that a lack of ample time for undirected, self-chosen play/activities contributes to mental health problems such as rising rates of stress, anxiety, and depression, and therefore should be treated as an important provision in the scheduling of student time; and,
Whereas, studies show that frequent small breaks are more beneficial to student emotional and physical health as well as academic achievement; therefore,
Be it resolved that the Christina School District Board of Education affirms that play is a positive aspect of being a student in a public school system; and,
Be it further resolved that in all Christina School District elementary schools, unstructured learning time should be provided to all students in varying degrees, but in quantities no less than 20 minutes daily; and,
Be it further resolved that recess shall be supplementary to unstructured learning time inside the classroom; and,
Be it further resolved that the Christina School District Board of Education affirms its support for unstructured learning time and recess for students in grades 6-8; and,
Be it further resolved that the Christina School District Board of Education supports the fact that appropriate amounts of time for play and/or freely chosen activities are necessary for healthy development and should be provided during the school day; and,
Be it further resolved that the Christina School District Board of Education supports the evidence that play increases student abilities in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, executive functioning, communication skills, empathy, and self-regulation; and,
Be it ultimately resolved that the Christina School District believes that ample time for student-driven, unstructured play must be included among the essential learning experiences in the education of our students. Beyond physical activity, these experiences include imaginative play, creative/constructive play, and games with rules. Student engagement in undirected, freely chosen activities is an essential component of healthy human development as well as a necessity for social/emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of children.
In February, Delaware Governor John Carney brought back the Family Services Cabinet Council through Executive Order #5. Many in Delaware thought this was a good thing. But apparently transparency took a backseat to this return. The group met on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 in a meeting that was closed to the public and press. What is the point of this council if it is not able to be seen by the public?
I discovered this when I was looking at the Governor’s public schedule last week. I also view the Delaware Public Meetings Calendar and did not see this on there. I would have attended this meeting had it been made public but I never had the chance.
For a council that is responsible for recommendations for so many issues in Delaware, I am shocked they wouldn’t let the public in on it. To that end, I emailed Governor Carney’s staff about this gross oversight on April 6th. Over a week later and NO response.
This is the kind of crap I would expect from former Delaware Governor Jack Markell. I truly hoped Governor Carney would be different. But I am not seeing that marriage between the state and the public. Especially with a council as important as this one. So what are the areas this council covers that Carney doesn’t want the public to hear conversation about?
If this council isn’t open to the public will we ever see any minutes from their meetings? Attendance? Who else is invited? What they are even doing? I urge Governor Carney to answer these questions and make this council open to the public. Delaware got an F for transparency and came in 49th out of 50 states in an evaluation of public transparency at the end of 2015. That should have ended on January 17th, 2017, the day Governor Carney swore his oath of office and promised the citizens of Delaware he would listen to the people. I expect more from you Governor Carney!
For those who have been following this blog the past few years, I have written many articles about the eventual goals of the corporate education reformers and this council seems to be moving things along in that direction. Especially when it comes to strengthening the “public-private partnerships”.
The mission of the Council shall be to design and implement new service alternatives for school and community-based family-centered services, and otherwise act as a catalyst for public-private partnerships to reduce service fragmentation and make it easier for families to get supportive services.
In a nutshell, this is inviting non-profits into our schools. While some may see this as a step in the right direction, I am hesitant to think this is the cure for what ails the youth of Delaware. Every single time a company, whether it is for-profit or non-profit, comes into our schools, it is siphoning money away from students and into the more than welcoming hands of corporations. With that comes bad education policy because the corporations only make money off education if there is something to fix. The measurement of what needs to be “fixed” is the standardized test, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessment in Delaware. If there is one thing we have learned in Delaware it is the Smarter Balanced Assessment is very flawed and their consortium is extremely non-transparent and secretive.
Carney was also instrumental in getting the whole Blockchain thing going in Delaware. If you want your children to morph into drones in the Common Core/personalized learning/digital tech/stealth testing/digital badge environment than please ignore this article.
As citizens of Delaware, we need to demand transparency from Governor Carney. Please call the Governor’s office today. The Dover office phone number is (302) 744-4101 and the Wilmington office phone number is (302) 577-3210. Or you can email him here: Email Governor Carney
The Delaware General Assembly honored an unsung hero last week. Richard Mootz, a Milford veteran, received a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives for his role in an astonishing find from World War II. The House Republicans sent this in their weekly email last week.
The money and precious metals were in the company of an immense collection of valuable artwork. Sheltered in the mine were one-fourth of the major holdings of 14 state museums.