Breaking News: Changes To Regulation 225 Coming Out Tomorrow Morning

On June 1st, a new issue of the Delaware Registrar of Regulations will come out.  Included in this will be a revision to Regulation 225.  Apparently the changes will address the issue of parental involvement which caused a substantial amount of resistance to the regulation when it came out last fall.

When the revision comes out tomorrow, the public will have 30 days to give public comment on the regulation.

The original Regulation 225 limited the ability of schools to let parents know about issues when a transgender student sought help from the school.  The Delaware Department of Education said they put this in there so as not to cause an issue where students could be in danger due to the school notifying the parent.

Some parents in Delaware had issues with the entire regulation and voiced their discontent.  I don’t think this regulation will ever make everyone happy but it sounds like the Delaware DOE did make changes.  We will find out tomorrow what they are.

Congratulations To The Delaware Class Of 2018! You Are The Last Class To…

Delaware high school seniors are having or had their high school graduations.  Congrats to all of you!  I hope you all have bright futures ahead of you.  This class also has something very significant that the next generation of high school graduates won’t be able to say. Continue reading Congratulations To The Delaware Class Of 2018! You Are The Last Class To…

The Roseanne Barr Racist Tweet Is A Perfect Time To Discuss Racism But Let’s Not Forget Who We Are And Let’s Stop With The Absolutes

Unless you have lived in a cave the past three days, ABC canceled the popular Roseanne revival after she wrote a tweet about former President Obama’s aide Valerie Jarrett claiming she is a mix of The Muslim Brotherhood and an ape.  I put a post of an article on my Facebook feed and the comments on it continued from both sides over the next day. Continue reading The Roseanne Barr Racist Tweet Is A Perfect Time To Discuss Racism But Let’s Not Forget Who We Are And Let’s Stop With The Absolutes

Kathy McGuiness: Why The Idea Of Her As State Auditor Is Beyond Frightening

Who is Kathy McGuiness?  Yes, she is running for State Auditor.  But who is she really?  Is she true Blue or is she Red for convenience sake?  Who are her best friends and why would that make it VERY dangerous for her to win this election?  She wants to be a state auditor.  Someone whose job is making sure other state agencies don’t break the rules.  But her alliances and allegiances beg the question and puts her on a very slippery slope.  And I’m not just talking about the slopes in Park City, Utah. Continue reading Kathy McGuiness: Why The Idea Of Her As State Auditor Is Beyond Frightening

How Long Have Members Of The Delaware General Assembly Been Around? Should There Be Term Limits?

Term limits.  We hear these words so often but the ones to decide would be the ones that would lose out the most from them.  Some call them politicians or legislators.  But they are the Delaware General Assembly.  How long have these folks been making laws in Dover?  Some of them are lifers.  Some are relatively new (past ten years).  Should we have term limits in Dover?  If so, how long should they be?  Since the Senate serves four years how many terms are too many?  The House has a two-year election cycle.  How many terms should they get?  Or do you think the people vote for a reason and term limits don’t bother you?  Take the poll and see how long some of these cats have prowled the halls!  I put the ones first voted into office last century in bold. Continue reading How Long Have Members Of The Delaware General Assembly Been Around? Should There Be Term Limits?

Summer & Fall 2018 Preview: Movies, Music, TV, & Comic Books

Summer is here!  And there is a ton of great stuff coming out the rest of this year!  Music, Movies, TV, and even comic books!  Release dates as well! Continue reading Summer & Fall 2018 Preview: Movies, Music, TV, & Comic Books

Seven Delaware Charter Schools Up For Renewal Next Fall!!!!

Every year, the Delaware State Board of Education gets to vote on charter school renewals.  This year, there are seven charter schools up for renewal.  I believe this is a record and will keep the Charter School Office busy from now until then.  But this year could be different for these renewals because of events going on the Delaware Department of Education and the State Board of Education that are beyond their control. Continue reading Seven Delaware Charter Schools Up For Renewal Next Fall!!!!

The Hunt

So I’m sitting in my bed this morning.  My son caught the bus at the usual time.  I immediately plowed right back into the latest Stephen King novel, “The Outsider”.  My dog Bella gives me that “I have to go out” look so we go down the stairs.  I see something moving in the air in my family room.  At first I thought it was a bird.  But the figure-eight pattern the winged wonder was flying in told me it wasn’t.  It was a bat.  In my house.  Flying around at 10am in the morning without a care in the world.  I opened the back door hoping it would fly out but it was just flying around.  I scooped up the dog and put it in the car.  I went back in and closed the door and the flying rodent was still doing his space dance.  I’m assuming it is a he.  It could be a girl though.  I brought Bella to my son’s other house.  Bella will chase birds so I figured a bat in the house would drive her off the cliff.

I came back from dropping Bella off and opened the front door.  I went around to the back and opened the back door as well.  I walked in expecting the symbol of the Dark Knight to still be flying around.  Nope.  I couldn’t see it anywhere!  I called a friend who is well-versed in animals and asked her advice.  She said it shouldn’t come after me personally because it doesn’t read my blog.  She didn’t say the last part.  She asked if I had a net which I do not.

I did some Googling and found the best thing to do, if it should reappear, is to let it fly around.  Sooner or later it will have to rest.  Slowly take a box or something it can fit in and place it against the surface the bat is on.  You don’t want to pinch it.  After that you slide a thin piece of cardboard between the surface and the box/container.  Bring it outside and try to find a tree it can climb up.

I found out a lot about bats today.  I always assumed they are blind.  They aren’t.  I didn’t think they could squeeze through something 3/8ths of an inch but they can.  Like my friend said, they won’t typically come after humans unless you go after it in an aggressive way.  I also found out you can get bit by bats and not even know it sometimes.  Which could be a bad thing if they have rabies.  But most everything I read said if you are awake and get bit you will know it.  You won’t turn into a vampire.  Vampire bats will bite but they don’t suck the blood from you.  They just drink whatever comes out.

Throughout the day I searched the house for this flying mammal.  I looked in every cupboard, crevice, and cranny I could find.  I probably went overboard opening all my dresser and desk drawers.  I looked under and around furniture.  Checked the clothes hanging in my closet.  It either came in from the attic, which had its cover slightly off for when I go up there.  Definitely more than 3/8ths of an inch.  Or it somehow came in through the basement.  I checked around the house and my dryer vent has a metal filter on it so that wasn’t the culprit.

As daytime leads to night and night divides the day, I could feel anxiety over this bat coming out again.  If it did get back into the attic, my sealing the cover up would most likely prevent it from getting back into the house.  It could be hiding in some rafters in the basement that I couldn’t spy with my flashlight.  Or I could be having bat hallucinations.  Yes, I did Google that.

Last night I made the big mistake of having coffee around 8pm.  I was tired but I wanted to watch the penultimate episode of “The Americans”.  If you watch that show you would understand why that was important!  The caffeine kept me up until about 3am in the morning.  I woke up at 6:30 to get my son off to school.  And then Stephen King.  I dozed off here and there while reading.  I figured if I fell asleep it wouldn’t matter until early afternoon anyways.  “The Outsider” is an excellent book.  I’m a little over halfway done with it.  Right before Bella gestured to me about doing her thing, I was at a very important part of the book that gave me chills.  The best Stephen King books have a knack of making you look around a bit, especially when you are alone.  And then I saw the bat.  Was it real or some hypnagogic vision brought on by a lack of sleep?  Bella will bark when she sees any living being move unless it is those she is closest to.  She did not bark at the bat.  Maybe this whole day has been a dream and I’m still sleeping.

It is 9:37pm.  My little flying friend has not come out of hiding at this point.  I saw his buddies flying around outside as early as 7:30pm.  And as I type this I do see a mosquito hovering around my family room ceiling.  If anything would lure the bat out of hiding it would be that gourmet feast!  I keep looking for any change in the lights on in my house.  Any movement, a shadow.  But nothing.  I sit and wait.  And read.

For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all. -Aristotle

Project Veritas Hits Ohio Teacher Unions, More Cover-Ups Of Student Abuse By Teachers

First it was New Jersey, then Michigan. Now Ohio is the latest state to show situations where teacher union officials and Presidents would cover up teacher abuses and not report it. But so many have been telling me the guy in NJ was a solo act. Uh-huh..

As I projected when I started writing about these videos last Friday, I would lose friends. Folks would be mad at me. If someone wants to blow a friendship over this they were never a friend to begin with. Folks seem perfectly okay with trying to downplay this because it is Project Veritas. Sorry, if there is blood in the water does it really matter how someone found it?

When a union President explains that he has protected teachers in a physical abuse against students 80 times in his career, over an eight-year time span, that is very alarming. But let’s continue to blame Project Veritas for getting this news out.

To date, neither the Delaware State Education Association or the National Education Association has issued press releases disavowing this type of activity of union activity around the country.  NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia seems to think students should feel safe in school in regards to school shootings but she is silent on the issue of these videos.  A bit of a pickle you are in right about now Lily.  This is starting to remind me of the Catholic priests scandal.  How widespread are these issues?  How many more videos have to come out before the NEA says something?

“Every child has the right to feel safe and be safe at school, and every parent has the right to know their neighborhood schools are safe places to send their children.” -Lily Eskelsen Garcia

So I will challenge the Delaware State Education Association and their local affiliates to answer this question: Have you ever protected a teacher in a physical or sexual abuse situation and not reported it to the proper authorities or the school?  Have you ever turned a situation where a student was made out to be an aggressor when you knew it was the teacher?

Kim Williams Reports Delaware JFC Put Funding For K-3 Basic Special Education In The Budget!!!!

Finally!  One of the first things I pushed for on this blog almost four years ago was the funding for students designated as basic special education in Kindergarten to 3rd Grade.  Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams just put the following on her Facebook page:

I am so thankful that the Joint Finance Committee voted to include funding for K-3 basic special education services in the budget. This funding will support necessary services that will help students close learning gaps and move forward to have bright futures.

This has been a true collaborative effort with my colleagues, especially Rep. Smith and Sen. Nicole Poore, my prime Senate sponsor, and I truly appreciate their leadership. These services will become a reality thanks to the advocacy of Delaware State Education Association, parents throughout the state and the many advocates coming together to support our youngest learners. Our children deserve our best efforts to help them learn and succeed through life.

Amen Kim!  As I’ve always said, many kids develop their disabilities in these grades.  Even though schools are obligated by Federal law to provide special education no matter what grade they are in, this obstacle to the funding schools would get sometimes led to students not getting the services they deserve.  In some cases, schools would deny an IEP creating a toxic relationship with parents.  Kim has worked hard for this ever since I met her all those years ago.  She is the best education legislator in the state and she will ALWAYS have my support.

We don’t agree 100% of the time, but I will take those rare times any day because what she has done for Delaware education is nothing short of astounding!  A big thank you to DSEA, Senator Nicole Poore, Rep. Melanie Smith, Delaware PTA, and all the parents who pushed for this as well!

The Delaware Joint Finance Committee put the funding in the budget today.  Of course, the Delaware General Assembly has to approve the budget as a whole by June 30th, but I am confident they will do the right thing with this.  Delaware’s projected surplus for FY2019 went up yesterday as the Delaware Economic Forecast Advisory Committee added $80 million to the surplus.

Updated, 5:32pm: The amount budgeted for the Basic Special Education for students in K-3 is $2.9 million. As well, $3.6 million went in for Reading Specialists for students in Kindergarten to 4th grade. It also looks like $2 million that was cut in last year’s FY2018 budget will be restored for school transportation.

The Most Positive Post You Will Ever Read On This Blog!

For weeks, no, months, no, years, folks have been telling me I am way too negative on this blog.  All I do is write about the bad.  I’m judgmental.  I’m negative.  I get it.  You want happy and cheery stuff from me.  But what you are about to read is the most positive thing I can think of.  So without further ado… Continue reading The Most Positive Post You Will Ever Read On This Blog!

You Are Cordially Invited To Hear The DOE Talk About The Plans At DAPSS

Attention, attention!  Hear ye, hear ye!  Let it be known throughout the land that the Delaware Department of Education will be taking part of a question and answer session with parents of the Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security tomorrow night at the school!  Also attending will be Principal Herbert Sheldon and Director of Public Safety David Wainwright.  You know, the two guys who were given their walking papers last week. The soon-to-be leaving Denise Stouffer who runs the Charter School Office will also be attending this once in a lifetime (literally because she is leaving the DOE at the end of this fiscal year to run Providence Creek Academy) event.  If you didn’t get your parent letter about this, the meeting starts at 6pm in the all-purpose room of the school.

So what is on the agenda? As per their website:

The Academy’s vision and mission is not changing
DAPSS is not becoming ASPIRA High School
Personnel changes were due to enrollment, budget, and certification requirements
Personnel committee has been formed and is actively working to provide insight and will release public report on or about May 24, 2018

Rumor has it Board President Margie Lopez-Waite will not be in attendance. Which, if true, is certainly interesting. Especially since the reasons for this meeting are based on changes she began. I would think she would attend, but perhaps she has to recover from their board meeting last week. I did check the Las Americas ASPIRAS website and I do not see anything scheduled for tomorrow evening which would prevent her from attending. Their board meeting is on Thursday. But it does look like the Smarter Balanced Assessment will be given to students all week long. I’ve always loved how many charter schools get to take it later in the year when the students have more instruction towards the tests. But I digress.

So why is Denise Stouffer going in Margie’s stead? Beats me. Is she also on the personnel committee that will get so much insight in a week? I did hear she went to the school last week and talked to students and told them not to believe the horrible and nasty lies on the web. In other words, all those social media posts and this very blog. Denise and I have a history. A weird one. Not the easiest person to get a straight answer from. So good luck with THAT tomorrow night DAPSS parents! Not sure what would be more important for Margie that she wouldn’t squeeze this into her schedule. It could be personal, but since she created this pony show I would think DAPSS would hold it on Tuesday or Wednesday night. But what do I know? I’m just a damn blogger.

Come one, come all.

Appoquinimink To Create Safety Task Force Due To Incident Yesterday

Appoquinimink Superintendent Matt Burrows sent an email to parents minutes ago giving more detail about the district’s role in the handgun incident yesterday at Middletown High School.  I will certainly give Burrows credit for fully owning up to the omission of details in his parent letter yesterday as those facts seem to have been discovered by the Delaware State Police after he sent out the parent letter.  While I am not a member of the MOT Residents Facebook page, I understand parents have been going off on there all day long about the differences between the parent letter and the Delaware State Police press release.  I just have one question, and it is a big one: who discovered the student pulled out the gun on another student?  Was it the district or the State Police?  I posted my article about those differences less than two hours ago.

Appo Superintendent Matt Burrows Failed To Disclose Student Pointed Handgun At Student In Parent Letter

The Delaware State Police issued a press release today about the arrest of Tymere Moore, an 18 year old Middletown High School student in Appoquinimink School District.  It gives much more information than the statement Appoquinimink Superintendent Matt Burrows sent to parents yesterday.  Including the very disturbing fact that the student actually pulled out the handgun and pointed it at another student.  The primary charge in the arrest was for brandishing a handgun.  Which was not mentioned in Burrows’ parent letter at all. Continue reading Appo Superintendent Matt Burrows Failed To Disclose Student Pointed Handgun At Student In Parent Letter

OMG! Electing Kathy McGuiness As State Auditor Would Be Like Putting A TFA Teacher As Secretary Of Education! Don’t Do It!

I just caught part of the Delaware United forum with the candidates for State Auditor and Attorney General.  I heard Kathleen McGuiness babbling about her qualifications.  She is NOT a certified accountant.  She took some crash course in NY last year to be a “fraud investigator”.  She is a pharmacist and a realtor.  This would be like putting a crash-course Teach For America teacher as Secretary of Education.  She is NOWHERE close to being qualified.

I understand the Speaker of the House, Pete Schwartzkopf, wants her.  As well as other legislators who seem to think she would be the best.  They aren’t basing that decision on any amount of qualification for the office but because Pete wants her.  Because they are friends.  It is Delaware politics at its worst!

For this office, we need someone who is qualified.  We could argue whether that would be Kathleen Davies or Dennis Williams.  For my money, I’m going with Davies.  She worked in the Auditor’s office.  She knows exactly what to do and how to do it.  There would not be a “learning curve” that McGuiness would stumble through.  Williams tends to tick off a lot of people.  I agree the Auditor’s office should be independent of political party.  But Williams already has a ton of burnt bridges which would not be helpful in getting things done.

Yes, there is a cloud with Davies.  Why was she put on leave by Tom Wagner?  I still firmly believe that was due to someone wanting her to shut up.  I have never bought the bogus News Journal article from 2016 suggesting she was inappropriately reimbursing herself for travel expenses.  I believe whatever happened was cooked up, kind of like McGuiness’ auditor campaign over the past year.  I believe we will find out in due time what happened and I also believe it will come out that something was cooked up.  Davies for State Auditor by a landslide!

If you really want to learn about Kathy McGuiness, just Google “Kathy McGuiness” and “Delaware Liberal” to get the scoop.  There is plenty of stuff in there to keep you reading for hours!

Gun Found In Student’s Bag At Middletown High School In Appoquinimink Today

Following a break-up of a potential fight, a handgun was found in a student’s bag at Middletown High School in the Appoquinimink School District earlier today.  Sadly, this came shortly after news broke out of another school shooting.  The shooting in Santa Fe, Texas killed nine students and a teacher.  While I salute the staff at Middletown High for defusing this situation very fast, it is indicative of potential threats in our schools.  I’ve been told by other educators that weapons are brought into schools constantly but they are rarely found.  I fully support metal detectors in ALL of our schools.  Is it a burden?  Yes.  But Delaware does not want to be on the news for innocent students being gunned down.  Hats off to Superintendent Matt Burrows for letting parents know this went down as well!  Earlier reports in the day addressed a situation but it wasn’t until Burrows released the letter about the gun being found that I felt it was appropriate to post this.

 

Who Protects Kids When Teacher Unions Won’t? The DSEA and NEA Response To Shocking Video Is Horrendous!

Project Veritas released a video on May 2nd about a teacher union president that clearly shows him admitting the union will lie and manipulate to protect a teacher in a student abuse situation.  The responses from the union president are shocking.  Even more shocking are the responses from the Delaware State Education Association and the National Education Association to help members deal with this video. I am putting the video up which you can see below. Continue reading Who Protects Kids When Teacher Unions Won’t? The DSEA and NEA Response To Shocking Video Is Horrendous!

Where’s Kendall? And Margie, I Don’t Have To Know You But I Do Know A Scam When I See One!

I just saw a video of the entire Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security board meeting from this evening.  Since I’m the only blog (or media at this point) really writing about DAPSS these days, I feel it is safe to assume Board President Margie Lopez-Waite was talking about “the blog”.  But an even bigger question is where the Delaware Charter School Network was?  Isn’t their job to support charter schools?  Where was Kendall Massett?

Margie did all the talking for the entire board.  She played a game of bait and switch with the members of the audience.  On one hand, she said she became the “scapegoat” for the slew of termination notices that went out Monday.  She said Head of School Herb Sheldon played a direct role in that.  She is trying to make it sound like those were his decisions to make and carry out.  But then, on the other hand, she has the board pass a motion to revisit those terminations.  She said, “A school can’t function if we don’t let the leaders lead”.  But she is attempting to play to the crowd.

In terms of the DAPSS programs going away, Margie said emphatically they are not going away.  But she said several times she wants to essentially marry DAPSS and her long-term goal of having an ASPIRA high school.   That is her vision.  No one else is screaming for that vision.  Do not let her fool you.  She saw an opportunity and struck.

“When I look in the mirror, I know who I am…And I hope that one day you guys learn the person I am.  Cause I have no agenda here.  I have no motivation other than helping children.  So you can read all you want on the blog.  You can get your information from those sources but they’re all completely wrong.  That person doesn’t know me.  They are just trying to feed you information.  “

You are absolutely right Margie.  I don’t know you.  I’ve seen you a handful of times prior to your involvement in DAPSS.  I’ve never written about anything big at ASPIRA as I have other Delaware charter schools.  But what you seem to forget is the nature of this blog.  I don’t pull stuff out of the air.  It comes to me.  From multiple sources.  If I have nothing to write about, I don’t write.  Plain and simple.  And yes, I am trying to feed information.  What is the purpose of this blog if it isn’t to inform?  I don’t get paid.  I could care less if 10 people read this or 5,000.  I’m just getting it out there because once upon a time I needed information.  Guess where I found a lot of it?  Not in mainstream media articles.  I found it on blogs.  From people that were there.  From comments on blogs.  From what I heard, YOU didn’t know a lot of the staff that were fired the other day either.  In fact, one staff member pointed out how you had never once said hello to him during your many visits to the school.

You said that less than 20% of the teachers were cut.  But at the same time you said other teachers “resigned” because they weren’t able to take alternative positions.  When you tell a full-time teacher they have to become a part-time teacher and they can’t afford that, you aren’t offering them an opportunity.  You are basically saying “you mean nothing but I don’t have the guts to just come out and fire you so I’ll let you quit first.”  Which, in my opinion, is extremely scummy.  So if those people are getting the “demote or leave” slip, what does the percentage come out to factoring that in Margie?  I get the financial perspective and sometimes there is fat to be trimmed.  But we both know this was more than that.  Don’t try to downplay it at a board meeting.  Say those numbers in public including staff members.

You sit there and say you have no agenda or motivation while at the same time you are telling people who were just screaming at you that you want to merge DAPSS with your ASPIRA high school.  You say you don’t want to interfere with the Head of School but you effectively took over the board, got folks who you KNOW will vote with you (hello Joanne Schlossberg from Newark Charter School), and all of a sudden pink slips are going out left and right.  You talked about the Charter School Accountability Committee meetings and how you wished folks came down to Dover.  I did.  I was there.  I heard you say you were going to make tough decisions people were not going to like.  Not the board.  Not the Head of School.  But you.  Not once did I hear a damn thing about your plan to merge DAPSS and this ASPIRA high school.  I heard the rumors that you have always wanted that.  Nor did you mention this HUGE need to have Spanish and Chinese programs at DAPSS.  So don’t try to spin this as if you are some scapegoat.  You initiated all of this.  Like you are the damn superhero that “saved the school”.  You didn’t save anything.  You are an opportunist who saw a chance to get your precious dual language high school on the cheap without just doing it yourself.  And you pissed off a ton of people along the way.  I don’t need to know you.  I need to listen, and hear, and report.  You also don’t know me.  Nor have you ever made a point to.  And I’m okay with that.

As for the part where she started conversing with a parent DURING public comment IN SPANISH, that happened when the father stated he was Puerto Rican like her.  She began speaking in Spanish to him but he shot her down and explained that even though he knows the language he speaks English in his house and his kids do as well.  He said Spanish is NOT the most important language in the world.  But when folks are complaining about having dual language programs at their school, that probably isn’t the best time to start talking in Spanish during a board meeting when someone else is giving public comment.  The fact I have to point this out speaks volumes!

Lopez-Waite listened to what parents had to say.  She took the jabs and expressed her opinions about them.  But never once did she say anything about reconsidering HER vision for an ASPIRA high school.  Even though the parents, former students, and current students loudly said they didn’t want the current programming diluted by HER vision.  When you fail to truly listen and act on what you are hearing, by ignoring the will of the people (and that audience was the DAPSS family), you disrespect them.

Did DAPSS need changes?  Well, yeah, they were under formal review and about to get shut down.  The only thing that shocked me about all that is how long it took the Delaware DOE to initiate that formal review.  But Lopez-Waite came in like a bear and wanted to tear the camp apart.  And she did.  Take responsibility for your actions.  Own them.  Be accountable.  That’s what we want our students to learn.  But when the adults can’t do it, how the hell do you think the students will?

When you have a “vision”, it is often a coin toss.  If you fail to see the other side of the coin, you can’t be shocked when that coin comes up tails.  That’s exactly what happened with Margie Lopez-Waite tonight.  She underestimated parents, staff, and students.  She assumed it was the same crowd she has at ASPIRA.  It backfired big time!  With this crowd, you wouldn’t dare pull your next move, which was to make yourself Head of School at DAPSS.  They would have fileted you alive and you knew it.  Which was why the board meeting was cut short before you could even get through the agenda.

And once more, for the record, where’s Kendall?

Absolute Insanity At DAPSS Board Meeting Right Now! Margie Screwed Up Big Time!

At the Delaware Academy of Safety & Security board meeting going on now, parents are screaming at Margie Lopez-Waite and students are crying.  They are very upset with her about the mass termination of anywhere from 2/3 to 3/4 of the staff on Monday.  They are also very pissed at her about her plans to turns DAPSS into a type of ASPIRA High School. Continue reading Absolute Insanity At DAPSS Board Meeting Right Now! Margie Screwed Up Big Time!