Breaking News: State Board of Education President Dr. Dennis Loftus Resigning After A Year Of Service

A year ago, Governor Carney nominated Dr. Dennis Loftus to take over as State Board of Education President.  Replacing Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, Loftus served in the role for a year.  At the end of this month, sources tell me Dr. Loftus is resigning from the position.

No nomination for his replacement has been announced at this point.  As well, even though Donna Johnson officially resigned a couple of weeks ago, no replacement has been announced for the Executive Director role for the State Board of Education.  The State Board is still going through sunset review with that committee at Legislative Hall.

The State Board underwent many changes in the past year with four new members (including Loftus) and a now vacant role of Executive Director.  It doesn’t look like that facelift is going to stop any time soon with the resignations of their Board President and their Executive Director.  The State Board of Education is a different entity than the Delaware Department of Education.  Any State Board members would be nominated by the Governor and then have to go through a confirmation process with the Delaware Senate.  The only exception to that rule is the President which is picked solely by the Governor but there is no designated term for that role and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.  In addition, the State Board themselves would pick a new Executive Director.

What is the reason for this massive amount of turnover?  In January long-time board member Pat Heffernan resigned unexpectedly after an explosive board meeting about the diploma bill.  Heffernan was deeply opposed to the legislation which would do away with certificates of performance or attendance for the most severe cognitively-challenged students.  Governor Carney signed the bill last month.  Other new members came about through prior board members ending their term.  But to have the President of the State Board resign after less than a year says something!

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Teacher’s Sarcastic Letter To Delaware DOE Is The Win Of The Week!

Even though this made the rounds on social media, my guess is many of you have not seen it. I am also keeping the teacher’s name anonymous. But in reality this could have been written by just about any teacher in Delaware. It is something they all think. They all believe the façade of standardized testing is a complete and utter waste of time.  Here we are, three years after the Smarter Balanced Assessment came out, and we are still putting children through this ridiculous dog and pony show.  The needle hasn’t moved.  But now the Social Studies and Science assessments based on these almighty standards are here.  Praise the corporate education Gods!  We now have more data to give to the hedge fund managers and those who seek to profit off children!  Yes, let us all bow down to the phony corporations that have taken over state governments with their lobbying and dollars to have kids treated like cattle being led to the slaughter.  Because this is progress…

Delaware Department of Education:

As I sit here contemplating my umpteenth week of testing, and I am not halfway through, I wanted to take a minute and thank you.

Why?
Here are the reasons.

1. I want to thank you for understanding that my students need an education and only forgiving one of the snow days, instead of all four. I am quickly planning engaging lessons that my students will be very involved in during those final three days of school.

2. I want to thank you for testing an entire year’s worth of content beginning in the third marking period, when the content has not been completely covered. I truly love a challenge.

3. I want to thank you for making the last two months of school routine-less as my students are testing for this and that and being pulled at all times. I don’t often have a whole class with me to cover new material, but as I said before I love a challenge.

4. I want to thank you for taking away the Social Studies standardized test last year as a gift and then providing us with another test this year. I was worried we were going to be down a test.

5. I want to thank you for testing Social Studies again because with all of the mandatory extra reading/math interventions I rarely have time for teaching it. (I also want to say thank you for creating a test that doesn’t technically cover the curriculum we teach in class; that is ingenious!)

6. I want to thank you for spending many dollars on tests that make my students cry and get angry and frustrated. I want to thank you for spending this money on tests that make me doubt myself as an educator.

7. I also want to thank you for realizing that it is completely acceptable to lose weeks of instructional time due to time-consuming testing but simply wrong to accept nature as an excuse to lose instructional time.