**UPDATED** Exceptional Delaware Under Attack!

Someone involved with my article about Susan Bunting yesterday is piping mad!  How mad?  They are reporting the post to Facebook as “spam”.  I tend to post to about 10-15 Facebook groups around public education or Delaware.  Every single one of those received a notification stating it was removed as “spam”.  But it goes further because the article was shared by over 300 people on Facebook.  Each one of those people are getting the same notification from Facebook.

Who is reporting this post as spam?  There are culprits aplenty with this one!  Could it be Susan Bunting herself?  Someone from the DOE?  The Governor’s office?  Patrick Miller?  His brother?  Chuck Bireley?  Leolga Wright?  Someone doesn’t want this out there, that is obvious.  Too late for that.  This is one of the highest-read articles I’ve written in some time.  Not to mention all my followers who received emails about it.  Good luck getting this one to disappear.

So if you shared this post and get the Facebook notification marking it as “spam”, please go to the review and hit “not spam”.  Thank you.  Transparency is hard work sometimes!

Updated, 8/1/18, 8:11am: It appears all the Monday morning Bunting posts have been restored on Facebook.  Even this article was reported to Facebook as well but it has been restored as well.  I was getting messages all night from people wanting to know why their posting of the link was reported.  These are the times we live in!

Margie Lopez Waite Wants To Raid Other Charter School’s Data To Get More Kids At DAPSS

I had to listen to that part of their board audio recording five times to make sure what I heard was right.  Newly crowned Head of School for Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, Margie Lopez-Waite, at their July 18th board meeting, openly and publicly talked about getting private student information from other Delaware charter schools.  How is she going to do this? Continue reading Margie Lopez Waite Wants To Raid Other Charter School’s Data To Get More Kids At DAPSS

Why I Don’t Give A Crap About The Smarter Balanced Scores For Delaware

Tomorrow, every major media outlet in Delaware will write about the overhyped release of the 2018 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores.  This is the fourth year students had to take this festering steaming pile of manure.  It is a malignant test.  I won’t be writing about the scores.  I could care less if students do better or worse on them.  The only thing I will be watching for is how many kids were opted out.  That is the only thing worth writing about when it comes to “Smarter” as the folks at the Delaware Department of Education call it.

Delaware taxpayers pay for this test, year in and year out.  To the tune of over a hundred million dollars from development to the present.  Nothing has changed.  Former Governor Jack Markell, who once called the test “the best test Delaware ever made” must have slipped on a banana peel that day.  Education Delaware, a Facebook page created by the News Journal for education, asked parents what they think of the test.  All the parent comments talked about how bad the test is.  Teachers hate it.  Students hate it.  Parents hate it.  Many legislators hate it.  So why do we keep giving it?  Because of a federal mandate?  Delaware didn’t get to be The First State by being a follower.  We can be a leader in education reform by telling Betsy DeVos and her merry band of voucher creators over at the U.S. DOE, “No more”.  The entire state needs to refuse the test.  We need a statewide opt out.

I haven’t been a conductor on the opt out train for a while now.  My son will never take the Smarter Balanced Assessment or even have the option.  I opted him out this year which was the last year he could have taken it.  He never did.  I could just give up on opt out since his time has passed, but that would be a disservice to the children of Delaware.  And the teachers.  And the parents.  So expect more out of me in the coming months on this.  The best thing parents can do, on the very first day of school, is say no to the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

When you get your kid’s scores in the mail, do something useful with them.  Have a bonfire in your backyard and use the scores as the fire starter.  Teach your kids how to make origami or paper airplanes out of them.  Do experiments with them to show that wet paper cannot hold a paper weight.  Donate them to a dog shelter to use as lining for dog poop.  If you have a dart board, use them as a target.  Crumble them up really tight and put them in a pants pocket and wash them.  See how hard the condensed scores get when you take them out of the dryer.  Save them for the holidays and use them as wrapping paper for a gag gift.  If you really want to make a statement, write down “return to sender” and send them back to the Delaware DOE.  There are lots of creative things you can do with these scores if you really try.

I won’t give any meaningful insight into the scores that come out tomorrow because I don’t believe in them.

Auditor Forum: Davies Shines, McGuiness Blunders, & Williams Rants

Last night, the Kent County Democratic Committee hosted a forum for the Democrat candidates for State Auditor at the Kent County Levy Court in Dover.  The well-attended debate was clearly won by candidate Kathleen Davies. Continue reading Auditor Forum: Davies Shines, McGuiness Blunders, & Williams Rants

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting Knew Since 2008 Patrick Miller Was Stealing Money

The former Superintendent of Indian River School District who is now the Delaware Secretary of Education, Dr. Susan Bunting, was well aware Patrick Miller, the former Indian River Chief Financial Officer, was stealing money. Despite telling the Auditor of Account’s office, Delaware media, and the staff of Indian River that she was shocked and had no clue about what Miller was doing, she knew.  In fact, she knew going back to at least 2008. Continue reading Secretary of Education Susan Bunting Knew Since 2008 Patrick Miller Was Stealing Money

Support Exceptional Delaware!

I’m stuck.  I want to help the citizens of Delaware.  I want FULL transparency, especially when it comes to education.  But we aren’t getting it.  That has become painfully obvious in the four years I’ve been blogging.  We have been lied to and manipulated.  It has to end.  I need YOUR help. Continue reading Support Exceptional Delaware!

The Right Up Time Hour!

Soaking under sunshine.  As night becomes ultraviolet now.  Tucked inside nighttime’s grace.  Keeping night entertained with people.  All the right innuendoes colliding.  Keeping my interior love light entwined.  Realizing why and succulent sleep.  The end always looks into night.  Glowing ends in glaring heat.  Thank you!  Evolve and rightfully search and go on!

Earl Jaques Has An Opponent!

I wasn’t expecting this.  State Rep. Earl Jaques, who has ran unopposed the past few election cycles, has an opponent!  Bill Hinds has been nominated as a Libertarian in the 27th Representative District.  This just got interesting!

Some of you might be scratching their head and saying “How?”  The answer is simple.  If a candidate runs unopposed, the minor parties can nominate someone to run.  The deadline for that is August 1st according to the State of Delaware election website.

Bunting Has Technical Wiggle Room But That Is Also A Lie

Yesterday, I posted a controversial article about how Susan Bunting failed to disclose vital information to the Delaware Auditor’s office.  There was at least one (as of this writing) complaint against Indian River’s former Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Miller.  Since then, new information has materialized that sheds some additional information on what I am calling Millergate.  Once again, as in yesterday, there is language in this article that is not safe for work. Continue reading Bunting Has Technical Wiggle Room But That Is Also A Lie

Indian River Said There Were No Complaints Against Patrick Miller. Susan Bunting Lied.

As part of their audit investigation with the State Auditor, the Superintendent of Indian River School District and the Director of Personnel told the Auditor of Account’s Office there had never been any formal complaints against their former Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Miller.  They lied.  Warning: some of the language used by Patrick Miller in the parent’s complaint is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Continue reading Indian River Said There Were No Complaints Against Patrick Miller. Susan Bunting Lied.

Thirty Years Ago… 1988

1988.  The year I graduated high school!  In this look back at thirty years ago, I cover my life and the world we lived in.  You may see some familiar faces.  For the younger crowd looking at this, I have no doubt you will crack up at the society we called our own!  But my generation owned the 1980s! Continue reading Thirty Years Ago… 1988

Delaware Charter War Part 1: The Birth of Charter School of Wilmington, Counseling Out & Cherry-Picking of Delaware Students

I keep meaning to do a follow-up to this. Three years late! No excuse! But it still amazes me that we were warned about specific things that could happen in Delaware with charter schools and we still went ahead with it.

The Exceptional Infinite

CSWApplication1996

Charter schools.  Two words that bring up a great deal of conversation in Delaware.  For some they have become the savior of public education.  For others they find that they continue segregation in Delaware, are not accountable in the way traditional schools are, and they are the root cause of the corporate education reform movement that has swept across America over the past decade.  In the 1990s, charter schools were created in Minnesota and California.  By 1995, Delaware wanted to take a stab at it.

In 1995, six companies wanted to sponsor a new type of school in Delaware, a charter school: AstraZenaca (then called Zenaca Inc.), Christiana Care Health (then called Medical Center of Delaware), Delmarva Power, DuPont, Hercules Incorporated and Verizon (then called Bell Atlantic). They infused a $600,000 commitment into the school launch. Red Clay Consolidated School District President of the Board William Manning, and St. Marks…

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Why Did Delaware Get “Needs Assistance” From The U.S. DOE For Special Education?

Last week, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the United States Department of Education officially released the state determination letters for implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  As I reported earlier this month, Delaware received a rating of “needs assistance”.  In June, I reported the special education ratings for each school district and charter school.  Both articles contain my thoughts on these ratings and how they don’t capture what it needs to.

The US DOE lags two years behind so these findings are based on the 2015-2016 school year in Delaware.  This was the second year of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

As part of their release, the US DOE included documents for each state on how they reached their determination.  Below is the Delaware documents.  Also included are the letters sent for IDEA Part B and IDEA Part C.

Patrick Miller’s Hat Trick & The Bunting Letter Sent To Indian River Staff After Patrick Miller “Resigned”

Brandywine School District.  Indian River School District.  Indian River Volunteer Fire Company.  What do all three of these have in common?  Patrick Miller.  A man accused of financial fraud in the two districts who is not behind bars.  High crimes and misdemeanors indeed!  But he is a free man.  How is that even possible? Continue reading Patrick Miller’s Hat Trick & The Bunting Letter Sent To Indian River Staff After Patrick Miller “Resigned”

News Journal Shows Bias And Fails To Publish Key Document In Kathleen Davies Fight Against Tom Wagner

The Delaware News Journal came out with an article today about the ongoing battle between Kathleen Davies and the Office of the Auditor of Accounts.  Even though the hearing with the Department of Labor ruled State Auditor Tom Wagner terminated Davies without cause, that only determined unemployment funding for Davies.  Now the battle is heating up with the Delaware Merit Employee Review Board (MERB).  But the News Journal article is missing or failed to report some vital facts. Continue reading News Journal Shows Bias And Fails To Publish Key Document In Kathleen Davies Fight Against Tom Wagner

The New State Board of Education Has The Shortest Meeting In Living Memory!

(L to R) Vincent Lofink, Nina Lou Bunting, Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting, Deputy Attorney General Valerie Dunkle, Whitney Sweeney, Dr. Audrey Noble, Wali Rushdan, Candice Fifer, Dr. Terry Whittaker

The State Board of Education meeting was over in half an hour today.

With so many new members, it was short but sweet.  The new members are new President Whitney Sweeney, former State Rep. Vince Lofink, and Candice Fifer.  The agenda was very light today.

Former State Board Vice President Nina Lou Bunting nominated Dr. Audrey Noble to be the new Vice President.  Board member Wali Rushdan seconded the nomination.  The board voted and Noble was unanimously selected as their Vice President.

The board passed a DIAA regulation.  The board got an update on DAPSS’ probation.  The new members introduced themselves.  Dr. Bunting introduced the new Deputy Secretary of Performance Support, Dr. Christine Alois.  She also introduced the new Associate Secretary of Academic Support, Monica Gant.  She is replacing Michael Watson, who left the DOE earlier this year.  Bunting announced that her restructuring of the Delaware DOE is now complete.

At the end of the meeting, the State Board of Education announced they would be going into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.  The State Board of Education said they did have interviews for the Executive Director position and would be discussing that.  Based on that discussion, they could be letting Secretary Bunting know their decision.  At that point, the Human Resources Department of the Delaware DOE would be notified.  So we don’t have an announcement on who is replacing Donna Johnson just yet!

I believe the agenda was kept to a minimum so the new board members could acclimate to the process.  Whitney Sweeney did a good job in her new role as President.  I did get to meet Fifer and Lofink before the meeting.  I chatted with Lofink for a little bit.  He is a funny guy!

Attendance at the meeting was very low.  Aside from myself, a representative from DSEA, and some folks from the DOE, that was it.  But this is how it usually is at State Board meetings in July.  Next month they may go over the Smarter Balanced Assessment results and have some presentations, so attendance and the length of the meeting will pick up.  And with seven charter schools up for renewal this year, I know their December meeting will be a long one!

Updated, 9:22pm: No, Dr. Susan Bunting and Nina Lou Bunting are NOT related.  Bunting is like the last name “Smith” in Sussex County.  Several people have asked me this recently.

A Christina Administrator Is The New Board President Of DE Academy Of Public Safety & Security

The Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security Board of Directors chose their new board President last evening.  This board member was not on their board before last evening and he serves on another charter school board. Continue reading A Christina Administrator Is The New Board President Of DE Academy Of Public Safety & Security

Delaware State Board of Education “Relaunches” Today

For those who attend the monthly State Board of Education meetings, their meeting today will look very different.  With new members, a new President, and soon, a new Executive Director, the State Board will soon become a travelling a road show!  What is on the agenda today? Continue reading Delaware State Board of Education “Relaunches” Today

Cape Henlopen Under Fire For Failure To Report Employee To State Police

Rob Petree with Delaware 105.9 reported Cape Henlopen School District lied about an offensive touching incident three years ago.

The incident, where an employee grabbed a female student’s pants to see her rear, was shocking enough.

“…and before she knew it he had stood up, grabbed the back of her pants, pulled them away from her body to get a look at her rear-end.”

But the school district told the student’s parent they reported it to the Delaware State Police.  Turns out they never did.

“The alleged incident was not reported to the Delaware State Police in May 2015 and handled by the Administration at the school,” said Sgt. Richard Bratz, Director of Public Information for Delaware State Police. “The school advised this did not rise to the level of a mandatory school report and that the school district resolved it.”

If the man was still at the school years later it doesn’t sound like the district “resolved” anything.  They made the employee work after hours when students were not present.  They openly lied to a news organization about reporting it to the police.  How is that okay?  In a way, this makes the original offense even worse for the victim.  It is saying “we don’t care, we stand by our employees”.  It is not okay for an adult to do that.  It is not okay for the same adult to walk around with racist comments and innuendos.

The response from the district sounds like one I’ve heard before when all of a sudden they are in the hot seat:

The Cape Henlopen School District said “due to the nature of the allegations made by the family and privacy rights of individuals involved, the district is not able to provide specific comments about the concerns.”

Yup, time for the game of say nothing, do nothing.  Sorry, they should have spoken loud and clear three years ago!  Should Superintendent Robert Fulton resign over this?  Any adult in a school is a person of trust.  By keeping an employee that does what he did, lying about how you reported it, and failing to protect students, Fulton allowed this erosion of trust.

‪Breaking news?: @NAACP now opposing high-stakes testing!

Cloaking Inequity

I think this is breaking news? I am currently attending the NAACP national convention in San Antonio Texas. I am sitting in the federal legislative and public policy workshop. In my education packet there is a new issue brief addressing high-stakes testing.

The NAACP is now publicly opposing high-stakes testing! This stand builds on our legacy of opposition articulated in Debra P v. Turlington case.

This is a step forward from 2015.

Please see all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts about high-stakes testing here.

Join the NAACP today!

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