The Delaware State Auditor race has been one of the hottest tickets of the election season. There are many reasons for this in what is usually a quiet race. The biggest factor is long-time State Auditor Tom Wagner not running after a 29 year stint in office. Kathleen Davies served as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command for many years and announced her run to take over Tom Wagner’s seat. Davies faces her Democrat contenders Kathy McGuiness and Dennis Williams in the Primary next Thursday, September 6th. The winner of the Primary will face Republican James Spadola for the General Election.
McAndrews Law Firm, a special education law firm with offices in Delaware, recently won a special education lawsuit that went all the way up to federal court. I imagine the price tag, once calculated, will be very steep for Campus Community School, a charter school in Dover. Continue reading
Jim Purcell, a Democrat from Milford, filed today to run against current State Representative David Wilson for the 18th Senate District seat.
Purcell is best known for leading Communities In Schools from 2005-2017 as their President and Chief Executive Officer. Currently, Purcell is the Director of Business Development at Dover Behavioral Health.
Wilson shocked the Republican establishment in Delaware when he announced he would not run for State Representative but would instead run for Senator Gary Simpson’s seat. Simpson wanted to announce his retirement on his own terms but Wilson jumped the gun with his announcement.
For Wilson’s 35th Rep. District seat, Republicans Jesse Vanderwende and Robert “Bobby” Mitchell are facing off next Thursday in the Delaware Primary.
Many political watchers in Delaware were baffled when no one challenged Wilson for a Senate seat. Two weeks ago, the Delaware Democrats put a challenger up against State Senator Colin Bonini. It looks like Wilson won’t get such an easy ride to the Delaware Senate now!
When you have family in the same fire company as Patrick Miller, the fraud/theft king of Delaware, your perspective might be a bit off. For State Representative Stephen Smyk, he might as well give up his seat in the House chamber to Patrick Miller after what he said on the radio this morning!
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According to Governor Carney’s public schedule, he might get some blisters on his fingers from signing so many bills. Tomorrow and Wednesday he will be signing 29 bills at various times of the day. In the education world, two big bills will get the ink. The long awaited House Bill #292 which makes drastic changes to the Delaware Autism Program will finally become law. Another big one is Senate Bill #172 which takes steps to improve transparency in education funding. It doesn’t go far enough in my opinion. Nothing will until the public can see where every penny in public education goes.
To see the 29 bills being signed and what they are about, please see below. Continue reading
Ralph Taylor, a Democrat candidate for the 31st District Representative Primary, just unleashed a tirade against the Delaware State Education Association over what he alleges are unfair practices for endorsements.
State Representative Mike Ramone from the 21st Representative District is hosting a pool party for constituents on September 9th, three days after the Primary Election. In lieu of his Coffee Conversations, he is holding this bash for his 200th constituent meeting. It looks like this is open to ALL of the constituents of the 21st! Ramone faces Democrat Stephanie Barry in the General Election this November. I hope he gets a lot of hot dogs!
For those who may be wondering why I am posting this, it is an inside joke which Mike Ramone will definitely get. I have no doubt he will appreciate the irony here!
Competency-Based Education. Rodel loves it! And the Delaware Department of Education has been slowly letting districts transition into it. But not enough Delaware parents even know what it means. While Rodel pushes their agendas for it, the State Board of Education needs to take a very active role in examining what it means and what it can do. In Michigan, it appears their State Board of Education has the ability to vote on grants.
Recently, the Michigan State Board of Education rejected a competency-based education grant brought forth by the Michigan legislature. U.S. Parents Involved in Education lauded the decision:
Today, a bi-partisan group of the Michigan State Board of Education (SBE), voted down a grant program authorized by the Michigan legislature for Competency-Based Education (CBE). According to the State Superintendent, this is the first time SBE has not approved a grant program.
The Michigan Parents Involved in Education leadership would like to thank the Michigan State Board of Education for taking this bold step. We agree with the concerns expressed by Board members. We hope Michigan leadership will move ahead with a better strategy, engaging parents and teachers, before launching another faddish experiment on Michigan’s public school children.
Concerns expressed by the State Board included the distribution of authority, suggesting parents and community members should have a greater role in approving this dramatic change in educational process. Concern was also expressed that CBE will leverage technology and supplant teachers.
The SBE agreed CBE is an experiment, yet the grant requires school-wide implementation K-12 and a strong bias to express support for the educational practice. The grant program was approved as part of the legislative budget process, was not well publicized nor was it publicly vetted with public debate.
The Board wanted additional criteria defined in the grants, which the State Superintendent said they could not do, since the grants were specified in statute. We believe the criteria suggested by SBE members was appropriate and necessary to protect the best interests of children, parents and teachers. The State Superintendent said she would contact the Michigan Attorney General’s office to determine the next step.
I’m really happy to see this happening in Michigan. Delaware would NEVER sneak anything into the budget process! Yeah right! This is what a State Board of Education should do. The problem in Delaware is our State Board members are appointed by the Governor. And the new Executive Director for the State Board of Education came directly from Rodel! It would not shock me to see Competency-Based Education legislation coming next year in the Delaware General Assembly. If they do, there will be a fight!
Exceptional Delaware reached out to all the candidates for the Delaware election. Next up is Dawn Lentz! Continue reading
Exceptional Delaware reached out to candidates for Delaware’s election this year to freely promote their message. Thank you to George Parish for being the first!
With 3 days until the Delaware Primary, I know all of you are scrambling as candidates. You want to get your message out as loud and clear as you can. This is your chance. I know some of the newspapers have deadlines for letters to the editor. I want to hear from you and so do the people of Delaware. This is what I am proposing: you can write anything you want about your candidacy and I will post it. I don’t care if it is one paragraph or a book. I’ll post it! There is no word limit! There is only one rule- I don’t want you to bash on your opponent(s). I want you to tell the readers what YOU will do in your elected position. What are your ideas to make Delaware better?
This is for ALL offices up for a primary in Delaware. Down to the local level and up to Congress.
Please submit your posts to email@example.com and in Word if you are able. If not, I’ll figure it out. I can get them up relatively fast. And to be completely fair, I will just put your post up and no opinions about it whatsoever. If you want to include a picture of yourself, feel free! Thank you!
This guest post is brought to you by Walden:
Let’s speak candidly. My bones do not rattle. I do not quake in my boots. But, my blood still curdles when officials – in a juvenile show of power – abuse Delaware’s Justice System and those departments that represent the students and parents who may find themselves manufactured into that system.
Your behavior is reprehensible. It sends a very disconcerting message to those you have been appointed to serve. Yes, you may serve at the pleasure of the Governor, but your service is to the citizens of this state. Even the scruffy guy, in a hat and glasses reading the newspaper in the lobby of public building. Yes, even these genres of citizens have rights. That you wasted the time of the Capitol Police and the tax dollars that pay them as part of a self-aggrandizing chess game is reprehensible.
You are no better than the districts and charters who knowingly abuse DYFS to intimidate parents. Tired of dealing with a contentious parent? Play the DYFS card – fabricate abuse and neglect accusations. The ignorant result of filing nuisance claims designed to bury families in fear and intimidation, is that you are directing resources away from children who truly are abused and neglected. Draining our already underpaid and overworked child protection system is the classic Delaware Way. Yet, the “look what we can do to you” approach does not work with the most dogged of advocates. Your spin on the classic strategy did not work. Now, I’ve long felt that those who lie to state agencies that result in the wasting of funds should be prosecuted in the same manner the Attorney General prosecutes those who make false police reports. It’s a pity that there isn’t parity between classes. Sadly, your indictment will not come from the judicial system, but from the unbridled public.
The evidence will speak for itself. You work in the Townsend Building. Mr. Ohlandt is not “just” a blogger, his work has propelled him into the field of freelance reporting. He visits the Townsend building on a regular basis. The doors to this building are unlocked to allow public access. He legally entered this public building often to attend the same meetings you attend. He took a seat in the public lobby. The lobby had a couch and some chairs, even a floor to rest his weary feet upon. He sat down to read the paper while he strategized how to ask that next question. He cordially greeted your PIO. Under the reasonable person standard, it’s clear that Mr. Ohlandt’s actions did not rise to the manner of committing a crime. You can’t call a guy you know, a guy whose face is broadcast across the banner of his exceptionally popular blog, a guy whose work has been picked up by national education expert Diane Ravitch, a suspicious person and reasonably think it won’t go unnoticed or unreported. You can’t make a false police report. In fact, the response was so disproportionate and unprofessional it has called into question your own conduct.
I realize you rule Title 14. I’d like to introduce you to Title 11, Chapter 5:
B.Abuse of Office
- 1211 Official misconduct; class A misdemeanor.
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, intending to obtain a personal benefit or to cause harm to another person:
(1) The public servant commits an act constituting an unauthorized exercise of official functions, knowing that the act is unauthorized; or
(2) The public servant knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of the office; or
(3) The public servant performs official functions in a way intended to benefit the public servant’s own property or financial interests under circumstances in which the public servant’s actions would not have been reasonably justified in consideration of the factors which ought to have been taken into account in performing official functions; or
(4) The public servant knowingly performs official functions in a way intended to practice discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, handicapped status or national origin.
Official misconduct is a class A misdemeanor.
I strongly suggest rereading (3) and compare your fact pattern. Using your office, you contacted the capitol police to investigate a suspicious person. You report a person that you know by name and sight as a “suspicious person.” Harmless? No. Your suspicious person is an investigative journalist, whether by accident, training or both, who has unearthed and published a crypt of evidence that paints a picture of you committing malfeasance during your tenure as superintendent of the Indian River School District. The work Mr. Ohlandt has completed thus far has likely imperiled your own financial interests. Your behavior leads one to question, what else is Susan Bunting hiding? How close is Mr. Ohlandt to ground zero?
Oh Susan, I do believe you have Murphy’d yourself. Your incredulous behavior, your lack of decorum, your total disregard for open government, your absolute pig-headedness obliterated any last standing of respect held by others for you. Though I am certain you received quite a few pats upon the back in the wake of your suspicious person report, I can assure that as each left them room or rested he phone on its cradle your supporters had one shared continence… a smirk, of the kind those try to hide when they realize has crossed the line. Trust that those who where so quick to offer support did so not because you Murphy’d Kevin Ohlandt. But, because you Murphy’d yourself and your head is so far into the sand you made a politically and legally disastrous decision.
Yes, Susan, Delawareans on Thursday had a new word in their vocabulary. “Murphy’d,” as in your behavior was equal to or more atrocious than that of Mark Murphy. Even Markell came to understand Murphy was completely incompetent for the position of head Arse in Education so much so that he manufactured Murphy’s early exit from the state’s top education post. Today, stand tall as you are no better nor more competent as Secretary of Education than the gym teacher that faded into oblivion.
Truly, I am saddened for you. When you play games with bloggers, you detract from the work at hand – maligning the Christina School District, as has been a constant goal of your Department for nearly two decades, the blindness upon which you look upon your charters, and vile satisfaction your department receives for the constant de-stabilization of our lowest performing 5% of schools as measured by a pathetic test that does nothing more than determine which student is poor and which student is disabled. Spare the re-education. I received the mailer. It will make good kindling in the fall. It will not however provide stability to those who need it most.
Oh Susan, what have you done? You legitimized Kevin Ohlandt. Something none before you have dared to do. You took baby out of the corner and made her do the lift. You invited the monster under the bed to lunch. You rewarded the jackass that de-stabilized the interstate by heaping tons of dirt next to the foundation that resulted in a literal traffic disaster for the entire Northeast. You made Jack Markell look…successful. You jacked Skip. You put a game of tit for tat before your job – the education of Delaware’s students.
You Murphy’d yourself. And that is how you will be remembered. News cycles may be short. New verbs, they tend to last a long time. Just ask parents what it means to be Baker-acted.
Walden is a highly opinionated investigative writer that uses a pseudonym to protect its children and family from retribution.
“Tell the truth, or someone will tell it for you.”
― Stephanie Klein, Straight Up and Dirty
Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting, under the policies of Delaware Governor John Carney, has transformed the Delaware Department of Education into a support organization. Before Bunting, Carney recognized the DOE as an enforcement organization during former Governor Jack Markell’s two terms. Carney put it on Bunting to make that transformation. Did she succeed? Continue reading
It has been a little over 24 hours since I had to deal with the Delaware DOE calling the police on me yesterday as I sat in the lobby of a public building. I do want to give a shout-out to the Capitol Police for their fast response. I know a lot of them from Legislative Hall. They are great guys! I don’t blame them for the incident yesterday. They were just doing their job.
I’ve received many responses, publicly and privately in regards to the situation and my blog post about it yesterday. Rob Petree with Delaware 105.9 put up an article about it on their website this morning.
This is what the people of Delaware had to say: Continue reading
Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting called the police on me today for sitting in the PUBLIC LOBBY of the Townsend Building! Continue reading