Rethinking Carney

I’ve been pretty hard on Delaware Governors in the past four plus years.  But sometimes they do things that make me think about things they do that are not directly related to bad education policy.  Things that will make Delaware a better place in the long run.  Two weeks ago, Delaware Governor John Carney signed Executive Order #24 which makes Delaware a trauma-informed state.  This is something we need in Delaware.  Delaware is not the best state for mental health services.  Families are crying out for help.  Sometimes they get it but a lack of training or proper services can turn that help into an issue. Continue reading Rethinking Carney

Exceptional Delaware Endorses Trey Paradee For Delaware Senate District 17

I’ve known Trey for years.  He helped my family out with some education issues before I began blogging in 2014.  I have continued to go to him about issues that affected the 29th district.  While most of those have been education issues, I see how he has drafted legislation that will help all Delawareans.  I was definitely impressed with the cemetery bill he wrote.  This helped clean up some of the cemeteries in the Dover area that were offending loved ones of the deceased.  I don’t agree with every single vote he casts, but for the most part I feel he has done a good job when he held the District 29 State Representative seat.  He doesn’t play dirty campaign tricks and he is always personable when I see him.

His opponent, Justin King, has been littering my mailbox with very twisted and slanted campaign attacks against Paradee.  I got three of them today.  They take up too much room in my trashcan.  I don’t always vote with the party but more the person.  King’s unjustified attacks against Paradee turned me off in a big way.  Trey was going to get my vote anyway, but King decided to use his campaign funds to attack his opponent more than say what he will do.  King doesn’t have what it takes in the General Assembly.  He claims he will do what he wants when he wants.  I’ve met folks like that.  They either don’t get elected or don’t get anything done cause they can’t work with anyone.  I don’t mind rogue legislators but this guy seems too angry for my tastes.

King claims Paradee (singlehandedly) raised taxes on everyone.  He forgets how many of his fellow Republicans passed those budgets as well.  He forgets that hard choices were made by everyone in the 2017 budget crisis.  He forgets how his fellow Republicans in the House staged a walkout in late June that made themselves look weak.  For someone who claims Paradee didn’t show up for Delaware taxpayers, where was King when he failed to show up at forums?

I’ve endorsed Trey in every race since 2014.  The Senate will be a better place with him there.

Cocktails In Appalachia Alert: A Burd Lands On McGuiness’ Windowsill

Did Kathy McGuiness and another powerful Delaware figure work behind the scenes to get someone from the Auditor of Accounts office a new job following the News Journal smear campaign against Kathleen Davies?

In eight days, Delaware will elect a new State Auditor.  It is between Kathy McGuiness (Democrat) and James Spadola (Republican).  While McGuiness’ has vowed the office would be completely independent, as has Spadola, the lingering plotline of the destruction of Kathleen Davies still has questions.  One of those questions surrounds the destination of one of the architects of Davies’ ouster at the Auditor of Accounts office (AOA). Continue reading Cocktails In Appalachia Alert: A Burd Lands On McGuiness’ Windowsill

Guest Post: “Mike Matthews Has Nothing To Apologize For”

It is the return of The Bygone Blogger!  This blogger of old has some more stuff to say about the controversy surrounding Mike Matthews and his DSEA resignation based on old blog posts Mike wrote.  In which we learn, once again, things are NOT always what they seem on the surface and some of the pitchfork throwers aren’t exactly innocent!  Take it away (again) Bygone Blogger! Continue reading Guest Post: “Mike Matthews Has Nothing To Apologize For”

The McGuiness Temper Explodes At Debate As She Attacks Freedom #VoteSpadola!!!!!

The League of Women Voters forum at Delaware State University this evening was the perfect showcase for anyone who might be on the fence about the State Auditor position.  Kathy McGuiness scowled and complained her way to absurdity tonight. Continue reading The McGuiness Temper Explodes At Debate As She Attacks Freedom #VoteSpadola!!!!!

What Do Delaware Students Want?

Over eleven years ago, a report came out from the Delaware Department of Education.  The topic was Delaware students and what they were looking for in education.  This is a voice that is often marginalized when it comes to education policy.  The adults are the ones that make the big decisions but it impacts students the most.  Students didn’t choose Common Core and standardized tests.  But they are the ones that have to deal with it.  After students, teachers should have a stronger voice as well.

Back in the Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff years, long before Race To The Top and Common Core but during the No Child Left Behind years, Delaware students were invited to speak out.  I appreciate some of the raw answers these students gave.  We need to do this again in Delaware.

Delaware DOE’s Big Plan To Steal Kids From Traditional School Districts & Send Them To Charter Schools

There are a finite number of students in Delaware schools.  Sure, the number enrolled steadily grows over the years, but there are only so many schools.  We know in Delaware that some districts are having lower enrollments thus creating lower capacities in those buildings.  The Delaware Department of Education really doesn’t care about that.  But if they can make sure charter schools grow, let’s do it!  Let’s take a look at the Delaware DOE’s plans for the huge grant they just got! Continue reading Delaware DOE’s Big Plan To Steal Kids From Traditional School Districts & Send Them To Charter Schools

Video Shows Monique Johns Or Someone From Her Campaign Stealing Kevin Hensley Flyer From Door

A citizen in the 9th State Representative district caught Monique Johns or someone from her campaign stealing a Kevin Hensley flyer from their door.  This is a very bad optic for the Democrat opponent of incumbent Republican Kevin Hensley.

The citizen has video cameras on their porch.  In the first video, from today, it clearly shows Hensley inserting a flyer into the door.  In the second video, also from today but later in the day based on shadows and the sun moving to a different position, an African-American woman wearing a red jacket and a white baseball cap comes to the door.  She takes the Hensley flyer from the door.  She looks on a list of some sort and then puts her own flyer in the door.  I have never met Johns so I can’t tell if it is her or not.  The shadows make it difficult to find out.

The citizen wrote this as a forward to the two videos and picture of the Johns flyer:

Nice Sunday for our local candidates to make house calls. In the first video is Kevin Hensley dropping by the house and putting his flyer in the door. A little later in the afternoon we got a second visitor. Monique Johns who in the video clearly steals Kevin’s pamphlet out of our door and replaces it with her own. Enjoy

The explosive Facebook video can be found here.  It has been viewed on Facebook over 4,300 times today and I have no doubt it will continue to rise.  Johns lost against Hensley in 2016.  After this, I can’t imagine any citizen wanting to vote for her.  Some may say it was an honest mistake but it looks pretty damn blatant to me!  What say you Delaware Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove?

It Is Time For DSEA To Regurgitate Themselves From The Bowels Of Rodel

I warned them.  Many times.  Sit at the table and you will be on the table.  The Delaware State Education Association was swallowed whole.  By who? Continue reading It Is Time For DSEA To Regurgitate Themselves From The Bowels Of Rodel

Earl Jaques Planning To Draft Legislation That Would Put Christina In Receivership By The State

State Representative Earl Jaques has some mighty bold plans in the 150th General Assembly.  The biggest and most controversial will be a bill that would have the state takeover the Christina School District.  It is in the works and he is looking for sponsors. Continue reading Earl Jaques Planning To Draft Legislation That Would Put Christina In Receivership By The State

Delaware Education Roundup October Edition

There are always gems to be found when you comb through district and charter board minutes, agendas, and websites.  I did that last night and found a ton of stuff!  Instead of coming out with a dozen or more articles about it, I thought I would just combine all of it one fell swoop!  There is A LOT of material in here so dig in! Continue reading Delaware Education Roundup October Edition

Democrats Seething As Tom Wagner Appoints James Spadola As His Deputy, And I Don’t Blame Them One Bit!

James Spadola, you should have said no.  Today, Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner appointed James Spadola, who is the Republican candidate for State Auditor, to be his Deputy in the Auditor of Accounts Office.  Spadola faces Democrat candidate Kathy McGuiness in the November 6th election. Continue reading Democrats Seething As Tom Wagner Appoints James Spadola As His Deputy, And I Don’t Blame Them One Bit!

Sussex Montessori School To Delay Opening For A Year

In April, the Delaware Department of Education approved the charter school application for Sussex Montessori School.  They were originally scheduled to open in the 2019-2020 school year.  Now they will open in the 2020-2021 as long as they hit 80% of their enrollment target by May 1st of 2020.

The charter school submitted a minor modification request to the Delaware Department of Education last month and on October 9th, Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting approved the request.

Based on this, no new charter schools will have opened in Delaware during the five-year period between 2015 to 2020.

The reasons, such as having enough time to make renovations on the planned site and hiring a Head of School, can be seen below.

How To Insult And Offend Legislators In One Fell Swoop!

It’s that time of year when legislators get requests from organizations and media to do surveys.  One organization sent out a survey to all the Delaware State Representatives recently.  What was interesting was how this organization managed to offend many of them before the introductory paragraph!  As well, the actual survey is EXACTLY what I would expect from this organization. Continue reading How To Insult And Offend Legislators In One Fell Swoop!

The Plot To Destroy DSEA

I am more convinced than ever that there are people in Delaware who are hell-bent on demolishing the Delaware State Education Association.  The resignation of Mike Matthews over old blog posts was just the opening salvo.  This is an all-out war on the teachers union in Delaware.

Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail.  The envelope was hand-written and the actual letter was typed.  The bottom part of the page was cut off.  There was no return address, just a Wilmington postmark.  I do not know who sent it but it feels and smells like a campaign to go after DSEA.  This is what the letter said: Continue reading The Plot To Destroy DSEA

Odyssey Charter School Becomes 2nd Delaware Charter This Year To Join DSEA

Odyssey Charter School teachers and staff voted and an overwhelming majority decided to join the Delaware State Education Association.  This is the second charter school in Delaware to do so in 2018.  Last Spring, the Charter School of Wilmington also voted to join DSEA.  In 1997, Positive Outcomes joined DSEA but opted out in 2000.  Delaware College Prep joined in 2012 but closed a few years later due to low enrollment.

With 131 for and 16 against, over 89% of the educators in the school decided a teachers union was the best option for them.  Prior to 2018, it was virtually unheard of for Delaware charters to unionize.  What turned the tide?

For Odyssey, the decision was clear- they did not like decisions the board was making and felt their voices were not being heard.  When former leader Nick Manolakos did not have his contract renewed, the school hired two to take his place.  But the tipping point was when their former Board President, who had just resigned, became a leading contender for a third highly paid administrator.

Over the summer this led to those teachers and parents questioning the board about decisions that would affect the school.  Parents saw fundraiser after fundraiser to get more money for the school but didn’t feel the money was going towards what the school promised.  But they had money for all these administrators.

Congratulations to Odyssey Charter School for joining DSEA.  With two joining this year, will more Delaware charters follow?  Even with forces joining together to muffle DSEA it has become more apparent than ever that teachers want respect and to have their voice heard.  They are the second most important part of a school after the students.  They have rights and deserve to organize and fight for what is theirs.  They deserve due process and the right to air grievances.

Clueless DOE Can’t Even Support The Charter School Community Now!

Typically after a blogger posts something about the Delaware Department of Education they act pretty fast in trying to get something website related fixed.  Not the case with their Charter School Renewal section of their website.  I had to hunt last month’s State Board of Education agenda to find a document showing when the Charter School Accountability Committee meetings and public hearing will be held.

Last night I put up a screenshot of their charter renewal web page.  It was blank.  It looks like they did go into it today to modify the already blank page.  How does a blank page get modified?

Uhm, okay…

So like I said, I did find a timeline somewhere else.

Let’s see…today is October 15th.  Looks like there are two public hearings tonight.  There are three tomorrow night.  Two last week.  But what the heck is the public supposed to comment on when there are no renewal documents available?  Are they supposed to say “I’m drawing a blank on why I love/hate this charter school?”  This is an insult to the charter school crowd.  I believe this is also a violation of State Code, Title 14.  But what do I know? (more than the DOE these days)

Get  with the program DOE!  You are growing more incompetent by the day!  If you are having technical issues, put a note on the page.  We know you went on that page today!  Did DelawareCAN/Atnre Alleyne hack into the DOE’s website last week too?  And why are they having public hearings before the first CSAC meetings?  Typically it is the other way around.  Secretary Bunting, it is time to wake up now!  This shouldn’t be THIS easy for me!

I will update this if the DOE gets around to updating their non-transparent website or they modify the blank page again.

Which Delaware Education Leader Agrees With Betsy DeVos On The Proper Route To “Success”?

When Betsy DeVos made Delaware resubmit their state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Delaware Department of Education groaned.  It is no secret the Delaware DOE was not a big fan of Bad News Betsy.  According to the U.S. DOE, Delaware’s plans were not “ambitious” enough.  But one education “leader” agreed with them.  Who was the sell-out? Continue reading Which Delaware Education Leader Agrees With Betsy DeVos On The Proper Route To “Success”?

John Kowalko Doesn’t Hate Charter Schools But…

When you think of those who don’t support charter schools in Delaware, one of the first names that pops up is State Representative John Kowalko, from the 25th Rep. District.  Known for his arguments against charter schools, specifically Delaware’s biggest- Newark Charter School, it can be easy to make the assumption Kowalko hates charter schools.  However, that is not the case.

Earlier this weekend, Kowalko sent out an email to his constituents with his thoughts and beefs on Delaware charter schools. Continue reading John Kowalko Doesn’t Hate Charter Schools But…