Happy Birthday Exceptional Delaware!!!!

My little blog is now one!  This year flew by fast.  I still remember that Friday night, creating this monster.  The name Exceptional Delaware just popped up in my head.  And the main picture on this has raised questions from a few folks.  What is it?  Why do you have it?  It’s from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  I chose it to show how so many different folks can come together for a common goal.  And that’s what we all should be doing.  Parents, teachers, and schools should all be joining forces to eviscerate and destroy the corporate education reform scams going on in our schools.

In the past year, I’ve made many new friends and I feel very blessed for that.  I couldn’t have done most of this if it weren’t for them.  As my readership continues to grow, I often forget I have new readers, so I want to start doing recaps about what’s happened, where we are at now, and where we could be doing and where we should be going.

The enemies of public education think they are winning and they can just get stuff past us.  Sure, we might pitch a fit, but we can’t stop them.  Right? WRONG!  As more of us join forces and fight this money-making debacle that is killing schools and morale, we are finding out more and more everyday.

For all of Governor Markell and Arne Duncan’s false threats, we are still here.  We are still fighting the fight.  Some of us have won battles only to get our gut punched shortly after.  And so it goes.  But we have something the bad guys don’t: transparency, honesty, and a great deal of resolve.

In my eyes, special education will be what gives the final kick in the ass to the corporate raiders.  I’ve always sensed this.  It has certainly given me the motivation to do what I do.  Because nothing pisses a parent off more than watching their kid not get something they are entitled to.  Parents of special needs parents have their bad days, but do something to our kid, and we are on it like white on rice.  We are all wising up to the games being played in that arena, and we will do what we have to do.

A year ago, Legislative Hall had the Smarter Balanced bill as the huge education bill on the homestretch.  Sadly, it passed.  This year there are two kinds of education bills that will have immense implications: the opt-out bill, House Bill 50, and Senate Bill 122, which would give the UNELECTED State Board of Education the power to change district lines.  SB 122, as written now, may give the General Assembly authority over this.  The key word is may.  A lot of games are playing out with both these bills.  One has drawn out for over four months while the other has already passed the Senate in a matter of days.

All will eventually be revealed with all of this, and I will do my best to find the missing pieces of the puzzle.  But I can say this… a picture is forming and the missing pieces are becoming easier to find.  In any event, Happy Birthday Exceptional Delaware.  Here’s to another crazy year!

Happy Birthday To The Inspiration Behind Exceptional Delaware

Before Markell and Herdman started plotting together, before Common Core was a gleam in Arne Duncan’s eye, before the words Race To The Top meant gouging schools in America with corporate education reform, a baby was born.  Eleven years ago today to be precise.  Out in Southern California, he entered this crazy world.  It was a beautiful day, very warm and in the 80s, not a cloud in the sky.

After some complications, my son was born.  My wife had some complications as well, so I went with the nurse to the incubator.  Before my son was placed in there, I reached out my hand to his and he squeezed my finger.  Not even 10 minutes old, and I bonded with him forever at that moment.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Here we are, eleven years later.  He came into this world on a warm and sunny day, and he turned eleven waking up to snow.  There have been many challenges along the way, and there will be more.  But there are also those moments of joy that you can never put into words.  Things only a parent can truly know.

His journey through life is his own, I’m just a guide for a certain amount of time.  He has other guides, like his mom, and others.  His story has become my story, and everything I do on here, every word I write, it is to help him, and others like him.  The battles I fight, the secrets uncovered, it is all to expose and to change.  If I, along with others, ever do win these battles, the biggest challenge will be what comes next.  Nature abhors a vacuum, so something must take it’s place.  I pray that worthy voices will very carefully replace the abomination education has become.  For my son, and the students in all of our schools.

I have to believe something better is on the way.  I have hope.  It can’t be this bleak all the time.  In the meantime, I will continue to write, for my inspiration and my moments of joy, happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, curiosity and insight.  Happy Birthday bud!  I love you!

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