The Best of Publius, Part 2: Priority Schools

So much for my daily “Best of Publius” series.  Mice and men and all that!  But I will make up for it.  Two and a half years, the shot heard round Delaware happened on the steps of Warner Elementary School in Wilmington when Governor Markell announced the priority schools initiative.  Take six “low-performing” schools and turn ’em around!  The planning for it was horrible as was the community reaction.  Legislators jumped on the Governor and the Delaware Dept. of Education.  Teachers and parents rallied at board meetings.  No one liked the idea of taking six inner-city schools, hiring new leaders, and replacing half the teachers.  Lest we forget, the definition of “failing” was based on standardized test scores.  Everyone hated the idea.  Well, except for Publius e decere over on Kilroy’s Delaware.  He had plenty to say about the debacle.

Yes, we should all bow our heads to the master, Publius himself.  I would shudder to think what would happen to Delaware education if his rantings ever bridged into an actual elected office!

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The Best of Publius, Part 1: Vouchers

Does Publius believe in vouchers? I would say he does based on this comment over on Kilroy’s Delaware from last year.

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While not coming out and supporting vouchers wholesale, Publius was promoting a credit or rebate to taxpayers for kids in private schools.  Why?  To reduce the tuition for parents.  A voucher is a voucher no matter how many different ways you try to shape it Publius.  You put a pig in crap it is still going to get filthy no matter how you do it.  That reminds me… how do our school board candidates feel about vouchers?

The Best Of Publius, Prologue

It has been nine months since the adventures of Publius came to a close over on Kilroy’s Delaware.  But such filings and mementos never truly disappear in this age of the internet.  I thought it was important for the citizens of our democratically elected state to remember what Publius stood for, what he believed.  He was not a man of simple words.  Nor was he a man for holding back how he felt.  He was a man of controversy and hypocrisy, sarcasm and hard to understand wit.  He poked fun at others without reservation.  While we are concerned about such trivial things like school board filings and Vitamin C rings in schools, we should hear the words of he who would be senator but instead seemed to be constantly board.  The master of the obvious and the not so subtle one, I give you fair readers, the Best of Publius.  Most of his comments over on Kilroy’s seemed to focus around the Red Clay area.  If you want, you can vote on his stances!

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What Happened To Publius e decere?

For years, the commenter going by the name of Publius e decere haunted the comment section of Kilroy’s Delaware.  Last summer, he vanished without a trace claiming the “sign was in the yard” and it was a “Capitol” move.  For those of us who know who he is, it is very easy to put the pieces together.  Why he left and why he doesn’t want to stick his neck out there anymore.  But make no mistake, the spirit of Publius is alive and well in Delaware.  Those who support school choice to the exclusion of minorities, the impoverished, and the disabled.  Those who want to get their people in at district levels or on a school board.  These are the same shakers and movers that allowed Charter School of Wilmington and Newark Charter School to have the demographics they have.  They have their hooks in with legislators and state leaders.  They are non-profits, for-profits, charter school board members, and even some are so embedded into the state education system it would take a work of God to get them to leave.

They are the wolves in sheeps clothing at times.  But if you look close enough, you can see the Publius clones out there.  They are hob-knobbing with those wolves in sheeps clothing.  They attempt to placate those whose vote can make a difference with statements that are not so genuine but think they have the ability to dupe those who know better.  They try to speak the corporate education reform Kool-Aid drinking lingo but come across sounding like a mini-me of Jack Markell.  They talk about gaps like there should be a different word behind every potential gap out there.  When the only thing they truly know about the Gap is the stores in every mall in America.

In this season of change, we need to be very mindful about who is attempting to get on our school boards.  We need to know who wants to advance their own cause or truly make change in every school district.  And no, I will not be one of those vying for a school board seat.  I will say to watch out for what happens in Wilmington districts.  Very carefully.

Publius, otherwise known as Henry Clampitt…

For years, the online denizens of Kilroy’s Delaware have been subjected to the very pro corporate education reform rants of Publius, aka Henry Clampitt.  Clampitt served on the Board of Directors for the Charter School of Wilmington for many years until he “resigned” with no explanation given to the public whatsoever.  The CSW Board is usually very tight and tends to have many of the same folks on the board for years at a time.

Clampitt also serves on the Legislative Advisory Committee for the Delaware Charter Schools Network.  Clampitt has been in this role since some point last year.  Clampitt is very “pro-choice” when it comes to a parent’s ability to choose what school their child attends.  I believe this to be admirable, however, given his inability to fully understand how certain charter schools enrollment preferences have adversely affected segregation and discrimination in the Wilmington, DE area, it is an advocacy based on wrong intentions.  Having served on the Delaware Enrollment Preferences Task Force, Clampitt firmly believed in placement tests prior to admission at schools like CSW.

Clampitt and I have gone toe to toe on Kilroy’s Delaware going on two years now.  He is vicious in his attack methods, going so far as to make fun of people’s physical features while hiding behind his online moniker.

A few months ago, someone opened a Twitter account under the name of Henry Clampitt with a twitter handle of @publiusedecere, which is also his name on Kilroy’s Delaware.  Nobody knows who posted this Twitter account, but it disappeared within 24 hours.  For many, it is no secret who Publius really is.

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When this Twitter account opened, it was in the middle of a major battle between two bills pending in the Delaware General Assembly concerning charter school audits.  On one side was State Rep. Kim Williams and the other was Senator David Sokola.  Williams’ bill passed the House last year.  Sokola introduced his bill in January.  Many felt (which I agree with) that Sokola’s bill weakened Williams’ bill.  At the Senate Education Committee meeting on Sokola’s bill, Williams and Kathleen Davies from the State Auditor’s office faced off against Sokola, Clampitt, and Kendall Massett from the Delaware Charter Schools Network.  Neither bill has gone up for a vote in the Senate since that meeting.

Clampitt attacked Rep. Williams in his “anonymous” blog comments on Kilroy’s Delaware.  If I were a guessing man, I would say Clampitt finally pushed someone over the edge which resulted in this fake Twitter account days later.  Many people sent me the link to this Twitter account.  I was shocked that someone went to that level of creativity to out Clampitt, but I wasn’t surprised.

As our little war has progressed over on Kilroy’s, Clampitt has recently started an online campaign to attack me whenever he gets a chance.  If nothing is even discussed in one of Kilroy’s article, as seen recently with some of his posts about Donald Trump, Clampitt will come out of nowhere in his vain attempts to demean me.  This is why I feel some perspective is needed for those reading Kilroy’s Delaware.  Clampitt has made this personal because he seems to be out to “get me”.  I don’t mind anonymous commenters unless you cross that line too many times.  I’ve written about Publius and Clampitt on here, but never together.  Kilroy has done the same.

Many have felt Clampitt, based on his comments, did himself in with the board at CSW.  Others, including myself, feel he can be very racist or discriminatory in his attempts to win an argument.  Many are just plain disgusted with his online antics.  Words such as “cocky” and “arrogant” are the labels I hear the most when others speak about Publius/Clampitt.

It has been highly rumored that he will attempt a run for the Red Clay Consolidated School Board next year, and will run against President Kenny Rivera.  This is something many in the Wilmington community seem to be dead against.  I’ve seen Clampitt a couple times.  Once at an Enrollment Preference Task Force meeting, and the other at a Red Clay board meeting.  When surrounded by his buddies in the charter community, Clampitt can tend to be very vocal.  But at Red Clay, he is very quiet and reserved.

Clampitt seems to be offended by anyone who disagrees with him.  He seems to have a particular hate for myself and Christina board member John Young.  He is also a fierce believer in standardized testing.  When asked about this, he states the same mantra all who support high-stakes testing: “We need to close the achievement gap.”  The very same achievement gap that has widened even further as a result of tests like the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He believes opt out is wrong and opposes it on every single level.  He takes cheap shot at concerned parents who don’t believe a standardized test is a good measure of academic ability.

Together with his online supporters on Kilroy’s, he has turned what used to be a good place to have earnest discussions about education into a place where many are so offended they don’t come back anymore.  I refuse to leave Kilroy’s “kitchen table” because of a cyber bully.  But I will not continue to be mocked by a man who has so many inherent conflicts of interest.  If this means I am no longer invited to Kilroy’s, so be it.  But I am a firm believer in defending myself when attacked as voraciously as Publius has done.  Last summer, he went way over the line when he attacked my son’s disability.  I wanted to write this then, but I held back.  But as the attacks intensified the past couple months, I felt it was time to take a stand.  If he wants to continue to be a coward thinking he is protected by hiding behind his oh-so-original blog commenter handle over on Kilroy’s, that is his prerogative.  But in the real world, we all know who you are.

It is time to put a face to the name of Publius…

HankClampitt

The “Intelligently Differentiated” Untermenschen Schools Of Delaware

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Publius, a frequent commenter on Kilroy’s Delaware, commented about advocacy for the students of Delaware.  In an attempt to demean those who promote equity in our schools, Publius broke down advocates into the following categories: special needs, low-income, English Language learners, orderly school environments, super-rigorous school environments, intelligently differentiated schools, and intelligently intra-school differentiated programs.  While he was mainly talking about the difference between choice schools and traditional schools, this isn’t the first time Publius has used such phrases.  While many know who Publius is, including myself, most of us can only laugh at his terminology.

But this comment was a bit different and shows the true thinking of someone who truly believes that students who are “smarter” should be separated from those who are not.  Such thought created the Charter School of Wilmington.  While some truly believe a school like this is justified in their enrollment preferences, public thought has shifted away from this narrow early 20th Century viewpoint to something more akin to the more modern and rational thoughts around equity and equality.

In the 1930s, Adolph Hitler rose to power because he responded to the fears of the Germans.  By promoting the “Aryan” ideal, Hitler was able to amass an incredible amount of power that allowed him to essentially take over  mainland Europe.  As a result of Hitler’s obsession with this master race, tens of millions of people died in a war that changed the face of the world.  In Nazi Germany’s Civil Service Law, citizens of Germany had to be able to provide documentation that they belonged to the “true” Aryan race, which was mainly Nordic in design.  Those who were not part of this very select “race” were considered subhuman, or untermenschen.

Publius, through his words, truly believes the “strong” should be separated from the “weak”.  He doesn’t use those words, but instead crafts them into such words as “intelligently differentiated”, “talented and gifted”, “orderly”, and “imperatives”.  But at the same time, he wants to be included in all the conversations concerning the problems with Delaware schools:

 Assume that everyone in the dialogue is in good faith and has an honest reason for their views.  If the current environment of attack-vilification persists, then we will get nowhere.

What Publius doesn’t understand is why so many people can’t wrap their head around his century old untermenschen ideals.  He has his defenders over on Kilroy’s, but none go to the lengths he does to justify his comments.  It is extremely hard to have a “conversation” with someone who is so clearly elitist and discriminatory.  I don’t believe Publius even sees this.  He doesn’t realize how his words actually harm charter schools in Delaware.  As the Delaware blogosphere’s largest proponent of school choice and charter schools, he does far more harm than good.  But because he is “that voice”, that advocate, we have to wonder if the stereotype of charter schools is actually based on what he says.  Such views led to the slaughter of over six million Jews in World War II.  While I certainly don’t believe Publius would even remotely come close to advocating such options for those who are different, his words could affect those who do.  There are people in the world today, even in Delaware, who believe in the righteousness of such atrocities.  Situations like this plant the seeds in others to do vile and abhorrent deeds.

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But Publius also takes pride in describing others on Kilroy’s Delaware, including myself!

Little Kevin: Despite your striving, you are not “why we fight”

“The People” choose the public will. Not what The Governor tells them to think. Not what a blogger tells them what to think. Especially not a blogger from Dover with no cattle but with a shopworn ballcap.

Notice how he refers to me as “little”.  As well he specifically refers to me as being “from Dover” as if Dover is subpar to where he comes from.  He also seems to think those who live in Dover must be agrarian in nature but I have “no cattle”.  As well, for someone who has never seen me with a “shopworn ballcap”, I also have to wonder how he feels about people who wear baseball hats.  Even more frightening, in looking at my Facebook pictures and other pictures that appear of myself on social media and search engines, the only pictures out there of me with a baseball hat on are from twenty years ago.  That was during my senior year Spring Break when myself and several others spent a week in West Virginia helping out the poor and unfortunate.  Is Publius actually stalking me?  I do wear a “shopworn ballcap” when I mow my lawn or do other outside work.  But Publius would only know that if he happened to be in my neighborhood which I don’t even remotely see as a possibility knowing his identity.  Disturbing or a stereotype?  You be the judge!

To be completely fair, I have gone after Publius many times in reaction to things he has said.  I have called him a “little man” and racist on more than one occasion.  I’m sure those who know Publius and ask him about these things would get a jovial laugh from him and would come back and tell me not to take him seriously.  But words like “intelligently differentiated” disturb me on many levels.  It is very demeaning to a lot of people, but most of all parents of children with special needs.  Parents of children with Down’s Syndrome or other cognitive disorders should be offended by these discriminatory comments.

There are a plethora of other issues with charter schools, but nothing gets the conversation going more than talk about enrollment preferences and counseling out of “troubled” students.  Even Charter School of Wilmington is slowly coming around to this based on their recent board agenda.  There was a discussion topic listed as “increasing low income and special ed applications”.  Earlier this week, I helped a six year old girl with disabilities get into Newark Charter School’s Kindergarten lottery despite a ridiculous application policy the school’s board made last September.

As more and more Delaware citizens come around more and more to a greater weight for civil rights over enrollment preferences, we see those like Publius fighting even harder for their warped ideals and ideologies.  Despite all of this, I hope the day comes when Publius can see the error of his ways and embrace equality and equity.

Kilroy Blasts Local Union And Is Publius Running For A Board?

This is a two-in-one article, but they are closely related.  Kilroy also wrote a reaction piece to the News Journal’s article on the opt-out penalty, but his article didn’t really delve into the article.  Instead, he blasted the unions and blamed them for Race To The Top.  It was seven years ago Kilroy, let it go!  But he didn’t stop there, he also attempted to do something with Red Clay Educators Association President Mike Matthews.  I’m not sure what his motivation was with all of this, but it is obvious Kilroy has a major beef with the unions.  Which got me thinking (always a dangerous thing, I know) about what might really be going on.

For all of Kilroy’s rants about Race To The Top and DSEA’s role in it, we NEVER hear one word about the charters support for Race To The Top.  They had a role as well.  Is there benefit for Kilroy to go gangbusters on unions and not the charters?  Probably not, but then I looked at who the bulk of the commenters are on Kilroy’s nowadays.  Die-hard charter and choice lovers.  Led by the always controversial Publius.  We know Kilroy has sidebars with a lot of his commenters.  I usually talk to him every couple weeks myself.  But is Kilroy being inundated with the charter special sauce?  And why would someone do that?  Perhaps if they were running for a local school board in the next few years.  That’s right.  Word on the street has it that none other than Publius himself will be running for a local school board!  While some (okay, many) know who Publius really is, you won’t hear it from me.

It would greatly benefit Publius to have Kilroy turn the public against the local unions.  Is Publius working Kilroy?  I sure hope not, because Kilroy wouldn’t be too happy if he found out!  But in my eyes, Publius on a local school board is more frightening than the last episode of American Horror Story!  Say what you will about DSEA.  I agree with some of Kilroy’s points on them.  They could have taken a much stronger stand on opt-out.  I have no clue how they really stand on the opt-out penalty and what their role is.  Someone is either telling the truth or they are lying.  Yeah, sometimes the truth is in the middle, but in Delaware politics, someone is usually playing someone else for their own benefit.  It’s a tricky slope to sled down.

I firmly believe, that with WEIC and the redistricting effort, Mike Matthews wanted to take on a greater role because he knew the responsibilities of being President of RCEA were going to greatly increase this year.  More focus and focus plus schools as well.  And we all know Mike will stand up to the DOE, which is desperately needed these days, and I wish all local education associations would do this instead of sitting on the fence.  Kilroy said this has never happened before.  Well guess what Kilroy, the time to defend teachers against the onslaught of the DOE has never been greater!

Hey Kilroy, I Found A Better Publius! And This One Has A Blog!

Over on Kilroy’s Delaware, the godfather of Delaware education blogs, there is a commenter named Publius.  Typical education reform kind of guy, ticking people off with his “choice” comments and “march to proficiency” stuff.  But I found a better Publius! This one hails from Florida, and has a great blog called The Withering Apple with a handle of Publius Withering.  I wish the Delaware Publius would move to Florida, but I wouldn’t wish that on the better Publius!   Check it out at The Withering Apple.

Publius, Tunnel Vision Is Not A Disability Charter Boy!

Publius over at Kilroy’s Delaware had an epic meltdown cause I insinuated he may be racist last week.  For those who don’t “know” Publius, let me enlighten you.  I’ve been posting comments over on Kilroy’s for the past seventeen months.  It’s how I got my start in blogging writing about my son’s experience at a Delaware charter school.  I always wondered who this one guy named Publius really was.  I figured it out after a few stumbles last December.

Publius is pro-choice.  As in charter school choice.  He thinks all parents should be able to have a choice over which school their child attends.  In theory, he is right.  However, without revealing his true identity, he is waist-deep in the kind of choice that leads to segregation, discrimination, and cherry-picking.  He also thinks high-stakes standardized testing is a “march to proficiency”.  Arguing with him is like fighting with a 500 pound gorilla.  It always comes back to the same thing, his way or the highway.  You can point out logic and reason to him, but if it goes against his modus operandi, he can’t be swayed.

So last week, I had enough.  I’ve always felt he had a bit of racism based on his comments and his true identity.  I honestly asked him how he really feels about African-Americans.  Well this set him over the edge, causing a week-long set of diatribes by Mr. Anonymous (not really, many folks know who he really is).  This culminated in a comment he made in reaction to my telling him he has “tunnel vision” when it comes to choice and charters.  His response?

 “KO “Mr Sensitivity for Disabilities” might want to rethink his blind “tunnel vision” comment.”

To which my response was:

“And if you ever bring up words like “Mr. Sensitivity for Disabilities” again, I will out you as the sniveling weasel of a coward you are. You don’t get to go there you pathetic excuse for a man. Test me, one more time, and everyone will know who you are. Try me…”

Reaction from others was just as strong.  The following is Not Safe For Work…

“Yo Publius ! I am not sure if you know this or not, Kevin is a parent of a special needs child. But even at that not good!” -Kilroy

“KO “Mr Sensitivity for Disabilities” might want to rethink his blind “tunnel vision” comment.” is vile – and crosses every line. Kilroy, don’t give Pube a pass on this – don’t pretend he didn’t know. He knows exactly what he’s doing and KO’s history and story (He’s flippin’ commented on it). Then again, we all know who Pube is (as I’m sure everyone knows who I am).  I watched him prance and skip down the aisle at the board meeting at Brandywine Springs last fall. You go, girl!” -Pandora

“Publius, we all know who you are, a verified asshole.” -John Young

I truly thought Publius would stay away for a while after this, but no, charter boy had to add one more thing today.  This is what he does when he knows he got his hands caught in the cookie jar, he tries to come up with some lame excuse for why the things he says.

“Again, “tunnel vision” is a pejorative which uses visual impairment as an inferred weakness and as a tool to criticize. I can see from all of these constructive comments that I struck your chords. Your collective willingness to “select” what is insensitive and what is not is — (drumroll) — your choice. Isn’t choice grand?” -Publius

Charter Boy just doesn’t get it.  Tunnel Vision is not a disability covered under any of the many under Federal law.  If it was, we all would have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).  I wouldn’t expect Publius to know much about special education, as he is really not that familiar with it at all.  Would I out him?  Possibly.  If he went even further over the line than he has on many occasions.  But I’m sure this was his reaction to my “racism” comment.  I know all about blogger’s honor and all that, but Publius is special.  He is my “blogging nemesis”.  He stands for everything I hate and loathe about Delaware education.  And it isn’t choice.  It’s his special blend of choice that would limit others while holding those who are more advantage under the limelight.

It isn’t a case of charters vs. public schools.  There are charters in this state that are very integrated and serve the average special needs students in their schools.  Nobody has special education perfect as I’ve come to learn.  But his “special sauce” for choice is abhorrent in my opinion.  There are many who agree, and those on the polar opposite who agree with Publius.  One day, he will tick someone off past the point of no return, and everyone will know who he is.  That’s a day I can’t wait for.

Breaking News! Kilroy’s Publius Supports Parent Opt Out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment!!!!

This just in, Publius from Kilroy’s Delaware supports parent opt-out of standardized testing.  Publius is ALL about choice, so he would have to support this because it’s a parent’s choice!  Isn’t that right Publius?  You’ve been very quiet since my replies to you last night.  I hope everything is okay and you had a super-duper Valentine’s Day!  I saw John Young made that comment on Kilroy’s, so I thought to myself “That could be the title of my next article”!  Thanks Publius!

Christmas Presents for the Enemies of Public Education: The Publius Edition @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @Roof_O #netde #eduDE #Delaware #edchat

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Publius is a commenter on the famous Delaware blog, Kilroy’s Delaware. Publius is anonymous, but quite a few of us have figured out the true identity of this rather interesting individual. This isn’t a Clark Kent/Superman kind of thing, it’s more like a Verbal Kint/Keyser Soze kind of mystery. It’s bloggers code not to out anyone, but that doesn’t mean some of us don’t drop hints to let Publius know: “We know who you are!” Nobody ticks people off over on Kilroy’s more than this pompous ass, and Publius loves every minute of it.

This charter school loving commenter has an argument for everything. Kilroy allows him to do this, because of free speech, but also cause of blog ratings. The most watched news is usually the worst news, and Publius raises this level of curiosity in people, kind of like watching a house burning down. For the holidays, I thought I would give Publius a few gifts. Kilroy already got him a present this morning after I went off on Publius last night. This was the conversation, which was about the Priority Schools petition currently running, for folks to protest it.

Publius e decere, on December 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm said:

This petition is bunk.

Kevin Ohlandt, on December 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm said:
You are a pompous ass. You and the soulless “500 SOBs behind you” helped to create exactly what is going on with these schools. With your damn corporate games. Who the hell do you think you are? Do you think because you have money and you are some big player in the charter world you can dictate what fits in the almighty Publius world and what doesn’t? I know you just can’t help yourself, but you are proving more and more every day why you are nothing but a coward hiding behind a fake name. Be a man and show the world who you really are. Can’t do that though, can you? Got a rep to live up to. It’s people like you that make the rest of us fight like hell to protect what is being taken by you monsters.

Did Publius deserve my ire? Yeah, Publius is like nails on a chalkboard, or that annoying noise that comes out of a balloon when you let the air out just right.

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Publius believes enrollment preference is a charter school’s God given right, even in the face of an ACLU lawsuit going on in Delaware. He comes from a culture where money is the only thing that matters, and only the best can move forward. So I thought I would give him a present to show him the error of his ways. So in 2015, Publius will get this:

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to see how children are treated at many charters in America:

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because we know the end goal for Publius and his corporate education reformer sons of bitches behind him is this:

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So Merry Christmas Publius, and we look forward to hearing more of your insane midnight rantings on Kilroy’s. I know I’ll actually see you around town.