Vision Coalition & Student Success 2025 Is A Joke, All The Kiss-Asses Need To Stop The Charade #vcconf15

I’ve been following the live tweets from the Vision Coalition and their idiotic Student Success 2025 most of the morning.  I see lots of district admins, Delaware PTA reps, teachers and legislators buying into this absolute nonsense.  All you are doing is lining up the pockets of Rodel’s Dr. Paul Herdman and his corporate education reform buddies.  Enough.  You attend this event expecting some kind of miracle every year, and it is more of the same.  Endless talk with no true progress.  The NAEP scores came out today, and students did worse.  Smarter Balanced is a complete failure.  You talk and talk and do nothing about the true problems: crap like this making its way into the classroom.  All this talk about personalized learning…you have no idea what you are turning children into.  Drones for the millionaires and hedge fund managers.  And who is going to pay for all this?  Our state is facing a probable $200 million dollar deficit in the coming months, and you want to spend more money.  While funds are siphoned out of the classroom for these events?  Come on people, wake up!

If you want to do something meaningful for Delaware students, stop attending events like this.  Get in the classrooms, see what teachers really need.  See what students need.  Personalized learning is not it.  Standards-Based IEPs are not it.  You can talk about community and parent engagement all you want, but I guarantee you the bulk of the parents in this state could not give a rat’s ass about this kind of thing.  Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.  All you are doing is making clowns like Paul Herdman rich.  And trust me, he is laughing all the way to the bank.  He likes to talk about unintended consequences a lot.  You have no idea what just attending an event does to the students you like to think you represent.  If you are there for the awesome eclairs, I get it.  But if you are there to go back to your district, school, or association and fill heads up with all these great ideas, you are barking up the wrong tree.

I’m sure Jack Markell will give some rousing speech to go along with all the other bs you heard today.  Don’t forget about the students and stop going to these “all-star country club” events.  You are all culprits in the traps being set for students and teachers by merely attending.  You should be supporting a nationwide push to get outside companies the hell out of education.  You should be digging your heels in against standardized testing and all it’s punishment tactics.  Support opt-out.  Support special education.  Stop bullying.  Turn the discussion on how we can lift children out of poverty and reduce crime.  Stop with the apparent racism that exists in our state.  Stop the segregation and the tactics used to make it continue.  This isn’t education, it is a corporation.

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Vision Coalition Launches Latest 10 Year Plan, Student Success 2025

Today, at Del-Tech Terry Campus in Dover, Delaware, the Vision Coalition launched their latest ten-year endeavor, Student Success 2025.  With a very large crowd in attendance, the team officially announced Student Success 2025.  Nothing was  actually said about what exactly they will be doing, but I got plenty of quotes!

A student from Newark High School and a student from Kuumba Academy gave the opening remarks.  “Let’s never forget the most important group here today: the students!”

The leadership of the Vision Coalition all gave remarks.  The leadership team consists of H. Raye Jones Avery, Kurt Landgraf, Lamont Browne, Susan Bunting, Paul Herdman, Mark Holodick, Frederika Jenner, Dan Rich, Susan Perry-Manning, Dan Rich, Jorge Melendez, Gary Stockbridge, and the absent chair of the coalition, Ernie Dianastasis.

The entire thing was an infomercial without really getting into the product.  Since I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of it, I’ll direct you to Matt Albright’s story in the News Journal. I’ll just give some interesting quotes:

Stockbridge: “A once a decade opportunity for Delaware, a chance most states don’t have,” “provide students with greater and fairer opportunity,” “this coalition is not only powerful…”, “Student Success 2025 isn’t just another 10 year plan,” and “I know we haven’t seen as much harmony as we would like, and we are not always going to agree.”

Browne: “forcing our teachers to redesign…”, “we know that change isn’t only possible, it’s inevitable”

Rich: “we’ve raised academic standards, improved teacher evaluation policy, improved recruitment of new teachers, improved …for new teacher candidates”, ”, “we need to be very clear-sighted”, “we need a plan looking forward”, “engage entire DE community across all sectors”, “because of Vision 2015 we don’t need to start from scratch”, “we need greater alignment and coherence, that includes traditional public schools, charters and vo-tech, efficient funding system,” WEIC: “what we are launching today is aligned w/that system”, “we need to work with them together”, “we need to reaffirm the goals we set a decade ago”, “I believe there remains a broad commitment to these goals”, “high standards, invest in early education, preparing principals to be highly effective leaders, engaging families in all we do, adoptoption of fair and efficient funding system….they remain critical goals” “go with what’s working: it’s not easy to identify what’s working…”, “the goal here is pretty clear” “what we need is a cohesive and integrated system” “we need that whole system to be connected”, “we’ve often gotten off track instead of emphasizing collaboration, we’ve emphasized compliance”, “we need private as well as public collaboration, (including) collaboration between public and charter, families…”

Jenner: “the men and women I represent in the DE educ. System work in tandem across the state of Del….they counsel, they nurture…they deliver instruction, provide meals, transportation…meet the needs of students who require special services…they are hardworking and passionate, they hold the entire system together, without them there would be no student success, there is no plan that makes sense w/out educators at the table.”

At this point, while I was looking around, a woman in the back row when I glanced past her called me an a-hole.  Don’t know who she was, and I didn’t see a name tag on her.  Probably not a fan of my blog I assume…

Avery: “out of the mouths of babes come gems”, “too often the student voices is absent from those reports”, “we started by listening to the voices of students”, “we received more than just gems, we were shown a window to their world”, “overall we heard more than 1,359 students from over 45 different Delaware schools”, “our young people said they want more concrete connections between school and what happens next in life”, “most felt unsure about the steps to get there”

Bunting: “we’ve invested local dollars in this opportunity”, “personalized learning puts the student at the center of the environment”, “BRINC Consortium-Mark and I are a part of it”, “this report calls for greatest investment in…” “Develop the whole child”

Holodick: “up to 1/3rd of our budget, up to a billion dollars, goes to education”, “only state in America using unit-based funding”, “allow students to take courses from other school districts”

Herdman: “we’re getting near the finish line”, “the whole concept of education has expanded”, “we want our state to be performing in the top ten of the u.s., but also the world” “we want them to be good people, adults who are kind, good citizens,”, “there is an empathy, a recognition of rich and poor” (among students)

The two students gave closing remarks.  The Newark High School student got props from me for talking about writing a bill for a school legislative program to adopt Finland’s school system in America!

My take: it’s just more of the same, with more emphasis on personalized learning.  I think personalized learning will eventually find a way to shrink the teacher workforce and make the teaching profession more of a “refresher” of sorts for students after they learn everything online.  Just my thoughts on that.  I find it interesting this group and WEIC are both looking at funding of education in Delaware.  From what I heard by many in attendance at the WEIC meeting last night, they are still going over the history of how they got to this point.  It’s hard to move forward for this group.  I personally think it is a huge project, and they do not and will not have enough time to meet their deadlines.  Will they cram it all in or start again from scratch?

But back to Student Success 2025.  I don’t think anything any group in Delaware matters as long as the Delaware Department of Education is continuing the federal mandates and their own high-stakes accountability systems.  I’m all for student improvement, but not with the measuring sticks they are using.  But I firmly believe this is what most of this coalition also wants.  So I can’t really support it.  I do think Rodel is backing off a bit in their charter school obsession, but nobody knows what really goes on behind closed doors…

Get Ready For “Student Success 2025” Brought To You By The “Still Has A Pulse” Vision Coalition

Vision 2012, er, uhm, Vision 2015, uh, Ed25, Vision 2025, whatever they are calling themselves these days is apparently still alive.  Now they are getting ready to launch Student Success 2025, brought to you, the audience that didn’t demand it, by the Vision Coalition.  For those who thought they morphed into Schools That Care, maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.  Can anyone keep track of this nonsense anymore?

In any event, they are having a shindig at Delaware Technical Community College in Dover on Wednesday September 16th, from 10-11:15am.  It’s free, so you can go and see what the fine folks at Rodel, er, uhm, Vision 20??, what the hell, the corporate education reform supporters in Delaware have up their sleeves now.  You can read about it and watch the video they didn’t even put up on Youtube and get absolutely no answers to this plan concocted on them asking 4,000 Delawareans about education.  I’m sure it was a survey, or maybe it was the form you had to fill out at the Imagine Delaware forum back in March in order to ask a question.  I don’t think Rodel ever put me on their email list (gee, I wonder why) so I really don’t have a clue.  But you can see their updated website with some new names on their working groups.  I think I see some parsley and a fox.  What a complete shocker!  And it looks like everyone’s favorite opt-out superintendent is there too!  Otherwise it’s the same group of people led by the Rodel guy, waiting to launch the next best thing on us.  And how much do you want to bet the DOE will pay for this little fiesta?

And of course they would have this when Delaware educators and students are, you know, at school.  And most Delaware parents are, you know, working.  So who is the crowd?  Who is the target audience here?  You guys aren’t fooling anyone!