Capital & Red Clay have BIG Nights Tonight, History Could Be Made @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @nannyfat @ecpaige #netde #eduDE

Both Capital School District and Red Clay Consolidated School District have board meetings tonight.  One will discuss and vote on parent opt-out of standardized testing while the other will decide if they will accept a Memorandum of Understand to essentially allow the state of Delaware to take over three low-income schools with high populations of minorities and students with disabilities.

Delaware blogger Kilroy will be at Red Clay, and I will be at Capital.  Both meetings could have huge ramifications for education in this state.  If both go the way I am hoping it will send a clear message to Governor Jack Markell, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the Delaware DOE that local school districts will not allow the state to dictate there every move.  Something that will be done with full transparency for all the public to hear.

This is our future if we do not stop this now.  All schools will become charter schools.  The public school system as we know it will gradually fade away.  Teachers will become carbon copies of each other and will not be protected by unions.  They will be paid less, have less college experience, and will follow online modules to teach our children.  Every classroom and lesson will have the exact same plan every single day.  Teachers will have to follow a required script.  Our children will be taught not to question authority and will become brainwashed into obeying the will of their masters.  These masters will be the 5% or less of the wealthiest in our society.  The children of the reformers and corporate employees who profit from the most vulnerable of our country.  Their children will attend private schools and will be educated without Common Core and standardized testing.  They will have individuality and will one day rule the country.

The Special needs children will suffer the most in this dark future.  They will be collected and warehoused into residential treatment centers, and made to be the outcasts of society.  Discrimination strongly exists against these children now.  It is a quiet, unassuming discrimination, but it is there all the same.

This is our crucial moment.  We can allow this future to happen, or we can stop it now.  Those with even a small bit of information have seen this future, but the vast majority of America needs to wake up, and they need to do it now.  Our future is changing right before our very eyes.  Freedom and democracy are morphing and changing, into a shape that is not good for our children.

I am asking both Capital and Red Clay to save our children, to push back against a reform movement existing to make money off the most precious minds of our society.  As I will say tonight, backroom deals are made to profit those who smile in public and stab our children, teachers, and schools in the back.  We need to stop this, before we wake up one day and realize it is too late.

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What Will This Generation of Students Be Known For? Will They Have Their Own Minds? @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog #netde #eduDE

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  We have five generation titles currently living and influencing America.  The first is “The Greatest Generation” (born between 1927-1945), then “The Baby Boomers” (1946-1964), “Generation X” (1965-1980),  “Generation Y” or “The Millennium Generation” (1981-2001), and “Generation Z” (born after 2001). What will Generation Z, educated under Common Core and No Child Left Behind become?  The expectations put on these students have never been higher.  Is this causing long-term damage though?  If the current curriculum trends continue with Common Core and high-risk tests, I would say the graduating classes of 2018 to 2029 will have severe problems in their adult lives.

Generation Z was born in the aftermath of 9/11.  As a country, we became very suspicious of everything around us and demanded immediate change.  We would not, and could not, let an attack like 9/11 ever happen again.  So we set out to fix things.  Under the wings of the Baby Boomers, Generation X went to work.  They gained more and more power, until eventually they were the ones in control.  When they got their hands on education, they dismantled it and tried to put it back together again.

Common Core Standards as a theory is not my problem.  I don’t have an issue with every state being compatible with each other in terms of what is taught to our country’s children.  As a special education advocate, I see a multitude of differences in special education within single school districts in Delaware.  So I can only imagine how the US Government would look at education at a national level.  It has to be very confusing, and having something more uniform across every state is certainly something to be desired.

My problems are with how it was brought about, how it was implemented, and the extra parts that are taught to children that are really unnecessary.  I posted a math problem on this blog a couple weeks ago, with the Common Core seal of approval on the worksheet.  It was my biggest story ever.  But the reality was that I was just a pissed-off parent seeing the “rigor” my son was going through with this type of math.  Tens of thousands of readers read this story, and most parents thought it was absolutely ridiculous.  Teachers seemed split down the middle.  Some thought it was acceptable math, while others thought it was confusing to students and was not age appropriate.  These children are taught things a certain way, and it should not be like that.  I come from a generation where the answer is the answer, it doesn’t matter how you came to it.  But today, everything has to be explained and to show your work and to think outside the box no matter what shape it is.  Sometimes an answer is just an answer.

Our current leaders, who are most likely part of the Generation X crowd (a group I belong to), see things a bit differently.  We were a different kind of generation compared to the earlier ones.  We were very focused on trends and we were at the dawn of the computer age.  We were stuck in an industrial transition with education.  Things changed rapidly with education from 1975 to 1995.  I graduated high school in 1988.  The internet was just starting to be mentioned as some type of database where students would be able to go to libraries and access information right off a computer.

My son, born in 2004, can find out anything on the internet by going to Google and typing it in.  My son also can become very fixated on his iPad, iPod, X-Box, and the many brands of toys his generation is surrounded by, especially Legos.  He can watch anything from tv at any hour of the day, from anywhere he wants as long as there is wi-fi access.  This generation has technological advances previous generations couldn’t even dream about.  So why are we trying to make them all the same type of student?  Why do so many members of my generation who have gained power want today’s youth to be one big collective entity, and not the individuals they truly are?  I don’t get it.  Is it because when we were young we did what we wanted?  We were a very cynical generation.  We started to lose trust with the organizations and groups that served us, from a local level to an international one.  We became more self-absorbed, more insular to the events of the world.  It almost seems like this ruling generation doesn’t want the youth of today to question anything.  They just need to follow orders.

The problem with this is Generation Z.  They are a hearty and tough lot, and are used to getting their own way.  They are also a generation with the highest amount of disabilities and disorders.  They will not take crap, and do not like being told to be the same as anyone else.  They do need structure and routine, nobody will deny that, but they also don’t want to be put in the same sandbox as everyone else.

But there is a subset of Generation X that has learned how to rise above the trappings of our generation.  We are helping to guide Generation Y to rise against Generation X.  We are speaking, and we are speaking with every bit of strength we can muster against members of our own generation.  Because we want to help Generation Z become more than what they are destined to become if these current education reforms continue.  And we need Generation Y to lead them out of this quagmire we call modern education.

Each generation helps to guide the ones before them, and the results are cultural mind-shifts where the greatest inventions and the most horrible events can take place in society.  Never before in history have so many generations been alive, influencing and shaping all the others.  I can imagine our ancestors looking down on us thinking “what a mess” America has become.

Monday Musings

It was a long day at work, so I’m pretty beat.  I’m just going to free-write tonight.

It’s been a long year that opened up new thoughts and actions I could never in a million years see myself doing.  Writing a special education blog, going to meetings, new friends, talking to legislators, going to a task force, trying to dismantle the whole common core-smarter balanced thing, submitting FOIA requests to the DOE, and so on.  So what else do I do?

I don’t get into my personal life on here aside from being a special needs parent.  Once in a while you might see me writing about my son, but not too much.  My son and wife are well aware of my blog, and think I spend too much time on it.  They are probably right, but it beats getting drunk every night!  Not that I did that before, but there are worse things I could be doing!

Hey, here’s a blind item!  What former head of school at a charter school was once president of a school district and threw a chair at a parent?  Some of you may know the answer.  I just found out in the past month, and it justified my opinion of the person.  I wasn’t the only person to experience the rage!

I want to do follow-ups on previous articles, but there is so much I could do.  So I will leave it my readers.  What would you like to see more info on?  A few have advised my to get more info on PCG.  I do have a follow-up on that in the wings.  I’m just waiting on some additional info.  I have another VERY big story, but I have to see how some things play out first.  Like Wednesday night, hint hint!  Actually I have several big stories coming up.

It’s hard to say where all this common core curriculum is going.  People are hating it more every day, but I see no signs in Delaware it is going to go away.  I know the Republican delegates at the annual GOP convention wrote a statement saying legislation needs to be passed to repeal it.  But unfortunately there are too many minds that think the opposite in our state legislature.

The IEP taskforce is coming up again next week.  I wonder if the new Governor’s designee is going to show up.  I’m sure he will.  Maybe House Representative Miro will show up as well.  I feel certain Secretary of Education Mark Murphy won’t be there.  Dude can’t even show up at a meeting with the two superintendents of the two biggest school districts in the state!  The Delaware Board of Education has their meeting on Thursday at 1pm.  I have to go for a little bit just to see what crazy, whacked out plan they have next.  And the Moyer school goes under official formal review.  Another charter bites the dust!  Not like there aren’t six more waiting in the wings.  It’s like a virus that continues to multiply.

Well, this guy is getting to bed!  Good night Delaware!

Jon’s Loving Father has left the building!

Cause Jon isn’t his real name. It’s Jacob. And my name is Kevin Ohlandt. Exceptional Delaware is no longer anonymous. Let’s face it, half the state knows who I am already. The DOE, the schools and many politicians in this state know. So no more pretense, I am who I am and that’s all that I am!

I still have many articles left to write. Special education is a wide topic that can include a wide variety of topics. The skies the limit! But what I am proudest of with this blog is that I have been able to help parents who were unable to wander through the maze that is American special education. This is the central, guiding light of this blog.

What’s Coming Up on Exceptional Delaware? #netde #eduDE

It’s been a crazy first month.  Thanks again to all my readers.  You have made this little experiment a grand success.  This blog has gone beyond what my expectations were.  With that, I have some teasers for the future.

I will continue to write about the Delaware DOE and their special education department.  I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface with them, and it seems like there are wheels within wheels turning everything there.  Who really runs the show there?

Charter school debate has been going on for years.  But now that their grand master has revealed she wants to expand in our Continue reading “What’s Coming Up on Exceptional Delaware? #netde #eduDE”