John Kowalko Booted Off Education Committee By Speaker Schwartzkopf and He Is Not Happy About It

In a shocking announcement today, John Kowalko has been kicked off the Delaware House Education Committee.  As Kowalko reported to WDEL today, Schwartzkopf told him in a phone call this weekend he was given the boot and “You’ve become an activist.  You carry your message to the blogs, to the papers, and on the radio, and you can’t be a legislator and an activist.”

Is this even in Delaware state code?  Politicians talk about issues they are hot about all the time.  This comes at a very odd, yet opportune time for Governor Markell.  He has two years left, and while many say he is a lame duck, I think he will use his power to the utmost in the next two years.  Kowalko recently released many FOIAs to different bloggers, this one included.  He has also been very passionate about his opposition to the priority schools.

If there is one thing Markell doesn’t like, it’s anybody messing with his eduation initiatives.  It’s a shame the first state to sign the constitution is no longer a state where people can say or think what they want without retribution from the almighty Markell.  This punishment isn’t just for Kowalko, it’s for all the politicians who would dare to go against Jack.  Schwartzkopf may be the speaker for the house, but we all know who runs the show.

There is a very interesting list of legislators on the education committee led by Earl Jacques as chairman and Kim Williams as vice-chairman.  The other 12 members has some new faces on it, so this should be interesting.

Mike Matthews (and many others in Delaware) Plea To the 148th General Assembly @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @ecpaige @Apl_Jax @DelawareBats @nannyfat @Roof_O #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware

Mike Matthews Facebook page is one of the first places I go when I am looking for information on education in Delaware.  Today, I found this:

This post is directed at the House Democratic caucus, which will be meeting tomorrow to determine leadership positions for the next General Assembly: House members, for the past two years our education system has continued to remain under attack by a Department of Education and Governor that refuse to address the real issues impacting our schools and instead rely on punitive labels and bad pieces of legislation driven by the ‪#‎edreform‬ movement. I’m going to be very frank: Current House leadership has generally aligned itself too closely to the governor’s agenda. There has been little pushback on matters of education outside of a cabal of reliable Democrats who’ve rightly voted against the Governor’s education agenda. Regardless of how the leadership vote goes tomorrow, all in the House — and Democrats in particular — must do a better job in 2015 of introducing and debating education legislation that’s good for kids.

I’m in full agreement with Mike.  I have to add Republicans need to do a better job.  If Greg Lavelle seriously wants to run for Governor in 2016, he needs to step up his game big time.  When Markell’s house of cards crumbles, people will be looking at who aligned with him.  The first place people will look is how legislators voted on key education bills.  In particular, the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  The legislators never received the chance to vote on Common Core, but they had their chance with Smarter (as the DOE now calls it).

We need the voices of sanity in our legislature.  I would love to see Senator Dave Lawson on an education committee.  I know this hasn’t been his forte in the past, but he has shown a keen interest in education in the past year.  It wouldn’t shock me to see him run for Governor in 2016.  He introduced legislation on the last day of the 147th Assembly to ban common core and everything that goes with it.  It was a futile effort, and he knew that, but he planted the seed.  Now it just needs to grow.