Merry Christmas From Exceptional Delaware!

Just wanted to take a few minutes this sunny yet chilly Christmas morning to give holiday greetings to my readers.  To say this year was a bit crazy would be the understatement of the year.  While I am not in the same place I was at the beginning of the year, I must say I am in a better place.  Sometimes I used this blog to vent some of my feelings about those changes in ye olde personal life.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank those who helped me along that journey.  There are so many.  And my gratitude knows no bounds for that.  I can honestly say I may not have made it through the past year without some of you.  You were my rocks keeping my two feet on the ground when I thought I was lost in a desert.

I can only hope for a better year in 2018.  But the important thing is having that hope.  I was talking to someone about that yesterday.  It is very easy to think things will never get better, to get swallowed up in that darkness.  For some, they live with that every single day.  There can never be hope unless you believe in that hope.  That isn’t just a Christmas thing, it is an every single day thing.  It is the tether to life.  There will never be anything close to perfect.  There are always going to be fires to put out and rivers to cross.  It is the way of things.  But it is how we handle it that determines who we ultimately are as a person.

While I don’t have much to physically give others this year, I do offer some kernels of wisdom.  Give all that you are.  Be what you want to be.  And never be afraid of the darkness because the light is so much stronger.  If you’re at the end of your rope, give a shout.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  You might be surprised who helps you out!  And when you get your strength back and get back up again, return the favor a hundred fold.  Be the light in the darkness for someone else!  Love each other with all that you are.  That is the true message of Christmas.

Merry Christmas fair readers!  May your days be merry and bright.  Love the ones your with.  Celebrate the bonds that connect us all.

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2017 Not That Much Smarter Balanced Results For Delaware Show Blah Blah Blah

The Delaware Department of Education just presented the 2017 Smarter Balanced, SAT, and DCAS-Alt1 preliminary results to the Delaware State Board of Education.  Even though scores were up and down, the Department is excited by the magnificent work of… and that’s about it! As the poor guy next to me was snoring through the presentation, I listened to the whole thing.  The only thing I cared about was that every district and charter school met or exceeded the 95% participation rate.  Which means opt out rates are going down.  Which means more Delaware parents are okay with their kids being tested, catalogued, tracked, and data shared with corporate education companies.  That is nothing to celebrate.  We need opt out numbers to increase and have ALL districts and charters crack that 95% barrier and plummet down to 90% or even 0% in the event of a miracle.

To see the rigorous and vigorous results (not really, just trying to add some super pizazz here), see below.  Sorry, I just can’t take this test or the results seriously it all.  They are about as important as wrapping paper after you open a gift.

Turning The Page

What happens when you close one door and open another?  Continue reading

17 Who Will Make An Impact In 2017: Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner

tomwagner

Tom Wagner is going to have a VERY busy 2017.  Why?  Because I’m going to make sure he does.  Everyone and their mother is talking about education funding and how to change it.  But all of these funding advocates aren’t bringing up in the elephant in the room.  Do our districts and charters in Delaware spend the money they already have for the benefit of children?  Is that foremost in their minds when they spend their money?

Indian River School District, Family Foundations Academy, Delaware Military Academy, Academy of Dover, Providence Creek Academy, Odyssey Charter School, Sussex Academy, Charter School of Wilmington, Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, Delaware College Prep, Kuumba Academy, and Pencader Business School have all been investigated by the auditor’s office and found to have some pretty major financial issues.  The extremes, outright theft of tens, if not hundreds, of dollars which should be going toward the kids.  And they were the ones that got caught.

I believe, no, make that KNOW there are others.  I’ve been investigating an educational establishment the past few weeks.  You can ask, but I won’t tell you who.  There are not enough flags that would trigger an audit by Wagner’s office.  So I will create those flags and I will plant right in the middle of Wagner’s office.  The days of playing with school funds are over.  And if anyone should start to feel bold, I’ve made arrangements to make sure information gets out no matter what.

We live in complicated times with no clear direction of what is up and what is down.  This is the world we have created.  We can sit and talk about education until the cows come home but we have already slaughtered those cows and served them for dinner.  Everyone wants to feast on the scraps.  Tom Wagner’s office is, by law, supposed to audit every single school district in Delaware.  But he can’t.  Because our General Assembly won’t fund his office to do the work needed to hold our districts accountable for how they spend money.  Which is why I find it VERY ironic that certain charters and districts want to go after certain things in their quest for more money.  I find that to be completely despicable and if it continues I will not rest until that conversation ends.  Because NOTHING would tick me off more than something going forward with one particular certain thing.  If you thought I was a pain in the ass about opt out, that will be an episode of Romper Room compared to THAT.  Out of respect, I am not going to make that public at this point but it is a fair warning.  And I will say it is not even remotely connected with the charter school lawsuit against Christina and the Delaware DOE.

So, Tom Wagner, my plan is to keep you so busy that you will have no other option than begging the General Assembly to beef up your staff.  And I will have an apparatus so this won’t just be talk coming from you.  Our General Assembly will be VERY aware why you are so busy.

Someone has to get in the dirty and ugly trenches and dig around.  That’s me.  If you don’t like it, too bad.  If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.  If it isn’t good for kids it isn’t right.  As for Wagner, there is one thing you need to resolve once and for all.  We both know what it is.  I’ve dug around in that abyss as well.  And it reeks of corruption.  The tide is high.