Right now. Live. This is it. Okay, instead of rehashing what the entire state knows, I would like to request the State Board of Education move their state board meetings to a venue where people can actually feel like they aren’t crammed into a sardine box. Maybe instead of giving all that money to outside vendors they can actually invest in an air circulation program. The DOE has a huge building off of Route 8 with a huge conference room that could easily fit all these people. Just an FYI.
Anyways, Tony Allen is talking to the board. If you want to read what they are talking about go here:
Go to Agenda Section V.A.1. and read all about it. It really isn’t very different than the billion other WEIC documents I’ve put up…more funding, redistricting, charters, and so forth…
I did finally get a seat after sitting indian style, or criss-cross applesauce as the kids nowadays call it. How is your day going?
The Delaware State Board of Education is grilling Tony Allen and Dan Rich about funding for this. Dan Rich said the State Board is not responsible for funding allocations, their vote would be to reaffirm the redistricting. Numbers are going back and forth but it looks like $7.5 million for the first year, which is being negotiated with Governor Markell. This is an estimate Dan Rich is saying. How the hell can they expect the State Board to pass something without a price tag? This is backwards!
Brandywine is not involved in process at all.
State Board member Pat Heffernan is asking for clarification on the plan. Dan Rich is getting a bit testy with the State Board. Probably not a good idea.
Board Member Barbara Rutt asked WEIC if things go south midstream is there any way to stop the process, Tony Allen said there is a mechanism in the draft where the State Board could suspend the time-stream of implementation. Dan Rich is reading from the resolution, if everything isn’t given (funding, resources), by 7/1/18 it would halt the process.
If I had to guess, State Board members Heffernan and Gregory Coverdale are very perplexed by all of this. Can’t say I blame them. There are WAY too many variables in this. How about they just get a new method of funding for schools, get the resources and staffing high-needs schools have, and then look at redistricting. I really can’t support this anymore.
I had to move seats to get near a plug. They are still talking about funding…one-time costs, recurring costs…
Board Member Nina Lou Bunting just raised a very good point. She said isn’t this the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission? Where is the talk about students and teachers? Where is the talk about improving education she asked. Dan Rich is explaining how the various components come together and if it doesn’t happen it can’t continue. Bunting is explaining that, as a teacher, this is an integral part of the plan.
Tony Allen is explaining that the kids of Wilmington need to be under one governance system, under one district. My big question is if this goes south, all those children in Wilmington are then in a failing district. Is it worth taking the risk for these kids? What happens then? Convert them all to charters?
WEIC sub-committee member Henry Harper is talking about how education has become schools competing with each other over their name in the newspaper. Joe Pika is telling the board this plan is only focused on one aspect: redistricting. But it is essential, and as Tony Allen called it “the price of admission” for the rest of the five year plan. I still don’t get it. In my opinion, get the funding then worry about redistricting later. Cause maybe all our schools can do better with more funding and more resources. This is absolutely ridiculous. Tony Allen is basically saying “Pass the redistricting if you want all our recommendations.” Sorry Tony, I’m not buying it. There should be no “price for admission”. Get the DOE to stop paying millions of taxpayer funds on crap like the Smarter Balanced Assessment and all their vendor corporate education reformer crap and actually get to the heart of it. Get more funding, get more resources in our classrooms: more paraprofessionals, more support. But most important of all: get a firm grip on special education Delaware. This is your number one problem. What went down at the Red Clay board meeting last night with their inclusion plan is an indication of how bad it is in our state. Instead of focusing on proficiency and growth and rigor, get the resources we need.
Board Member Melendez is basically asking WEIC why are we doing this if Brandywine and Colonial aren’t giving up any students? He is right. Maybe Kilroy is right. Maybe this is all about revenge on Christina. I don’t know what to think anymore. This is how it goes with live blogging. Sorry folks. I can’t keep my mouth shut!
Rutt is asking about the Red Clay board. What if they change their vote as their board shifts over the years? My theory: plans are in the works for this very eventuality. If their board gets more, shall we say, charter friendly, this gets jacked up very fast.
Dan Rich is basically saying “Approve this commitment without a firm price tag and a billion uncertainties”. He didn’t say that, but that is what I’m getting out of this whole presentation.
To get a good idea of this LONG conversation (so much for a limit of 15 minutes!), please listen to the state board audio recording which will come out in the next week. And with that, the presentation is over.