Betsy DeVos & Delaware DOE Continue Delaware’s Special Relationship With U.S. DOE

“Delaware has always been a state of firsts, so it should be no surprise that theirs was both the first state plan submitted and the first approved under ESSA,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos seems to just love little old Delaware.  Isn’t that just nifty!  Most of our legislators and some folks I talked to at Delaware DOE couldn’t stand the thought of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, but now they are using her for sound bites.  How pathetic we have become in Delaware.  Our leadership has become a bunch of kiss-asses, hell-bent on sucking up to Betsy DeVos of all people.  Below is the Delaware DOE’s press release for their next “first” status.

Delaware receives final approval on ESSA state plan

Delaware has received final approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan, Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced today.

Today’s ESSA plan approval comes just days after the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) submitted an updated version of the plan to USED to reflect changes based on federal guidance, public feedback and feedback received from the Governor’s Office.

“Delaware worked together to create a very thoughtful and effective plan, and we appreciate that USED sees the value in how we’ve designed our systems to improve student outcomes,” Bunting said. “Now the harder work begins as we continue to work across agencies and with stakeholders to support our districts and charter schools as they focus on implementing Delaware’s ESSA plan to benefit our students.”

Delaware was the first of 16 states and the District of Columbia to opt to submit their completed ESSA state plan by the first deadline on April 3. It is also the only state so far to have had its plan approved.

“Delaware has always been a state of firsts, so it should be no surprise that theirs was both the first state plan submitted and the first approved under ESSA,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

ESSA is the main federal law governing funding of public education and gives states more flexibility and more state and local control over the accountability process. In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)  as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under ESSA, states are required to outline their plans for spending federal funds, for measuring the skills students learn and for supporting students in making academic progress. ESSA gives the U.S. Secretary of Education final approval of each state’s plan.

Implementation of the programs outlined in Delaware’s ESSA plan will begin during the 2017-18 school year.

“Delaware has created a strong plan that makes certain all students have access to a quality education and an equal opportunity to succeed,” said Delaware Governor John Carney. “Every student will benefit from the work outlined in ESSA, especially our neediest students in the City of Wilmington. I am proud of how the state continues to join forces to help all Delaware students, and I am looking forward to lending my support to this work in every way possible.”

Last month, Governor Carney announced the creation of a Wilmington-based team to support struggling schools in the City of Wilmington. The Delaware Department of Education’s new Office of Improvement & Innovation will be led by Dorrell Green – a long-time Delaware educator with a proven track record in school improvement. Green began his work with the Department of Education on August 1.

The Department is also working closely with district and charter schools to make certain they have the supports they need to fulfill the ESSA state plan.

“We are excited to learn that the Delaware ESSA plan has been approved,” said Heath Chasanov, Superintendent of Woodbridge School District and the 2017-18 President of the Chief School Officers Association. “We recognize the hard work that the Department of Education has undertaken to meet the requirements of the application process.  We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Department to implement the changes for the betterment of our students.”

This past year, as Delaware drafted its ESSA plan, the state collected more than 1,000 comments and suggestions from families, community members and other education stakeholders through a series of community conversations and discussion groups, the Governor’s ESSA Advisory Committee, and online surveys and submissions. The department’s framework document provided additional context around the work.

“The development of the ESSA plan was the result of a broad-based team effort,” said Delaware’s Deputy Secretary of Education Karen Field Rogers, who oversaw the coordination of the state’s plan. “Now that Delaware’s ESSA plan has been approved, we will continue to work with our districts, charter schools and our stakeholders to improve the education that each of our students receives.”

The remaining states’ ESSA plans are due to USED on September 18.

 All hail the conquering Delaware DOE! First to reach the Race To The Top, First to have their ESSA plan approved, and First to sign the Constitution and the last to follow it (see any number of articles on this blog).  It’s almost like Jack Markell never left office…
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Doc Holodick Gets Superintendent Of The Year, Patrick Wahl Gets The ED Parent Warrior Of The Year Award!

Dr. Mark Holodick, the Superintendent of the Brandywine School District, received the Superintendent of the year designation by his peers in the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.  I would like to put forth my award, that of the Exceptional Delaware Parent Warrior of the Year.  This award, nominated by a panel of one, goes to Patrick Wahl.  Wahl filed a lawsuit against the district over a discipline incident with his son last winter.  While Wahl opposed the Brandywine referendum, it ultimately passed.  Wahl has appeared on the Rick Jensen show several times and was interviewed by many of the major media outlets in the northern part of Delaware.  Many have chastised Wahl due to his perceived wealth, but the reality is that he is fighting the good fight for all students in the state.  Wahl did start a very serious discussion about discipline in our schools and showed us all it isn’t just an issue with minority or high-need students.

PatrickWahl

Congrats to Holodick and Wahl.  I hope you work everything out in the lawsuit and find a way to mend fences and maybe go out for a beer sometime.  In the meantime, here is what showed up on the Delaware DOE’s Facebook page with the same picture they put up with anything mentioning Holodick.  Time to get a new picture DOE!

DocHolodick

 

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Holodick, superintendent of the Brandywine School District, for being named the 2016-17 Delaware Superintendent of the Year by the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.

“We are extremely proud to have Dr. Holodick represent the Chief School Officers as our Superintendent of the Year,” said Dr. Victoria Gehrt, current President of the CSOA. “He is an outstanding leader who is very community based in his approach to addressing the needs of his school district. His knowledge of instructional best practices significantly impacts the success of the students who are served in the Brandywine School District.”

Dr. Holodick was appointed superintendent of the Brandywine School District in October 2009, after a long history with the district as a student, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Prior to being named superintendent, he was principal at Concord High School and at a blended middle and high school in the Delmar School District. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at West Virginia Wesleyan University, his Master of Education at Wilmington University, and his Doctor of Education at the University of Delaware.

Since being appointed superintendent, Dr. Holodick has been committed to the foundation of the District: professionalism, customer service, equity, and meeting the needs of all students. He recognizes the importance of developing whole child through unique and diverse programming, after-school enrichment opportunities, athletics, arts, and of course a rigorous curriculum. Under his leadership, the district has invested resources to expand and increase access to programs such as AVID, Achievers Academy, International Baccalaureate, and most recently AP Capstone. Dr. Holodick was one of the four superintendents that helped spearhead the BRINC Consortium, an organization made up of school districts that focuses on personalized and blended learning, access to technology, and collaboration. BRINC has now grown to include seven districts across the state.

Both the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals and the Delaware Association of School Librarians have recognized Dr. Holodick as Administrator of the Year for 2016. He is a member of the statewide Vision 2025 implementation committee and the Claymont Lions Club and serves on the board of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association, having previously served as both president and vice president. During the 2014-2015 school year, Dr. Holodick also served as the president of the Delaware CSOA.

“I am proud to represent not only the Brandywine School District, but also the thousands of educators across the state as the Superintendent of the Year,” said Dr. Holodick. “Like all of my colleagues in the 18 other districts in Delaware, I am committed to working together and sharing best practices to benefit all of the students entrusted to us. Indeed, it is an exciting time to be an educator!”

Doc Holodick, I have to ask… what does “Vision 2025” really do?  I thought it was “Student Success 2025” these days.  Or is it really “It Doesn’t Really Matter What We Call It, Our Goal Is To Take Over Education And We Get The Best Damn Eclairs At Our Annual Fiesta 2025”?