Rodel & State Board of Education Stop DSEA From Using Questions In TELL Delaware Survey, DOE Postpones Until 2016

Delaware Teachers

Before I get to this story, I think it’s high time the Rodel Foundation got OUT of education in Delaware.  And since the Delaware DOE seems to be a clone of them anyways, they can go too!

The TELL Delaware Survey, scheduled to start tomorrow, has been postponed until next year.  Why?  Because the DOE and Rodel didn’t like questions the Delaware Educators Association wanted to put on the survey.

Why should the Rodel Foundation have ANY input on teacher surveys?  This is utterly ridiculous.  This “non-profit”, where their Executive Director made $283,000 in 2013, has been more of a disturbance in Delaware education than anything else.  But anyone who voted for Jack Markell as Governor should have known it was Rodel and Markell that won the Governor race.  Who wants to be Paul Herdman will be the next Secretary of Education?  I know, he doesn’t qualify, but I’m sure Markell would put in an executive order to bring in his boy.  Rodel, get the hell out of Delaware!

This is the same survey that was supposed to come out last year, but DSEA advised the DOE the results would be horrible cause of the priority schools initiative.  Who does the State Board of Education answer to?  I guess Rodel, whenever they call.  Maybe aside from board meetings, the State Board needs to record ALL their meetings, even the ones with lobbyist non-profits.

You can read it all here:


May 12, 2015

Dear DSEA Member,

Last month we informed you that TELL Delaware, an anonymous statewide survey of licensed school-based educators to assess teaching conditions at the school, district and state level, would be opening on May 13th.  Early this week, the Delaware Department of Education (“DDOE”) announced that TELL Delaware would be delayed until 2016.

So what happened?

Remember last month we told you that prior to agreeing to participate in TELL Delaware, DSEA, DASA and the Superintendents insisted that the Statement of Partners include language guaranteeing that TELL Delaware data would not be used by DDOE for accountability purposes.  After several months of discussion, it was agreed that the Statement of Partners would include the following language:

“Coalition Partners agree that data collected from TELL Delaware will be used solely for purposes authorized and agreed to in this Statement and will not be utilized by the Delaware Department of Education in any form of teacher, specialist, assistant principal or principal evaluation and/or school/district accountability without prior approval of all Coalition Partners.  In regards to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), any use of TELL Delaware data by LEAs for such purposes shall be determined by the LEAs and shall be consistent with and subject to the terms of any collective bargaining agreement or individual contract to the extent they address such usage.”

We also told you that DSEA, DASA and the Superintendents insisted upon including additional questions to assess educator perception on the impact of DOE/RTTT initiatives on student achievement, DOE responsiveness to educator and principal concerns, and those working conditions that would motivate an educator to work in or transfer to a high needs school.  Again, after several months of discussion with DDOE, we reached agreement to include the following questions:


The following initiatives have had a positive impact on student achievement:






The revised teacher/principal evaluation systems

Common Core State Standards

Professional Learning Communities

Delaware Talent Cooperative

Common Ground for the Common Core

The state school accountability system used to rank schools and identify priority and focus schools

Professional Development provided by DOE

DOE makes a sustained effort to address teacher/principal concerns about:







The teacher/principal evaluation system

The amount of time spent on student testing

The use of student testing data

Professional Development needed for Common Core State Standards implementation

The state school accountability system used to rank schools and identify priority and focus schools

Alternative compensation systems

The following teaching condition(s) would strongly influence my decision to teach in/transfer to a high needs school:






Effective school leadership

Teacher leadership opportunities

Community support and involvement

Additional Compensation

Access to facilities and resources that support learning

DOE technical and financial support

Instructional innovation is encouraged and supported

Time to teach and plan

Student conduct is well managed

High quality professional development is provided

On April 17th, DDOE sent an e-mail to the TELL Delaware partners advising them that it had worked with the TELL Delaware Advisory Committee (comprised of DSEA and DASA) to address concerns about the customization of questions and the Statement of Partners.   DDOE also advised them that the 2015 administration of the survey was slated to begin on May 13th, 2015.  


In response, several partners – most notably the State Board of Education and the Rodel Foundation – raised concerns with the inclusion of the additional questions requested by DSEA and DASA.  Efforts to reach an agreement among the partners failed and therefore DDOE decided to delay TELL Delaware until 2016.  While willing to consider changes to the wording of the questions, DSEA and DASA insisted upon their inclusion in TELL Delaware.  Without the questions, DSEA and DASA would not continue to support TELL Delaware.  Looking forward, while DSEA and DASA are hopeful that TELL Delaware will happen in 2016, we will continue to insist upon the inclusion of questions similar to those listed above.  We thank you for your time and patience throughout this process.  We will provide future updates as additional details become available.


Yours in Solidarity,


Jeff Taschner

DSEA Executive Director

The Exceptional Delaware Correct The Blogger Challenge

Exceptional Delaware

Okay, so I’ve been known to be wrong on a few things here and there.  But what if I never knew I was wrong?  Or what if someone told me I was but never told me how I was wrong?  Here is your chance, going back to the beginning of this blog.  If I’ve ever gotten something wrong, please email me at to let me know, and I will publish it along with a reblog of the story.  But there are some rules:

You have to tell me how I was wrong.  If it was a theory, tell me what I need to know.  If it is based on some type of investigation I did where I have actual evidence, give me something to contradict that evidence.  If you just email me and say I was wrong, then nothing happens.  Understand, this will be published.  But here’s your chance to get your side straight if I got it wrong.  If it’s an opinion you feel I was wrong about, I’ll still publish it but I still may not agree with you.  If I wrote a personal story about my son, this doesn’t count.

I got this idea from a Delaware DOE employee of all people.  She commented on a Facebook post I was on about a recent FOIA email I posted and how I was wrong.  But she didn’t tell me how I was wrong.  Here’s her chance.  And this is not a trap for an attack.  I can’t stop commenters, but I will not do that.

Here is your chance Rodel, DOE, Charters, and all the rest!

THIS IS WAR!!! Rodel’s Plan To Take Over Education In Delaware & Dump Special Education, The DOE & Markell Letting This Happen

2Revolutions, Delaware DOE, Governor Markell, Rodel

I received the below information today, and it is very disturbing.  From what I have heard at various DOE Board Of Education meetings the past few months and what I read about with the Rodel Vision ED25 “Performance Learning” after their conference the other day, I am convinced more than ever that Rodel is just assuming they can do whatever they want because Governor Jack Markell is going to let them.  This is the final straw, and I will be taking a very strong stand against this invasion.  EVERY SINGLE DELAWARE PARENT NEEDS TO AS WELL! 

The below are draft strategies Rodel and their ED25 Committee have formulated in regards to their personalized learning idea that 2Revolutions would be implementing if this goes ahead:

Increase student and parent ownership over learning experiences by creating individual student learning plans that track mastery-based progress from birth to career and clearly articulate skills and knowledge required to progress and graduate. Build on best practices in special education that engage families and students in plan development and make plans accessible online

Build capacity of an organization to support innovation statewide by investing in the development of new school designs or instructional approaches, evaluating what works, and identify mechanisms for scaling ideas with a track record of success. This organization would also be responsible for supporting the change management process for schools and districts and engaging with parents and the public on personalized learning

Support the redesign of schools that provide a broad array of wraparound services to students  (e.g., psychological, counseling, and behavior supports), engage partners to support the whole child and their families, and provide extended hours to expand student and family access to technology

Strengthen use of comprehensive screenings and provide interventions to address student needs and issues at a young age

Create multiple, rigorous learning paths anchored in key industries and the “North Star” and linked to a range of academic and career options that integrate educational and workforce experiences. Provide all students and families with ownership over selecting the pathway that best meets their needs and aspirations

Increase in-person and technology-enhanced counseling supports to engage students at an early age and help students and families navigate the system, targeting those at risk of falling off track or dropping out

Raise the bar on new teacher certification by strengthening pre-service requirements for content and special education expertise. Increase the number of teachers receiving special education certification.

Publicly share performance of teacher preparation programs, both traditional and alternative, and tie state funding of programs to performance. Incentivize programs to train teachers in high-need subject areas (e.g., math, special education) to enable the supply of graduates to better match school demand

Support teachers in developing cultural competencies by ensuring all pre-service teachers are exposed to different school settings during student teaching and providing high-quality professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers on family engagement and working with different communities

Support a robust and transparent evaluation system that enables continuous improvement and incorporates feedback from multiple parties, which could include peers, subordinates, students, and families in educator evaluations

Develop school, district, and state-level scorecards that track growth and performance, utilize multiple mechanisms for measuring performance, and are simple and easy to understand by the public

Incentivize the development of student and parent engagement models that include activities such as student led conferences, academic parent-teacher teams, and parent institutes for advocacy and information development. Moreover, encourage the use of communication strategies between schools and families that is two-way and utilizes a variety of in-person and technology based approaches

Require or incentivize employers to allow employees to take time for school engagement activities

Update student counting procedure to count students more than one time per year in order to better account for student transitions, to support student needs identified throughout the school year, and to incentivize attendance

Publicly share district and school budgets as well as key district/school financial performance metrics that are accessible and understandable to the public

This is it!  This is Rodel’s takeover of Delaware schools.  This is the overhaul the Delaware DOE and Governor Markell have been planning for years and Rodel is the waiter bringing it to the parent table.  But where is the legislative input on these ideas?  If every student has their own personalized learning plan, what does that do to the federally mandated IDEA Individualized Education Plan?  By essentially giving every student their own IEP they have just negated special education in one fell swoop.  Yes, these are drafts, but the reality won’t be much different.  I called this one last summer:

If you like your kid playing sports, or doing the school play, or playing an instrument in band, or joining a club after school, then you need to be against this.  Here’s why, and make sure you take the time to go the links and read about your child’s future.  The other day I posted this article:

This is just more evidence that Rodel & Markell want to do away with school buildings and make everything online and from home in the future.  And I am sure they will profit greatly from this endeavor.  Or allow their corporate buddies to.

All these groups in Delaware: The GACEC, PIC, Delaware PTA, DSEA and anyone who endorses this should be IMMEDIATELY DISBANDED!!!  You are here for the people, not whatever Markell and Rodel want.  You have been serving them for years, and it stops NOW!!!!  We don’t pay tax dollars and union dues so you can just drink the Kool-Aid and shove it down unsuspecting parents throats.

Every single legislator needs to convene and seriously consider impeachment proceedings against Governor Jack Markell and get rid of Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and cut state funding to all of these “non-profit” groups and education think tanks.  If not I will make it my mission in life to get as much support as I can and make sure this does not happen.

Here’s the deal folks, if you thought I was motivated before, that was NOTHING!  I will take this all the way to Washington D.C. if I have to.  We have spent millions and millions of dollars in this state on NOTHING but ideas that financially benefit groups like Rodel and all their idiotic Vision groups.  They have allowed you to think education is messed up to justify their money-making schemes.  Rodel and the Delaware Community Foundation are run by millionaires.  Look at all their boards and their staff.  They are all aligned together.  Markell is aligned with all of them AND the US DOE and Arne Duncan.

Their Common Core invasion of America has allowed them to put teachers in the crossfire over standardized testing scores and it monopolizes educators’ time with professional development and lesson plans based on a curriculum they ALL HATE!!!  Students hate it too.  Whenever you hear someone really enthusiastic about this crap it’s because they belong to one of these Markell groups whose sole purpose is to sell you on these agendas.  NO MORE!  SAY NO!

Go to these town hall meetings the DOE is planning and RAISE HELL!!!!!