For the past couple months, a review committee met to discuss the naming of the Dover High School football stadium and the district administration building. An idea was brought forth in the summer to name the stadium after former Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas. Some felt it was too soon as he just retired June 30th of this year. The review committee has come up with the following four options. The committee will have it’s final meeting on October 19th at 4pm in the Sentrum Room at Dover High School in Dover. Capital has their board meeting on October 21st, and I am assuming this will be brought up for discussion.
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Michael D. Thomas Football Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Alumni Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Dover High School Football Stadium: Senator Stadium
Proposal submitted to name Capital School District Administration Building: Michael D. Thomas Administration Building
I applaud the Capital School Board of Education for doing the right thing and getting a committee to review this matter.
I’m hearing from a ton of people the Capital School Board may vote to name the Dover High School football stadium after the recently retired Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas. There are a lot of mixed thoughts with this. Some feel it is way too soon, some say he should definitely receive this honor, and others are saying heck no! What do you think?
Late in the evening, the Capital School District Board of Education went into executive session to discuss the last item on their agenda, the selection of a new superintendent to replace Dr. Michael Thomas who will resign effect June 30th. The board was in this executive session for 45 minutes.
When they came out, board member John Martin stated he was unequivocally against the choice selected. He felt Capital had a bold opportunity here and suggested they go back to the drawing board and repost the position. The motion was introduced and brought to a vote. Martin voted no, “emphatically”, and members Kay Dietz-Sass, Matt Lindell and Sean Christiansen all voted yes. The new Superintendent of Capital School District is… Candidate #216. The official name will be revealed tomorrow afternoon according to Lindell. They have to notify the other candidates first…
Dr. Mervin Daugherty was present at the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education meeting just two weeks ago when their board unanimously approved a resolution supporting parent opt-out without penalty to students. Dr. Michael Thomas was present at the Capital Board of Education meeting last October when their board passed the same resolution.
So can someone tell me why Red Clay teachers are telling their students not to opt out or they will get a zero on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and their school’s scores will go down? And why this is coming to them in orders from a district levels to let students know? And why did Capital School District tell WHYY/Newsworks education reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent they were able to talk 1/3rd of the opt out requests they received from parents into taking the test?
“Burgoyne says the district has convinced about a third of the parents who considered opting out to ultimately let their children take the Smarter Balanced exam.”
This article also has figures that conflict with other reported figures. Capital Board member Matt Lindell publicly stated his district had 11% opt-out according to the district offices. But the Newsworks article says only 34 students have opted out. The article talks about students who have been “formally opted out” with their numbers. What does “formally” even mean? Is this where they have been taken out of the computer system or the school “approved” a request, like Brandywine Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick has publicly stated?
This is just another reason why House Bill 50 needs to pass so these districts are consistent with not only their reporting of opt-outs, but also veiled threats or “convincing” parents and students receive. I don’t see all these state agencies, groups, and corporate interest-lobbyists talking about that aspect of any of this.
As the Smarter Balanced Assessment draws closer, more parents are catching on to the opt out movement. Tonight at the Capital Board meeting, a parent read a brief public comment she was opting her son out and gave a letter to the board. Later on in the meeting, the board unanimously approved a resolution to support the House Bill to allow Parent Opt Out but wanted to add language concerning school protections. Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas was concerned, and rightly so in my opinion, about the implications this could have on teachers and principals at the schools. I actually advised the board at this point the bill was submitted today with new language to add certain protections for schools.
The bill will be released tomorrow with a House Bill number as per Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko. From there, it will go to the House Education Committee. If it moves on from there, it would be voted on by the House, and would then go to the Senate if approved. If it passes, it would go to Governor Markell to sign into law. This is where it could get tricky. If enough parents are behind this, Markell would have a public relations nightmare if he refused to sign this. But he is a lame-duck and firmly in the pockets of the corporate education reformers. Which is why parents need to make a lot of noise about this NOW!
Board member Matthew Lindell said the bill has the same type of language in Capital’s resolution from October which passed. The Capital resolution stated there would be no penalty against students if they were opted out of the state assessment. Board President Kay Dietz-Sass said she has personally had about 70 inquiries into opt out by concerned parents.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment testing window begins March 10th, and ends on June 4th. Parents have 20 days to opt their child out of this test. We need many more with the brave courage of the parents who have already done this. We also need a count, so if you have opted your child out, let me know. If you would prefer privacy, you can shoot me an email at email@example.com If you are a special needs parent, and you are still on the fence about this, just be prepared for hell to be unleashed once this test starts. You can stop that from happening.
Dr. Michael Thomas, at the Capital School District Board meeting last night, announced his retirement as superintendent of the Capital School District effective June 30, 2015.
Dr. Thomas joined the Capital School District as superintendent in 2002. For the past 14 years, he has guided Capital into a thriving district. His leadership has culminated with the latest, groundbreaking new Dover High School.
Members of the board and presenters thanked Dr. Thomas for his years of service.