Last week, News Journal reporter Jessica Bies came out with an article about a confidential report that the News Journal “obtained”. The article was rife with speculation and hearsay based on a report commissioned by State Auditor Tom Wagner concerning Kathleen Davies. That article appeared in print today. It looks like something you would see in a bargain-basement tabloid at a grocery store. Continue reading
Last night, the Kent County Democratic Committee hosted a forum for the Democrat candidates for State Auditor at the Kent County Levy Court in Dover. The well-attended debate was clearly won by candidate Kathleen Davies. Continue reading
The Delaware News Journal came out with an article today about the ongoing battle between Kathleen Davies and the Office of the Auditor of Accounts. Even though the hearing with the Department of Labor ruled State Auditor Tom Wagner terminated Davies without cause, that only determined unemployment funding for Davies. Now the battle is heating up with the Delaware Merit Employee Review Board (MERB). But the News Journal article is missing or failed to report some vital facts. Continue reading
Tonight I did something different. I attended the Kent County Democrat fundraiser at Fraziers in Dover. It was very last minute and I figured why the heck not. I will get this off my chest first- I’m not a fundraiser kind of guy. I went in shorts and a shirt. I met a lot of candidates. Some snubbed me. Either they don’t know who I am or they do. We all make choices. Good luck getting my vote! That’s all I’m going to say on that. Okay, I’m lying.
For those who know me and where my passions lie, it begins with education. First and foremost. My thought has always been if you can’t make the right choices for kids, you shouldn’t be in office. When I hit the voting booth, my vote is going to be for who I feel is the best candidate and will get the job done. I’ll switch parties when I hit those buttons. I don’t care. So if I’m at a fundraiser, I’m not your money guy. But I watch. I listen. I see who is talking to who. Who is pandering and who is listening.
During Trump’s run for President, I switched to the Democrat party from Republican. Neither Hillary or Trump were getting my vote. Pure and simple. I got some flack for that from some folks but that’s okay. It’s my choice. It is MY vote. But it does not mean I always support what Democrats do. The same philosophy applies to the Republicans as well. Who and what am I? I’m a wildcard. I’m the guy you didn’t see coming. I’m the guy who doesn’t care who I piss off on this blog if I think the decisions you make are bad for kids. But that isn’t all politics is about. For me it is, but for most education isn’t at the top of their thought process. I do vote on other issues besides education. But education is a HUGE factor.
Based on tonight, I know this blog will have tons of endorsements coming out in the next month or so.
Fundraisers are interesting events. For the candidates, it is getting your name out there. For the party or campaign team, it is about the money. For people like me? It is a blogger bonanza! Showing up is the first thing. But showing up and leaving before it is your chance to talk? That is some bad mojo coming your way. Giving me the evil eye when you were there. Twice as bad. It’s all good though. I’m okay with knowing who doesn’t like me. It just affirms what I may have written about you. I’m not naming names but what is the abbreviation for microgram? And for another candidate in that particular race, even if you KNOW I’m supporting your opposition for a three-way statewide primary, don’t just walk past me when I say hello to you because I will talk about it on here. See what I did there guy with the same initials as Denzel Washington?
I’m babbling. Far too many Swedish meatballs at the fundraiser. And Fraziers makes the BEST Swedish meatballs!
If you had told me four years ago Donald Trump would be President I would have told you to lay off the peace pipe. Even if I came around to that idea and you told me that same President Trump would snub our allies and shake hands with the little boy from North Korea the next day I would have said you were crazy. But this is the reality we live in. It’s like Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone had a one-night stand and created the worst nightmare I’ve ever seen. The oompa-loompa may be riding a red wave right now but what goes up must come down.
Some of my endorsements might surprise long-time readers of this blog. It’s not personal. It is politics. Anyone coming into a race and expecting 100% of the vote is off their rocker! That’s what makes America great. It will be an interesting time between now and September, and then after the Primary heading into the General Election.
For candidates, I will be sending out surveys shortly. Even if you don’t think I will support you, know that I have a vast readership who might. I like to call it nearly every teacher in the state! They are going to want to hear from you. If there is one thing I’ve learned from teachers, it is this: they vote!
So here we are. Four years ago today I made my first trip to Legislative Hall. It was raining and I was carrying a sign outside in support of the school board audio recording legislation. It was my way of thanking Kilroy’s Delaware for letting me write on his blog before I started this one. That bill didn’t pass that session. It did the next one. Sometimes you just have to be patient. A lot of the faces I met that day won’t be there next January. The most important thing, no matter what political party you align with, is this: get your facts straight. Do the research. Who is doing it for the power and who wants to get in there and make change. Vote with your conscience, not your allegiance. Get involved.
I will get an insane amount of grief for this next line, but let’s make America centrist again! We need balance. One-party rule is not good for this country at all. It isn’t always good for Delaware either. We live in interesting times.
P.S.: To the candidate who had the conversation with me about FOIA- that was fun!
Project Veritas released a video on May 2nd about a teacher union president that clearly shows him admitting the union will lie and manipulate to protect a teacher in a student abuse situation. The responses from the union president are shocking. Even more shocking are the responses from the Delaware State Education Association and the National Education Association to help members deal with this video. I am putting the video up which you can see below. Continue reading
Now that all the surveys are up, it is time for endorsements! I’ve known who I was going to endorse in a few elections for some time. Some I changed my mind on. Some I have always known who I would NOT endorse. Some I wavered back and forth on. Some races won’t get an endorsement from me at all. I don’t always go with the “popular” candidate. I look, as best I can, at the issues facing education and which candidate is willing to stick their neck out and do what is best for students. The biggest thing is if the candidate knows what the issues are. Without further ado, here come the endorsements: Continue reading
In the “October Surprise” for the 2017 Delaware School Board Election season, Atnre Alleyne of DelawareCAN dropped a huge bomb all over Christina Board candidate Jeff Day’s campaign with less than a week before the election. When a former News Journal reporter jumped in on the controversy, it fanned the flames… Continue reading
August is supposed to be the twilight of summer. Stuff isn’t supposed to happen. At least until school starts in the 3rd week of the month. Like last year though, this August has been anything but quiet.
It started on August 5th when I came out with a massive article alleging Newark Charter School was using student body activity funds to pay for capital expenses. Like most things in Delaware, nothing came of that one. The next day, I discovered the NY PTA wasn’t as scared of National PTA and their opt out threat as the Delaware PTA was last winter. A week ago today I found out Academy of Dover was having some money issues… again. But the biggest bombshell of the week (in my opinion, and there were many), was when I started looking into the pending contract for Delaware’s Social Studies state assessment and found out all sorts of things about high-stakes tests and Delaware’s Smarter Balanced Assessment. All of this went down on three of the hottest days of the summer.
As the new week started, I called out Christina School District’s CFO Bob Silber for not responding to my inquiry about why Christina spent over $50,000 for non-state employee travel with federal funds. Still waiting on an answer from Bob on that one after a month. The Exceptional Children Resources Group at the Delaware DOE dropped a ton of due process hearing and administrative complaint reports. A hearing for Trinity Carr, the murderer of Amy Joyner-Francis, had a bit of controversy and gave some more details about what happened that day. On Tuesday, the State Board of Education held an Every Student Succeeds Act Workshop at Grotto’s Pizza in Dover. Usual Kool-Aid fest! I posted a photo album of the event. On Wednesday, I played pin the tail on the Appoquinimink special education tuition tax warrant again after they went on WDEL and basically called me a liar.
Things quieted down for about an hour on Thursday when it was revealed Brian Touchette left the Delaware DOE. But then the hat trick went down. In hockey, a hat trick is when a player scores three goals in one game. The hat trick in this case was the Delaware DOE and Governor Markell pulling fast ones and really ticking myself and others off. The first was the press release about the Teacher Leader Pilot program and the bizarre email from last May which shed a lot of light on how despicable and manipulative the DOE really is. Then came Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education David Blowman’s email response about the Freire opt out scandal and the DOE basically saying congratulations to the charter school. As if those two events didn’t piss me off to no end, then I read Governor Markell’s back-stabbing Executive Order about a Pathways To Prosperity steering committee that the General Assembly had already squashed. By the time I went to bed Friday night, I was very angry at how much the DOE and Markell don’t care about how their actions impact others and they act with impunity.
I used three words from a song that came out in 1983 for a post yesterday about how nothing is invincible. Proving that I do have a life outside of this blog, I wrote about an excellent new television series called Stranger Things this morning. And finally, I wrote two articles about Governor Markell signing the charter school audit bill and how Kendall Massett is bad for education. As well, I pondered why the hell Michael Duffy from Great Oaks Charter School (and not even the one in Delaware) attended the bill signing. I also felt Kathleen Davies should have been there and I vowed to find out why she was really put on leave at the Delaware Auditor of Account’s office.
All this kept me busy, but there were a few things I didn’t write about. Delaware lost one of our State Representatives this week as Jack Peterman succumbed to prostate cancer. I heard more parents grumbling about how they really didn’t care how their kids did on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It was hot as hell this week, but hopefully that will end tomorrow night. Outcast got really interesting if you watch that show. Matt Denn’s office did email me last week to inform me that the charter school thieves are under investigation but they can’t say anything more than that. But they stressed it is active.
How do you top all that? Who the hell knows. This is Delaware education. Last year, after the Donna Johnson outing and the Christina drama, I thought things would quiet down. But then I found out about the Accountability Framework Working Group and the very punitive opt out penalties against schools. That set the track for a very busy fall last year.
There are things I know I will be writing about this week: the State Board of Education meeting and the Congressional education debate up in Wilmington. Hans Reigle informed me he will not be able to make it, but it will be interesting to see Townsend, Blunt-Rochester, Barney, Miller, Gesty and the rest talk about education. Both of those will be on Thursday. I foresee getting a lot of dirty looks at that State Board meeting. That’s okay. I’ll be giving them right back if that’s the case. I am hoping to get some “Part 2s” of series I started a long time ago and haven’t gotten around to. Especially the Delaware Illuminati series given what went down this week. As the Delaware primary is thirty days away, I expect I will be putting out some endorsements of candidates. There is one thing coming out, maybe some this month but all of them in September, that has me very excited. All public schools in Delaware have to record their board meetings and put them up on their websites in seven days. I’m going to predict a lot of “technical difficulties” for charter schools. As well, it could be a FOIApalooza watching them go in and out of executive session. I may put some more graphs up about district and charter finances in FY2016. You can also expect my predictions for the 2016-2017 school year this week. The other girls involved in the Amy Howard murder have a court case tomorrow and the judge in the Trinity Carr case should decide by Friday if she will be tried as an adult.
There could be some follow-up or fallout from the articles I put up in the last ten days. I hope so. There is too much elusive and non-transparent crap going on in education. I don’t mind shaking things up at all and watching the dust settle. There is also a lot of stuff I can’t talk about… yet. There is always something cooking on the back burner. I do a lot of research and save it. Very often, something happens and I find a need to go back to that research when something clicks. There are some things I predict won’t happen this week: Bob Silber won’t respond to my email, Tom Wagner won’t respond to anything or anyone, John Carney won’t respond to me, and Jack Markell will do something stupid.
To be fair, this isn’t original. Kavips started this last week with a week in review. It inspired me!