Parent Opt-Out Veto Override Rally 1/14/16, I Know What You Have Been Up To Governor Markell

The Delaware PTA is hosting a parent rally at Legislative Hall in Dover on January 14th, at 2pm.  This event is changed from January 12th.  Please make every effort to attend: parents, students, citizens, teachers, administrators, superintendents, charter heads, and anyone else you can think of.  The latest bomb from the US DOE about opt-out is a slap in the face of every single parent of a child in public school America.  We need to make this standardized high-stakes testing madness stop.  Take off work that day, bring your kids, and support the God-given, fundamental and constitutional rights of parents.  This is YOUR moment.  Do not let it pass.  For school employees, bring the students on a field trip that day and show them how democracy in America works best.  This is about parents rights, pure and simple.  This is not a civil rights issue.  If anything, the Smarter Balanced Assessment has proven how disgusting and vile one test can cause illusions and perceptions about students who have the most needs for instruction.  And if you are the parent of a brilliant child who did great on the test, that is excellent.  Your child is going to be brilliant either way and doesn’t need this money-wasting time-consuming test to tell you what you already know.

I’VE HEARD FROM SEVERAL FOLKS THAT GOVERNOR MARKELL IS CALLING ALL OF THE HOUSE REPS AND ASKING FOR THEIR SUPPORT IN NOT VOTING YES TO THE OVERRIDE OF HOUSE BILL 50.  While everyone who told me this asked me not to share it, and I pretended with each one this was the first time I heard it, it is far too many for my comfort zone.  Jack Markell is telling legislators about how it would be so disrespectful to his office if they override HIS veto.  Sorry Jack, this is not YOUR bill.  This is not YOUR decision.  Our legislators sided with parents over your diabolically insane testing mentality.  You are a bully.  You do not care about parents.  How many of your children took the Smarter Balanced Assessment?  We both know the answer to that one!

FOR OUR DELAWARE LEGISLATORS: If you vote no to the veto, you are nothing more than a bully.  You are a pawn of Governor Markell and you care more about disrespecting one already disrespectful person than thousands of your constituents.  You serve Delaware.  The People of Delaware.  Not Jack Alan Markell.  The people.  A no vote on the veto could very well cost you your re-election if you are up again next year.  And if you aren’t running or don’t face the ballot until a later date, good luck getting any support from the thousands of Delaware parents who have been spit on, disrespected, bullied and intimidated.  I know for a fact some of you have already given your support to Jack on this issue.  I would think long and hard about that costly mistake if I were you.  Republicans and Democrats alike.  This is not the time for you to lend support to a failed Governor on education.  Seven out of twelve states who received the latest US DOE threat letter were Smarter Balanced Assessment states.  Do more than override the veto. Get rid of Smarter Balanced, and come up with a meaningful and productive assessment for our students without all the strings attached.  We don’t need to hire outside consultants and companies to do this.  We don’t need to spend tens of millions of dollars to do this.  We have the teachers and educators in our very own state to come up with something better for our children.  And as for you John Carney, you need to get your head out of the clouds and oppose Markell’s bullying tactics.  Loudly and clearly.  Stop being quiet on everything and just assuming you are a shoe-in on Election Day.  That is weak and tiring, and Delaware deserves better than that.

FOR GOVERNOR MARKELL: Do you hear that?  That is the sound of parents becoming more important than you.  That is the sound of the legislators in your state supporting those same parents and honoring their rights.  It rang like a bell on June 25th when the Delaware Senate cleared the final passage of House Bill 50, and it will ring again when they override your veto.  This is your legacy.  This is your thumbprint on Delaware: causing parents to rise in opposition to a tyrannical eight years of you.  We are done with you.  We are casting you aside and praying the next one is infinitely better.  For all the talk you had about education, you are no better than a school yard bully taunting those you believe are weaker than you.  We are stronger than you and we will show you once and for all how much stronger we are.  We know you taunt and tease our legislators with threats about not supporting this bill or that bill, or how you use your executive power to make promises when it comes to the budget.  We know you allowed Rodel to use their influence so you could hand-pick your leaders in the Delaware DOE and your unelected members of the State Board of Education.  We know which legislators are in your pocket.  No more.  Your power is waning and you know it.  Instead of succumbing to the will of the people you actually think exerting more power will make people listen.  No.  You are done.

As a state, we need to STOP making every single education decision that is surrounded by the measurements of standardized assessments.  The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission is doing it.  Our schools do it.  Our DOE certainly does it.  Our businesses aligned with Markell and Rodel do it.  Enough.  What about YOUR child.  What about their INDIVIDUAL rights?  Do they mean anything anymore?

ESSA Part 1: US Secretary’s Power Questioned In The “Every Student Succeeds Act”

This is a massive read.  At 1,069 pages, I have to wonder how every member of the United States House and Senate will actually have time to read the whole thing.  There is a great deal of legalese written into this.  It can be repetitive at times, but that is also when you need to look at it the most.  I haven’t even finished it yet.  Like most laws, it refers you to prior paragraphs or sections.

For the states, the US Secretary of Education now has limited power.  The Secretary can no longer use things like Common Core or Race To The Top to coerce states into programs and agendas.  But each state must submit their “state standards” to the Secretary who has the power to approve or deny the request.  But when the states submit their plans, it can’t just be the Governor and the state DOE.

ESSA5

This means the state legislators must also be a part of the process for picking the state standards, something most states should have already had in the first place.  In the case of Delaware, this did not happen with any meaningful affect.

ESSA7.1

ESSA7.2

The US Secretary of Education has too much power even with this bill.

ESSA8

For the initial review of a state’s submitted plan, the Secretary has to utilize other folks within the US DOE to review the plan.  But if a state makes changes, the Secretary seems to have this executive power to approve or deny those changes.  So much for Democracy…

ESSA11

Math, English Language Arts, and Science.  Those are the three mandatory subjects that must be in a state’s plan.  No Social Studies.

ESSA12

This is where it gets very confusing.  If the Secretary has the power to approve or deny “the challenging State academic standards” (get used to those words, you will be hearing them a lot), what power has been removed?  With that power, I see a great deal of control and direction already.  What backroom deals were made for a bill that was designed to limit federal control?  The actual product doesn’t really show this driving need for what was supposed to be the main purpose of the bill.

When Governor Markell Speaks For Reformer Companies, Why Isn’t It On His Public Schedule?

Very interesting.  Each week, Governor Markell’s website releases his public schedule.  Since the Governator is speaking at the Center For American Progress today I thought I would check his public schedule today…

Monday, November 9th at 7:15 p.m.

Governor Markell will attend the 14th Annual Cornerstone Awards- Joined by restaurant industry partners and Delaware restaurateurs, the Governor will attend the 14th Annual Cornerstone Awards event, which is held in recognition of the work that the restaurant industry maintains throughout the year. This event will also celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Delaware Restaurant Association. World Café Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington

Tuesday, November 10th at 12:45 p.m.

Governor Markell will participate in the Broad Valley ribbon cutting ceremony. Georgetown Circle, Georgetown

Tuesday, November 10th at 4:30 p.m.

Governor Markell will present a proclamation in recognition of the 2015 Radiation Protection Week. Governor’s Office, Tatnall Building, 150 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard South, Dover

Wednesday, November 11th at 10:30 a.m.

Governor Markell will speak at the Annual Veterans Day Service.Memorial Plaza, Delaware Memorial Bridge, New Castle

So if Governor Markell is not including this in his public schedule for this, and he is using taxpayer funds for transportation, how is this even allowable?  We know he has done this before when his bodyguard had a bit of an argument with a citizen in Washington D.C.  And if he is giving the keynote speech in D.C. around 10am, is that enough time to get back to Georgetown at 12:45pm?  I sincerely hope he isn’t travelling by helicopter for a non-public event at an education “non-profit”.  When he spoke at New America last summer, I emailed his Education Policy Advisor Lindsay O’Mara to find out who pays for transportation for things like this.  I never received any response.

As announced everywhere yesterday, Delaware came in 48th out of 50 states for public transparency from our state government.  Add this one to the list full of reasons why we did.  One of the marks Delaware got an F for was public access to the Governor’s schedule.  It is far past time we stopped allowing Governor Markell to abuse his executive power for corporate interests and flipping the bill to the state.

I emailed Lindsay O’Mara again on this issue and included several other folks in the email:


From: Kevin Ohlandt <kevino3670@yahoo.com>
To:
O’Mara Lindsay (Governor) <lindsay.omara@state.de.us>
Cc:
Markell Jack <jack.markell@state.de.us>; Kowalko John (LegHall) <john.kowalko@state.de.us>; Jonathan Starkey <jstarkey@wilmingt.gannett.com>; “claire@clairesnyderhall.com” <claire@clairesnyderhall.com>; Flaherty John <jdf0000@aol.com>; Visalli Ann <ann.visalli@state.de.us>
Sent:
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:44 AM
Subject:
Asking again

Good morning Lindsay,
Last summer when Governor Markell spoke at New America about education, I asked you how that was paid for with the transportation costs.  Does Governor Markell pay for it personally?  Does the company reimburse the state for travel expenses?  I never received a response on this.
This morning, I learned Governor Markell is speaking at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. at 10am, but this is not on his public schedule.  Why is that?  He has spoken out of state before and it is on his public schedule.  As I am sure you are aware, Delaware ranked 48th out of 50 in public integrity and transparency, thus receiving a grade of F.
So I will ask again, how does the state pay for transportation to these non-public events the Governor speaks at?  Does the Governor get paid for these events?  If you do not know the answer, can you please direct me to who does know these answers.  Thank you,
Kevin Ohlandt

Now Governor Markell Vetoes A Bill That Would Make It A Felony If Healthcare Workers Have Sex w/Patients

The veto-mad Delaware Governor Markell is pulling out his executive veto power once again on House Bill 130, which would make it a felony if a healthcare worker has sex with a patient. This is a bill that passed unanimously in the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate. Has this Governor lost his mind? Or is he that naïve to think nobody will notice? What is he trying to prove? My best guess is now that his power is diminishing, he will attempt to yield it any way he can. And since State Rep. Kim Williams has been one of the most vocal opponents of his education scams, he will strike whenever he wants.

This is the actual synopsis of the passed bill:

This bill creates a felony level offense for a person that is a health professional and in the course of providing professional health services to the victim, intentionally has sexual contact with the victim. This bill adds to the existing crime of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree and makes the conduct described therein as a felony offense, rather than a misdemeanor, due to the vulnerability of the victim as a patient seeking services from a health professional.

This is from State Rep. Kim Williams Facebook page:

I found out today that Governor Markell is vetoing a bill that I sponsored, House Bill 130, Unlawful Sexual Contact. It passed the House and Senate unanimously. The Criminal Justice Council voted in support of this bill and whose members are Delaware judges, AG Denn, and other respected folks. I never heard a word from the Governor’s office until the day he decides to veto the bill that his office had an issue with it. I filed this bill early May. The only group that I heard a peep from was the Medical Society and that was after it was released from the House Judiciary Committee. I spoke to them briefly and never heard another word from them. Currently, if a healthcare worker (person of trust) has sex with a patient it is a misdemeanor, this bill would make it a felony. If a prison guard has consensual sex with an inmate it is a felony but a healthcare worker who is treating a patient who has been sexually abused and the healthcare worker gains the individual’s trust and has sexual relations it is not a felony. This is unbelievable to me.

I am really beginning to wonder if Jack Markell has potentially gone insane. Or if he’s protecting someone. Or what the hell he is thinking. What’s next on his hit list? These are people of trust having sex with patients. It’s not alright Jack. I hope the General Assembly overrides two bills you have vetoed this summer.

UPDATED: You can see this further down in the comments, but I had to add it to the main story-

Instead of visiting the FFA/EASTSIDE’s BS PD (professional development), he should have been reading what Kim Williams’ bill actually protected….THE PEOPLE OF DELAWARE!
2017 can’t get here fast enough.