Delaware Governor Jack Markell was caught red-handed deleting a tweet! On Friday, at 4:29 pm, Markell put up a tweet from a conference in Washington D.C. sponsored by a group called Select USA. Delaware had a booth there. Two seconds after he posted the tweet, he deleted it. Apparently there is a group called the Sunlight Foundation that monitors when politicians delete tweets. They put it up on their website. When you click on the link in Markell’s tweet, nothing comes up. So even a website link appears to have been deleted as well. But I looked to find out what @DelawareGlobal is. They are actually called Global Delaware. Global Delaware is a part of our state government. They are located in the Carvel building in Wilmington at 820 N. French St.
But just cause Jack retweeted a tweet from Global Delaware, does that mean he was even at this thing?
Yeah, he was there! This conference was so big, even the President went!
So why would a Governor attend a conference with a state organization and delete the tweet about it? What’s the big secret here Jack? Global Delaware promotes financial investment in Delaware from other countries. On their website blog, you can see posts about The Delaware Blockchain Initiative, the Whitehouse Business Council, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Global Cities Initiative, among others. I don’t usually get too involved in economic events with the State of Delaware, but when the Governor closes the blinds on letting the sunshine in, I have to write about it. Especially when it involves education! Wait a minute, how does foreign investment play into Delaware education?
For years, we have been told by the Governor that we have to fix education to fix the economy. Because our economy is so bad and our students aren’t college and career ready. But yet, even Select USA states on their website that the USA is the number one country in the world for foreign investment:
The United States is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world because companies recognize the United States as an innovative and stable market, as well as the world’s largest economy. As global investment continues to evolve, SelectUSA showcases the advantages of the U.S. market to an increasingly diverse range of investors.
So if our education system is soooo bad, and other countries are soooo far ahead of us, why would they bother to invest in the good old USA? Perhaps the farce that our public education system is horrible is just that, a carefully designed illusion driving the corporate education reform agenda. In Delaware, this is highlighted by Markell’s best buddies at the Delaware DOE and the Rodel Foundation.
As a reader, you are probably very confused by now. Still not getting the education connection yet? By bringing all these foreign companies to Delaware, the state will have lots of new jobs. That’s good, right? Not if it deters students from going on to a four-year college. This is the plan: get students to do the “Pathways to Prosperity” thing, get certificates in high school, do apprenticeships, perhaps attend a two-year community college like Del-Tech (which the Governor has been talking about a lot in 2016). That way, when these foreign companies come to Delaware, the students are ready to start their jobs. These jobs that are most likely lower-paying jobs than they could get if they did attend a four-year college. Cause that option, in the future, will be reserved for the more advantaged students. The ones who aren’t low-income or poverty, don’t have disabilities, and so forth.
Now how on earth could a Governor get the public to buy this hook, line, and sinker? By constantly talking about how we need to “fix” education and incessantly chatting about his Pathways to Prosperity. Ironically, Senate Bill 277 which would create a permanent steering committee for Pathways to Prosperity, has been on the Senate agenda for a full vote twice, yesterday and last Thursday, but the Senate has not voted on it. An amendment was added to the bill to include a Delaware parent as well as “one member from a non-profit corporation that advocates on behalf of persons with disabilities“. How much do you want to bet that advocate will have ties to the Rodel Foundation? Any takers? Is the General Assembly less than enthralled with this Markell push?
But he doesn’t just want Delaware students to be a part of this global initiative, he even wants Delawareans to invest in it! There is already pending legislation to lure the citizens of Delaware into taking part in start-up companies in the state. All those tax credit bills that swept through the General Assembly so fast? A boon to companies coming to Delaware! Why do you think so many companies invest in Delaware? Cause of the tax breaks. But when it comes to giving relief to the taxpaying citizens of the state? Forget about it! When it comes to ending the corporate workforce education reform agendas that changed public education without any concern for what it does to students and their future? Forget about it! For Markell, it is all about bottom line, the almighty dollar.
We will know exactly what kind of man Jack Markell is when House Bill 399 comes to his desk. Assuming Sokola allows it on the Senate Education Committee agenda in the next week. If the Governor vetoes the bill, we will know once and for all that he does not care about students, parents, or teachers. He already proved this last summer when he vetoed House Bill 50, the opt out bill, showing he doesn’t care one iota for parental rights. For Markell, it is all about “the best test Delaware ever made”, the Smarter Balanced Assessment. He can’t permit any legislation that would somehow diminish the test. Because the Smarter Balanced Assessment, whether it is given once a year or eventually segmented into smaller chunks through end of unit personalized learning assessments, is the key to everything. All the data and tracking will lead to students being tracked into certain career paths based on their scores on SBAC. Which is the direct link between education and this deleted tweet. Markell posts about these kind of things all the time, so I am not sure why he would delete a tweet based on a conference that nobody in their right mind would write about as much as I am today. But he did. Did he not want people to know he was there? Did he not put it on his travel itinerary?
Of course, all of this plays directly into the “future guide” that was so carefully written… 24 years ago…