Rodel’s Latest Can Of Spam Aims To Take The Special Out Of Special Education

The Rodel Foundation of Delaware came out with a whopper of a blog article today over on their site.  Entitled “Can Personalized Learning Defray The Cost Of Special Education?”, this article dares to suggest that personalized/blended learning can help save on special education costs.  By daring to think Rodel’s version of personalized learning (a constant zombie state whereby kids are in front of a computer all day going at their own pace) is the Dante’s Peak of education, Doc Paul Herdman and the gang have just poked this bear again.  I’ve stayed quiet with these absolute idiots for far too long.  I am wide awake.  Message received.

Why does ANYONE in this state swallow their absolute crap anymore?   What happens when these students with disabilities, who are going “at their own pace”, fall even further behind?  With this craptacular system, actual grades a student are in wouldn’t matter.  And they still have to take the not-so Smarter Balanced Assessment.  But in Rodel’s world, they want the stealth testing.  These are standardized tests embedded in the digital technology slowly taking over the classroom in Delaware.  Once a student masters the content, they can move on.  So what happens when they don’t?  What happens when they don’t get it?  They fall farther behind.  I warned about this public education hara-kiri for well over a year and half.  Now, here we are on the cusp of it.  NOW is the time for parents to stand up and say “Screw you Rodel” and to take back public education.  Our policy-makers and state officials have been drinking the Rodel Kool-Aid for 12 years now.  Enough.  Rodel doesn’t own Delaware.  We the people do.  Kids gloves are off now Rodel!  Fair warning!  And Delaware DOE and State Board of Education, if you even think of pushing this crap in Delaware more than you already have, I will unleash the public education parent hounds on you!  Fair warning to whomever wins the DSEA President: Back far away from this nonsense.  Do not be a part of it.

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What Happened To Publius e decere?

For years, the commenter going by the name of Publius e decere haunted the comment section of Kilroy’s Delaware.  Last summer, he vanished without a trace claiming the “sign was in the yard” and it was a “Capitol” move.  For those of us who know who he is, it is very easy to put the pieces together.  Why he left and why he doesn’t want to stick his neck out there anymore.  But make no mistake, the spirit of Publius is alive and well in Delaware.  Those who support school choice to the exclusion of minorities, the impoverished, and the disabled.  Those who want to get their people in at district levels or on a school board.  These are the same shakers and movers that allowed Charter School of Wilmington and Newark Charter School to have the demographics they have.  They have their hooks in with legislators and state leaders.  They are non-profits, for-profits, charter school board members, and even some are so embedded into the state education system it would take a work of God to get them to leave.

They are the wolves in sheeps clothing at times.  But if you look close enough, you can see the Publius clones out there.  They are hob-knobbing with those wolves in sheeps clothing.  They attempt to placate those whose vote can make a difference with statements that are not so genuine but think they have the ability to dupe those who know better.  They try to speak the corporate education reform Kool-Aid drinking lingo but come across sounding like a mini-me of Jack Markell.  They talk about gaps like there should be a different word behind every potential gap out there.  When the only thing they truly know about the Gap is the stores in every mall in America.

In this season of change, we need to be very mindful about who is attempting to get on our school boards.  We need to know who wants to advance their own cause or truly make change in every school district.  And no, I will not be one of those vying for a school board seat.  I will say to watch out for what happens in Wilmington districts.  Very carefully.

Capital’s Balanced Scorecard Is A Massive Shift In The WRONG Direction

Capital School District sure has changed in just two years.  Back in 2014, their board was railing against the Smarter Balanced Assessment and fully supporting a parent’s right to opt their child out of the test.  Flash forward to now, and their board will be discussing something called a “Balanced Scorecard.”

This balanced scorecard is five-year goals for the district.  Some of the goals are good: getting behavior referrals down, more parent involvement, things like that.  But then I wanted to vomit when I saw goals for Smarter Balanced proficiency.  Keep in mind this is just a draft.  The board hasn’t decided on this.  I’m at their board meeting now.  I thought their meetings started at 7:30 but I haven’t been here for a while so it looks like they changed it to 7:00.  Otherwise I would have assuredly giving public comment based on what I’m writing in this.  The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the worst test Delaware students have ever taken.  Why in the name of public education is this district wanting to kiss the DOE’s ass and follow their own despicable goals based on standardized test scores?

What truly shocked me was a goal of “increasing students exiting out of special education”.  Currently they are using a baseline of 31% but they want to increase this to 41% in five years.  I’m sorry, how do you put a measurement on unique disabilities that affect an individual student?  While it is certainly true that students can fall out of needing special education for varying reasons, that seems like a very high number.  As well, decisions on special education are decided on by an IEP team, not based on a district-driven strategic plan.  This is highly disturbing on many levels.  The last thing special education students is a district trying to hit some arbitrary goal and pushing schools to have students get out of IEPs.

The board is discussing this now.  Board member Matt Lindell asked why the district can’t use this as their accountability scorecard.  Superintendent Dr. Dan Shelton explained how the Delaware DOE has no intention of removing their own Delaware School Success Framework.  That was the only question.  Three members of this board sat in front of a very similar audience two years ago and proudly passed their opt out resolution.  Now they seem like they have accepted the horrible status quo that is killing public education.  The board is voting on the scorecard, passed 5-0.  What the hell is wrong with this board?  They are prescribing to the point of view of the Delaware DOE.  They have fully accepted Common Core and Smarter Balanced as legitimate for their district.

In talking about technology in their ongoing Strategic Plan, there is a lot of talk about collaborating with BRINC and increasing ed tech in the classroom.  More personalized learning.  They have no clue, as they talk about building configuration, how they are signing their own district death warrant by signing on to all of this junk.  The board is not asking questions about anything they should be asking.  This isn’t the first time I’ve pointed this out with this board.  Stop drinking the Kool-Aid Capital!  You should be better than this!  And I distinctly remember when Matt Lindell was President of the Board when they approved a letter to the General Assembly urging them to override Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50, the opt out bill.  They never overrode the veto, so why has this district not come forth with an opt out policy like Red Clay and Christina did?

Governor Markell Praises Pathways To Prosperity But True Issue Is Impact On Labor Market

In his weekly address, Delaware Governor Jack Markell talked about the Pathways to Prosperity initiative which seems to be his main focus these days.  Remember the “Dear Hillary” letter?  It is no coincidence the Pathways to Prosperity push in Delaware is happening the same time Hillary Clinton is about to secure the Democratic nomination for the next President of the USA.  In the latest “Will he or won’t he?”, Politico talked about the prospect of Jack Markell being Hillary’s nomination for the US Secretary of Education.

But neither Clinton, nor anyone close to her, has approached him about the job, he said. Markell said he’s focused on the final months of his tenure. He’s not sure what he wants to do next, but if it’s education-related, Markell said he’d like an opportunity to work closer to students so he could have more of a direct impact. The position of education secretary seems a little far-removed, he said. “I’m not sure it’s the best leverage point,” Markell said.

I’m not sure how much I believe there has been no discussion about this.  I’ve heard the rumor enough to know there has to be at least a kernel of truth behind it.  Others feel Markell will lead one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of corporate education reform companies that continues to push out the very bad fallacies about public education while they increase their profit at the expense of children.

But what concerns me about the Pathways to Prosperity initiative in Delaware is the effect it can have on our labor market.  While our unemployment is down, wages still aren’t back to what they were before the 2008 recession.  Markell announced 1,000 Delaware students will have internships at Delaware companies this summer, double the amount it was in 2015.  That is free labor for companies.  Which means they don’t have to pay wages.  Which keeps unemployment going.  There are still far too many Delawareans suffering from low salaries, especially with the DuPont merger.  On top of all the tax breaks our General Assembly gave companies in Delaware already this year, the companies are making out like bandits.  As well, handing students certificates in high school to “make sure” they have a better chance of getting a job after high school is a bit misleading.  I believe it is a push to get teenagers to not enroll in four year colleges and instead attend a community college or go straight to the workforce.  Thus pushing the “cradle to grave” theories about education and the workforce.

Markell announced in the video 5,000 students will be enrolled in Pathways programs in Delaware schools in the upcoming school year.  He talked about the “Delaware Promise” that 65% of Delaware graduates will have a college degree or professional certification in the next ten years.  If I know Jack and how this will end up, most of those 65% (if they even reach that) will not have four-year college degrees.  They will have government paid community college degrees or professional certifications.  With this being said, this could give struggling students a chance they may not otherwise have.  But this is also in the continuous era of high-stakes testing and personalized learning that Markell, the DOE, and Rodel push with amazing proficiency.  This is just the endpoint of this atrocious era of public education.  Common Core has, does, and will continue to numb kids from thinking for themselves which allows corporations to truly control kids.  And the data privacy issues are an afterthought to the long-term evil inflicted on our children.

To see the latest kool-aid coming from Jack Markell, watch the video below:

 

Governor Markell’s “initiative” to reduce state tests, Parents Are Still Going To Opt Out Jack!!!

Delaware Governor Jack Markell went to William Penn High School in the Colonial School District to announce his Oh my God, parents are actually opting out in little old Delaware a new program to take a perceived serious look at all the necessary unnecessary state tests in Delaware.  From the official website of the Governor, along with my remarks in green:

Emphasizes value of requiring key assessments to track student progress while saying schools should end other tests

Wilmington, DE – Calling for the elimination of repetitive and ineffective assessments, Governor Markell today launched a review of tests administered by the state, districts, and individual schools with the goal of decreasing the testing burden on students and teachers and increasing the time available for teaching. The effort, announced at William Penn High School, addresses concerns of parents and teachers about the amount of time spent on testing and how those tests are ultimately used.Testing Inventory

“Our educators, our students, and their parents all deserve the benefits of effective assessments that show when students are excelling and when they need extra support,” said Markell. “At the same time, tests that don’t add meaningfully to the learning process mean less time for students to receive the instruction and support they need. We are committed to finding the right balance, and this initiative is an important part of that process.”

Jack, students are prepping for the Smarter Balanced all year long.  The curriculum is tied specifically to this one test.  The curriculum is horrible.  You are right, students do deserve the benefits of effective assessments, so stop relying on national federally mandated proclamations designed to weaken and corrode our local education authorities from effectively education children.  Love how you got the word “balance” in there.  Smarter Balanced….yeah, we get it…

The Governor noted that some local tests may repeat the purpose of statewide exams, while others may have outlived their usefulness but continue to be offered because administrators haven’t had the time or resources to fairly gauge their effectiveness.

Yeah, but students get the results right away, and they actually help determine what a child needs, whereas the Smarter Balanced is a once a year test, not given at the end of the school year, and the results won’t be back until shortly before the next school year starts. 

To support a statewide testing review, each school district will receive financial and technical support from the Department of Education to take an inventory of all assessments given in each school. That includes funding to pay someone to lead the review over the next four months. The state will also provide assistance in communicating new testing plans to parents, families, and communities.

In other words, we are taking over the whole testing atmosphere because we can’t have parents opting out.  The districts can’t fight this, so we will.  And look, more money to review this.  Let’s get yet another contractor who knows nothing about our schools to judge us!

“This is a particularly timely moment for us to discuss the role of assessments in our schools as we shift to an improved and less time-consuming statewide test this year,” said Murphy. “We must also provide our districts with the support they need to evaluate all of their exams so we can assure teachers and parents that we are tracking students’ progress while maximizing instructional time.”

Oh look, Mark Murphy is in the house.  Everything that comes out of your mouth is the same.  You have outlived your effectiveness in Delaware.  Please leave.  Once again Jack, 70% of the students won’t meet standard.  How is that improved?  You’ve been tracking students progress for years.  We all know that.  The difference is, on the grand scale, education has not improved that much for students in Delaware but I’m sure your stock portfolio has!

The state’s new assessment, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, will be given only once a year, compared to the previous assessment, which was offered up to 3 times a year. While the new Smarter Balanced test is more thorough, it will still cut total testing time by up to seven hours and take well under one percent of school hours per year.

Who determined the test is more thorough, the DOE? The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium?  The test vendor in Delaware, American Institutes for Research, who was also the vendor for DCAS?  When you look at all the prep time, interim SBA assessments, and keyboarding skills, you are talking a marking period.  1% my opting out @$$!

For the first time, the state will test critical thinking and writing ability – two of the most important skills students will need to succeed in their futures – instead of asking only multiple-choice bubble questions.Testing Inventory

“Is there too much testing? Absolutely,” said Rep. Earl Jaques, who chairs the House Education Committee. “This effort to look at the 70 percent of the tests that we control as a state is a great start to address this issue. We know there are good tests that are necessary but also need to identify which ones are redundant and can possibly be weeded out. I look forward to hearing back from the group on their findings.”

Start with the biggest one Mr. I’m on Jack’s Good List So I’m Going To Do Whatever He Wants And I Really Hope He Brings Me With Him When He Is Done As Governor.  Get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (that you voted for).

Emphasizing the value of continuing to support high quality assessments during the statewide review, Markell referenced his support for Professional Learning Communities during which teachers meet in small groups to review student data, identify struggling students, and review which lessons are most successful. He also addressed the small, but vocal group of advocates in the state pushing to opt students out of required tests.

You want to talk about a loss of instructional time?  Teachers get no breaks anymore, even though they need it and it is required by state law.  How can they review which lessons are the most successful when they have to adhere to the state standards?  You can only reposition a lump of crap so many ways.  It’s still crap.  The opt out advocates are NOT a small group.  We are getting bigger by the day, and we are legion. 

“Opting out would deny our schools a full picture of their students’ progress, and those who don’t take the tests would be denied the opportunity to receive additional support.  Students will fall through the cracks and be left behind.  That’s why the teachers, principals, and administrators I speak with, along with civil rights groups in Delaware and across America, are strongly opposed to this movement, and support universal, statewide, annual testing to make sure our students are learning and getting the help they need to succeed.”

Opting out stops you and your Rodel, Longwood, and Delaware Business Roundtable buddies from using our students as guinea pigs and lumping them into groups of effectiveness instead of the individual and creative minds they are.  Aside from the teachers that are a part of the corporate education reform movement that teach in schools on a short-term basis and work for fast-track certification programs like Teach For America and Relay Graduate School, can you name these teachers?  They are all one step away from the guillotine if they speak out publicly on these matters: teachers, principals, and superintendents.  Many civil rights groups are opposed to this test Jack.  Parents are strongly opposed to you even suggesting they don’t have rights.  We are sick of the incessant testing and want a return to true education, not this corporate agenda designed to make companies tons of money.

Deborah Wilson, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, attended the announcement to deliver a message reflecting a recent statement on assessments from the National Urban League.

“The National Urban League stands behind federal requirement and use of standardized assessments because this data is essential to hold states, districts and schools accountable for student learning and to address disparities and inequities where they exist,” read the statement. “However, we also acknowledge the outsized time local and district assessments take in today’s classrooms…States and districts should utilize only the most valid and useful assessments to ensure that the maximum amount of classroom time is spent on learning and reducing the time required to take and prepare for assessments.”

In other words, we are drinking the Kool-Aid, and we love being a part of the national corporate education reform movement.  Can’t wait to see how they benefit from this!  They are using the children you are supposed to represent to further their own sick agendas.  Shame on you!

 

Why Delaware Parents May Be Furious and Freak Out On Schools In The Next Week @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de #netde #eduDE

It’s the middle of the first marking period, and parents should be getting interim reports from schools. Parents open it up, and some may be hoping for the best. “Johnny has always been a good student. They open up the envelope, read the information, and find themselves wondering why Johnny is now below basic in reading and math. He never was before. Welcome to the wonderful world of common core. Students taking the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and SMI (Scholastic Math Inventory) are being scored based on the Common Core Standards now. Last year, when Johnny scored a 650 in math, and he was considered proficient, he is now below basic in certain grades.

But don’t worry. The schools will get them where they need to be. It doesn’t matter if the ratings went up 200 points from one year to the next. Scholastic, who owns the SRI and SMI testing, has company-owned guidance programs to get the students scores back up. We’ve scored your child, now were going to fix them. They will be ready for that big test they take next spring. Our company-owned programs will make sure!

It’s called fraud parents. Schools are selling this crap to you all over the country. And you are swallowing this bitter pill so our children can be college-ready. It doesn’t matter if they are in 3rd grade, they will have your child college-ready by the time they are 10! We can’t have anyone taking any remedial classes in college. So before your children have any clue about what they want to do for the rest of their life in 1st grade, they will still make sure they are on the correct path.

This message has been sponsored by education “reformers”. We are laughing all the way to the bank. We would like to thank all those in Delaware who have made this possible: Rodel, Governor Jack Markell, Vision 2012, Vision 2015, Vision 2025, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, the Delaware Board of Education, the Delaware DOE, the Delaware Legislature and all those schools who are changing schedules and splitting up classes so they can use our programs to fix your child so he doesn’t have to compete with those kids from Singapore. We know, the rigor there is so high their suicide rate for students has skyrocketed. But it’s okay, we will bounce back. That could never happen in America. We would never pressure students that much.

You’ll Never Guess What My Son Got In The Mail Yesterday!!! Will He Go? Hell No!!!

So I get home from work yesterday, go to the mailbox, and I see this in there:

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For those unfamiliar with this story, please read this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/disability-discrimination-local-church-youth-leader-assaults-my-son/

and this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eagles-wings-ministries-started-their-bible-school-this-week-parents-beware/

and this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/the-eagles-wings-ministries-and-pizza-google-search/

Okay, now that you know the lowdown, I will address the rest of this post to Eagles Wings Ministries. before you go, please don’t go to this bizarre Lion King Pride Rock thing. A guy named Jim Jones had some church thing with Kool-Aid once. Stay home, watch Shark Week. It’s free, and your children won’t be emotionally scarred. But if you do go, watch your kids, especially if they don’t go on the slip and slide! Back to the church that may have named themselves after a Bette Midler song.

Are you out of your friggin’ mind? You knew my son lived in this neighborhood. You couldn’t have done just a tiny bit of research to know which mailbox NOT to put your Lion King Thing inside of? Really? Do you honestly think for one second I would bring my child back to your Child Abuse-Denial Church? The odds of me ever bringing him back to your little safari adventure are about as great as me bringing him to special education night at Campus Community School with Janet Asay Miller and Chuck Taylor. My bad, Chuck isn’t there anymore. He’s too busy blowing the Charter School Network trumpet. Or is that Kendall? You can never tell these days. Hey Readers, did you check this out: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/the-charter-school-network-wants-you-to-comment-cmon-special-needs-parents-lets-comment-netde-edude-delaware_gov/ or this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/googling-delaware-charter-schools-network-special-education-netde-edude-delawarebats/

Whoa, got off track there. Too busy shameless plugging when I was talking about your cult, er, uhm, AHEM, Church! You see, this almost went away. Right after (and I mean literally, right after, I posted the Eagles Wings and Pizza Google thing, I saw an article from the News Journal which prompted this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/breaking-news-feds-want-to-intervene-in-delaware-special-education/ and I that got me upset too. But that was a good thing, cause I’ve done a bit of investigating to find out what was up with that: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-netde-edude-del_gov-destateboarded-usedgov/ and https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-part-2-netde-edude-usedgov-delaware_gov/ and https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/part-3-of-the-delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-netde-edude-usedgov-delaware_gov/ All those stories totally kicked your ass in terms of readers. But up until my last story about your bird church, the story of how your Youth Group Leader assaulted my son got the most readers. And people still read it, just about every day since.

But I’m sure you don’t want to hear about blog statistics. Let’s get back to disability discrimination! I never heard back from you guys at all. We left a message with your “district” headquarters, but they never called. Maybe they were feeding kids at summer camp like it’s ration night in London during the Blitz in World War II. Just because I got distracted on my special education blog with, you know, special education, doesn’t mean I forgot about you. I drive past your church all the time. And instead of what I used to think before my son went to your famine dinner youth group, “Wow, that church is empty all the time”, I now think “That’s where Stacie Bohannon told my son to consider his ways before and after she kicked, tripped, and pushed him to the ground.”

In any event, just between us, you may want to keep the kids away from Miss You-Know-Who. I understand this event will have trips through the Amazon Rainforest, the African Savannah and The Australian Plains (which most people call “The Outback” by the way, they even named a steak house after it. Oh wait, don’t want families to think they are getting steak. Gotcha!). Kids might get pushed into quicksand, thrown off a cliff, or kicked by a kangaroo if Miss You-Know-Who has her way. Just sayin’. Since your going with The Lion King theme, you might want to have parents stay away from Miss Scar.

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I have to ask. Why the whole Lion King theme? That would have been cool if it was, I don’t know, 1994! Kids these days aren’t into Lion King that much. Their more into The Lego Movie and the other 50 movies Disney has released since the Simba Death movie. Whatever floats your boat. Speaking of boats, did you check this out dear readers: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/indian-river-student-injured-in-classroom-titanic-experiment/ Dammit, I strayed again. Sorry Eagles Wings. I keep doing that, don’t I? What was I saying? Oh yeah, your theme. If your going to go for an older movie theme, might I suggest this:

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But I do see you have more food bait for families to attend your event. More pizza slices cut into four pieces for kids? Or are you going to try new stuff, like rotisserie chicken and the kids get to eat the skin? Or maybe it will be spaghetti night, and each child will get three strands of spaghetti with ketchup! Will drinks be provided or will they have to drink from that nasty water fountain again?

Good luck with the rumble through the jungle Eagles Wings. If I hear any police sirens this week, Monday to Friday, August 11th to the 15th, from 6pm to 9pm, it won’t be hard to guess where they are going! Hakuna Matata!