The 4th Senate District race is on! A few days ago, Democrat Dan Cruce dropped out of the race clearing the way for Laura Sturgeon to take on Republican Greg Lavelle. Taking on the guy who has been in office since 2001 won’t be an easy task, but if anyone can do it, it’s Sturgeon! A teacher, wife, and also a member of the Delaware State Education Association Executive Board, Sturgeon comes with a packed resume.
For Lavelle, who served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2001-2013 and the Senate since then, can he muster the support to continue his Senate seat? Delaware Liberal reported yesterday that there are now more registered Republicans than Democrats in the district. Lavelle is a huge supporter of Right To Work laws whereas Sturgeon is not. In education, Lavelle is known more for flip-flopping on the Smarter Balanced vote than anything else. This is a guy, when presented with the opt out bill for a second time, actually said “I wish I could opt out of voting on this bill”.
The Delaware General Election is still far away but several new contenders are putting their names forward. I expect this particular race to get heated very soon! If I were a betting man, Lavelle will attempt to gain votes by discussing the recent DSEA endorsement of Regulation 225. Sturgeon, a teacher in Brandywine, will gain votes from those opposed to Right To Work laws. This will be a very interesting race to watch!
Dan Cruce (D), long rumored to be in the running for the 4th Senate District seat currently held by Greg Lavelle (R), announced his candidacy this week with some rather surprising comments regarding the much-maligned Race to the Top program.
As the Deputy Secretary of Education under then Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery, Cruce was former Governor Jack Markell’s leading man for the Race to the Top application. The federal program, which cemented Common Core and stringent standardized assessments in most states, was met with controversy in Delaware. But Cruce praises his involvement with the program on his website:
Similarly, at the Department of Education, he collapsed the government bureaucracy while helping to bring in over $100M of new funding that created new jobs and supports for teachers and schools.
First of all, he did NOT collapse the government bureaucracy at the Delaware DOE. He ensured it with Delaware’s Race to the Top application. Race to the Top brought in names such as Penny Schwinn, Christopher Ruszkowski, Michael Watson and Atnre Alleyne into the DOE. All of those have since left with the exception of Watson. The Delaware DOE received $59 million of the $119 million Delaware received and used it to create longitudinal data systems and teacher evaluation programs that have been deemed by many educators in the First State to be burdensome and overly punitive. In essence, Race to the Top brought an inordinately large amount of bureaucracy to Delaware. Districts and charters had no choice but to follow the new guidelines under RTTT. Companies such as the Vision Coalition, Achieve, American Institutes of Research and others made whirlwind profits from the program. Very little went to the classroom where resources are needed the most in education.
There is no way in hell I could support Cruce for the Delaware Senate. I fear what kind of mischief he could get into, especially paired with Senator David Sokola. I would rather chew glass than see the architect for Delaware’s RTTT in the General Assembly (which I won’t actually do should he win). He might be an okay candidate in some areas, but based on his education background he will NEVER get support from me. NEVER.
Another Dem in the 4th District, Laura Sturgeon, will be running for the seat as well.