Assessment Office At DE DOE Didn’t Get Charter School SAT Scores From College Board…Oops!

Delaware DOE

In yet another colossal blunder, the Delaware DOE didn’t get the charter school SAT scores from the College Board.  At the State Board of Education meeting last Thursday, Brian Touchette and Rita Fry from the Office Assessment gave a presentation on the SAT scores for all of the high schools in the state.  But he forgot that one crucial part…the charter schools.

According to the office of assessment, SAT scores were slightly down for African-American and slightly up for Hispanics.  Touchette explained he was unable to get the information for low-income students because of glitches in the system due to the new DOE website.  What is it with this DOE and low-income data?

When giving the presentation, it was very visible on the graph that Red Clay was much higher than the other districts.  Touchette explained this was due to the fact charter schools are part of Red Clay Consolidated School District.  Board President Dr. Gray asked Touchette why the other charter schools weren’t included.  Fry advised her “It was not part of the table received from The College Board.”  Gray seemed perturbed by this, and Touchette said he would go back and ask for that data.

My question would be if they didn’t give them to you, and you knew you were giving a report to the State Board of Education, why wouldn’t you ASK for them?  This isn’t rocket science.  I’ll bet if it was a standardized test the DOE can make money from, they would have been the first ones at the door the day the scores were announced.  But no, that must not have been important, those scores.  Not to an ASSESSMENT office!  This DOE is proving to be more ineffective by the day.  Hopefully, they will come in one day and forget all about Common Core, Smarter Balanced, Priority Schools, Gateway, their side deals up in Wilmington, and their love affair with all things charter.  Yeah, and maybe I’ll get a singing donkey for Christmas!

Back to the SAT conversation.  In 2012, the Delaware DOE, in their infinite wisdom, became the first (and only) state to require all students to take the SAT.  As a result, their data is inconsistent with the rest of the USA.  The national average above that magic score of 1550 was 43% and for Delaware it was 21%.

The board tried to figure out why Delaware was so low.  Touchette explained the national average of 43% was roughly twice the amount of Delaware’s percentage, so they are on track if only 50% of students in the USA take the SAT.  Mark Murphy said “We’ve spent hours discussing this.  We’ve been unable to make comparisons to the different groups.”  Now I’m not as much of a data freak as the DOE is, but I’m smart enough to let them know they didn’t need to spend hours discussing this, because IT’S DIFFERENT DATA!  You can’t put a round peg in a square hole.  Yes folks, this is who leads education in this state!  But that wasn’t even the best quote of the day…

What the DOE was very concerned about was how many students took the test during SAT day.  Only 90% took the SAT during that day.  This was very crucial for them to include this.  Not sure why, but in a moment of absolute confusion, Brian Touchette actually said “These numbers don’t match and that’s intentional.”  And that pretty much sums up the current mindset of the Delaware DOE…

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy Manages To Discriminate Against 5 Different Groups In One Shot @CapeGazette @delawareonline @DoverPost @TheStateNews @NYTimes @washingtonpost @WSJ @ChicagoTribune @LATimes

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy

I called for Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy’s ouster yesterday.  And that was before I even knew about his latest stunt.  At the Wilmington City Council meeting on Thursday night, Murphy had a flyer printed up to show reasons why the State of Delaware wanted to implement the Priority Schools initiative against the six Wilmington schools.  These schools are low income with heavy populations of African-Americans and students with disabilities.  I spoke at the Christina Board of Education meeting a couple weeks ago how the state’s programs have led to a bizarre type of triple segregation with these schools.  Murphy managed to top that with his comments about a school in the Indian River school district in Sussex County, Delaware.

In the flyer, entitled “Priority Schools: An Opportunity To Improve Our City’s Schools Together”, handed out to the public, part of it said the following:

A great Delaware example is Indian River’s Clayton Elementary, located in a rural area of Sussex County with many parents working for the poultry factories.  When Sharon Brittingham took over as principal in 1997, she found a staff that didn’t expect much of it’s low-income, black, Hispanic students.  The teachers commonly used the phrase, “You can’t make chicken salad from chicken shit.”  Brittingham found “teachers didn’t just need to believe in the ability of children to learn but also their ability to teach.”  She helped educators improve their instruction, providing high quality professional development with aid from the district and state.  She also added intensive intervention for struggling students.  And she found teachers needed help with inclusive classrooms, which include students with disabilities alongside their peers.  By the time she retired in 2006, her school was one of the top in the state with proficiency rates of 100 percent in some grades and subjects.  The school faltered a bit when some teachers did away with some of the changes she had put in place.  But the school now is doing well again after it’s current principal returned to some of Brittingham’s successful strategies.

So let’s see here, how many groups can you treat badly with discriminatory statements in one paragraph?  How about low-income, African-Americans, Hispanics, farmers and teachers.  Great job Murphy!  I’m sure this flyer really resonated with the folks up in Wilmington, but not in the way you expected.  It showed a DOE that is clueless about the realities these schools face, and showed their true colors.

Later on in the guide, it states the following hypocritical statement:

DOE has communicated the expectation to the participating districts that engagement of families and the community will be meaningful and genuine.

This one sentence is a summary of what the Delaware DOE has become, a manipulative back-stabbing entity that thrives on bullying school districts to do their bidding.  The DOE forced their Memorandum of Understanding on both Christina and Red Clay Consolidated School Districts, and aside from Governor Markell and Murphy’s impromptu press conference at Warner Elementary School, where the school districts first learned of the blitzkrieg plan, they have done nothing to try to bring the community and parents into their diabolical agenda.  In fact, Christina’s Board of Education chose to ignore the MOU so they could write their own to bring more stakeholders into it, including, you guessed it: families and the community.  If this flyer is any indication of how the Delaware DOE intends to engage with families and communities, someone might want to remind them this isn’t 1860.

Yesterday, Red Clay Education Association President Mike Matthews emailed both Markell and Murphy about how he and many other teachers were extremely offended by the flyer.  Apparently Murphy fanned the flames even more by sending a personal apology to Matthews and other union members, but not to the entire state in a public forum.  Murphy needs to go.  Period.

Moyer Charter School Shut Down! To Close End of School Year! 67 Out of 68 IEPs Non-Compliant In Findings! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @dianeravitch #netde #eduDE

Delaware Charter Schools


Secretary of Education Mark Murphy made his ruling against the Moyer charter school in Wilmington, DE.  They will be closed by the state by the end of the current school year.  I don’t usually agree with Murphy on much, and this might be the first, but this school had to close in my opinion.

From a special education perspective alone, this is a school that was deeply troubled.  From the final meeting minutes with the Charter School Accountability Committee:

during the January 2014 on-site review of records, 67 out of 68 IEPs were found to be noncompliant in one or more regulatory areas, including evaluation, IEP development, meeting participants, and secondary transition. Ms. Mazza stated that, upon review of those same records in May of 2014, 29 remained noncompliant in one or more regulatory areas.

Ms. Mazza also noted that, with regards to the provision of special education services, Moyer’s response stated that teachers were contracted in January. She clarified that the Compliance Agreement between Moyer and the Department clearly states that concerns regarding special education and procedural safeguards were identified during the January 2014 monitoring process. In addition, during the June 11th meeting, documentation was provided regarding the employment of special education staff, which evidenced that special education units earned were not utilized in their entirety.

Ms. Mazza further noted that it was mentioned in Moyer’s response that the concerns that were identified during the January monitoring were isolated to this year and that there haven’t been concerns in the past. She clarified that, in the fall of 2012, an on-site record review was conducted by the Department and, in December 2012, Moyer received a letter identifying noncompliance in 21 regulatory areas, including IEP development, LRE, secondary transition, and IEP meeting participants. She stated that, based upon those results, a corrective action plan was developed, which described the strategies and steps that Moyer would take to ensure compliance with special education regulations, including correction of individual student noncompliance, procedural development, and a system of internal controls.

Ms. Mazza stated that she wanted to make clear that, while the Department appreciates the enthusiasm of the staff and all that the staff is doing, the Department entered into the Compliance Agreement with Moyer because the areas that the Department identified during monitoring resulted in violations of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She stated that, while there was mention that some of the records that remained out of compliance had one area, if one area is out of compliance, the whole IEP is out of compliance.

I’m sorry, but 67 out of 68 IEPs being out of compliance is reason enough for this school to be shut down.  And this is over a year after they had already been out of compliance with IEPs!  Good riddance I say.

To read about every reason why there were shut down, read the following DOE link:

To read more about Murphy’s decision, read here:





John Young Speaks From The Heart In Letter To Wilmington City Council Re: Priority Schools

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover

President Gregory and Committee Members,

I hope this note finds you well. I write to you to express my regret at being unable to attend the meeting tomorrow night. I am very glad to know that Wilmington City Council had reached out to Secretary of Education Mark Murphy to provide testimony before your council on the recently announced priority schools initiative by Governor Markell. I write this as an individual public official who serves on a board. This e-mail, in no way, is designed to be or is necessarily reflective of the board’s quorum opinion.

The concepts of this state takeover have long been known to school boards and districts who have paid attention to the landscape of education policy since our state decided to apply for, and win, the Race to the Top grant in 2009-2010. The State Board of Education passed multiple administrative code changes in 2010 to set the stage for this momentous moment we now share: the complete takeover of 6 city schools. I realize this sounds like a hyperbolic statement, and that many people would contend that the state has no such right, but regardless of any legal wrangling that is currently or may soon take place, the state clearly believes it does have this right and the Priority Schools initiative is the opening salvo.  I further recognize that there is significant and justified frustration with the self-determination rights of city residents with regards to the education of its own citizens that has been impeded relentlessly since 1978 by multiple court orders, the Charter Schools act of 1995 and the Neighborhood Schools Act of 2001 and all of the cumulative, resultant political fighting that has been waged and that still permeates the landscape of public education in Delaware today.

I write to you as an unpaid elected public official that collects votes district-wide which includes voters from the sections of the Wilmington that Christina serves in order to provide a very basic primer. Attached are 3 documents: a blank MOU, a copy of the Turnaround/Priority Schools guide, and the most recent CSD press release:

1) The MOU: unilaterally written by the DOE and presented to the districts with a demand to sign and enter into said understanding. Christina decided to ignore this document primarily due to specific language demanding the districts cede control of buildings, fire the entire staff (with a maximum of only 50% rehire), replace school leaders with a DOE only criteria. CSD undertook the decision to ignore the MOU as direct result of the passionate testimony of our community and our teachers. I would like to note and thank both Mr. Chukwuocha and Sherry Dorsey Walker for attending and Mr. Chukwuocha for speaking. I was particularly impressed with Mr. Chukwuocha’s desire to use this process as a starting point. I fully concur, but with significant admonitions about the parameters set forth by the DOE MOU. If we can work together with the DOE to get past some of the tenets being mandated by the MOU that have no evidence of working beyond an anecdote from a charter school (which bears no meaningful resemblance to a feeder pattern school) or some far away city, then I feel that Mr. Chukwuocha’s position to have great merit. My experience with our DOE unfortunately does not lend itself to implicit trust but rather one of careful caution.  I trust Mr. Chukwuocha and Ms. Dorsey Walker can effectively inform the committee of their experience at our BOE meeting from 9/30/14. Again, thanks for attending!

2) The Turnaround Guide: it is 156 pages long and was presented to the districts, sight unseen, devoid of community input or peer reviewed evidence of working. Read at your own peril, it’s a difficult piece of work to understand for schools and education wonks. Lots of catch phrases and jargon, light on both substance and efficacy.

3) Our recent press release. I offer this to gently counter the emerging DOE messaging that Christina is being obstinate. We are not. We welcome the DOE’s “all ears” approach and are hopeful that they will cease the inflammatory language designed to convince local officials that we are acting as a roadblock to helping our students and join us in working for our students.

The problems in education are too deep and complex to cover in an email like this. We struggle ever day to maximize the effort and efficacy of our educators in an environment that does not provide equitable resource allocation to children in high needs schools here in Delaware. Resource allocation and weighted funding are simply not addressed by this initiative.

After a careful and deliberate reading are two things I can say with absolute certainty about this plan:

*   Labeling our schools with a fancy name will not fix them
*   Adding a paltry sum as proposed is an absolute insult to the intelligence of your committee and will in no way fix our schools

I do realize that this is a major moment. We must all remain laser focused on what works and not simply disruption for the purpose of making the adults feel better about themselves. I give the DOE a measure of credit for acknowledging that not all of their turnaround plans have worked. I wish they had taken some of  those lessons and applied them here. This Priority Schools initiative takes from the worst of the practices: disruption and unfettered autonomy both created by fiat. The funds they have to offer to buy this model is a pittance compared to the needs of our kids, and they are counting on us focusing on some money being better than no money.

As a U.S. History major I urge you all to be measured and critical of that proposition. Schools have faced similar reforms being offered by the Delaware DOE before in Philly, D.C, Chicago, L.A., NYC, Atlanta, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, Miami, Milwaukee and New Orleans to name just a few. Their failures are simply too long to list. The hallmark trait of all of them: a dearth of community involvement.

History demands we pay attention and seek to learn from them.

Thank you for reading and good luck tomorrow, Mr. Murphy deserves to be both heard and questioned by your committee.

John M. Young
Member – Christina School Board



“Our children are more than test scores”, my letter to the editor printed in Delaware State News today

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

Our Children are more than test scores - 10-7-14

On October 2nd, I sent a letter to the editor to Delaware State News, Dover Post and The News Journal.  Today, Delaware State News printed the letter in it’s almost near entirety, and the Dover Post will post a shortened version tomorrow.  I am waiting on word back from The News Journal.  This is the letter that appeared in Delaware State News today:

To The Parents of Students in Delaware,

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Christina Board of Education meeting. There were over 200 people in the crowd, including parents, teachers, and legislators. Sept. 30th was the deadline for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the Delaware Department of Education and Gov. Jack Markell forced upon the Christina School District and the Red Clay Consolidated School District. At issue was six schools in the city of Wilmington that were deemed “failing” by the DOE based on proficiency scores with the DCAS standardized testing.

To judge any school, much less Title 1 low-income schools with high populations of minorities and special education students, based on standardized testing is a major fault with the DOE. But what made it even worse was the caveat of hiring new school leaders for each school at a salary of $160,000 a year.

The worst part is every single teacher in these schools would have to reapply for their positions. If the school districts did not sign the MOUs then they would have 120 days to comply or risk a state takeover of the schools. Most feel they would become charter schools. Wilmington already has a great deal of designated space in the Bank of America building at Rodney Square within a mile of each of these schools. If they can try to pull this in Wilmington, they can do this anywhere in the state.

The Christina School District voted to ignore the MOU, and to come up with their own with all involved stakeholders: parents, teachers, and the community- Which is something Markell and the DOE should have done to begin with. Instead, they made a big press announcement at one of the schools and announced they would give the six schools $5.8 million dollars over four years. After the costs of the new school “planner” for each school ($50,000 a year), and the new “school leader” ($160,000 a year), this would amount to the schools receiving $31,666 a year. This would not solve the problems these schools are facing. They have bloated classroom sizes, with many having up to 30 students in each classroom. There are also issues of crime, drugs, parental neglect and abuse that many of these children face.

Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said he is willing to negotiate with both districts, and I pray he lives up to his word. But this whole education reform with Common Core and high-stakes standardized testing has been controversial at best. There was no input from the school districts when it was implemented in 2009. The United States Department of Education, under the rule of US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and with President Obama’s blessing, offered hundreds of millions of dollars in extra funding called Race To The Top. The only catch was the governors of each state had to accept the new Common Core standards as the new curriculum for the states. The Common Core State Standards were written by non-educators, and the only educators involved in the process quit because they thought the standards were horrible.

Next Spring, the Smarter Balanced Assessment is coming out. This replaces DCAS as Delaware’s standardized test for all public schools. Murphy has already stated he believes 70% of students in Delaware will fail the test for the first couple of years because of the “new” curriculum. These students will not fail the test because it’s a hard test. They will fail because it’s a bad test.

Many parents don’t realize the impact this once a year test will have on our public school teachers in Delaware. Their annual reviews will be based on the student scores of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. This is completely unfair to educators, and as seen with the priority schools agenda, can have major ramifications for teachers and schools.

Questions have arisen in Delaware and many other states about the legality of parents having their child (ren) opt out of taking the tests. The DOE and the districts will say there is no policy, but here is the bottom line: If more than 5 percent of the students in any district do not take the test, then, they risk losing funding. But what happens if every school district in the state makes this benchmark? Would Markell allow every single school district in the state to lose funding? There were cuts in 2008 and 2009 during the recession that were never fully, or even remotely, restored. To have more cuts would be a disaster for the entire education system in the state- Which is the one part Markell and the DOE won’t tell you. It’s a game they cannot win.

Delaware parents, opt your child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. All you have to do is write a letter to the school, and let them know you do not want your child taking any high-stakes standardized testing, and when other children are taking the test, you expect your child to be educated as is his or her right under Free Appropriate Public Education. Don’t let the state take away the local control that is any school district’s right. It will only take 6% of us in each district to make this happen, but let’s show the DOE and Jack Markell a much bigger percentage.

Have I opted my child out? I am doing it right now. My son, who attends William Henry Middle School in the Capital School District, will not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Our children are more than test scores. Don’t let the state define what our children are. Let children define what they are based on their individualized and unique talents.

Kevin Ohlandt, Dover

Updated 5:51pm, October 7th: Based on a conversation with Senator Bryan Townsend on Twitter, he did not say the Smarter Balanced Assessment was “horrible and bad for students” so I am taking that part out of my article and have requested the Delaware State News to correct this as well.  I based this off of things I have heard from multiple sources but since Senator Townsend never went on record with these thoughts, I apologize.  Senator Townsend DID say “I think it’s appalling to change tests/curriculum so quickly & to bases teachers’ evals on tests.”  He also clarified he did not take the full Smarter Balanced Assessment.

**UPDATED** Academy of Dover Named Blue Ribbon School? For What? Big Problems At This Charter School! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @DoverPost #netde #eduDE

Blue Ribbon Fraud

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named Academy of Dover, a charter school in Dover, DE as a Blue Ribbon School.  One of three in the state.  What is the criteria for this prestigious award?  It can’t be proficiency scores, because the below shows an overall rating of does not meet.  It can’t be for growth, cause they didn’t meet that either.  I’m guessing it was for closing the gaps among subgroups!  Okay…

So let me get this straight, the DE DOE blasts Christina and Red Clay for having “failing” schools and labels them priority schools, and gives them an ultimatum, but this school gets a Blue Ribbon?  The love for the charters in this state is absolutely sickening.  Someone needs to call for Mark Murphy to resign!

Here is a link to the announcement.  Try not to eat while reading it, cause you might throw up!

To quote the press release: “Student subgroup performance for each subgroup is at high levels. Specifically, for the 2013-2014 award year, the Department strengthened the focus of both categories’ performance criteria around subgroups within a school and for all students.”

I find it ironic that this school is pre-dominantly African-American, and yet they are considered a sub-group?


Measure 1a. Are students meeting their fall to spring instructional scale score growth targets?

Rating: ELA

201011 26.7% F 34.3% F

201112 57.1% D 63.9% M

201213 34.3% F 55.7% D

201314 34.6% F 38.8% F

Percentage of Students in the Lowest Quartile Meeting Growth Targets

Rating: ELA

201011 45.0% D 36.8% F

201112 58.8% D 62.5% M

201213 47.1% D 64.7% M

201314 59.3% D 53.8% D

Measure 2a. Are students achieving proficiency on state examinations in math and ELA?

School Proficiency Scores, State Averages and Percentiles

Math, 201011 45.5% F 66.1% 86.3% 47.8%

Math, 201112 66.7% D 77.2% 94.1% 61.8%

Math, 201213 70.4% M 69.5% 91.6% 53.6%

Math, 201314 57.3% D 70.7% 92.5% 56.9%

ELA, 201011 52.8% D 61.6% 82.7% 45.6%

ELA, 201112 68.9% D 77.2% 92.9% 58.5%

ELA, 201213 74.6% M 67.9% 90.2% 52.2%

ELA, 201314 63.7% D 70.7% 90.2% 55.8%

Low SocioEconomic Status

Math, 201011 47.6% D 53.6% 81.3% 36.0%

Math, 201112 66.7% M 65.8% 90.8% 50.4%

Math, 201213 67.3% M 62.6% 85.3% 45.9%

Math, 201314 50.0% D 62.7% 87.1% 46.5%

ELA, 201011 51.7% M 48.4% 73.4% 33.5%

ELA, 201112 67.3% M 64.3% 89.1% 47.9%

ELA, 201213 69.2% M 61.2% 85.8% 43.9%

ELA, 201314 54.2% D 63.0% 83.4% 49.2%

Note: 2014 State Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) were 63.3% for ELA and 64.0% for Mathematics.

Students with Disabilities

Math, 201011 *** N/A N/A N/A N/A

Math, 201112 *** N/A N/A N/A N/A

Math, 201213 58.8% *M 51.8% 83.4% 31.0%

Math, 201314 35.3% *D 34.7% 71.1% 10.4%

ELA, 201011 *** N/A N/A N/A N/A

ELA, 201112 *** N/A N/A N/A N/A

ELA, 201213 70.6% *M 48.8% 84.0% 23.7%

ELA, 201314 37.5% *D 33.1% 69.0% 12.0%

Note: 2014 State Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) were 47.3% for ELA and 47.7% for Mathematics.

(editor’s note: those asterisks next to the numbers mean they don’t have enough special ed students in each category so they don’t count in proficiency numbers!)


Math, 201011 45.3% D 48.5% 74.5% 32.8%

Math, 201112 66.0% M 64.6% 94.1% 49.1%

Math, 201213 72.1% M 58.9% 84.1% 41.3%

Math, 201314 57.0% D 59.7% 87.0% 40.1%

School Proficiency Compared to Home District Proficiency

Math, 2010111 45.5% D 57.5%

Math, 2011122 66.7% D 75.0%

Math, 2012133 70.4% D 71.7%

Math, 2013144 57.3% D 70.6%

ELA, 2010111 52.8% D 59.2%

ELA, 2011122 68.9% D 82.5%

ELA, 2012133 74.6% D 75.3%

ELA, 2013144 63.7% D 69.9%

School Proficiency Compared to Similar Schools Proficiency

Math, 201011 45.5% D 52.8%

Math, 201112 66.7% M 66.8%

Math, 201213 70.4% M 59.2%

Math, 201314 57.3% D 59.8%

Academy Of Dover Charter School Overall Proficiency Rating for 2013-2014:

Does Not Meet

Or maybe they won the Blue Ribbon for their lack of transparency to parents and their community.  From their website, showing a complete disregard for state charter school code and regulations, as well as DOE rules and guidelines for charter schools:

2013-2014 School Year

Board Meetings 2013-2014 School Year (Tentative Schedule)

July 2013

August 2013                   Agenda                     Minutes

September 2013

October 2013                 Agenda                      Minutes

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014                 Agenda                      Minutes

March 2014

April 2014                                                          Minutes

May 2014                         Agenda                     Minutes

June 2014

I could play Tic Tac Toe in some of those blank spots!  This is a school we give a national status to?  Did Mark Murphy slip in the shower and hit his head?  I’ve heard of a vast turnover at this charter school.  Noel Rodriguez is said to run the school with an iron fist, which is maybe why Markell gave them this award.  But the results don’t fit the prize, and Delaware should strip this award from Academy of Dover immediately!

UPDATED, 4:00pm, October 1st: I’ve been thinking about this all day.  Why Academy of Dover?  And then I remembered something.  A few months back, the charter school diva of The Delaware Charter School Network, Kendall Massett, went on Townsquare Delaware singing the praises of Delaware’s charters.  But she also wanted to reach out to parents in Kent and Sussex Counties to support more charters in the rest of the state.  Her plea failed miserably as ALL of the comments bashed charter schools in Delaware.  But what a way to prop up the charters in those counties, give one a huge award.  It’s all politics people, and like New Coke, I think charters in Delaware have hit their summit, and are falling fast.

“You know who needs great leaders? The DOE needs great leaders.” John Young Hits Grand Slam Last Night! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @DeStateBoardEd @GovernorMarkell @DianeRavitch @hanna_hurley #netde #eduDE

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover

There were so many great quotes from the Christina Board of Education meeting last night, and I will be updating this with the best of the best throughout the day and when the audio recording goes up.  But the one that stood out the most for me was this one:

“You know who needs great leaders? The DOE needs great leaders.”  John Young, board member extraordinaire, said this in regards to the DOE forcing the priority schools to accept new school “leaders” (they are principals) at a minimum of $160,000.

Even the Delaware News Journal quoted Board Member John Young with this awesome play on words.  Board member Harrie Ellen Minehan gave a long commentary about the strengths of the priority schools and how the DOE has exhibited disgusting and offensive behavior with their ultimatums.

Parents of Special Needs Children in ALL 6 Priority Schools Need To Request An IEP Meeting In The Next 72 Hours @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @DelawareBats @nannyfat @delaware online #netde #eduDE #

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover

In approximately 72 hours, both Red Clay Consolidated and Christina school districts will have decided on Governor Jack Markell and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the six priority schools in Delaware. Both boards are meeting on Tuesday, September 30th to officially decide. Some are saying Christina will not sign the MOU, and some are saying Red Clay Consolidated will write their own MOU.

My big question all along in this is why September 30th? Is it because that is the last day for schools in Delaware to submit their student counts? Will the DOE actually try to implement something immediately and count the numbers of these students in a new school? Would that even be legal? This may seem like a very crazy scenario, but look how crazy this whole thing has been to begin with.

Parents up in Wilmington may think this is a good thing, but it is not. If you are a parent of a special needs child already in attendance at one of the priority schools, you need to be VERY concerned. History has been filled with examples of mass segregation of persons with disabilities. And this will happen here. There is no way they are going to offer inclusion to 338 children with special needs at six or more different charter schools in Wilmington. They will herd these children together, “for their benefit, to give them a quality education” and parents will think it’s a great thing.

So here is what you need to do, parents of these 338 special needs children: On Monday, you need to request an IEP meeting. With the children’s current IEP team. Tell the schools you would like this as soon as possible. If these schools radically change overnight, and they start offering mandatory after school “extra help” and “tutoring”, this needs to be reflected in you child’s IEP. If the school changes ANY staff from members that aren’t already on your IEP meeting notice, they need to advise you in writing why this is. If they are unwilling to comply, let me know. My email address is if you want to send me any information.

72 hours. You have 72 hours to protest this and use your voice. Don’t waste the time that has been given to you parents of the priority schools.

Wilmington City Council Member Darius Brown Invites Many To Discuss Priority Schools, But Not The Districts They Reside In, Not Cool @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de #netde #eduDE

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover


Now why would Wilmington City Council Member Darius Brown neglect to invite the Red Clay Consolidated and Christina school districts to this “Wilmington’s Struggling Schools” meeting?  But of course the DOE, who is getting hammered left and right over this state takeover will be on hand to pass out their propaganda.  Why would they invite Rodel and the Delaware Charter School Network?  What are the “plans to improve our schools”?  Let me guess, someone will say “Why don’t we make them charter schools”, and Governor Markell or Secretary of Education Murphy will say “Hmm, that’s a good idea.”  Twitter tags can say A LOT folks, so who is the Wilmington City Council in bed with?


Charter Schools Under The Microscope in Delaware…Again! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de #netde #eduDE

Delaware Charter Schools

Due to academic performance frameworks, special education issues, application enrollment preference controversies, and another failing charter school in Delaware, charter schools in Delaware are being looked at in a negative light in Delaware.

According to Kilroy’s Delaware, a mandatory request was put out to all Delaware charter schools to meet with the Delaware Department of Education. As per Kilroy, the United States Department of Education is not very happy with the Delaware DOE’s method of evaluating charter schools through their academic performance framework. This has played in the charter schools favor in annual performance calculations. Because charters are stand-alone districts, many of their subgroups do not count in proficiency models due to a low number in some of the subgroups. As a result, this makes the charters look better in certain circumstances.

As well, the Office of Civil Rights has been investigating Delaware charter schools for quite a long time now. All Delaware charter schools were told by the OCR to let them see applications for two years. Anyone can look at the school profiles section on the DOE website and see clearly where certain charters are either very low in special education students or minorities. These allegations have been made against the Delaware charters as well as ones around the USA for many years now.

I am hearing from many parents in Delaware how the month of September has been the worst ever at some Delaware charters for special education. Either IEP requests are flat-out being denied, or evaluations are not being done, or already-existent IEP accommodations aren’t even happening. Students are being treated as behavior issues and not as a student with disabilities. And yet the IEP task force has had two meetings and no one on the task force is even bringing this up. Everyone knows it happens, but no one wants to hold them accountable. I guess the charters are “too big to fail”. But we have yet another charter school that has done just that. Moyer’s second chance has resulted in a failure more disgusting then that of Pencader, the charter that was closed by the state last year. Moyer had one part-time special education worker in the school.

The state legislature and the DOE have made small inroads to fixing these issues, but nothing to hold them accountable for their biggest problems. And reform bills like House Bill 165 passed in 2013, has resulted in brand-new charters, open only for the 2014-2015 school year being given bonus money under a performance fund. Yes, you read that right.

Parents are slowly opening their eyes to the fact that the great charter experiment is not as grand as they thought. Schools that six months ago had no slots open or only a couple spots left in a few different grade levels, are now accepting applications for all grade levels. Brand new charters that haven’t even opened yet have gone under review for not being able to fill the minimum enrollment numbers. But the DOE and Governor Markell, in their most brilliant idea yet (please note the sarcasm here), have designated six public school district elementary schools as failing based on standardized test scores and have labeled them as “priority schools”. Everyone knows they will probably become charter schools eventually. What most don’t realize,  as  Kavips pointed out here: are all within a mile of a building designed to hold multiple charter schools. Maybe this can explain the look of glee on Delaware Secretary Of Education Mark Murphy’s face during the priority schools announcement on September 4th. And there was also a Delaware state senator who could not stop smiling during this announcement. It’s all on Delawareonline. Yes, these are appropriate facial gestures when your boss is announcing what amounts to state takeovers of the schools with the most dire low-income students in the state. Unless it will benefit them somehow…

Into The Wild: The Special Needs Kids of Delaware’s Priority Schools @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @delawareonline #netde #eduDE

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover, Uncategorized

People have asked me why I care about the priority schools all the way up in Wilmington when I live in Dover.  My reply is we should all care.  Not only because what the state and the DOE are doing is fundamentally wrong, but also because if it can happen there it can happen anywhere in our state if we don’t make a stand.  I am also very concerned about what happens with all of the students with disabilities who receive special education services.

Here are the facts: If the Red Clay and Christina school districts do not sign the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) by September 30th, the Delaware DOE will take them over.  This is no secret.  All indications are leading to the school district boards refusing to do so.  Rumors, although unsubstantiated, indicate these six schools would become charter schools.

For the September 30th, 2013 count, the six schools had the following special education populations:

Bancrof, Christina 14.7% 61 out of 206
Bayard, Christina 19.0%  88 out of 463
Warner, Red Clay 15.4% 101 out of 541
Shortlidge, Red Clay 14.0% 45 out of 317
Stubbs, Christina 9.5% 31 out of 325
Highlands, Red Clay 11.5% 32 out of 350

In comparison, the “great” charter schools Markell referred to had the following special ed populations:

East Side Charter 15.1% 61 out of 403 (students with Special Education did not score proficient in scoring)
Kuumba Academy 5.7% 17 out of 298 (not enough students to even count in the proficiency figures)

So what happens to these 358 special education students?

358 childen with IEPs and special education services may be transferred to new charter schools. As a whole, Delaware charter schools have been notorious for not being able to adequately handle special education correctly. Very few even accept the most severely complex students with disabilities.

Taking away the potential legal hurdles that may come up for the DOE, such as union contracts, ownership of the school buildings, and other litigation that may come up, say these students go to a new charter school. Since it is essentially a transfer, an IEP would have to be reviewed. Governor Markell has already said these schools will be put through a rigorous process to get the students to proficiency status. He announced after school activities for tutoring and to get students back on track. Children with special needs often have enough problems getting through a regular school day. To add longer time to the day will be a severe burden for these kids.

The “rigor” of common core will be put to the test with special needs children at these new schools. I have a theory that out of these six schools, one of the new charters will focus solely on all of these displaced students with IEPs. This would eliminate inclusion and the least restricted environment. It would also allow the other five schools proficiency scores to automatically rise on standardized testing since the “specials” are no longer part of the equation. This is not about “closing the gaps” as the DOE, Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and Governor Markell have stated. Even more far reaching is the belief from many that the DOE will grandstand these achievements, and try to have even more reach across the state with this experiment.

If this is true, every single special needs parent in Delaware needs to be very concerned. Our children will be segregated from “normal” children and a free appropriate public education will become a joke. Even worse, for these special needs children at the priority schools, this will become a TRIPLE SEGREGATION: special needs, low income and minorities. This sinister agenda is happening right before our very eyes and we need to unite. If I were any parent of special needs children at these six schools, you need to speak now. You need to organize into a group and come down to Dover, straight to the DOE office, to the Governor’s office, and anywhere your collected voice can carry weight. Demand that Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy resign or call for his termination. You need to write to the newspapers, the blogs, and contact TV and radio stations. Call AND email your elected officials: State House Representatives and Senators. Let our US Senator and House Representative representing Delaware know your complaints. Contact the US Department of Education. Let President Obama know. Contact the Office of Civil Rights. You need to picket where it will be noticed.

The IEP Task Force has their next meeting on Tuesday, September 23rd, at 4:30 pm. There are two locations: The Carvel Building in Wilmington and The Collette Center in Dover. If you are working, ask to leave early. Bring your children with you. Tell the task force your fears. Let them know you are not okay with this.

In ten days, by October 1st, you may not have any more options. This is short notice, but your children will be severely affected by this. There is no time to wait. If you have any doubt in your mind, you need to do this now. Because once it happens, you will live with regret that you didn’t speak up sooner.


What Was Secretary of Education Mark Murphy So Happy About? @KilroysDelaware @ed_in-De @dwablog @nannyfat #netde #eduDE

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy

I’ve reviewed the news conference Governor Jack Markell gave after the announcement about the Priority Schools (Takeover) in Red Clay Consolidated and Christina school districts.  Here is a link to the Delaware Online video of it:

At the 30 second mark, the camera shifts over to Secretary of Education Mark Murphy when Markell started talking about how the schools will be having “great school leaders.”  Murphy cannot contain some sort of jubilant feeling he is having.  It actually goes on for a couple seconds, but then it looks like he checks himself, as if he’s thinking “Oops, not appropriate here.”  I found this to be very odd behavior from a Secretary of Education during a press announcement that the state is essentially taking over six low-performing, low-income elementary schools.

A picture can tell a thousand words, but a video tells even more!  Things I am wondering now about Murphy are 1) What does he already know about potential leaders for the schools IF the state winds up taking them over, 2) What’s in it for him?  Some financial connection perhaps?, and 3) Is Mark Murphy right in the head?

In my opinion, this is just another chapter in the long book Markell and Murphy have written on their changes to education in Delaware.  But I truly hope this is where the story takes over and bites them in the ass!

Kilroy Asked Me What I Think Of Delaware Secretary Of Education Mark Murphy! Well… @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @BadassTeachersA @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy

What do I think of Secretary of Education Mark Murphy?  This question of me in a sidebar conversation by the famous Delaware blogger, Kilroy, of Kilroy’s Delaware fame.  This is a pretty loaded question, because I have several opinions.

Personally, I don’t know the man.  Nor would I want to.  We don’t travel in the same circles, and for better or worse (go with the latter), he is the executive director of my son’s education in Delaware.  With that being said…

He is extremely incompetent.  I’ve been to a few Delaware Board of Education meetings, and when he talks, I want to laugh.  For the most part, he plays up the parts of education that I abhor the most.  Charter Schools, Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment are his babies, and when he talks about them, it’s like watching a kid play on Xbox for the first time.  The glee, the sickening joy in his eyes, the elfish smile on his face…

I have seen him get upset once at a Board of Ed meeting.  That was the last one, when the results of the Delaware teacher effectiveness ratings came out.  And no Delaware teachers were rated ineffective.  0%!  Man, did that piss off Murphy!  He looked like someone took away that Xbox!  He was visibly angry, and it was obvious he was going to have none of that!

I view his climb to the top of education in our state with shock and no awe.  Everyone continues this sentence with “He started out as a gym teacher.”  And that isn’t true.  Before that, he worked at a residential treatment center.  I have no idea which one, or what he did there.  These treatment centers are where students with disabilities get sent when the school and the home have run out of options.  I would think Murphy would have a pretty good understanding of what these students need if he decided to work at one.  I couldn’t be more wrong.

What has become of special education under Murphy’s watch is a nightmare of epic proportions.  What he has done to education in general is even worse.  He is Governor Jack Markell’s golden boy to implement whatever Jack wants.  And as a result, Murphy has become a charter loving Common Core high-stakes test worshipping special education hating maniac.  But when the going gets tough, like yesterday at the big meeting between the DOE and the superintendents of the low-income priority schools, Murphy was nowhere to be found.  He’s the Secretary of friggin’ Education for the state and he was a no-show!  What could be more important than this meeting?  As I commented on Kavips blog, maybe he got confused between priority and priory schools!  When I see him at Board meetings, he rarely speaks.  He’s constantly looking at what appears to be a cell phone and adjusting his glasses.  It looks like the last place he wants to be.

Under Murphy’s watch, we have seen Common Core suck the life out of teachers, students and parents.  We’ve seen special education go from something halfway between okay and sucks to really sucks. We’ve seen charter school applications increase rapidly.  We’ve seen half of Delaware’s race to the top money get kept by the Delaware DOE.  We’ve seen the first sign of the Apocalypse, the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  We’ve seen him hire 29 year olds to become the new Chief Of Accountability for the DOE.  We’ve seen a non-elected state Board of Education do nothing that would contradict Murphy or Jack.  We’ve seen him support the destruction of the public school system by getting jacked-up legislation passed that will judge teachers on how a student tests one time a year on The Clockwork Orange Smarter Balanced Test.  We’ve seen him not give appropriate funding to schools who need it the most and then support the utter insanity of having the state take those schools back to turn them into charter schools.  We’ve seen him support breaking up teacher’s unions by coming out with a Memorandum Of Understanding to two school districts that appears to be plagiarized from other states’ similar edicts (Thanks for that one JY!).  We’ve seen tens of millions of dollars go out of state to residential treatment centers because Murphy can’t run the ball on special education right and God knows what else he has cooking with that!  We’ve seen him bow to the “masters of education” in Rodel and the Vision year crap, which are just more fronts for the Common Core agenda.

So do I have a high opinion of the guy?  Hell no!  If I could sum it up in a few sentences, it would be this.  You have only one pair of shoes.  You step in gum.  The gum won’t get off your shoe no matter how hard you try.  It annoys the hell out of you, and it affects you every time you put your damn shoes on.  And you can’t buy new shoes, so you are stuck with this crap on your shoes, all the time.  Mark Murphy is the gum on my shoe that just won’t go away.  And he has played this role for every public school student, teacher and parent.

Extra! Extra! The Delaware State Takeover MOU has a companion guide: Turnaround and Priority School Guide! Read all about it! #netDE #eduDE

Delaware Priority Schools Takeover

This is being forced on both Christina and Red School Consolidated School Districts in Delaware. The state DOE allowed this to happen with these schools by turning a blind eye to re-segregation that occurred from charter schools in the area and their enrollment preferences. Now they want to punish the schools by essentially taking them over. They may become charter schools in the near future. Read the Scribd document and judge for yourself. This has been a well-planned, long-term intentional hostile takeover.

All Delaware Parents: Opt Out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment #netde #eduDE #edchat #delaware

Parental Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

That is the only way anything can change. If enough parents do it, there will be a very large impact on every school in Delaware and the DOE. We’ve been seeing Common Core for a couple years now, but this is the school year where it will have a huge impact our students. Was it a pain for students in Delaware public schools to take DCAS three times a year? Yes, but I would have my son take DCAS ten times a year before I let him touch the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The time is now. Don’t sit on the fence and wait. Because it will be too late then. Do it now. If we ALL do it, the DOE would have to listen.

Cause I can tell you, they are all sitting in their little chairs at the DOE, smug as all get out, because this is the year all their plans come to fruition. For any parent still not satisfied, take a look at the Louisiana lawsuit concerning Common Core. Look at what happened at the rigged contracting with Pearson and Apple in Los Angeles. Look at what is happening to teachers and how their rights are being toyed with on a daily basis. You may not like education now, parents, but you will HATE it very soon. Don’t come late to the party, opt-out now!

Just call your school district tomorrow and ask how you can opt-out your child from standardized testing. They will tell you their is no opt-out procedure. Then you ask what the consequences are. They will tell you there are none, but if the district is less than 95% participation rate in the testing it could affect funding. But parents, if ALL school districts go below that number, are they going to cut funding to all the schools? Hell no! Public, charter, vocational: Don’t support the core. Stop taking orders and start running things your own way. The state and the feds have unnecessarily interrupted something that wasn’t so bad to begin with.

What Will The Delaware DOE Do WHEN Common Core is Repealed? #netde #eduDE #edchat @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @BadassTeachersA

Common Core

UPDATED: Had to change the title to WHEN!

With Common Core slipping in popularity more every single day, many people have been asking what would happen if it does go away. Has the Delaware DOE prepared for such an eventuality? With the way they have been talking at DOE meetings and around the state, it doesn’t look like they are. Everything they have been doing is with Common Core as it’s, well, core. For the DOE, Common Core is the sun giving strength to the whole solar system of education in Delaware. And if Common Core goes supernova, what happens to the aligned with Common Core, the controversial Smarter Balanced Assessment?

Aside from a few politicians and the DOE, I haven’t heard anyone talking positive about it. Once again, this includes charter school teachers who know they would lose their job if they publicly spoke out about it. In fact, most teachers want it to go away. They are very afraid of their jobs being impacted when most students tank the test next Spring. The DOE announced at their board meeting that scores won’t affect teacher performance appraisals until the 2015-2016 school year, but they did not indicate when during the school year that would take place.

Special needs parents are sick of Common Core and how it impacts their children. I am hearing a rising voice speaking up where they all want to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. This is a turning point for these children, and this school year could have a dramatic effect on their future. Parents are dreading IEP meetings this year due to standards-based IEPs as well.

The DOE needs to stop patting itself on the back and get with the program, and fast. When more areas of your state are demanding change and you are moving forward with what the citizens don’t want, you need to open your eyes and take a hard look at what you are doing. Did you hear that Governor Markell and Secretary of Education Murphy? The people don’t want what you have been selling anymore.

Bored With The Board of Ed! Welcome to Delaware Penny Schwinn! Please Read Up On Our State! #netde #eduDE #edchat @BadassTeachersA @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_DE

Delaware DOE

The Delaware Board of Education meeting yesterday was full of controversy and shock.

I attended about an hour and a half of the Delaware Board of Education meeting yesterday. When I arrived, a gentleman from the American Heart Association was thanking the Board for their support. I sat next to a familiar face who was cutting out items for his classroom with a pair of scissors. I introduced myself to Mike Matthews who I had been in contact with on social media recently. I asked if he was giving public comment, and he said I just missed it but to definitely listen to the digital audio recording when it is available. Throughout the meeting, Matthews and I had continuous looks of shock and awe with the comments coming from not only the Board, but members of the Office of Accountability and Performance.

Secretary of Education Mark Murphy seemed very upset about the recent report on how 0% of teachers in Delaware were not ineffective. He didn’t seem to think this was the reality in Delaware. But we all know this will change in a year when the Smarter Balanced Scores come out, which the state has already said they are aware student scores will plummet, and teacher evaluations will be based on these scores.

The Board went through their motions, and we arrived at the Performance and Accountability Presentation. Penny Schwinn is the new Chief Officer of Accountability and Performance for the Delaware DOE. After Assessment Director Brian Touchette gave his reasons for why there are gaps in performance testing between different subgroups, and why charters weren’t included in the Performance and Accountability Presentation (because they have their own performance framework arrangement with the state of Delaware), Schwinn gave a rather enlightening and distorted presentation of African-American students and students with disabilities.

For children with disabilities, she claimed the reasons for the performance gaps in DCAS scores was attributable to the following factors: Litigation at a district level distracted teachers from being able to give adequate special education accommodations, high teacher turn-over and a limited hiring pool in Delaware for quality special education teachers compared to other states. She did say there is a new strategy of looking at IEPs in Delaware, and that is to target the performance of students with disabilities. Which is, as we all know, the coming standards-based IEPs in Delaware. She did recognize that dual credentials for special education teachers provide “expertise and knowledge” in the classroom. What she failed to mention, in Delaware and across America, many special education teachers are leaving the profession due to upcoming teacher evaluations which will be based on student test scores. Many special ed teachers fear losing their jobs, so they are leaving the profession. Who will replace all these teachers with this expertise and knowledge when they are driven out or quit?

Schwinn expressed her interest in Student-Based Plans, which are IEPs, but for regular students. This is one of the goals of Rodel’s Vision 2025, to do away with special education and all students get their own version of IEPs. This just supports my fear and theories of the future of special education. See

Schwinn went on to talk about African-American student performance in Delaware. She said they expect high performance from all students, and this is driven through PLCs and site leadership. PLC is Professional Learning Community, which emphasizes shared leadership, community-based work groups, and learning over teaching. Schwinn wants to create strategies to prevent downward trends among African-American students in Delaware. She said there is a low expectation for African-American students from teachers “across the board”. At this point, Board of Ed Member Gregory Coverdale asked Schwinn if she felt the rising violence and murders in Wilmington was causing an impact in classroom environment in that area, to which she responded “That isn’t necessarily a hurdle to overcome”. For the three African-American members of the Board of Education, the looks on their faces said it all immediately after her response.

Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, the President of the Board of Education, said the following based on an article from WDDE today: “From those of us who are in under-represented groups, we deal with this often,” said Gray, who is African-American. “I’m not quite sure what to say about low expectations and cultural mindset,” she said. “How do you address that? A shift of culture takes 20 years, as they say, at least 10.” – See more at:

It is obvious Schwinn, who has been in her role for two months after leaving Sacramento, CA, needs to do a bit more research on Delaware. To think the issues of crime in Wilmington won’t have an impact on the classroom is foolish and naïve. To insult issues of poverty, crime and discrimination shows an apparent lack of the true reality in Wilmington. This is definitely a hurdle to overcome Penny Schwinn, and to continue to ignore this reality will only make the problem worse. As the Chief Of Accountability and Performance in Delaware, you need to look at ALL aspects of environment and how they impact the classroom.

For students with disabilities, Schwinn needs to recognize why special education teachers are leaving the profession, and that is mainly due to forced compliance with Common Core standards being shoved down their throats. Children are more than test scores, and the sooner the DOE realizes that, the better education and special education in Delaware will be. Litigation is rising in Delaware because of this education reform, not in spite of it.

The fact that charter schools in Delaware were not included in this presentation speaks volumes. To not include them ignores the impact charter schools have had on students with disabilities and minorities in Delaware, especially in the Wilmington area. Certain charter schools in our state have specific enrollment requirements that discriminates against low-income minorities and special needs children. The easy excuse for this by ignorant people is that children with disabilities are “low performers”. I think the Exceptional Children Group in the DOE is on the right track in correcting this position, but they need to realign their priorities in how to go about this.

But I can see how you would come to those conclusions based on your resume:

And yet, your one tweet twitter account from 2010 tells a completely different story: “@EnchantmentAZ As a teacher, role model and advocate for kids from low income communities, my mom inspired me to teach and be a foster mom.”

You are not currently advocating for these children. You may want to recheck your roots and be a part of the solution, not the problem.

More On Delaware’s Lawsuit Against Common Core

Common Core

Someone make this happen!!!!


Common Core violates Federal Law. Louisiana’s governor is suing to stop Common Core on the pretense it violates the mandate setting up the Department of Education, which was expressly set in stone upon it’s inception, that the Federal Government cannot dictate or divert control of curriculum away from local school districts…

Common Core does that. At question: is whether or not the legal maneuvers taken to obfuscate this task of Common Core, are sufficient to allow it to continue to dictate curriculum by its actions, even if shadowy institutions are created to make it reflect differently.

Are the legal maneuvers valid enough to allow flaunting of law to go forward.

That is the bottom line of the debate, and why, only the court system, can rule on it’s legality…

It is as if a cow surprised you by walking through your front door. “Moo! Hi, Sweetie…” It looks like a…

View original post 88 more words

What We Need Is A Lawsuit Against Common Core Asking For An Injunction Against The Smarter Balanced Assessment

Common Core

After what happened in NY on Monday with the Feds stepping in and overturning NY law about students with serious disabilities not having to take the PARCC, this makes sense. If any attorney wants to take this on pro bono, I’m up for it!


Sometimes one goes through an “A Ha” moment. When something so obvious hits you like a ton of bricks. The catalyst this time came from Utah, home of the NSA information vault. The spark was the lawsuit in Utah’s court calling for a halt against the implementation of Common Core… Brilliant.

The Governor himself, in response to the clamor of his people, (that will never happen here) has asked the Utah Attorney General to do thorough legal review of theof the rapidly adopted, unvetted education and testing standards known as Common Core…..

His main question (as expected out of Utah) was does Common Core demonstrate Federal entanglement….

For anyone who knows Common Core, that is a no-brainer. When someone says, we will withhold your life support unless you do what we say, that is coercion. Coercion is a form of entanglement.

However… there is lawsuit filed by the Libertas Instutute

View original post 842 more words

Delaware still has $11 Million from Race To The Top. Will special education get any of it? #netde #eduDE

Governor Markell

Not according to Education Weekly.  In an article they posted on 7/24/14, they will spend their extra coin on ” linking student achievement to teacher-preparation programs, continuing professional development on the common core, and expanding alternative-teaching certification.”  Not one word about special education for the extra funding they get to spend.  It’s all about Common Core, Smarter Balanced, and finding new innovative ways to screw teachers over.

In fact, that was pretty much the common theme with all the states covered in the article: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.  Not one single iota of special education.  I guess disabled children aren’t able to get extra funding in the Race To The Top.  But I do want to give a big thank you for not hearing the words “charter school” in the article at all.

I have a question for Governor Markell and Secretary of Education Murphy: Do you even think about special education?  Cause they aren’t words I’ve heard coming from your lips at all lately.  You would think that with the feds breathing down your neck and all the money coming out of tax dollars for special education lawsuits that you could at least make a comment.  I challenge both of you to say something about special education in the next 48 hours.  I wonder what the odds in Vegas would be for them to rise up to my challenge?

And so it goes…