FOIApalooza At Early College High School Board Meeting Going On Right Now!!!!

At this present moment, 5:46pm, the Early College High School in Dover, Delaware is holding their monthly board of directors meeting.  But the charter school has NO sign-in sheet for public comment, the front door is locked, and a receptionist at the school told a parent there would be no ability for the public to speak at the meeting this evening.  Hello FOIA, meet Early College High School.

I’m a HUGE fan of transparency.  Real big fan.  I don’t like it when parents are denied the ability to speak at a public meeting.  Nothing gets my education flames going more than that.  Especially when it is planned in advance.  How fortunate for myself that I was able to catch this in real-time!  That takes some major chutzpah to do that.  But not only is all this going on, but they started the meeting early thus denying the public the ability to even hear everything that was discussed if they were able to get through their locked doors.

It makes me wonder why the Board of Directors wouldn’t allow public comment at this meeting.  When I went to check their website to see what is on the agenda, I found it very difficult to ascertain anything since NO AGENDA WAS POSTED!!!!  But during the meeting, there was discussion ABOUT public comment and that anyone wishing to speak has to meet certain conditions first.  Too bad the public didn’t have the opportunity to hear this discussion about their public comment procedures.  One parent went and had something to say, but she never had the opportunity so she left.  Meanwhile, the front doors are still locked.

September 17 is REFUSE THE TEST PARENT STRIKE in Delaware! Press Conference at 12:30pm!

Parent Strike is a coordinated effort across America to take back public education from the corporate education reformers and those who would do our children irreparable harm with state standardized assessments.  In Delaware, we will be celebrating this momentous day, September 17th, with other states across our country.  I invite all parents and press to attend a press conference outside Legislative Hall in Dover at 12:30pm, where I will announce the violations and complaints against Governor Markell, the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware State Board of Education, and other entities within Delaware that have contributed to this toxic environment against our children.

If you want to make a statement during the press conference, please let me know ahead of time.  I will also help parents coordinate opt-out/refuse the test for their local schools.

Following this, at 1pm, is the Delaware State Board of Education meeting across the street at the Townshend Building.  I invite every single parent to attend this meeting, at least for the first half hour to forty-five minutes.  After they do their roll call and approval of minutes, it opens up to Public Comment.  Each speaker gets three minutes to speak on a topic.  Those who give public comment are not allowed to speak on an item that is up for action that day, but there is nothing in their agenda covering standardized testing or parent opt-out or Refusing The Test.

During the State Board of Education meeting, they will announce the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment for the different sub-groups: low-income, English language learners, students with disabilities, African-American students, Hispanic Students and Asian students.  This is where we will see the very real impact of the Smarter Balanced Assessment on the most vulnerable of students.  They could have announced this information last week, but they chose to hold off on it.  Parents will also begin to receive their children’s official report on the test that week.

Please join in and let the unelected State Board of Education know your child is more than endless data.  Let them know your child is more than a pawn in their attempts to “fix” education.  Let them know their vain attempts at stifling parents is not allowed.  Be loud, be a parent, and let them know you will not tolerate this madness one more minute.  This is Parent Strike Delaware!

Exclusive: DOE Is Giving A Survey To Students After They Take The Smarter Balanced Assessment **UPDATED**

I have seen it all.  I’m so glad this was sent to me the evening before a Parent Press Conference on parent opt out and other education matters in Delaware.  Could the Delaware DOE be any more intrusive in children’s lives?  Now they are asking questions about parent involvement with their children, and very specific questions about curriculum and how often it is implemented in schools.  This is a joke, but what should I expect from this Department?  Parents, if you needed just one more thing to push you over to the side of opt out, please let this be the case!  Do you really think the DOE wants this data to help your child?  While the letter to districts states it is voluntary, the language on the actual survey which the teacher would give states it is expected all students take the survey.

Isn’t the actual test supposed to provide all the data the DOE needs?  Apparently not….

**UPDATED** with surveys for 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 11th graders, as well as the letter to school districts.

DOE LETTER TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS ABOUT SURVEY

SURVEY FOR STUDENTS IN 3RD TO 5TH GRADE

SURVEY FOR STUDENTS IN 6TH TO 8TH GRADE

SURVEY FOR STUDENTS IN 11TH GRADE

 

 

Some Michigan Special Education History: A Lesson for All States by Marcie Lipsitt

This was posted on Nancy Bailey’s Education Website today.  This blog covers many special education issues.  When I read what has been going on in Michigan,  I was shocked.  This kind of activity, in any state, needs to be stopped immediately.  Special education is not a money game.  It is not something to be perverted or corrupted.  These are our children.  These are 15-20% of our children if current trends continue.

By Marcie Lipsitt

Michigan once had a proud heritage of believing in the educational rights of our students with disabilities.

But what has transpired over the past 39 years is not worthy of our history books or a wondrous fairy tale of children’s dreams come true. For Michigan’s 200,000 students with an Individualized Education Programs (IEP), it has been a long, treacherous, and disappointing road to what we call a “Free Appropriate Pubic Education.”

One shining moment in this dark and disillusioning history took place on December 11, 2014, but this is just one victory in a sea of losses, and Michigan parents, along with local, state and federal, special education, disability and civil rights organizations, must prepare themselves for what’s to come in 2015 and ahead.

To read more, please go to http://nancyebailey.com/2015/01/22/some-michigan-special-education-history-a-lesson-for-all-states/#comment-256194

Uh-oh! Looks like we got a bleeder here! What has Family Foundations Academy done now?

Yes, I know.  Not another Family Foundations article.  When’s he going to do the long-awaited Rodel follow-up?  As my friend Wilson Jomama once said about another recent charter scandal, it’s like staring at the sun.

Please enjoy the theme music while we look at yet another big oops at this Wilmington charter school.  As mentioned initially on Kilroy’s first FFA Explosion article by a parent, their December 2nd Board meeting had a rather public situation involving a special needs student.  Please read the minutes from this meeting.  While this school has clear transparency issues, this outing of a student was about as transparent as Saran Wrap!

So what did they do wrong?  They looked like pretty concise board minutes to me.  But there’s just that tiny, little baby of a hiccup called student privacy.  I was shocked when I saw a parent commenting on this on Kilroy’s, but to actually see it in their board minutes was shocking!

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Yes, they fully revealed a student discipline problem of a student on a 504 plan.  While they didn’t reveal the name of the student, which they proudly boasted in their meeting minutes, unless they have multiple students who bite, kick and hit teachers, this student is easily identifiable.  Not only is this a violation of FERPA, but also Section 504 which is protected by the Office of Civil Rights.  Why the hell would they discuss a discipline issue with a particular student in a public forum like that?  And one with special needs?

It looks like this may have been a cover.  Not that the student wasn’t experiencing those issues (Lord only knows what fresh hell that poor kid was going through at this school), but it was also an impetus for a spotlight to be shown on Dr. Tennell Brewington.  In the minutes there is a whole part about her not using the Child Study Team and the Climate Team to help this student.  Here’s a novel idea, maybe they should have used an IEP Team!!!!  Sorry, no matter what this student may have done as a manifestation of their disability, this public roasting of this student has many violations.  If I were the parent of this student, I would not only be contacting the FERPA department at the US DOE, but also the OCR Office as well.

By the end of the meeting, after executive session, it was announced Dr. Brew was going on a 90 day paid leave of absence.  No explanation was given, but that’s none of our damn business when you read the harsh notes at the end when a member of the public DARED to ask about it.  I wonder what could have caused such a rift between Brewmoore?  Could it…no…maybe…possibly have been a… sorry folks, this isn’t Soap Opera Digest!

Staring at the sun indeed!  If that other recent charter school scandal caused some sun glare, this one is a Super Nova!

If you are sad the holidays are over, do not lament, because Family Foundations Academy is like the gift that keeps on giving…and giving…and giving…and giving!