The Rodel Teacher Council Scares The Living Hell Out Of Me

Today, the Rodel Teacher Council gave a presentation to the Delaware State Board of Education with policy recommendations for their Personalized Learning Blueprint.  I’ve written about them before and actually received a bit of heat from a few of their membership.  These aren’t bad people or bad teachers.  I truly believe they have been brainwashed into the corporate education reform movement.  Some may not even realize it.  But what they came out with today for their State Board presentation literally frightens me and makes me wonder more than ever where public education is heading.  I have to wonder if the State Board of Education would ever allow those who are against this kind of thing to give a presention to them.

This presentation has all the education reform buzz words in it: Personalized Learning, Blended Learning, Competency-Based Education, Micro Credentials, Seat-Time, Social and Emotional Learning, Waivers, Assessment, and Standards.  To break it down, under these models the eventual goal is what is known as “stealth assessments”, the state assessment broken down in chunks at the end of each unit.  The student can’t move on until they “master” the material provided to them from their digital technology.  Predicting the future here, I imagine Delaware will eventually incorporate some kind of “digital badge” the student would get once they “master” the material (Colorado is at the forefront of this ridiculousness).  Meanwhile, all the data from this ed tech is going to vendors galore.  Personal and private data, every single keystroke.

So why are Delaware educators jumping on this bandwagon when it will eventually lead to the demise of the public school teacher?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Special standing, power, incentive for future mobility in their profession?  Perhaps they are blind to how their actions today will lead to the end of their professional world as we know it.  The fact that ANY Delaware school district teacher would get behind something with the Rodel name in it makes me suspect.  Very suspect.  The fact this council is going before the State Board of Education after they went to some legislators earlier this month makes me very worried.  Worried that legislation is coming that will allow this Rodel Vision of Educational Paradise.

Make no mistake.  This has been in the planning stages for years.  And it will get a huge push in states once Blockchain Technology really gets going.  And Delaware will be at the forefront of that initiative.  People read stuff like this from me and some say I am wearing a tin hat or engaging in conspiracy theory.  Let them.  They said the same thing when I said Delaware’s Assessment Inventory Committee was just a big distraction from opt out and would produce nothing worthwhile.  I said that before the legislation even passed which created that committee.

What is Governor Carney’s role in all this?  I don’t think he has an original thought on any of this.  I think his staff tells him what to do.  Many of those staff members are fully aligned with this Rodelian future and have been for quite a while.

To read what the Rodel Teacher Council (aka Rodel) wants policy-makers in Delaware to subscribe to, please read the document below.

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Delaware Signs Up For Ed-Flex Waiver Schemes Under ESSA

I didn’t expect to find this yesterday, but there it was.  An approval letter from the United States Department of Education to the Delaware DOE about Ed-Flex waivers.  The very thing that the Every Student Succeeds Act was supposed to get rid of.  Instead, we have more of the same.  Using regulations by the feds and the states to keep the level of corruption going well into the next year.  I don’t see the Delaware DOE putting this in their news blasts.  Probably because they want to tuck it away on their website where most of the public wouldn’t even think to look.

ESSAEdFlexDelaware

Is this even legal under the Every Student Succeeds Act?  It most certainly is, but this is another reason I opposed this federal legislation when it came out last November.  It was so enormous in scope that no one could have dissected it enough before the US House and Senate voted on it and President Obama signed it into law on December 10th.  Will US Secretary of Education John King abuse this in his last seven months and a week as the Secretary?  Most assuredly so!  It’s what he does.

ESSAEdFlex

I don’t take these things with a grain of salt.  I see them as very dangerous not only to Delaware education, but education across the United States.  If Delaware is doing this, chances are very good other states are as well.  I’ve already contacted the US House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair John Kline (MN) about this:

Good afternoon members of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

I was very concerned about a letter Secretary of Education John King sent to Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky recently concerning “Ed-Flex” states. It authorizes Delaware, under ESSA, to continue to be an Ed-Flex state.  Which is just more waiver schemes.  Didn’t ESSA do away with this?  Here is a link to the letter:  

http://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib09/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/425/DE%20Ed-Flex%20extension%20letter%206.3.2016.pdf

I find it very disheartening that Secretary King is continuing to justify the very schemes ESSA sought to destroy. Please take a look into this matter and if you could please advise me as to the outcome.

Best regards,

Kevin Ohlandt

Dover, DE

We will see if they respond without some scripted and watered down response.  I’m hoping they take it seriously as John King was called out by Kline on a few occasions the past few months.

President Obama Lawsuit For Education and Health Initiatives Prepared By Republican Senators #netde #eduDE @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @BadassTeachersA @DianeRavitch

It looks like the GOP Senators questioning the US DOE and Arne Duncan about major special education violations wasn’t the only item on their agenda.  Apparently, Republicans in D.C. who are upset about how Obama handled the health-care law are using other items President Obama has used in executive action, including education reform in a bid for a lawsuit against President Obama.  In particular, No Child Left Behind waivers and Race To The Top funding were cited as specific examples in their claims of abuse of executive powers.

The major issue concerns the Race To The Top funding, introduced in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The $4 billion funding directive was given to states who, the Republicans feel, were coerced into forming the Common Core State Standards.  As well, the issues of teacher evaluations based on the test scores of students who performed new standardized testing based on Common Core appear to be major issues with the GOP as well in D.C.  They argue this was not approved by the legislators of Congress or The Senate. 

A Republican House Representative from Minnesota, John Kline, stated “The proposal raises questions about the department’s legal authority to grant conditional waivers in exchange for reforms not authorized by Congress.” 

In a quote to the Associated Press on July 30th, 2014, House Representative John Sessions said “Branches of government have always attempted to exert their influences on the other branches. But the president has gone too far. Rather than faithfully executing the law as the Constitution requires, I believe the president has selectively enforced the law in some instances, ignored the law in other instances, and in a few cases unilaterally attempted to change the law altogether.” 

Since no lawsuit has been filed yet, it is unclear what implication this could have on current state Common Core and Standardized Testing initiatives.  Many education experts believe this could have an implication on mid-term elections as well as Congressional oversight over executive decision-making ability.  President Obama has staunchly supported his position of utilizing executive orders to improve education and health due to what he feels is an inept Congress.  The results of these actions by the GOP Senate could have long-lasting effects on the ability of the Obama administration, and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to grant waivers with pre-existing conditions not signed into law by Congress.

More information can be found on the original article on EdWeek’s website: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/08/20/01lawsuit.h34.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1