Is modern technology aka the Internet making public school libraries obsolete ?

Will there come a time when our public school libraries become obsolete? I am sure it won’t be long before all students are provided an E-reader and all their textbooks will be digital. The school districts can build a digital library where E-books of all sorts can be shared by students. Yea yea nothing like the feel of a real book in your hands! But we must give some thought to digital school libraries. 

Does Red Clay school board allow drive-thru teacher evaluation?

Don’t corrode teacher evaluation process by Donato Rufo / Letters to The Editor /News Journal

My primary concern today is the school board’s decision to allow for the use of “short observations” (aka walk-throughs) as part of an educator’s performance evaluation. To someone who is not in the field, that means that years of trust and collaboration between school administration and teachers will all be in vain.

Walk-throughs were to be used as both a tool for the collection of various classroom data points, and as a discussion/development catalyst for conversation/growth. By using walk-throughs as an evaluative tool, you corrode the usefulness of the technique and lessen it as the legitimate tool it was created and fostered to be.

I hope the board will reconsider their recent actions.

Donato Rufo


Delaware makes the top 10 list again! This time home foreclosures!

Top foreclosure states June: Delaware

Delaware: 1 in every 892 housing units received a foreclosure filing.

Change in filings from last month: Down 8.27 percent

Nationally: 1 in every 1,228

Top 10 states for foreclosure: June By Stacy Jones •

Yep Delaware continues to fail under the leadership of Governor Jack Markell! While Jack was too busy playing education czar Delawareans continue to lose their homes. One would think the 2012 election would be slam-dunk for the DE GOP. However. when you have key Republicans such as Sen. Lavelle and Rep. Hudson in bed with the Markell education doctrine no one has the public’s back.

Jack has no problem sleeping at night in the mansion the taxpayers provide him. He doesn’t have a clue how many parents put their heads in their hands and cry at the kitchen table. Jack is sowing his $$$$ seeds for life after public! Two and a half more years of Jack! So sad! 

Jack take the blinders off and take a hard look at the damaged “you” caused!

NJ dances around Markell’s education failure! Kilroy doesn’t !

For test scores, status quo isn’t enough Our View

Blah blah blah!  Read the article if you want! Read here …………. I don’t have the time for it.

Here is my views:

Many of us blame DSEA and local teacher union’s like Red Clay’s for not calling out Jack Markell aka the Delaware Education Czar face to face. Would you walk up to your boss and tell him he is a cluster-F ? Markell holds teacher’s pay and benefits in one hand and an ax it the other daring unions to call him out. But what makes me sick to my stomach is those who are awestruck with being in the presence of Governor Markell wanting their picture taken with him and sharing with the world on social media sites! The unions should extract themselves from the Rodel table and seriously use the energy in find ways to promote parental involvement or rather productive engagement in their child’s education! The success of students depends on the success of parents, teachers and school level administrators working as one.

$119 million dollars went to Delaware Race to The Top efforts and that’s just federal funding and you can bet your ass state and local dollars were being used as back up. Not all those individuals hired with RTTT funding will lose their jobs! Local dollars will back-fill the RTTT void.

The reason the Delaware Republicans haven’t made any political attacks on Governor Markell is because they are united in the charter school expansion. It amazes me how Sen Lavelle can come out and attack Markell on the I-495 bridge man-made blunder but can’t come out and do the same on Markell’s failed education agenda. Damn, Lavelle, Hudson and even Ramone’s “YES” vote to H.B.#334 rewards Governor Markell for his education failures. Then there is Joe Miro a very nice man but damn, no where to be found during the community fight with Red Clay on their Spec Ed / ELL inclusion plan. Rep. Kim Williams and Sen. Karen Peterson had to carry the weight. Red Clay parents and taxpayers have a chance to shake the political foundation of Delaware by elected a third party candidate Delaware State University Professor Steve Newton. Dr. Newton knows the educational landscape of Delaware and the failed reform track extending back to Governor Carper. It’s time to stick a finger in the eye of the left and right status quo! Elect Newton, vote Rep. Hudson (R) and Rep. Longhurst (D) out of office! Both are bad for public education , transparency and ensuring local control. By doing all of this it will shake the political core of Delaware and legislative hall. Sen Lavelle miscalculated the people thinking nobody keeps an eye on legislative votes and legislative proposals. Social media blogs, Facebook and Twitter has the POWER to move information faster then mainstream media like the News Journal and that information is raw whereas the NJ seems to have a goal of covering Governor Markell’s back! Not bashing Jimmy Olsen because it’s his editor drawing red-lines in his work! Gone are the days of freedom of the press within like it was with Al Macitti and Norm Lockman! Years ago the first place the public would go in the News Journal is the obituaries and then to Lockman’s and Macitti’s editorials. 

Education in Delaware has become an industry cashing in on the backs of the poor and sure some blame unions as number one capitalizing on public education. But look very close, millions upon millions of dollars have flowed into our public schools and yet we struggle to reduce class sized even with a class size cap law. Each time there is a movement to reform public education we see expansion of administration locally and state, consultants locally and state and leaders at the Delaware Department of Education what were installed to preserve the political agenda of the Governor. And damn right Steve Newton, state board members should be elected not appointed by the governor. Now with buy-in by the likes of Lavelle, Hudson and sad to say Ramone, any defense of keeping Washington. Wall Street out of local control is near null! And real local control involving parents. community and taxpayers is further eroded. There has been no significant reduction of class sizes. The only gains in teacher positions is expansion of early education. Markell pulled the plug on supporting National Board Certified Teacher program fearing those positive gains would question his love affair with Teach for America and more importantly stagnate proven means of teacher enrichment programs to justify his love affair with Arne Duncan and Wall Street!   

Sure Kilroy it the town idiot and idiots like Publius with pockets full of money can game the system to protect  the white status quo at the cost of minority children. No Publius I am not calling you a racist and I know you aren’t financially capitalizing on public school reform or charter schools. You’ve aligned yourself with the Delaware affluent status quo and blinded to the seeds of racism within. You didn’t take part in the crowd that wore armbands that read, “Save A.I.” re: desegregation order! You were’t part of the crowd that made death threats to members of the desegregation board where some of us had family members participating. You weren’t part of the crowd grass-root crowd the penned the charter school law and then came back to reap profits from what they’ve sown. I respect your right to be “you”. I am pretty sure you weren’t born in Delaware and really know the players. You are second generation charter school reformers wired not to smell the racist lies of the first generation founding fathers of charter schools.  

Kilroy may be considered a revolutionist but far worst it to be labeled a capitalist capitalizing on what one claims as service to the community. Non-profits claim to be volunteers and even paid legislators claiming to be public servants tend to put self-preservation before their mission serving the public.

At the end of the day, Delaware Governor Markell will go down in history as the worst Delaware Governor on public education. Jack you biggest mistake was keeping the blinders on and followed the Rodel educational road-map. I raised the Rodel fear you our 2008 pre-primary phone conversations. You broke that trust not me. I broke ranks with the DE GOP as the chair of the 19th Rep District, member of the state committee and state delegate and “openly” voted for you and Obama. Yet, I continued on in those positions and Terry stoned face wasn’t pleasant. Mother Priscilla wasn’t pleased but new my frustration being a well centered Republican. I left went I was redistrict out. Instead of empowering parents you have alienated them including your sadistic high-jacking of PTA. You politicized an organization that was meant to be a base for empowerment to the consensuses of members. They too have take on a position of putting the blinders on excluding the so-called naysayers aka those refusing to drink the Kool-aid. Sad to say, the voice of parents and community is politically fragmented alienating those who take issue with some of the wrongheaded education reforms even-though they see the need for reform. 

DE Sen Simpson Chairman of SREB voted NO on H.B.#334 and Sen Lavelle voted YES! WTF

Sen. Gary Simpson

Simpson Returns
From Education
Think Tank

One thing Sen. Gary Simpson (R-Milford) has learned during his year as chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Legislative Advisory Council, is that  issues in Delaware are more than likely issues in other states as well.

On the education front, that would include issues such as Common Core State Standards and the ever-increasing cost of higher education, both hot topics at the SREB’s annual conference, held recently in Louisville.

“I think anytime you’re actively involved in a regional working group like this,  you get to see how other states are accomplishing educational goals,” said Sen.  Simpson, whose year as chairman ended with the conclusion of the conference. “You get to see how other areas of the country are focusing on the same problems you’re having. And I think you bring that knowledge back home with you and apply it to legislation and your debate on those issues.”

One of the biggest talking points at the conference was Common Core education standards. As controversial as the topic has become nationwide, Sen. Simpson said it spawned a healthy discussion.

“It’s a tough issue,” he said. “Certainly everyone wants standards to be tough enough that we’re improving our students’ abilities, and that we’re gauging how effective our teachers are in the classroom. But then you’re faced with the question – are those federal standards the same standards we want for our students here in Delaware?”

The Delaware Republican Party has hit rock-bottom in the stupidity department!

Senator Lavelle vote “No” on H.B.#334 and when the motion failed and a re-voted was taken he voted “YES”. H.B.#334 was the legislation that gave DE DOE the green light on Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment which opened the gates of Hell Re: more federal intrusion on local school control. Lavelle is Delaware Senate Minority Whip and Simpson is  Senate Minority Leader. Also, as you can see Sen, Simpson is engage with the education issues via SREB and is Chairman of SREB. Folks Lavelle flip-flopped for a political chip to use during the next legislative session. His vote will punish children and their parents and he’ll have no sense of remorse! 

Senator Lavelle’s political brain-fart is a classic example why the DE GOP is the political “minority” in this state. Damn Greg, you really F’ed up! Big time! Surely, Sen Simpson had to weigh in on the H.B.#334 debate! I guess Lavelle was sitting in his seat scratching his ass! Who knows, maybe Lavelle was playing political footsies with Sen Sokola! And then there is Debbie downer Hudson right besides Lavelle with a Yes vote! And yep Ramone too! Real sad! For a political party bent on keeping Washington out of our local business and lives, the Delaware Republican Party has become an enabler! WTF

OMG !!!!! Did you see Moyer charter school proficiency rating??

Charter School reports start on page 108. I cannot believe Moyer’s disgraceful performance!

Merv don’t blow your DCAS horn too loud! Richey parents might hear you !

Annual DCAS Results Show Red Clay Improvement as Grades Increase 

The 2014 Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) results released on Thursday afternoon show Red Clay closing the achievement gap in several areas, and overall improvement as students move through the system from elementary school to higher grades. 

The state report released yesterday noted some “remarkable” gains at specific schools in the state, including Red Clay’s Wm. C. Lewis Dual Language School – which increased math proficiency by 10 percentage points and reading proficiency by 7 percentage points across all grades over the past three years – and Marbrook Elementary School, which saw scores increase over three years by 18 percentage points in math and 12 percentage points in reading. 

In reviewing the overall picture, Red Clay officials noted that scores rise as students remain in the system. In tenth grade, Red Clay ranks 3 rd in the state in math, and 5 th in Reading and Science. 

“No matter where the students come in, we graduate them near the top,” said Superintendent Merv Daugherty. “While we acknowledge that improvements need to be made in some areas, as an organization we are focused on helping our students becoming college and career ready. These results, along with our college readiness indicators, such as PSAT, SAT and AP scores, demonstrates that Red Clay is a state leader and is well on our way to meeting our Strategic Plan goals.” 

On a statewide level, DOE reported maintaining gains made in the baseline year of 2011, when DCAS was introduced. Red Clay generally also maintained performance from the previous year, with slight declines in some grades, particularly in math. Red Clay has seen strong improvement from the baseline year, ranging from 4 to 18 percent in gains for reading and math in grades tested. 

Some other highlights include: 

    • Red Clay reduced the achievement gap in Math for African Americans and Hispanics by 6 and 7 percentage points, respectively. 
    • Red Clay reduced the achievement gap for English Language Learners by 6 percentage points in reading and 5 percent in math in the 2013-2014 school year. 
    • Red Clay exceeds the state in students who earned a PL4, the top score on the test, in middle and high school grades, differences ranging from 3 to 11 percentage points. 
    • Lewis saw a 17 percentage point increase in third grade math scores from the previous year, and an 18 percentage point increase in fifth grade reading scores. 
    • Marbrook saw an almost 20 percentage point increase in third grade math scores from the previous year and a 13 percentage point increase in fifth grade reading scores. 

“We are extremely excited about the improved student growth at Lewis and Marbrook,” said Dr. Daugherty. It is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the teachers, school and district staff members who made the necessary changes to benefit students. These schools have established professional learning communities of collaboration and teamwork models that we will replicate in other schools throughout the district.” 

This was the last year students took DCAS in reading and math. In 2015, the Smarter Balanced ELA (English Language Arts) and Math tests will replace DCAS. Students will continue to take DCAS science and social studies next year. The new assessments, which are aligned with the Common Core standards, will be administered for students in grades 3-8 and 11 in spring 2015. 

An online summary report is available at the Delaware Department of Education website here. 

Parent summary score reports will be mailed the week of July 21, 2014, according to DOE. The district will present further analysis of the results in the fall. 

See page 84 of report:

Richey Elementary School Reading:

3rd Grade change in proficiency  -26.6%

4th Grade change in proficiency  +8.8%

5th Grade change in proficiency  -7%

Overall Reading proficiency 54.6%

See page 88 of report:

Richey Elementary School Math:

3rd Grade change in proficiency -21.6%

4th Grade change in proficiency  +6.5% 

5th Grade change in proficiency  -5.6%

Overall Math proficiency 52.3%

@DSEA1 press release brings more schizophrenic fail on DCAS test score release, VAM, and the need to support teachers. #netDE

Originally posted on Transparent Christina:

Not sure where to begin as 7, count them 7, locals forwarded this to me! I will post comments inside the press release in RED.


for immediate release You may want to rethink that in a minute…

Contact person:  David Wright

Company:  Delaware State Education Association

Phone(302) 734-5834

Fax(302) 674-9499


DSEA applauds DCAS results What? Applauds the testing they so frequently deride?; Calls for commitment to full-funding, appropriate materials, and time to fully transition to Common Core Standards Well, this dovetails so nicely with testing doesn’t it?

Dover, Del. July 17th — The Delaware State Education Association celebrates the significant gains I think DSEA needs math class here, we literally went backwards in scores. How is this a gain?…unless you swallow the BULLSHIT DOE analysis achieved by Delaware students in the recently…

View original 630 more words

Visits It Takes a Villiage

Go see this It Takes a Village July 17, 2014 By Kendall Massett and leave a comment for the charter queen!

Delaware public school testing results laced with political and corporate dung

Delaware test scores flat; exams to get harder Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said the static statewide results don’t reflect big gains some individual schools are making. He pointed to Red Clay’s Lewis Dual Language School, a <FZ,1,0,41>state Partnership Zone school that has seen reading scores soar to 66 percent from 48 percent in 2013.

Cherry-pick the data all you what Murphy but at the end of the day the data is skewed.  The Lewis data you quote doesn’t represent individual student gains but yes the school gains and in this case Lewis 5th grade. However, please note in 2013 (Reading) 64 5th graders took the test with 48.4% proficiency and in 2014 56 5th graders took the test with 66.1% proficiency. The actual proficiency gain was 17.7%. However, from a statistical perspective in 2013 there were 64 students tested in comparison to 56 in 2014, that’s 6 less students. Can the data of 6 less students make a difference? Sec Murphy’s desperation for seeking out the positive overlooked some important facts such as 100% participation at the 5th grade level. The real good news of Lewis is the 3rd grade test data report is a 12.3% gain. -4.7% at the 4th grade level. No doubt there is major “teacher and staff” success to celebrate at Lewis. But sadly with a new test coming next year called the Smarter Balanced Assessment wicket step-sister of the Common Core Standards, teachers and staff of Lewis have to regroup. So if the scores are lower next year do we “blame” the Lewis teachers who were so successful this year?

So how successful was Lewis throughout DCAS? 5th grade 2014 66.1% proficiency to the standards and back in 201o-2011 the first year for DCAS 5th grade proficiency to the standards was 19.57%. Therefore the overall gain for Lewis under DCAS was 46.53% at the 5th grade level. 

Red Clay’s biggest loser was Richey with 2014 -26.6% with proficiency at 54.6% whereas in 2010-2011 proficiency was 52% an overall DCAS gain of 2.6%. WTF Merv?

I’ll spare everyone an not pick the data clean like a buzzards picking a dead cow’s ass! We must remember using one indicator to judge students and teachers is WRONG! Forcing our teachers and educators to teach to the test laced with politics is harmful to our children and the growth of American. No matter the means of assessment and even with multiple indicators at the end of the day socioeconomics and obvious deterioration of morals extending back to the community and families have the greatest negative impact on student learning and academic achievement. Adapting teaching and standards to treat a sick society whereas the failures in the community in areas of social behaviors can never be treated by professionals who are there to “teach”. The 25 million dollar contract for DCAS with millions more in development and implementation at the school level during these 4 years and one year for field testing certainly equates to about 35 million dollars total impact cost. Millions upon million of dollars more going to Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment will not address the core issuing impacting public education. The root cause of failure among our children is adults starting with their parents! As for our minority community, we have the righteous brothers and blinded sisters reaping greenbacks and a false sense of social status of the backs of their own poor children. What would Dr. King say about the Uncle Tom’s? Schools are not broken! Society is broken!

We have Governor Markell who is thicker than thieves with those pulling off the Wall Street education ponzi scheme riding in on the Washington Trojan Horse. And then there is the Rodel Foundation buying their way into the Delaware Department of Education via political campaign contribution on every Markell political endeavor. Our Delaware Secretary of Education former Rodel Vision Network chief with three years if teaching gym and the as an school level administrators was picked via Markell /Rodel ass-kissing. Murphy is now a proud card carrying member of Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change sowing the next generation of education reform set for 2016 campaign. Delaware wants to raise the bar on education standards for our children perhaps we need to start by raising standards on DE DOE leaders. Delaware has a state school board handpicked by the governor whereas they need to be elected position picked by the people.

Let’s not forget about Delaware State Representative Debbie Hudson who proclaims she is for transparency then blocks House Bill#23 she sponsored on behalf of a citizen. H.B#23 would required all Delaware school districts, votech school districts and charter schools to record the public session of their board meetings for all to hear. Hudson did in fact help me with the successful legislation that requires the state board to record their meetings. Despite Hudson bailing on the people, I was able to encourage Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Delmar, Brandywine and Colonial school districts to voluntarily record the public session of their board meetings. Hudson caved because the charter school organizers of Delaware many fellow republicans didn’t like the idea charter school board members being record with one being the state party chair. God forbid if the public found out about loans from family members to his charter schools was taking place. But don’t worry, the interest rate is very competitive. Then there is GOP potential governor hopeful Senator Greg Lavelle. This republican who stands on his mountain yell feds stay out of local control supported state legislation H.B.#334 allowing further federal intrusion in local school control taking away more parental / community voice. Greg you really fucked up!

The problem with public schools in Delaware is Washington, Dover, Markell’s corporate butt-buddies, sellouts like Hudson and Lavelle and testings companies run our schools intruding on the “public” in public schools aka parents and community rights to have real voice in what’s best for their children.  To all of them I say go fuck yourself!

To my local union friends, kind of strange you’re getting tough now after legislative session has ended. Kind of like pissing in the wind when legislative session has convened until January 2015. Yet you’ll endorse many of those who voted yes for H.B.#334.   

Make note, every time there movement to reform public education there comes an expansion of administration, consultants, new test, new textbooks who are sold by the same people writing the new test and no real gain in class size reduction. Public education has become an industry full of capitalist.


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