OMG!! DSEA Queen comes out with needles in her Nerf Darts! OUCH !!!!!!!!!!

Delaware Voice: Frederika Jenner

What are schools teaching us?

“What are schools teaching us?” Good question. A recent editorial piece in The News Journal asked, but did little to uncover answers to this important inquiry.

And the News Journal wants to be more reader friendly!  

Testing season has already begun. By this time, every teacher in every imaginable subject area has given state-sanctioned tests to determine a baseline for student growth. Additional benchmark tests, to be used throughout the year to track progress, can be found on the Delaware Department of Education website. In the spring, educators will follow up with similar batches of tests intended to measure growth.

Personally I think they left out one test! What about drug screening for DE DOE?

Third-graders have already had tests in reading, math, science, social studies, art, music and physical education. Sixth-graders in my home school had tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as in their two exploratory classes. Tenth-graders will have had tests in every class where grades are given. By the end of this year alone, 11th-graders might have taken as many as 15 to 20 tests outside of those tied directly to each of their classes.

What no high school exit test? Who know Vision 2090 might call for it!

These tests are in addition to the standardized testing program. Until 2009, we used the Delaware Student Testing Program. The Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System testing came in 2010, and in spring 2015, we’ll introduce the Smarter Balanced tests for ELA and math. We have students in our high schools today who within seven years will have experienced DSTP, DCAS and now SBAC testing. And, all this testing is on top of the regular quizzes and tests that are part of every teacher’s curriculum and instructional plans.

Yep I hear ya! Darn shame Markell is stuck in little-man mode!

Elementary kids, and even middle-schoolers, have come to know the joys of test prep. At one time, I bought into the test prep routine, but it has gotten out of hand. Kindergarten through fifth-grade science and social studies instruction time has been significantly curtailed in order to make time for the two tested subjects – math and reading.

Personally, K-3 should be only read , math and social skills 101. What good is science or social studies if they can read or do math? 

So, what have educators learned from standardized testing in Delaware schools?

Markell is full of (damn can’t saying because Publius will lecture me on online behavior) But I am sure you get the drift!

In many cases, testing confirms what a teacher already knows about Suzy’s progress. Test scores and growth targets are used for ranking students, but what teachers really need are diagnostic results that pinpoint students’ areas of weakness and offer prescriptions for improvement. DCAS failed to provide this information.

Diagnostic? Don’t they have people for that when the classroom teacher’s observations indicates possible learning disabilities?

DCAS and SBAC tests are administered on computers. It can take weeks to run an entire student body through each round of computerized testing. During this time, technology classes are forced to meet in regular classrooms and libraries are off-limits.

Yea than you have DE DOE techies screwing with the data!

Not only are reading and math skills measured by the tests, but many times students’ adeptness with computers is measured as well. This digital divide is a very real part of the opportunity gap.

Yep for sure 100%! 

Standardized testing, like DCAS, might not be right for every student. Concerns were raised by educators and parents alike about requirements for some students with special needs to sit through DCAS testing when, in their expert opinion, this was totally inappropriate for the child.

I think trained observant teachers have a good idea which students need intervention! 

You see, most Delaware teachers never saw the computerized DCAS tests. So, how was I supposed to know what I’m teaching and the way I am teaching are aligned to the test? I don’t want to teach to the test, but I do want to be confident my instruction and the effort my students put into learning are reflected in the test items.

And DCAS doesn’t measure absenteeism, class room behavior and if homework is completed! 

DSTP tests, as much as they were maligned for not showing growth and for late delivery of results, were designed and updated by Delaware teachers to match Delaware standards.

Growth is the golden egg! 

Finally, educators and parents aren’t convinced students need to endure annual standardized testing. Could there be another testing schedule?

Let’s go back to old school to the days homework, quizzes, chapter review test, midterms and finals all meant something!  

In the end, the editors made this recommendation: “As the testing season approaches, the state and the schools would be advised to clearly demonstrate to parents and any doubters the advantages of the test.” Talk to educators. Talk to kids. I’m not sure it’s possible to demonstrate the advantages of all this testing.

In the end as in the beginning the News Journal is bias to Rodel and Markell! 

Frederika Jenner is president of the Delaware State Education Association.

Kilroy is mining the Delaware high school data re: college bound graduates or lack of

Just a follow up from my previous post:

As in mine the Delaware high school data re: college bound students I notice some interesting data trends.

In further review of Delaware Military Academy data I noticed females represented 74% of the total student enrolled in higher ed and males 56%. This a wider deviation that the other high schools. What I am reading into the data is “perhaps” more males opted to join the military than females. So I wouldn’t right it off as male achievement is less.

As far as traditional Red Clay high schools, here is one with data way out of whack with other Red Clay high school data. Mckean reports 44% of college bound students are females leaving 27% males. Dickinson is 28% female and 29% male.

As for those wanting to bash Christina School District compare them to Red Clay (traditional high schools)

Christiana High School 41% college bound

Glasgow High School 44% college bound

Newark High School 52% college bound.

Much better than Red Clay’s three traditional high schools. Sure all can stand a little improvement. Like major improvement!

Reviewing all this data and hearing all about Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy claiming his plan will prepare students for college or career tells me that’s an awful big objective. Sure, we all want this for kids. The big dilemma in Murphy’s plan is the “career” aspect. Where in the Common Core Standards does it track students to “careers”? And what is a definition of a career? Red Clay has some career things going on mirroring some Votech programs such as culinary and media audio/ visual. Does any of our Delaware high schools offer programs relating to the customer service an industry Delaware economy has shifted to from manufacturing? Sad to say an it’s a reality, many students who don’t go to college or military careers will end up in the service industry. Is anyone teaching them about things like external and internal customers? Verbal and nonverbal communication skills? How about interpersonal communication skills? Here’s one for Publius! Hey Publius do you think it’s far fetch to align some business courses with Six-Sigma? Wait! Does any of our high schools offer business as a career path?  

Tracking students towards college is very defined. However, tracking them to “careers” begs the question “what careers”? Blowing smoke is one’s vision of every student being prepared for college or career has some answers to the mechanics.

Red Clay selective student admission schools yields more college bound students; The black and white truth

Based on the most DE DOE recent data available: School Year 2013

Charter School of Wilmington: (Red Clay claims it’s a “Red Clay” school): 93% graduates enrolled in higher Ed. Hispanic 100%, African-American 100%, Asian 91% and White 92%. Low Income 100%. Spec Ed 0%. * School Low Income population 5.5% yr 2013

Delaware Military Academy: 61% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 100%, African-American 100%, Asian 50% and White 59%. Low Income 66%. Spec Ed 0%. * School Low Income population 24.6% yr 2013

Cab Calloway: 85% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 100%, African-American 100%, Asian 100% and White 86%. Low Income 77%. Spec Ed 71% ( per report). School Low Income population 16.6% yr 2013

Conrad Schools of Science: 51% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 45%, African-American 47%, Asian 50% and White 56%. Low Income 42%. Spec Ed 0% . School Low Income population 36.7 yr 2013

A.I.High School: 51% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 38%, African-American 39%, Asian 79% and White 59%. Low Income 32%. Spec Ed 17%. School Low Income population 48% yr 2013

McKean High School: 35% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 34%, African-American 33%, Asian 60% and White 36%. Low Income 33%. Spec Ed 12%. School Low Income population 70.3% yr 2013 

Dickinson High School: 28% graduates enrolled in higher ed. Hispanic 40%, African-American 19%, Asian 33% and White 33%. Low Income 27%. Spec Ed 7%. School Low Income population 67.5% year 2013 

Wow Cab 71% Spec Ed!!

As you can see Dickinson High School is at the bottom and I am totally shock to see Asian at 33% and hats off the Hispanic. 

What gives with DMA? I wonder what % of DMA students sign-up for the military after graduation? Big question of the day, do we use college enrollment data as the final gauge in measuring the achievement gaps between sub groups?  

And yep just for Publius, do schools with specific interest admissions such as Charter School of Wilmington, Cab, Conrad and IB programs pull better performing students from the other schools? If there were not magnets , charters and selective programming even Choice would the college enrollment numbers be higher for the obviously low performing schools? Bonus question and dinner with Publius at Bull’s Eye, without these other “choices” and all students forced to stay in feeder-patterns would the overall combined college admission rate be lower for Delaware high school graduates? Triple bonus point question, what impact on college enrollment would there be if those attending charter school and magnet school would have stayed or followed siblings into private schools?

Data is amazing and can be interpreted in many ways beyond just raw data. The variables in the input can certainly change the outcome. Surely we need to improve the outcomes of our public schools for the betterment of all children. However, specific interest admission does impact the equation. As we send the so-called lifeboat saving children from the so-called failing schools, are we sending lifeboats with motors for some students and with oars with others? Bottom-line what about the student in life jackets in the frigid waters? Are we trending into an education system saying what students we can but doing our best to save all?

Somehow, I don’t see education reform from the bottom-up meaning investing more in low achieving students. There seems to be catering to higher performing student who now are more challenged re: global economy. As far as those getting the “best” jobs, you can bet the top 10% performing students will consume those jobs leaving the other 90% struggling! 50% of all college graduates end-up in jobs not in their field of study. Did they pick the wrong career path? How many scientists can companies like DuPont absorb? What I am saying is, are we creating a bigger supply than actual demand? One thing for sure, little brothers at the bottom of the rung even with college degrees still have others stepping on their hands as they climb the rungs of the ladder of success.

And Nancy, yep put the decoder ring on ;)

Also, shout-out to waitress chaser! Professor Kilroy is alive and well!  

22nd District Candidate Steve Newton Demolishes US DOE Secretary Arne Duncan In One Fell Swoop! @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @nannyfat @ecpaige @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE #edchat

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

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Steve Newton has ripped apart United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s recent editorial that appeared in the Delaware News Journal.  He ripped it up, put it in a blender, burned it and then stomped on the ashes until there was nothing left of Duncan’s words but empty bluster.

Newton took all of Duncan’s statistics about education and exposed them for the propaganda tools they are.  I could spoil it and put in parts here, but that would be an injustice to Steve’s great article.  All I can say is anyone in the 22nd District of Delaware would be foolish to vote for anyone other than Steve Newton for State Representative in the House.  To read Steve’s awesome article (and if you don’t you will be kicking yourself later when all of this corporate education crap falls apart), please go here: http://newtonfor22ndstaterep.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-reply-to-education-secretary-arne.html

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Dave Sokola’s Lasting Legacy: Future Fallout From SB 51

Originally posted on kavips:

teacher depletion

43,140 teachers shorted across just 5 states.

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Rodel’s report pushing trash to the top!

Rodel report pushes personalized learning Matthew Albright, The News Journal

The report offers suggestions for how to personalize learning for students using technology and alternative models for schools and classrooms.

Online learning and I guess this means Rodel invented it! So is this the seed for virtual schools where the affluent kids stay home and the no so affluent minority kids need the classroom environment. 

Take council member Jennifer Hollstein’s English class at the Charter School of Wilmington.

Students work on research papers, using online resources such as UDLive or TED Talks on their computers. Hollstein monitors their progress on her laptop, approving timelines and research notes.

“Not only are they no longer limited by their library, they’re not limited by a classroom structure that tells them how to do everything,” Hollstein said.

If Delaware can get to the point where every classroom looks more like Hollstein’s, the state could move away from a traditional grade-level model to a “competancy-based” approach, where students advance once they’ve mastered concepts, the report suggests.  

Here we go CSW! Dear dear CSW teacher, not all students are privileged to attend the Wilmington Country Club of schools called Charter School of Wilmington. What works in such a selective schools might not work in a traditional public school whereas I’ll be nearly 70% student aren’t on grade-level and even high poverty charter schools. Sure blame last year’s teacher for pushing students along. However, Social Promotion is the most damaging education policy ever! In traditional public schools many teachers must formulate IEP like plans for all students and know which ones are behind grade level and which ones are approaching grade level and which ones are at grade level.

“Classroom structure” OMG you didn’t!

Classroom management and structure go hand and hand! And guess what? Teacher are evaluated on classroom management. Perhaps just perhaps CSW can allow you take two-years off and teach in say, John Dickinson High School.

The drive to reform public education via ESEA /NCLB is about bring the bottom up and closing the achievement gap. As we push the top tier students to do even better so that they can compete in the so-called global economy, the bottom tier are being victimized by funding meant for them going to the top tier. Title 1 school wide programs are not helping the cause. Targeted assistance is the best approach. Why are we using Title 1 funding to pay for “all” students SAT fees whereas all students aren’t low income? 

Folks, when the race is over which race will still be in the starting blocks? I am 1000% for the advancement of technology in the classroom and in the homes. However, when the I-pads or laptops turn-off at the end of the school day, they stay there, in school. The internet divide still exist and without training and educating parents of Title 1 children, their children will be left behind. Also, sending school computers home can pose security issues and those computers are out of the reach of school networks and servers.  

“We know the state is looking at this and we all know this is coming in the future,” said council member Robyn Howton, an English teacher at Mt. Pleasant High School. “We want to keep pushing this as an issue that needs to be talked about.”

Another Race to The Top cheerleader! AVID has been in place for over 10 years in Mt. Pleasant High School long before Race to The Top and Jack Markell.  Was Mount Pleasant Ducan Ass-kissing speaking for the district? And what about the SIG factor? Posted on by kilroysdelaware | Brandywine teacher praises Arne Duncan but low key about her own superintendent Posted on by kilroysdelaware “Ms. Howton is a National Board Certified Teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in the Brandywine School District. She is the AVID coordinator and building LFS trainer at Mount Pleasant. She is also a member of the Smarter Balanced State Network of Educators. She was a 2007 Fellow with the Delaware Writing Project and served as an instructor for the class Teaching Non-Fiction Writing With Style during the summer of 2013.

Is this the resurrection of civil rights leaders of yesterday? re: Wilmington City Council holding another education meeting!

Wilmington City Council to Hold Another Forum for Discussion of the Neighborhood Schools Plan and the State’s Priority Schools Plan

Posted on  10/20/2014 3:52 pm

Council’s Education, Youth & Families Committee Will Meet on Wednesday, November 12 at 6 p.m.

Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory and the Chair of Council’s Education, Youth & Families Committee, Nnamdi Chukwuocha (D-1st District), announced today that Council will hold a second public forum to allow for further public discussion of the Neighborhood Schools concept and the State’s Priority Schools proposal.

The Education, Youth & Families Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Louis L. Redding City/County Building at 800 North French Street in Wilmington. The meeting will be televised live by Wilmington’s government access television channel—WITN, Channel 22 on the Comcast Network—and will be rebroadcast and available on-demand anytime at WITN22.org.

“As the Red Clay and Christina districts interact with the State Education Department on an MOU and a plan that could determine the fate of six City schools, City Council wants to serve as a resource for the exchange of ideas,’ said Council President Gregory. “Our Council Members and the citizens of Wilmington need to be heard on an issue so vital that it could affect our children and their education for years to come. We want to contribute to the discussion and make sure that previous efforts to improve the local education system, such as the Neighborhood Schools Plan of 2001, are properly vetted in a public forum.”

Council President Gregory and Committee Chair Chukwuocha said the agenda for the November 12 meeting has been tentatively set to include the following:

  • A Powerpoint presentation prepared by Council staff concerning the Neighborhood Schools Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2001 as part of the State’s Neighborhood Schools Act of 2000, to be followed by a public discussion

  • A Powerpoint presentation prepared by Council staff concerning the Priority Schools Plan followed by a public discussion

  • Updates from the Red Clay and Christina Districts as to progress being made regarding the development of an MOU or a school plan

Education, Youth & Families Committee Chair Chukwuocha said City Council will continue to provide forums for thoughtful discussion and the sharing of ideas in order to bring various voices together on this issue. “Council’s involvement in the ongoing education discussion is critical to ensuring that equity and fairness are present to meet the unique needs of our students, their families, schools and communities,” said the Committee Chair. 

City Council’s initial public session on the Priority Schools Plan held on October 9 featured a presentation by State Education Secretary Mark Murphy and drew more than 150 citizens, some of whom publicly expressed varied opinions about the state’s plan.

On September 4, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Education Secretary Murphy announced the availability of nearly $6 million in resources to improve the academic performance of students in the state’s six lowest-performing district schools. They identified what they called “Priority Schools” as the Christina School District’s Bancroft Elementary, Bayard Middle and Stubbs Elementary schools; and Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Warner Elementary, Shortlidge Academy and Highlands Elementary schools, which would share $5.8 million over four years to implement what the Governor and Secretary described as locally-developed, state-approved plans.

WOW! I think Wilmington is finally getting it together and indeed it’s time to talk Neighborhood Schools! They can’t just be fir the suburbs and they can’t be corporate tombs for city kids! When I look at a public school, I want to see playgrounds, athletic fields and all the trimmings of suburban schools. End the one-way out-bound force-busing for Wilmington’s children with no middle and high school or give the preferential Choice transportation and first choice in any Red Clay suburban middle or high school.

Hey Theo and especially you Nnamdi has anyone asked Markell about Title 1 Section 1118? Ask him for the parent sign-in sheets! The MONEY ain’t Markell’s! It belongs to the community who wasn’t at the planning table.

Kids learning how to fight in the hood! What’s the big deal!

UPDATE !!!!!!!!!!

Members of the school staff were able to disperse a cafeteria fight about 7 a.m., which apparently was sparked by a weekend “neighborhood dispute” being carried over into the school, Lt. Mark Farrall said.

“We do not know the exact neighborhood, but it is a neighborhood in the city of Wilmington,” Bryda said Tuesday.

Maybe Sec of Ed Murphy should take the Priority Schools money and create Priority Neighborhoods. Let’s get to the root-cause and create a buffer between home and school! 

Police investigate video of children fighting The News Journal 

Online videos showing young children fighting in Wilmington are being investigated by police, a department spokeswoman said.

Two separate videos were posted on Delaware Online’s Facebook page Sunday showing children fighting while adults laughed, cheer and videoed them.

In one video, two young shirtless boys, fought each other on a city sidewalk. In one clip, the taller child knocks the shorter boy to the ground. The boy then begins to cry. The 32-second clip then cuts to the two boys fighting near a porch, while a young girl tries to separate them.

 More …………………………………

OMG people chill-out! No one was going to let any of these kids get hurt! It’s all about survival and without skills the weak will be consumed.

When you live in tough neighborhoods you need to be tough! But I get the outrage! Who knows, the little dude heading home might have been fetching a AK-47 or Mac-10.

In the hoods of Hockessin, it’s off to karate classes where same thing goes on. But sure with hand, foot and padded head gear. In the streets of our crime infested cities it’s dog eat dog! I’ll bet little Hockessin Nicky kicked some ass when cuz or George tried to take his lamb-chop or dip their fingers in the mint jelly. 

The adults in the video should have at least put boxing gloves on the little dudes.

Ron Russo lands a gig at Caesar Rodney Institute “expert on education issues”

Caesar Rodney Institute

I would also like to announce two other appointments. First, we are proud to have Ronald Russo join CRI as a Senior Fellow for Education policy. Simply put, Ron is an expert on education issue, particularly how to manage and run schools successfully.  Ron showed his ability as the principal of St. Mark’s and as the first head of the Charter School of Wilmington, taking Charter from a bold idea to one of the most outstanding public schools in the nation. We are thrilled to have Ron share his invaluable expertise on education issues as part of CRI as we seek provide real solutions to what we believe is the most important issue facing our State.   

Well NJ David Ledford! Looks like NJ’s transformation was short-lived

A chance to examine standardized tests Arne Duncan / News Journal Opinion

Parents have a right to know how much their children are learning; teachers, schools and districts need to know how students are progressing; and policymakers must know where students are excelling, improving and struggling. A focus on measuring student learning has had real benefits, especially for our most vulnerable students, ensuring that they are being held to the same rigorous standards as their well-off peers and shining a light on achievement gaps.

So Arne, tells why you permitted Federal Law Title 1 Section 1118 to be waived via NCLB Wavier?  Title 1 Parents have the right to know but not the rights afforded then in Section 1118.

Policymakers at every level bear responsibility here – and that includes me and my department. We will support state and district leaders in taking on this issue and provide technical assistance to those who seek it.

Yes right Arne, with a federal $$$$$$$$ gun against their heads!

The Education Department has provided $360 million to two consortia of states to support that work. And to reduce stress on teachers during this year of transition, my department in August offered states new flexibility on connecting teacher evaluation to test results.

Real nice Arne send in the money! 

And we must stand strong in the knowledge – not the belief, but the knowledge – that great schools make a difference in the lives of all children.

So Arne have you been to Helen’s lately?

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