Bloggers to invade the Bulls Eye!

Join Mike Matthews of Delawaretalkradio.com and Kilroy at the Bull’s Eye Kirkwood Highway on Friday December 12 @ 8:00 pm – midnight. Due to the state of the economy if you want to eat and drink then bring your own money! Tyler please leave the Bob Barker Sports Jacket at home!

Skipper found $156 million waste in education!

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20081003/NEWS03/810030355

“Schoenhals called for “block grants” to schools, money that would not be tangled in legislative micromanagement, but would be invested according to the needs identified by school officials. He called on lawmakers to reallocate $90 million of the $156 million identified as “wasted money” by the Leadership for Education in Delaware Committee. He called for budgets that can be easily understood by parents and taxpayers.”

http://www.doe.k12.de.us/reports_data/lead.shtml
Lead Reports

Well folks, looks like Delaware education will survive the upcoming budget cuts by reducing the $156 million dollars identified as “waste money” by the Lead Committee!

15% proposed departmental cuts of $1,150,000,000.00 public school budget = $172,500,000.00 minus $156,000,000.00 known “waste money” leaves an overall $16,500,000.00 actual budget cut!

Well folks you call sleep tight at because the Delaware business roundtable is on watch! Hey Skip about those “block grants” it doesn’t matter either way with Red Clay because they’ll do as they please and are above the legislators.

CEO for Governor and a banker for secretary of education! Make Kilroy police chief and we can rename Delaware, Camelot! Then we’ll revoke the News Journal’s license and let Delaware Liberal handle the print media. Also, ditch WDEL and WILM and give the airwaves to Delaware Talk Radio! Wow now we’re talking utopia! Just think in a few weeks it will be 2009 six years until 2015 Delaware will be the world leader in education!

Bullshit, in 2015 we’ll be asking oursleves why in the fuck did we listen to the business roundtable again after knowing they were the ones behind DSTP.

Paging Jack Markell! One good thing about being governor you don’t have to worry about the state police when drinking and driving because, as you’re drinking in back of the limo a trooper will be up front driving!

Rodel delusions of Vision 2015 will drive the education budget so deep into the hole the school distircts will be forced to cut all sport and extracurricular activities in order to meet the basic classroom needs!

RTI Business Scam! Delaware DOE bites the hook

Anonymous said…

“Kilroy: I love the idea of a V2015 charter school. Let them show the rest of us how it can be done. Perfecto. Really.”

“If you have suspicions about the DSTP-Harcourt connections, what would y’all make of the vast and deep connections between Reading First–several major publishing companies–Neal Bush–Response to Intervention a.k.a. RTI, the latest initiative set on public education by the feds and jumped on by Valerie Woodruff in the last year of her SecofEd tenure. Somebody somewhere is making huge piles of money from the domination of Reading First, a program of dubious success. Materials for Reading First and RTI are all provided by the same companies and those companies are tied to the President’s brother. RTI is in all Delaware elementary schools and will soon be moved into secondary schools. This needs to be further investigated. The problem is not in Delaware–Valerie was just following orders.”
# 12 Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind

Source: Diatribune and Daily Kos, March, 30, 2007 Title: “Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From NCLB” Author: Mandevilla 

“The wedding of big business and education benefits not only the interests of the Business Roundtable, a consortium of over 300 CEOs, but countless Bush family loyalists. Sandy Kress, chief architect of NCLB; Harold McGraw III, textbook publisher; Bill Bennett, former Reagan education secretary; and Neil Bush, the president’s youngest brother, have all cashed in on the Roundtable’s successful national implementation of “outcome-based education.” NCLB’s mandated system of state standards, state tests, and school sanctions has together transformed our public school system into a for-profit frenzy.”

“Kress transitioned from public servant to corporate lobbyist, guiding clients to the troth of federal funds. By 2005 he had made upwards of $4 million from lobbying contracts.

“The Big Three—McGraw-Hill, Houghton-Mifflin, and Harcourt General—who have, since the passage of NCLB, come to dominate the testing market. Identified by Wall Street analysts in the wake of the 2000 election as “Bush stocks,” all three represent owners like Harold McGraw III, who has longstanding ties to the Bush administration and the lobbying efforts of Sandy Kress. “

“Other Kress clients, including Ignite! Learning, a company headed by Neil Bush, and K12 Inc., a for-profit enterprise owned by Bill Bennett, tailored themselves to vie for NCLB dollars.”

“Under NCLB, as school districts receive federal funding they are required by law to hold 20 percent of those funds aside, anticipating that its schools will fail to meet its Annual Yearly Progress formula. When that “failure” is certified by test scores, the district is required to use those set-aside federal funds to pay supplemental education service (SES) providers

(Remember folks Kilroy filed a complaint with the USDOE Office of Inspector Genral with concerns on “what” Red Clay us their 20% SES on with “possible” misuse of SESduring the 2007 Finanical Meltdown. USDOE OIG refered it back to Delaware DOE (can you believe that because we are talking federal funds) Delaware DOE responded to me and “The DOE has investigate your concers and found that the Red Caly School District was not required to reserve funds for SES in the 2007-08 school year; Valerie A Woodruff Delaware Secretary of Education. Hello Val but what did they spend the 20% SES “Federal” Funding on?”)

“Nationally, there are over 1,800 approved providers of supplemental educational services, but little in the way of regulation. To the contrary, Michael Petrilli, former member of the Department of Education, purports, “We want as little regulation as possible so the market can be as vibrant as possible.” To that end, Kress is currently lobbying on behalf of another bipartisan coalition to win reauthorization of NCLB for another six years

What Is Response To Intervention (“RTI”)?

“RTI is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important educational decisions. RTI should be used for making decisions about general, compensatory, and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction/intervention guided by child outcome data.”

RTI & DSTP ! Is Delaware turning into the Planet of the Apes? 

DSTP was to be the tell all assessment tools to help identify and meet the assessment needs of our students and not it appears to be RTI! Well looks like were getting better, we’ve reduced the acronym by one letter.

Here we have an education system in Delaware that promotes site-based management but it everything but! You have politically influenced profiteers including Neil Bush capitalizing off of NCLB, testing vendors and education instructional suppliers some being the same lining up at the DOE steps of Delaware for their share of the pie, Local SES providers with their hands out and Rodel Foundation Vision 2015 playing mind games use politicians on their boards.

All indications are Governor Jack Markell will be feeding into this Amway inspired pyramid scheme that is generating million of dollars for vendors. But what burns me the most is all the bullshit talk about share decision-making and site-based management. Now here is the distinction between charter schools and traditional schools I Delaware. Charter schools have the legal flexibility as not to participate is some of the centralized driven bullshit. They are required to participate in DSTP however that’s where it ends! Charter schools do have site-based management! The individual school decision-making team works together to develop the curriculum needs that best fits their students.

Public Schools claim to have share decision-making teams at the school levels but it’s a joke because all directives and often overriding decision making comes from the central level administration or school board. Last year each school principal had a building discretionary budget. However, they were told to limit its use in efforts to help produce and acceptable June 30th carry of budget. It was so bad principals weren’t ordering paper supplies or even soap for the bathrooms. Those calling for giving more power to the building level administrators have no clue what goes on behind the schools front door!

Once again here you have it from a nobody with a GED and pocketful of college credits in overdrive! I’ll admit I read and review many articles and data reports such as DSTP and I do often provide links. I’ll admit I am not an intellect when it comes to politics as who is left, right, left to center, right to center and in the middle bullshit. The fact is I am here in Delaware and focused on the impact of politics that seem to be impeding on public education.

I’ve been aware of anonymous concerns and I know these concerns on the inside of the systems. However, with such political ramification the status quo are turning a blind eye and have no doubt Governor Markell will go belly up and turn a blind eye. It’s kind of like a principal in a school board turning a blind eye and not going public with the district bullshit! Governor and local politicians won’t get involved in agenda that are rooted in high power Washington politics and agenda.

 

NCLB has created a profit center that many are cashing in on even Neil Bush President Bush’s brother and Sandy Kress, chief architect of NCLB ! More and more plans to improve education are coming from outside the schools, district and Delaware department of education. Everything is starting to overlap creating tremendous training and retaining. The dog is chasing its tail because the concerns are know such as social impact on education particularly relating to high poverty students who represent the core component of those falling below the achievement gap.

Remember how I rant on about the business round table in Delaware dictating education policies and manipulating DSTP? Well this is something going on nationwide “The wedding of big business and education benefits not only the interests of the Business Roundtable, a consortium of over 300 CEOs, but countless Bush family loyalists”

How much $$$$ do these company make from Delaware contracts

Harcourt Assesment (DSTP)

Harcourt School Publishers

Holt.Rinehart and Winston , a Harcourt Classroom Education Company

Rigby aka Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Saxon aka Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Steck-Vaugh aka Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Harcourt School Supply

Harcourt Religion Publishers

Harcourt Trade Publishers

Greewood Publishing Croup aka Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Will Markell let Rodel run Delaware’s schools?

Learning from Canada’s school system
Edmonton has 197 schools parents can consider for kids

Herdman said funding should be based on individual students’ needs. Currently,
Delaware schools receive funding based on a complicated formula. While schools do receive some additional support for special education students, they get little to nothing from the state for low-income children, gifted students or others with special needs. Schools receive very little extra for non-native English speakers, known as English language learners.



“Rather than assuming that all kids have the same needs, you would apply a different amount of funding to each student, and you would provide the money with no strings attached so the principal can make smart decisions about how the funding is spent,” Herdman said.

Earth to Rodel !

“complicated formula” No shit what do you think many of us and DSEA have been saying for years! Why is it a good idea when Rodel says it but when DSEA says it they are full of shit?

Why in the hell does Rodel have to sponsor a trip to Canada? We know what needs to be done such as address the “complicate formula.” Is Canada going to give foreign aid to Delaware Public Schools? We don’t need to go to Canada to see the problems! The problems with Delaware Public Schools is we have asswipe business leaders using Delaware Legislators for puppets in efforts push a plan called Vision 2015 designed by many who gave us DSTP. Tom Carper signed the DSTP legislation and Tom Carper is on the Rodel Foundation Advisory Council. That’s right Tom Carper is giving the Rodel Foundation advice on public education! The same jackass that signed DSTP into law!

Now does everyone honestly think Delaware is going to have a world class education system by 2015 at the hands of Rodel? Wasn’t Rodel who sent “manufacturing” jobs oversees to Indonesian paying natives substandard wages? Does a assembly line worker really need calculus?

“Money with no strings.” Are you fucking nuts! We can’t even get school districts to comply with financial accountability in accordance to the law! Rodel wants give Red Clay blank checks? Giving school district such as Red Clay blank checks is insane!

Here’s the scoop folks, Rodel was to pump more “state and local” money into public education without requiring full financial transparency first!

If Rodel is so bent on reforming Delaware public schools why don’t they build a Rodel Charter School and put all their amazing ideas to practice? They won’t because they might fail! The $30,000 they pissed away on a trip to Canada could have been better served if it was donated to a struggling charter schools.

Red Clay inching in the right direction

Red Clay Consolidated School District
October 2008 Year to Date Expenditures and Encumbrance Report

http://www.redclay.k12.de.us/SchoolBoard/CFRC/0809/Rpt/CFRC_OCR_WPYA_2008-10-31.pdf

http://www.redclay.k12.de.us/SchoolBoard/CFRC/0809/Rpt/CFRC_OCR_WOPYA_2008-10-31.pdf

Believe it or not, there is progress in more meaningful financial reporting. The district has been providing this new added report since June 2008. It’s up to you to review it and ask questions as I do.

This report is pretty much what I was fighting the district for and resigned from the Red Clay Community Financial Review Committee over. I felt it was important for the community to know expends such as trash removal, even cost for postage and the district and many little things!

If you have a question step up and show your face at one of the district’s CFRC meeting and ask in person! If you are a teacher or other staff person contact employee representative on the committee. I know they will ask the question discreetly!

The reality is sooner than later the state will mandate full financial transparency or if our new Governor Jack Markell shows some courage and makes an executive order re: full financial transparency of public school funding, Red Clay is in a better position to meet that objective. Though we demand more financial information from Red Clay, the fact remains they are providing way more financial information required by law.

Board meeting and the CFRC meetings can be boring! However, we have a responsibility to our community to be the watch dog and show a few teeth. It’s hard for working parents to come out to this meeting. Surely PTA / PTO’s can work together to have at least one member attend these meetings taking turns and bring the information back.

Delaware Public Education Imploding

Education chief makes case for ’09

Even temporary cuts can have lasting effects, Woodruff tells budget makers





“Woodruff did not request a specific dollar amount,

but assumes budget officials will use this year’s $1.15 billion public education budget as a base while taking into account enrollment

increases”


“Last week, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner asked all state agencies to cut their budgets by 15 percent next year to cover a decline in state revenues. Woodruff, who will retire early next year after she helps Gov.-elect Jack Markell’s new appointee transition into her job, said her department is working with the budget office to identify some preliminary cuts, but ultimately “it will be the next administration’s responsibility.” She would not comment on what those

preliminary cuts might be.”

15% of $1,150,000,000.00 = $172,500,000.00. Education can’t take a $172.5 million dollar cut! 5% of $1,150,000,000.00 = $57,500,000.00. Education can’t take a $57.5 million dollar cut!

So what happens to Vision 2015 will Markell cut the monies earmarked by Minner to promote Vision 2015?. Minner put a Reading Specialist in every Elementary school! Hello, Mc Minner McFly, didn’t the schools have teachers capable of teaching reading to third graders? Also, where in the hell is all the federal Title 1 funding going? Hello. Mc Minner McFly, didn’t the schools have teachers capable of teaching math in middle schools?

Why hasn’t Jack Markell announced who his Secretary of Education is? Public Education representing the largest portion of the state budget one would think Jack would get on the stick! Why keep the current Secretary of Education on the payroll after Markell takes office? Why isn’t the transition in education taking place now? Will George Bush stay on as a consultant?

Folks, public education in Delaware is going into crisis mode as you sleep! Go ahead blame DSEA however, they aren’t in control of all the wasteful management of education starting at DOE down to the districts. The districts will urge parents to jump on the backs of local legislators to block education cuts however the districts refuse full line-items financial transparency of education dollars. We cannot effectively cut waste if the districts keep playing shell games with our tax dollars.

Cuts at the state level will force local school districts to go to referendum and force local taxpayers to pick up the slack! The local taxpayers had enough of mismanaged education and legislators not stepping up to the plate and address piss poor wasteful management of public education. The current Secretary of Education and state legislators turn their backs on violation of state laws by local school districts which in many cases are supported by state audits.

There is waste at the top and middle level of management in public education and Governor Markell once in office needs to enact an executive order calling for full online financial transparency of public education! Local taxpayers can no longer wipe the asses of those in Dover who failed public education. Over and over we hear how it’s all for the Kids! So I suggest Markell and our state legislators start thinking of the kids and start leading reform with full financial transparency and accountability for the pirates within!

State Budget Revenues Plummet

Christmas for retailers is going to be bleak and come February we’ll see more business closures, layoffs and cut back in hours. State revenues will continue to erode.

How can the State of Delaware absorb a 200 million dollar budget shortfall? Where will Governor Markell make the needed budget cuts?

Of every dollar of the state budget goes:
Services for Children, Youth and Their Families 4.0 ¢
Higher Education 7.2 ¢
Judicial 2.7 ¢
Public Education 33.9 ¢
Safety and Homeland Security 3.7 ¢
Correction 7.6 ¢
Health and Social Services 28.1¢
All Others * 12.8 ¢

Education represents the largest portion of the state budget and the education goals of Jack Markell are quite ambitious. Personally I am for enhancements in early education such a Pre-K and Full-day K however; I am for paying my mortgage and feeding my family.

When the state legislators repealed Title 14 , Chapter 2, Subchapter I, Subsection 207 in June of 2002 and quickly signed into law early July 2002 by Minner it gave the state legislators an open meal ticket to enact state education mandates that were underfunded and unfunded. Full-Day Kindergarten is underfunded and the legislators forced local taxpayers to pick up a portion of the funding. The local taxpayers nor state taxpayers were given an opportunity to vote in a referendum to approve Full-day K. Prior to the repeal of the above legislation, legislators were required to indentify funding sources prior to voting on any education related legislation. No they pass laws with disregards to how they are funded.

There is a movement to pass Pre-k legislation and legislation to fund the next two years of college associated with the SEED program. Minner called her 3rd and 4th year state funded college scholarship STAR. Markell supports funding for the 3rd and 4th year scholarship program. Throw in Vision 2015 funding we have a financial disaster that will break the state budget. We cannot afford it! I am for all these wonderful programs however; I am also for paying my mortgage, healthcare, food, utilities and someday turning my heat up above 65 degrees.

Hear me well governor and legislators you will not push the tax burden on the backs of the local taxpayers. The bullshit needs to stop! You refused open government and full financial transparency of public education!

Governor Markell you have the executive power to require full financial transparency of public school funding and all public funding! You’re first act as governor is to make this executive order. It won’t happen over night however you can make it effective January 2010. You want the local community support, then I suggest you step up to the plate and deliver a homerun. We don’t cheer those like Minner who hid in the dugout!

It’s time to clean house in the Delaware Department of Education and reduce that department by 20%. The money needs to be in the classroom not the boardrooms in Dover!

The State of Delaware will be face with a 200 million dollar budget shortfall by June 2009! Governor Markell, it’s time to act January 2009 and make those executive order.

School Boards Can’t Vote at Workshops



http://www.redclay.k12.de.us/SchoolBoard/Meetings/0809/Agendas0809/12-1-08-Workshop%20Session.pdf

Red Clay School Board will be holding a “Special Workshop” on H.B. 758 Class Size Wavier on December 1, 2008.

The meeting on December 1, 2008 is officially designated as a “Special Workshop” and advertised as such! The school board can only vote during the Public Session of the Board Meeting or a Special Board Meeting

Three are not set provisions for Special Workshop and any vote would be illegal as the establish board policies only permit voting at “board meetings.” However please keep in mind, when the board waives or disregards board policies they are not breaking state laws! Each local school board set their own policies and pretty much all utilizes Robert’s Rules of Order.

If the district tries to reclassify the meeting from Special Workshop to Special Board Meeting where they can take a vote against that action would required giving the opportunity to comment. At November 19, 2008 the board announced because there was no two week public notices the board had to take the Class Size Wavier off the agenda. In doing so many who intended to comment withdrew or didn’t submit a green slip. Therefore any vote anywhere at anytime would be in violation of school board policies as the public wasn’t given the opportunity to speak.

The upcoming meeting is a “Special Workshop” a vote will be in violation of board policies.

Here is the sad part! Our local state legislators do not give a rat’s ass and will not intervene! If you really care and plan on bitching at the board members please consider bitching at your legislators.

STOP READ !

http://www.redclay.k12.de.us/SchoolBoard/Meetings/0809/Agendas0809/12-1-08-Workshop%20Session.pdf Agenda for December 01, 2008

Now you see the agenda as a “Special Public Session / Public Hearing. It notes, “The Board of Education contemplates discussion of the regular public agends” Hello, you can’t have discussion until after all presentations by the district “and” public comment.

You’ll also see “Accountability Committee Report –Odyssey Charter

Though the district is selling this meeting as a “Special Workshop” the meeting will be read in the record as a Special Public Session / Public Hearing. Therefore because there was a presentation and public input on Odyssey request for modification of their charter along with the rescinding of the 3 to 3 vote the board can hold another vote.

Red Clay has played this “Special Workshop” shell game before!

Karen Carpenter

It’s really sad that this song was Karen bearing her soul and nobody really knew.

Red Clay improper vote conflicts with the law?

TITLE 14
Education
Free Public Schools
CHAPTER 5. CHARTER SCHOOLS

§ 513. Reporting and oversight.
(a) On or before November 1, each charter school shall produce an annual report for the school year ending the previous June, which shall discuss the school’s progress in meeting overall student performance goals and standards and contain a financial statement setting forth by appropriate categories the school’s revenues and expenditures and assets and liabilities. To ensure that such reports provide parents and approving authorities with clear and comparable information about the performance of charter schools, the Department of Education shall prescribe a uniform format for such reports, which may be supplemented by requirements set by the approving authority for schools it has chartered.
§ 515. Oversight and revocation process.

(f) If the accountability committee reports that the school has complied with its charter and the criteria set forth in § 512 of this title, the approving authority shall approve or disapprove its report at a public meeting after giving the charter school 30 days notice. If the approving authority disapproves the report, it shall identify the reasons for that decision with particularity. Thereafter, the approving authority shall hold a hearing, within 30 days, to decide the appropriate remedy pursuant to subsection (g) of this section.

When you have laws with so many loopholes and “Shall” and “May” interpretation and even sometimes implementation can be confusing.

Trying to review the Delaware charter school legislation in relationship to the current issue with Red Clay’s Odyssey Charter School is difficult however I bet the farm that I’ve spent more time reviewing them than the board members.

In October Odyssey gave a presentation which was seeking modification of their charter school agreement with Red Clay to allow Odyssey to operate out of two building locations and to expand enrollment. During that meeting it was revealed Odyssey did not give Red Clay students a set admission preference. However, the board listened to their request and assigned their Charter Accountability Committee to review Odyssey’s request and report back to the board to assist in guidance and recommendation to the board in the charter modification request.

While reviewing the law I noticed, Subsection 513 (a) re: annual report on of before November 1 of each year. It dawn on me that I have seen or even heard a committee report from the Red Clay board

The Red Clay school board assigned the district Charter Accountability Committee to review Odyssey request and it’s my understanding there was an onsite visit. So in reality the committee’s review can double for the required annual report but it didn’t.

Here are the concerns:

It appears there was no required annual review on or before November 1. The committee actually met on November 7, 2008 and gave their presentation to the Red Clay board on November 19, 2008. However, the board reviewed the report only in relationship to the issues of Odyssey’s request for charter modification not as an annual report. I am convinced there would have been no report of any kind if Odyssey didn’t make the charter modification request which only then did the board assign the accountability committee.

Subsection 515 (f)”the approving authority shall approve or disapprove its report at a public meeting after giving the charter school 30 days notice”

The district charter accountability committee met on November 7, 2008 and gave their report to the board for review on November 19, 2008. The board flawed in calling for a vote because they failed to give Odyssey Charter School the required 30 days notice. Furthermore it put the school board is a position to vote in haste which was a disservice to the board, the district, Odyssey and especially to the Odyssey students and families.

Though the vote was to address the charter modification, in actuality the board was required to take the accountability committee’s recommendations into the equation. The vote sent a message that there were concerns with in the report. More importantly I find the vote to be premature and inappropriate as it did not give Odyssey proper notice of 30 days. They would have been given adequate time to review the report and board concerns. Obviously the board would have more time to review the report and have in-depth discussion without pressure of voting for or against within minutes of review of the report. The discussion that the board did have was laced with personal views and opinions of individual board member’s pros and cons in regards to charter schools in general. The task at hand was not to debate charter schools in general but rather reviewing the accountability committee report and the request for modification of the charter.

I could take my negative digs at the board however there are new members whom I don’t think took the time to review and digest the state charter schools laws with all its twist and turning loopholes. I can say, here is any classic example of why Red Clay needs to get out of the charter school approving business and why the law needs to be change putting full charter school approval and oversight under the control of the Delaware Department of Education. Red Clay tends be more reactive without deep thought and review of procedures, guidelines and review and consultation of their law.

The three to three board member vote on the charter modification issues was rescinded however, not based on possible board errors as I see. Board members did acknowledge after the vote additional information brought to their attention after the fact may have resulted in a different vote outcome. This further supports my position that the board voted in haste and did not allow reasonable time for themselves to digest the report and for Odyssey to provide an detailed response to the report and board. It was like throwing Odyssey is chair and putting a integration spotlight on them.

Don’t get me wrong I have may reservations about charter schools and much of those reservation are clouded by Red Clay’s participation in the charter school approval and review process. The Red Clay school board needs to vote on a moratorium on not reviewing or voting on any new charter school application.

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