Posted on October 22, 2009 by kilroysdelaware
When looking at the so-called education reform I see two concerns wrapped into one shortsighted plan.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) aka Elementary Secondary Education Act signed by President Johnson in 1965 one year after the birth of Arne Duncan.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
“Summary: In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Public Law 89-10, which represented the greatest single commitment made by the federal government for the improvement of education, according to a report by the Dept.”
“Title I is concerned with the education of disadvantaged children, or educationally deprived children of low income families. It also provides funds for children of migratory agricultural workers, handicapped, and neglected and delinquent children.”
“Title II requires a state plan in which needs, goals, and objectives are outlined. Public, private, and parochial schools may participate in the allocation of school library resources, textbooks, and other printed and non-print materials.”
“Title III demonstrates the feasibility of innovations as model programs and projects in a local context. It also funds guidance, counseling, and testing projects.”
“Title IV provides consultant service in the area of court order compliance and equal educational opportunity and also serves as a liaison between the unique needs of the relatively new unitary systems and the total resources of the Dept. In 1974 Title IV was amended to include a consolidation of certain existing programs: libraries and learning resources, and educational innovation and support.”
“Title V’s role is to strengthen the Dept., especially in areas of leadership with local boards of education. ESEA is composed of additional titles, and many titles have been amended.”
Title 1 is the heart and soul of ESEA /NCLB and it clearly indicates the intention was to address disparities of high poverty students impacting their education. Clearly the issues are concerns with the achievement gap.
Nowhere in ESEA or its reauthorization in 2001 called NCLB does it suggest addressing the war on education achievement gaps between students of the United States and other countries.
Prior to the reauthorization of ESEA to NCLB congress was about to pull the plug on Title 1 because no real gains in addressing the achievement gap had been achieved. ESEA was to be reauthorized by 2000 however it was held over so that incoming President Bush could add his vision and finally signed by him January 02 , 2002 Bush’s is vision was “built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research.” Here is where we drifted from addressing the needs of the neediest that was obviously failing. Bush’s vision became about all students and now it looks like the top advances while holding down the bottom.
Delaware DSTP had nothing to do with NCLB and in fact it was rolled out in spring 1998 and later modified to conform to NCLB. DSTP was more focused on academic achievement of all students and no state funding was allocated to specifically address intervention needs of high poverty children. The business round table that convinced Governor Carper to support them and sign DSTP into law had their eyes set on students completing in the global economy. The standards and curriculum were redefined setting the bar quite high. In fact in 2006 Delaware DOE with support of Governor Ruth Ann Minner adjusted the cut scores associated with DSTP particularly at the 8th grade level. The cut scores were lowered which skewed previous years data giving the illusion student we doing better on DSTP. The real goals of DSTP required more funding than Delaware legislators authorized and obviously and the feds with NCLB. Everybody started crying underfunded and unfunded mandates. What real happened was the local business roundtable and the federal government decided they knew was best for local schools. We ended up with a local nightmare called DSTP and national nightmare call NCLB. As the dust cleared and reality set in both plan were flawed the original benefactors of ESEA 1965 were failed. There was only slight improvement in the closure of the achievement gap. In fact the in 1998 the onset of DSTP the high school dropout rate was 4.7% for all students, 6.4% for African-Americans, 8.2% for Hispanics and 3.9% for Whites. Last year 2008, the dropout rate for all students was 5.8%, 7.5% African-Americans, 8.0% Hispanics and 4.7% Whites. 10 years of the social experiment called DSTP Delaware’s dropout rate had increased for all groups except Hispanics that dipped by .2%. Millions of state dollars and additional federal dollars achieved nothing but the addition of more managers in education.
Here we are 2009 the last year for DSTP and NLCB. Now we have a new president. President Obama is calling for global competition of American students as well as the business roundtable who are a well organized network around the United States calling for yet another plan. This time we have Arne Duncan Secretary of the United State Department of Education who has never taught a class of students at any level, who was never a school building administrators at any level and has more discretionary funds and discretionary powers available then any U.S. Secretary of Education in history. He earns his way up the ranks based on childhood relationship with the First Lady’s brother and a political connection to the mayor of Chicago.
The new plan for educational reform is based on greater involvement of the federal government aka USDOE encroaching on local decision-making of school boards and the community. Not only does USDOE want to dictate spending of federal dollars, their goals will impact the expenditures of local education tax dollars.
Delaware has a governor and business roundtable with mutual agreements and agenda are favorable to further federal takeover of Delaware schools.
Governor Markell is a bit clueless as to Arne Duncan’s call for restructuring of charter schools as a prerequisite to being approved for Race to the Top Fund. From the outside Delaware doesn’t inhibit the expansion of charter schools but its laws inhibit the conversion of existing public schools to a charter schools. Per Delaware Code 15 Chapter 5, in order for an existing public school to convert to a charter schools more than 50% of parents and 50% of teachers must vote in favor of conversion. Surely organized teachers’ unions would never vote in favor of conversion as it would void their local contracts. If Governor Markell orders Delaware DOE to apply for Race to the Top funding without modifying the charter school laws to allow the Delaware DOE to order conversion of existing public schools based not meeting the academic objectives set forth by Arne Duncan then Markell will have a major civil rights battle on his hand.
Regardless of all the concerns at the end of the day once again it will be the children of poverty sold out. There is no way the U.S. legislators will pump more dollars into education via the reauthorization of NCLB. The 4.5 billion dollar Race to the Top funding is a two year deal and is part of the president’s existing stimulus package authorized by congress. The demands of USDOE set on states to compete for funding will require yet another reform of state standards and curriculum to coexist with new national standards and curriculum. Delaware being a small state is quite fragile and we are trying to crawl out of the aftermath of DSTP. Billions of dollars are flowing and the stimulus jobs spawned will be greater in the management of education than in the instructional. I see no law ordering or funding smaller class sizes.
We cannot raise the achievement level of “all” students to complete in the so-called global economy when the reality is the disparities in education caused by the inefficiency and ignorance of government can’t even produce a even playing field within the walls of our public schools. Delaware legislators can’t even get it right mandating smaller class sizes. They have the vision to see small class sizes are one of the great means to raise student academics and help close the achievement gap but lack the will to mandate it without back doors call waivers.
We had two distinct needs in education with one being closing the achievement gap and the other in offering successful students the means to achieve even higher. Where is the real battle plan and again who will be left behind with Duncan’s plan?
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Posted on October 22, 2009 by kilroysdelaware
What’s behind Obama’s sudden attempt to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general?
There are a number of unanswered questions today about President Obama’s abrupt decision to fire the inspector general of the AmeriCorps program, Gerald Walpin. Obama sent letters to House and Senate leaders yesterday informing them that he was firing Walpin, effective 30 days from the date of the letters.
Johnson, now the mayor of Sacramento, California, started a non-profit organization called St. Hope. The group’s mission, according to its website, is “to revitalize inner-city communities through public education, civic leadership, economic development and the arts.” As part of its work, St. Hope received a grant of about $850,000 from AmeriCorps
Currently the position for OIG is still vacant. Obama and Biden are looking for a new Inspector General who can play Arnie ball. In other words Obama and Biden doesn’t want anyone digging around Arne’s Race to the Top program and to fuck with Teach for America. Make note, Gerald Walpin also busted Teach for America for misusing $774,000.00 of federal grant money.
This photo was taken this past September long after Walpin was fired last July. Duncan and Johnson have known each other for years. Kevin Johnson played ball for the NBA for the Phoenix Suns. Arne Duncan didn’t make the cut for the Boston Celtics and headed to Australia tp play in the kangaroo leaque.
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