Knock knock who’s there

HOUSE BILL NO. 317

“This bill provides that any person who solicits door to door sale shall display a door to door salesperson identification card which shall include the person’s name, employer, employer telephone number, employer address and State of Delaware business license number. This bill also provides that door to door sales shall only be solicited between the hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

“Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $75 nor more than $150.  For each subsequent like offense the person shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250.”

Evolution what a waste

Rethinking Delaware School Board Elections

In case you didn’t know, school board members are elected public officials who must live in their assigned school board nominating district (within given school district) to run for that given board seat. However, voters  residing in the other board member’s  nominating district are permitted to vote for any and all board members running in open seats. All board members are voted at large. If a board member moves out of his or her nominating district they may complete their term of office.

Wouldn’t it be great if voters were allowed to vote in any and all senate and / or representative elections throughout the county in which the live? What happens when a senator or legislator moves out of their districts? do they stay in office until the next election? Hell no !

Education seems so high on the list of concerns and represents the largest portion of the state budget and supplemented by local taxes and federal grants . Why then are school board elections so out of sync with election of other elected officials? 

Changes needed:

I had time to think over the call for moving school board election to November coinciding with general elections. I now support this option because recent events exposing the fact that school boards have very limited control of education decision. It seems Dover and our governor sees school board members as nothing more than watchdogs. Local taxpayers want greater opportunity in transparency of local schools and want the empowerment to act on those discrepancies. Let the sunlight in and we’ll get the brooms out.

Only permit voters to vote for school board members within their own district. Perhaps make one board seat an at large election.

Board members moving out of their nominating district must step-down from office. The remaining board members appoint a temporary board members from within nominating district of board member who vacated  and call for special election ( as they do now).

Compensate local school board members the same amounts as the Delaware State Board of Education.

Speaking of the State Board of Education, we need to end the appointment of these positions and call for election of state board member in the same fashion I noted above for local school board members. Assign nominating or elected districts for State Board of Education. 

It’s kind of strange that I want to broaden  the political process for school boards. However, the current process seems way more political. Governor Markell has demonstrated that the constant overreaching of governors in Delaware disrupts read positive directions in public education. Those who want to blame organized labor for all the problems need to step back and look at those in Dover catering to all special interest groups.  End the lobbying process involving public education. Better yet make Delaware lobbyist free. Let’s make the public the special interest.

Bottomline, if the power is at the ballot box perhaps that’s were we need to bring the people aka all stakeholders and give back public schools to the public.

Voting twice in school board elections will be crime

House Bill # 244 w/HA 1 Ready for Governor’s action

“This bill, amends the notice requirements for school districts conducting elections pursuant to Title 14, Chapters 10, 19, 20, and 21.  It also provides a deadline for a school district to return voter affidavits if given to it and makes voting twice in a school election a crime.  It would clarify the content of the notice to be posted by school districts conducting referenda to raise local taxes and/or issue local bonds and authorizes the Department of Elections to cancel an election to raise local taxes and/or issue bonds if the notice requirements are not met.”

How is it possible for someone to vote twice in a school board election?

Duncan puts foot in mouth and right out his asshole

“ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports: Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it gave the city a chance to rebuild and improve its failing public schools”

Duncan feels all the destruction, death and despair was worth it because it gave him a chance to rebuild New Orleans public schools. I guess a nuclear attack on D.C. would be like winning the lottery for Duncan. So with Obama’s aggressive intervention in Haiti, Haiti will become the riches country in the western hemisphere.

What next Arne, do you want 911 taken off the back of police cars so the kids in the hood don’t miskatenly steal them thinking they were Porsches? 

The direction of NCLB /ESEA

Board of Directors

Bob Wise; Chair, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

“Washington, DC – This morning, in response to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s speech on the need to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:”

“The stimulus package introduced Race to the Top; Secretary Duncan’s call to begin work on the Elementary and Secondary Act can push vitally needed education reform ‘over the top.”

Here’s where teacher bonuses should be

Those meeting the rigorous  National Board Certification should be the ones receiving teacher bonuses. No Delaware school requires National Board Certified teachers but yet many step on their own time to meet this challenge. If education is heading towards national standards perhap this program should should be part of the Delaware requirement for rating teachers highly effective.  

Markell to replace SROs with Mall Cops

It’s true!

Convert School Resource Officers to School Resource Agents at a rate of five officers per year – $92.9

Jack plans to take the SROs (uniformed State Police) out of the public schools and replace them with nothing more that Mall Cops. Markell does not get it, Delaware State Troopers commands respect and dam right fear. Whatever happen “it’s for the kids”? Why don’t we replace Jack’s State Police bodyguards with Mall Cops?  Good enough for kids why not Jack!

“Since there is a shortage of police officers, maybe the governor should as well remove all officers who provide him with a safe and secure environment. If it is good enough for our children, then it is good enough for him.” Red Clay Now

Big NCC combined school board Pow-Wow

” I was very impressed with Rep. Dennis P. Williams who seems to know what tough love it will take to engage parents and tough students. The dude is hardcore reality. As far as SORs in our schools they ain’t going anywhere. I asked him in private about Markell’s plan to replace uniform State Police SRO’s with rent-a-cops. He said THAT’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

Go get em Dennis

 

Jea Street puts Equalization Formula Question to AG

Jea’s letter to AG Beau Biden October  1,  2009

 

The Response from AG’s office

KIPP Academies scrutinized

Where the School Boards Association is Right

“And because local school boards are the only entity empowered to authorize charter schools, the state is currently a vast wasteland for quality charter innovation that could help kids. School board members have made it clear to me that they would even refuse to authorize the nationally-renowned KIPP Academies – even if it means the low-income and educationally at-risk students in their systems would continue to fail.”

“But while the criticism of school boards is well-founded, the Virginia School Boards Association is right on this:  The quality of the charter applications that are received by local boards is often quite poor”

“Too many charter applicants in Virginia have an amateur quality to them – almost like the old black and white Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney films where they shout “Oh boy, let’s put on a show,” and then throw up some old blankets in the barn for a curtain.”

“No school board or school system staff should have to waste time on a poorly-devised charter application. And no charter applicant should have to play guessing games wondering how language is defined and what the intent of the law might be”

Interesting, KIPP’s CEO is Richard Barth husband of Wendy Kopp CEO of Teach for America. I wonder how may TFAs are in KIPP schools?

Perhaps there should be national standards on charter school applications to insure the likelihood of success. It may take me months to evaluate all the KIPP charter school data across the country. However, if there is evidence that achievement for high poverty students attending KIPP isn’t all that remarkable as advertise, perhaps that data support should be part of a charter school application review process. Furthermore and more importantly there should  national standards for charter school applications. Closing failing charter schools is wonderful however, a more rigorious approval process could spare a lot of pain.  

It’s a bit odd that the goals in reforming public schools calls for more charter schools but doesn’t raise the bar to ensure they are on the same core standards page.

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