Colorado turns the scews on teachers

Colo. Senate passes teacher tenure bill

The Senate voted 21-14 to back the proposal, which would remove job protections for teachers deemed to be ineffective for two straight years, starting in 2015. The measure (Senate Bill 191) now moves to the House, where it’s expected to face more opposition.

Delaware local school board busted by own members!

Hey Beau Biden; Did a school board have an illegal meeting?  Looks like Beau finally got around to posting his opinion http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/office/opinions/2010/10-IB04.pdf

Now the big question, was the state board meeting Sokola in on illegal? Delaware State Board of Education met an hour before the published meeting? No public notice and very doubtful we’ll see detailed minutes. Being a meeting that dealt with questions of charter school applications a conditon of Race to The Top federal grant the feds might investigate this one.  Someone did file a complaint with the feds and cc: poppa Joe Biden in.

News Journal: Delaware schools: Christina board violated FOIA, AG’s Office rules

Board members John M. Young and Elizabeth Scheinberg filed a complaint saying the board failed to properly advertise a March 9 meeting and did not take meeting minutes during work sessions, which are considered public meetings. The school district did not bar the public from attending the meetings, according to the ruling, signed by Judy Oken Hodas, a deputy attorney general.

We finally see those who ran on “transparency” stepping up to task.  I hope these two board members lead the way is taking it one step further by calling for digital recordings of public school board meeting and placing sound files on the districts webpage. Governor Markell is reluctant to make an executive order because it would require the Delaware State Board of Education to do the same. Those who want to manipulate the flow of information shouldn’t be serving the people.

“We caution the board to apply the requirements of the [Freedom of Information Act] to all meetings of a quorum, even when the board meets informally to discuss district business,” the ruling reads.

Let’s hope they follow the law.

Federal USDOE investigation coming Markell’s way ???

The  attached letter was sent to me with notation that it was sent to the United States Department of Education and VP Joe Biden. There seems to be more concerns that Delaware DOE is running their own game disregarding state laws governing the approval of charter schools. My DEDOE in-house mouse tells me one reason these new charter school application are being shot down was because, if they were approved DEDOE would have to cut the Race to The Top pie a little thinner impacting the state share, local school districts and existing charter schools. Bottom-line, too many $$$$ mouths to feed. Looks like one local state senator has been pulled into DOE Dan’s education cluster-fuck. It’s obvious Governor Jack Markell is not our transparency governor he promised to be. Too much behind doors wheeling and dealing with our children education and all in the name playing Where’s Waldo with federal funding. It appears there is a big disconnect between our state legislators and the Delaware Department on Education which controls one-third the state’s budget. Markell and DOE Dan can manipulate the Delaware State Board of Education in changing state education regulation to skirt the laws governing Delaware’s public education. It appears charter school application approval or disapproval are determinded before presentation to the state board. Sounds like the state board votes are just going through the motions. Joanne Weiss is Duncan’s RTTT Czar.

———————————————————————————————–

sent to: oese@ed.gov

Attention: Joanne Weiss

I am writing this email on behalf of a group of concerned citizens in Delaware- one of the two winners of the RTT Application. There are issues in the Charter Application Process that may need your intervention to fully implement the intentions of the Obama Administration and the fidelity of the RTT Application Process.

Many concerned supporters of charters are concerned that in the spirit of the RTT Application- there were eleven applicants for new charters this year. Only one charter was approved. Many of the applications were the strongest in years.

The applicants complained to the State Legislature prior to the April Meeting of the State Board of Education. A secret meeting was held an hour prior to that meeting where the chairmen and women of the House and Senate Education Committee demanded to know more about the issues the applicants raised. This meeting was held without proper public notice.

The applicants are seeking national attention to discredit the Delaware Department of Education’s intentions with the RTT Application. With the public attention on the application so far, this would not be in the best interests of the Federal Department of Education or the State of Delaware.

We are asking the Federal Department of Education to intervene and request support for legitimate charter applications that truly address the spirit of the Obama initiative. 

We would like the Federal Government to request the State of Delaware reexamine the process and allow extensions to address issues in the application process and the mistakes made by the Charter Application Committee. There is plenty of time between now and August 2011 to open charters that will serve at risk students and provide innovation that can improve education for everyone in the state.

In the absence of this intervention, we would suggest the DOE consider the Delaware Application fraudulent and award the money to a more deserving state.

Sincerely

XXXXXXX X. XXXXXXXXX

—————————————————————————————————————-

I didn’t know, did you ?

Did you know current state law does not permit school buses to have LED lights?

“The current law does not allow LED lights to be used on Delaware school buses.  LED lighting is brighter and requires less maintenance than other light sources.  This Bill brings Delaware law into alignment with Delaware’s Department of Education Regulation 1103 for school buses”

Please call or E-mail your state legislators to pass Senate Bill 193 and get it to the governor ASAP!

Jack Markell screws local taxpayers again

Delaware bond bill catches up on school projects

DOVER — This year’s proposed bond bill has enough money for the state Department of Education to clear a backlog of school construction projects dating back to 2006.

So who eat the inflationary costs of this backlog? I guess the school districts will cutback in the scope of construction. Why is it when the community steps up to pass referendums Markell and the state steps back delaying their obligation to the children?

However, the amount of money Gov. Jack Markell has proposed giving the department for minor capital improvements and equipment totals $3.9 million — only about half the amount the department received for the current fiscal year 

Another Jack Markell backdoor tax pushing more and more on the local taxpayers. Transportation and now this!

Don’t you love it, when local taxpayers vote no on referendums they are accused of hating kids but when Jack Markell cut funding to school children its financial reform.

  

Dear Governor Jack Markell we need help with transparency

Dear Governor Jack Markell:

I think it’s time for an executive order ordering all public school districts and charter school boards to record all board meetings with the exception of information protected by confidentiality laws by digital recorder and place sound file on their webpages.

I think its time the public be affording full details of school board meetings not vague printed meeting minutes and I am talking about all school boards and charter schools.

O yea, lets not forget to include the Delaware State Board of Education meetings to that order. 

Hey Beau Biden; Did a school board have an illegal meeting?

Beau, rumor has it you won’t release your opinion about a certain school board meeting until after May’s board elections. 

Beau, I think the public has a right to know about the shenanigans before the school board elections.

Beau, please post your opinion on the Attorney General’s Opinion webpage; http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/office/opinions/opinions.shtml 

the stakeholders really need to know your opinion.

Beau, FYI, another one may be in the pipeline re: DOE Dan.

Will DE DOE tell school districts they must hire TFA

Young educators in spotlight; Schools, state leaders evaluate need for Teach for America

Teach for America is included in the state’s $100 million federal Race to the Top plan, and the state pushed expansion through financial incentives for schools that take part. The state is also considering allowing other programs that help recruit nontraditional teachers, such as the Brooklyn-based New Teacher Project, to come into the state.

“What we are trying to do, in may different ways, is to increase and diversify our [teacher] applicant pool,” said Dan Cruce, the state’s deputy secretary of education.

Diversify teachers like adding revolving door teachers? What you are trying to do is dictate to local school boards and Senator Sokola that Delaware DOE is going to do whatever  the fuck they want. 

I hope the Red Clay school board doesn’t buy the bullshit the have to hire more Teacher for America teachers! If Dan wants to pay TFA 100% through the “state’s” portion of RTTT then fine. However, if he wants Red Clay taxpayers to pay the local share he can kiss my ass.

We need teachers who are willing to invest in the long term with Delaware schools.

Jenner, who has visited Teach for America training programs at the invitation of the group, says they are “lovely people” but that hasn’t changed her opinion that educators need more training before they are sent out as first-year teachers. She remains unconvinced that the program is needed in Delaware or that it’s creating a new pool of teachers.

I am with Jenner on this one ! It’s not about the TFA teachers themselve but rather this big TFA scam. 

Murphy, who lives in Wilmington, frequently sees students and their parents out of school. He gave his cell phone number to all his students and their parents and responds to student text messages outsidework. He meets after school with students to play video games as a reward.

He is more than a teacher, he said. For a lot of the boys, he’s the only positive male figure in their lives. And he can relate. His own father wasn’t around when he was growing up in Brooklyn.

I hope Mr. Murphy decides to stay in teaching beyond his two-year committment. I hope he doesn’t set these kids up for another adult abandonment.   

Simpson & Keeley puts Delaware Dogs On Notice

Senate Bill # 208

Sponsor: Simpson

Additional Sponsor: Rep. Keeley

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DANGEROUS DOGS.

“This Act includes cats in the list of domestic animals which when attacked might cause a dog to be declared a potentially dangerous dog or if severely injured or killed might cause a dog to be declared a dangerous dog.  This attack, serious injury or death must occur on the property of the owner of the domestic animal or while under the immediate control of the owner of the domestic animal.”

I see the point with this legislation and I love cats. Just one of those odd Delaware laws.  Pretty much it says, if your dog chases a cat (dogs do that) and kills it (dogs do that), your dog maybe ordered euthanized.

I wonder if a domestic cat ate someone’s pet mouse or gerbil would the cat be deemed dangerous? Not at silly law because we all must keep our dogs on leashes.  

 

Another Hube masterpeice worthy of attention

Race conundrum in education (again)

Now, let’s stop right here for a second. “Progressives” have argued for years — decades, now — that “diversity” is an educational boon. Such an argument won the day in Grutter v. Bollinger, but similarly-based lower education plans were shot down by the US Supreme Court in 2007 (regarding Seattle and Louisville, KY). In those plans, districts sought to — get this — move students to different schools to achieve diversity … just like Lower Merion apparently wants to do. And how did the Philly Inquirer opine on the SCOTUS decision then?

Go to the link Race conundrum in education (again) to read Hube’s full post on this subject.

I often touch on educational issues and race. Hube aka The Colossus of Rhodey has always been a source of balance for me on issues of race and education. The issue is worthy of looking at from all dimensions. It’s a tough issue driven by passion, morality and legality.

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