Listen here to Chris Coons cost savings breakthrough

Click here to hear Chris Coons new cost saving plan

Electronic boundaries for teachers and students

Brandywine personnel must sever
electronic links with children
 by Delaforum

“Teachers, coaches and other Brandywine School District employees will be forbidden to engage in so-called social networking, send text messages to or otherwise have personal electronic contact with any student under a new policy unanimously approved by the school board”

Sounds like a policy all school districts need to adopt.

12 new charter school applications expected for Delaware

 The State Board of Education/State Board for Vocational Education held a work session on Thursday, September 16, 2010 in the Cabinet Room of the Townsend Building, Dover, Delaware.

” Mr. Carwell stated that approximately twelve new applications are expected January 1 st. There was discussion by the State Board on technical assistance provided to applicants, and Mr. Carwell discussed establishing a rubric for reviewing new applications. There was also discussion about charter school boards and their retaining some of the members of the founding boards. Discussion followed on the Charter School Reboot Committee which is now being lead by the Governor’s Office. Board members expressed that charter schools should be innovative, and they expressed the need for a new process in place for next year. There was also discussion on the student performance of charter schools and the current requirement that they meet or exceed the state average in English/language arts and mathematics on state testing.”

“Board members expressed that charter schools should be innovative, and they expressed the need for a new process in place for next year.” Here we go again, Markell’s puppets want to disregard Delaware laws governing charter school applications and set their own process.

Markell is going to have a hard time keeping his little side deal re: RTTT MOU. I wonder when Jack will end charter school student admission practices based on student intelligence? Charter school should have open admissions with a transparent lottery process or perhaps allow traditional public schools the same admission standards. 

Delaware Auditor’s race and public schools

From Delaware Way :D’OH! Tom Wagner Says “If You Want Accountability In School Districts, The State Has To Change The Way The State Keeps The Accounting Records” Do read Nancy’s entire post on the auditor’s race. I want address the comments below.

“During the ten-year period in question, more than $4.08 billion in tax dollars were spent on public schools in the state, Korn said. Korn said individual audits of schools are necessary to root out waste, abuse and fraud. He points to the recent embezzlement case in the Laurel School District in which former Finance Director William Hitch Jr. stole $150,000 over a period of several years. Had individual audits been conducted, Korn said, the theft in Laurel “would have been detected.”

First I want to say Richard Korn and Tom Wagner are both wonder friends of mine. For years Tom Wagner as auditor has been very response to my concerns and questions.

I do feel Richard Korn’s frustrations. Rooting out waste and fraud in our public school finances would take us right to Governor Markell’s desk and to the dirt on his  hands. Campaign investment in Markell has yield dividends to those contributors in the form of agents now being employed at the Delaware Department of Education and greater say in the direction of public education in Delaware.

The real problems in education finances is poor legislation. Also, the waste and perceived fraud is manipulation of funding to drive superintendents self-serving agendas. The waste in education comes down to excessive redundancy is administrative positions. The fraud is superintendents proclaiming to have the best interest of children at heart but yet are fixated on egotistic power trips. Those administrators who play ball with superintendents advance more so on their loyalty then skill. It’s not always the best person for the job but rather the best person to turn a blind eye and watch my back.

The financial meltdown of Red Clay was a combination of accounting errors driven by fear of losing one’s job to appease an ambiguous  agenda of his superior. No one was fired in Red Clay’s case and members of the board made a public apology for falling asleep at the wheel.  

Red Clay’s Community Financial Review Committee was established prior to the DEDOE FRT being order to Red Clay. It was established at the requested of one community member during  public recognition of the Red Clay board meeting. A board member (Jack Buckley) made a motion to review the request. The same community member lobbied each board member for support and the same community member made an indirect promise not to run for school board against a long-term incumbant in exchange for a seat on the newly formed community Financial Review Committee. This same community member push the limits of the district to included more comprehensive detailed financial reports far exceeding the DEDOE FRT and all reports offered by other school districts in Delaware. Because of the aggressiveness  of this community member the district was forced to published online IBU expenditure reports and someday another community member may push to expand those IBU report cell to reveal the MBU data.

Red Clay’s Community Financial Review Committee does have an online webpages detailing many reports archiving data back to the conception of the CFRC in 1997. Minutes for the CFRC are detailed as to conversations not vague summaries. Example December 03, 2007 ” Chairman Paul Lloyd raised concerns that the monthly financial reports only give a total summary of each IBU assignment, such as individual district departments and schools; however, the report doesn’t list the actual line item expenditures under each IBU Code. John Allison echoed those concerns and expressed that the community would want to know actual expenditures.” January 15, 2008, “Committee member John Allison pointed out the district’s monthly finance report is per DOE’s requirement. In 2007, the Delaware State Legislature passed HB21 that requires standardized monthly financial reports across all school districts within the State of  Delaware. Also noting the legislators gave DOE the charge to formulate the template in which the IBU method was adopted. However, access to Red Clay’s Object Codes would provide the committee the ability to audit the district’s monthly finance reports with better scrutiny.”

As far as audits:

Here you go !

Audit Reports

 As far as District Financial Information  here’s the link Financial Information

Then there is the state’s online checkbook

Red Clay is doing a great job of providing financial information and sets the bar for Delaware public schools. However, if it weren’t for the assertive action on the Red Clay community Red Clay’s financial information would not be as comprehensive. Red Clay’s detailed information far exceeds what the state has order and has been delivered on demands of the public and the support of board members who honored those demands.

The people are the best auditors and only with laws requiring schools to be completely transparent  the people can  root out waste, abuse, fraud and expose agendas.

Audits requested and paid for by the district from an auditing firm selected by them are dangerous. Here’s where the state needs to step in and control these blind bias audits.

I don’t see anything in the records suggesting my dear friend Richard Korn has directly confronted or engaged the school district in which he resides on any financial concerns. Blaming Tom Wagner Delaware State Auditors for poor legislation that governs public school finances at the same time not engaging one’s own school district is hypocritical. Furthermore, Delaware Department of Education is the oversight authority of all Delaware public schools and charter schools which includes financial oversight. Also, financial failures within public schools do fall under the governor himself who appoints the Delaware Secretary of Education.

No passengers until age 18

2 dead in Del. 1 crash

A 17-year-old boy from Bear was driving a 1996 Mitsubishi 3000G northbound at an apparent high speed in the center lane north of Del. 72, said Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale. As he tried to maneuver into the right lane to avoid a slower-moving vehicle, the boy lost control and the car spun off the road and over a guard rail on the east side of the road, with the car overturning and ending up against the guard rail. 

The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car, Hale said. He was declared dead at the scene. 

A 16-year-old girl from Newark who was a passenger was wearing a seat belt, Hale said. She also was declared dead at the scene

It makes me sick and sad every time I read an article like this. I’ve always said no passages until the age 18.

I remember the days of cruising and have fun times on four wheels. Always distraction within the car or the need to impress. Then there was peer pressure by others telling the driver where to go and what to do such as speed up to catch up with girls in other cars or catch up to some dude that flipped you off. I remember when  I was with a 16-year-old friend driving through Prices Corner Shopping Center parking lot. Four the car all looking at the same girl even the driver. Next thing you know we hit the car in front of us. I was in the back and over the seat I went. I was fine and thank God it was at low-speed.

Delaware needs to change its laws to not permit any passage for those driving under the age of 18 with the exceptions of a parent or guardian over the age 21.

When my son got his driving permit my rule was no passengers. I didn’t want the responsiblity of the life of another child while driving with my son. But more importantly I did not want any internal distraction while my son was driving. It doesn’t matter if we raise the driving age to 18 because it still take time for someone to properly learn how to drive. No passengers until the age 18.

My God protect the souls of these two children and give their parents, family and friends the strength during this sad time.

Chris Coons mocks Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s research

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

December 14, 2005

Researchers in California have created living mice with functioning human stem cells in their brains

The feat could boost stem cell therapy research on brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s—and raises the specter of animal-human hybrids.

Geneticist Fred Gage injected embryonic human cells into two-week-old fetal mice as they developed in the womb. When the mice matured, some human stem cells survived and became functional components of the mice’s brains and nervous systems.

Less than one-tenth of one percent of the test mice’s brain cells are human.

“When we characterized these cells two months later, we found that [they] had the [form and structure] and characteristics of mouse cells,” said Gage, co-director of the genetics laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego

“It is truly amazing that these human stem cells, although they are very immature, can still … respond to different cues in their environment and can fit right in with their mouse neighbors.”

“This illustrates that injecting human stem cells into mouse brains doesn’t restructure the brain,” Gage added.

The study was published in yesterday’s issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Medical Promise or Ethical Peril?

Some scientists hope that stem cells, which may develop into many different kinds of human cells, could someday be used to replace missing or damaged neurons in people with degenerative nerve diseases.

“This research is significant because it suggests that it will be possible to create mouse ‘models’ of human brain tissue, enabling scientists to try out both stem cell interventions and other potential cures on living human brain cells without having to use humans in the process,” said Glenn McGee, director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College in New York State.

In short, it’s a new way to test potential cures for human diseases, without harming human test subjects in the process.

Kilroy says Chris Coons should be ashamed of himself. O’Donnell was referring to this research.

Hey Chris did you know scientist can grow human ears on the back of mice? We’ll not real human ears but replacement that can be transplanted. But sure Chris Coons would mock this if O’Donnell were to make a comment.

Dr Karl › Dr Karl’s Great Moments In Science

Mouse with human ear

He’s back

Mike Matthews  is back to blogging at Emphatically Speaking. Mike’s position in life as an educator makes him a role model for children. So don’t look for the wild and over the top kind of blogging of yesterday.

My only fear is with Mike Castle out of public office and Christine O’Donnell losing ground and unlikely to win the senate seat Jason Scott will become irrelevant. Jason won’t have anyone to kick around. So with Mike Matthews back to blogging I fear Jason may target Mike.  Jason won’t mess with me because I’ll kick his ass. However, Mike Matthews a lover not a fighter might be easy pickings. Just joking, Mike and Jason are Godfathers to Delaware Blogging world.

Welcome back Mike  and to Kilroy’s blogroll

The Answer Sheet – “Superman’ tells false story about Emily’s school #wapo (via Transparent Christina)

The Answer Sheet – "Superman' tells false story about Emily's school  "Superman' tells false story about Emily's school This was written by Caroline Grannan, a San Francisco public school parent, volunteer, advocate and blogger. By Caroline Grannan “Woodside is a great school." — Emily Jones The movie “Waiting for Superman” tells the stories of five students around the country who are desperate to escape their “faili … Read More

via Transparent Christina

Arne Duncan taking federal control of colleges

Dept. of Education releases plans for oversight of colleges

The Department of Education released its new set of guidelines for post-secondary for-profit institutions Thursday.According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the new rules “will help ensure that students are getting from schools what they pay for: solid preparation for a goodjob

A 14th proposal would require for-profit colleges and other schools that offer non-degree vocational programs to follow new guidelines regarding student debt to qualify for federal aid. Dubbed the “gainful employment” proposal, it is not yet approved and is expected to be finished next year.

Among the provisions in the proposal is the elimination of loopholes for college recruiters offering compensation to students.

Institutions would also be required to notify the government any time it plans to start a new vocational or job-training program. Doing so, according to President Obama, would help enforce the “gainful employment” rule.

There will now be a federal definition of what constitutes a “credit hour.” The credit hour will be considered a course unit that represents one hour in the classroom and two hours of homework per week.

Terry W. Hartle, a senior vice president of the American Council on Education, told the Washington Post, “It sounds like they are going ahead with their plan to federalize the definition of a credit hour. I don’t think any industry is improved by increasing federal control over it.”

Source: Washington Post

Markell on the out of state campaign trail on DE taxpayer’s $$

Delaware Governor Jack Markell campaigns with Malloy
“Democratic nominee for Governor Dan Malloy was joined by Delaware Governor Jack Markell, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, this morning at a green building site in Hartford to promote Malloy’s economic vision and plans for growing jobs in Connecticut.”

And who is paying for Markell’s security and travels? Delaware taxpayers should not be paying Markell’s fare to stomp the campaign trail for other state candidates?

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