House Bill #26 w/HA 3 clears Delaware House of Representatives

This amendment requires that all regular monthly public meetings of the State Board of Education be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the Department of Education’s website within seven (7) business days.  The recordings will not be considered the official Board minutes.

Red Clay Consolidated School District has been, as of September 2010, providing the public with digital recordings of their Board public session meetings via the District’s website.  The Christina School District School Board enacted a policy to provide digital recordings of their public session meetings and expects to be online in January 2011.

The requirements of this section do not apply to meetings where recording equipment is not available, to executive sessions, or to other meetings of the Board, such as workshops, retreats, and committee meetings.   A written transcript of the regular monthly public board meetings that are digitally recorded pursuant to this paragraph, or other reasonable accommodation, will be provided by the Department of Education within seven (7) business days upon request of a person with a hearing impairment.  A severability clause has been added to the bill.

03/31/2011 05:50 PM Passed Yea 38  No 0  Not Voting 1  Absent 2

Holy Toledo! Teacher’s union withdraws support for Race to The Top

WTOL Editorial: Race to the Top funds frozen; reprehensible

By WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Race to the Top federal program should be pumping $10.8 million into the Toledo School District.

But Francine Lawrence, President of the Toledo Federation of Teachers, notified the Ohio Department of Education that the union is withdrawing from the program.

Her action froze the money and over time the almost $11 million will be going elsewhere.

Legislation allows districts to hire teachers sooner

(Ready for Governor’s action)

Senate Bill # 16 w/SA 1 + HA 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION.

This Act implements the recommendations of the Senate’s Teacher Hiring Task Force. It will result in the creation of an estimated unit count each March, which the Department of Education will conduct using existing resources. The state will guarantee that school districts receive unit funds for the following school year equivalent to 98% of the estimated unit count. This will allow districts to make offers of employment to new teachers in the late spring and early summer. The Act also requires greater transparency by school districts with respect to their hiring practices. The Act must be reauthorized prior to April 1, 2012, so the state has an opportunity to ensure that the estimated unit count is reliable.

FURTHER AMEND Senate Bill 16 on line 36 by deleting the phrase “March 30” and replacing it with the phrase “April 15”.

Consolidation of Delaware’s Vocational Technical School Districts

Delaware Senate Bill #5 Introduced 03/29/2011

This Bill requires consolidation of the three vocational-technical school districts effective for the 2012-2013 school year. This will save considerable public funds and increase efficiency of this system. The Bill provides for one statewide school board to oversee the newly consolidated District. It also requires DOE to propose legislation to adjust the current vocational-technical tax procedures to make them uniform and equitable.

I wonder what impact it will have on votech tax rates ? Who pays more and who pays less? Why doesn’t Delaware DOE just take charge of these schools and all schools in Delaware? Just have one school district in little town of Delaware?

Is Delaware DOE backpedaling on Race to The Top deadlines?

Race to Top Winners Work to Balance Promises, Capacity Education Week March 29, 2011

Delaware, like other states, found that hitting fast-approaching deadlines became difficult, especially since state hiring and contracting laws can slow down progress. It took longer than anticipated, for example, for Delaware to find good candidates to be data coaches.

“We could have rushed and hit those deadlines,” Mr. Cruce said. “But we are extremely focused on quality.”

In Delaware, Race to the Top project management is housed in three units within the education department—separately focused on school turnarounds, teacher-leader effectiveness, and “delivery.” The state agency added 10 staff members, with the understanding that their jobs might not be there once the federal grant runs out.

Delaware DOE expands by 10 administrators to implement a four-year federal education grant. Yea their jobs might not be there in four years and Markell might be voted out of office and not give a rat’s ass. Like I said before, every-time their is an efforts to reform public education the first thing happens is the expansion of administration.

Delaware plan does not include addressing student discipline and addressing defiant parents who refuse to engage in their children’s education. Delaware teachers are left with no real reform in addressing these hard issues that pose the most negative impact on their ability to teach and students who are there to learn. Delaware teachers are still being held accountable for student who are not prepared to learn.

During a breakfast of the New Castle County Combined School Board, the Delaware Secretary of Education indicated that in 2012 DEDOE will be rolling out student “consequences”. Once again Delaware will use an education reform plan as like a whipping post beating students for the failures of adults including their parents. What about the business round-table who gave us the failed DSTP? Kind of sucks because some of the same people that gave us DSTP have their hand in Vision  2015 and Race to The Top.

Civil union bill clears Delaware Senate committee

Supporters say the bill is about equal rights for homosexuals, while opponents say it is a thinly disguised prelude to sanctioning same-sex marriage in Delaware.

Couples who enter into civil unions would have the same rights and obligations as married spouses, and Family Court would have jurisdiction over the dissolution of civil unions, as it does with marriages.

But homosexual couples moving from states that allow same-sex marriages would be recognized in Delaware only as civil union partners.

Its hard to believe Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution and is finally getting around to addressing this issue of  equal rights.  Its time for Delaware to step up and allow all good people to live their lives as intended ! Free and equal !

Kids weigh in on Markell’s education plan@governorMarkell

Even those who aren’t in school yet call Governor Markell’s education reform plan nothing but ed-babble.

Great comment from DE Conservative on re-engineering of Delaware’s teaching profession

By DE Conservative:

Just thinking out loud here…but given these revelations, is it any wonder that we can build links from Delaware’s Rodel based Vision 2015 rebuild all the way back to the creators of Race To The Top? http://www.examiner.com/education-in-wilmington/delaware-s-vision-2015-set-to-fundamentally-transform-education-system

I mean there’s Dr. Lowery (http://www.examiner.com/education-in-wilmington/christina-school-board-s-race-to-the-top-workshop) and (http://www.examiner.com/education-in-wilmington/christina-school-board-s-race-to-the-top-workshop-cont)

And of course, Arne Duncan helped design the Broad plan for education reform…

(http://www.examiner.com/education-in-wilmington/delaware-chases-education-reform-and-obama-administration-funding-giveaway)

For some folks, maybe having a billionaire direct all education in the nation is ok but I disagree. It’s a little like allowing George Soros to control fiscal policy…

Markell gives Ken Grant a birthday shout-out@governorMarkell

Jack look pretty happy! Hey Jack whats going on? Did your K12.inc buddy kick out some healthy stock dividends?

Happy Birthday Ken !

Good read at One More Fight (DSEA blogger)

Proposals
These proposals have been agreed upon by representatives of the Markell Administration and State Workers United for a Better Delaware, aka, the Coalition. They must still be incorporated into the state’s FY12 Budget, i.e. approved by the Joint Finance Committee and the General Assembly.

Read the rest @ One More Fight

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