Ron Russo lands a gig at Caesar Rodney Institute “expert on education issues”

Caesar Rodney Institute

I would also like to announce two other appointments. First, we are proud to have Ronald Russo join CRI as a Senior Fellow for Education policy. Simply put, Ron is an expert on education issue, particularly how to manage and run schools successfully.  Ron showed his ability as the principal of St. Mark’s and as the first head of the Charter School of Wilmington, taking Charter from a bold idea to one of the most outstanding public schools in the nation. We are thrilled to have Ron share his invaluable expertise on education issues as part of CRI as we seek provide real solutions to what we believe is the most important issue facing our State.   

Well NJ David Ledford! Looks like NJ’s transformation was short-lived

A chance to examine standardized tests Arne Duncan / News Journal Opinion

Parents have a right to know how much their children are learning; teachers, schools and districts need to know how students are progressing; and policymakers must know where students are excelling, improving and struggling. A focus on measuring student learning has had real benefits, especially for our most vulnerable students, ensuring that they are being held to the same rigorous standards as their well-off peers and shining a light on achievement gaps.

So Arne, tells why you permitted Federal Law Title 1 Section 1118 to be waived via NCLB Wavier?  Title 1 Parents have the right to know but not the rights afforded then in Section 1118.

Policymakers at every level bear responsibility here – and that includes me and my department. We will support state and district leaders in taking on this issue and provide technical assistance to those who seek it.

Yes right Arne, with a federal $$$$$$$$ gun against their heads!

The Education Department has provided $360 million to two consortia of states to support that work. And to reduce stress on teachers during this year of transition, my department in August offered states new flexibility on connecting teacher evaluation to test results.

Real nice Arne send in the money! 

And we must stand strong in the knowledge – not the belief, but the knowledge – that great schools make a difference in the lives of all children.

So Arne have you been to Helen’s lately?

Tourette Syndrome and a father’s love @arneduncan @washingtonpost #edude #netde @dedeptofed @destateboarded @TSAUSA @JoelOsteen

My Son’s Invisible Enemy Posted on

In my son’s brain are lots of neurons and electrons, doing their thing.  For children with Tourette Syndrome, like my son, the messages sent to his body can say some pretty funky things.  Instead of pay attention in class, those messages might say hum with a squeaky noise, or make an odd smile with your lips.  Sometimes those messages can remember something someone else said, and they make my son repeat it over and over.  This is his life.  This is his world.  I can imagine it, and empathize with him, but I will never be able to truly understand.

Read the entire post here ………………… 

Kevin, in darkness there is light and in light there is darkness.  Your compassion for wanting the reach the world to share your love and devotion for your son is amazing. I get no joy from blogging but the rewards are meeting people like you, John Young and many many more who give of their time to be a voice often yelling in the wind, cutting across the grain for the sake of others. They say if you touch one person during your journey through life, your life had meaning. Brother you are touching many. Keep the strength and always walk towards the light not matter what! You’ll find truth and warmth.

Wow Red Clay School has two teacher of the year candidates !

Delaware’s top teacher to be announced Tuesday Matthew Albright, The News Journal

See candidates here …………………………. 

What I am about to say has ZERO to do with the “Red Clay” charter teacher of the year and the “Red Clay” traditional teacher of the year. As a matter of fact, it has nothing to do with CSW’s ego and more to do with Red Clay. So good luck to both candidates.

And off to the races we go! For years Red Clay kicked, cried and bitched ( yea I can say bitch here :)) to include Charter School of Wilmington’s data in Red Clay’s district profile (same goes for DMA and DCPA) which gives Red Clay and artificial bump in achievement. Over and over we heard CSW is a “Red Clay school”, especially during referendum time. I did step-back and say o.k. makes sense, Red Clay actually crafted CSW and even help craft the charter school law. Bazinga! Red Clay school.

Red Clay’s ego can’t have it both ways and certainly there shouldn’t be two Red Clay teacher of the year candidates. We all know how Red Clay’s big guy enjoys the CSW bragging rights with his little bobble-heads next to him with heads going up and down.

On the flip-side, In all fairness, charter schools aren’t districts. But we should have one charter school teacher of the year candidate from each of Delaware county.

Now where is that Publius? Surely my buddy wants to come in here and bitch-slap me! However, he should give me praise for pointing out Red Clay enjoys the ride on CSW coattails “and” for the thoughtfulness in suggesting a charter school teacher candidate from each Delaware county   

Common Core Math mix-up on Newark High Student riot! Those blocking police access aren’t crimes and shouldn’t be added in the behavior equation

Brawls break out at Newark High School Terri Sanginiti and Esteban Parra / News Journal

More than a dozen Newark High School students were arrested Monday morning after several brawls broke out at the school, police said.

Police initially reported that “hundreds of students” were involved in the fighting but have since revised the statement and said a smaller group of students were involved in the actual fights, however, the hundreds of student onlookers prevented officers from getting to those involved.

Police are now investigating whether a social media posting calling for Riot Day prompted the fights, as initially reported, or students began posting photos on social media after the fact, said Lt. Mark Farrall. 

The incident unfolded about 7 a.m. when police were called to the school at 350 E. Delaware Ave. to disperse a large fight in the A cafeteria.

“The school staff handled it, but while officers were there several other fights broke out in the C and D hallway where officers found several hundred kids gathered impeding their access to the ones fighting and called for assistance,” he said.  

Staff handled without police assistance? So when the police arrived their presence caused more outbursts :) But wait, “however, the hundreds of student onlookers prevented officers from getting to those involved.” O.K. was it a mini riot or not! 7 a.m. isn’t that free breakfast hour? Sec of Ed Murphy will spin this into prime example he needs to have his way with the Priority Schools MOU.

Meantime back on the ranch at CSW, a student’s pocket-protector defaced with graffiti “nerd”! School put on lock-down (not :))

Senator Coons said, Common Core is needed but not a Washington takeover of education

Carney, Coons and Wade weigh in on nation’s big issues / Newark Post

Wade called the Common Core State Standards, which were implemented in Delaware schools in 2012, “ObamaCare for education” and “a Washington takeover,” but Coons defended the plan.

He argued that Common Core is a baseline national standard that serves as a clear “road map” for the skills students should learn by the time they graduate high school. He said he supports an education that produces the skills needed in the modern workplace and insisted Common Core is a tool to measure the progress of those skills.

“This isn’t a Washington mandate and this isn’t a Washington takeover of education,” Coons said.

As far as Kevin Wade, he is full of shit! You can’t oppose something if your party DE GOP gives Markell and Duncan a pass because key party members are charter cheerleaders and champions. No Washington but Wall Street it fine! Real nice Mr. Wade!

Senator Coons, do you honestly believe “high school” students will be ready to meet the demands of the global economy with a high school diploma! Hey Chris, FYI, a  college associates degree is the new high school diploma and a four year degree gives you a 50% chance on gaining a job in you field of study. One thing is for sure, students loans will be right up their asses! Hey, Chris! Ask Jack Markell why Red Clay’s federal funding is being delayed re: Consolidated Grant Application? Perhaps holding federal funds hostage until Red Clay signs onto the state driven Priority Schools MOU! Ask DE DOE Secretary of Education Murphy why there is manipulation of formula uses to measure low income students?

One thing for sure no matter who wins Wade vs Coons match, Delaware public school children will continue to lose.  

Former Wilmington Mayor Baker get’s his ass handed to him: Letter to The Editor #edude #netDe @dedeptofed @destateboarded

Why didn’t Baker help schools? Letters to the Editor / News Journal by John Young

Why didn’t Baker help schools?

I read with great interest, former Mayor Jim Baker’s Delaware Voice imploring both Red Clay and Christina not to squander the “opportunity” of accepting $6 million from the state to fix six “priority schools.”

It is evident that a coordinated attack is being executed by the state to bully the districts. In every article or speech by a current or former politician, pundit, or active community stakeholder in favor of the governor’s takeover plan there is a ubiquitous reference to three schools in particular: Howard High, East Side Charter School and Kuumba Academy Charter School.

This is an intentional misdirect on the part of the administration in Dover to compare the conditions of three schools of choice and selective admission to the six public feeder pattern schools that are required to educate whomever enters their portals. The conditions are not the same, sir. In addition, the state is relying on test scores that they cannot demonstrate any evidence of efficacy in measuring what ails our schools as their lead argument for unproven and disruptive change.

We all want to help and fix the schools in question Mr. Baker. Casting aspersions on people that have honest and sincere questions about the both the legality and possible effectiveness of the state imposed solutions betrays your responsibility as a city leader to be intellectually curious. Perhaps a healthier dose of said curiosity during your 12 years as mayor of Wilmington would have placed these schools in a much better position than the one we are facing today.

John M. Young

Christina School Board Member


Florida: Mavericks Charter Schools in Trouble for Inflating Enrollment, Poor Performance


Looks like another Biden cheating on a test! This time Joe Biden’s brother Frank Biden!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Karen Yi and Amy Shipley of the Sun-Sentinel in Florida report on the multiple problems of Mavericks Charter Schools. The chain currently runs six charter schools for dropouts, five of them in South Florida. The charter chain started more than five years ago and has collected more than $70 million, of which $9 million was management fees for the company. Vice President Joe Biden’s brother Frank was once a paid employee of Mavericks; currently he is registered as a lobbyist for the chain.

The reporters write:

But more than a thousand pages of public records obtained by the Sun Sentinel raise questions about the private company’s management of its six charter high schools, including five in South Florida, which are publicly funded but independently operated.

Many of the company’s schools have been investigated and asked to return public dollars. Three have closed. Local, state or federal officials have flagged academic…

View original 363 more words

M & M’s Just Melted In Your Hand

Originally posted on kavips:

Markell and Murphy’s argument for establishing priority schools, just melted away… If you were holding on to anything of theirs, check and wash your hands…..

Their ideology behind priority schools is that teaching is easy and can be done by animals and the only reason learning isn’t happening is because lazy and dumb teachers are not teaching…..

This is the only way their approach to these 6 schools makes sense…. Fire the principal.. Establish a leader who will whip teachers into teaching, and then fire all the teachers and only rehire the top half who seems to do the best job teaching.  Fill the other slots with newbies you can fire later to keep the top teachers scared for their jobs…


Poverty remains an issue despite Mark Murphy and Peggy Schwinn saying that poverty itself is no detriment to learning….

We have a study out now collaborating that poverty is….

A new study, conducted…

View original 343 more words

Senator Hocker’s self-interest start school after Labor Day Task Force votes 8-7 yeas! Senator Hocker Inc was allowed to vote

October 17, 2014

Dear Delaware Business Leader:

I am writing to ask that you support the recommendation made by a legislatively-mandated task force to move the start date for all public schools in Delaware after Labor Day.

Created under a bi-partisan Senate Concurrent Resolution, the Labor Day Task Force was charged with investigating whether extending the summer season past Labor Day, while keeping the mandated number of days in the school calendar, would provide  considerable economic benefit to the state.

The Task Force was made up of a diverse group of state legislators, state and local school officials, teachers, state tourism officials, as well as representatives of businesses impacted by summer tourism. After meeting five times between Dec. 12, 2013 and May 21, 2014, the panel concluded that a post Labor Day start would be minimally disruptive to the educational system, while potentially delivering substantial economic benefits to many Delawareans.

Among the Task Force findings: 

* The early school start is hurting business revenue, and thus impacting tourism, which is the fourth-largest private employer in the state, attracting 7.3 million visitors, employing 38,810, and adding $2.2 billion to the state GDP (2012 data).

* Steps that raise revenue and reduce personal taxes are needed for the state’s economy, and are even more crucial when that economy is still recovering from a recession.

* The early school start is taking jobs from American students and leaving them to be filled by foreign nationals.

* A post Labor Day start system has been implemented in Virginia without negative impact on students.

* In Delaware, the Cape Henlopen and Indian River school districts (which comprise the beach area) already start the school year after Labor Day, and report no negative educational impact.In addition, with so many students going back to school early, many resort-area businesses are left with serious staffing issues on one of the biggest weekends of the year, Labor Day weekend. 

There was a time when going back to school after Labor Day was the norm for students in Delaware. What used to be an end-of-summer boom for beach-area businesses is now, sadly, just another weekend. Delaware’s economy needs this change. While the concept has been endorsed by the Labor Day Task Force, it still needs the approval of the General Assembly, and the continued support of the state’s business community. 

That is why, as the author of the Resolution, a member of the Task Force, the owner of several Sussex County businesses and, more importantly, a life-long Delawarean, I urge you to support any proposed legislation that might come out of this recommendation that mandates starting the school year after Labor Day. It would put money in the pockets of more Delawareans, and smiles on the faces of more Labor Day vacationers.

Please feel free to contact me by phone at 302-744-4144 or by email at 

if you have any comments or questions.

Senator Gerald Hocker, 20th District

“the panel concluded that a post Labor Day start would be minimally disruptive to the educational system”

From meeting minutes:

“Ms. Rogers said the Dept. of Education wants decision left with districts, due to difficult schedules, need for flexibility. Parents also face scheduling complexities, and it’s important to consider the impact it would have on them”

“Ms. Kohel agrees that districts need flexibility to choose their own start date, and says the majority of superintendents agree. Staffers prefer pre-Labor Day start, in part because of testing and snow days.”

“Mr. Daugherty said the school chiefs and the DSEA voted in favor of the issue not being decided by the state or the legislature. New Castle County district now work together to coordinate calendars, and current system works best.” 

“Ms. Jones notes that executive board of DSEA hasn’t voted on the issue yet – of those who have voiced an opinion, it’s a 2-2 split, so she is torn on how to vote. Her experience in past as Sussex  County educator found late starts to be helpful.”

Which is it DSEA Merv said DSEA voted on it and Ms. Jones said the executive board of DSEA hasn’t voted. Maybe transcript is wrong and maybe Merv said DSBA ( Delaware State Board Association) 

Mr. Gray said he has letter of support from Indian River Superintendent Susan Bunting in support of late start. Late starts are crucial for Indian River, and to keep the work force needed to keeps economy strong from mid-August through Labor Day. Late start would strengthen economy, raise tax revenue.

Well let Indian River have it their way and makes sense they are located downstairs near the resort area!

“Sen. Hocker disagreed with letter sent by Delaware PTA, saying two districts currently using late start do not feel ill educational effects. He noted that waivers will work only if district has a legitimate hardship. He noted that last four weeks of August are most critical time for beach revenue, and reminded members that impact is felt not just in beach districts, but entire state economy, at a time when dollars are short. He reminded members that revenue supports school programs – PTA’s claims that late starts are “not in best interest of students” fail to consider that budget shortfalls could potentially be even worse for students.”

Check out this: Delaware Senator Hocker wants to control the start of school year to protect his personal profits! Anyone smell conflict of interest? Posted on by kilroysdelaware 

“Ms. Massett noted that the many underserved children in schools would be better served by local districts deciding what’s best for them. There are other ways of addressing revenue concerns” 

“Ms. Massett warned of “mutiny” from parents if Christmas Break and other breaks were adjusted because of this. “Mandates” from government are hurting public schools.

Government hurting public schools? Folks fill in the blanks ____________ _________ ________ ____________ _____ ____ ____________ _____ 

Members noted that the potential elements of a waiver system would be important to the overall recommendation. 

Sen. Hocker made a motion that the Task Force recommend to the General Assembly that public schools in Delaware start the school year after Labor Day, and the only waivers offered are to the school districts that can show a hardship or those that are open year-round. Seconded by Mr.Kuhns.

Well I really hope Red Clay takes this wavier. But then again Red Clay is in the heart of Republican country!

The roll call was taken:

Glenn Byrum, Grotto Pizza Yea
Mervin Daugherty, Red Clay Consolidated School Nay
Karen Field Rogers, Department of Education Nay
Susan Francis, Delaware School Boards Association Nay
Senator Gerald Hocker Yea
Ronald Gray, state representative Yea
Adele Jones, Sussex Central High School/DSEA board member Abstain
Phyllis Kohel, Milford School District Nay
Paul Kuhns, entrepreneur Yea
Allen F. Lathbury, Jr., Ed.D., Sussex Tech District Office Nay
Dorothy A. Linn, Ed.D., Colonial School District Absent
Keith Martin, Hotel Rehoboth Yea
Kendall Massett, Delaware Charter School Network Nay
Linda Parkowski, Delaware Tourism Office Yea
G. Scott Reihm, Del. Association of School Administrators (by email) Nay
Ronald Steen, Steen’s Beach Service (by proxy through Sen. Hocker) Yea
Rep Stephen T. Smyk Yea

So the vote was 8 to 7 Yeas have it! Colonial absent ! Sussex abstains! Why participate is you’re not going to vote Sussex?  Shame on Colonial! Hocker voted yea!!!!!!!! Is that a conflict of $$$$$$$$ interest vote?

So legislation will go through I am sure and each district and charter school will take a wavier if they want! 


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