Delaware Race To The Top, Hedge Funds & Millions Wasted: The Story of Rodel, Markell, Charters & The Vision Network @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @nannyfat @ecpaige @DelawareBats #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

Dr. Paul Herdman  and Governor Markell have a long history in Delaware in the 21st Century.  Their collaborations have resulted in the biggest changes to education the state has seen in decades.  Name any education change since Markell became Governor, and Rodel’s been a part of it.  And they are making a lot of money off these changes!

As part of my blog, I find out information about education in our state, and recently Rodel had their latest Vision conference where they focused on personalized learning, with a whole education reform agenda yet to be revealed to the mass public, sponsored by a company called 2Revolutions.  Rodel has a long history in the world of corporate education reform.  But what if I told you they aren’t doing it for the love of education and students, but pure profit?

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The votes are in re: yea or nay on specific interest admission preferences for Delaware public schools

Do you support elimination of the Specific Interest Admission Preference in all Delaware public funded schools

No 52.38%  (55 votes)   

Yes 44.76%  (47 votes)   

Note Sure 2.86%  (3 votes) 

Total Votes: 105

I am a bit surprised and thought the yes votes would prevail with a wide margin. However, I purposely didn’t single-out charter schools and said, all public funded schools.

Personally many of bitching about specific interest admission preferences was targeted at charter schools. I knew Red Clay’s CAB magnet school was very selective and then came Red Clay’s other magnet school Conrad followed by Red Clay’s IB programs.

During last month’s Red Clay Board meeting board president Kenny wanted to push a vote to eliminate the specific interest admission preferences in Red Clay schools. He lit the fuse to major fireworks! Though Red Clay’s Charter School of Wilmington might have been in the cross-hairs, Red Clay’s two magnet schools and their IB program at Dickinson High School have specific interest admission preferences. So a vote to eliminate specific interest would require elimination district-wide.

Red Clay school board recently approved CSW charter renewal in June 2014. Sorry to say that was the time to put the specific interest question to vote. Apparently it appears there was a consensus to review that question down the road aka another time. Personal I think the board members who had concerns were pretty much hoodwinked by other board members.  

Person, though I have strong feelings against using specific interest admission preferences, I must said Red Clay painted itself in the corner. I know the pros and cons in regards to this question but the elimination of specific interest at this time isn’t a good idea. As far as Charter School of Wilmington, at best Red Clay students meeting the specific interest must have first preference. That I will never give up on because Red Clay plays the card Charter School of Wilmington is a “Red Clay” school. Also, Red Clay got it’s way with DE DOE to have all charter schools chartered by Red Clay included in district profile know CSW and DMA would give the district an academic bump and stoke the super’s ego.

One thing for sure, the question in regards to specific interest as it relates to charter schools must be address by state legislator and the time has come for a complete review if this admission preference via impact study. Comes down to this, if it allowable for charter schools which are sold as “public schools” then it should be allowable to traditional public schools. And here comes the capital funding questions! Fine, once the law is passed allowing traditional public schools to set specific interest admission preferences the sure. workout a capital funding formula equal across the board. Better yet, end the referendum process and shift the responsibility of funding capital and operational needs to the state legislators as votechs needs are.  

Duh Paul! Glad you finally came around my way of thinking re: educational fragmentation of Wilmington Delaware

Yea me an my rants about a fragmented voice and a divided education system in Wilmington Delaware!

The time has come to reduce the four traditional school districts in Wilmington Delaware to two for starters. Also, it’s time to cool the jets on new charter schools in Wilmington.

As far as that fragmented voice, it’s time for the good brothers and sisters of Wilmington Delaware to wake up! Allowing rich white million-billionaire men to dictate what is best for minority children is nothing more than being enablers in the slave trade.

The education needs of Wilmington’s children must come from within the community by “unified”  community leaders focused on the mission of true civil rights no for the love of greenbacks. 

Red Clay refuses to offer traditional middle and high schools services to Wilmington’s children opting out for force busing to the suburban schools. Honestly, Red Clay isn’t worthy of of serving the needs of Wilmington’s children. Their refusal to do so based on concerns of re-segregating city schools has not merit when their current feeder pattern for elementary schools has already re-segregated Red Clay Wilmington’s schools. 

So Paul, it “is” time to act for Wilmington schools but not by expanding charter schools unless those charter schools following the exact same admission requirements as “real” public schools. The time is now to address these concerns! But it’s wishful thinking when we have a governor who is owned by those selling corporate takeover of our schools.

Wilmington’s righteous self-proclaim civil rights leaders need to stop being dream-chasers and better become dream-catchers.

DE DOE mouse reports Charter School Accountability Committee swinging ax!

DE DOE mouse reports, Delaware Charter School Accountability Committee swinging ax! Recommendations to Secretary of Education Murpphy and state board of education not to renew Reach and Gateway’s charter. Also, Odyssey charter renewed with some conditions. Updates to follow.

WDEL got it covered ! NJ Jimmy Olsen appears to have went Elvis!

Committee votes to revoke charters for Reach Academy, Gateway Lab School By Amy Cherry 5:02pm, November 17, 2014

A key committee votes not to renew charters for Reach Academy for Girls and Gateway Lab School.

The Charter School Accountability Committee voted to recommend that Reach and Gateway’s charters not be renewed at the end of the school year due to poor academic performance at both schools.

Both schools’ charters were set to expire at the end of the year.

A public hearing will be held on the issue December 10 in Wilmington before State Education Secretary Mark Murphy and the state Board of Education votes to accept or reject the committee’s recommendation.

This isn’t the first time the committee has voted on the struggling Reach Academy. 

The school was placed on probation in 2011. Labeled one of the “worst-performing” schools in the state, Reach was ordered to be closed by state Education Secretary Mark Murphy in 2013, but the state’s only all-girls public school sued the Delaware Department of Education for sexual discrimination, halting the closure.

Red Clay’s Mike Matthews kills two birds with one stone Re: News Journal article

Teachers must deal with more than studies Mike Matthews, Special to The News Journal

As a teacher at Warner Elementary School – one of six identified by the governor and Delaware Department of Education as a “priority school” – it’s been a challenging few months for the teachers, families, community members and some hyper-aware students in my building to wrestle with the idea that we are a “failing” school. How did we get here? How are we “failing” our students? What can we do better?

How did we get here you say? Look back and question district’s leadership jumping at the chance of being part of Markell’s Race to The Top Dream Team and DSEA was right there. Also Red Clay was the first district to piss away $300,000.00 over and above teacher salaries and benefits for 10 Teach for America teachers. And guest what? The $300,000.00 and salaries and benefits were Title 1 federal funding! They weren’t extra teaching units as the district folding those unit number in state unit count shifting state and local funds elsewhere! 

What can we do better you say? Stop kissing Jack Markell’s ass ! Do allow yourself to be awestruck by his presence  and  turn the tables and have him be awestruck in your presence. 

To answer these questions, we need to first step back and take a panoramic snapshot of our current educational landscape. In my district, Red Clay, we have several “high-performing” schools, and we have several “low-performing” schools. I place those phrases in quotation marks because the ONLY measure used to label all of these schools is that of a standardized test that has changed three times in the last five years. How’s that for validity and reliability?

Bull shit! Why aren’t Warner students reading and achieving at grade level when the move to middle school? I agree about the standardized test but RCEA signed onto Race to The Top embedded with Common Core standard and Smarter Balance goals. I think an apology to the community, parents and newbie teachers is in order. As far as “failing”, many high poverty particularly minorities are academically far behind their counterparts before passing through the doors of Warner. Title 1 was to be a fix in address reading and math through supplemental funding. Perhaps it’s time a team of educators at the “building level” decide how to best apply this supplemental funding! Isn’t this part of what a school leader can do under the Priority Schools concept?   

The wisdom espoused by the governor and this Department of Education says that all the “good” teachers MUST be clustered in those “high-performing” schools and that the “bad” ones are sitting behind their desks at the “low-performing” schools delivering a sub-par level of instruction obviously causing these students to underperform their higher-achieving peers.

Well Mr. Matthews you are close with the “cluster” analogy as in the cluser-f@c& in Dover lead by Jack Markell. One thing for sure, we can improve lower performing school by closing the VT doors to those who run from other schools when being challenge to do better via teacher reviews. Far too long high needs schools have been dumping grounds for teachers not fixing in or meeting the grade at higher functioning schools. However, this doesn’t mean teacher in lower performing schools aren’t high caliber. Many teachers who’s first option was teaching in high needs schools are the real unsung heros whereas many will be tossed out the door via Markell’s Priority Schools MOU.   

A quick visit and walk-through of both of these types of schools would reveal the variations between the staffs at “high-performing” and “low-performing” schools would be almost unnoticeable. Our teachers at Warner, Shortlidge and Highlands elementaries are just as qualified, passionate and committed as the teachers at a school in our district where 90 percent-plus of students score proficiency on the state test.

No doubt, and I agree 100%! But for sure individually there are variations in skill-sets among teachers at the school level, district level and state level. I am all for data and though data can be interpreted in various analogies the fact remains, Warner has the lowest percentage of teachers with master degrees and above. I don’t think we should question the credentials of individual teachers but look at it as a school-wide team issue. But no matter what, at the end of the day class size matters as does the impact of poverty %. The real answer is need-base funding.    

So what’s the difference? It’s the equity, equity, equity. When you have a student at my school arriving to school after having witnessed a family member shot the night before, there will be differences. When you have a student at Shortlidge who’s arrived to school hungry and the school breakfast just isn’t enough and we then expect that child to sit at attention and learn, there will be differences. When you have a student at Highlands who’s been unable to get adequate access to mental health assistance because his or her parents work two or three minimum-wage jobs with no health care, there will be differences.

Your right on point here 100%. But are you saying school breakfast isn’t filling for these students? And don’t they get school lunch a few hours later? Healthcare??? Many of these high poverty students receive medicaid and what about CHIP! Then there is Obamacare? Mike, I suggest you talk with Matt Denn who may provide some direction in your efforts of getting help for these parents. How many Thanksgiving food baskets are the staff and PTA of Warner preparing? Acme had spend $100.00 and get a free turkey! Maybe you can put the word out to the Red Clay community to donate a turkey! Many suburban families spend enough $100.00′s to end up with 4 or 5 turkeys. 

At the outset, teachers at the six priority schools are working with challenges that inherently make their playing field unequal when compared to the “high-performing” schools, most of which are outside the Wilmington city lines. However, we treat our priority schools almost exactly the same as our “high-performing” schools, save several relatively small funding streams like federal Title I monies. The resources our city schools have are far outstripped by the level of need our students require – far outside the types of “services” many teachers thought they’d be required to provide upon entering the profession.

What happen to all that Race to The Top and PZ school funding? RCEA insisted RTTT was a game changer.  BUT yep! Need-based funding will help address many concerns.  

It’s not enough for teachers to simply teach in these schools. Most teachers have to attend to the many complex social, emotional and behavioral needs of their students before they can even crack open the textbook.

Are you suggesting there is a correlation between poverty and behavior? Well that might account for the questionable disparities in consequences in Christina School District which lead to a federal investigation. Well one thing for sure, I’ve always felt teachers shouldn’t be filling the role of social workers and crisis interventionist because, one they aren’t trained for that and two their job is to teach. I was under the impression that Merv was building a network of wraparound services at many of our high need schools! Wasn’t Warner on top of that list?     

And this is exactly what the governor and the Department of Education don’t seem to understand. While they continue to label and define us based on an ever-changing standardized test and bandy about language (“reapply for our jobs”) that is offensive and nearly completely ignores the challenges we face in these schools, our teachers in these priority schools keep showing up.

Now this paragraph is the gossip truth! AMEN!

Our teachers continue to show up knowing full well their school could be labeled “failing” and they could be out of a job. They continue to spend hundreds of dollars out of their pockets to enrich their classroom and purchase food for their students. They continue to arrive well before the first bell and leave well after the last in order to ensure their lesson plans meet the needs of their students. They continue to make home visits into neighborhoods among the most violent in our country – often with no compensation.

Food? Free breakfast and lunch! How do you figure? We need to know! Either the schools are providing inadequate portions of food or perhaps skimming $$$. Send me some details and maybe we can push for a federal investigation. Wow, I am very impressed to see teachers making home visits! Perhaps Mark Murphy can do a tag-along! 

Why, you ask, would our teachers continue to do these things if all it left them with in the end was a threat of school closure and the forced reapplication for their job? Simply put, they do it because the work they do with children is far more important than the games played by draconian and out-of-control federal and state Departments of Education.

I hear you re: state and federal agendas! But let’s focus on Delaware. You took it pretty easy on Governor Markell Delaware’s self appointed education czar and Rodel’s change agent. But you are right and most teachers stick their mission of teaching and to the best of their ability and with the limited tools.

Mike you know my writing skills are far inferior to yours! I’ll give you that. Also, my decoder ring is quite complex. However, your amazing view on the reality of education in Delaware is beyond the years of your experience! I am impressed! But, reading through your article, I see cryptic messages relevant to the opposition to Markell and Murphy’s Priority Schools MOU. It seems the intent of your article was more about that opposition than educating the public on the realities re: hardships of modern day teaching. But all in all, you did a great job of killing two birds with one stone!    

Mike Matthews is a fifth-grade teacher at Warner Elementary and is president of the Red Clay Education Association.

Senator Tom Carper invented stupidity re: wants to raise gasoline tax

Sen. Carper still optimistic on gas-tax hike  Melissa Nann Burke, The News Journal

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper hasn’t given up on a long-term solution to federal transportation funding, insisting the lame-duck Congress is the ideal opportunity for success.

“It’s the perfect environment to fix the problem,” Carper said Friday. “Consumers, frankly, wouldn’t notice.”

What a first-class doofus! Yea Tom we don’t notice the impact of cheaper gas or rather give the consumer a fucking break! Gee Tom where did that extra food in the pantry come from and that extra bottle of Wild Turkey for Publius? 

dcarper

Is Charter School of Wilmington play Hocus Pocus with school board minutes?

Sorry to say, Red Clay’s school board CSW’s authorizing and oversight agent goes back into coma. Kilroy thinks its time for changing of the Red Clay guards.  WTF ? Blackout on board minutes? And what part of required monthly financial reports doesn’t CSW understand? Well it looks like Kilroy is heading back to the Red Clay mountain for another bitch session.    

Board Agenda & Minutes 

Date Agenda Minutes
8/26/14 August 26 Agenda  
9/23/14 September 23 Agenda  
10/7/14 October 7 Agenda  
10/28/14 October 28 Agenda

Financial Reports 

Monthly Financial Reports – FY 2015

July Financial Report

August Financial Report

September Financial Report

Thinking Delaware Technical & Community College as college option

Delaware Technical & Community College FACT BOOK 2013 – 2014 Real good data in this current report well worth digesting.  

And back to that achievement gap ! See page 65; 67.14% / 1277 students of Delaware Tech’s graduates were white and 17.82% / 339 students were black.

Parents and students considering Delaware Teach read the data and pay attention to the jobs in relationship to field of student. Starts on page 77%! Might help you to decide what field of study you elect.

I urge parents of minority children to wake-up and see the truth re: data and be cautious of the Markell hype. Language and math skills are the foundation for success! Title 1 started out all about Reading and for a good reason! 

Delaware’s achievement gap doesn’t end at high school graduation.

Delaware College Success Reports class of 2012

The achievement gap between Delaware black and white students continues beyond high school graduation re: college remediation classes.

Graduating class 2012: Only 30% of Delaware African-American high school graduates enrolled in college compared to 41% white students. Overall only 39% of Delaware high school graduates enrolled in college.

73% of African-American students enrolled in college required remediation classes whereas 43% white students required remediation classes.

As far as the race for those world class jobs out in the global economy, you can bet the best jobs will go to the top 10% of college graduates re: achievement. The struggle for African-American students will continue into the college years.  

Sorry to folks, the race to close the achievement gap isn’t priority one and is secondary to supply the economy with top performing students. Do you honestly think companies like DuPont will hire every graduating chemist our colleges can pump out? From a global perspective companies like DuPont will be going after the top 1%.  One thing for sure, pretty much all college graduates will end up with college loan debt and those noting securing a job in their field of study will be paying college loan payments for the next 15-20 years. 

Reach Academy just might beat the odds in spite of CSN

I am digging through many pages of charter school review documentation re: Reach Academy for Girls. Vegas odds-makers are calling it in favor of Reach. And OMG if true I hope Reach bans The Charter Schools Network of Delaware for life! CSN didn’t hesitate to throw in the first shove full of dirt on the warm bodies.

The public comment period ends on December 10, 2014.  The State Board of Education will hold a meeting on December 18, 2014 in the 2nd floor Cabinet Room of the Townsend Building at 401 Federal Street, Dover DE, at which time the Secretary will announce his decision on the renewal application and, if required, the State Board will act on that decision

The Reach saga has been ongoing.

Say what !!!!!! Reach Academy under Department of Accounting investigation! Posted on by kilroysdelaware

DE DOE found no evidence that Reach Academy violated DCAS testing security Posted on by kilroysdelaware

So whatever happen to the Reach DE DOE test security investigation Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Senator Sokola manipulating legislation to bring the hammer down on Reach Academy an all girl charter school. Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Jea Street up in arms! Senator Sokola and Rep Scott’s SB#234 sneak attack on Reach Academy #netde #edude @stateboarded @dedeptofed Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Reach Academy’s lawsuit against DE DOE dismissed! Closure end of this year? #netde #edude @destateboarded @dedepartofed @ed_in_de Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Did Governor Markell order a Code-Red on Reach charter school? Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Delaware: Insight into Reach Academy lynching: Part 2; DE DOE supplied the rope. #netDE #Edude Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Delaware; Insight into the Reach Academy lynching: Part 1 single gender DE school history #NetDE #Edude Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Breaking! U.S. District Court favors Reach Academy Posted on by kilroysdelaware

For the Reach Academy girls Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Fed Court date set for Reach! Will DCSN abandon Reach? Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Delaware Sec of Ed Murphy just doesn’t get it re: Reach Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Reach Lawsuit “filed” against Delaware Department of Education #Edude #NetDe @destateboarded @dedeptofed @Ed_in_De Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Federal fly on the wall tells me Reach lawsuit against DE DOE was just filed Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Rhonda Graham plays Taps for Reach! Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Delaware Charter Schools Network throws Reach girls under the bus #netDe #edude @destateboarded @DeDeptofed @huffingtonpost @nationalPTA @NAACP Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Jea Street rides in on his NAACP Reach horse after the fact re: Reach Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Reach Academy ordered CLOSED Posted on by kilroysdelaware

Did Markell refuse to answer the NJ’s question on Reach Academy? Posted on by kilroysdelaware

DE DOE Charter Committee calls for closure of Reach Academy Posted on by kilroysdelaware |

Reach Academy for Girls Charter Renewal Application due 09/30/2013 Posted on by kilroysdelaware

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