Daily Archives: January 20, 2010

I’ve returned from the Big Red Clay Mountain

I’ve just returned from the Red Clay school board meeting.

I did address the board and community shared my concerns with Race to The Top. 

Of course I took a swipe at Governor Jack Markell puppet factory called Delaware Department of Education. I raised concerns about the sustainablity of Race to The Top funding that will dried up and default funding cost back to the local taxpayers. Also, I did express concerns with the teacher bonus plan which will also default back to the local taxpayers. I much rather see a statewide review of teacher compensation as well as all district team members to move Delaware to a competitive level in the mid-Atlantic. We need to pay all team member competitive wages and benefits for highly effective services and of course weed out those substandard. My intention were in no way meant to be hurtful towards teachers. Race to The Top has longterm goals with short-term funding. Arne Duncan calls RTTT a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform public education and a “moon shot”. So does that mean if we don’t get it right now, it’s a lost cause. I guess when NCLB /ESEA reauthorized it too will be sold as a once in a lifetime opportunity.  RTTT in not a moon shot, it’s a shot in the dark.

My comments spark Mervin to comment on RTTT / MOU and pretty much he state that the district was boxed in the corner, don’t sign it and you’ll still have to follow the new state regulations. Board member Becnel asked Mervin, if the state’s RTTT application didn’t get approve would the district  still be required to follow new regulations. The reply was, yes! Next question from board member Becnel,  who would  fund those regulations? The reply was, the district.

Mervin also comment if the RTTT grant application was approved, Red Clay would receive a little more that $4 million dollars and possibly  $6 million. FYI, that $6 million would be if Delaware was granted the $107 million that was requested. FYI, the grant could be anywhere between $20-75 million however, Delaware DOE was advised to ask for more in the event President Obama was to secure the additional $1.36 billion expansion. Mervin,I think Delaware getting $107 million is about the same odds as you getting into heaven the first round.

 A good portion of RTTT will go towards teacher evaluations and incentive. Then there is funding needed for turning low performing Red Clay schools around. As far as the teacher’s evaluation tied to the new state student test, Mervin pointed out it takes a few years to adjust the test. That’s one reason the first year is a polit test. Think about, we cannot hold teachers accountable to the new test until all the bugs are worked out. So this mean we could be looking 4 years to fine tune the test. Surely by them the demands of RTTT would piss away money needed for those teacher bonuses. No doubt Teach for America will expand in Red Clay eating away at RTTT funding. 

Dear legislators, I assure you now is the time to act because once RTTT funding dries up the cost for RTTT or rather new state education regulations will default on the state and local taxpayers. Also, we must factor in the impact of new charter schools dragging down enrollments in traditional public schools. Students equals cash flow and cash flow will be outbound re: traditional public schools. Sure, sounds great more charter schools but a complete takeover by charter schools is unlikely. We “will” see failing charter schools to a point the will be forced closed. So what finanical impact will that have on the state and local taxes.

Serious Delaware legislators we need to put the safe guards in place by telling Governor Markell and DOE their ambitious plans could have major negative impact on school finances. PLEASE put legislation that requires all funding be identified in legislation and any regulations approved by the state board of education. Think about , when local taxpayers revolt on local school tax referendums who is going to feel the presure? Yep, our local legislators.

Markell is requesting 32 mil more for RTTT because

“Based on Delaware’s size under the current plan, the state could be eligible for up to $75 million in this round. Markell said Tuesday that the state strategically applied for $107 million”

Jack Markell told his DOE puppets to request more RTTT funding to aviod charging back local school districts $32 million dollars as Delaware plan will exceed RTTT funding amounts.

Jack you are slicker than dog shit! Give me a call perhaps we can meet at the Bull’s Eye for a drink. I have a community MOU we need you to sign.

RTTT political guns pulled on Minnesota school districts

“Held Hostage :Gov. Pawlenty held a gun to the districts head, so they would sign up. There hasn’t been any significant funding increases for schools so many are signing up just so they can get some type of new revenue. If you sign up for Q-Comp, just have the teachers throw out their sylabus and strickly teach to the tests….”

Obama says F U back to Texas

Texas took some licks from President Barack Obama and his education chief Tuesday over the state’s decision not to compete for a federal education grant worth as much as $700 million.

Go for Texas for not wanting to sell their local control to the federal government

“All we want to do is invest in the great work that is going on at the local level,” Duncan said during a conference call with reporters. “This is never going to be about federal overreaching.”

Ass-wipe all you want to do is take local control from our school boards and “community” Ass-wipe you weren’t at Red Clay’s board meeting where Jack Markell’s Delaware DOE agents put the politcal guns to the board heads, give it up or we’ll take it bullshit.

Duncan dismissed the contention that adopting the common standards would become a mandatory condition to get future federal education dollars, as Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott has argued.

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Duncan said. “It is something that we will never make mandatory.”

Fucking liar ! We’ll maybe because Obama will be a one term president and Duncan ass will be out in the cold. No jobs here in Delaware for you Arne. Perhaps your ass can go back down-under.

Arne Duncan says, “don’t assume”

“This is going to be very, very competitive, so for anyone to assume they’re getting this — that’s a bit of a leap of faith, I would say,” Duncan said. “And obviously if this money is seen as simply something that is going to be plugging budget holes, that’s not something we’re going to be interested in.” Arne Duncan

What a dipshit! No wonder Duncan didn’t make the NBA cut! USDOE OIG IG position is vacant. Duncan has his puppet acting IG in place. The is no the OIG can keep tabs on all this money. 40 states submitten application and Califorina may get $700 milion out of the $4.35 billion. Duncan dug himself a hole and Obama is trying to get another $1.5 billion from congress to plug  it.

Don’t worry about Delaware because being Joe Biden’s home state it’s a shoe-in.

Red Clay Board Meeting tonight

The Agenda

I plan on being there and raise hell about Race to The Top.


Jack Markell owns the Delaware State Legislators

Delaware leaders and educators hope statewide collaboration will give the First State an edge in winning up to $107 million in federal grant money for school reform.

According  to the United State Department of Education web site:

Category 5—$20-75 million – New Mexico, Nebraska, Idaho, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, District of Columbia.

The $20-75 million is spread over the two-year RTTT grant program.

“Each one of us is personally committed to driving the kind of transformative change that will be necessary,” Gov. Jack Markell wrote in the cover letter.

Fucking liar ! Markell’s DOE agents put a political gun to the school board’s heads saying if you don’t sign you’ll still be required to follow new state regulations associated with Race to The Top and you won’t receive RTTT funding. Jack Markell was a now show at the MOU meeting in  his own school district.

Getting 100 percent sign-on from districts, superintendents and local teacher unions “is nothing short of remarkable,” Markell said

Yes, especially the threats of deep state education budget cuts !

“It’s been quite dramatic in other states as far as the public disputes,” he said. “[We] came together around one plan.”

What fucking plan? There was no plan provided the public other than paying teachers a $10,000.00 bonus for doing their jobs. A plan to shift financial responsibilities on to the local taxpayers after the federal funding runs out in two years.

The changes approved last week redefine the student-improvement component of educator evaluations to require rigorous and comparable measures of student growth, and they create a rating system that requires growth for an educator to be rated “effective.” Teachers not rated “effective” must receive a mentor as part of an improvement plan

So ineffective teachers stay on the job and receive a mentor? Meantime back at the schools the students receive the same ineffective teachers. What ever happen firing low performing teachers? With Markell’s never teacher evaluation system low performing teachers who VT now won’t be forced out and protected by the mentoring bullshit. “All” teacher go through professional development training throughout the year so what the fuck are they learning?

The school-restructuring plan creates a “partnership zone” and more funding for the lowest-performing schools. Districts in the zone will have more spending flexibility and performance incentives to attract and retain effective educators. The state and district will negotiate a plan to turn around the school.

Negotiate? Bullshit, they will dictate a plan that forces the local taxpayers to pickup the greater share. Keep in mind these new “regulations” are state regulations not federal and through RTTT fund will support them in the short-term but afterwards it will be state and local funds with the greatest going back to the school districts and charter schools.

Teacher unions backed the plan because state leaders pledged test scores would not be the sole measuring factor for student progress. Rather, success will be evaluated using several yet-to-be-defined measures, such as portfolios, said Diane Donohue, president of Delaware State Education Association, the state’s largest school employee union.

I agree with not using means for teacher evaluation however a portfolio can be skewed by the classroom teacher. Same say teachers were forced to teach to the DSTP test and now it will be cover their asses. But in the big picture, many fingers point to teachers as prime source of student failure.  Even Arne Duncan doesn’t buy into part of the failures are a result of non-involved parents. Also there have been many underfunded and unfunded state and federal education related mandates. Teacher aren’t even support with adequate classroom supplies.

“This could really be a game-changer. Not only could this result in significant federal funds, but there are national foundations kind of waiting on the sidelines to see what states are going to step out,” he said. “There are great people looking to be a part of winning coalitions. We’ll see a flood of great people and organizations that want to be a part of this.”

So Paul, are you saying RTTT funding needs won’t default back on the taxpayers because this flood of people will bring a flood of money? 

Ernie Dianastasis, chair of the Delaware Business Roundtable, said the implications for the state’s businesses are great, too. A strong education system is a building block for success, he said. Vision 2015 gave us “a running start.”

So now we have the group that pushed DSTP onto our children and teachers helping steer the RTTT ship. So fucking comforting! I love it. The race to the top is all about money.

 jeepxj12 wrote; They change for money. It’s like handing a kid a lollipop so they quit crying. I say this over and over, yet, people still don’t get it. It’s not about test scores. It’s about prepping these kids for life. You need a curriculum that does that first. You teach them how our financial system works. You teach them about banking, credit cards, loans, etc. You teach them a trade. You teach them history, civics, and how our Government works. You teach them the Constitution. Our education cirriculum is a sorry excuse for an education and you will continue to see student performance fall off for years to come. It’s a waste of our time and tax dollars. Most of all, I feel bad for our kids.

Great comment!

dogtrap21 wrote: Jack ….. as you sip your morning coffee …. please think about what happened in the State of Mass. last night …….. we will be taking care of you soon at the election booth…..

OUCH ! But so true.

BigBear wrote: The most important part of this so called “Race to the Top” is not just what the teachers are going to be doing but, how well the students apply themselves. Great Teachers and Great Schools with Great Standards don’t make improvements. It’s the children and how they apply themselves to studying of any subject and being able to learn to get good test scores. To improve themselves, not anyone improving them. A person has to be motivated to want to improve themselves. You can’t force anyone to do anything just influence them. If a person chooses not to do something that is not on anyone else but the person themselves. In simple terms “Ownership & Responsibility.

Amen to that!

The reality is there is nothing the concern taxpayers can do. Markell and business buddies control the show! The teacher bonuses are nothing more than a consolation prize for being fucked. However in the long run, young professional teachers will be fucked and their unions will fade. 

Markell cut across the grain of his own party and will not let any state legislator Republican or Democrat stand in the way of his service to his agenda and those in the business world who  supported him.  Jack Markell owns Delaware and every state legislator within. Why haven’t we seen any state legislator go public and raise concern about an agenda that does provide sustainable funding?

Parents out there, yes I am rude, obnoxious and spiteful. As many of you at your PTA meeting it’s just a handful of parents carrying the load for others who claim they can’t even spare a few hours a month. I think we all know one of our greatest concerns is school safety and the wellbeing of our children. Honestly don’t you feel if we put more resources  toward student discipline and providing classroom teachers the tools and supplies they need our children will better succeed. Do you think it’s fair that only teachers will receive bonuses for their good work and not other members of the team within a school building? I don’t enjoy speaking out but look at the cycle of education reform, failed plan after plan all increasing the cost of education. Do you really think RTTT is a ” once in a life time plan to reform public education”? We need to address our concerns within our school buildings and not take a cookie cutter approach to public school reform. Charter school are self-governing school building so why can’t each of our traditonal public schools have that level of empowerment?

It will be up to the people and community to stop this runnaway train because our state legisaltors have no poweer against Jack Markell. They dare not to question him in public and you can see even the Republicans and even unions fear him. The democrat legisaltors job is the stand on the sideline and wipe Jack’s ass upon his request.