Daily Archives: January 22, 2010

Mike Protack’s Charter School of Avionics

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Sorry Mike couldn’t pass this one up, LOL

Markell plants agents in RTTT Application

“The DDOE will also use Race to the Top funding to support the recruitment of leading national organizations to establish alternative certification programs in Delaware (similar to the recent recruitment of Teach for America). The State plans to set aside approximately $3 million in RTTT funding to jump-start these programs in their first few years of operations. Innovative Schools, a Delaware nonprofit, is currently working to establish partnerships with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and New York City Leadership Academy (NYCLA), each of which has provided cost estimates and implementation plans for bringing its programs to Delaware. TNTP and NYCLA expect to bring 40-50 teachers and 10 leaders to Delaware per year, respectively, all of whom will work in high-need schools. Additional information about the collaboration with TNTP and NYCLA is available in Appendix (D)(1)-4,5. The DDOE will consider these programs among others for RTTT designated start-up funding.”

The New Teacher Project Board of Directors included ; 

 Ms. Wendy Kopp
Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Teach For America

Innovative Schools board of directors include: Paul Herdman, Ed.D. , Board Chairman, President and CEO, Rodel Foundation (check the link and see the other board of directors)

New York City Leadership Academy;  Wallace and Broad (Eli Broad), as well as Annenberg and Gates, also are underwriting the New York City Leadership Academy, a very expensive undertaking that pays aspiring principals full salaries as they train for a year to take jobs heading up schools in the city. 

Big NCC combined school board Pow-Wow

I attended the New Castle Combined Board of Education meeting this morning at the Christiana Hilton.

The combined boards do meet regularly however, this is the first I’ve attended and honestly, I didn’t know about this group or events.

I don’ think these meetings are something parents and community members attend and from what I see in attendance at Red Clay board meetings it doesn’t surprize me.

It was a little awkward because there were tables setup for each district boards and none for the public or even legislators who apparently drop in. The agenda isn’t driven by what we see in our own board meeting and does not relate to individual distirct issues. NCC combined school board just meets to maintain a working supportive relationship with each other. The breakfast part was at 7:30 a.m and public meeting started at 8:00 a.m. , I excused myself for the breakfast part. However , leaving the meeting room to go sit out in the lobby I ran into a board member from Appoquinmink School Board that I know. I explained, I don’t think public members were to be included in the breakfast. A few minutes later she came out to the lobby and invited me in and informed me Brandywine School District had an extra seat at their table. I was still uncomfortable but she insisted ( I think she was hitting on me , lol).  Dr. Merv from Red Clay insisted that I sit at Red Clay’s table (the super slipped Merv a 1o and said thanks for saving us, lol).   

I had a nice breakfast with Dr. Merv, board member Buckley, Williams and Davis. A few other Red Clay board members apparently went to another function and a few couldn’t make it. So, Rep. Gilligan and Sen. Sorenson joined us. What a crowd at that table, a Republican Senatoe, Democrat House Speaker, a few board members and potty mouth Kilroy ( relax. I was a gentleman).

There was a panel of legislators answering question put to them by the meeting host.

School finances was one topic. The question was put to the panel  asking them their position on a sales tax and or property reassessment to raise more funding. All panel member outright opposed any sales tax and apprehensive about property reassessment.

During the question period I commented that per the Delaware State Constitution Article  X any property taxes levied for the purpose of school taxes must be put to a vote by the residence aka referendum I stated,  if the county arbitrarily raised property taxes for the purpose of generation more funds for schools they would be  circumventing the intent of the Delaware State Constitution.

I also followed up with a comment that I feel legislators should enact a law requiring all proposed state legislation dealing with public education be required to have the funding source identified within the text of the legislation. I pointed out that in 2002 Title 14, Chapter 2, Subchapter I, subsection 207 that required an education impact analysis study was repealed at the close of legislative session 2002. 

Question 2 was in referencing to consolidating school districts. The panel pretty much opposed consolidation but support consolidated efforts re: purchasing and services. There were concerns with local control and “leveling” of teachers pay. Most felt the pay would be leveled up rather down and would have a negative impact on any cost savings.

(Note, any consolidation of school district would be through the state board of education who has the athority which puppet strings going back to Markell. Markell would be opening a major political can of worms if he tried.)

As far as Race to The Top the combined board leader tactfully express concerns about how information was communicated re: lack of communication. Rep Schooley was like a cheerleader for Race to The Top.

Rep. Oberle raised concerns about poor parenting  and lack of values  and at one point in the discussion made reference to having a 24/7 public school so trouble dysfunctional  students could learn academics and positive soical values and skills. ( I wanted to call 911 to have them come do a drug screen on Oberle) Perhaps when he leaves public office he’ll start DCBC, Delaware Charter Boot Camp.

I was very impressed with Rep. Dennis P. Williams who seems to know what tough love it will take to engage parents and tough students. The dude is hardcore reality. As far as SORs in our schools they ain’t going anywhere. I asked him in private about Markell’s plan to replace uniform State Police SRO’s with rent-a-cops. He said THAT’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Towards the end legislators in attendance made a comment how school board members and distinct representatives need to get down legislative hall and communicate more openly and effectively. They noted that they welcomes all input but ask to keep E-mail short and direct and not a laundry list of complaints and concerns. Bottom line is get to the point. Rep. Gilligan stood up and make reference to how Kim Williams who wasn’t even a board member st the tiem sent him a direct to te point E-mail about the concerns of   all day kindergarten funding. He said he was the last few days of legislative session that year and it was Kim’s E-mail that made him stop and think from a parents view and because of her E-mail he took action to round up funding.  This was back when Kim and Anne ran the Fix Red Clay blog. Anne and Kim were beating the war drums on this issue and together made a difference. Some called then nothing but nosey soccer moms but Rep. Gilligan reacted because someone took the time to communicate to him.  Before Gilligan commented he looked at Kim and said, I don’t think I ever told you this.

Folks in my opinion with Race to The Top education is going into a dangerous dark black hole and if we the community don’t communicate our concerns during legislative process and unfolding agendas, our legislators cannot effectively help up. Sure we all think they should know what’s going on however, I got news for you. The Governor’s agenda with RTTT is blind siding everybody except his inter circle and politician who worship him. 

The power belongs to the people and if they don’t take it then the power will be misused by those we elected. Everybody bitches and cries after the fact but do little during the process. I am a bastard, rude, crude and obnoxious ( yea an asshole to many) however, I will not sit by or be patronized. The public in public schools means us! Not politicans taking care of their speical interest groups or political bedfellows.       

Lesson in performance pay; apples and oranges