Still skeptical, but a little less: Blog socks it to insurance commissioner
I don’t think much of bloggers who claim to be journalists, or professional journalists who resort to blogging, for that matter.
Anyway, that train has left the station. Bloggers and anonymous chatterer/idiots have become a part of the media, whether old fogy journalists like it or not.
News Journal’s Ron Williams concedes bloggers are part of the media! In the words of Vice President Joe Biden, I think this is a big fucking deal.
Ron sits protected by online filters and those editing letters to the editor. Ron the word is out, the world is an ugly fucking place and professional protocol went out the door the day Joe Biden was elected. I honestly think the world stopped being a nice place once the lie was out ducking and covering doesn’t protect school children from nuclear attack. Then there was that little incident at Kent State. Delaware’s local-yokel newspaper doesn’t have grit and leans too far to one side of the political spectrum. Bloggers calls it as they see it. Just call us the virtual kitchen table.
One thing for sure, Kilroy is no journalist nor does he claim to be one. However, I’ll admit , I was inspired by the likes of Norm Lockman and Al Macitti two journalists that out shine Ron Williams. I wish Norm was still with us because I would love to hear his spin on education reform. As for Al Macitti, he had more balls than all of the News Journal’s journalists put together. Also it was other bloggers like Dana Garrett, Jason Scott and Mike Matthews who drew me into the insane world of blogging.
I am not looking for a blogger’s Pulitzer Prize or a paycheck. I might have a GED and a pocketful of college credits but I know one thing, the world and education is fucked up because of some of those with PhDs are calling the shots and controlling the money.
Race to The Top is nothing more than a scud missile aimed at privatizing public education and your daily rag is afraid to print the truth because it fears the business roundtable will cut its advertising business.
Honesty, I think Herbie the paper man did more for the News Journal than Ron Williams. I can still hear his voice echoing down 10th and Market. I might be an idiot but you’re useless as a woodpecker on an alumium telephone pole. I don’t know if you know or not but it’s last call for those with Social Security Cards in Roman numerals. Time to stop dipping the feather in the inkwell. Get with the times pop and fire up a blog.
Those of us who have worked in education/the public sector/fought for education have seen this how many times before? A new program is touted, some morons say they shouted out loud with excitement and now we must work. Then the time line works like this:
– ‘We will need 12 -18 months to research and develop initiatives to effectively change the landscape of education in delaware.’
– ‘With these programs that we have spent so much time developing we will now initiate the roll out of the program gradually over the next 12-18 months.’ – ‘We have initiated the implementation of this program and now have th task of studying the effects of it over the next 12-18 months. But remember this is a long range goal and we wont see true results for 2-3 years.’
So now 3-5 years have gone but studying and implementing without any true indication of what will happen and the money has now run out. Now the ‘we’s (aka those no where near the classrooms unless they are invited as a special guest during dr. seuss week) will say they need more funding for ‘the kids’ and the new adminstration will have an even better plan to educate the kids. After all of the 100mm is gone, what will we hear:
parents dont take an active enough role.
As we all can agree, DSTP was a total failure. remember all the time and effort that went into DSTP before it was rolled out? Wasn’t it a few years in making? The Delaware business roundtable had their way with DSTP. Now the same Delaware business roundtable is joined by the national business roundtable pushing an unproven complex plan.
When the federal money runs out and even before as we see with Markell’s budget cuts, the funding will shift back on the local taxpayers.
Remember that old Beatles record that when you played it backwards there was a message. The subliminal message with Race to The Top is charter schools and privatization. 4.5 billion dollars is peanuts ! Ducan sees Race to The Top as our last chance to reform public education, “a moon shot”. In reality RTTT is a scud missile sent to destroy traditional public education. Enjoy the music
Some say if the city of Wilmington Delaware were to have a high school it would be racially identifiable with predominately African-American students and would cause concerns in regards to the appearance of segregation.
If you take a look at the racial makeup of Wilmington’s public schools since the approved Neighborhood Schools Act you’ll notice particularly in Red Clay and Christina school districts most of their school located in the city are predominantly African-American students. Check the state school profiles out and you’ll see some schools are over 90% and most above 75% African-American students.
I find it odd that those who oppose a city high school on these concerns don’t question the racially identifiable schools that currently exist and city charter schools that are racially identifiable. Why doesn’t Red Clay have a traditional middle school within the city?
Many white parents cried the blues because their children had to endure long bus rides in the city and their inability to participate at school due to the distance from home. It seems everybody is happy but yet many African-American students in middle school and all in high schools are forced to ride buses to the suburbs.
Then there the Choice schools illusion where even our governor claims children can attend schools of their choice. The Choice school provisions allows school districts to close choice due to capacity issues which surely makes sense. But there also is a transportation issues giving the more affluent the advantage. For many poor minority who don’t have reliable transportation to drive their children to a Choice bus stop or a Choice school directly it TFB in the eyes of many.
There is a new charter high school that serves at-risk students opening in downtown Wilmington in fall 2010 and surely many students will be African-American. However, I am hopefully the school administrator will seek out a diversified student population.
Don’t get me wrong here as I am not suggest some white agenda. Honestly I put the blame on the residents of Wilmington for note demanding better access to charter and choice schools and for not DEMANDING a city high school and needed middle schools. All options should be on the table with equal access. I don’t see Delaware schools particularly in the city of Wilmington Delaware as providing fair and equitable education and certainly don’t blame the teacher for the imbalance in education services.
Governor Markell and Secretary of Education Lowery support school turnaround plans that fire al teachers and staff , good with bad. These decision are being made in Title 1 schools where under Title 1 law section 1118 parents are given right as to design, review, implementation and evaluation of school plans, Yet, the system designs the plan without meaningful input and shared decision-making and force it upon parents and students. The United State Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports these actions. FYI , RTTT does not supercede NCLB law giving parental involvement legal status.
If it is suggested that a city elementary schools or charter school predominantly African-American elementary school can be superior why then a high school couldn’t.
I urge Governor Markell and all reformist to step back and give some thought to the direction of our city schools in relationship to inclusiveness to parents, local leader and the community at large. We talk about mayoral control yet we aren’t giving the most important stakeholders in the city of Wilmington an equal seat at the table.
The parents and real civil rights leaders of Wilmington Delaware need to step up now and not allow the continuation of children being stepped on by reformist who are driven adding more consultants and middle managers to education. We need more teachers and smaller class sizes and no laws allowing schools to waive class size requirements. We need real pre-k programs accessable to all parents not just the affluents. RTTT the top does being added resources. However, the governors state budget cuts to education undermine any advancement in meeting the needs of our children.
Stand up and fight Wilmington and do it now!
Rumor has Delaware Secretary of Education Lowery is insisting Delaware Institute of Technology charter school have a secured building location before a charter school application is approved. How can a potential charter school be required to have a building before their charter school application is approved? If the application was not approved for other reasons the potential charter school would be stuck with a lease or mortgage. DOE’s own lawyer injected and said charter school applicants are not required to have secured location prior to approval. Lowery is ignoring legal advice by her own DOE lawyers. Certain legislators have been contacted and they are just a baffled. Other charter school application have been approved without defined location of building and in many cases the application noted in which county they intend on seeking a location.
Personally I support traditional public schools but respect the right of parents wanting options. My point here is, Delaware charter school laws a skewed and manipulated by Delaware’s Secretary of Education Lowery who apparently has no comprehension of the charter school approval process prescribed by law.
At April’s Delaware State Board of Education meeting the board is required to approve or disapprove DIT’s applications and like political sheep the board will turn a blind eye to Delaware charter school’s legitimate legal approval process and not approve DIT on Lowery’s recommendation.
The mouse that lives in DOE’s office communicated certain high level personal has been make derogatory remarks about one of DIT’s representatives. Dan, you need to be careful who you make those comments to!
I hear the legislators in the know of this incident plan to stand down and allow Lowery to run her agenda.
I am really not in favor of moving school board elections to the general elections. However, it might be best so that the public not just parents of school children can hear the positions of the board candidates.
Some complain that if school board elections were moved to the general election people would vote on candidates they have no clue on that candidate’s positions on the issues. FYI, pretty much that what is going on now. Not everyone is invested and involved as many of you who visit this blog and other blogs relating to education issue. So how to they get the message and insight of the candidates?
As for the public voting during the general elections who might not give a rat’s ass about the education issue, they have a right as it’s their taxes being spent and for the most part everyone knows there is bullshit waste going on in public education. We allow people to run for school board who have no clue what’s going on and are recruited by certain status quos who will shaped the unseasoned board member into the fold.
What pisses me off the most is, if we’re lucky we may see one school board candidate forum and some brief article in the News Journal. Those running or State Legislators only receive a two-year term and school board members a five-year term. Our governor is elected to four-years.
We have a board candidate in Red Clay that hasn’t made an appearance at school board meeting and another that sits there and doesn’t even take the time to introduce himself to the community during the public comments segment.
School board candidates need to be more visible and engaged in the election process. Sitting around rolling the dice you’ll be elected because the community is pissed at the incumbant isn’t about the good of education. Being elected as an unknown because anybody would be better than the incumbant is bullshit.
If moved to the general election candidate would have to pick a political party affiliation making school board appear to be political. However, there is an element of political alliances now.
The real question here is, doesn’t the public deserve to know who the candidates are and what their positions are on the issues? I feel candidates need to know many of the current issues and as for school board procedures certainly they’ll need some OJT on that. We need board candidates who know the issues and ready to address them once elected. Every candidate is for transparency and open communication but yet when elected I see very few calling for a motion to implement their ideas. What you for is one thing but what your plans to do once elected is another.
I think moving the school board elections to the general election will force board candidates out in the open and work for the job and let the public know what they are getting. However, I do have deep reservation about such a move.
For the most part many educators feel parental involvement means making sure their children are well rested, homework completed, fed and sent to school ready to learn with a positive respectful attitude. Also, attend parent teacher conferences and help out with PTA. In other words, do your job and don’t tell me how to do mine.
Parents aren’t welcomed beyond the line that puts them in a position to dictate real decisions that impact policies. However, Red Clay for an example has various committees that involve parents including. Most of the parents on these committees are more assertive and heavily involved with PTA and show some level of leadership skills. But we cautious about window treatment parents.
There are parents involved in local, state, regional and even national levels of involvement and in most cases you’ll find these parents progressed from each level.
Locally parents are involved in their child’s school PTA and various district level committees. PTAs at the school level are great but often perform funding raising to help with the little needs of the schools where the district’s budget falls short.
State level involvement parents are involved in some reform issues however they are hand selected to ensure they don’t rock the boat and must follow a ridged agenda. The goals and direction of many state level DOE committees have predetermined outcomes and only need parents who follow the agenda. These parents don’t speak for all parents. Rather than hold real town hall meetings and hear the consensus of a larger cross-section views and opinions DOE sticks with their narrow-minded agenda. The DSTP town meetings took place after DSTP was law and agenda set and nothing could stop the fixed agendas. There was no Race to The Top town hall meetings to include parents or educated parents on this movement.
Delaware has the Delaware State Parent Advisory Council that falls under the Delaware Department of Education. If you ask an average parent if they know about this group the response in most cases will be no. As a former member I can tell you DOE frowns upon this group from taking a negative position on any issue and going public with it. The group is wonderful and puts on various events helping move information to parents. However, the level of “advisory” in minimal and has no real impact on overall decision making. Year ago the founding members of this group were assertive and membership did have some heavy hitters from the community. Original DSPAC was solely Title 1 parents but shifted to include all parents.
Other than the PTA organization and groups focused on special needs students there are no strong regional and national parent organization for everyday parents of school children. We do have some strong PTA leaders at these levels that will cut across the grain but for the most part PTA jumps on every reform train that comes along. I haven’t seen the PTA organization rollout a reform plan of their own based on the needs of all parents even those not members. PTOs are great but the strengths are limited school by school. There is the National Coalition of Title 1 /Chapter 1 Parents (Title 1 use to be called Chapter 1). This group are national based and regional based however, the overall supporting membership has fizzled. Wilmington, Delaware has an historical part in the organization of this group and Title 1. Wilmington’s William “Hicks” Anderson is the Godfather of this group and his honored many times over. Much of his movement was rooted in the civil rights movement and like the torch Martin Luther King lit; the torch Hicks lit flickers at a very faint flame. Naming a building after him only keeps his name alive but it takes more to keep his movement alive.
Parents of school children don’t have national representatives that go against the grain and pick apart various reform agendas. I not saying refusing reform but rather, not accept the bad portions of plan because the overall goal is good. Goals are goals and without a solid foundation goals will never be achieved. I went to “one” Rodel event and the attendees were allowed to ask questions. However, those questions were required to be submitted in writing and submitted before the questions and answer time. There was no spontaneous town hall type meeting. Vision 2015 might have begun as a sort of grassroots movement however; its survival depended on political influences and campaign contributions. Rodel’s Vision 2015 speaks for the business roundtable not from parent’s kitchen table.
The sad part of serious parent involvement is the parental involvement generation cycle. Most involved parents start out with PTA/PTO and a handful in each school community questions the rules and procedures of a school and a district. The school system knows what to do with these parents. The system will do all they can to pacify these parents ensure their kids get taken care of and if need be bypass school choice and charter school procedure. The system has it down to an art how to patronize parents to make them feel they are part of the process when in fact they are not. When the phone calls and E-mails are always initiated by the so-called involved parent, that’s a sign they have not real value. When an educators or elected official reaches out unannounced for a parent’s view or opinion then the parent knows they are effective. Parents who stay involved once their child leaves the public school system are a danger and concern. These parents see the ugly truth about education that is driven by power, ego, politics and money and God forbid they enlighten others to the ugliness. The system has tactics to rid themselves of these parents, they try to play those parents they patronize against these parents who refuse to move on and know too much.
All parents should give 100% towards supporting their children’s education and public schools. However, not all moms are stay at home moms who can squeeze time in to help out at the schools or take on bigger roles the fundraising and attend field trips. No all moms and dads posses social skills an the educational levels to engage in more hands on issues. Yea, Yea some say well that’s find but they can at least make sure they do the basic need stuff. However, narrow mind more affluent parents don’t get it, there is poverty and some family do have pantries full of food. Not all parents can attend school conferences meeting set during the day. Some parent work and some parents work more than one job. Many poor urban families don’t own a car and their child’ school is on a bus route. Sure pick up the phone and call the teacher. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish every school had a voice mailbox system where parents can all one phone number at their child’s school and key in their child’s homeroom class number or the class number of a particular teacher. Though a phone is every classroom would be great however, a voice mailbox isn’t located in the phone but rather the phone system. Teachers could leave daily homework assignment, dates major projects are due and reminder of field trips and other important events. Also, a mailbox feature could allow a parent to leave a message for the teacher. With all millions of dollars spent in Delaware on technology we don’t have such a basic feature to enable better two-way communication. The teacher can access a voicemail box from any phone and change messages anytime they want.
We can have all the parent compacts we want and reinforce them with laws. However, until we’re ready listen to the needs and barriers of parental involvement from the parent’s perspective without prejudice and in an open spontaneous forum we are just spinning our wheels.
The failures in public education seems to associated with failure in student achievement and the reality the majority of those student failing to achieve are not from affluent families but rather poor and mostly minority families. Those who look down their noses at the issues have no concept of the needs of these families.
Failures in effective parental involvement at our schools are a reflection in failed leadership who lacks insight to real innovation in reaching out to the community. School leaders rather spend time kisses asses of politicians and foundation that will be part of their next career move rather than break bread with those in their school community. Yes, there are those in the community that want to help as long as there is $$$ something in for them. The real positive change must come from building a bridge between the school and the community and I not saying turn schools into community centers. I am talking, connects in common goals the better children’s education and real partnership.
Delaware’s education has and is failing from the top down due to lack of real accountability at the top. A building principal’s evaluation should include the level of parental involvement “and” an effective outreach that has demonstrated more effective two-way communication with parents. Principals need to be trained in how to better utilize parents in community outreach. They need to find the strong parents who are involved in their community and they need to look them in the eye and say , “where are we failing to connect” and “ will you be willing to help me be a real partner in your community”. The most important word in interpersonal communication skills is the word, “I”. Our school leaders need to start using the I-messages such as “What can I do to help you as parents”. They need to tell parents, “hurt my feeling if you must because I want to know the truth”.