Monthly Archives: March 2010

Foreign takeover of U.S. public schools ???????

Islamic group applies for a charter.

February 28, 2010 by homegrownboy re: blog Resolute Determination  

Fethullah Gulen is major sponsor of charter schools all over the USA. Now they have applied to open one in DE.

A quick web search reveals them to be either a great institution or a terrorist outpost which uses the school’s constant stream of money to support activities.

Just an FYI.

Holy crap Homegrownboy, you tripped onto the mother load

Islamist Gülen Movement Runs U.S. Charter Schools

A secretive foreign network of Islamic radicals now operates dozens of charter schools — which receive government money but are not required to adopt a state-approved curriculum — on U.S. soil. The inspirer of this conspiratorial effort is Fethullah Gülen, who directs a major Islamist movement in Turkey and the Turkish Diaspora but lives in the United States. He is number thirteen among the world’s “50 most influential Muslims,” according to one prominent listing.

Gülen has been criticized as the puppet master for the current Turkish government headed by the “soft Islamist” Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials as the AKP, in its slow-motion showdown with the secularist Turkish military. But Gülen is also known in Muslim countries for his network of 500-700 Islamic schools around the world, according to differing sources favorable to his movement. A more critical view of Gülen’s emphasis on education asserts that his international network of thousands of primary and secondary schools, universities, and student residences is a key element in solidifying an Islamist political agenda in Turkey.

But in startling news for Americans, the Gülen movement operates more than 85 primary and secondary schools on our soil. A roster of the Gülen schools and of the numerous foundations that support them has been released to the public by the patriotic group Act! for America. The Gülen schools are often designated as “science academies” and are concentrated in Texas, Ohio, and California — with others scattered across the rest of the country.

Damn, I hope Markell don’t get mixed up in this shit! Hey, Jack perhaps you should check charter school applicants for U.S. Citizenship!! Also, maybe a credit background check.

DE DOE water cooler is leaking! Dan WTF is going on?

National hype over charter schools hits home

First State Math and Science Academy, a 6-12 college preparatory school, plans to open in either the Christina or Colonial school districts. Founder Ahmet Gunay, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, said he chose this location after examining state test scores in math and science to see where the greatest need was

JACOB BEHYMER-SMITH, a Minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem, PATIENCE








He was a defendant in a law suit because he would not let a 9th grader recite a poem with the words hell and damn. The student won based on the First Amendment.

Ben Karaduman, First State Math and Science Academy

Mr. Cruce said there is a specific standard in code where charter schools have to meet or exceed the state averages.  He asked how their program would address meeting or exceeding the states averages if some of the students that attend their school have significant challenges reaching the meets or exceeds standard.  Mr. Kandil said the state regulation in Maryland is the same.  He said there will be no enrollment preferences.  He said a key issue at Chesapeake Science is a very well structured pre-assessment process.  Once a student is accepted to the program, the school announces assessment dates in April, May, August and a three week observation period to observe their strengths and weaknesses in math and reading.

“Once student is accepted to program”? How can they not be accepted if there is no enrollment preference? I don’t see in the transcripts, what would be the basis for a student not to be accepted?

Article: Charter school could go bankrupt Chesapeake Science Point leaders say expand or school can’t make rent Article from: Maryland Gazette Article date: December 19, 2009

Once again, the fate of Chesapeake Science Point, one of two public charter schools in the county, is dangling precariously.

Leaders of the Hanover-based middle school say they could go bankrupt if they don’t expand to a high school next year. But officials who will decide on that expansion in January sound unlikely to grant their wish.

Charter school likely to face extended probation Maryland Gazette | May 2, 2007

“We have spent countless hours of our staff time trying to support that school’s function, and they need to do at least their part,” Superintendent Kevin Maxwell said this week at a meeting of the county Board of Education. “And their part is having the programs that they promised their parents many years ago, and having it done right and …

Chesapeake Science Point has corrected many of the issues that led the county school system to place it on probationary status, but the Hanover charter school isn’t out of the woods yet.

Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell is expected to recommend that the Board of Education continue probation for the school until 2008.

In his written recommendation, posted Friday on the Board of Education’s Web site, Dr. Maxwell acknowledged the school had made progress in the accuracy of its financial reporting, record-keeping and “most notably in the area of special education

I wonder how Delaware DOE missed the concerns with finances, like come on, December 19, 2009 was just a few months ago?

News Journal’s Ron Williams fire scuds at bloggers

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.  

Reward failure with Race to The Top funding

Delaware education: Every public school to share ‘Top’ dollars; Half of $100 million award will go to state

There are approximately 203 public / charter schools in Delaware to share 50 million dollars over four years.

The state’s plan includes programs meant to reward good work and efforts to boost struggling schools. Five top-performing schools a year would each get a $150,000 bonus. The state would pay for all state students to take the SATs. Highly rated teachers who are willing to transfer to the neediest schools would be eligible for a $5,000 bonus

I thought the goal of Race to The Top was to close the achievement gap. Are we talking bonuses for Title 1 schools only or for selective school like Charter School of Wilmington and non Title 1 schools? Pay for all SAT test for “all” students? Why are we taking money needed to help those below the achievement gap to fund more affluent students? What about parochial schools that receive Title 1 funding? Do these schools receive supplemental funding to help poor students? $5000 bonus for highly rated teacher to transfer to the neediest school ??? So high rated teachers already in place won’t receive bonuses? Why are we willing to pay bonuses for professional teachers that we already paid? So if you vote against a referendum you’re against the kids but if you take money for doing your job it’s for the kids? What about those Teacher for American teachers? They automatically receive $5000 bonus as they are deemed high effective when they walk in the door. Also, Teacher for American teachers receive $9400.00 from the federal program AmeriCorp after their two-year commitment. Does that mean all teacher now receive AmeriCorp bonuses? Looks like everybody is cashing in on the backs of high poverty students. Do parents receive bonuses if their child makes honor roll? Do students receive bonuses if they makes honor?  Why are we rewarding adults who have failed children while receiving pay. I rather see more teachers and smaller class sizes.

There are still local choices to be made in Delaware, Cruce said, such as calls for increased parental involvement. Just how that’s accomplished is left up to local leaders, providing flexibility for local context. What works in Red Clay might not work in Lake Forest.

Tell the truth Dan, the state / DOE does not want any part of being accountable for parental involvement because it would be forced to go to the legislators to asked for “laws” holding parents accountable for their child’s school behavior and participation. You’re not leaving it up to local decision, you’re shoving it up their asses. 

Race to The Top’s subliminal message

Arthur says:

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.

Kilroy’s response:

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

Great WDEL interview with John Young of Christina School District


Looks like John Young Christina school board member has a very objective view of Race to The Top and concerns with limited funding for longterm objectives.

John Young raises concerns that the public will be confused with $100 million RTTT dollars coming to Delaware and a call for referendum. RTTT funds cannot be used for general operating budget. However, the need for going to referendum is due in part to Governor Markell cutting state education funding to the school districts. If we’re to vote for referendums “for the kids” why then can governor Markell cut funding taking from the kids? It should not be the local taxpayers covering Markell ass for his failure to move the state economy to generate needed revenues. If we are not to reward failures in education why are we willing to reward failures in governor by voting for referendums to bail government out?  

 Listen to the link above and hopefully you’ll see John Young was very objective in his opinions and response to WDEL.

No traditional public high school in Wilmington Delaware

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!

Schooley needs to be tested for drug use

Educators rejoice at good news; Despite positive reactions, some concerned with methods

Terry Schooley has worked in education most of her life. When the Democratic state representative from Newark heard Delaware won federal Race to the Top dollars, she began shouting with joy.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “Now the work begins.”

So House Bill 119 was a scam? 107 million dollars over the next four years compared to Delaware spending over 4.6 Billon dollars over the last four years will now reform Delaware’s public schools? Perhaps Schooley means the work to bust the teachers union now begins.

“People outside the state have such a high opinion of things that happened here, and we just don’t realize it.”

If that were the case, Delaware would be the model for reform not Race to The Top.

“There’s nothing out there that proves or disproves,” he said. “What we are essentially doing is going into laboratory mode. We are testing.” John Young Christina School Board member.

You got it Johnny and just like DSTP which Schooley support Race to The Top and the forcing of a nationalized standardize test will have us visiting educational reform in another 10 years.

“I think Delaware had a perfect plan for where we wanted to go,” he said. (Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent Merv Daugherty)

Yea Merv, let Jack Markell keep 50% of RTTT funding to takeover Red Clay schools they way he wants at the same time you’ll request the board to increase local taxes to offset Markell’s transportation funding cuts. RTTT now put the superintendents in charge of school board rather than school board in charge of superintendents. I don’t know we you get the “we” shit because you never held town hall meetings explaining to the public and the board the ramification of Race to The Top.

We’ll see what kind of grit Schooley has at Delaware State Board of Education April’s meeting when DIT charter school’s application get rejected because Lowery doesn’t understand the law and ignores DOE’s own lawyer’s opinion.

$100 million not likely to ease state budget problems

“I think the monies that we’re getting here are a little bit different from the stimulus package, where we were able to backfill some of the programs we had,” said Rep. Joe Miro, R-Foxfire and a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee

Don’t worry Joe, Markell will minipulate DOE 50% share of RTTT to pay for Rodel’s Vision 2015 plans which helps Markell repay the campaign contributions made by Rodel’s founders

The use of that money is limited to “those programs that were identified in the application,” said Ann Visalli, director of the state Office of Management and Budget.

Although the money won’t help balance the budget, it could offset money the state would have spent to bring poorly performing schools up to where they should be, Visalli said.

So what you are saying, it will help back fill budget cuts as Markell passes the cost of fully funding the Minner Math and Reading Teachers back on the local taxpayers and shifting 25% off of student transportation off the back of the state and on the backs of local taxpayers?

I don’t get it, Schooley and other Delaware state legislators finally realized after 10 years of DSTP that the Delaware business round table was wrong and now supports a national level business round table led by Eli Broad and Rodel who want to reform Delaware’s public schools by shifting to  nationalized curriculum and standard followed by a nationalized standardized test.

If it is for the kids than way is Markell cutting state education funding to the school districts and charter schools? Support them if you love children and if you oppose local school tax referendums you don’t care about kids.

Voting no to Chirstina School Districts referendum will put the financial burden back on Schooley and company to come up with solutions. How do you improve education by cutting state funding to local public schools and charter schools? How do you improve education by adding more consultants and middle managers?

Greg Lavelle is right to be concerned

“I wish I could get excited about this, but I’m feeling kind of empty,” said Rep. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley.

Lavelle said the program will create additional bureaucracy and impedes on states’ rights. And he worries there have been few specifics given on how the money will be spent. He said one Delaware superintendent described Race to the Top as a “consultant’s dream,” and Lavelle said he’s skeptical it will produce concrete results.

Of course the Liberals will attack Lavelle because he is a Republican. Lavelle is correct “consultant’s dream”. DOE keep 50% of the top to do what they want and in Red Clay’s case it about $4.3 million dollars over three years.  But with Markell state funding cuts totaling about 6 million to Red Clay how do we improve education when the funding cuts will hurt progress.  

That only two states were named was surprising, said Michael Horn, executive director of education at Innosight Institute, a nonprofit advocate of innovation in education.

Another surprise was that Delaware made the cut, he said

What a dipstick ! We all knew Joe Biden put the fix in for Delaware.

“There’s a lot of great jargon, but when you step back from it, it’s hard to figure out what they just said they were going to do,” Horn said.

No shit Sherlock, they keep it complex so they can manipulate RTTT funding like they do with other federal funding like Title 1. 17% comes off the top for DOE’s administration fees. That’s over 10 million dollars! Then the district take their administration fees.

Remember DSTP? Well with RTTT Delaware under Markell’s leadership is taking Delaware to national standards and assessment aka DSTP on steroids. Did Markell have town hall meeting including legislators and the community on his participation in national core standards? Hell no, Jack says in the words of Joe Biden, “this is a big fucking deal” and parents do need a say in the direction of Delaware’s education. Jack pulls a Carper and drops to his knees for the business roundtable. The same ass-wipes that gaves us DSTP.

DE Legislators turns a blind eye to DE DOE violation of charter school law

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.

Teach for America’s federal funding in question

Help Teach For America restore and increase
our federal support for 2011

Teach For America relies on annual federal funding to support our program. This year, we received $21 million through Congressional appropriations, and we have requested $50 million for the 2011 fiscal year

How you can help

Using the box on the right, send an e-mail to your Senators asking them to support a direct $50 million allocation to Teach For America in 2011

Something isn’t quite right here. Teach for America teachers are paid by the school district they are assigned to and actually district employees. Also, in the case of Red Clay, there is a three-year contract up to $300,000.00 going to Teach for America for recruiting and training of I believe 6 Teach for America teachers in Red Clay. So where will the 50 million in federal funding come in?

Obama would end Teach for America Funding

Teach for America, which enlists recent college graduates for two-year stints in some of the nation’s most troubled public schools, would lose its uncontested claim on $18 million in federal funding under an Obama administration proposal to launch a grant competition for teacher training programs.

At first blush, the proposal to end Teach for America’s noncompetitive grant seems a surprising setback for a program viewed favorably by federal officials, lawmakers and philanthropists with influence in public education.

But Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the proposal to merge that funding with other programs, if approved by Congress, would make $235 million available for initiatives to recruit and prepare teachers for high-need schools.

“We think there’s a chance for programs that are doing a great job to actually increase their funding,” Duncan told reporters last week when asked about Teach for America. “It’s an expanded pool of resources and we want the best to rise to the top. . . . There’s a big, big opportunity out there for high performers.”

But leaders of the 20-year-old nonprofit organization, based in New York, have expressed concerns about the budget proposal because they are counting on federal funding to help finance an expansion. So a dedicated grant could be more valuable to the organization than the chance to win more money.

Real nice, schools must compete for grant money and TFA feels they are so great they don’t need to compete.

Duncan questioned on move to cut funding for Teach for America

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) pressed Duncan on why the administration would force Teach for America, which enlists thousands of recent college graduates each year to teach in high-needs schools without going through traditional certification programs, to compete for funding. The nonprofit organization this fiscal year has an $18 million federal education grant, in addition to other federal funding. Its leadership has expressed concern that the loss of a guaranteed funding stream would threaten its growth.

We made some tough calls. And what we did is we simply eliminated all the earmarks. We increased the chance for competition,” Duncan said.

“Teach for America is an earmark?” Doggett asked.

“It was a set-aside,” Duncan clarified. The organization, he said, would have “every opportunity to compete and get, frankly, significantly more money.”

Doggett asked Duncan whether the funding shift would force the organization to make at least a short-term cutback.

“I don’t know the answer to that question,” Duncan said. “That’s a fair question.” He said he has high regard for Teach for America.

Earmark funding for Teach for America? Why not earmark funding for our schools rather than make them compete and fire teachers?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Teach for America could lose dedicated stream of federal funding

An Obama administration plan to create a broader grant competition for teacher-training programs could end the dedication of federal funding to Teach for America. The move could cost the program $18 million this fiscal year, or about 10% of its budget. TFA — which places new college graduates in two-year positions at the country’s most disadvantaged schools — could be awarded an even larger grant under the proposal but would no longer be guaranteed the money, which it had counted on for a planned expansion. The Washington Post

Teach for America’s federal funds threatened by grant competition proposal

By Nick Anderson Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 11, 2010; 10:40 PM

Teach for America, which enlists recent college graduates for two-year stints in some of the nation’s most troubled public schools, would lose its uncontested claim on $18 million in federal funding under an Obama administration proposal to launch a grant competition for teacher training programs.

Backers say the program is one of the best alternative pathways into the profession; critics say the teachers it places are ill prepared and often do no better than those who come from teacher colleges with regular credentials.

No way TFA are ill prepared? You would think with all the funding and raping of school districts like Red Clay these TFA teachers would be teaching season teachers how to be more effective.

Moving School Board Elections to the General Elections

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.

Red Clay’s Shortlidge Academy Principal should be fired

Delaware schools: Disorder doesn’t make son a ‘clown,’ angry mom says; Boy’s misbehavior mishandled, Red Clay acknowledges

“My son can be a handful,” the 39-year-old Wilmington woman said. “I won’t sit here and tell you, ‘Oh, he’s an angel.’ “

But she still was surprised when she spotted her son walking down the school hallway wearing a sign that read: ” “My name is Troy Harvin and I’am the class clown. Ha.”

She ripped the sign off the two safety pins that held it to the front of his navy blue polo shirt.

“What is this?” she recalled asking him. “Is it a game you’re playing?”

The issue here is the inappropriateness of the Crisis Interventionist not the students. If you want to join in on sick comments go to Delawareonline and join in that comment section.

What kind of school principal would allow an  employee  to take such action to cause such humiliation of a child? It doesn’t matter if the student in question has a disability or not. Making a student parade with a sign around his neck to humiliate him is sick and emotionally abusive.


Who decides the rules for parental involvement ?

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”.