Another new DE charter granted a year delay

Application to Modify an Existing Charter: Las Americas Aspira Academy (For Action) 
 
 

 
 

Mr. Cruce explained that Aspira Academy was placed on formal review at the May State Board meeting for issues related to finances, enrollment, location, grade configuration, and compliance with meeting conditions. The school has since requested to delay opening for one year which is the recommendation of the Charter School Accountability Committee.

 

This is the second charter school requesting a one year delay on its opening. This school was to open this fall 2010-2011 school year. What I want to know is, once the original charter was approved the seed money started flowing and where is the accountablity for that money. If this school decides not to open after a year’s delay who pay the taxpayers back? 

LAS AMERICAS ASPIRA ACADEMY – EDUCATION(SCHOOL DISTRICTS) for 2010 Q1-Q4 Cumulative

 

INNOVATIVE SCHLS

EDUCATNL CONSULT-CO

5/11/2010

$17,600.00

INNOVATIVE SCHLS

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

9/24/2009

$17,728.00

INNOVATIVE SCHLS

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

12/10/2009

$18,012.00

INNOVATIVE SCHLS

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

2/25/2010

$9,396.00

 
 

Secretary Lowery recommended that the charter school be removed from formal review and their request for a delay in opening be granted and asked for the Board’s concurrence. She reiterated that all conditions would remain with the due dates extended by one year.

Removed from formal review? WTF !  I think the public has the right to know what the “detailed” issues are surrounding this delay. We’re handing out taxpayer’s money and these charter schools are falling on their face when it’s time to open. Over $60,000.00 of taxpayers money has been expended and I think the taxpayers have a right to know the details. 

Reforming reform re: education

Why do we keep reforming educational reform and why do we add more administrators and manage each time?

I think we can all agree there is waste in public education from DEDOE and the districts.

We have these feel good education laws such as Class Size Cap, School Choice , Charter and Neighborhood School Laws.

What good is the Class Size Cap law when there is a waiver? We must eliminate the wavier.

What good is School Choice is no convenient transportation is provided. Also, contrary to Governor Markell’s boasting, student cannot just chose a school. Many desiable schools don’t have space.

Neighborhood Schools seem to apply to outside the City of Wilmington. Where is the city’s high school and middle school in Red Clay? Anon will say, Kilroy do you want racially identifiable schools or I thought you oppose segregation? Hello, all of the public schools in Wilmington are pretty much racially identifiable and high poverty. As far as Warner, how many students in Warner live on the hill?

The Charter School Law is unfair and undermines fair and equitable education. Allowing charter schools to exclude low performing students is a social injustice. The movement to reform public schools as to address the achievement gap. But what Delaware did and what Jack Markell support is separating students by intelligences and when a charter school struggles to help at-risk students they are forced close like Moyer and Marion T. Markell’s goal of address poverty through education is nobel. However, failing to address poverty only in the schools and not in the community shows skewed thinking. As I’ve said before, “poverty is not an excuse to fail but rather stagnates the ability to achieve.”   Markell brags he’s visited many school throughout Delaware but has he taken the time to visit high poverty neighborhoods. Markell waste no time rasing a Waterford glass full of expense wine to cheer his Race to The Top winnings but do you see him breaking bread drink from a plastic cup in the poor communities? Markell plots and plan his education agenda with disregards to  federal law  Title 1 Section 1118.

We cannot keep expanding the administration and management  of education and must increase instructional units. We must demand the elimination of Delaware Class Size Cap Waiver. We must provide the City of Wilminton students a traditional high school and middle schools. We must provide “convenient”  Choice transportation means for high poverty children. We must end the charter school admission preference that excludes students based on intelligence. The talk of adding Pre-school in our public schools cannot advance until we address the flaw within current state laws. Furthermore, our state legislators must stop passing unfunded and underfunding state mandates. Th state legislators should revisit the provisions that allows DEDOE via the State Board of Education to amend education regulations within their authority. The new regulations aligned with  Race to The Top have no funding stream once Federal funding for Race to The Top expires.  

Its time to reform the reform process and add common sense and fiscal responsiblity to the process. Why have a secretary of education in Delaware when the governor wants full control of spending and curriculum. Delaware’s Govenor Jack Markell signs Delaware onto new national core standards without allowing public imput. This is no partnership when the governor calls all the shot and signs on the dotted line and then presents to the public. whatever happen to shared decision-making. Seem like the new game is Markell makes the decisions and after the fact share with the real and most important stakeholders,parents of school chidlren and taxpayers who fund Delaware’s public education.  

Time to turn Delaware DOE around “quickly”

Delaware schools leaving more children behind; Fewer top ratings, more under review

About half of Delaware’s schools failed to make adequate progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a dramatic increase from a year prior.

“We have to take big, giant steps toward radically improving our education system quickly enough to have this generation of students ready to compete for the next generation of jobs and opportunity,” state Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery said in a statement.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell is tracking to be the worst governor on education policies and advancement in the state’s history. He plays by this notion that we shouldn’t reward failure but yet does tie student achievement to the job of the Delaware Secretary of Education. Before I go on, I want to make it clear I am not talking about Lillian Lowery as an individual but rather her as the Delaware Secretary of Education. Lowery has the skills and passion to do the job. However, when she opens her tools box its fill will a set of tools placed their by reformist including Jack Markell who have no clue to the real needs in education. With the success if you what to call it that (I don’t) of Delaware winning the Race to The Top grant Lillian Lowery could find another job in other states with no problem. I suggest she start looking because Delaware education reform will fall flat on its face at the hands of Jack Markell.

Excuse my French anon but what the fuck; 

“State officials have not released the names of the first few buildings that will enter the turnaround program yet. Those schools will be named in late August. Some school districts have already begun replacing principals at low-achieving schools that are likely to face interventions”.

Markell has already been replacing principals at these low-achieving schools. The reason Markell is holding back the news as to which schools will be turnaround schools is because he doesn’t want parents to have a voice. Delaware;s Governor Jack Markell is in clear violation of federal law Section 1118 of Title 1. What saddens me the most is our city leaders and so-called righteous civil rights leaders insult the name of William “Hicks” Anderson by standing by allowing Markell to excude parents of Title 1 students in “meaningfu” debate and particpation in addressing the concerns. I ask where and the real civil rights leaders of Wilmington and when will the take a real stand no one that concerns them in the sharing of the money pie for themselves?

Markell knows the name of these so-called turnaround schools but yet plays his “little man” games holding back the announcement.

Delaware’s plan also includes restructuring 10 schools with low academic achievement rates. Until now, those schools’ improvement plans have included mainly changes in curriculum, but no big staff changes.

Bullshit ! The plans are  made and soon Markell will turn the screws! Think about why  Markell is waiting until after the school year starts to devise the turnaround plan for these schools? Another example of Markell’s inability to effectively address the needs of school reform. Markell jump on the Race to The Top movement without providing parents, community, state legsialtors, students and school boards meaningful opportunity to weigh in. In face there has never been any town hall meeting or open presentation of Race to The Tim. The school boards were ask to vote on the RTTT MOU at the request of the superintendents. The superintendents did not provide advance presentation to Race to The Top or the MOU to allow school board and the community time to weigh, In fact Red Clay’s board meeting addressing the MOU (vote) aka work shop didn’t have public recognition time on the agenda until I bitched about it. Furthermore the board did excercise the one meeting rule prior to voting. They voted right after the MOU presentation given by Merv and the ass-whips from DEDOE. What really suck is during this meeting there was four-way dialogue between DEOE, the board, the super and union representation who was in the audience which is not normal board meeting procedue. But yet I step up to the micophone and was told I have three minutes. There you have it, the public get three minutes with a timer clicking away. 

“We are all aligned — our state’s parents, teachers, administrators and employers — on the need to work together to strengthen our schools,” Markell said in a statement. “From earlier in the year, when we won Race to the Top and implemented tough new regulations, to today’s new law linking student achievement to new teacher evaluations, we’ve got to work together to ensure the best tomorrow for our kids.”

Jack Markell is a “lair” ! Parent particularly Title 1 parents have zero to do with the designing of school reform in their Title 1 schools, a clear violation ot Title 1 Section 1118. There was no public forum on Race to The Top except the one at th U of D with Arne Duncan which required paying a fee. Seats were limited and filled way in advance of the event. Markell stated, “today’s new law linking student achievement to new teacher evaluations, we’ve got to work together to ensure the best tomorrow for our kids.” Did he say how DEDOE Will be accountable.  DSEA agreed to these changes hold teachers more accountable than DEDOE and when the Novocaine wears off the ass they’ll be crying foul. Markell held a private dinner and blow job session for Arne Duncan at U of D Arsht Hall on July 23, 2010. I hear it was more of a celebration on the taxpayers backs so that the so-called RTTT team players could pat each other on the back. Word has it leaders of DSEA were there to get a pat on the back.

The state is currently engaging teachers in a conversation to help shape the exact definition of student growth. Markell and Lowery promised Friday that the measurement would be rigorous and fair. The new teacher accountability law will begin in the 2011-2012 school year. The state is working out how test scores will be used to determine teacher effectiveness and has enlisted teachers to help decide what will work best

I thought the new regulations we in place? Didn’t Carper enlist teachers to help shape DSTP and Minner cut a sidebar pre-election (2nd term) that railroaded teacher accountability? DSEA is doing it to themselves. This go alone to get alone shit is not in the best interest of students. The politics in this bullshit cat and mouse reform game has taken the “professional” out of professional teachers. Most teachers are accountable and effective and just want to do their job knowing they will be fairly compensated. But then again we’re asking too much of Delaware to cover the back of professional teachers when we can’t even cover the backs of our state police. There is and have been a means to evaluate teachers and the real concern is we don’t purge the system fast enough of the ineffective teachers. I am for ongoing staff development but retaining of teacher deeded ineffective? I don’t think so! Let them go back to school on their on time and money and then come back. Much of the entire reform movement is about teacher quality and effectiveness. Allowing 95% of the teachers to be dragged through this bull shit for the sake of 5% is wrong. Here is where Markell lacks leadership and skill to effective reform public education. But the game isn’t that simple to find ways to purge ineffective teachers. The game is to fuck organized labor and once they break the backs of the strongest organized labor group in the state , teachers, they come after the rest. DSEA is too busy feeding their face to see the slaughter coming down the road.

Bob Hamper, professor and interim director of the University of Delaware’s school of education, said he believes Delaware’s efforts to connect test scores and teacher evaluations is misguided.

“Universities devote painstaking attention to a wide range of evidence of effectiveness, and our public schools should do the same,” Hamper said in an e-mail. “To yoke tenure to one indicator is unwise, just as it is unwise to grant tenure after only three years.”

Damn Bob, I am not a professor just an idiot  and can see this logic. However, do remember, Arne Duncan puts part of the blame on school like U of D for producing ill-prepared teachers. I say its more effective to have college students do some on-site visit to the public school their first year. Why wait until their last year re: student teaching to find out what the fuck they gotten themselve into. Ducan says school like the U of D don’t train teachers to read data. Bob the biggest flaw in training future teachers is in the area sociology and phycology. Teaching has gone from serving academic needs to address social needs. Schools are not and should not be community center designed to serve all the ills of a eroding society. Markell has all the various social service department that are crumbling under his leadership. A family court system that fails to address the connection between delinquency and irresponsible parents. In reality teachers lack the social support networks that once backed them. I support putting effective crisis interventionist in our schools but not organization that aren’t geared to address family crisis. Bob, it’s not about the tests or evaluations. It’s about the money and who controls it!

Tenure provides the highest rating, which provides for special job protections and will make the teacher eligible for bonus pay programs under Race to the Top.

Why would effective teachers need “job protection”? Perhaps from egotistic administrators! Where the protection is needed is when educators step forward an expose corrupt administration. “Bonus” pay ? What Delaware schools are going to be model after Wall Street ? Just pay teachers fair pay and benefits and reduce retirement to after 25 years. Try treating and supporting teachers as professional. Don’t assume all teachers subscribe to the political ideology of DSEA. What Markell and company is doing is like rounding up all the Japanese and putting them in interment camps like its World War II. Teachers are not the enemy but yet Markell lets the spies in DEDOE who are pushing the business roundtable agenda to bring the unions down. Markell is an enabler to this agenda. Markell’s goals are not in education but in reaching Washington to pacify his political ego. He fills his political plate at a time when Delaware needs a governor focused on the economic crisis at hands. Markell worries about the future jobs of children currently in third grade more so than finding jobs for their out of work parents.

Trusting Washington’s Arne Duncan with local school board affair and local state school reform is like trusting Washington with Social Security and running the U.S. Post Office efficiently. If they can run Washington with a balanced budget why hand them our local checkbook. When RTTT funding dries up Markell’s setting state education regulation without input from state legislators will require Delaware to fund RTTT goals. Markell will force greater funding of state education responsiblity back on the local taxpayers.

Delaware DOE Dan running scared

A little DOE mouse tells DOE Dan is worried that if Kilroy gets his way re: digital recordings of local school board meeting online that pressure would be put on the Delaware State Board of Education  to record their meeting and put online.

I am also being told that Delaware Governor Jack Markell is concerned that if board meetings were digitally recorded parents, community and state legislator may have TMI on available. Markell claims to be big on open government but it appears that was just campaign babble.

To all state legislators reading this, think about how you can go online and hear school board meeting recordings. Don’t you think it would help you be better informed as to what’s going on in education and the school district you live in? Don’t you have an obligation to know  the local issues? Go read the online printed school board meeting notes. They are vague and offer no in-depth information. Many parents and community leaders step up to the microphone during public recognition. It’s time to let them be heard. 

Red Clay is using a digital recorder and there wasn’t any need to upgrade the sound system. I hope Merv will step up and ask the Red Clay board to move forward and put the recordings online. If not, I hope the Red Clay school board steps up and takes the action to make it happen. Each school board member ran for board claiming they are for transparency, accountability and open communications. So I just ask that they help delivery their promise and honor this request to put board meeting digital recordings online.

Don’t let Delaware DOE Dan control local boards by urging supers to resist move district communication forward.

Jack, you have the executive power to make it happen! Help let the sunshine in!

Wow, look what this school district did! http://www.retn.org/programs/june-8-2010-meeting

Wow, another! http://springfieldpublicschoolsmo.org/board/VideoArchives/2009-2010/May25-2010.htm

Wow, even more! http://www.lassenhigh.net/alternative/indexJune.html 

RTTT equals not all students can ride the bus

Not all poor students can ride the Race to The Top bus. Only states who meets the demands on Arne Duncan aka prize puppet of the nation’s business leaders. Duncan wants the deeds to state level department of educations.

It’s not fair to all children that adults who can’t kiss each others ass is prime factor for denial of nationwide education equality.

Shouldn’t the United States Department of Education hold states and schools accountable for current funding and threaten to take it away if they don’t meet the rules and achievement objectives? I think its called accountability.

So what happen to the poor students in states that didn’t win? A former Red Clay school board member questioned DEDOE as why should we compete for our own money? Makes sense as why compete for needed funding. Many claimed NCLB was an underfunded mandate so why not fully fund it? Did Delaware legislators fully fund the class size cap requirement or the Choice school law ? Why add more administrators with RTTT and just fully fund NCLB? Why is it each time we go to reform public education we add administrators and managers and not  address the teacher unit allocations? Joe Biden supports smaller class sizes so why not Obama, Markell and Duncan?

Hey Joe, I love Wild Turkey just like you. Joe you and I know all about the importance of smaller class sizes so why doesn’t Arne Duncan. Joe, give me a call and perhaps we can get together at Buckleys Tavern with Arne Duncan. I prefer Walter’s Steak House but since you will need to buy I’ll lower my standards. Joe , Arne Duncan doesn’t know us Delawareans. Were pricks who tell it like it is! Joe did you know Duncan had two district cars in Chicago. One to drive home and to strip joints and the other a chauffeur driven car? Alright, I am bull-shitting about the strip joints but the two cars are for real. Joe since I have your ear do you think you can talk to Mike Castle and have him debate Christine O’Donnell? Hey Joe did you hear John Carney wants to form a committee to study the possibility of the link between Delaware’s drinking water and cancer? Tell him to read the signs on the banks of the Brandywine, Don’t Eat the Fish!

NCLB stays for another year

States setting pace on school change; Obama agenda stalled in Congress

By Nick Anderson Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

While states are moving fast to overhaul public schools, President Obama’s education agenda is hitting a wall in Congress.

There is a growing sense on Capitol Hill that the law enacted in 2002 under President George W. Bush will remain at least until next year, even though Obama pledged repeatedly as a candidate in 2008 to revise it. The law, which stresses annual standardized testing, is controversial in part because a third of public schools are now labeled as failing to meet standards.

Makes sense to  hold back on changes because NCLB is the basis for Duncan’s need for Race to The Top. Duncan admits schools are failing and NCLB proved that even the the extent Duncan used NCLB to close and reform Chicago schools. If NCLB was good enough for Duncan to use in Chicago why not in Delaware.

Delaware and all other states were given the free hand to create their own standardized test and failed to reform it’s public schools including need based state funded. I forgot, RTTT brings more money! Kind of strange DEDOE doesnn’t get 50% of Title 1 funding but 50% of Race to The Top. Why not put all the money where needed and add more teachers to lower class sizes?

Arne Duncan will cost Obama his second term

Duncan pitches cash to make schools more equitable — and expand federal reach

What would it take to make the country’s schools more equal? And would those efforts amount to further loss of local control?

The first is a question raised by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week, and the second is likely to be raised by the folks who already wonder if the federal government is reaching too far into our local schools.

Speaking before the National Urban League, Duncan announced he’s forming the Equity and Excellence Commission, a 15-member panel charged with getting broad public input about inequities in education and examine how they contribute to the achievement gap, then submit recommendations for changes.

I quess Jack Markell will be tapped for this new commission.

How in the F can we create equity in our public schools if federal funds are driven by competition rather than need basis? How many state will “not” win Race to The Top funding? Yea and then there is SIG! All with strings as who can give Arne Duncan the best political blow job!

Arne Duncan’s “moon shot” using a scud missile will fall short and be a big embarrassment to President Obama.

“If we change the law and require schools to distribute resources more equitably, schools serving low-income students will have more money and better teachers. That money can buy more support for students and teachers, higher pay for great teachers willing to work in low-income schools, and breakthrough technology to advance learning,” Duncan told the group, according to his site

Hey Arne ask Jack Markell why he supported the waiver in Delaware Class size cap law? Ask Merv why Warner school couldn’t meet the class size cap law with a building at 50% capacity !

Hey Arne, you know how you like “data”. Well I’ve review the DSTP data since 1998 the first year DSTP was rolled out and concluded that schools with 30% and below poverty level seemed to meet the standard and schools exceeding 50% were more likely to not meet the standards. Delaware charter school law has a preference clause that allows the school to deny admission based on intelligence. Meaning is you are not of high academic achievement you can be excluded. Delaware Choice school law does not offer poverty children transportation therefore more affluent students with adequate personal transportation takes advantage of school choice. Let’s not get into Title 1 Choice because that is the best kept secret in Delaware. Arne why didn’t Title 1 Section 1118 apply the RTTT MOU and SIG in Delaware. Title 1 parents did not take part in the design of the MOU. It wasn’t even discussed at the required Title 1 annual meeting.

Arne you don’t have the means to effectively audit RTTT and states will use funding to back-fill state budgets. Think about it, if Title 1 is being used as supplant funding why not RTTT?

Very soon the minorities in this country will wake up and see the profiteers sucking $$$ out of RTTT funding. Arne who paid for the big secret dinner at U of D Arsht Hall on Friday July 23, 2010? RTTT perhaps? Where did the money come from to pay Gingrich and Sharpton to re: Listening Tour? RTTT perhaps.

Arne Duncan. check the history of Title 1 and Delaware’s part! Guess what, the movement to demand you removal from USDOE starts right here in Delaware. You can not have “EQUITY”  using “COMPETITIVE” means. We are a nation of states that demand “equity” and no a competitive process on who can kiss your ass the best.

Joe Biden knows, we need more teachers to create smaller class sizes. We don;t need more administrators, managers and data coaches. Right Joe! We need more teachers! 

Arne Duncan will be a political liability for Obama 

John Carney returns from Mars

Delaware Drinking Water at Risk: Carney calls for water study:Candidate wants group to check cancer link

U.S. House candidate John Carney is calling for a working group to study the link between contaminants in Delaware’s groundwater and cancer rates.

Kilroy is calling for a working group to study if John Carney is linked to humans! But then agian Carney was wet-nursed by Governor Minner. Hey John Carney little Delaware secret, don’t eat yellow snow.

Kilroy response to anon re: RTTT and more.

anon, on July 29, 2010 at 9:53 am Said: Edit Comment

You continue to bash RTTT. Here is a program that will provide Delaware with over $100 million to improve education, and you are against it! I don’t understand you — you seem to support other federal money programs aimed at improving education, but you object to the biggest one in history. Why???

You criticize me for my anononimity. That is my right and I intend to use it. I doubt if your name is really “kilroy” so how are you any less anonymous than I?

kilroysdelaware, on July 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm Said: Edit Comment

One thing about Rodel I can give credit is the LEAD recommendations. It may not be perfect however it makes an effort to address poor school financing. RTTT to the top is nothing more than a vehicle to advance Vision 2015. Both have merits however, it was the same people who were part of the business roundtable who gave us the save all DSTP. We and they and Markell all acknowledge DSTP was flawed. It tool 10 years for them to fess up about “their” mistake. RTTT is not sustainable re: funding and is competitive driven vs. need. Title 1 is Fair and equitable in funding method however does fall short in needed allocations. HOWEVER, Title 1 the core componet of ESEA / NCLB started out as a supplemental program and seems more supplant.

RTTT is pouring money on top of money that many be mismanaged and we should raise the bar in accountabilty of current funding. Teacher rewards, I prefer that we pay teachers well and have high expectation and more efficient means to purge ineffective teachers. Rewarding teachers to teach in Title 1 schools is wrong and job assignment shouldn’t be an option. Bottom line teacher were you are assigned but we need to make sure assignments are in realated fields.

My biggest bitch with RTTT is the expansion of administrations and middle management. DOE keeps 50% RTTT to do want they want. Markell expands DOE adding the School Turnaround Department. As far as Data Coaches, what a joke! Teachers should be able to comprehend testing data and correlate other classroom indicators to assest student needs.

We need more teachers to reduce class sizes!

Another concern I have is with the disregard of Title 1 Section 1118 that “requires” the planning and review of Title 1 programing. RTTT targets Title 1 schools as they are no doubt the bottom 5%. The MOU and the school plans were written and predetermined without meaningful parental participation RTTT seems not to have a strong community outreach and defined parental involvment plan.

Markell and company shoved the MOU’s up the asses of the school board holding them hostage. Arne Duncan blow his horn everytbody is buying in. The fact is everybody (states) are hard up for $$$$. Then there is the big network including Eli Broad, Rodel, Gates and others. Real meaningful decisions must be made at the school level aka sight-based managment.

Charter schools seem to be a prerequisite for RTTT funding. Why? Charter School of Wilmington doesn’t serve low performing students. Delaware charter schools admission preference is flawed and counter productive to the meaning of equitable education. Delaware’s Choice School option only benefits those the transportation means.Then there is the wavier for class size law.

RTTT doing no come with sustainable funding and being completive leave many poor students out of the equation. Here again we have an equitable issue and will in time be a national concern especially when the next round of winner are announced. Why can’t all students be winners?

Fundamentally Delaware’s public school system is broken from the top down with serious financial flaws. Though DSTP is flawed however the data is useful. I studied the data since 1998 and concluded that schools with 30% poverty and lower seem to meet the standard and once a school reaches 50% and above then tent to not meet the standard. We had the “white flight” after desegregation, students going to private schools and now we have the “bright flight” where student are being skimmed via charter schools. Then there is the school Choice factor compound the equation. Look at the city schools pretty much all reverted back to African-American including charter schools. Markell tried to close Moyer sending students back to failing traditional schools. How would closing Moyer and sending students back to failing schools benefit those students.

The bottom line is, the issues are very complex and the business community aka business roundtable is clueless to the deep fibers within. Poverty is no excuse for failure however, does impede one’s ability to achieve. Schools cannot cure the ills of poverty and the breakdown of the morals of society festers within our schools. Education is the job of all including parents and community. Schools / teachers cannot do it alone but yet teachers are being the scapegoats for the failure of society as a whole.

I make no bones about have a GED and a pocketful of college credits! So who am I engage in such complex issues. I have no agenda and just see many players and agenda including political.

Do you not agree school board meeting should be recorded and posted on the districts websites? Getting these people and I am not just talking school board members on record is important. When I attended Red Clay’s MOU board meeting I almost flipped out on DOE and their $$ hostage game. Also, Merv said only $100,000.00 would be needed to transform Dickinson STEM program. Bull!

Improving education requires fixing the fundamental flaws. RTTT is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

“You criticize me for my anononimity. That is my right and I intend to use it. I doubt if your name is really “kilroy” so how are you any less anonymous than I?”

But think about , I don’t make rude personal snipes at you or others that leave comment. You taking cheap shots at Elizabeth is not different than me taking shots at Markell , Duncan and RTTT. Yes I do get rude and ignorant at the subject matters in my posts. Yes sometimes I create drama. Your debate is always welcome here! Someday I might get the courage to explain why I care so much.

Ridicule my grammar if you wish! I take no offense.

Flexible funding in DE RTTT application but not approved by state legislators

Delaware’s School Finance System Turns 62 Rodel

Unfortunately, for the second year, the General Assembly did not approve a pilot enabling up to eight districts to use state education funds more flexibly, which was part of Delaware’s winning Race to the Top application. It was included in the draft budget after markup and the Grant-in-Aid draft, but did not receive support late on June 30. The pilot would have enabled districts to earn funding based on the current formula, but choose to spend it efficiently to target the needs of their students. Strengthening our 62-year old system to be more flexible and equitable has been recommended by Vision 2015, the LEAD Committee, Governor Markell’s Blueprint, and numerous national experts. It’s unclear how Partnership Zone schools will be provided additional flexibility over budgeting, as required by regulation, without the participation in a program such as this pilot or other legislative action.

So state and local flexible funding was part of the approved Race to The Top application. Are we saying if RTTT fails in Delaware its the fault of the state legislators? I wonder, if the district were granted flexible funding how would that play with fair and equitable funding of our schools? Which schools would lose funding to support RTTT agendas in the lower performing schools?

If you did know, the reason their is wavier in Delaware’s class size law is because the legislators who penned the legislation had no clue how to pay for the needed teachers. Yet, Tom Carper still thinks he reformed Delaware’s public schools by signing the unfunded state mandate.

To Rodel’s credit ( hard to believe I said that) at least with their LEAD report they made an attempt to find finding for Vision 2015. Hang in there Paul, Markell is bent on consolidating the school districts. Tell the Buds to spread some campaign $$$ around and maybe next year you’ll win that flexible funding. 

Wake up sleep town Delaware! The reformist are coming!

A Cynical and Shortsighted Maneuver

Alex Johnston

CEO, ConnCAN

The Race to the Top moved more education policy reform in six months than we’ve seen in the last 20 years. While certainly no state was guaranteed to win a piece of the $4.35 billion, the fact that so many took the initiative to enact these reforms demonstrates a willingness on the part of states to admit that the status quo is not working – that too many schools are just plain failing to provide an education to students. But they did so with the expectation that they would be given the chance to implement reforms with additional federal support if their applications were deemed strong enough.

We have seen an unprecedented, remarkable response on the state level to this federal competitive grant approach. Race to the Top has been an incredibly high-leverage initiative, especially given the relatively small incentive. Pulling back from such a public campaign now, especially when states have already submitted their second-round applications, would send an extremely destructive message to state legislators that have put their budgets and reputations on the line to move policy. These states applied for the grants in good faith, and they should not be penalized now. Read the rest ……. and more from Mr. Johnston

Could it be due to budget crisis associated with the recession states are so hard up for money they’ll bite at any carrot on the stick? Delaware Governor Markell bit at the carrot because he had/ has Rodel up his ass looking for a payday for all the political contributions. Markell in is quest to be U.S. Senator and please his mentors led DSEA to a drinking hole full of donkey piss.

Arne Duncan moves education policies just by dangling the carrot on the stick and now thinks regardless if the all the states win Race to The Top funding they are committed to the goals of RTTT. Without funding many of the changes in education legislation and regualtions the state level can’t move forward. You know, money talks bullshit walks!

Check out this article I just came across. More proof Rodel is running Delaware’s reform agenda.  see page 9

Delaware: Prepared for Opportunity

When the Obama administration announced the Race to the Top competition in the spring of 2009, the Rodel Foundation of Delaware had already been working for five years on developing a statewide education reform plan, the goal of which was to help students become some of the highest achieving in the nation. Thus, it was no surprise to some to see Delaware on the finalists list.

Herdman and his staff began trying in the spring of 2009 to get state education policy makers to focus on the competition. But it was not easy. “There was a sense that this was a traditional federal grant and that Delaware already had everything checked off the list — that we were already well-positioned,” he said. He said Rodel and others encouraged newly-elected Gov. Jack Markell to “get out ahead of this” and then “had to work really hard to help the administration realize that Race to the Top would be a potential game-changer,” and that the competition would be stiff. “To the administration’s credit, they stepped up.”

Didn’t have to work hard on Jack Markell because he was bought and paid for before becoming governor. Hey Jack, remember our pre-primary phone call where you impressed me with your concern for the achievement gap? Pissing away 50% of 110 million dollars of RTTT to create a new DEDOE department doesn’t put the money where it is needed. When Will Governor Jack Markell close the class size wavier loophole? NEVER !

CSD Surveymonkey results in

” I agree to adding a memorandum of understanding to the contract extending the school day by one hour daily beginning in year two of the SIG grant.”

answered question 39

Yes = 14 / 39.5%  No = 25 /64.1 %

I agree to adding a memorandum of understanding to the current contract extending the school year for Bancroft, Pulaski and Stubbs by three weeks beginning in year one. These three weeks will be added in June.

Yes = 7/ 17.9%  No 32 / 82.1%

Looks like the its a no go for the SIG MOU agreement for CSD.

Instead of extending the school day by an hour and the school year by three weeks which will add to operating cost why not just add more teachers to effectively reduce class sizes. Take the data coach and change  function to “parent coach”.

I like to know when is Delaware Governor Jack Markell going to get up off his Arne Duncan knee pads and address class sizes and teacher unit allocations?

When will Jack Markell abide by Title 1 Section 1118 giving Title 1 parents the role in decision-making given to them under Section 1118?

To the teachers of CSD, I’ve been bitching about requiring school board meetings being digitally recorded and placed on the districts webpage. Your super opposes this! Red Clay has their digital recorder in place recording meetings and I am hopeful  the board step up and honor my request. The public, parents, teachers and legislators need access to recordings of board meetings. I was there at Red Clay’s MOU board meeting when DOE Dan and butt buddy did their power play on Red Clay. It was sign or don’t and if you don’t you’ll pay for new regulations aligned with RTTT out of local funds. Markell and Duncan making it sound as if  all were willing to sign. PLEASE demand your board meeting be digitally recorded and placed on the district webpage.

Race to The Top and SIG does not have sustainable funding to support longterm goals within. Teacher will pay down the road for DSEA’s  and local union sellout. I know you must go along to get along and the issues are complex. However, without smaller class sizes followed by Pre-K and more responsive parental outreach programs good teachers like yourselves will once agian be blamed for the failure of district and state leadership. 

Honestly, why should poor high poverty students in a state that refuses to allocate more teaching units to reduce class sizes be forced to attend longer days and school year? Do this to more affulent parents and hell would be rasied. Wake up Wilmington leaders and “demand” smaller class sizes! It’s time to stop making poverty a profit center. True advocates do not ask for a dime from the system they are fighting. Also, its time teachers stop funding supply needs of students. If Markell can increase the size of DEDOE surely he can send some money to the needed communities for supplies. How about it twins, when will you move the works of Hicks Anderson forward ? Who is bold enough to pound on Markell’s desk and demand more teachers to reduce class sizes in our city’s poor schools?

2011 RTTT $$ cut short but!

Senate Panel Approves Race to Top Renewal Education Week 07/27/2010

The federal Race to the Top program would be renewed for another year under a spending bill approved today by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that deals with education spending—but wouldn’t receive nearly as much money as President Barack Obama has sought.

Under the measure, which passed by voice vote with Republicans audibly voting “no,” the Obama administration’s signature education reform initiative would get $675 million in fiscal 2011 for another round of grants. That’s a lot less than the $1.35 billion the administration asked for, and even less than the $800 million provided by a measure approved earlier this month by the Senate subcommittee’s House counterpart.

Well it looks like Arne Von Duncan’s goal to takeover public education is being watered down.  Race to The Top is not a sustainable program and Delaware Governor Jack Markell hopes the funding will keep coming until he “thinks” he’ll fill Senator Tom Carper’s senate seat. Tom Carper as you know was a former Delaware Governor who claimed to have reformed Delaware’s public schools with DSTP aks Delaware Student Testing Program aka the Delaware social whipping post beating students for the failure of adults including parents. DSTP was pushed by the business roundtable, the same group of assholes supporting Jack Markell’s eduation reform plans. Well the reform plan isn’t Markell’s as it is Rodel’s Vision 2015 plan. Markell was a former advisroy board member of Rodel where  Carper and his little man friend Chris Coons still are members abd yes there is uncle Pete still part of this agenda.

Also under the Senate language, districts would be allowed, for the first time, to compete alongside states for the funds.

Now this is a welcome change, schools get to compete for RTTT without blowing the like of Governor Markell and DOE Dan. Markell skims 50% of the $110 million dollar RTTT fund for his own used in rebuilding Delaware Department of Education. Markell informed the local school districts after winning the RTTT funds that  they will be required to fund the required Data Coaches out of the district’s local share. Why in the F do we need data coaches? Can’t teachers read testing data and classroom data to determine the needs of a student? anyhow at least with districts being able to compete independently of the state we could see more money going to the classrooms.

Some key programs were eliminated, however, including the $66.5 million Even Start family literacy program, and an $88 million program aimed at creating small learning communities within large schools, particularly at the post-secondary level. Instead, to help support high school redesign, the measure would double the administration’s High School Graduation Initiative, which was was created last year and financed at $50 million

Even Start: “This program offers grants to support local family literacy projects that integrate early childhood education, adult literacy (adult basic and secondary-level education and instruction for English language learners), parenting education, and interactive parent and child literacy activities for low-income families with parents who are eligible for services under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and their children from birth through age 7. Teen parents and their children from birth through age 7 also are eligible. All participating families must be those most in need of program services”.

So much for helping poor parents develope their literacy skills which inturn helps them to become better involved in their children’s education. Perhaps this is part of the master plan to try to keep parents stupid so the government call roll the bus over them.

“Instead, to help support high school redesign, the measure would double the administration’s High School Graduation Initiative, which was was created last year and financed at $50 million”. Duh, if you want to improve high school graduation perhaps we need to redesign the middle schools where the real cracks in education are. For years Title 1 funding has by-passed middle school to focus on early early intervention plans at the elementary level which have failed at Red Clay’s Warner.

Another key administration initiative, the Investing in Innovation Fund, which received $650 million under the recovery act, was also extended, albeit not at the level the administration wanted. 

Aka i3 fund! innovation my ass! Just another program used to back-fill state funding.

And the Teacher Incentive Fund, which helps districts create pay-for-performance programs, would get the same level as last year: $400 million.

Same as last year ??? How many Red Clay teachers received performance bonuses? Far as I can see teachers are receiving the bone! But then again DSEA has done a  wonderful job teaching teachers how to bend over and take it up the ass. 

*Title I grants for districts would get $14.9 billion, a $450 million increase over fiscal year 2010 and the president’s request.

Code for more moeny for Teach for America.

*Special education state grants would be financed at $11.9 billion, a $420 million increase over fiscal year 2010, and $170 million more than the president wanted for for fiscal year 2011.

$170 million more that Obama asked for? Wow seems like our special needs kids do have a voice in Washington. However, with the epidemic of autism in America I think $170 million is a bit short. Perhaps we should move that $420 million in Title 1 over to special ed. I wonder, where does Race to The Top leave our special ed kids? Will they benefits from this college / career movement?

 You know folks, I can be a real asshole at times spitting out all my criticism of Markell and Duncan. But think about it , don’t you think we need to reduce administration cost not add to it? Don’t you think we need more teachers to effectively reduce class sizes and more para-professional and aids to work side-by-side with teachers.

As for my busting on DSEA, let’s get one thing straight, I am pro labor. Labor organization weak at the top causing weakness at the bottom. Each school district have their own teacher organization aka unions and other labor unions. DSEA should have “never” supported signing of the RTTT MOU allowing Markell’s DOE puppet to keep 50% of the Race to The Top funding. They should have insisted on changes in state funding of teaching units for school with poverty levels 50% and above. Attending little private parties with organizations that want to undermine the organized labor  is a fool’s journey and a selfish move on leadership’s part.  Teachers don’t you think you dues would be better served supporting you own local unions giving you better resources where needed? I support ongranized labor and strong leaders who do not bent in the wind.  

RTTT round 2 finalists named

The 19 finalists are: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

Kilroy’s prediction; Winners will be Ohio, DC, Louisiana, Rhode Island and New York.

“From educators to parents and political leaders to journalists — there is a growing sense that a quiet revolution is underway in our homes and schools, classrooms, and communities,” Duncan said. “This quiet revolution is driven by motivated parents who want better educational options for their children. It’s being driven by great educators and administrators who are challenging the defeatism and inertia that has trapped generations of children in second-rate schools.”

I wonder, was Duncan required to take a drug screen prior to being U.S. Sec of Ed? ” quiet revolution motivated by parents.” What an asshole, parents had nothing to do with the RTTT MOU and Markell violates Title 1 Section 1118 in creating Delaware’s MOU and school turnaround plan.

While the work is being done by governors, superintendents, and teachers at the state and local levels, the federal government is supporting their work through Race to the Top and other reform programs, including the Investing in Innovation Fund, the Teacher Incentive Fund, the School Improvement Grants under Title I, and the federal charter school program.

Through all of these programs, the Department of Education will be distributing almost $10 billion to support reform in states and local communities.

And where are the Republicans and tea baggers. Delaware “wins” 110 million dollars and 50% goes to Delaware Department of Education. Even before Duncan sends RTTT funding Markell creates a new department within DOE called the School Turn-Around Department and hires more of his Rodel but buddies. No money specifically designated to add more teachers to reduce class sizes. More money to add more administrators and data coaches.

“As we look at the last 18 months, it is absolutely stunning to see how much change has happened at the state and local levels, unleashed in part by these incentive programs,” Duncan said.

Yea Duncan and Obama takes job stimulus money and funds the expansion of managers in public education and  is privatizing public education. Duncan comes to Delaware to be treat to a private dinner at Arsht Hall paid for by privateers and low life politicians like Markell. DSEA even joined the festivities. 

 “Just as in the first round, we’re going to set a very high bar because we know that real and meaningful change will only come from doing hard work and setting high expectations,” Duncan said.

Yep , you heard it from America’s number 1 teachers who has never taught a class or held a teaching certificate.

Duncan acknowledged that not all of the finalists would be awarded grants from the almost $3.4 billion remaining in Race to the Top. President Obama has requested $1.35 billion for the program in the administration’s fiscal 2011 budget.

Yep, keep adding to the national debt or rather borrow from China. Building a future for children and they get stuck with the tab.

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