Delaware education: State targets four struggling schools ; Each will receive an infusion of cash in return for dramatic restructuring

Four public schools will be part of an intensive restructuring plan with funding from the federal Race to the Top program, the state Department of Education announced this morning.

The schools are Positive Outcomes, a charter school in Camden; Stubbs Elementary and Glasgow High School in the Christina School District; and New Castle County Vo-Tech’s Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington. They are among the persistently lowest-performing schools in Delaware on state math and reading assessments


District officials have 120 days to negotiate an agreement with the state Department of Education that selects one of the above models for the school. That plan will lay out details of how the schools will change. Staff, parents and the community will be asked to offer suggestions, according to the state Department of Education.

Such drama ! Everybody know Jack Markell made a side deal to secure labors support for RTTT.

All traditional public school restructuring mode will be,  “transformation, which has four components – replacing the principal and increasing school leader effectiveness, instructional reforms, increasing learning time and creating community-oriented schools with operational flexibility.” Only charter schools will face closure, restart or turnaround.

What I want to know is when are we going to turnaround DEDOE ? We have a secretary of education being controlled by Markell business associate’s puppets. 

Race to The Top so-called prize is a four-year grant and has no sustainable funding. Trying to reform public education that requires longterm commitments  real shared decision-making that included “parents and the community” on short-term  funding is a fools journey. We listened to the business community once and they gave u DSTP. Markell is selling Delaware students, parents and local school boards out for the sake of kissing the ass of the business roundtable in order to gain financial support to further his political career.

Markell boast about making sure the best administrator are selected to run our schools and CSD super pushes her authority  around to hire an administrator who was given the boot in their own district. That shows you the partnership Markell has created. I guess CSD super ‘s technique was taken from an Eli Broad playbook. 

Mark my words, Jack Markell will go down in Delaware’s history as the worst governor on public education.   Markell doesn’t have the balls to go beyond the transformation model for “traditonal” public schools. He’ll kick around charter schools where teachers don’t have any sense of politcal voice.  

DEDOE to annouce Partnership Zone schools tomorrow 8/31/2010

The Delaware Department of Education will finally announce the Partnership Zone schools tomorrow. Old new to many of us so lets just humor DOE Dan.

FYI, little DOE mouse tells me option 1 closure and option 3 turnaround will not be used in any of the traditional public schools. Transformation was the side deal Markell made. As for charter schools, Markell will use you for the whipping post because charter staff don’t even have the balls to form a unions let alone mount a campaign against Jack Markell run for governor in 2012. Wake up charter school teachers!!! Organize and unionized ASAP!!  

Partnership Zone schools must use one of the four reform models prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education. The choices:

•Closure — shutting down the school.

•Restart — handing over management to a private company or turning it into a charter school.

•Turnaround — removing the principal and at least half the teachers.

•Transformation — replacing the principal and increasing school leader effectiveness; reforming instruction; increasing learning time; and creating community-oriented schools with operational flexibility

Baltimore gives three administrators a kick in the ass

Update 12:05 am ! I am being told that there is a connection between Dr. Andres Alonso CEO of Baltimore Schools and Dr. Lyles of CSD. OMG Alonso came to Baltimore from the New York City Public School system in July of 2007. He had been deputy chancellor In New York for the year prior to his appointment in Baltimore. OMG , Dr. Lyles was named Regional Superintendent for Brooklyn’s Region 8, and in June 2007, she was selected to replace Dr. Andres Alonso as Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. Big question of the day? Was some strings pulled for this position in CSD?

Update 11:50 am ! Guess who is coming to CSD West Park Elementary School ? http://www.christina.k12.de.us/WestPark/ Thanks for the info DEDOE mouse.

City schools at center of recent controversies get new leaders Gilmor Elementary, IBE among those to receive new principals

Three Baltimore City principals who were involved in separate controversies will not return to their posts after the school board approved interim leaders Tuesday.

Janice Williams, the principal of the Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship, who was under investigation during the past school year for recruiting Filipino teachers to buy and resell Mary Kay beauty products, will not be returning.

Ledonnis Hernandez, principal of Gilmor Elementary, where the mother of a third-grade student with cerebral palsy said her daughter attempted to jump out of a window and kill herself to escape chronic bullying, will also not return to the school this year after two years in the job. Charmaine Dixon was appointed interim principal of the school on Tuesday.

The third-grader’s mother, Geneva Biggus, said she was relieved to hear that the school has new leadership. She said school officials ignored her pleas to help her daughter, who transferred after the incident. Administrators said that the girl only said she wanted to commit suicide.

“That’s outstanding, and that’s how I feel from the bottom of my heart,” Biggus said Tuesday night. “She doesn’t need to be a principal anywhere else.”

Gittings said that Hernandez’s departure from the school system “is no reflection on her, as far as how she handled the bullying situation in that building,” and that “it is blatantly wrong to blame a principal or teachers, for the bad behavior of a few children.”

City’s former principal, Tim Dawson, stepped down from his position earlier this month after five years. Dawson said his resignation was a “collaborative decision” with schools CEO Andrés Alonso. Recent data show the school’s achievement has been declining for at least three years, and a staff member employed by Dawson pleaded not guilty last week to sexually abusing a student.


Kilroy says:

Surely administrators have a right to due process but we  need leaders  in our schools that can  set positive  examples for others. Its pretty sad when a students wants to jump out a window to escape bullying.

Mary Kay beauty products! OMG keep an eye out for principals driving pink Cadilacs.

“Dawson said his resignation was a “collaborative decision” with schools CEO Andrés Alonso” Not sure what that means but surely something to do with pension and money.

“Biggus said Tuesday night. “She doesn’t need to be a principal anywhere else.” Hey Merv keep an eye out for this stray!

More critical flaws in Race to The Top revealed

Teens not getting message about texting during class Despite bans, more than 40% admit to practice

A study released this month by the free texting app textPlus found more than 40 percent of teenagers surveyed admitted to texting on their cell phones during class.

“Some of the students have even taken a picture of a test and texted it to a friend,” said Indian River School Board member Donna Mitchell. “They’re so adept that kids can text without even looking at it.”

Mark Steele, principal of Indian River High School, said he has heard of some instances where the phones have been used to cheat in class. He believes blocking the signal at schools could solve the problem but admits it would be highly controversial

And this guy is a principal ? Highly controversal, like fucking with federal FCC laws. What next, students hands must be on top of the desk at all times. Males students will be required to raise their hands for permission to scratch their nuts ? What about Mr. Steele’s own cell phone when he might need to call 911?

Contrary to Governor Markell’s beliefs, Race to The Top does not address disruptive students, students who don’t give a fuck, students whose parents don’t give a fuck and condition associated with poverty that stagnates students ability to achieve the standards.

How many teachers in the room agree with Kilroy that disruptive students and disengaged parents are the cause of many of our so-called failures in public schools? 

Teachers tell your students if they are caught texting or talking on their phones the next call they make will be to their parents to come get the cell phone NOW! Or, take the fucking thing and tell the student their parent must make an appointment to come pick it up. Shit, I forgot, classroom teacher don’t have that creative flexibility! Their supers do but  are often in Dover, on the phone to Dover or trying to figure out how to get a job in Dover and too busy trying to find ways to fuck over their own school boards.

Arne Duncan:Katrina was the best thing to happen New Orleans schools

This comment was made back in January 2009

ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports:  Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it gave the city a chance to rebuild and improve its failing public schools.

Duncan: That’s a fascinating one. I’ve spent a lot of time in New Orleans and this is a tough thing to say but I’m going to be really honest. The best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina

‘Race to the Top': Education Experts Question Why Colorado and Louisiana Didn’t Make the Cut 

“I think it’s a disaster for the administration that Louisiana and Colorado are not on the list. Some very mediocre states got funded and some of the leading states for education reform did not,” said Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

“I think the exclusion of Louisiana and Colorado suggest legitimate concern over the way the program was conceived, the criteria that was designed and the judging that was executed,” he said is a written statement.

Race to the Top goes on without Louisiana once again

 Only 28 of Louisiana’s 70 school districts joined the state’s application, along with one of its two teacher unions. The patchy support contributed to a low evaluation from one reviewer in the first round and might have been a factor this time as well.

So if 100% of the adults in education don’t get down on their knees and blow Arne Duncan all the child suffer?

Race to The Top is nothing more than the federal government overstepping their mandate in attempt to undermine labor unions. Fortunately for Delaware students, Delaware teacher unions have weak backbones. But then again don’t under-estimate these crafty devils. They always seem to keep an ace in the hold  and the governor by the ass.

Many teachers especially young teachers will be heading back to the classroom full of apprehension about the impact Race to The Top and the new state regulations that goes beyond all turnaround schools.

It’s kind of sad that one of the highest and noble profession is being viewed as if they were shoplifter roaming the isle of Wal-Mart. They completed their education degrees in the same schools as many of our politicians and school administrators. They completed their requirements  for  certification and license to be public school teachers to an extend far greater than many private school teachers. But yet because of few bad apples slipping through the system all teachers have to bend over and inspected up the ass. This is what the unions signed on to! To top if off, teachers will be given a bonus to teach in low-performing schools but yet the same teachers would refuse doing so if there wasn’t a bonus.  Wouldn’t it just make sense to take that money and just add more teachers to those schools. Yes, purge out the bad apples. 

It’s so damn  ironic that Markell wants to weed out those bad apples in education but yet he surrounds himself with bad apples within DEDOE. And then there is the clueless Delaware state legislators who stand-by and permit Markell to change state education regulations under the authority of his handpicked DEDOE leaders and Delaware State Board of Education. The clueless Delaware state legislators have no clue the financial ramification of changing those regulations will have on their constituents  once the Race to The Top funding runs dry.

So off goes President Obama to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. You can bet your ass Arne Duncan will be in tow. Obama will bring verbal support for continue rebuilding efforts but yet stands by and allowed Arne Duncan to screw over those schools that stepped up and were willing to play Race to The Top ball.

To all Delaware public school teachers and those around the country returning back to the classrooms, good luck and God bless you. Keep a detail journal of any supervision meetings with your school leaders and administration. Education seems to becoming about , who you know, who you blow and what you know about others. God only knows what’s next and who knows,  perhaps the district supers will require a photo of themselves in each classroom along with the governors.

Raising Standards or Raising Barriers

“Published by the Century Foundation Press as part of a series called Civil Rights in a New Era, this book makes clear the importance of high standards and accountability systems. But support for standards and accountability systems should not be equated with support for high-stakes tests. These are tests that are used to determine whether a student graduates, gains access to challenging curriculum, or is promoted, or whether schools or educators are rewarded or penalized. Most of the contributors to the volume have found evidence that policies that focus on high-stakes testing corrupt educational reform and undermine achievement, especially for at-risk students. State and federal policymakers are increasingly pushing such tests as a panacea for the nation’s educational concerns.”

Interesting observation and I must ask, if Delaware’s current standards are being achieved by our students why raise them?

I think we can all agree that no matter the standards high achieving students will alway meet the task. Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell jumps on the Common Core Standard movement for the sake of political gains. Common Core Standard really won’t impact many high performing students or students comfortably meeting the standards. High standards don’t help students whose achievement levels are currently below Delaware’s standards.

Rasing the bar rather than providing greater opportunities for high achieving students such as offering more AP classes and at the same time offering increased intervention for lower performing students would be a better direction.

I am sure many teachers will tell you the concept of the Growth Model testing plan has merits and is on the right track. However, the notion that a classroom teacher can take that data and apply individual education plans for each student and effectively obtaining those goals are a fantasy. Surely the curriculum plan is geared towards teaching all students at once. Sure the teacher will stop and offer some assistance to those students not able to keep up or comprehend. I see it this way, 35 children in the water, 10 can swim to safety on their own, 10 can fit into the lifeboat and 10 more holding on to the side. The other 5 will drown. The teacher is the lifeboat. The problems we have in today’s public education requires more lifeboats.  

The Race to The Top answer supported by Delaware’s Governor Jack Maskell is, we’ll give you more training in lifesaving techniques but we can’t afford sending more lifeboats. It’s all getting insane, we’re rasing the standards in efforts to teach students more but doing nothing to add direct intervention resources in the classroom.

I attended one of Nancy Doorey’s public presentation on DCAS test with is a growth model test. I raised concern that DCAS / Growth model many identify more students in need beyond the classroom teachers help. I asked what resources will be in place to address those needs? Obvious nothing was in place. Will DCAS increase the need of diagnostic educational testing for students identified as being well below grade level? 

It is very possible asking teachers to spend more time with students below grade level could actually have a negative impact on other students.  Yes we need effective teachers but we need more of them. We need smaller classrooms for K-12 but as many of us know we can’t achieve this in grades k-5.  

Rasing standards is wonderful. However, without rasing resources and intervention needs our neediest students will continue to struggle.

The way things are going we’re going to have to give teacher signing bonuses just to sign a basic contract to teach. DSEA love fest with Jack Markell, Arne Duncan and Skipper doesn’t help matters. You’d think at least DSEA could have cut students in on the side deals by asking Markell to end the class size cap waiver. Students get nothing but teachers that only want to serve them is there is a bonus involved. Like I said, poverty is a profit center.

Delaware Class Size Cap Waivers why ?



Free Public Schools


§ 1705A. Maximum student-instructor ratio requirements.

(a) The ratio of students to instructors in any class in kindergarten or grades 1-3 in a Delaware public school shall not exceed 22 students as of the last school day of October. In calculating such ratio, a classroom instructional aide shall count as equal to half a teacher. This subsection shall only apply to a class within which students are instructed in the core academic subjects of English/Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

(b) The Department of Education shall provide technical assistance to any school district seeking assistance in allocating its Division I, Division III, Comprehensive Discipline Program, and local operating funding in such a manner as to accomplish class sizes equal to or lower than those required by this section.

(c) A local school board may waive subsection (a) of this section after voting to waive such subsection at a public meeting noticed for that purpose. Any local school board vote on such a waiver shall occur on or before December 1 of each year. Notice for such a meeting shall be placed in the local newspaper for 2 consecutive weeks before the meeting and shall be posted on the door of any school affected for the same time period, and a copy shall be sent to the principal, teacher association building representative and Parent Teacher Organization/Parent Teacher Association parent leader of any affected school. The notice shall include the procedures for such persons to provide oral or written comments on the proposed waiver to the school board. Notice of any approved waiver shall be sent to the same persons.

This law does not set the criteria for the means to seek a waiver and just allows the school districts to take the waiver and avoid spending the resources to met the objective of the law. If the needs of students come first why do school boards vote on a waiver upon the request of their superintendents?

Its kind of odd that with all these plans to reform public education nothing was set in stone to eliminate this class size cap waiver. Its time our superintendents stop making excuses for not meeting the intent and letter of the law and be effective business managers. Failure starts at the top not the bottom. 

School boards just runaway from the problem and responsiblity of address the class size cap.

Race to The Top will spark lawsuits against school distircts

I suspect it will take about 4 years before we see any Delaware teacher fired for being “ineffective” under the new teacher evaluation system associated with Race to The Top.  Delaware new student test that replaces DSTP called Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System was test piloted last year, school year 2009-2010. Delaware DOE is currently sifting through the data to determine where the cut scores will be. I am sure they will be low as possible in efforts to make it appear there has been achievement gain just in time for the 2012 elections. But the bottom line is , it will take at least three years of test cycles before any attempt to use student achievement data associated with teacher effectiveness or lack off. Now remember Race to The Top funding is only good for the next four-years. But f’ed up new stated education regulation passed by the Delaware State Board of Education appointees of Governor Markell’s DEDOE puppets will be permanent until revised. The question is, will Markell pull a Minner during his bid for relection to win DSEA’s support. Minner apparently made a backroom deal to delay teacher accountability in return or support.

If subjective test data of any kind is used to evaluate any public school teacher without factoring in other variables such as parental involvement associated with requested school meetings I would suspect and encourage public school teachers to sue their districts, the district superintendent, the Delaware Secretary of Education and the governor. Teachers should demand all school level administrators and district level administrators including the  superintendent  also have student achievement as part of their evaluation. 

Then you have the bullshit that requires firing all teachers and school staff and only hiring 50% back. This plan is bullshit! Why should any teacher be fired in a school that can’t even meet the class size cap law?  A school board voting on the waiver put undue hardship on classroom teachers. I’ve watch this waiver process for over 14 years and lack of district funding was the reason the board voted for the waivers. DSEA support the Bell to Bell bullshit to fight pay cuts but don’t fight as hard to have the class size cap waiver eliminated. No teacher should be deemed ineffective in a class that can meet the class size law.

Another lawsuit brewing will be based on paying highly effective teacher to transfer to low performing turnaround schools. What about the highly effective teacher already there? Will they get a bonus? Here we have teachers willing and desiring to teach in high poverty low performing schools but yet being chastised because school superintendents request waivers in the class size cap. I wouldn’t want any teacher who would be willing to teach in a high needs school for a bonus but refuse otherwise. Surely this is not about the student and all about the money.

Sorry to ramble but this shit pisses me off! All this money coming into education and all these wild plans but yet, no funding  to effectively reduce class sizes. Pre-K pilot programs at the same time districts take class size cap waivers on kindergarten at the same school? I’ll admit, I can be an asshole (anon you must like that). However, the educators who support such a plan must be morons. Giving these kids an early leg-up and then screw then the next year in overcrowded classroom is a clear indicator someone at the top needs to go! 

Young and mid-level teachers and some of you clueless old goats get you shit together without DSEA. Now is the time to build a case against this educational Frankenstein created by the business roundtables of American led by Arne Duncan a man useless as a woodpecker on an aluminum telephone pole. How many classrooms has Arne Duncan taught or administered any kind of assessment test? What about Jack Markell the inventor of the cell phone? Yea he coined NexTel and now we have a governor called NoTell! He keeps parents in the dark and excludes them from decision-making in regards to Race to The Top and these new Common Core Standards. He claims everyone came together but damn, I think he came all over himself.  No telling what NoTell Jack will sign Delaware and parents up for without their input.

Teachers, though the new evaluation process isn’t finalize and DCAS isn’t really defined enough to use as part of teacher assessment, I assure you the paper-trail on your asses begins this year, 2010-2011. Keep a journal of all the events and stupid shit your building administrators pulls. Race to The Top will become a backstabbing race between teachers. In the private sectors fellow employees aka coworkers will throw another under the bus in a heartbeat to get ahead. Ok you have shit like this as this is the road many teachers took to become administrators. But now its going to get down to teaching positions. Always remember, your friends make for your worst enemies. Something the shortest route to success requires backstabbing and ass kissing. The system will need sacrificial lambs! Don’t let it be you. Good luck this year and my God protect and save your asses from Jack Markell and his DC butt buddy Arne Duncan. 

Response to Delaware ED blog.

DEDOE Minutes were updated today

August 25th, 2010, Author: Nichole Dobo, Categories: General Education

 “They weren’t updated for a long while (since April 15, according to Kilroy’s Delaware). Someone posted all the highlights today: DEDOE Minutes Delaware Department of Education.”

Kilroy’s reponse:

Wasn’t referring to minutes. I was referring to board “Highlights” http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/ddoe/sbe/meetings/history.shtml

“Highlights of the State Board meetings are available on the Department of
Education Website within 10 days of the State Board meeting at http://www.doe.k12.de.us.
Official Board Minutes are posted on the web site within five days of their approval at the
subsequent monthly meeting of the Board.”

Highlights are required to be posted within 10 days of board meetings

Offical Minutes posted five days after approval at subsequent monthly meeting.

The Highlights are a snapshot of the board meetings aka communciation piece and do not represent the offical approved minutes. To date DOE has not updated the Highlights since April 15, 2010. They are in voilation of their own policies and and law “As prescribed in 29 Del.C. §10004(f),”


Why should the community have to wait one-month 5 days to see what went on at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting? Just another reason the state board meetings need to be recorded and put on DOE’s webpage with in 1 day of meeting.  Markell is not sincere about open government and does all he can to stifle information.

Should teachers performance ratings be provided to parents?

It appears Delaware’s new teacher rating process would deem teachers Highly Effective, Effective or Ineffective.

Should parents have the right to know their child’s performance ratings? Personally, I think I would want to know.

Should the school district be held liable for the negative educational impact an ineffective teachers have on your child?

Do keep in mind teachers deemed ineffective will receive professional intervention. Now the question is, will the interventionist be a Highly Effective teacher themselves? Perhaps we should track these ineffective teachers like bad eggs to see when hen-house (college) they came from.

This gets good! If a crybaby district superintendent threatens to have their lawyer review their evacuations should teachers do the same.

In teachers defense I think a parental involvement score be added to the teacher evaluation equation. Using student achievement data  as a prime factor in teachers evaluation is fine. However, there are variables and parental involvement can’t be a factor either way.

I feel building administration should be held accountable for the level of parental involvement in a given school. I am not talking about attending PTA or baking cookies. I am talking about the basic responsibilities ensuring their child comea to school with homework complete and necessary supplies. Also responsive to teacher and school communication related to their child’s education.  


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,211 other followers