Study: Charter Schools Increasing Racial Segregation in Classrooms

Markell fails to deliver on campaign promise

If American teachers are so bad why do Chinese students do so well?


The beginning of the end of Delaware local school boards

TITLE 14 EDUCATIONDELAWARE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 100  Accountability 103 Accountability for Schools, Districts and the State

7.6 Partnership Zone Schools – A school that is a Persistently Low-Achieving School and that is determined by the Secretary as likely to benefit from assignment to Partnership Zone Schools status shall be designated as a Partnership Zone School by the Secretary. The Secretary shall determine which Persistently Low-Achieving Schools would benefit from Partnership Zone School status throughconsideration of the academic achievement of  the “all students” group in a school in terms ofproficiency on the State’s assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language artsand mathematics combined, (ii) the school’s lack of progress on those assessments over a number of  years and qualitative measures as determined by the Secretary. in consultation with the State Board ofEducation, Chief School Officers Association, and Delaware State Education Association.  Adopt a new governance structure, which includes, but is not limited to, requiring the school to report to a liaison of the Department or directly to the Secretary

When the Delaware local school boards signed the Race to The Top MOU little did they know that MOU = Memorandum of Understanding is now embedded in state law / regulations governing Delaware public schools .

Our clueless state legislators sit back and watch the Jack Markell machine rollover the rights of local school board and the rights of local taxpayers. The oversight of local schools is becoming more central and less local.

I don’t know how Jack Markell did it but he has every state democrat and republican legislators kissing his feet and giving him free rein to dismantle public education as we know it.

As for local school boards, the time is now to stand up and be really leaders. Speak out about this Markell takeover of public education. I “strongly” suggest that local school board reevaluated the superintendents and purge those who have become politically tainted. Superintendents’ job belong in the districts and not engage in broad education reform. They need to be in the district not Dover or Washington.

The Delaware state legislators need to step up to task and separate the Delaware State Board of Education from the control of the governor. State board members need to be elected as local board members are. Education represents one third the states operating budget and the future of Delaware. It is time to consider making the Delaware Secretory of Education and elected position serving a four-year term. We can no longer allow attempts to restructure Delaware’s public education each time a new governor is elected and to that governor desires or that of his political bedfellows or business buddies. Education is a longterm process and needs to be “constant” in its direction and governance. Education cannot be a political toy and must be sound.

Delaware state legislators are falling down on the job surrendering their individual and collected powers  to an idealist who vision is programed by others. I once state that Delaware needed a CEO not a governor and Jack Markell was it. However, Jack Markell style of management is to micromanage and interfere. A true leaders knows how delegate and empower others. Jack Markell does not posses that ability. Jack has loss or never prescribed to the concept that there is no “I” in teamwork. Markell does not see Delawareans or state legislators as team members.

The failure of Delaware schools starts with failure at the Delaware legislative branch of government and they must be held accountable in 2012.

Johnny doesn’t like Teach for America

ESEA reauthorization the road to privatization of American schools

ESEA Reauthorization: A Blueprint for Reform

public school choice download files PDF (2.04M)

Supporting Effective Charter Schools.

The reauthorization proposal will provide competitive grants to states, charter school authorizers, charter management organizations, districts, and nonprofit organizations to start or expand high-performing public charter schools and other high-performing autonomous public schools, with a priority for applicants proposing to start or expand high-performing public charter schools. Autonomous schools are public schools that, as much or even more than charter schools, have ongoing autonomy over key operational elements, including the staffing, budget, schedule, and education program. Both charter schools and other autonomous schools funded under this program must be subject to the same accountability systems as traditional public schools, as well as increased accountability for improving student academic achievement

I feel there is a big misconception that the alternative to public schools that puts education services in private hands is non-profit.  Sure there are not profits after cost per-say. However, there are those capitalizing from within.

We’ve witness the growth of education consultants over the years and we’re not just talking about direct services to the classrooms. Delaware pays school administrators quite fair these days and there is an assumption that school superintendents are knowledgeable managers. However, they employ many consultants to fill the gap in their own lack of knowledge. Now we are seeing array of  new consultants such as data coaches and numerousness curriculum and instructional consultants. I think the biggest insult to the Delaware taxpayers is the hiring of consultants to perform teacher evaluation under Delaware’s DPASII program. Teacher evaluations were a primary function of the building principals but for some reason they are too overwhelmed. So now they get little helpers to ease the burden of the daily grind. Meanwhile back in the classroom, teachers are given greater responsibility to implement IEP like assistance for each student reflective of their performance on DCAS, the state new growth model assessment testing program. The bulk of student intervention will come directly from the classroom teacher and no additional supplemental services by professionals. The SES that are provided is don’t by private contractors who are not held to the same standards as the classroom teachers. When the SES fails to raise student academic achievement the accountably aspect  falls back on the classroom teacher.

As far as all these private education management companies, its a cash cow where fees are paid to the management company executives that don’t even step foot in the classrooms. The talk of school consolidation that will save money is targeted at combining school district  when in fact the expansion of charter schools is counterproductive to consolidation. Charter schools an individual entities (school district) that strains Delaware Department of Education ability to provide effective and fair oversight. In fact, as charter schools grow so will the need for DEDOE administration.

The public school process is expanding like the universe and with variations such as charter schools , magnet schools, school academies within existing traditional schools and choice schools the end results will be lack of cohesiveness that will question fair and equitable  education for all students. We are building a system that allows White Flight and Bright Flight within the structure and public funding of public schools. The White Flight as you know was the exit of many white students in response to desegregation. Those student fled to private schools. The Bright Flight is the exit of student to charter schools with specific admission criteria that pretty much excludes at-risk students. Hard to believe Delaware has such a charter school law that allows charter schools to pick and chose their students. During his bid for governor, Jack Markell raised concerns about “re-segregation, skimming and creaming of students via charter schools.” But once elected he seems to forgot  the concerns he was some deeply compassionate about. The writing is on the wall that poor  minority students who make up the greatest portion of at-risk students will be left out.  Sure minorities can start there own charter schools. However, with the academic bar being raised at a time  when students can achieve the current bar many claim are set too low, at-risk student will carry a greater burden. It seem raising the bar and creating high performance magnet schools and charter school see to be more about appeasing the white more affluent parents.

Moyer charter school a predominantly African-american high poverty school was ordered closed by Governor Markell even-though Moyer had a rating of “Commendable”. Markell had no intervention plans in place for the students impacted by his egotistic decision that was meant to show Arne Duncan he had courage to close low performing schools. After being confronted for not ensuring Moyer students would have options with no admission restrictions to  schools traditional or charter that were rate “Superior” or “Commendable” Markell reaized he fucked up! Markell’s back peddling brought in ad charter school management company with no proven track record in Delaware. curriculum was adapted to Delaware’s standard.

If Arne Duncan has his way ESEA aka NCLB will be embedded with completive grants favorable to charter schools and non-profit organizations. This would disrupt the formula based funding process and further erode fair and equatable education. It seems some charter schools can struggle and be blown off as “growing” pains while other don’t receive that same favoritism.

I see the best plan to reform public education is promoting local control and real share decision-making where parents and teachers have the greatest say. Also, ensuring SES providers, consultants and teachers are all held to the same accountability standards and consequences. We also need laws and school board policies prohibiting teachers from suggesting which SES providers parents should chose. SES providers must be eliminated when not meet objectives. There is enough ESEA funding such as Title 1 coming in to be the carrot on the stick. We don’t need to add more financial incentive. Any increase in public education should go towards lowering class sizes by adding teachers. If the prospect of receiving more funding is such a motivators, why shouldn’t the prospect of losing funding do the same?

The time has come for complete transparency of our public school system that includes more readily available documentation such as financial and consultant contracts online. Also, at least if not video of all school board meetings and state board of education meetings. We cannot have real reform if the state and political puppets at the school level work in tandem to keep the public in the dark. We are seeing so very bold individuals stepping to become board members and currently in Delaware it might our only line of defense. However, you don’t have to be a politician or board member to have power. Power is for the taking and for the brave to step up and take it.

Mayor Daley cries foul on Race to The Top

Daley rips Race to the Top education funding process; BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Nov 4, 2010 9:34AM

Mayor Daley on Wednesday blasted a federal education bureaucracy run by former Chicago Schools CEO Arne Duncan for excluding Chicago from the presentation that culminated in Illinois being shut out from $400 million in federal funds.

“You leave no child left behind. You race to the top. Next year, you race to the bottom. Next year, you race to the side. Everybody’s racing to something,” Daley said.

“Why can’t you send us money to build our schools. . . . All the teachers know that these are just political slogans. We should end it.”

Daley said the outcome of the Race to the Top sweepstake might have been different for Illinois, if only “those who had worked in the vineyards” in Chicago had been part of the pitch for federal funding.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley  the Godfather of mayoral control of public education cries foul because Illinois / Chicago didn’t win any Race to The Top funding. However, Daley is correct about the political slogans use for school reform plans.

Race to The Top is being sold as success when in fact no state who has won funding produced student testing results deeming RTTT a success. Only 11 states actually won RTTT funding and Duncan proclaims America’s school are being reformed because of RTTT. The fool states who enacted new state education laws and regulations in anticipation of winning Race to The Top don’t have the financial resources to implement those changes. Pretty much all the states that applied for the Race to The Top grant were playing the federal funding slot machines  with state funding. Now that they loss these losing states must fund the changes made to their education laws that would have accommodated RTTT.

At a time school consolidation is the buzzword to reduce education cost or rather reallocate more funding to the classroom (yea right) Race to The Top adds another layer of administration on top of NCLB administration. In Delaware Markell favors consolidation of some school districts and if that were to happen it wouldn’t result more funding for classrooms. It would only result in more state cuts to education at the local level.

Richard “Dick” Daley was such a big-shot in how “he” had control of Chicago schools and even hire Arne Duncan as CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Duncan cites his success in Chicago as proof RTTT will work.

Richard M. Daley: Stop Race to the Top By Sean Cavanagh on September 16, 2010 2:08 PM

The Obama adminstration’s Race to the Top competition has drawn a mix of plaudits and catcalls from both Democrats and Republicans around the country, reaction that in some ways can be traced to how their states fared in the multimillion dollar school competition.

Now one of the best-known Democrats in the country, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, is ripping the awards process, saying it was unfair to his state, and by extension, his city.

“We should end it. We should end it,” said Daley, who recently announced he would not run for re-election, according to the Chicago Tribune

Of course if Illinois won Race to The Top funding it would had been the best thing for Chicago since the birth of Arne Duncan.

“Isn’t that silly?” Daley said. “Not allow somebody who has reorganized schools, rebuilt schools and the things we do here, but we could not make that presentation? Again, it’s called federal bureaucracy. That’s all it’s about: bureaucracy.”

Is there where I am to say, “thats the pot calling the kettle black”?

The mayor’s remarks are a reminder on how the flow of federal education money to the states has produced some surprising political dynamics, which don’t break down along party lines

Most likely it might be that the maker of political knee pads is non-partisan. Markell didn’t give his Arne Duncan political blow job for the sake of Delaware. Markell did it for his own political future. Markell is all about Markell !

Gangsters Masquerading as Politicians – Mayor Richard M. Daley

Richard’s brother, William M. Daley, served under Former Pres. Bill Clinton as US Secretary of Commerce. Then he worked in a paid “advisory” capacity on Obama’s presidential campaign. Their other brother, John P. Daley, is the finance chairman on the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

In 1989, Rahm Emanuel served as Daley’s assistant and principle fundraiser; badgering, bullying, and guilt-tripping people into supporting Daley’s mayoral campaign. His nickname, Rahmbo, was assigned to him at the time for his ability to get things done.

Emanuel isn’t the guy running for Mayor of Chicago ?

Daley took over control of the Chicago School System hiring Arne Duncan as the CEO over the Chicago Public Schools. Arne served from 2001 – 2008. He was to preside over the educational system and fix the mediocre public schools. Arne Duncan, whose achievements are questionable related to improving the educational system in Chicago,

Chicago has a hire high school dropout rate than the entire state of Delaware but yet Jack Markell drops to his knees for Duncan and Duncan’s education plans.

Arne Duncan’s list and the Chicago Way

Daley says he did not have a role in the city school clout list, but it shows signs of having that Chicago touch

March 24, 2010|By John Kass

When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan ran the Chicago Public Schools for the boss of Chicago, he kept a secret list of those who hoped to clout children into the city’s top-tier public schools. 

“We didn’t want to advertise what we were doing because we didn’t want a bunch of people calling,” CPS official David Pickens admitted to Tribune reporters Azam Ahmed and Stephanie Banchero, who broke the story.

So the schools kept a clout list. But they didn’t want nobody nobody sent hassling them with calls

I wonder, will Richard Daley go by the name “Dick” once retired? 

As far as Markell, everybody knows Jack’s off to Washington

End of Mayoral control of Chicago schools ???

Chicago Teacher Coalition Calls for Elected School Board By Tara Malone, Chicago Tribune (MCT)

As Chicago prepares to elect a new mayor, a coalition of teachers, community leaders, parents and students on Wednesday said the city’s next leader should not control public education as Mayor Richard Daley has for most of his 21 years in office.

The group called for the return of an elected, 13-member school board that would be geographically representative of the city

Hopefully we’ll see an end to gubernatorial control of Delaware’s public school come 2012. Jack Markell is the worst Delaware governor on public schools in the history of Delaware. Message to the puppets at the Delaware Department of Education, now is the time to leave. Ride the perceived success of Race to The Top to your next job because, come 2012 all will be exposed. The next governor no doubt will purge DEDOE of the pathetic cancer within.

Arne Duncan’s butt buddy Rahm Emanuel is running for Mayor of Chicago. Good like Chicago, I hope the public can take back their schools from these crooks.

Growing number of new blogs speaking out for education concerns Politics of Decline, Redux.

“Welcome to my blog. I am currently an active school administrator in New Jersey. I am also a doctoral student in Rutgers University’s Educational Theory, Policy and Administration department. My area of interest is the micropolitics of education.”

I think its great that new education related blogs are coming online to share their views and opinions. Far too long educators who have concerns with the education system and politics that consumes and drives all facets of public education stayed silent. We have teachers, school board members, administrators and parents willing to step into the blog spotlight and express themselves.

I for one believe in local control and shared decision-making with less hindrance and interference of state and especially the federal government. For Delaware, our state legislators continue to enact underfunded and unfunded mandates and allow the Delaware State Board of Education the empowerment to enact state regulations that have no clear funding allocations. We have a governor who seems so fixated on being an education czar catering to the business round-table. The same business round-table who gave us DSTP that was obviously flawed from day one. We cannot continue to judge our children’s’ educational achievement based on a single indicator. Nor can we judge our public school teachers on the same method. Our governor Jack Markell agrees DSTP was flawed but yet uses those results as the motivator to radically change Delaware public schools driving it deeper in ill-repair. Markell rewards the business round-table for their DSTP failure by placing some of their agents in critical positions within the Delaware Department of Education.

More contenders for DSEA President

Blog Diane Albanese’s Musings

Red Clay DSEA Pres Want-to-be is not alone in the universe

Mary Jo Faust is running and was kind enough to respond to some Kilroy questions. See link above

Frederika Jenner is running

“I am running for President of the Delaware State Education Association.  One of our local leaders who is President of the para-educators (classroom aides) group in her school district asked me: “I have a question for you—something near and dear to my heart.  If you become President of DSEA, what would you do to help ESP’s obtain the living wage that we so rightfully deserve?”

Ok folks who else is running ?????

No TFA bang for the buck?

Teach for America faces scrutiny from Texas lawmakers By ERICKA MELLON Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

Texas lawmakers have ordered a study of Teach for America to help determine if the Peace Corps-like program, which recruits top college graduates to work in needy schools, is worth the state’s $8 million investment.

The evaluation, due to the Legislature by Jan. 31, could serve as a key discussion piece as lawmakers debate how to slash the state’s budget, with a shortfall estimated to top $20 billion

Ask Red Clay what bang for the buck its getting for $300,000.00 over and above paying Teacher for America teachers salaries and benefits?

Hey Texas, a n”investment” is something one receives an return on and with TFA many don’t return after two years.  TFA is nothing more than a teacher training program where the graduates move on to their real lives not in education. Its nothing more than a hold-over job until the private sector starts to rehire. If these so-called good volunteers are truly volunteers why the do they receive a bonus check from the federal government aka AmeriCorp?



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