Monthly Archives: March 2011

House Bill #26 w/HA 3 clears Delaware House of Representatives

This amendment requires that all regular monthly public meetings of the State Board of Education be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the Department of Education’s website within seven (7) business days.  The recordings will not be considered the official Board minutes.

Red Clay Consolidated School District has been, as of September 2010, providing the public with digital recordings of their Board public session meetings via the District’s website.  The Christina School District School Board enacted a policy to provide digital recordings of their public session meetings and expects to be online in January 2011.

The requirements of this section do not apply to meetings where recording equipment is not available, to executive sessions, or to other meetings of the Board, such as workshops, retreats, and committee meetings.   A written transcript of the regular monthly public board meetings that are digitally recorded pursuant to this paragraph, or other reasonable accommodation, will be provided by the Department of Education within seven (7) business days upon request of a person with a hearing impairment.  A severability clause has been added to the bill.

03/31/2011 05:50 PM Passed Yea 38  No 0  Not Voting 1  Absent 2

Holy Toledo! Teacher’s union withdraws support for Race to The Top

WTOL Editorial: Race to the Top funds frozen; reprehensible

By WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon – email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – The Race to the Top federal program should be pumping $10.8 million into the Toledo School District.

But Francine Lawrence, President of the Toledo Federation of Teachers, notified the Ohio Department of Education that the union is withdrawing from the program.

Her action froze the money and over time the almost $11 million will be going elsewhere.

Legislation allows districts to hire teachers sooner

(Ready for Governor’s action)

Senate Bill # 16 w/SA 1 + HA 1


This Act implements the recommendations of the Senate’s Teacher Hiring Task Force. It will result in the creation of an estimated unit count each March, which the Department of Education will conduct using existing resources. The state will guarantee that school districts receive unit funds for the following school year equivalent to 98% of the estimated unit count. This will allow districts to make offers of employment to new teachers in the late spring and early summer. The Act also requires greater transparency by school districts with respect to their hiring practices. The Act must be reauthorized prior to April 1, 2012, so the state has an opportunity to ensure that the estimated unit count is reliable.

FURTHER AMEND Senate Bill 16 on line 36 by deleting the phrase “March 30” and replacing it with the phrase “April 15”.

Consolidation of Delaware’s Vocational Technical School Districts

Delaware Senate Bill #5 Introduced 03/29/2011

This Bill requires consolidation of the three vocational-technical school districts effective for the 2012-2013 school year. This will save considerable public funds and increase efficiency of this system. The Bill provides for one statewide school board to oversee the newly consolidated District. It also requires DOE to propose legislation to adjust the current vocational-technical tax procedures to make them uniform and equitable.

I wonder what impact it will have on votech tax rates ? Who pays more and who pays less? Why doesn’t Delaware DOE just take charge of these schools and all schools in Delaware? Just have one school district in little town of Delaware?

Is Delaware DOE backpedaling on Race to The Top deadlines?

Race to Top Winners Work to Balance Promises, Capacity Education Week March 29, 2011

Delaware, like other states, found that hitting fast-approaching deadlines became difficult, especially since state hiring and contracting laws can slow down progress. It took longer than anticipated, for example, for Delaware to find good candidates to be data coaches.

“We could have rushed and hit those deadlines,” Mr. Cruce said. “But we are extremely focused on quality.”

In Delaware, Race to the Top project management is housed in three units within the education department—separately focused on school turnarounds, teacher-leader effectiveness, and “delivery.” The state agency added 10 staff members, with the understanding that their jobs might not be there once the federal grant runs out.

Delaware DOE expands by 10 administrators to implement a four-year federal education grant. Yea their jobs might not be there in four years and Markell might be voted out of office and not give a rat’s ass. Like I said before, every-time their is an efforts to reform public education the first thing happens is the expansion of administration.

Delaware plan does not include addressing student discipline and addressing defiant parents who refuse to engage in their children’s education. Delaware teachers are left with no real reform in addressing these hard issues that pose the most negative impact on their ability to teach and students who are there to learn. Delaware teachers are still being held accountable for student who are not prepared to learn.

During a breakfast of the New Castle County Combined School Board, the Delaware Secretary of Education indicated that in 2012 DEDOE will be rolling out student “consequences”. Once again Delaware will use an education reform plan as like a whipping post beating students for the failures of adults including their parents. What about the business round-table who gave us the failed DSTP? Kind of sucks because some of the same people that gave us DSTP have their hand in Vision  2015 and Race to The Top.

Civil union bill clears Delaware Senate committee

Supporters say the bill is about equal rights for homosexuals, while opponents say it is a thinly disguised prelude to sanctioning same-sex marriage in Delaware.

Couples who enter into civil unions would have the same rights and obligations as married spouses, and Family Court would have jurisdiction over the dissolution of civil unions, as it does with marriages.

But homosexual couples moving from states that allow same-sex marriages would be recognized in Delaware only as civil union partners.

Its hard to believe Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution and is finally getting around to addressing this issue of  equal rights.  Its time for Delaware to step up and allow all good people to live their lives as intended ! Free and equal !

Kids weigh in on Markell’s education plan@governorMarkell

Even those who aren’t in school yet call Governor Markell’s education reform plan nothing but ed-babble.

Great comment from DE Conservative on re-engineering of Delaware’s teaching profession

By DE Conservative:

Just thinking out loud here…but given these revelations, is it any wonder that we can build links from Delaware’s Rodel based Vision 2015 rebuild all the way back to the creators of Race To The Top?

I mean there’s Dr. Lowery ( and (

And of course, Arne Duncan helped design the Broad plan for education reform…


For some folks, maybe having a billionaire direct all education in the nation is ok but I disagree. It’s a little like allowing George Soros to control fiscal policy…

Markell gives Ken Grant a birthday shout-out@governorMarkell

Jack look pretty happy! Hey Jack whats going on? Did your buddy kick out some healthy stock dividends?

Happy Birthday Ken !

Good read at One More Fight (DSEA blogger)

These proposals have been agreed upon by representatives of the Markell Administration and State Workers United for a Better Delaware, aka, the Coalition. They must still be incorporated into the state’s FY12 Budget, i.e. approved by the Joint Finance Committee and the General Assembly.

Read the rest @ One More Fight

The re-engineering of Delaware’s teaching profession

Delaware Teaching Fellows;”The Delaware Teaching Fellows is a competitive initiative of Innovative Schools and the Delaware Department of Education that recruits, selects and trains outstanding professionals and college graduates to become highly effective teachers in the schools across the state that need them the most. We are committed to providing the State’s students with a new generation of educators who will work relentlessly to significantly increase student achievement in their classrooms”.


“As an alternate route to certification, the Fellows program accelerates the process of bringing new teachers to the classrooms where they are needed the most. Rather than completing a traditional teacher education program prior to entering the classroom, Fellows engage in an intensive summer Training Institute program, then complete other academic requirements while they teach. All candidates accepted into the Delaware Teaching Fellows are required to enroll in a program to earn their Delaware teaching credential. The Delaware Teaching Fellows office will provide accepted candidates with additional information and resources for making contact with and enrolling in Intern programs. While the Delaware Teaching Fellows program helps Fellows connect the pieces to earn their Delaware teaching credentials, it is the Fellow’s responsibility to meet credential program requirements and submit verification of Intern status to their LEA’s Certification Office within the Department of Human Resources by August 2011″.

“The Delaware Initial License gives eligible individuals with no previous education coursework the opportunity to teach and earn a full teacher’s salary and benefits while taking classes to earn their Continuing or Standard Licensure. Assuming timely completion of requirements and good standing with the District and the State, Fellows will be eligible to receive a Continuing License by the end of their second year of teaching”.

Summer Stipend

“During the summer Training Institute, Fellows are provided with a $2,000 pre-tax transitional stipend. The stipend is distributed after the end of the Training Institute.  Because there may be a lengthy time between receiving the training stipend and issuance of a Fellow’s first paycheck, we strongly encourage Fellows to take appropriate measures to ensure their financial well being during this transition”.


“As employees in a Delaware school, Fellows are eligible for the same comprehensive benefits as all district teachers, including health insurance, and in some cases, dental, life insurance, and long term disability insurance”.

Loan Forgiveness

“Fellows with Stafford, Perkins, and Eisenhower loans may be eligible for loan deferment or forgiveness.  Fellows need to contact their lenders to determine eligibility”.


  • You must possess a Bachelor’s degree (conferred by June 2011).

  • Your undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or higher. (a 2.5 GPA or higher for individuals who demonstrate previous exceptional achievement).

  • You must be eligible to work in Delaware Public Schools.

  • You must meet Delaware state testing requirements.

  • You cannot be certified to teach in any state.

  • You must meet requirements for the subject area which you would like to teach.

“In order to be eligible to teach through the Delaware Teaching Fellows program candidates must have a major or 30 credits of coursework in science, math or English”.


Phone:  302-656-4737

Fax: 302-656-4738 , Attn: Delaware Teaching Fellows

Address: Delaware Teaching Fellows, Community Service Building,

100 West 10th Street, Suite 403, Wilmington, DE 19801

Delaware Teaching Fellows is hiring!

Click on the links below for more information:

Program Operations Manager, Delaware Teaching Fellows; The New Teacher Project

“Ideal candidates for this role will have exceptional organizational skills and thrive in a fast paced environment while managing various operations systems”

“The New Teacher Project is establishing Delaware Teaching Fellows, a partnership with Innovative Schools to help systematically increase the concentration of high-quality teachers in the state’s lowest performing schools and build a high-quality pipeline of new teachers to the district. Innovative Schools is a local, non-profit public school support organization committed to empowering Delaware educators and communities to adopt models proven to inspire passionate teaching and learning”.

Kilroy’s Spin:

WOW ! Its like playing the game Where’s Waldo trying to find the $$$$$ trail of this organization!

Innovative Schools:

“Innovative Schools is a non-profit resource center for Delaware public schools.  Our mission is to empower educators and communities to adopt modern school models proven to inspire passionate teaching and learning. Founded in 2002 as a charter support organization, Innovative Schools is proud to have raised over $5 million to support the charter movement in purchasing or renovating school buildings.  The organization continues to support the charter movement and has recently begun to serve district schools in support of the state’s efforts to improve its public school system.”

The New Teacher Project was founded by Michele Rhee (not sure if she has any financial stake in TNTP) and Wendy Kopp CEO is on the Board of Directors.

“Michelle A. Rhee (born December 25, 1969) is the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools system of Washington, D.C., in the United States. In 1997 she founded The New Teacher Project (TNTP), which in ten years has recruited 10,000 teachers in twenty states. She announced her resignation as chancellor on October 13, 2010, effective at the end of the month. Rhee is the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, a 501(c)(4) political advocacy organization which works on education reform issues.” Rhee taught in Baltimore, Maryland as a recruit of Teach For America for three years.

Innovative Schools Board of Directors (Rodel connections)

WOW! What a trail of high powered reformist! Also, make note an associate of  Rodel and Innovative Schools sat on the USDOE Race to The Top application interview with Jack Markell and his RTTT team. Surely no conflict of interest there!

Stepping back and putting this all in perspective I must say the negative out weighs the positives. It appears Delaware Teaching Fellows is some type of joint venture of Innovative Schools and The New Teacher Project. I am not sure how board of directors are paid or compensated but to me this new program is about a Race to The Top money grab and I wonder how involved Delaware Jack Markell and employees of the Delaware Department of Education including the Delaware Secretary of Education are. Not saying financially but involved in a way to help re-engineer Delaware public education to the political agenda of Jack Markell.

I wonder if those who were team-players with Race to The Top and advancing Markell’s education agenda will end up with jobs within these contacted organizations?

What I don’t understand, why do we need organizations like this that seem to be picking up the pieces in preparing individuals for the class as teachers when our accredited teaching universities and colleges like University of Delaware and University of Wilmington should be producing classroom ready teachers? It appears the student teaching components of schools of higher learning preparing tomorrows teachers aren’t as advance as they should be. Its pretty bad when the taxpayers have to fund the most critical aspect of preparing teachers. Its like the taxpayers need to be wet-nurses for failing universities and colleges. Lets assume there is this weaknesses on the universities and colleges preparing tomorrow’s teachers. So why are we beating current teachers who apparently were failed by those same universities and colleges? Should we shift “blame” onto those universities and colleges? Shouldn’t these universities and colleges require at least a 3.0 GPA as pre condition in the acceptance into their education programs?

The political fibers of education reform seem tainted and dirty buy politicians and profiteers and it the taxpayers footing the bill. Lets not forget when Bill Gates and Eli Broad makes financial contributions to these so-called nonprofits groups they receive tax write-offs.

These issues and players are so complex our own state legislators will get blindsided just as they did with DSTP. Delaware Governor Markell is slicker than dog shit. But more power to him! Its a dog eat dog world. DSEA can’t take on this agenda and have no choice but to allow themselves to be pissed on. Me, I am pissing in the wind and I am pissing on myself to point out these mafia like organizational structures involving political and business entities. From this analogy, Eli Board is the Godfather and Bill Gates in the under-boss , Jack Markell is a Capitan and DEDOE are noting but foot soldiers picking up Markell’s shit to cover his ass while exposing their’s.

It amazes me that “its for the kids” but at the same time many fill their pockets and others fill-full their own self-centered ego driven political aspirations. Sadly these same people degrade many hardworking teachers fighting unbelievable social condition the plaque and stagnates children’s ability to learn. Markell’s bedfellows preach waiting on Superman a fictional character while real heroes serving our classroom day in day out gets sand kicked in their faces by political bullies like Markell. Poverty has become a profit center and Markell is an enabler holding the doors open for profiteers.

Is Teach for America coming to Stubbs next year?

Rumor whispers are indicating CSD super is planning to contract with Teach for America for 6-8 TFA teachers for Stubbs Elementary School starting next year. Could be just a rumor. However, The Delaware Way as Lillian Lowery calls it requires us to chase down many rumors.

Delaware Department of Education: CSO Meeting December 2010

Great Teachers and Leaders: Teach For America; Alignment to Objective 6: Activity opportunity under Required Strategy (SOW 9)

• $5,000 per corps member, per year (up to two years), for a 10K total unit cost (does not include salary/benefits)

Interesting, “does not include salary and benefits” Does these mean any contract between CSD and Teacher for American would require a board vote or approval? Not sure if CSD is set up like Red Clay where the super (has been modified 2010) can sign contracts over $50,000.00 if provider is sole source! This is how the former Red Clay super signed a 3 year up to $300,000.00 contract without board approval. Board policy has bee modified to reduce future roll the board under the bus contracts.

Follow this link to view Red Clay’s contract with Teach for America.

The  taxpayers pay $10,000.00 per TFA teacher over and above paying salaries and benefits and then $10.700.00 from a bonus under the AmeriCorps program :An AmeriCorps Education Award of $10,700 ALSO, TFA with outstanding students loans gets a deferment on the student loans with AmericCorps paying the interest which in not part of the $10,700.00. And this money is not subjected to federal or state tax. Lets no forget TFA’s are protected from layoffs for the two-years.

I hope with need DSEA leadership they’ll step up and end this bullshit politically inspired TFA bullshit!

Folks this might be all rumor for CSD but the CSD board better get on it an flush out the truth. As far as the MOU/ SOW on the PZ it shouldn’t include funds beyond RTTT or any SIG. Would be pretty f’ing bad if Title 1 is to supplement RTTT and SIG. A former Red Clay board member told me, “its only federal money”. Like WTF, isn’t that taxpayers money??

I think we need to “fire” local school district superintendents who sign on the this political bullshit program and even my hometown Red Clay if he extends the TFA contract. If district HR managers can’t attract highly teaching candidates they should be also fired!

We need longterm committed individuals teaching Delaware public schools not revolving door teachers ones that have to be wet nursed by the existing experience teachers.

Little note for those who don’t know Wendy Kopp CEO of  TFA is on the board of directors for The New Teacher Project founded by Michele Rhee. TNTP provides the same as TFA but those teacher are permanent longterm committed teachers. But again why are we paying HR Managers or district people responsible for recruiting and hiring teachers when we have to sub out these services for a fee? Why can’t there can’t be a state pool of overqualified teachers? There is no shortage of teachers in Delaware and TFA in most cases are not college teaching majors and just people looking for a holdover job and some sweet looking to put on their resume. I hardly call someone a volunteer as TFA are refer to if they get a paycheck and bonuses.

One thing for sure, if all is true we’re going to see what kind of backbone CSD board has and same goes for RCSD board if any attempts to renew or extend current TFA contract.

When Markell goes so does Lowery!

Educators, politicians redefining ‘Delaware Way’:This plan isn’t about politics. It’s about children. By LILLIAN LOWERY

People often chuckle when they refer to “the Delaware Way,” but during the state’s successful Race to the Top bid and the work that has followed the federal grant award, the term has taken on a new meaning: collaboration. Teachers, union leaders, administrators, school board members, parents and state officials each came to the table. And each left some of their desires on it to join in an ambitious plan that is bringing new energy and needed resources to classrooms across the state.

Lillian, the people who chuckle are clueless! When Delaware Governor Jack Markell the worst governor on public education hits the road you can bet your ass will go with him. That’s the Delaware Way!

Lowery knows damn well that Delaware is in violation of Title 1 Section 1118 for the fact Title 1 parents had no say in the design of Delaware’s Race to The Top application and the Partnership Zone plans. In fact Lowery coward in the corner and didn’t hold any town hall meeting prior to formulating or submitting the RTTT application. Governor Markell had to babysit her during the RTTT interview process and brought his banker Skip to help keep Lowery from running her mouth about nothing.

Markell wasn’t looking for a natural leader for the Delaware Secretary of Education! He was looking for a puppet who kisses his ass and wipes it! Between Rodel clones as part of DEDOE and DOE Dan, the only decisions Lowery gets to make is what she’ll have for lunch.

Lowery sits backs and watches city of Wilmington parents and students get screwed over with no school district of their own! Markell comments, he doesn’t even give a school district for Wilmington a thought! Lowery plays alone with this clueless game but know damn well Markell is poising himself to take care of the leader of the charge for a Wilmington school district. Nothing more that handing out a pint of whiskey for a vote or support like they did back in the day re: the Delaware Way!  Get the brother shit-faced and he’ll vote for you!

If any one thinks Jack Markell is manning-up for what’s right in public education I got news for you! Jack Markell is just sowing political seeds seeds to serve himself! That’s the Delaware Way! Jack Markell is use the backs of poor children as political stepping stones! If he gave a shit about the inequities we would see “real” neighborhood schools in Wilmington including a high school and middle schools. Lowery doesn’t say a damn word about the inequities when it comes to busing students.

In January, I approved the schools’ reform plans. They include refocused curricula, increased instructional time such as the adoption of longer academic days and years; required leadership and staffing changes; greater flexibility in staffing decisions; and other key changes.

Hello Ms. McFly! You approved Jack Markell’s plan as you had none!

This collaboration is what wowed federal officials in Washington last year, helping Delaware earn first-place ranking and the $119 million in federal grant money that will help us reshape the state’s schools.

What wowed them was how stupid DSEA was sitting at the table with Markell and Rodel! In four years that money will be gone and so will you! Hopefully sooner ! What wowed them was Jack Markell had to babysit Delaware’s Secretary of Education.

Parents were not part of the Race to The Top discussion and Common Core Standards prior to submitting the RTTT Application or agreeing to the Common Core Standards. The taxpayers weren’t informed once the RTTT funding dries up that they will be providing the funding to pay for more consultants and bloated administration.  The business community had its way with DSTP and now with RTTT participation. DSTP was nothing more than a social whipping post beating children for the failure of adults. RTTT is nothing more than a vehicle to further privatize public education at the cost of taxpayers. The Delaware Secretary of Education is nothing more that a political puppet  serving at the pleasure of a self-center politician that is driven to serve his own political aspirations and needs. When Markell is voted out of office we’ll be able to hear echoes in the halls of DEDOE.

Red Clay Choice policy skewed !

Why is Cab and Conrad’s Choice policy is left up to building  administration and other district school Choice policies determined by district administration?  Either give the same empowerment to all building level administration or none at all. Lets end this skimming and creaming of students at selective schools or allow it at all Red Clay schools.