Monthly Archives: June 2011

Wow! FBI investigating Gulen charter schools! Thank goodness none are in Delaware

Gulen Taxpayer Funded Charter School Under the FBI Microscope ;by SIBYL WEST on JUNE 7, 2011

 

Delaware’s alternative route for principal certification

New program gives alternative for principal ceritification 

The Delaware Leadership Project is a 15-month, principal certification that includes a 5-week summer intensive and 10-month residency with a mentor principal.

Governor Markell stresses how their role is crucial to Delaware’s future.

He says, “In my mind, the best way to get better is motivated, talented people, who want to better themselves for the purpose of changing the world. What better way is there to change the world then to make sure the kids who are in the school where you’re leading get the full benefit?”

In my mind Jack Markell is full of shit and perhaps he needs to apply that forward thinking to staffing the Delaware Department of Education.

I don’t really have a problem with this program or even alternative route to certification for teachers. The important thing is we have people who want to teach and lead in our schools. Teacher programs like Teach for America provide individuals who are out to make a career in education and for many is just a place to sit until the economy improves and then off they go into their chosen fields.

Do you notice with all these innovations and changes like Race to The Top parents the most valuable stakeholders are left out? Real change will not occur in public education until real financial transparency takes place. We’re moving into an era where school systems are relying more  outside private education consulting. HB#205 adds a watchful of conflict of interest between charter school organizers and service providers within. Don’t you think that should apply to governors and public school superintendents in their financial holdings of some of these Wall Street ed companies. Also, let’s no kids ourselves, many of these so-called non-profit ed firms aren’t full of volunteers. These folks collect pay and benefits.  The wine and dine school and state officials in order to get business. Teach for America snaked $300,000.00 out of Red Clay over and above the TFA teacher’s pay and benefit.

Hey did you notice Governor Markell came out to speak on this issue and still hides like a coward in the corner on the Reach and Pencader concerns?

Delaware’s newest blog! OUTSIDE THE MACHINE

Delaware’s newest blog with some old dogs with new tricks. Welcome Outside The Machine. Not sure who the head dog is but here are the contributors, Dana Garret ( I knew he when he was a kid :),  Joe Madjeski ( don’t know him but I am sure he is not related to the Bidens), Steve Newton (the best Libertarian I’ve ever met), Anonone ( not sure who this person is but could be Ruth Ann Minner, who knows?), Tyler Nixon ( Owner of Bob Barker’s collection of sports jackets) and Donviti (use to be lookout man at a famous water ice stand on Union Street, water ice out the front and numbers out the back. And almost forget, he us to sell protection insurance to other kids at the Italian Festival. $5.00 would guarantee your ass wouldn’t get kicked. )

Outside The Machine has been around since March and looks like it had a slow start. Great layout and you won’t struggle with grammatical errors like at Kilroy’s :). These boys are college educated. Give them a try!

Any Governor Markell remarks on the 4th of July would be a lie

For sure Delaware Governor Jack Markell will remark on freedom and American apple pie during his weekly address. However, coming from a man who runs his administration like a star chamber protecting the elitist  within, his words won’t be taken to heart by the citizen of Delaware.

As Markell reflects back on the struggles of American independence I must remind you that Delaware firist governor, Governor John McKinly was capture and held prisoner by the British in 1777. All these years later comes Delaware Jack Markell and what does he do? He operates his administration in the dark at the same time others proclaim him the Change Agent especially in regards to public education. Markell was all for open-government but the open part of government he open was it’s checkbook to feed Wall Street bedfellows wanting to feed off of education funding. The biggest insult to freedom is Markell willingness to close Reach and Pencader charter schools that failed because Markell political clones running the Delaware Department of Education failed to follow laws set by Delaware legislators. Markell allowed the executioner’s ax fall long before due-process and the required vote by the Delaware State Board of Education. Markell seems to enjoy the anguish Reach and Pencader’s parents and students are enduring.

Over the last ten years I visited graves and battles grounds of those who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Watched monuments unveiled and even on one occasion help set the foundation for a plaque. I’ve met with descendants of Richard Henry Lee and others who dare to protest King George III during the signing of the Leestown Resolutions protesting the Stamp Act of 1766. Baby Kilroy took his rightful place during the reenactment of the signing of that document by his ancestors. One thing for sure if this were the year 1777 and Markell was governor he would be a loyalist wearing gold-lace royal knee-pads. Delaware Governor Markell has no intention opening state government where he has great power to do so through executive orders. Rumor has it when Markell takes a shit on his royal throne at the governor’s house the people pay for he yells out, “flush twice it’s a long way to Pencader and Reach charter schools”.

Not only is Jack Markell the worst Delaware governor on education he is the biggest coward. When any good news about Delaware public schools makes the headlines Markell is there it make a public comment taking credit. Any bad news he’ll send in his News Journal throwaway to make bullshit shallow comments on his behalf. Jack has no remorse for ordering the Delaware Department of Education to turn off the money supply July 1, 2011 to Pencader  and Reach. Little does he know or comprehend he is turning the gas on these children suffocating their dreams of an education in school they chose through a free process. Jack perhaps grasshopper has a problem looking you in the eye during a hand shake because your eyes are empty of a man.

Delaware Dept of Ed takes action without approval of the state board of education

Question: Why isn’t the state giving Pencader its July 1 funding? Posted on June 29, 2011 by Nichole Dobo

We’ve received a lot of questions about Pencader regarding funding after the June 30 fiscal year ends.

The state has told two schools — Pencader and Reach — they will not get any more funding from the state as of July 1. That means some bills could go unpaid.

The state Board of Education won’t vote until July 21 on if the school will remain open. That leaves 20 days between the close of the last fiscal year and the board vote.

What is the state’s reasoning for freezing funding after June 30? We asked the state Department of Education to explain. Here’s the answer from spokeswoman Alison Kepner:

This is amazing, the Delaware Department of Education takes action before the state board of education votes on review committee’s recommendations and BEFORE THE PUBLIC MEETING

This demonstrates how Jack Markell political puppets controls all aspects of Delaware’s public education! I guess this is Jack Markell’s way of saying Happy 4th of July! So much for freedom for the people!

Hey Delaware State Legislators, keep an eye out for a new grassroots parent organization! See you in November 2012!

Breaking News! Delaware Senate passed HB#205 now on to Markell

HB#205 Senate Passed   On   06/29/2011 05:42:51 PM Vote 21 yes 0 no 

(1) For the purposes of this section a local school district or charter school shall be considered in financial distress when 1 or more of the following criteria are met:

a. The district financial position report required to be submitted on May 1, pursuant to § 1507(a) of this title, projects less than 1 month’s carryover; or

b. It is projected at any time during the course of the fiscal year that local payroll expenses will exceed projected local revenues; or

c. The charter school has been placed on formal review based, at least in part, on concerns regarding the charter school’s finances; or

d. Whenever a school district or charter school projects that it cannot fund 1 or more scheduled payroll disbursements.

(2) During any period of time when it is determined that a school district or charter school is in financial distress, the Financial Recovery Team shall be empowered to exercise, subject to the approval of the Secretary, control over the expenditure of funds appropriated to a school district or charter school as deemed necessary by the members of the Team. Control shall include, without limiting the foregoing, the right to approve the school district’s or charter school’s annual budget and any subsequent material amendment thereto, the right to approve district tax rates, the right to request drawdown of state financial assistance if applicable, the right to approve financial reporting to the local board of education or charter school board, the right to approve accounting policies, procedures and reports, the right to require a Financial Responsibility Committee be established by the local school board or charter school comprised of 1 or more members of the said board and/or residents of the district or, in the case of a charter school, parents of students attending the school.  The Committee shall examine and report on the financial status of the district or charter school and shall have the right to pre-approve any obligation or contract that would require the expenditure of funds by the school district or charter school. Notwithstanding any provision of either this Code or any applicable rule or regulation to the contrary, the authority extended under this section shall apply to the expenditure of all funds received by a school district or charter school.

 (3) The Financial Recovery Team shall report at least monthly to the Governor, the General Assembly, Director and the Controller General regarding the district’s or charter school’s current and projected financial position.

(4) The district or charter school shall reimburse the State for all salary and related costs of the Financial Recovery Team.

(5) Upon the recommendation of the Secretary that a school district or charter school is no longer in financial distress as defined in this section, the Director, with the consent of the Controller General, may elect to remove the members of the Financial Recovery Team.”

So does this now put Reach and Pencader into financial recovery status ?????????? Assuming Markell signs it before the next state board of education meeting and effective date is upon his signature?

Think about this, HB#205 included putting charter school under the financial stress / recover clause in the law with traditional public schools. This action signals perhaps it was an oversight whereas it would of had applied to Pencader and Reach. To say TOO BAD Reach and Pencader the law applies to prevent future system failures would be bullshit. If no effective date is indicated in the text of the legislation therefore it is effective upon signing by the governor. Since no state board action has stated these schools will be close HB#205 should apply. 

Appoquinimink School District’s 65K walk on water! WTF !


“Secretary of Education Lillian M. Lowery today announced approval of all 19 districts’ Race to the Top plans, allocating $18.4 million in Year 2 funding for the districts to implement innovative and aggressive reforms across the state.”

To garner state approval and receive funding, the district plans had to address how they would:

Implement college and career ready standards and assessments

Improve access to and use of data systems

Build the capacity to use data

Improve the effectiveness of educators based on performance

Ensure equitable distribution of effective educators

Ensure that educators are effectively prepared

Provide effective support to educators

Provide deep support to the lowest-achieving schools

Engage families and communities effectively in supporting students’ academic success

Appoquinimink RTTT 2011-2012 $65,000.00

WTF ! Somebody’s cornbread ain’t done in the middle ! Appo will end up spending more local money trying to obtain these goals. Is that 65K a DEDOE typo?

Delaware Governor gets creative in sending more Ed money to Wall Street

RFI – Middle School College Preparedness Curriculum 

1.2. Intent of this Request for Information (RFI)

The State of Delaware is in the process of researching existing college preparedness curriculum for all middle school students representing grades 6-8.  The objective of the RFI is to obtain information about approaches, tools and curriculum which are effective in achieving this objective.  Specifically, the State is considering enhancing middle schools effectiveness in preparing students for college, and is seeking information about the feasibility of this approach

With the 9th grade representing the highest percentage of high school dropouts I think it would be better to put out an RFI to address the high school dropout rate. Many students who dropout of Delaware high schools are student who struggled in middle school and even elementary schools.

What better way to invest in our children’s education than hire more Wall Street for profit education management companies.

Kilroy goes to Hollywood

I posted this March 7, 2011  Charlie Sheen Harper dies in auto accident; alcohol involved 

“I say, kill Charlie Harper off in an alcohol related auto accident”

Today TMZ is reporting Charlie Harper Dies Tragic Death

Hey maybe I can convince the producers of Two and A Half Men to create a new show called, Governor Markell bites the big one !

Delaware’s Governor caught in a love triangle

Parents report Delaware AG office is saying don’t communicate with State Board of Education

See Comments under my last post; Delaware State Board of Education wants to hear from parents  

I have it on good authority a representative of the Delaware Department of Justice did communicate to Pencader Charter School officials to communicate to parents and community members NOT TO E-MAIL Delaware State Board of Education board members as “SBE can only view evidence that is part of the “record.”

Why is the DOJ getting involved in a school charter school review? At least at Pencader there is no criminal investigation! “Evidence” cut me a break ! What information provided DEDOE re: charter school reviews are responses to questions.

Conduct of Members
Delaware Code, Title 29, Chapter 58 provides the laws regulating the conduct of officers and employees of the State of Delaware. Members of the State Board of
Education are subject to certain of the provisions of that statute in that they are included in the definition of “state agency” 29 Del.C. §5804(11) and the definition of “honorary state official” 29 Del.C. §5804(6). For that reason, members of the Board are encouraged to become familiar with the provisions of that chapter. The following issues are of particular concern.

So by law they are “honorary state officials”

Legal Counsel

Legal counsel to the State Board of Education is provided by the State Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office in accordance with 29 Del.C.  §2504.  (In accordance with 29  Del.C.  §2507, no agency board, or commission shall employ legal counsel except with approval of the Attorney General and Governor.)

Did the DOJ offer Reach and Pencader legal counsel?

Public Participation at Board Meeting

Normally the Board will not respond to questions or comments at the meeting but will may respond in writing to each person or group.  Written responses will not be made to persons/groups addressing action items on the agenda.

The “will” is officially crossed out and may inserted. From what I see parents E-mailing state board member are requesting them to respond to action items on the agenda. There has been no action taken or on the agenda. Does anyone have a copy of July’s agenda?

Evidentiary hearings

3.6 Evidence

3.6.1 Strict rules of evidence shall not apply. Evidence having probative value commonly accepted by reasonably prudent people in the conduct of their affairs may be admitted into evidence

Does those mean evidence in a charter school review aren’t always generated by DEDOE or responding charter school? Ok, so parents hold off trying to communicated with the Delaware State Board of Education and speak up at the Public Hearings, July 11, 2011 for Reach and July 13, 2011 for Pencader. Sadly all seem predetermined.

Parents if all is true and you are advised not to E-mail the Delaware State Board of Education on the charter school review process please stop.

Before Governor Markell came into office the Delaware State Board of Education member’s E-mail addresses were post on DEDOE website. They have been removed  and I see this as evidence Jack Markell who ran on open government broke one of his campaign promises. The E-mail address that were provide on previous post was compliments of the blog Children and Educators First 

STOP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Breaking !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See AG says emails to SBOE will be DELETED, not READ! via Children and Educators First.

I am back !!!!!!!!

So let’s get this right ! DEDOE disregards state laws pertaining to required Citizen Budget Oversight Committees and Annual Delaware Charter School Reports and they get legal representation by the Delaware Department of Justice headed by Beau Biden, Vice Prsident Joe Biden’s son. Whereas the people / children victimized by failures at the Delaware Department of Education and charter schools in question relieve no legal support from the Delaware Department of Justice.

Happy fucking 4th of July people! We the people don’t mean shit in Delaware.


							

Delaware State Board of Education wants to hear from parents

Here are the E-mail addresses of the Delaware State Board of Education members provided by Children and Educators First blog

Sen. Henry Works for Delaware’s Students… And SBOE Email Addresses

Dr. Terry Quinn Gray, tgray@doe.k12.de.us
Jorge Melendez, Jorge.melendez@pnc.com

Gregory Coverdale, gcoverdale@DOE.K12.DE.US; gcoverdalejr@hotmail.com

G. Patrick Heffernan, pheffernan@DOE.K12.DE.US

Barbara Rutt, barbararutt@yahoo.com

Dr. James, Wilson, imjwilson@comcast.net

Dr. Terry Whittaker, whittakt@udel.edu

Dr. Lillian Lowery, llowery@doe.k12.de.us 

I am getting communications that members of the Delaware Board of Education enjoys hearing from concerned parents and community members on the issues regarding Delaware public schools.

Mission Statement

The Delaware State Board of Education will provide the breadth of viewpoint and continuity of purpose of an independent citizen’s board and will work with the General Assembly, the Department of Education, school districts, families and the community to create a world class education system that provides educational excellence and equity for every student.

As you can see, the state board of education mission statement includes working with families and the community. For Reach and Pencader parents, please get all you family including grandparents to E-mail members of the state board and tell the no to vote for closure of these schools. The final say is with the state board at July 21, 2011 meeting. So please E-mail these board members. The state board of education members were appointed by Governor Markell to serve and represent you. They can’t serve your needs if you don’t tell them.

PSA: Delaware Governor butchers public school funding!

Kilroy–I know you are all busted up about charters right now–but honey, me and Tony and every other board member, superintendent, parent and public school child needs your help in getting the word out out about this year’s budget. Public education was slashed as a preliminary, and not ONE CENT is being considered to be restored in the face of slashing 11 million bucks. Meanwhile, the “found” money this year is beefing up legislators’ road money–which is fine–but c’mon–that 50k per legislator would go alot further in a school district needing to RIF math and reading specialists no longer being sustained in state funding. Oh and transportation? Automatic 10% funding cut. What is a district to do that is 96% bussed, because they are “rural”–or a district needing to go in and out of the city? We didn’t make up these perimeters!! Just sayin’–our district, and no doubt many others, ate much of these costs last year–but locally we CANNOT afford to do what Dover has agreed to do in the past, and be held accountable to pick up the slack. That “found” money needs to help underwrite the slashed programatic suspensions, and job losses contributing to our students’ success–because a great education for them, is going to go a heck of a lot further than new asphalt.

Not to pick on only the added road money–but seriously, not one added dime given back to education–but education is expected to give you the world’s best? Call or write your legislators now to restore some of the DRASTIC, DIRE cuts made last year, and continuing this year that will wipe out local funds, or not be provided as local funds in areas our state has held responsibility prior–but can now be surreptitiously designated to local funds. WAKE UP FOLKS!!! Tell Dover to not even think about funding pet agendas until their charge of funding true public policy and vulnerable populations is met. Thanks Kilroy for helping in this PSA :) !!!!

By Joanne Christian

Kilroy adds; The Impact on Red Clay is $7,877,517.00 see for yourself  The 27th pay alone is 2 million dollars. Markell is telling school district to use their EdJobs reserve funding to backfill his cuts and it’s unlikely funds will be restored next year and it’s going to hit the $$$$ fan! Can you spell referendum time?

Did Delaware legislators slip in verbiage on HB#100 ? But it get’s worse OMG

HOUSE BILL NO. 100

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR PERSONS WITH ACCESS TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

“This Bill revises the background checks required in public schools by broadening the requirement to include all contractors or their employees – such as construction workers or computer service workers – who will be present for any reason on school premises.  It forbids access to anyone recently convicted of a violent felony or who is listed as a serious offender on the State’s Child Protection Registry or who has ever been convicted of a felony sexual offense with a child victim.”

Don’t confuse this bill with HB#205 re: Charter school background checks on charter school boards / boards of directors and charter organizers. HB#100 refers to contractors and their employees.

The verbiage slip I see is no clear reference to “charter schools and even VoTechs”.  We all agree charter schools are public schools but we’ve seen legal text creating gray areas. Classic examples is used in HB#205, “The legislation also requires an annual external audit of charter schools and adds charter schools to the Finance Recovery Team portion of the Delaware Code, which currently applies only to school districts”. The current law referencing this issue doesn’t state “charter schools” and whether it was intentional or a verbiage error I am not sure.

However, Title 15, Chapter 5, 504 (c) states this; c) A charter school shall be considered a public school for all purposes. So if this is the section of the law that clarifies charte schools are public schools for all purposes why then is HB#205 needed?

I may be nit-picking the issue here but the real question is, does the Delaware Department of Education Charter School Office have the capacity to comprehend this law and effectively communicate requirements to Delaware charter schools that this law would apply to them?

HOWEVER sports fan it get’s worse OMG!

The Delaware House of Representatives passed this legislation by a vote of 37 yes, 0 no and 4 absent.

The Delaware Senate made an amendment to the bill as follows;  “This amends House Bill No. 100 to take into account the increase in demand for services by the Delaware State Police State Bureau of identification by allocating the fees generated from criminal history checks to be used to cover the costs incurred and the resources needed by SBI to effectively implement this Act”. by Senator McBride.

The Bill has no fiscal note but original bill puts the burden of cost of background checks on contractors or subcontractors.

So the Senate defeated HB#100 w/SA1 by a vote of 10 yes, 5 no, 5 not voting and 1 absent. appears there needed to be a majority vote?  And guess what? The list of individual vote as to who  voted how wasn’t published like the House vote.

So without this law there is nothing stopping violent felons or even sex offenders working for contractors and / or subcontractors from entering our public schools.

In my opinion this bill failed because it all came down to money as in who pays for background checks and apparent inconvenience to contractors. Did special interest supersede the safety of our school children?