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Monthly Archives: September 2011
You know me, I love to rant! However, this might be my shortest post. Answer the following question. Where is the line between schools failing and parents failing?
Equity for poor children was the initial impulse behind the enactment of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. But that concept has faded as memories of the 1960s civil rights campaigns recede and the “unit of change” becomes schools, rather than individual kids.
The Race to The Top is a four-year federal grant program and in four years it will be gone.
The NCLB waiver Markell seeks is nothing more than a means to distort data to make it appear his education agenda is working. If Delaware is one of the leaders in education why does it need a wavier?
The greatest need in Delaware public schools is parental and community engagement. The $8.2 billion dollars Markell sent to Wireless Generation for “data” coaches should have went towards parent coaches. Delaware received $119 million dollars in Race to The Top grant. I think that would have went a long way supporting program that would have better united parents and teachers.
All of Red Clay’s school except Cab and Conrad have a clear cut Choice process. All students whose feeder pattern assigns them to a particular school are guaranteed a seat. Therefore, if there are no seats available even in district students can be denied. Fair enough! However, with Cab and Conrad being all Choice with no so-called feeder pattern there are issues. As far as Conrad the board has clarified, students living within the old Conrad feeder-pattern have a preference over out of district students. This is because, Red Clay failed to seek modification of their approve Neighborhood School Plan which is associated with the lifting of the desegregation order aka to some force-busing. By making Conrad an all Choice school it reassigned “neighborhood” children to attend other district middle schools further away from home which infringes on the law that was meant to protect them. We can rant on the finer details of this Red Clay’s underhanded action. However, parents of students living in the old Conrad feeder-pattern have a legal argument. The district apparently made an error by not putting a map of the old Conrad feeder pattern online and I hope it returns soon. Here me well, many issues regarding education are being brought to the legislators. Conrad has no legal right to exclude students within the old feeder pattern and in-district students over out of district students. Magnet schools are not charter and Red Clay must serve Red Clay students first!
Re: Cab Galloway School of the Arts is a district magnet school. Many in Delaware think Cab is a charter school. It’s not ! To gain admission into Cab one must demonstrate a certain level of talent based on a point system. Red Clay students can be bumped out by out of district students with a higher score aka more talented.
As far as I see it, Cab is a school for learning and the district has an obligation to teach. No part of any state of federal assessments holds Cab accountable for the arts. Cab wants to selected the best possible talented students and has room for the average. However, Cab excludes students with poor talent. So rather than admit student with interest and desire, they reject. The fact remains, those student who complete the application “shows interest.” The interest gauge should not be determined by the judging applicants. Red Clay is not American Idol and has no right crushing hopes and dream of children.
The Red Clay administration and board’s first obligation is to Red Clay students and their Red Clay taxpaying parents. Red Clay’s job is to teach and educate ! So if a student who has dreams, hope, desire and interest in the arts aren’t world-class perhaps Cab should have teachers adapt to work with these kids.
The Red Clay school board reviewing the Choice policy must end this cherry picking bullshit and step-up to their responsibility to all “Red Clay” students and not allow Cab to discard children like emotional trash. Can we at least meet have-way and give Red Clay students with a minimum Cab score of 60% a preference. No Red Clay student should ever be denied a seat over an out of district student. Cab is indeed unique and is a gem to be proud of. But we can do better for these kids.
How is it that when a Red Clay school fails to meet standards it get’s another chance and when a Red Clay student doesn’t meet a talent level set by Cab they don’t even get one chance?
Those two viewpoints were traded and debated for a second night Wednesday at the second of three Public Service Commission public hearings on whether fuel-cell generator-maker Bloom Energy should be able to cover part of its costs with profits from higher bills for electric ratepayers, who each would have to pay an estimated average of $1 more per month over the 21-year life of the planned contract
Taxing the public to subsidizes private corporations?????????????? NO!!!!!
Proponents of the proposal who spoke at the hearing — including the State Chamber of Commerce, state Rep. John Kowalko and the chief of the Delaware Contractors Association — argued that was a small price to pay to gain a cutting-edge technology, 2,034 direct and indirect jobs and a $583 million boost in the state’s gross domestic product.
“We are hemorrhaging jobs,” Kowalko testified. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it is going to be successful and it will be worth the riskwe are taking. … We have to take this chance.”
John I’ve come to like you but perhaps it’s time to reduce state legislators pay and benefits so that they too can feel the pain! If this cutting-edge technology is going to be so successful where are the fucking investors?
The subsidy that Bloom Energy would net from the deal is part of an incentive package Gov. Jack Markell’s administration pulled together to persuade the California startup to build what will be its East Coast production center in Newark. State taxpayers also are contributing $16 million through job incentive grants.
So you gave them $16 million dollars of the taxpayers money! OK agreed, we need attract more industry. But adding a new tax on the people after they allowed you to spend $16 million dollars ? NO Jack ! King George Markell that’s what we’ll call you! Show us your stock portfolio King George!
Small businesses would be hard-hit by extra costs at a time when burdens already are great, said Bruce Bachman, of Wilmington.
“In my experience, this is a no-brainer. It fails,” he said. “Fundamentally, it’s a tax, a tax on Delmarva ratepayers, so it’s discriminatory. … How is that fair? How is that legal?”
We’ll Bruce it looks like Markell and Kowalko don’t give a fuck about fairness and people who struggle everyday because they failed in Dover. The money Minner pissed away in land deals could have help this cause. Let’s reduce retirement and healthcare cost for elected officials to equalize their financial status to some of retired senors living on fixed income. Yea just a dollar a month and then comes Red Clay with their cup of coffee for a new school in Hockessin. Then comes the water company and electric company for rate increases. Let’s not forget the butcher , the baker and the candlestick maker! Let too will feel the price of inflation.
We need an investigation to find out if Markell made some kind of promise to Bloom about raising taxes to further subsidized Bloom. If the PSC says no does that mean the Bloom is not coming to Delaware?
I can assure you this, Markell owns the PSC and they will vote yes for this save Jack Markell’s political career!
Rick Perry today spread a web video accusing Mitt Romney of taking two sides on a centerpiece of Barack Obama’s education policy, Race to the Top. The issue came up in Thursday’s debate in Orlando and Romney distanced himself from earlier comments, made a few days earlier in Miami. But in attacking Romney, Perry is by extension taking a shot at Jeb Bush, who has praised Obama’s initiatives.
“Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top … that is not conservative,” Perry said in the debate, a line echoed in the web ad. The Washington Post notes that Perry selectively edited out the end of Romney’s remarks, where he says “but for me, get that back to the state level.”
Romney this more test for students is a good thing? Just loss my support!
And What about Newt Gingrich, one of Duncan’s Race to The Top pool boys?
Gingrich loss my vote when he dropped to his knees like Jack Markell
Gold Star to Fisker’s product placement on Two and a Half Men!
Ashton Kutcher’s character Walden Schmidt drives a Fisker.
I’ve been keeping posted on what’s going on with Pencader and Reach via their webpage. They both made a commitment to be more transparent and hand amazing public.
Pencader’s new webpage design is pretty good and is being updated. Soon the links will be filled with helpful and informative information. Sure some say they still have issues but it takes more than a few weeks to crawl out of a hold dug by others. Let’s no rehash Pencader’s yesterday and move forward. But we all have a responsibility to demand transparency of Pencader and all Delaware public and charter schools.
I am challenging Pencader and all public and charter schools to get on board with putting digital recordings of the public sessions of board meetings online with Red Clay, Christina and yes, the Delaware State Board of Education. The momentum is building for legislation requiring all Delaware public schools and charter school to move out of the darkness and join the digital-age.
I’ll use a Red Clay referendum tatice: If you support kids you’ll support transparency of school board meetings :). Title1 funding can be used for equipment as a means to enhance and improve prenatal involvment and communication. School and district receiving Title 1 funding must have a parental involvement policy.
A recent Huffington Post article stated, “Under No Child Left Behind, the Secretary of Education may waive provisions of the law for states in need, but he has no explicit authority to ask states to adopt reforms in exchange. In August, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Obama had approved plans to, in effect, reform the law without going through Congress: The secretary would waive specific provisions of the law in exchange for states agreeing to adopt favored reforms. The expanded waiver process is the administration’s attempt to implement its own reforms, and the process comes with political risk.”
Local school boards are quick to tell parents and the public their hands are tied and parents need to contact their state legislators. But at the same time their superintends engage in backroom deals with the likes of Delaware Governor Jack Markell. The federal government aka Arne Dunca is buying their way in to changes state education laws to support plans like Race to The Top that shifts needed funding for more teachers and smaller class sizes and sends that funding to Wall Street education consultants firms.
Governor Markell promised to invest more on Delaware schools buts has cut state funding each year while in office. By now many local board members are on to this bullshit RTTT / PZ agenda. It’s time to say no! And if DEDOE wants to takeover a school let them! Shove it up their ass and see how well they will do!
Our local Delaware state legislators sit around with their heads and thumbs up their asses clueless to the train wreck heading our way! Markell will once again cut state funding to local public and charter schools next year !
The local taxpayers will revolt when ask to approved referendums that are nothing more than a means to back fill state cuts and support federal intrusions. This cup of coffee a day and it’s for the kids referendum tactics is bullshit! I have no problems supporting real needs but not Markell’s agenda that takes money from the kids and then tell local taxpayers to step-up!
Message to the Tea Party of Delaware; to take back a nation requires taking back each state. I think we can agree “we” don’t want the federal government intruding on local contrail of any kind. It’s obvious the Delaware GOP isn’t going to challenge Obama / Duncan’s violation of federal law NCLB and just push it aside to advance a Wall Street agenda to feed $$$ off of our taxes! Markell will win another term as governor because he lacks opponents with balls!
Obama calls for minorities to stop crying and get up and at the same time local Republicans hide under a rock because the Delaware Political Star Chamber tells them to stand-down. Markell is nothing but a Wall Street Trojan Horse that not only let’s Wall Street ed consultants come in but he also shits on us with them.
Education reform is expanding faster than the Universe and as it does more money goes to administrative cost and consultants. If we dare to question hard working unionized teachers we should dare confront this agenda and the lazy soul sucking Wall Street pigs! They fucked up your investments, 401K’s, pension funds, the housing market and the economy. Do we really want to allow them to have a great role in public education?????????? Show us your stock portfolio Governor Jack Markell.
I am here to tell you Jack Markell does not deserve a second-term and whether it big a Republican or even a Delaware Democrat that primaries him, out schools, students and taxpayers will be better off. We need a leader with vision not shit-glasses!
Now is the time for our school board members to draw the line between Dover and Washington. Don’t tell the public your hands are tied and they need to contact their elected officials at the same time you fail to stand!
A good education is a privilege all children should have by Henry Schleifer, a former intern for Vice President Joe Biden’s White House communications office, began a master’s program at Georgetown University in Public Policy this month
Unfortunately, not enough kids are getting these chances. A kid from Brandywine Hundred is no smarter than one from East Wilmington. I firmly believe that every kid can learn if given the opportunity. A child’s future should not be determined by their family’s wealth, but by their wealth of knowledge.
Henry, every public school student in Delaware is given equal opportunity but the question remains is that opportunity equatable? Joe Biden is on the Race to The Top bandwagon that includes more charter schools. Yet in Delaware the charter schools laws allow discrimination by intelligence via a “Specific Interest” clause written by those deeply rooted in the negativity of desegregation known in Delaware as forced busing. Delaware has a Choice school law that allows students to select their school through a Choice application process. However, Delaware does not provide adequate equatable Choice transportation. Therefore, high poverty students whose parents don’t have reliable transportation to drive their child to a bus stop within the Choice school aren’t benefiting due to inequities. But Henry, the opportunity seed must be planted and nurtured. Parents are their child’s first and most important teachers and the education illness in America can only be overcome when treatment includes the family, students, community and government. Intervention must be from come from society as a whole.
Barriers have to be overcome by poor and minorities who must content with discriminatory racial barriers. Do employers favor a college degree from the University of Delaware over one from Delaware State University? Opportunity is not equal in itself and it is the perseverance of the person seeking opportunity that will achieve goals.
So as I ponder the futures of these college freshmen, I know I cannot imagine the obstacles some have conquered. Many of their fellow classmates might take their education for granted. But I can assure you that Gustavo does not.
Henry, why ponder on their futures because they have arrived (college)! If you take time to imagine those conquered obstacles you might see the layers of barriers that hold poor children and even not so poor children back. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Teacher cannot be a 24/7 guardian for a student. Even social-workers aren’t equipped to ensure the homes are functional.
We must work tirelessly to reduce these opportunity gaps and craft a more equitable future. We must build a society where every child has the ability to learn from a good teacher in a good school, even if they don’t live in the ‘good’ neighborhood. All children can learn — let’s give them the chance.
A private is only good as his general and the commander of Delaware teachers is Jack Markell who appointed himself czar of Delaware Public schools. Rather then Race to The Top, Markell decided to ask for the NCLB Wavier and retreat backwards. Speaking of neighborhoods, why does your mentor Joe Biden sit back and not question the lack of middle and high schools in Wilmington Delaware in the parts Red Clay Consolidated Schools District is responsible for? I am pretty sure Joe own’s property in Red Clay. Delaware has a Neighborhood School Law that was to require all students to attend the closest school to their home. Red Clay keeps building new suburban schools claiming to met the needs of those community but at the same time refuses to acknowledge and address the apparent deliberate deficiencies in middle and high school services to the city of Wilmington Delaware. Ask Joe about the A.I. desegregation revolution and those who wore black armbands saying Save A.I.?
Henry, perhaps you can answer this question. Why is it a bunch of rich white guys are driving school reform and support the expansion of Wall Street consultants like Wireless Generation subsidiarity of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation?Also, don’t you think it’s odd that Jeb and Neil Bush are cashing in on NCLB. Education has become a profit center and those profits aren’t buying needed teachers or reducing class-sizes. Joe Biden supports smaller class-sizes but Mayor Bloomberg and Arne Duncan say, class-size doesn’t matter great teachers do! So Henry, here are some complex physical load bearing equation on a beam. Can you help produce a class-size load bearing equation to give us some indication when a great teacher will break under class-size load?
I’ve enjoyed your article and deeply appreciate your interest and apparent passion for public education and societal impact. Somewhere in right or wrong debates are answers and solutions. Sadly when our system of government decides to reform public education they write the blueprint as they go rather than design a blueprint on proven practices first. Kind of like what a designer on an office building does to ensure integrity of the load bearing foundation. Allowing Wall Street to participate in building that foundation for public education when at a time Wall Street can’t carry the weight of it’s responsibility of the economy and your’s and my investments for our personal future will harm the poorest. Also, shouldn’t we be concern with the federal government intrusion in local control of local schools? It seems everything the government does is near bankrupt or is bankrupt. Schools cannot just print more money they must bear the weight with resources provide and with Wall Street coming in for the money grab that foundation is deeply undermined
Do please excuse my ignorance as I don’t make bones about my GED and pocketful of college credits. College wasn’t a word spoken in my home as we were a blue-collar family believing hard work in industries would bear the same livable fruits as my parents. No one every dreamed our own government would support sending American jobs to communist China. But I must take responsibility for myself.
Henry, when you get to Washington using your Masters in Public Policy please be careful not to be indoctrinated in a way that desensitizes you from the reality of the world beyond the beltway. Outside the beltway we’re required to balance our checkbook. Give my regards to Joe and please ask him if he plans on visiting China to keep Champ home. We don’t want Champ served up in a Chinese State Dinner!
Looks like Red Clay didn’t get the Certificate of Necessity ” All DOE CN’s on hold” (slide 5)
DOE Accepts Application – 7/6/11
DOE requests revision to phasing – 8/8/11
All DOE CN’s on hold (as of 9/20/11)
Here we go again ! Tough I question the need for a new school building I support the other part of the capital referendum 100%. Looks like Delaware Governor Jack Markell wants to put the breaks on Red Clay’s referendum until after 2012 election. Red Clay intended on going to referendum this November 2011. However, Markell’s DOE put the hold on all CN’s. “Capital” Referendums are split 60% state share and 40% local share. Red Clay claims to need $92.7 million dollars. So the state would have to fork-over $55.6 million dollars.
Makrell could be playing games to support Obama’s newest job stimulus bill. In it he is saying money would go towards repairing school building and new school buildings. Perhaps Markell will get on the poor-mouth soapbox and blame Republicans who oppose another stimulus bill. Or, Markell could be holding out to see if it passes. Jack really amazes me! He talks all this bullshit about investing in public education and balks at it and reduces state funding to our schools every year that he has been in office. Now it looks like he is saying bite me for capital improvement needs.
I am upfront about questioning the need for a new school on Graves Road but support the other part of the referendum 100% and I am sure the referendum question will be in two-parts. One for a new school and the other for repair needs to other schools. But this is a local question and there is no need for Markell to lock-down funding. Me, I’ll blow my horn and if the voters support a new school I’ll pay! Like always!
So if you don’t support the referendum do nothing or if you support it in part or all call Jack Markell and tell him to get his head out of his ass! And whatever you do don’t call your local legislators because they have become lame and just kiss Jack’s ass! Seems like our legislators are last to know wants going on in the streets. Like Arne Duncan, Markell thinks he is above the law.
Charter and Choice Payments projected to increase to ~$12.3 Million (~$1 M increase)
Christina 2012 projected Charter School Impact (Christina students attending charters)
Academy of Dover Charter School 2
Campus Community Charter School 2
Charter School of Wilmington 172
Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security 80
Delaware College Preparatory Academy 95
Delaware Military Academy 116
East Side Charter School 130 154
Family Foundation Academy 243
Gateway Lab School 67
Kuumba Academy Charter School 124
Las Americas Aspira Academy 156
Maurice J. Moyer Academy 65
MOT Charter School 28
Newark Charter School 1,283
Odyssey Charter School District 105
Pencader Business and Finance Charter High School 271
Positive Outcomes Charter School 2
Prestige Academy 145
Providence Creek Academy Charter School 5
Reach Academy for Girls 92
Thomas A. Edison Charter School 290
Total 3,535 (3,181 last year) PLUS 637 loss students to Choice a total of 4172 students.
First, I must say Christina’s financial report is amazing and VERY informative.
I wonder, with the new NCLB waivers will DEDOE hold off on approving more charter schools? Puzzled by that comment ? Well, since NCLB has been deemed flawed therefore the basis to measure school success must also be flawed. The community cry for more charter schools are based on failing traditional schools. I am starting to think NCLB was a Bush setup that had a predicable outcome that would drive the need for charter schools. But it’s odd ! Race to The Top / PZs put charter schools on the list of approved turnaround plans. Is that another agenda? Seems like NCLB was a bit of a Titanic dragging all the public schools down. Duncan’s Race to The Top is being sold like the QE2 bringing public schools up to first-class. Shouldn’t we stop adding more charter schools to give the new reforms and NCLB waivers time to address the so-called failing schools?
Delaware unionized teachers have been taking an ass-whipping being blamed for failing schools when in fact the means (NCLB) to measure schools was flawed. In Delaware DSTP was flawed and DCAS is now the savoir.
As for Christina, that’s a big $$$$$$$$$ bite! Must hurt cutting those checks to charters!
I don’t see a detailed breakdown (Choice / Charter student count) on Red Clay’s Preliminary 2012 Budget but I do see an expenditure line of $5,159.832.00 but it’s less than last year by $212,205.00. Get this, Red Clay has a Choice income of 2,086,298.00. Red Clay does not provide a detail list of loss and gain in students as a result of Choice or Charter. I’ll work on it ! A+for Christina for such detail and transparency.
I will be posting information here on Red Clay Now. I will try to post information as often as I can, but I am extremely busy, like everyone these days. There is so much going on in the district and I would like to share it with you. Please do not come on this site and use foul language or talk about anyone, I am not running a gossip blog.