Monthly Archives: October 2011

Job opportunity for Lowery! Go out on top Lil !

Forums held on search for Grasmick’s successor

EASTON The search for the new Maryland State Superintendent of Schools began Thursday on the Eastern Shore as a search firm hosted two forums in Easton to gather information from the public.

Longtime State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick retired in June and the Maryland State Board of Education hired firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to lead the search for Grasmick’s successor. A timetable to find Grasmick’s successor has not been set.

Lil go out on top before the truth about Markell’s education plan gets out! Many educators in this state respect you and I’ll bet if we separate your post from being partisan you could make a real difference. Minner gave Val some space to do her job and all Minner wanted was to add programs like SEED and Minner Math and Reading Teacher. Minner kept the Rodel /Vision 2015 people at bay and didn’t give them critical jobs within DEDOE like Jack did. Jack is too far in over his head and is making a mess. Rather than giving back he takes back via state budget cuts. How is that investing in education?

I watched the USDOE RTTT interview and Skipper tried to upstage you a few times. Skipper should have never been at that table. DOE Dan is a loyal solider but he is getting to be a liability. Leave him behind and he’ll make a good understudy for your replacement, Preacher Boy. The odds makers have Markell winning another term and two years in you know you better be gone. Yes there is that job down in FairFax coming open 2013 but do you really want to be that close to Arne?


DMA kicking around opening a preschool charter school


Are children victims of failed traditional and charter schools?

Comments under this post Pennsylvania moves towards school vouchers leads to this question; Are children victims of failed transitional and charter schools?

Let be objective!

By victims, I mean students who aren’t being properly educated to at least state standards.

Charter schools in Delaware have operated for the last ten year and I think it time to declare the “experiment” over and make final assessment to what works and what does not.

As we enter yet another round of education reform I think its fair to say education reform has it’s victims. Teachers are also victims because reform agendas forces teachers to comply even if those plans are unproven or obviously flawed. Sadly when reform efforts don’t work its often blamed on ineffective teachers. So when I reference “failing traditional schools” I am not necessarily saying teachers are failing.

When I brought up school vouchers in a previous post those commenting didn’t seem too in favor of them. This comment really made me step back, response to Arthur,  “Arthur, I agree that children of a failed charter shouldn’t be given vouchers – sorry if I wasn’t clear. They should be returned to their feeder school. If the parent doesn’t want them to attend their feeder school, then the parent can either find another charter or pay tuition for a private school.” This issue isn’t about who said it. The issue is what was said.

The comments suggest that if a student leaves a failing traditional public school for a charter school and if that charter school fails and is closed by the state, the student should just go back to their feeder school or find another charter. But I support a child in this case receives a school voucher equaling the per student cost of the charter school ordered closed. Call it victim compensation.

Then we have those so concerned with issues of separation  of church and state. Point well taken and here is Delaware State Constitution Article X Section 3; “No portion of any fund now existing, or which may hereafter be appropriated, or raised by tax, for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of any sectarian, church or denominational school; provided, that all real or personal property used for school purposes, where the tuition is free, shall be exempt from taxation and assessment for public purposes.” So technically in Delaware we have a very long way to put in place a school voucher system “unless” it only applied to  no religious private schools.

It obvious with the enactment of the Delaware charter school law traditional schools have failed creating victims (students) whereas it was necessary to create a new type of learning environment call charter schools. I don’t think referring to students of failed schools as victims is far from the truth. Also, if traditional public schools were meeting needs there wouldn’t be the need for school choice. So those parents who Choice their child into another traditional school or district must feel the current school isn’t meeting their child’s needs. When a student doesn’t obtain a seat in another school via Choice the parents starts yelling their child is a victim.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell has been talking tough lately about making sure we only approve great charter schools. However, Jack is just sucking up to teachers unions sowing the seeding for election year 2012. Markell appears to have no remorse when his DEDOE trolls poise themselves to close a charter school. Sure, perhaps we should close charter and trational schools that victimize students. However, in the case of charter school our governor has no plans to address the needs of those students forced out of closed charter schools. I think at best we need to see a state plan that addresses this issue and for sure I will be taking this up with state legislators during 2012 session.

Markell’s state education funding wrecking-ball exposed

Early 2013 budget numbers being shared with Educators. Posted on October 27, 2011 by Wolfe Gary  Education and Community News from Home Town Delaware

FY 2012 Loss Based On 2008 Amount Per Unit
Appoquinimink ($3,216,675)
Brandywine ($6,967,025)
Christina ($10,594,538)
Colonial ($4,208,339)
NCCVT ($3,839,781 )
Red Clay ($9,297,025)
Caesar Rodney ($2,374,300)
Capital ($3,244,120)
Lake Forest ($1,591,437)
Milford ($2,757,148)
Poly tech ($554,096)
Smyrna ($2,906,050)
Cape Henlopen ($2,506,117)
Delmar ($814,812)
Indian River ($2,334,774)
Laurel ($1,803,148)
Seaford ($1,787,634)
SVT ($862,796)
Woodbridge ($1,357,726)
Total all Districts: ($63,017,540)

Target the message that the “Foundation is Crumbling”. While we have the benefit of many short-term funding initiatives (i.e. Race to the Top) the core K-12 public education finance structure is not sufficient to maintain current service and performance levels.

Jack Markell aka Skipper’s “change agent” has caused more damaged to public education than the last five governors combined ! Markell shovels all the bullshit how we need to invest more in public education and then turns around and cuts $63 million dollars in state funding to our local schools. And when the RTTT grant funding dries-up those RTTT initiative funding needs will default back on the local taxpayers.

Go go to the link above and read the rest of Education and Community News from Home Town Delaware post!

Just think, Markell is going to walk into another term in office. Less money for local schools including charters and more for Wall Street ed companies! GO FIGURE ! Yes more state education cuts coming in 2013!

Pennsylvania moves towards school vouchers

Pa. Senate approves school voucher bill


A major proposal to spend more taxpayer money to help possibly tens of thousands of lower-income families in Pennsylvania avoid struggling public schools  and afford the cost of private or parochial school tuition for their children passed the state Senate.

So far, the Republican governor has not necessarily endorsed the “school choice” bill as something he would sign, and it goes to the House where Republican leaders have made no promises about whether they can cobble together enough votes for a school-voucher bill that primarily targets Philadelphia and other urban districts represented by Democrats.

I am not the biggest fan of school vouchers. However, like with charter schools I support school choice. We should only have one public school systems with academic and vocational options within but the management of that system is a complete failure. Here in Delaware, the Delaware Department of Educatiion was high-jacked by Delaware Governor Markell who has strong ties the Rodel Foundation as a former board member and recipient of campaign contributions by Rodel’s founders. Markell has allowed Rodel’s Vision 2015 to become part of Delaware school reform movement. The taxpayers of Delaware should tar and feather the governor and sending packing. Vision 2015 has some merits but the political obsession to make it part of school reform is very distasteful.

I feel the Delaware legislators should consider legislation the provides school vouchers for students of failed charter schools if the Delaware Department of Education doesn’t secure seats in another charter school or traditional school with a rating of Superior or Commendable with direct transportation provided to students. It is clear the failure of Delaware charter schools are in part due to the department of education’s capacity-gap in understanding their role. We have a system in Delaware where central education leaders are partisan to a political agenda  and who are fixated on authoritarian approach to  charter school approval and oversight whereas that responsibility should include a partnership approach. Markell has failed to see the ego trips coming out of DEDOE. DEDOE allows the school management company assigned to the Moyer Charter School to operate in the dark. DEDOE charter school officals sit back acting as it Moyer is like all other charter schools. Well the fact is , Moyer was taken over by the state and it’s DEDOE job to ensure day to day operations are sound. Speaking of Moyer, a rumor or half truth is floating around DOE Dan has approached Pencader charter school to consider taking some of Moyer’s 12 graders suggesting Moyer will be closed. Odds are not true but somethings in Delaware the truth always comes out via rumors. But the new charter application approved for yes , The New Maurice Charter School to start school year 2011-2012 includes using failed K12.Inc and a school vendor. Now tell me, why would DOE Dan allow such a charter plan to move forward?

So yes to school vouchers in the case of failed charter schools. Why should parents be force to send their children back to the failing traditional schools. But wait! With NCLB waivers many of those failing traditional schools now appear not failing! Maybe its not a bad idea to have school vouchers to get all children and parents out of this Delaware smoke and mirrored school reform and rating system. Lets put full $$$ control in the parents hand not some Wall Street puppet’s hand like Jack Markell.

Race to The Top message from downstate Delaware

Unspoken side of Race to the Top plans Education and Community News from Home Town Delaware

Just recently RTTT has been finding its way into the News Journal again as the Governor is telling how the grant has helped improve education. Well one part of this plan that has not been discussed is one I’d like to open discussions on as it has come up in our district recently. Besides the accountability plans, that are still not finalized, the 90 minute collaborative planning time was a major issue with districts up and down the state.

Race to the Top is like building a house without a blueprint!

Duncan wants kids in school 365 days a year

Back to school: Duncan says kids get too much vacation [VIDEO]

“I think kids should be in school 365 days a year. Now, I’m a little hard-lined there, not everyone agrees with me,” Duncan told TheDC after being honored by the Combined Federal Campaign on Monday in Washington.

“In all seriousness,” Duncan said, “particularly in disadvantaged communities, we know that summer reading loss is a huge problem, and so where children don’t have access to museums and libraries during the summer, having them be in school in those months to continue learning, that’s the right thing to do.”

Obama needs to start drug screen for his staff!

Oregon City school district say no thank you to Duncan’s Teacher Bonus Grant

School District Says No To Teacher Bonus Grant NPR

An Oregon school district has rejected more than $2.5 million in federal funds. Oregon City — just south of Portland — turned down money that would have given performance-based pay bonuses to teachers, a controversial part of the Obama administration’s education policy.

It’s called the Teacher Incentive Fund, and it’s meant to reward results. Oregon City actually applied for the money it’s now turned down.

Good for them! Why should we give teachers a bonus for doing their jobs? Let’s pay them like the professional they are and take that money to help improve those teachers who struggle.

Brandywine School District teachers seeing red !

Teachers came out wearing their RED to show solidarity in their dissatisfaction with bargaining.

Brandywine Education Association Blog

BSD School Board Meeting MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2011

68 Teachers showed up wearing their BEA RED at the BSD School Board meeting tonight.  What a great sight and how proud I was of them.  Thanks so much for joining us making our presence and dissatisfaction known to the Board.  Take a look at everyone

I am not sure if the above is one of bloggers so-called half-truths? Perhaps the News Journal aka the official truth telling could track-down :).

Rand Paul schools the senate on NCLB vs local control

Mike O is on to something re: charter schools

observer, on October 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm said:

Excellent comment on Delaware online about charter schools. Charter schools wanted freedom & now that some are struggling they are claiming there wasn’t enough oversight.

Mike O. says:
October 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

“If charters are failing, the charter experiment is working, even if it didn’t provide the results charter advocates wanted.”

“I thought the whole point of charters was to demonstrate that a school could be managed better and achieve more success at a lower cost, if only it were freed from union rules and the onerous regulations and oversight of the state. And that charters should succeed or fail on their own through competition.”

“What happened? Maybe freedom from rules and oversight isn’t all it was cracked up to be.”

Valid point ! Markell made some comments last week the echos Arne Duncan’s call for “great charter schools.”  Close the bad ones and reward the great ones does make sense. However, what about the victims called children? The state approves a charter school and later decides time to close for financial or academic concerns and parents and children scramble to find a new school. The should be an obligation on Delaware Department of Education to help place students is commendable or superior rated school and accommodate transportation needs. The default plan shouldn’t be go back to your failing district school. DEDOE put their DOE Dan seal of approval on the charter application and should be held accountable.

The success of charter schools and even traditional public schools is now skewed by NCLB waivers that reset the accountability clock  and lower the bar. Also, DEDOE has a major capacity-gap in the charter school approval and oversight process.

Yep I think the charter school experimental phase is over and we now know what works and what doesn’t. Skimming and creaming of students as Markell put’s it aka admission process using specific interest works. So why not model all charter schools using that technique? Wait, I’ll be fair, there are other charter schools that do have open admission with a transparent lottery process. Why should charter schools be allow to open using an unproven model? Perhaps they should be required to adopt a model of a proven “superior” charter school.

I do think it may be time to put another moratorium on charter schools and revisit the charter school laws and approval process. Why should a charter school get two years to prove their plan? Should that plan be a proven one? Mike O you’re on to something! Good call! 

Stop the presses ! Can’t have a moratorium on charter schools because charter schools are part of the approved Race to The Top application.

State board of Ed audio of meeting 10/15/2011 now available

State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 10/15/2011 – Full Playlist

State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 10/15/2011 – Intro
State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 10/15/2011 – Part 1
State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 10/15/2011 – Part 2
State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 10/15/2011 – Part 3

I must say quality of these recordings is outstanding

No support for Obama Jobs Bill re: education unless this

Senate Dems to push Obama’s jobs bill again

Every Republican senator – and three Democrats – voted against a $35 billion bill to help state and local governments avoid laying off 400,000 teachers, firefighters, and police officers.

Before we provide funding to prevent teacher layoffs we need to require states not to decrease state funding to local school districts and charter schools and maintain at least current 2011-2012 state funding levels for the life of the federal stimulus package. Markell forced school districts to use reserved EdJob funding to back-fill his recent cuts. Also, federal money cannot be used for administration or consultants including Teach for America. Local school must fund at least the current level of “teachers” within unit count structure. It time to take care of teacher not administrators and  Wall Street! It time to call Markell out on his so-called investments in public schools at the same time he cuts state funding.

Honestly, I think it’s time to breakdown theis Jobs Bill and vote on it piecemeal. Let’s vote on police and firefighters first and then education with those stipulations.

Great school board debate over at DL

Koch-style Big Money Now in School Board Races October 22nd, 2011 • Related • Filed Under

Real good debate in regards to school board elections going on at Delaware Liberal! Check it out.