Daily Archives: April 21, 2012

Could Delaware via End of Course exams (EOC) be twisted into high school exit exams?

Update April 22, 2012 From blog Children and Educators March 2011 Report to SBOE Fails To Rule Out Exit Exams for Graduation “The DDOE will determine, pending state legislation and subsequent policy decision, whether the EOC assessments will be a requirement for graduation and/or factor in course grades.”

I am counting on Transparent Christina and Children and Educators First to expand on this topic.

By now you all should know about the Common Core Standards Governor Markell signed parents and students up for without public input prior to making the decision. Common Core Standards is tracking to be tied to Smarter Balanced Assessment.  which will be tied to End-of-Course (EOC) exams. All these programs aligned can be manipulated into high school exit exams (my strong opinion). But there seems to be a movement calling into question exit exams. Surely we can blame the unions! How dare they stand in the way of making your kids take a high school exit exam ( being sarcastic). Delaware is already sowing the seeds for  EOCs. See here Delaware End-of-Course Assessments.

From USDOE site “Sufficient items and an EOC test builder enhancement will be  developed to support EOC testing through the Interim Assessment system. Spring 2013 / Fall 2014”

Sure I can be spinning allot bullshit here but like Race to The Top and Common Core Standards Delaware parents did not take part in the decision-making process. Not even Title 1 parents who by law Title 1 Section 1118 are required to be part of the planning and review of programs associated with Title 1. Delaware has a history of buying into education programs and then pouring the Kool-Aid after the fact.

But rest-assure, all this tweaking and changes throughout this round of education reform will have it’s negative impact. Do remember, NCLB was the save-all program! Do remember Delaware DSTP was the reform movement that was going to get it right! Who is benefiting from all this testing and changes in curriculum / standards? Of course I am going to say Wall Street!

I’ve said it before, every-time they go to reform public education more administrators and consultants are added. Also, poverty is a profit center.

Food for thought for you charter school parents and the new charter school queen, all this federal intrusion will disrupt your charter schools and funding as always will be underfunded shift greater financial burden on the schools. Am I lying or not! Didn’t Jack Markell cut transportation funding to local school districts and charter schools last year?

Ron Russo found alive and weighs in on the charter school debate

Charter schools are trial-and-error process Written by RONALD RUSSO

Somewhere along the line, we have lost our focus on what to do with the charter experience. Instead of trying to adapt and apply new ways of running a school, we often see pressure to “get back in the box” and operate traditionally. If we look at the original charter legislation and the initial draft of regulations prepared by Delaware’s Department of Public Instruction, we will arrive at a better understanding of the true purpose of charter schools.

Ron, perhaps the confusion is we’re sold charter schools are public schools and in our minds we think in the traditional way. We need to ditch the term public schools and change it to publicly funded schools. Kind of like contrast between involved parents to engaged parents. Charter schools are not public schools in the traditional way but we need to stop comparing them to traditional public schools in a competitive way when in fact rules of engagement aren’t on a equal playing field.

Delaware is in the midst of an enormous effort to improve public education. Vision 2015 and Race to the Top are doing great things with what we can do to provide a world-class education for all students but, as you can see from the draft regulations above, more has to be done with how schools operate. Decision-making must be brought to the building level. Principals need to develop the skills necessary to assume full control of their schools in partnership with their teachers and approval of parents.

Race to The Top might set the stage for more charter schools. However, Race to The Top will intrude on charter schools unique status of self autonomy. Principals are puppets of supers and are limited in their authority to be creative and empowerment.  Many get to those positions by being a “yes” person even if what they are told to do goes against rational logic. Perhaps traditional schools should have school level board of directors who have a say in managing allotted school level discretionary spending. During Red Clay’s financial meltdown recovery, building administrators we required to ask permission to spend every penny in efforts to generate a surplus to pay back the DE DOE bailout.

The charter law may require infrequent tweaking. Originally, a charter school could administer its funds outside the state financial system. My board and I decided it was best to keep our funds in the state system, and I later supported a change to the law to remove that option

The law “must” be reviewed and at-best on a three-year cycle. However, DE DOE Charter School Office fails to adhere to the required yearly charter school report that helps us analyze charter school impact internally. If it wasn’t for Miss Finnan who kept dogging state legislators we wouldn’t of had a report this year! The first since Markell took office. The DE DOE charter school offices appears to have a cluster-fuck mentality driven by ego. The Newark Charter mess was a result of inattentive charter school review committee who operate their way and pretty much defaces the law and sticks their asses in the faces of those who raise concerns. HOPEFULLY, with change coming in the way a new secretary of education we’ll clean up the mess in regards to charter school approvals and oversight. Lets blame the unions all we want but, its lack of leadership in Markell’s education circus that is causing more damage.

“If districts are building new schools today to accommodate increased demand, then that rationale is no longer valid and charter schools should be eligible for capital funds.”

Come on old friend! Are you bucking for Kendall’s job? Give it time as she can’t get off the runway! Ron, perhaps we need to end capital referendums for traditional schools and put the responsibility on state legislators like with votechs?

Hope all is well old friend.

Did News Journal tip-off who next DE Sec of Ed will be ?

Schools chief Lowery leaving; Cabinet member to become chief of Md. public schools. Written by NICHOLE DOBO The News Journal

Kind of odd that the News Journal only noted comments from  Susan Bunting! “Her knowledge, personality, her experiences have been vast and that has helped Delaware,” said Susan Bunting, superintendent of the Indian River School District.

DOE mouse has been spitting out Bunting names as a possible replacement for Lowery!   Hey Lois Lane, what do you know? Hey Clark Kent, I think Lois is going to scoop you on this one! 🙂 Hey Clark, here’s Lois’s laptop password, “superboy”! LOL 🙂

High School Exit Exam for Delaware students??

Ok folks, this post is hatched from a previous post in reference to Special Ed re: Diploma / Certificate.

In conversation of previous post I suggested an exit exam for Delaware high school students that will determine a diploma or certificate of completions. I agree with NCS Dad the powers to be won’t go for it! However, my point is via the pressures of social promotion we have students walking the stage and being handed a high school diploma for perhaps less than a high school level education. In some respect the diploma is just a certificate of completing.

STOP THE PRESSES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!! I was just on Red Clay’s school profiles to look for some data in relationship with this post and I happen to trip across Brandywine Springs Elementary Schools  data. How did this school get to a rating of one star “Academic Watch”? Looking closer, I see some odd trends. Grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 have a 100% pass rate. Also, comparing grade population from years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 I’ve noticed a drop from for an example from grade 5 with 138 students in 2010-2011 to 99 6th grade students in 2011-2012 meaning 39 students appear to have not stayed at Brandywine. Looks like they choice to other middle schools or perhaps to charters. My point is why wasn’t Brandywine Springs inviting enough for these students to stay? I am very shocked to see the poor rating for Brandywine Springs!!! Brandywine missed nearly all class size caps. SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!! Brandywine has only 14.1% poverty and is 85.4% White ! Well there goes the high poverty drag on school analogy and predominantly white schools do better theory! OMG! Look at the number of teachers with Masters and Masters +   Are we in Kansas yet?? Damn, look at the DCAS scores for Brandywine Springs!  Reading all above 70% some pushing 90%. Math about the same!

Did expanding Brandywine Springs from K-5 to K-8 overburden the school and its resources? Did out of control Choice drag this school down? Who fell asleep at the wheel?