Daily Archives: September 23, 2012

If the Presidential election were today Romney would lose big time

I crossed party lines to vote for Obama in 2008 and it probably got me cut out of Copeland’s will. Well I learned my lesson and won’t be voting for Obama this go-around. Won’t be long I’ll be camping out at Mike Matthews backdoor waiting for scraps destine for his trash can.  I am not too please with Romney these days. I think the Mormons could have done better by sending up Donnie Osmond. Like many frustrated with Romney’s foot in ass and mouth, I’ll vote for him. Washington is going to F us either way so why should I allow Obama to F me again! Whatever!

Its all going to come down to three presidential debates and that is when the voters will lock in their votes! Those debates are October 3, 15 and 22. There will be one debate between Ryan and Biden on October 11. FYI, no third party candidates in these debates. I hear the Newton family is pitching in to buy some plexiglas to cover the TV screen. But in all fairness to Steve, I agree third part candidate should participial in the debates. Steve forget the iced-tea and have a few mudslides.

 But for real, I do think its all going to come down the debates.

Delaware Governor Markell failed to address the cherry picking re: charter schools

Here we go again with another charter school playing the “specific Interest” admission card! Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences!

Preference in Admissions (page 66)

Four classes of students will be afforded preference in the admissions policy of Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences and Sussex Preparatory Academy when filling seats available in any of the grades 6 – 12. These four preferences are rank-ordered, and in cases of limited open positions, students are admitted in the following sequence.

4. Children with Specific Interest in Teaching Methods, Philosophy, or Educational Focus Children with Specific Interest in Teaching Methods, Philosophy, or Educational Focus are defined as “Children who express an interest to be considered for such preference and are identified through an essay and interview submitted during the open application period and evaluated by a committee of the Executive Board. Neither the essay nor the interview will be evaluated based on prior or present academic performance Instead, it will be based on the extent to which the student has an interest and adaptability to the school program. The rubric for such selection is subject to approval by DDOE. The number of special interest preferences will not exceed 5% of the school’s total population.”

Core Philosophy:(see page 18)

Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences has decided to continue with the Expeditionary Learning model that it has used since the school opened. However, in an attempt to give Sussex Preparatory students an academic advantage, the curriculum in the 11th and 12th grades will be layered with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. Below you will find an overview and the philosophy for both Expeditionary Learning and the IB Diploma Programme

Kilroy says: The IB program is being offer at the 11th and 12th grade level and it is clearly noted the IB program is part of the “core philosophy”. The “specific interest” admission preference applies to all applicants grades 6-12. How does a middle school applicant demonstrate “Specific interest” to something they won’t be exposed to until the 11th grade?

“Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences will furnish each applicant with a mission statement, information about Expeditionary Learning and the International Baccalaureate Programme as appropriate, and the Student/Parent/Faculty Success Plan that is signed by the student, the parent, and a faculty member”

Does a 6th grade student have the critical thinking skills to comprehend the IB program and expeditionary Learning? 

What this charter school is asking equates sitting a child down in front of a grand piano and requiring them to play Mozart’s Symphony No. 1.

The following is the mission statement of the Delaware State Board of Education the body of state government that gives final approval of charter school applications. Perhaps they need some retraining in the area of equitable! Charter schools are funded with pubic education dollars and no public schools should place barriers on those applying. We’re back to Markell’s “creaming and skimming of students”. We need one public school system equitable to all students physically, academically and moral.

Mission Statement of the Delaware State Board of Education;

In collaboration with community and stakeholders, the Delaware State Board of Education serves as the primary voice for Delaware citizens on education policy to create a world class education system for every student.

Guiding Principles

  1. Further our thriving democratic society with opportunities for an excellent and equitable education for all students.

  2. Enrich education policymaking with the inclusion of diverse perspectives that represent the breadth and depth of Delaware’s citizens.

  3. Utilize research-based viewpoints to inform decisions in the best interest of all students.

  4. Advocate for the development of the whole child through learning, teaching, and community engagement

Does News Journal have a pro charter school ghost writer

Rules necessary for charter schools News Jounral Opinion Our View

For all of the critics of charter schools in Delaware – and trust us – there are many, Delaware’s new framework for policing their academic and operational standards is the most reasonable approach to hold them accountable to their obligations.

Bullshit! You don’t need a framework committee to see some charter schools aren’t following the financial transparency laws. Like clock work the AG sends FIOA complaints back to the Delaware State Board of Education and the Delaware Department of Education because school boards are protect from “penalty” of law.

Governor Markell has executive power in which he used to require online checkbook registries for all government agencies. Not the best but we do have a better clue as to school expenditures including schools. Also, the governor made an executive order in which P-card expenditures are online. He made these executive orders because the public demanded them. Well Jack here is one more “request”,  make an executive order ordering all school districts, votech districts and all charter schools to record the public session of their school board meetings, Red Clay and Christina does this voluntarily and the Delaware State Board of Education records their meetings as an act of legislation. We don’t need a framework committee for the governor to make executive orders.

In execution, the new rules are the necessary guidance that’s been lacking since 1995 when the first charters were up and running.

But let’s blame the critics for something necessary! What a joke !  

It’s why in the interim, these non-traditional public schools, funded with state taxpayer’s dollars, have had an uneven record of success. Some have failed miserably and deserved the intervention of the state Department of Education to close them down.

Talk to Governor Jack Markell who while running for governor rasied concerns about “creaming and skimming of students” by charter schools. During the onset of desegregation there was the “white-flight” and now with charter schools there is the “bright-fight”. And yes there are many bright at-risk students. This round of “flight” is funded with taxpayer’s dollars. The concerns is traditional public schools are be dismantle by “skimming and creaming of students”.

The perception of failure in Delaware schools is a result of flawed standardized tests such as the DSTP. It took Jack Markell ten years to see that DSTP was flawed. However, the train left the station 10 years age when teachers and parents demanded a growth model based “assessment test”. Norhing gets done until government opens it’s eye and finds a way to take credit. DCAS was already in the pipeline before Markell took office! But yet, somehow Jack Markell takes credit to rid us of the evil DSTP. If DSTP was flawed therefore, the results should be flawed that labeled schools and students failures.

Or as in the case of the Pencader Charter Business and Finance High School – placed on its fourth formal review by the state Board of Education Friday since it opened in 2006 – have found themselves dogged by DOE scrutiny.

No, the Pencader fiasco proved the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware State Board of Education lacks the capacity to effectively provide oversight and proper intervention when a charter school is failing to governor itself within the current charter school framework and to their approved charter agreement with the state.

But let’s be clear the public school establishment in general has much to fear about a growing trend of new charter schools, due to their record of greater student achievement with less resources in terms of building capital and teacher pay.

So were down to taking shots at organized labor. Perhaps DSTP was designed with flaws to degrade the traditional public schools to justify charter schools. Charter schools are corporations so why should the public build buildings for them? And dare let those charter school teachers organize like Delaware College Preparatory Academy! The school just fired two teachers who were part of the bargaining committee.

At the same time the national raft of education reforms from the previous and current presidential administrations has created a “them” and “us” environment between traditional public schools and charters which educate about 10,000 students.

So why not reference the business roundtable? Perhaps the author of this “our view” is someone from the business community.

But Delaware’s new framework is no piece of cake. It now requires measures for student growth on tests, specifically how much progress students are making toward meeting the state standard. So charters that accept below-grade level students are to be held accountable for how little their charges progress academically.

I am confused, didn’t you indicate charter students out perform traditional public school students? Perhaps the needs is all about preparing charter schools for the Smarter Balanced assessment test due to replace DCAS! Hopefully, Delaware DOE is prohibited from messing with cuts scores with this nationalize standardize student assessment test that will also grade teachers.

This makes it easier for parents, who are opting out of costly private school tuition or anxious about their child’s under-whelming test scores in traditional secondary schools, to make informed choices about charters.

They are opting out because the racist in within the power-grid of education found a way to re-segregate public schools. I don’t think these parents will be sending their children to racially identifiable school with near 100% poverty. Amazing  “to make informed choices about charters.” Why not to make informed choices about traditional schools that met and exceed the standards?

This is the much-needed path that Delaware’s new Secretary of Education Mark Murphy frames as providing “the clarity the schools need to constantly improve.”

So now Murphy is reprehensible for the call for the framework? He refused to demand better financial transparency and transparency of charter school boards like Pencader. Of course Murphy knows nothing about Pencader’s next board meeting this week and in which board member resigned and OMG who the next board president is! But don’t worry, Murphy is watching them daily!