Daily Archives: January 17, 2013

Delaware charter schools not required to offer summer school?

Wow! Take a look at this complaint against Family Foundation Academy Charter School. (October 20, 2012)

FFA does not, however, provide a summer school program for this purpose. Parent sought intervention from FFA’s school board without success. Parent subsequently enrolled Student in a private tutoring program over the summer providing 30 hours of instruction in math. Parent believed the private tutoring would provide Student with “credit” for math to allow her promotion to the 9th grade. But, FFA refused to promote Student to the 9th grade based on the math instruction she received over the summer.

Family foundation’s contentions is the student failed math because, “Rather, Student’s primary issues are described as being overly talkative, social, and distracted by the presence of peers”. “Nor is there is any evidence Parent or school personnel requested a special” The parent claimed their child was ADD.

The complaint alleges Family Foundations Academy Charter School (“FFA”) violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education (“IDEA”) and corresponding state and federal regulations by failing to evaluate Student to determine her eligibility for special education related services education evaluation.

I realize the core complaint is the parents claims their child is ADD and Family Foundation Academy Charter failed to provide evaluation. Read through the complain BUT, I find it interest the student failed math and was not promoted to the 9th grade. It appears Family Foundation Academy doesn’t offer summer school and was not obligated to provide special services because the deemed student not Special Ed. However it appears the parents paid for private summer school for 30 hours to make up the math credit and it appears even with the private summer school paid by the parent the student still wasn’t promoted.

Parent believed the private tutoring would provide Student with “credit” for math to allow her promotion to the 9th grade. But, FFA refused to promote Student to the 9th grade based on the math instruction she received over the summer.

WTF ?? This charter school doesn’t provide summer school and disallows summer school credits from a private summer school program! Forget about all the ADD / disability claim by the parents and dispute by Family Foundations. Even if the student was disruptive causing her to fail the class and be held back, there still should be a summer school option either by the school and if not offered, parents should be able to enroll their child in a private program and that credit be accepted. Is best for the student to be held back as a lesson not to be disruptive in math or was the consequence to the student attending summer school at the cost of the parent lesson enough, Something is very wrong here!

Kilroy’s Final Jeopardy QTD ? #netDE

Can some please tell me for fact if Delaware public school districts charge parents / students for summer school? And point me in the direction of the online information such as district policies!

Delaware Governor Markell’s State of the State falls short on education transparency #netDE

Delaware Governor Markell self-appointed education czar failed to address the dire need for increased transparency of Delaware public schools. The reason Pencader Charter School failed was because of poor transparency and failure to adhere to transparency requirements. Markell has done very little to establish “capacity” at DE DOE.  Time for a shake up Jack!

Jack, man-up and make an excutive order ordering all school districts, votech districts and charter schools to record the public session of their board meetings an put online within 5 days. Like I say. government isn’t capable of being it’s own watchdog. Give the public access to more information and we’ll expose the truth. Well, perhaps the government doesn’t want to see the truth be delivered.

Delaware Governor Markell campaigning again #netDE

Markell: Keep tax hike, boost teacher pay; new jobs on way Written byThe News Journal

DOVER — In the first State of the State address of his second term, Gov. Jack Markell said today that he wants to raise teacher pay, accelerate a timeline for developing school safety plans and hire more state troopers to combat violent crime in the city of Wilmington.

Jack instead of raising teacher’s pay why not just give them their classrooms back and send your Wireless Generation Wall Street card carrying capitalist back to Wall Street!

School safety plans should be an ongoing process. About those state troopers, how about adding more throughout Delaware? 

“If we’re to have the best education system in the country, we can’t continue to have the lowest starting average teacher salaries in our region,” he said. “I ask that the General Assembly work with me to re-examine that pay structure so we can incentivize teaching in high-need schools and critical subjects, raise starting teacher pay, and reward teacher leadership.”

Looks like we have code-talk re: bogus bonuses! Yes we do need to increase teacher starting pay. Perhaps we can reward teacher leadership by letting the keep their jobs if the are effective leaders? Call it the real-world model.

The governor also asked lawmakers to create and fund a “teacher leader” position that would recognize “role models in their schools who have demonstrated their abilities, are ready to help other teachers, and earn more for putting their experience to work in the classroom.

Code for bonuses! Pay teachers well from day one and fire them if deeded ineffective.

Markell coupled those requests with a call for more rigorous teacher licensing requirements and college standards

Is this code you want to keep Teach for America out? I thought Arne Duncan “encouraged” you to hire these two-year wonders.

Alongside a proposal to put six new state troopers on the streets of Wilmington to combat drugs and violence, the governor talked about school safety and the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Perhaps just provide extra funding or 6 new Wilmington Police Officers. And speaking of police officers, how about we eliminate state payroll withholding taxes for all full-time police officers.  

Legislation passed last year requires every Delaware school, within five years, to draft safety plans and have them vetted and approved by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. In his speech Markell said that timeline should shrink to two years.

We agree , two years! 

Other subjects mentioned in today’s address included additional after-school programs, job re-training programs, and school choice application process reforms.

Choice application process??? Hard to spit-out charter school application process ins’t Jack. The problem with choice is also, no Choice transportation funding that should have been addressed when the Choice law was enacted. 

The governor also made mention of same-sex marriage, which he previously has said he intends to push for legalizing, speaking of a “Delaware that protects the rights of all its citizens, no matter whom they love.

Beautiful Jack! for real! And folks, I am no gay so don’t try to hit on me.  

Stop the presses!!! Jack what about those Fisker jobs?  

Revisiting Newark Charter School #netDE

Someone commented on another post this; “Newark Charter School sent home letters for years stating that if your student required summer school it would cost $300.00 for math and $300.00 for reading. Fortunately, my child never needed it, but I felt that was illegal!”

Let’s assume it is true. DE DOE has a representative on Newark Charter Citizen Budget Oversight Committee as required by law. Do you really think if NCS was illegally charge fees for summer school DE DOE would turn a blind-eye? I’ll leave this up to DE DOE and NCS administration to sort-out. If anyone has an official summer school notice letter from NCS, blackout your personal information, scan it and E-Mail it to Kilroywashere@comcast.net.

I do want to share some good news in-regards  Newark Charter School. I’ve reviewed Newark Charter School’s webpage where board meeting information and financial information is shared. I must say, in contrast to all other charter schools, Newark Charter School’s information is the best and current. Now I doubt Ed Meece is going to take the board and staff to the Chesapeake Inn for a crab feast because they mustard Kilory’s scrutiny. However, Its only fair to go back and look for positive change. And on that note, I like to report NSC 2012-2013 enrollment show positive gains in racial diversity. This year’s incoming Kindergarten reflects 13.6 African-American students, up from 6.6% last year’s K enrollment. Special Education total for the school is 6.9% compared to 5.9% last year.

I am sure many will take issue with Charter School of Newark on other issues and perhaps the ones I just reported on. However, again my mission is driven by transparency and social concerns when it comes to equity. Despite any issue some may have regarding Newark Charter School, I feel Pencader could have taken some pointers from Newark Charter School when it comes to transparency and documentation. However, with the obvious upcoming DE DOE closure of Pencader this would never be. Pencader FRank tried to foolishly ride on his own coattails rather than allowing himself to be mentored by someone with way more experience. But to other charter schools, visit Newark Charter Schools webpage and get your’s in-shape. 

Teachers with guns: how far fetched is it? #netDE

(yikes ! sorry for the previous error in title post fart instead of  far! Leave it to me 🙂 )

We had a conversation here at Kilroy’s crib in regards to teachers and school administers carrying handguns.

First its a sad world that we even consider this notion and the liability issues would be extreme. What next arming crossing guards, school bus aids, school bus driver or the cafeteria lady?

Governor Markell and Lt. Gov Denn’s idea of adding more mental-health professionals in our middle-schools is a rational step in the right direction.     

I have a hunch there are more parents worried about shootings in schools than there are worrying about their children wearing seat-belts or roaming the streets unsupervised. Also, not restricting violent contents of video games or TV. But anyhow, we’ll move on.

So now we kick-around the idea of  allowing teachers and school administrators to carry handguns. For-sure they’ll need a concealed weapon permit. Now here is where we stop! I say if we are to go this direction and there are willing participants further training will be in order. I am sure deadly force use by police requires quick-thinking and little hesitation. But I am sure when they are looking down their gun sights at 14 or 15 year-old there might be some hesitation. And keep in mind there is usually no emotional attachments to the police and those who they may fire upon. In most cases regarding incidents at schools the shooter is a student or former student. As for any teacher who would have to kill an armed student their lives would be change forever and emotionally calling them a hero wouldn’t undo a lifetime of emotional trauma coming their way. How would we care for these victims. 

Gun safety of handguns teachers would carry in another concern. Mrs Kilroy commented that prison guards who walk among prisoners don’t carry guns! I commented that students aren’t prisoners but see her point. So if a teacher were to be allowed to carry a handgun it would have to be on them at all times and certainly we wouldn’t want teachers walking around with their handgun exposed. So what happens if a student did take a teacher’s handgun? Here is where Kilroy has one of his brain-farts. I said, what’s if there were a handgun that had a computer chip in it like some of those cars with key-less start buttons? The car key must be on the driver’s possession to communicate with the car’s starter computer. So what about a handgun that requires the owner to wear a bracelet with a computer chip in it and the gun with a computer chip in it, meaning the gun won’t fire unless the other chip is within a few inches? Yep you got, Kilroy called dumb! Well Kilroy always tries to find support and low and behold there is such an experimental device for police but the chip has to be implanted in the person. In my option not really and it could be implanted in an ID bracket that could also double as gun permit information device. 

Now we come back to fear! I remember one incident when my son attend Conrad Middle School. There was a report of a bomb scare. I drove to the school saw all  the students in the parking lot (looking back should have been secure but that was a few years ago) and I talked with school staff. The police were there doing their thing and this wasn’t the first time for such a call.  The staff said if district decided to send the students home early they would make an announcement. I was fine and went home after I waved to my son. The Mrs. was upset that I didn’t take my son home. I see it this way, you can’t live your entire life in fear. Another solution to help address the concerns is adding more police to the rank and file. Don’t we want school bus stops safe? Roads around school safe from careless drivers? Have you read the paper lately! Look at all the robberies and muggings! What about school sporting events? With such large crowds should the parameter of the football field be secure. Should there be roadblocks around area roads adjacent to the football fields?  

So this pains me 🙂 to compliment Governor Markell for thinking rational about trying to address root cause using additional mental-health professionals in our school. I am sure Governor Markell has put an order out to have police increase patrols around our schools. But we do need more police among the rank and file! Lets take the pay raises for legislators and by more cops. Let’s increase gasoline tax and buy more cops. Let’s do something to increase our police forces.           

Delaware Governor Markell makes efforts to regain Kilroy’s trust #netDE

Markell address to propose increase in children’s mental health services Written by JONATHAN STARKEY The News Journal

Gov. Jack Markell will use his State of the State address Thursday to propose an increase in mental health services for Delaware children, including a measure to boost the number of behavioral health consultants working in state middle schools.

Markell tapped Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and Vivian Rapposelli, secretary of the Delaware Department of Services to Children, Youth and their Families, to study ways to improve mental health services, and the recommendations in Thursday’s speech reflect their proposals to the governor.

“One of the primary things that they told us was that having folks on the ground in the schools was really central to doing better for these kids,” said Denn, who said that having services inside schools helps provide a “backstop” for children seeking mental health care.

Denn added that many mental health problems “start to manifest themselves” in middle school years.

Well Jack I am not sure how you came to this decision and I have a hunch Matt had influence but what a wonderful move.  For the most part middle schools represents the crack in public school and not necessary the school’s fault but also parents. Middle school is a time when kids are left alone more often and a time peer pressure really takes shape. Teachers aren’t trained mental-health workers and need these types of resources.