Daily Archives: January 22, 2013

Solidarity for Wilmington’s Longshoreman and transparency for government #netDE #Delaware


The Port of Wilmington

 

Jobs, Transparency At Stake In Assembly Ratification of the Wilmington Port Privatization Deal brought out of committee today!

 

The House Representatives Final Vote is set for 2:30pm on

Thursday, January 24, 2013 in Dover

 

Urge them to vote Yes to Senate Bill #3

“This act would require the Diamond State Port Corporation to obtain the approval of a majority of both Houses of the General Assembly and the Governor, through the passage of legislation, before entering into any agreement or transaction whereby the Corporation would transfer, sell, privatize, or lease all or substantially all of the Port of Wilmington to a single entity, or to a related group of entities”

Call your State Representative Tomorrow:

http://legis.delaware.gov/Legislature.nsf/Lookup/House_Home?open&nav=house

John C. Atkins

41

Michael A. Barbieri

18

Paul S. Baumbach

23

Andria L. Bennett

32

Donald A. Blakey

34

Stephanie T. Bolden

2

Gerald L. Brady

4

Ruth Briggs King

37

William J. Carson

28

Timothy D. Dukes

40

Ronald E. Gray

38

Debra J. Heffernan

6

Deborah Hudson

House Minority Whip

12

Earl G. Jaques Jr

27

James Johnson

16

S. Quinton Johnson

8

Helene M. Keeley

3

Harvey R. Kenton

36

John A. Kowalko Jr.

25

Valerie Longhurst

House Majority Leader

15

Joseph E. Miro

22

John L. Mitchell Jr.

13

Michael P. Mulrooney

17

Edward S. Osienski

24

William R. “Bobby” Outten

30

W. Charles Paradee

29

Harold J. Peterman

33

Charles Potter Jr.

1

Michael Ramone

21

Peter C. Schwartzkopf

Speaker of the House

14

Darryl M. Scott

31

Bryon H. Short

7

Daniel B. Short

House Minority Leader

39

Melanie George Smith

5

Stephen T. Smyk

20

Jeffrey N. Spiegelman

11

John J. Viola

House Majority Whip

26

Rebecca Walker

9

Dennis E. Williams

10

Kimberly Williams

19

David L. Wilson

35

Race to The Top teacher layoffs victimize black teachers #netDE

Obama’s Race To The Top Drives Nationwide Wave of School Closings, Teacher Firings by Bruce Dixon; Published on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 byBlack Agenda Report

A nationwide epidemic of school closings and teacher firings has been underway for some time. It’s concentrated chiefly in poor and minority communities, and the teachers let go are often experienced and committed classroom instructors, and likely to live in and near the communities they serve, and disproportionately black

This is what I posted  on August 7, 2010 Are minority teachers at greater risk of losing job re: RTTT go read………… “The point here is, if school turnaround calls for firing teachers in low performing schools the impact “may” have a far greater impact on African-American teachers”

So here we are now, Delaware is so whacked! We have many teachers who stayed in our highest needs school because that is were they wanted to be. Pre-Race to The Top 2008-2009, Red Clay’s Warner Elementary School staffAfrican-American 43.4%, White 54.7% and Hispanic $1.9%. In 2011-2012 , 23.4% African-American 23.4%, White 76.6% and 0.0% Hispanic. 

Student enrollment 2008-2009 African-American 81.1%, White 2.2% and Hispanic 16.4%. Enrollment  2011-2012, African-American 77.1%, White 3.1%, Hispanic 16.6% and Multi Race 2.4%

Emergency exit for all ground level Delaware public school classrooms #netDE

Senator Lawson Proposes Emergency Exits For Delaware Classrooms

The fact-finding resolution is the first step in what Sen. Lawson hopes will become legislation to fund the construction of an escape door in each ground floor exterior classroom through which students and teachers could escape in the event of an emergency. The doors could not otherwise be opened without an alarm being activated. Read more here ,,…….. 

Please read the attached link for complete article. Interesting idea however, putting emergency escape doors on on ground-level classrooms could be inviting more problems. FYI, this idea was in response to the Sandy Hook incident where 20 students and 6 school staff were shot an killed. Image the chaos with ground level emergency classroom doors swinging open from all sides of a school building. Students and staff going in different directions. Sure there will be an orderly emergency evacuation plan. However, what happens if there is panic? Also, I sorry to say, what happens in there is more than one shooter and others are outside? Children will be exposed to greater risk and there is no way teachers would not no if other shooters are outside. It would be like rolling the dice with your kids life!

I’d would like to see all classroom doors made of steel with small windows and yes, sorry to say some type of bullet proof glass. And of course a dead bolt slide lock! When the call for lock-down goes out that is when the door is closed and bolted. Someone might say what’s if the shooter get’s in the class room and bolts the door with students inside? Doesn’t matter bolted or not, if the shooter intends to kill that’s what will happen. Either way and odds are the shooter will be standing in the doorway. Sending hundreds of students out through emergency escape doors into an unknown situation could cause greater loss! I’d like to see all school doors locked where those inside can get out and those outside not get in. There should be a double door entry at the front of the school (main entrance) with a buzzer  /bell and opened remote by office staff. Have cameras in this area and let person /visitor in the first door and ask to take any coats off and hang on a hook and open the coat if necessary. Open second door if staff feels it’s safe OR  send SRO or assigned school staff to investigate and open second door if all clear.  Of course not open at all for suspicious person. But for all visitors to the school or students coming late. Just an idea.

So what do you think? Add these emergency escape doors on all ground level classrooms? Also, how would you secure a school building?         

I am here to tell you; DE DOE lacks capacity to oversee more charter schools #netDE

I am not bashing charter schools with this post. The fact is, the Delaware Department of Education charter school office may be a hindrance to existing charter schools and expansion of charter schools in Delaware. Also, the lack of capacity may be more damaging to charters under review or on probation. 

Apparently DE DOE is working on or fine tuning some kind of framework to be used for new charter school application and renewals of existing charter schools. I must assume this framework is some kind of template that keeps thing more uniform and DE DOE heads out of their asses. We know the how the approval process worked in the past, it was driven by ego and seeded in political agendas. Perhaps a “framework” will keep the cards on the table and give all charter school applicants and renewals a fair shake. I am a strong believer in documentation, uniformity and transparency. I’ve reviewed many charter school application and it appear there is an art of what are the right things to say and when you have Innovative Schools part of the charter school plan it’s like a Betty Crocker and Good Housekeeping Seal wrapped up into one. Personally, I don’t think DE DOE should be encouraging charter school applicants directly or indirectly to use Innovative Schools services. I see some very strong conflicts of interest with the web of people involved and association of organizations. Why give Innovative Schools exclusivity rights? If competition between charters and traditional schools are for the betterment of public education, shouldn’t competition in charter school management companies be good for raising the bar on charter school governance! What happen with Innovative Schools with Pencader?  

Charter school applications seem to be full or all the right things to say and all the warm education fuzzy one wants to hear. I think Hube refers this to Ed-babble. They cite various successful  education model as foundation for the charter plans. But what get’s me is. even with the save the world of education plans backed by amazing walk on water credentials of board members, why do charter like Pencader fail and others like Moyer is hanging by a thread? Also, why do we hear, they are a new charter school they need time? Sorry a little bashing here, my bad! If charters were the answer to failing traditional schools, how many times do we give charter schools like Pencader another chance? He comes Publius, but gee Kilroy look how many times we give traditional schools chances to turnaround? Dude, converting them into a failing charter schools like Pencader isn’t the answer!  Perhaps those school vouchers would be a good idea to give student who you failed once and failed twice! 

Sorry back on track! Much as it pains me to say this. I think the Delaware Secretary of Education and application review panel made up of people who actually been in a classroom and manged schools approve charter school applications, renewals and modifications. The can give the state board a clear presentation without shallow responses. At the end of the day no matter what the ball falls in the Sec of Ed’s lap! Perhaps this charter school application framework might be the right thing. The approval and renewal process is too long and filled with too many bullshit sorry ass educational warm fuzzies and clueless DE DOE folks. HOWEVER, the trade-off is, when a charter school fails to keep it’s commitment to student academic success and fiscal and operational responsibility with clear transparency adhering to state laws the warning shot goes out on the fly, not none of these dragged out review process. When a charter school fails to update financial reports, budget reports, board minutes, citizen budget oversight committee reports which are not budget reports and other requirements, the board shall be put on notice to correct the problem within 10 days or face probation and a call for a new board and school leader. Another option, get DE DOE out of the charter school approval and oversight of charter schools and only allow districts to approve charter schools. Someone will come in here and say, right Kilroy what about labor? Here is where another section of the law needs to be modified. Districts must convert persistently low performing school to charter “or” this is where DE DOE steps in.

OK folks, your turn! Question 1, Are you happy with the current DE DOE charter  school approval, oversight and review process? Question 2, Should persistently low performing traditional schools be converted to charter schools? Question 3, Should students attending persistently low performing traditional and charter schools be giving a school voucher?