DE Sec of Ed can be 3 year gym teacher, TFA’s don’t need to be an Ed major but all else needs to bow before Markell #netDE #edude


Scores to reflect back on colleges Divisive teacher program planned Written by Nichole Dobo and Wade Malcolm

Gov. Jack Markell’s administration will move forward with a plan to measure how well colleges prepare new teachers for the classroom, despite objections from all of Delaware’s teacher preparation programs.

Yep , just like a lame duck politician, drives one in the back of those who supported him! 

The new system would rate the quality of each college by looking at the standardized test scores of students taught by its recent graduates.

The assessment process will be used this fall, and the results of how each college performed will be available to the public on the state Department of Education’s website.

By it’s recent graduates? Markell is in his fifth years as governor and still can’t get it right! Does that mean his mentors at Rodel should be ask to pack their Vision 2015 and move to Arizona with the rest of the delusional family?

The development comes several years after the DOE attempted to create a similar system in cooperation with higher education. That effort fell apart because leaders at Delaware’s colleges argued the state could not use student test scores in a way that would be fair and accurate, higher education and state officials said.

I think what Jack Markell is trying to tell Delaware colleges now is BITE ME ! 

State officials say they will listen to the colleges’ concerns and consider modifications to the assessment system accordingly. But the overall goal of using student test performance to judge the quality of teacher preparation programs is not up for negotiation.

I think What Jack Markell is trying to tell Delaware colleges now is BITE ME! 

In January, an education reform advocacy group released a report criticizing the state’s teacher preparation policies. The National Center for Teacher Quality said Delaware and many other states should tighten admission standards for teacher education programs, raise requirements for licensing teachers and use standardized test results to hold colleges accountable for the performance of teachers they train. 

Yep if you want to be a teacher and attend a Delaware college you’re going to need at least a 3.5 high school  GPA . 

“There are too many variables that make it difficult to accurately correlate teacher preparedness with standardized testing,” said Raython Sianjina, chair of DSU’s education department, in a statement that reflects concerns voiced by all of the colleges. 

 I don’t think you got the memo for Jack Markell that said BITE ME

A program might graduate a large number of highly capable teachers that end up teaching in other states, and the college won’t get to take credit for their performance. Some teachers also might get assigned to teach subjects they did not study in college. Higher ed officials said they should not be held accountable for those teachers’ shortcomings.

“That’s where things kind of stalled,” said Nancy Brickhouse, interim provost at University of Delaware and former dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “It’s very complicated. It’s complicated by the fact that we’re a small state and we hire a lot of people from other states, and our graduates go to many other states.

I don’t think it was that long ago Arne Duncan then Joel Klein did the U of D Rodel gig! You aligned yourself with Satan and now he’s come soul collecting.

Markell’s advisers say the state and colleges need to find a way to make such a system work, while accounting for those concerns. Other states have managed to implement similar systems, and using student achievement to measure how well colleges have prepared teachers is part of a national trend.

In another words, Markell had his advisers hand deliver the Vaseline!  

The teacher told Markell about one of his students. She wanted to be a nurse, but she decided her grades weren’t good enough. The student said she probably would go to college to study something easier – education.

“This is a perception we need to dispel,” Markell said. “Teaching is a demanding profession, and our admissions requirements for teacher preparation programs should reflect this.

But it’s OK to hire a three-year gym teachers as the Delaware Secretary of Education and appoint a U.S. Secretary of Education who never wrote a lesson plan, taught a class or was a school administrator, Beam me up Scotty!

“You want to make it a profession that has a higher standing in the community and society, and then teachers will be afforded the pay and respect that you see in other countries where the best and brightest go into teaching,” Brickhouse said.

You think we cam change the standards for those who want to run for governor? Markell is a Rodel windup puppet! 10’s of thousands of Rodel founder’s dollars went into Markell’s campaigns! And Markell is a former Rodel Foundation board member! 

Teaching students at Wesley College must maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average. DSU sets the bar at 2.5. UD has a minimum GPA that ranges from 2.5-3.0, depending on which subject or focus the student picks for their teaching degree.

Sorry good brothers and sisters at Del State, you ain’t getting on the bus! So I think Markell wants a 3.5-4.0 to be on his team! Thank God for Teach for America! 

Wilmington University did not make any of its faculty or administrators available for an interview on the topic of teacher preparation, but it outlined its criteria for teaching candidates in a statement.

Hey Professor Merv are you still are you still moonlighting ?

In addition to maintaining a passing GPA, WilmU students must complete the Praxis I licensing exam in their freshman year to enter the education program and pass Praxis II in their senior year in order to student-teach and subsequently graduate with certification.

“In this way, the university sets its standard of attainment for our students and ensures that each one meets or exceeds Delaware’s standards for teachers in our schools,” John Gray, dean of the university’s College of Education, said in the statement.

Sounds fair but don’t all who want to teach have to pass the exams! Is this a way to weed out the weak? No bad! Does that include those Teach for America corp members 🙂 ?

Taber said the administration does not plan to push a uniform minimum standard – meaning criteria for admissions into teacher training would be raised for every college but could remain different for each institution. For example, Wilmington University, an open enrollment institution, has a different mission and serves a different type of student than UD, which is more selective.

Sorry to change the subject Ms. Taber but could you tell me when those Fisker cars will be rolling out of the Boxwood Pant? 

State government does not have direct control over teaching colleges here. But the state does have authority over approving which teacher preparation programs can operate in Delaware. The Markell administration could use that power to force a college to adopt higher admissions standards.

Yep Jack “Obama” Markell is the change agent like it or not !

Administration officials do not expect it will get to that point. They hope to figure out changes that make sense through discussions with individual colleges.

“I don’t see this as an issue of us imposing our belief system on the higher eds,” Taber said. “It’s something that will be a high priority for us, but as far as any immediate action, we’d want it to be a collaborative conversation.”

Hey Matthews are you buying this shit? “Collaborative conversation” LOL 🙂

Ruszkowski said Delaware endorses the “general direction” of the report’s findings. Paul Herdman, CEO and president of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, a nonprofit that advocates for education reform, said he believes improving training for teachers would compliment work being done on the state’s K-12 and early childhood school system. That should include making teacher colleges more selective, Herdman said.

Yep there is that Rodel guy! Is Markell really going to run for VP in 2016! He really doesn’t need Delaware’s votes but he is the best Republican the Democrats have! Might just pull it off!

“I think we could do ourselves a great service as a state if we have tough conversations,” Herdman said.

Is this one of those Rodel events where we must turn in the questions in advance so the naysayer can be screened out?

Ralph P. Ferretti, director of UD’s School of Education, said admissions numbers provides further context. In 2011, UD accepted 53 percent of applicants to its teacher education programs, which was lower than its overall acceptance rate of 58 percent.

Can we get that down to 25%

“We have a lower acceptance rate for teaching students than for the university overall,” he said. “Based on that, I think you could say we have a pretty rigorous standard for teachers.”

I don’t think you are comprehending! Markell is saying the teachers the U of D produces suck for the most part! 

While agreeing on the importance of high admissions standards, UD’s Brickhouse cautioned against making those requirements too rigid. Colleges need flexibility to consider a range of factors when deciding whether to admit a student, she said.

What happen to Harker? Still on the phone crying to Markell? 

Frederika Jenner, president of the Delaware State Education Association, said she felt unprepared in the 1970s when she was in her first year as an educator, a common feeling among new teachers.

“Now it’s you all by yourself with 27 third-graders – other people’s children,” Jenner said. “Those children have a number of expectations, and, certainly, their families have expectations.”

Before making changes to teacher colleges, the state should decide what first-year teachers should be able to do, Jenner said. From there, colleges should craft their curriculum and student-teaching programs. And that must include a look at programs like Teach for America, which places graduates from top colleges without requiring a degree in education, she said.

OMG Jenner, you didn’t take a pot-shot at Teach for America? I think we’re back to, if a gym teacher can be Delaware Secretary of Education an ivy leaguer can teach without being an education major! Thank God Red Clay’s TFA contract has run it’s course! Did anyone ask the parents of Title 1 student if they were OK with teachers who don’t have a degree in education? Nay, that don’t matter because the system sees them as dumb uneducated parent who don’t even know their rights under Federal Law Title 1 Section 1118. Makell has the good Wilmington brothers in his $$$ pocket and they ain’t going to squeal!

Veteran educators must be included in conversations with those who are training the next generation of educators, Jenner said. That will help link college preparation and classroom reality, she said. 

Just like with Pencader parents, he’ll put you through the motions but it doesn’t matter as it’s all predetermined 

Right now, the state requires about 90 days of student-teaching. Some say more could be done to make it more meaningful. For instance, Jenner said teachers often receive little training on how to help the student get the most out of the experience. Also, there’s no uniform process for selecting what teachers will be paired with a student-teacher, and that means there’s no guarantee that master teachers will provide oversight.

But maybe we should go with the accelerated 5 week program like Teach for America teachers who seems to walk on water! 

DSU officials say they are moving toward making their student-teaching a full year before graduation, more than state law requires. Wesley requires a full year of student-teaching, and students must pass an exam used for teacher certification before entering the classroom.

Sounds good but 2.5 GPA isn’t going to cut in this war on the global economy! Just saying, Markell wants the best and brightest and the GPA is important !

A new partnership between DSU and Red Clay Consolidated School District brings college students into schools beginning in their sophomore year.

Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty said the district is eager to partner with teacher colleges. Over time, the district gets to know potential teachers, which helps them with recruitment. And on the other side, college students get to spend a more significant amount of time in the district’s schools getting to know what they are in for when they are given the keys to their own classroom.

Good move Merv! But at the same time the district will know which ones not to hire! Fair trade off!

“I think it would also help with retention of teachers because they have a full understanding of what they are walking into,” he said.

Yep and they know when to walk if it’s too much!  Fair enough re: right fit for everybody!

Jack Markell is sowing some seeds to capitalize on down the road! After all he confessed to the nation his is a “card carrying capitalist”


20 responses to “DE Sec of Ed can be 3 year gym teacher, TFA’s don’t need to be an Ed major but all else needs to bow before Markell #netDE #edude

  1. The new system would rate the quality of each college by looking at the standardized test scores of students taught by its recent graduates.

    LOL!! This is taking an iffy idea and pushing it way over the top.

    The public demand for test-based teacher accountability is a 1990s phenomenon that peaked and fell off a while ago, and has been kept alive only by the sheer will of political officials and edupreneurs taking advantage of a public that isn’t really paying attention.

    I think the article successfully captured what the smart people think about it.

    Who exactly is going to care about Delaware’s list anyway?


    • Mike,

      The first of these measures were distributed last week:
      The White House College Scorecard. I forwarded to:
      UD, Wesley, DTCC, DSU and other leaders.

      Please let me know if you would like a copy.



  2. This is a great idea! But before its implemented we need to run the same system on all our politicians. Let’s ensure that those leading us have at least a 3.5gpa and have graduated from a qualified school in public administration or policy. Every town, city, county and state elected official must meet these criteria.

    This is a joke. Too worried about IQ and not EQ. A teachers main component is being able to connect with the kids and adapt to their needs. A GPA is not going to be able to predict that.


  3. The relevant data is in the daily gradebooks, not the standardized tests. Wire the gradebooks for research and get some bright young researchers to pull out statistical information and look for the relationships. The truth is out there.


  4. The daily gradebook is a big part of the solution. Another part is the underground communication that exists between parents and students.

    I’ve lost count of the number of times other parents have told me which teachers I’d want to teach my child and which to avoid. Students fill each other in, as well. This year my daughter was warned that one of her teachers doesn’t teach – that she would have to rely on the textbook and teach herself. And that turned out to be true. She was also told how lucky she was to be in another teacher’s class. That also turned out to be true – tough, but amazingly great teacher.

    In fact, in my experience, parents and students supply the most accurate information.

    One other thing… I have never heard a parent disparage a teacher for being too strict, too nice, etc. I’ve never been steered toward or away from a teacher for a personal reason. (That doesn’t mean that this doesn’t happen – I’ve just never experienced it in these sorts of situations)


  5. Here’s why (if anybody needed to know) the 2.5 GPa is a legitimate doorway rather than demanding higher:

    1. Education majors take a tough curriculum that is unforgiving of any lapses. In some of DSU’s ed majors, in order to meet existing state standards there are exactly TWO free electives in four years. Two. Many of the required courses, like curriculum and instruction or special education or the required higher-level content area courses are intentionally designed to be tough both in content and grading. Ironically, this is in large part because the State of DE (and NCATE, to which DE has punted certification of our programs) demand that they be that way. If NCATE thinks it sees grade inflation it will put an institution on warning. Students who get C’s in these classes meet the standard (like a C was supposed to be in the old days), and students who get A’s and B’s have to exceed it.

    2. Besides, grades (as long as they are passing) are demonstrably NOT good predictors of teaching success. What is? Two things, actually. For content knowledge the best indicator is the Praxis II Subject Area test, which every DSU and UD student (I do not know about Wesley but suspect this is true also) has to pass BEFORE they are allowed to student teach. The second is classroom experience, but there the article is misleading. It used to be (back when Frederika was a student) that you didn’t get into a classroom until your last semester of classes for student teaching. Which is what makes her comment pretty laughable. Today there is (and has been for over a decade) a different model in place: students begin going out to do classroom observations (and assisting the teacher) in their Sophomore year. Throughout their junior year and the first half of their senior year they are required to put in 20 hours of observation per education course, and in each of those courses they are required to teach a minimum of four lessons. What that means is that by the time students get to student teaching they have–on average–already spent over 250 hours in classrooms AND have already taught probably at least 25 lessons. In Frederika’s day the first lesson a student ever taught would often come 2-3 weeks into the student teaching experience, and the student teacher did not actually “take over” the class for 4-5 weeks. Today our student are expected to teach during their first week and to take over classes in their second week. The number of teaching “clock hours” recorded on their certificates averages about 200 higher than those of student teachers even 10-15 years ago.

    3. This is a solution without a problem. There is absolutely no data to suggest that any of the problems with our education system are the fault of inadequately prepared new teachers. No data suggests that their students do worse on tests. No data suggests that they have more discipline problems. Quite the opposite: the little data we have suggests that they are more technology savvy, better prepared for the way students learn today, more content-wise, and better able to adapt to high-stakes testing (which they all had going through school) than many of their peers at the other end of the experience spectrum.

    Ironically, with both UD and DSU NCATE certified, these institutions already have in place much tougher standards than the Markell administration is touting. They have to collect data on every student against a rubric of every skill and piece of content taught in their classes, report it in almost real-time, and it is examined on an ongoing basis to see if the students are actually leaning what the university claims to be teaching (nor do our professors just enter grades; students are required to upload all papers/projects/tests into a database that NCATE reviewers can, quite literally, check any time).

    So color me unimpressed with the administration’s posturing (and note–I don’t actually teach in the teacher education unit).


    • I’ve never met a new teacher who wasn’t bright, pleasant, and a joy to work with – open and flexible, knowledgeble, prepared, and did a great job teaching my kids.

      Certain veteran teachers on the other hand…


  6. I’m with Mike O. I figured out that over the years my kids have had approximately 80 teachers. I can count on one hand the number that I thought were not exceptional. Not bad really, but just teaching the curriculum with out a spark. And most of the teachers are truly exceptional. Performing feats of education that are astounding! Does a higher GPA = greater spark. I doubt it. And to Steve’s point, this seems like a non issue. I would rather Markell spend our money on smaller class size for schools with high numbers of low income and special education students. Seems like that would go further to keeping that spark in our teachers!


  7. The hypocrisy abounds, with TFA’s anointed after a few weeks and they are good to go. There is an issue under the surface, elementary teachers must be required to take more than one or two math courses in four years. Also, how about requiring the NTE’s if applicable? And last but not least, PAY them, they will come.


  8. Publius e decere

    My own experience as a parent observing the teachers of my kids is that nearly all of the young (first ten-ish years out of school) teachers are energetic and reasonably capable. The ones I have struggled with were those who had maybe 25+ years of experience and rigidly resented the parent-teacher-meeting input of my spouse and me and glared at us as uninformed elitists if we made any suggestions at all. Suggestions like teaching the struggling student with a different approach rather than abandoning them to fate and just presiding over the independent learners. Or how about not reading literature out loud to high school students as if it were nap time but (oh my) have them read it themselves, Old English and all, and actually come out having learned something through the struggle. Or the best example — giving modest grades to a student with an intelligent but irreverent streak who writes very well, and then giving stellar grades to another student who writes middling at best but who is more charming and coy – in this case both were my own kids in real time so I could assess the gross irregularity and the moral hazard first-hand. And when confronted (nicely) with this inconsistency, the two papers side-by-side as evidence, the teacher took off two weeks for “stress”. Don’t even get me started about the occasional teacher who treats classroom time as a glass-eyed multi-tasking necessity to endure until he/she can get back to coaching athletics.

    The system probably doesn’t need a front-end grades-based litmus test. But it surely needs a way to assess its professionals at mid-career and either counsel them out of the profession or cajole them back into and onto its core mission. And at just this point, when the profession most needs self-policing like any profession does, we have an industrial-styled union which often prefers to close ranks and defend the underperforming individual rather than defend the goal of excellence for the profession. This “help” is no help at all.

    OK, the frustrated parent speech is over. But it might be worth considering that the C student in education with instincts, empathy and passion might be a heck of a lot better teacher than an A+ graduate who actually can’t teach. Hiring college graduates will always be a bit of a chance, but once on the job the ones who fit and contribute will become obvious with time. Pay more attention to what teachers actually do —or don’t do – on the job as they gain experience. And move the teachers with mediocre performance out of the system. Sort of like the way it works in the rest of the world.



  9. Steve: I provided thorough background to NJ on teacher prep past, present, and even future. I have served as the co-op teacher for plenty of students and fully understand the upgraded and enhanced opportunities for folks out of DSU, UD, and Wilm U. It’s part of my job, man.

    I still contend that no matter how much time someone spends in a classroom before hiring, there will still be those OMG, deer-in-the-headlights moments when you are all alone in a room full of third graders for whom you are solely responsible in every imaginable way from 8:20 until 3:40 every day. And, I am confident that student teachers now–just like back in the 70’s–still do not have adequate training and experience in classroom management which is absolutely critical to success.

    As for TFA, Kilroy: I support teaching as a PROFESSION. Professions require intnesive and long-term training, experience, qualitfications, criteria, certification, and licensing–all of which takes time and expertise to develop. Professions require decades of commitment–even a lifetime of service–whether its doctoring or educating.

    The fact that districts must support TFA corps members with an additonal cost (above and beyond the regular teacher salary and benefit package) to the district of $10,000 per corps member per year is something I just do not get. Why on earth would District A want to pay that much more for a TFA corps member than for a fully trained, qualified, certificated, licensed teacher candidate from UD, DSU, Wilm U, or Wesley U?

    Finally, I want to see the data that would prove that the new teachers coming out of education preparation programs hired throughout Delaware in the past ten years have been sub-par in some way or less than intelligent. I don’t believe it.


  10. I have studied the matter, in depth, as part of my elected responsibilities to all taxpayers, families, educators and public school children and agree 100% with Ms. Jenner. Her points re the TFA are spot on and until we see statistics that prove otherwise we are asking the taxpayers to prolong a failing experiment with already stressed funding and no credible evaluation of the efficacy of the program. The previous statement also applies to the ridiculous assertion that “standardized testing” can and should be used to evaluate teacher performance/effectiveness. teacher preparation and student/school achievements.

    John Kowalko


    • lastDEconservative

      And remember, all you of-age boys and girls, vote Democrat in all your districts. Studies and statistics are clear on this matter, our futures are in each other’s hands. Citizens subject to our mutual and collective failings shall never oust any of us as long as we stand united.


  11. Six or seven years ago I had occasion to have dinner with, among others, Wendy Kopp, the creator of the Teach for America program. At that time she was pretty clear that she did not expect these students she was putting into classrooms to become teachers at all. She looked at it as a program to give, as she called them, “America’s future movers and shakers” a bird’s eye view into the world of urban education, something she thought they “should know about” but had probably not had experienced. At that time, and it may have changed, she was selecting only high GPA grads from Ivy Leagues who were planning on professional grad schools after they did what I called her program, “a domestic Peace Corps.” Her program began as a senior project at whichever Ivy she attended, I think Princeton.

    Then came the reform movement in education, the economic downturn, etc. and the scramble for jobs fell right into her program’s lap. Like Rep. Kowalko, I’ve not seen any studies or evals claiming that the program is anything more than a twist in the road for some grad students, none of whom according to Kopp, ever studied education or anything at all related to pedagogy.

    Also, I can tell you for sure I would never have wanted to be evaluated at the end of my first, second, third or fourth year of teaching on any scores of kids in my classes. And I graduated from a top notch school and worked in great schools but who wants that kind of pressure? Isn’t having a class of kids enough pressure? I like Kowalko’s word, “ridiculous.” It fits.


    • lastDEconservative

      “Also, I can tell you for sure I would never have wanted to be evaluated at the end of my first, second, third or fourth year of teaching on any scores of kids in my classes. And I graduated from a top notch school and worked in great schools but who wants that kind of pressure?”

      ” … who wants that kind of pressure?”

      God forbid that any semblance of the life experience of those (if still employed outside the protection of the union and enabling government) from whose wallets the salary and benefits and lifelong retirement stipends emanate be foisted upon the innocent and well intentioned and oh, so, put upon teachers — sorry, educators.

      This paragraph will surely haunt me at least the duration of this day.


    • lastDEconservative

      After all, they did not choose to enter the profession. Oh, no, they were driven to it. And were completely unaware of the circumstances existing in the field (in lieu of profession, if you don’t mind). And whose options in life were limited by some dark forces surrounding their own early education.

      Maybe I’m starting to get the “pressure.” Why, it’s been there since the devil-may-care days (for the rest of the kids) of college/career counseling in 11th grade!


  12. Incidentally, for what it’s worth, back in the day when I was in college out in California (and they were always different!) the University and schools like Stanford, University of Washington, and a number of the bigger schools in Southern California did not have education majors. I had to have an academic major and an academic minor and then as long as I had the specified GPA (something like a 3.2) I could apply to the College of Education to pursue a program leading to a teaching certificate. Although I did not have education classes as an undergrad I did take a major in sociology and through those classes spent a good amount of time in classrooms in Oakland and Berkeley schools. Psych majors did the same thing. We did that beginning as sophomores. Student teaching was the full second half of the graduate school year, all spent in the same classroom. Throughout my entire teaching career I looked back on the wisdom and advice of the Master Teacher to whom I was assigned and the University Professor who worked with us. We were expected to know content, but those ladies taught us how to teach it. An amazing experience….it got me through 30 years!


  13. Loves to eat hates to work hard

    Perhaps we could meet while we are eating chili for an hour to figure this out- oh wait- we only have a thirty minute lunch unless we work for DOE in Dover.


    Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 12 Noon at Townsend Building only (Please note change in venue). Those participating from Collette/Swing space will be moving their chili to Townsend. Those at Collette and Swing space, please stop by and taste all of the good recipes.

    Get ready for a fun way to enjoy lunch! Please start on the first floor lobby to get your tasting cups and be prepared to taste all of the good chili recipes in that DOE has to offer!


    $3 – chili taster, soda and chips

    Chili Taster’s Role:

    1. Purchase a ticket on the day of the Chili Cookoff in the 2nd Floor lobby (Townsend) or the Collette Lunchroom

    2. Get your taste cups (the number of cups will equal the number of entries)

    3. Travel around DOE and sample each workgroup’s chili between Noon and 1 PM

    4. Grab a bowl of your favorites after you’ve tasted them all

    5. Cast your vote for the best chili

    Thanks your DOESA officers;

    Lisa, Minnie, Joan, Carmen, Ann, Alison and John

    Lisa Alexander

    Education Specialist – Data Manager

    Delaware Department of Education

    401 S. Federal Street Suite #2

    Dover, DE. 19904

    302.735.4090 (T) 302.739.3092 (F)


  14. Glad to know they can have a chili cook off in between threatening innocent children with withholding federal monies.

    The DOE is the absolute worst service organization in DE state government. IF only the DOE could fix schools as WELL AS DELDOT fixes potholes we’d truly have world class schools!