Daily Archives: February 28, 2013

Appoquinimink voters says hell no to school tax increase #netDE #edude

For school purpose tax increase 3,301 and 4633 against

For middle school sports tax 2668 and 5008 against

Appoquinimink School District February 28, 2013 Referendum

Colonial voters says hell no to school tax increase #netDE #edude

925 for tax increase and 2484 against tax increase

Colonial School District February 28, 2013 Referendum

the seventh type

Almost three years ago, Red Clay’s Board Policy Review Committee (BPRC) reviewed the Homework policy (Board Policy 7010). The policy was removed from the Board website pending completion of the review, and it’s stayed that way ever since.

What on earth is going on here? Homework is too important a part of educational success to let our policy flop around in the wind. And yes, some teachers are taking advantage of the vacuum in policy and lack of enforcement. The policy was weak even before it was pulled.

Explosion in a filing cabinet
There are pieces of homework policy scattered throughout all sorts of Red Clay documents, including the Parent Handbook, various administrative memos, and even the Code of Conduct. It’s like an explosion in a filing cabinet. Those all need to be gathered together and updated into a coherent policy. Leaving it like this is disrespectful and irresponsible, not…

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Big deal ! Sequester will trim some federal “supplemental” grants #netED #edude

Delaware Governor Markell is crying foul re: sequester cut to education but cuts state education funds to our local schools. 

Colonial and Appoquinimink claim they needed to go to referendum in part to “Maintaining programs and services affected by state funding cuts such as transportation, school staffing, and student support services in order to provide a safe, sound, and effective learning e environment”. Why are people getting all worked up when the feds want to make budget cuts and reelect Jack Markell?

Title 1 is the biggest piece of K-12 federal $$$ pie! Title 1 falls within NCLB, the same program deemed a failure and punitive towards schools, teachers and students. As many states, Delaware requested and received a NCLB wavier. So for now NCLB is like a block grant and is being use to supplement Race to The Top programs and pay Teach for America teachers where once NCLB required highly qualified reading teachers aka reading specialist. I don’t think any TFA teacher is a reading specialist but yet after twp years of teaching they get a bonus no matter what from AmeriCorp! 

NEA – Impact of Sequestration scroll down to Delaware

As a result of the “fiscal cliff” deal (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) reached at the beginning of the year, sequestration, or automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, was postponed by two months. Absent any agreement to replace sequestration, budget cuts will be uniformly applied to almost all federal programs beginning on March 1, 2013. Due to the delay, however, the total amount of the cut in fiscal year 2013 has been lessened by $24 billion, from $109.3 billion to $85.3 billion. An analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) indicates that nonexempt, nondefense discretionary programs would be cut by 5.1 percent; and a cut of 5.3 percent would be applied to nonexempt, nondefense mandatory programs. Since Congress has not yet completed work on appropriations for fiscal year 2013, the estimated cuts by education program presented here assume the same rate of operations as in fiscal year 2012. Actual cuts could differ once appropriations are enacted for 2013.

Grants to Local Educational Agencies (ESEA Title I, Part A)  22 potential jobs 

School Improvement State Grants (ESEA section 1003(g)) 1 potential job

Migrant (ESEA I-C) and Neglected and Delinquent (ESEA I-D) 0 job loss

Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (ESEA II, Part A) 6 potential jobs

Education for Homeless Children and Youths (MVHAA Title VII-B) 0 job loss

Rural Education (ESEA VI-B) 0 job loss

English Language Acquisition (ESEA III, Part A) 1 potential job 

Special Education Grants to States (IDEA-B-611) 17 potential jobs

Preschool grants (IDEA-B-619) 1 potential job

Grants for infants and families (IDEA-C) 1 potential job

Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants (RA Title I-A and Title I-C) 4 potential jobs

Career and Technical Education State Grants (Carl D. Perkins CTEA Title I) 2 potential jobs

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (HEA IV-A-3) 1 potential job

Federal Work-Study (HEA IV-C) 1 penitential job

Federal TRIO Programs (HEA IV-A-2, Chapter 1) 1 potential job

Head Start (HSA section 639 ) 41 potential jobs

Impact Aid Basic Support Payments (ESEA VIII section 8003(b)) o job loss

21st Century Community Learning Centers (ESEA IV-B) 4 potential jobs

Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Grants (AEFLA & WIA section 503) 1 potential job

No one likes to see anyone lose a job or services cut to education programs. However, federal funds are “supplemental” to local and state funds. Governor Markell has cut funding to local public schools every year since being in office and has take from one program to fund another.

America is in debt and not it’s time to pay the piper! It can go on! The time is coming to look at cutting extra curricular /EPER programs. Billion of dollars are wasted on student testing! Do we need so many consultants in education?  

Delaware Department of Education is a bad partner for charter schools

Department of Education partially to blame for Pencader closing

  • Opinion
  • Letters To The Editor Richard VanRaay

In his statement after the state Board of Education voted to revoke Pencader High School’s charter, board secretary Mark Murphy stated “Charter schools are granted autonomy in exchange for accountability.”

Pencader’s was lacking in finance reporting and board governance transparency. DE DOE has a manager of everything from Race to The Top to the DE DOE Chili Cook Off but not to make sure traditional and charter schools are following the transparency laws established by state legislators. With Pencader, the red flags were flying high and at July 20. 2012 state board of education meetings DE DOE said this, “As of today” Pencader enrollment is 450. No “red flags” re: finances. No debt carry over from last year. Hear for yourself, board meeting audio recording part 2 , start at 38:37     I reported thisDelaware Department of Education is a bad partner for charter schools Posted on February 28, 2013 by kilroysdelaware. Pencader June 30, 2012 audit which wasn’t complete at the time does indicate are serious deficit.

That might work for home schooling, but when the education of hundreds of students is on the line, the Delaware Department of Education should have worked more closely with the school to make sure it was self-sufficient.

DE DOE under the leadership of Mark Murphy is like a ship without a rudder. Part of DE DOE mission is to provide “technical assistance” to all Delaware public schools and charters. Murphy’s comment, “Charter schools are granted autonomy in exchange for accountability” equates to we’ll give charters enough rope to hang themselves and if they do too bad! So Murphy’s lack of capacity for understanding DE DOE technical assistance requirement puts him in a position of just standing there ready to kick the stool out from under a struggling charter school and watch them fall to their death! 

I think DOE needs to share responsibility for Pencader’s demise along with the school leadership of the past for putting hundreds of students on the street. I also feel sorry for the many fine teachers who took pride in educating their students at Pencader.

I think Governor Markell ought to man-up and replace the DE DOE’s charter school office management team. Replace them with people that understands  effective intervention with goals of not saving charter schools but to make sure they are following transparency laws and regulations. The secretary of education issue public reprimands as the infractions occur. Turn the lights on for the parents and if they get pissed they will apply internal pressure on the school leader and school board. If Pencader parents are saying they “didn’t see it coming” I think this is the proof they were treated like mushrooms growing in the dark!

Sure, closing failing charter schools is in t he best interest of children. But standing-by not providing the technical assistance need to strengthen leadership is real failure and harms school children and faith in DE DOE.