Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

OMG! Wilmington Mayor and County Executive spank local school superintendents #netDE #edude @destateboarded @dedeptofed

Updates to follow !

RE: Dropout rate noted in this letter, last year it goes like this, New Castle County had 66.9% of all dropouts state wide. 31.4% Black, 10.9% Hispanic and 24.6% White see page 10 Table 9 that is 1,022 New Castle County public school students of 1,527 statewide. Moyer charter school had the highest statewide at 28.4%. HOWEVER! State data is skewed! Per Table 12 New Castle County by district had 1,006 total dropout rate at 4.4%. Table 10 shows a total county enrollment of 22.773 students and Table 12 by school indicates 21,866 students with 802 total dropouts. Also Table 7 indicates 7&8 grade dropouts not factor in the high school dropout rates. 141 7&8 grade students dropout! 88% of all students DE DOE does not have a reason for why these students dropped-out. The data is a mess but point well taken.

Williams and Gordon wants their handpicked consultant to work with the districts re: dropouts! Will the county and city help pay the cost? I do think there is a bid process to be followed! 

Yikes they raised concern about the one-way busing of Wilmington students to the suburbs and none from the suburbs to Wilmington! Wake-up Red Clay School Board!

It looks like Williams and Gordon isn’t bitch-slapping any one school or district! So that is a good thing! 

I like the idea of communicating with dropouts to get feedback! However, I think it’s best to network with at-risk students on the verge of dropping out!

Obviously there is a de facto segregation issues within this mess and surely there needs to be a nonalignment of northern New Castle County public schools.

To Williams and Gordon, we’re back to the dog chasing it’s tail and preaching to the choir! What needs to be done has to happen in Dover and honestly put a hold on new charters that is causing the bright-flight leaving many traditional schools and charter schools full of struggling at-risk students. All charter schools should have open doors with lottery and no specific interest unless unique like Delaware Military Academy.  Or, Wilmington needs its own school districts and local city control! Red Clay needs to stop busing Wilmington students past the closest school such as with A,I.High School much closer than Dickinson for many! Red Clay is adding on A.I.H.S to accommodation out of feeder choice students and did not address their agenda to keep certain segments of Wimington students out of A.I.H.S. Also the closing of Conrad Middle School as a traditional middle school forces longer bus ride for city kids! Conrad High was meant to be the magnet school ! Conrad 8th grade students must complete an choice application to attend Conrad High 9-12. Wilmington needs a traditional high school and a middle school for each district within! However, it time to redraw the lines! 

So where is Markell in all this mess? He had concerns of re-segregation via charter schools but once elected it was screw the city kids!

Hey Jimmy Olsen, get your ass up! There is work to be done!     

Kilroy is getting some side bar E-mails re: school board recordings #netDE #edude

By now most of you read the News Journal’s article about HB#23 re: recording public sessions of school board meetings. The NJ’s article will fade and end up at the bottom of the bird cage! However, Kilroy’s keeps the issues going!

I’ve been getting some sidebar E-mails today and all are protected! It seems the Delaware School Board Association is lobbying state legislators to nix legislation requiring all school boards to digitally record public session of their meetings and put online for the public! HB#23 is out of House Education Committee and will move to the house floor for a vote and if passes goes to the senate! So here is where we’ll see which legislators have the courage to support moving transparency to another level!  I am being told the house might pass it but the bill will end up in Senate Education Committee and never come out! Kilroy says so be it! But for sure those who oppose this legislation they won’t be forgotten in 2014 & 2016! The list of naysayers will be published!

As for the Delaware School Board Association,  I for on will advocate for Red Clay to withdrawn membership from this organization! No way in HELL should our local tax-dollars pay for board member’s association membership fees! If a board members want to be part of this group let them pay the fee out of their pocket!

As I said before, government cannot be it’s own watchdog and the people are best suited! Government exist to serve people not the other way around! The DSBA is being an obstructionist supporting local school boards to operate in the dark! Parents need to be home with their children and can’t always attend school board meetings! It’s hard to believe the DSBA has a doctrine supporting keeping parents in the dark like mushrooms! Not with my local tax-dollars going to membership fees!

To all Delaware legislators, you serve the people and supporting the obstructionist position of DSBA is wrong! Support the people who deserve better transparency of our public schools!

Washing Post / AP picks up Delaware news re: recording school board meetings #netDE #edude

Delaware school boards worry about cost of bill that would require recording of board meeting By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 8:51 AM

Read the entire article here…………. 

Also see Kilroy’s Delaware 

Delaware School Board Association chief oppose transparency #netDE #edude @destateboarded Posted on April 2, 2013 by kilroysdelaware

Really sucks folks, Delaware School Board Association wants to railroad digitally recording public session of school board meetings but stands by while the taxpayers take it up the ass when Markell pushing Race to The Top funding, Common Core Standards funding and Smart Balanced Assessment back on local taxpayers. Always for the kids but when it comes to real transparency the DSBA says not so fast we can’t afford buying digital recorders for each school district, each votech district and each charter school.  

Well we’ll be watching the legislative vote to see which legislator is or isn’t for real transparency!  

200 Atlanta teachers admit to tampering with students standardized test #netDE #edude

First suspects in Atlanta cheating scandal surrender  CBS/AP/ April 2, 2013, 12:50 PM

ATLANTA Former Atlanta educators, now indicted on charges related to cheating children for their own financial benefit, have begun surrendering to the Fulton County Jail for processing, CBS Atlanta reports.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports that nearly 200 educators admitted to taking part in the massive scandal: they tampered with students’ standardized tests and corrected answers to inflate scores. Some teachers had pizza parties to erase wrong answers and circle in the right ones. One principal allegedly handled altered tests wearing gloves to avoid leaving her fingerprints.

At one middle school, 86 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient in math, compared to 24 percent the year before. Prosecutors say that progress was a criminal mirage, Phillips reported.

Well at least Delaware’s standardized tests are online with safeguards against cheating. Zero chance for cheating in Delaware!

 

Delaware School Board Association chief oppose transparency #netDE #edude @destateboarded

School board recording bill gets critical feedback Written by Matthew Albright The News Journal Apr. 1, 2013 11:22 PM

As legislators try to make school boards more transparent by requiring them to post recordings of their meetings online, some district officials are concerned a measure to do just that would pass an unfunded mandate onto them.

There were no complaints when all the school district and charter school boards drop to their knees for Jack Markell signing the financially unsustainable Race to The Top MOU! Look at Appoquinimink and Colonial School Boards asking local taxpayers to back-fill million of dollars to support RTTT after federal funding runs dry after school year 2014-2015. What about Common Core Standards? There will be financial push-back on the district after all the feederal seed money expires! The cost to digitally record of board public session meetings is peanuts compared to local taxpayers being asked to fund the Wall Street education ponzi schemes.

“It’s part of a movement toward more open government,” said Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Faircloth, the bill’s sponsor. “We want the public to be able to go back and see what these boards are doing.”

Damn right Rep Hudson! Public schools belong to the public and we have every right for their boards to be transparent!

School board meetings are often poorly attended, except when major controversies are being addressed. That’s one reason John Flaherty, president of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, said he thinks mandatory recordings are a good idea.

And when board meetings are poorly attended the parents and community can’t engage while agenda deep-seeded in Washington and Dover via Governor Markell’s education agenda slip-by the public and are presented after the fact such as with Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balance Assessment! Transparency was part of Markell’s original campaign platform and he should openly support this bipartisan legislation! Show some courage Jack!  

“This will be an opportunity for those folks who don’t have the opportunity to go to a school board meeting to find out what the board is up to,” he said of working parents who might not be able to attend because of job obligations.

And recordings online will be a good opportunity for the districts and charter schools to be more “effective” in communicating to the public about their goals, needs and responsibilities to parents and the community! Also as an added bonus the state legislators themselves will have the ability to check-in what’s going on at the local school board level beyond vague uninformative condensed printed board meeting minutes.  

Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, saying she signed onto the measure after a constituent complained about a district’s lack of recordings.

“Somebody wrote to me asking why some boards post recordings but some don’t,” Peterson said. “They asked me if I could make it standard for everyone, which I think is a good idea.

Well kick me in the nuts! Republicans and Democrats working together in Delaware bringing government agencies aka schools more transparent!

Should the legislation pass, it would mirror requirements the state Board of Education has been following since September 2011. Donna Johnson, the board’s executive director, said implementing the recordings wasn’t a huge effort or expense.

And the recordings of the state Board of Education meetings has opened the window for many to see and understand the state board process. Yes the public might be more critical but in return the board will stay on their toes as they know the community is watching! 

“I really don’t think there have been many headaches caused by this bill. If anything, it’s created a layer of transparency that’s made things easier for us in the long run,” she said.

Created a layer of transparency and supported by the state board of education! Wow there might be hope after all! 

Johnson estimated school boards could set up for “top-notch” recordings for less than $5,000!

And for the state board association obstructionists the sky is falling! I can’t believe local taxpayers pay membership dues for their local board members to be part of such an obstructionist group! Watch and I’ll be no weigh-in from Jea! Surely the must be some concern from the minority community and surely transparency or lack of is an issue of civil rights!   

And for the

The state Board of Education is already required to post recordings of its meetings online. Three local school districts — Red Clay, Christina and Capital — voluntarily post recordings.

And we can thank responsible administration and school board members who understand the critical need for transparency and the fruits of their labor is shown with successful operation referendum with little push-back! Appo troubles are related to under-performing communication whereas the super thought no one was watching! Did the referendum call for better transparency such as putting recordings of board meetings online? Hell no!

Susan Francis, executive director of the Delaware School Boards Association, said her group is worried about the costs of new equipment and overtime for paying support staff to do the recordings. She also said her group isn’t necessarily opposed to the bill.

Now here is an obstructionist ! We’re all fucking idiots that don’t know every board has a recording secretary and many currently uses cassette recorders. There is no overtime for paying a board recording secretary because they are already there and if not we have way more serious problems! Where is Susan Francis in regards to the Wall Street Race to The Top ponzi scheme and being publicly critical of Governor Markell’s local state cuts to K-12 education such and in transportation funding and extra-time grant money! Why isn’t she leading the way to expose the Arne Duncan And Jack Markell takeover of local board control? Yep only obstructionist to real transparency! And go figure, local taxpayers pay membership fees for our boards to be part of this organization! Damn, your tax-dollars at work obstructing transparency! 

Hudson said the price tag shouldn’t be a major problem for the boards.

“We’re not looking for these districts to go out and purchase brand-new, expensive equipment,” she said. “These days, if you have an iPad or an iPhone you can record a meeting. As long as they can post it, we’re OK with them using equipment they have.”

Yep, they don’t need a Motown recording setup! Just a basic digital recorder with a few conference microphones.

Recordings would not be necessary for executive sessions – portions of meetings that are closed to the public and media – workshops, retreats or committee meetings.

Just public session of school board meetings! That’s not asking for much! However, the obstructionist state board association feels this is too intrusive to their local members! I wonder, did she take a poll of members supporting and opposing the call for real transparency or did she take her marching order  from the old guards!

Hudson said she might add a provision that would allow districts to take recordings off the website after 12 to 18 months.

“To be fair to our districts, we don’t want them to have to keep up this archive going back 20 years or anything,” Hudson said.

18 months is more than fair! Also, let’s not forget printed board meeting minutes are posted after the board approves minutes at their next month’s meeting and post in about a week after that. So that’s 40 days after the initial meeting often too late for the public to weigh-in on board critical action votes. Is this what the obstructionist wants to protect?

Well one thing for sure, the legislation mustard the house education committee and now goes for a house vote! We’ll get to see the voting record on which legislator support or don’t support transparency! But do note, the vote for the the state board of education to record their meeting was unanimous! I am hopeful!

Recording public sessions of school board meetings is a no-brainer! If the community and parents are to be more engaged in public education issues at-least we can open the window a little-bit more and add that layer of transparency. How can you engage issues if local boards are lining up to block transparency?

This legislation is bipartisan and at a time Washington D.C. is divided it’s good to see local Delaware politicians coming together to delivery open government to the people! We have a long way to go but, this is a major step forward! Public schools belong to the public and should be as transparent as possible. Delaware public schools consume one-third the state budget and is putting increase financial pressure on local taxpayers. We’re investing million of dollars in technology and to cry about $190,000.oo to equip local school districts, votech district and charter schools combined is an injustice and government working in bad faith! But if it fails we can blame the sell-out of the obstructionists at the school board associations! Yep looks like they work in the dark and can’t expose those who are anti-transparency! Always for the kids they say! Folks keep an eye on the legislative vote and we’ll know who is for transparency of public education! Local elections coming 2014!