Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Is Delaware SB#27 getting a bum-rap re:RTTT #netDE #edude

This is a followup post to this Do you support accelerated academic programs in Delaware schools? Posted on April 3, 2013 by kilroysdelaware Go read and come back …….

Here us the entire proposed legislation SB#27 

For some of us accelerated may mean a means to compete a course sooner.

From eHow By Jared Lewis, eHow Contributor

In a traditional college setting, accelerated classes offer a number of advantages to college students and professors alike. Accelerated classes are classes that cover the same amount of material as a traditional semester-long class, but do so in a much shorter period of time. These classes can last anywhere from a few weeks to just one week, depending on the nature of the course and the time slots available. 

Delaware Senate Bill 27 states this AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ACCELERATED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

So I think it means this, Wikipedia; “Academic acceleration is the advancement of students in subjects at a rate that places them ahead of where they would be in the regular school curriculum. Acceleration is most often used as an intervention to accommodate the learning needs of gifted and talented students”

Either way, I don’t think it is a bad thing. We can’t dumb-down the curriculum holding every student at same pace of learning. I think one of the attractions of Charter School of Wilmington is, it’s an academic feeding-ground for overachievers. Do we really want to hold back Doogie Howsers of the world? 

Our schools have IB, TAG, Honor and AP programs. But I don’t think SB#27 is meant to add another honors type programs but rather allow a means for students to progress through the courses without drag of the teacher keeping all student on task together! Professor Newton!! bail me out and explain the intend of SB#27 beyond the impact of competitive funding requirement. 

As for the competing for funding, I sense via comments on last post that there is deep concern Delaware supplemental state education funding might be heading to a competitive process like Race to The Top.  Some in Dover still have their blinders on and can’t see the ills of Race to The Top an unsustainable federal grant. We have Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and now the Smarter Balanced Assessment coming our way where there has been no shared decision-making including parents prior agreeing to those programs. The governor makes the purchase on his own and comes back pouring Kool-aid for parents.

If there were no Race to The Top would this legislation use competitive terminology or would SB#27 be sold as a pilot program  with limited state start-up funds whereas district selected would be weight on the merits of their vision for such programming.

I feel some of the push-back is due to it “appears” SB#27 has wrapping paper that looks like Race to The Top.

For many in Delaware going to the General Assembly’s webpage isn’t on the to-do list. How many political/ education junkies are out there? So most people feel they are blindsided when new legislation is enacted. Some act as Dover works in the dark and people don’t have the opportunity to weigh-in. The mainstream media pretty much does an article and moves on whereas with blogs we can beat the horse until he is dead.

Are we losing sight of funding balance in serving the needs of all children that includes at-risk and special needs. The demands of the so-called global economy appears to have shifted the intent of education reform that was driven by the need to close the achievement-gap to investing in our best and brightest who will be the leaders / drivers in tomorrow’s economy. All this gives new meaning to Race to The Top as it is a race with winners and losers! We know which children will be on the loosing end! If opening the academic flood gates to allow students to accelerate would we be causing a biggest divided in the achievement-gap? Sounds like another opportunity for a Kilroy social injustice rant! But on the flip-side wouldn’t it be a social injustice holding back students who have the mind-set to accelerate? (the charter argument).

We have a public education funding crisis that doesn’t allow us to expand innovation outside the apparent federal government intrusion agenda compounded by the local business roundtable wanting their hooks in decision-making. There is grounds for public mistrust because far too often decisions are made by the governor even through political manipulation of our school boards, superintendents and even teacher unions. But like clockwork, out comes the Kool-aid after the fact to manipulate parents and the community. As for Ttile 1 parents, this is in spite of  laws such as Title 1 Section 1118 that was to give Title 1 parents a seat at the decision-making table! 

Putting all the funding questions and political aspects aside sure I am for accelerated classes! All students should be giving avenues to achieve their potential.

Race continues to divide education in Wilmington Delaware #netDE #edude

Some on Christina board take refuge in feigned fears Written by Rhonda B. Graham,Apr. 4, 2013 11:26 PM

First was the wasted time spent complaining about New Castle Councilman Jea Street’s letter, objecting to the board’s turning down $2.3 million of federal Race to the Top funds to help struggling high-poverty schools improve academically. He was clearly piqued at the board majority for a failure to give the public a sense of when it would be forthcoming with a response to the federal government’s ruling that it address unfair disciplinary action in the state’s second largest school district.

WTF ?? Race to The Top has zero to do with the federal ruling on unfair disciplinary practices under the former school district superintended and board members serving at the time of the federal investigation. No Race to The Top money is designated to go towards addressing district disciplinary policies.

God only knows why Jea Street supports giving teachers bonuses for doing “their jobs”.

Even the local teachers union disapproves of bonuses. Jea should be upset that the process for purging under-performing teachers harms all children is secondary to bonuses. The money being pissed away on bonuses for people paid to do their jobs could be better served going toward helping entry-level and under-performing teachers do a better job, Losing the $2.3 million does does nothing to address the concerns of the federal ruling.

Instead some board members stoked unimaginable fears of another possible Sandy Hook, Conn., massacre, based on Mr. Street’s traditional no-holds barred criticism of their loyalty to all of the district’s students, particularly black students. “The language in the letter was incendiary and totally uncalled for,” board member Shirley Sutton-Safer intoned. “With some of the lunatics who are out there, who knows what they might do if they saw this letter?

We’ll I for one like Jea Streets style and rants!  We know Jea is Jea and nothing will change him! That’s a good thing! However, Shirley Sutton-Safer’s concern seems to be Jea’s over the top comments could be view but others that certain members of the board are racist and social cancer that has to go. Sure he called for the superintendent to step-down and the superintendent happens to be African-American which might be a smoke screen. Yes Rhonda there are lunatics out there.

Perhaps what most rational folks would have done after reading the document – determine it wasn’t incendiary. It expressed the frustration embedded of parents and politicians who have worked for years to try to determine why black children seem to get the harsher end of the disciplinary actions for the same infractions, which the data suggests were committed by those among the majority population. The federal Department of Education Office, after conducting its own review raised the same question.

Black children get fucked-over more than white children because many of the so-called community leaders proclaiming they are civil rights leaders bow-down to kiss the hand of white knights such as Jack Markell. During Markell’s bid for governor he acknowledged charter schools were “skimming and creaming” students causing re-segregation. Markell stood side by side with those during a ceremony when Bank of American donated an office building to the Longwood Foundation that will house a mega charter school serving mostly black students. Jea Street’s fight is with Dover! But again, Race to The Top’s $2.3 million dollars in question has nothing to do with the federal report!

Truthfully, the district appears to act in bad faith by not keeping to their Race to the Top agreement. They reneged for reasons they thought more honorable – among them that the deal came with money that singled out teachers rated as highly effective for $1,000 bonus. That flies in the face of tradition which holds that the rising tide of pay in a school building should lift every employee’s compensation accordingly.

So giving a $1000.00 bonus to many more teachers rather than $10,000-$20,000.00 to a selected few is bad faith? Also, next year is the end of Race to The Top and I wonder if Jea and the News Journal would yell foul if Christina didn’t raise local school taxes to continue the bonuses at a time they continue to take the class-size wavier. How does it serve children when we rob Peter to pay Paul? The deals I see with Race to The Top are the Limo Deal where Judas sowed some seeds on the way down to the D.C. sellout game, $8.2 million dollars to Wireless Generation subsidiarity of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for “data coaches”. The there is Markell’s stock portfolio surely enriched with shares of News Corp and K12.inc stock! Don’t remember, Jack Markell is a self-proclaimed proud card carrying capitalist and knows there is profit in poverty when it comes to education! So where do you think Markell career wil end up? Take a look at the leaders in education reform! All a bunch of rich white guys and many the same who did nothing about racial diversity in their organizations and who had unfavorable lending policies towards blacks! Damn even Joe Biden’s brother Frank Biden is cashing in on charter schools.

He ended this violent manifesto with a call for the resignation of the school superintendent and particular members responsible for “broken promises and bad faith, ongoing discrimination and exclusionary, race-driven practices.” Then he did a “George W. Bush” on them terming such actions as “weapons of mass educational destruction” which he promised would be dealt with accordingly. Could that be why he cc’d the governor, local and state politicians with oversight of the district’s operation?

What has he governor done to address the de facto segregation left in the wake of the Neighborhood Schools Act, charter school laws laced with discriminatory practices, class size cap laws with loopholes and support of federal intervention in local school board control? Why is that governor can’t see the need to record school board meetings and leave it up to me? Perhaps Markell rather not want the public to hear the Jea Streets of the world! Hear parents raise concerns about problems with school choice! Hear how their children are being bullied! Hear school administrators complain about Markell’s state budget cuts! Hear school board members raising concerns about the financial unsustainable Race to The Top. 

The fight for real change is in Dover Delaware and issues of civil rights won’t improve until a few good sisters step-up and sound the charge for real change! Black or white, it’s the mom’s towing the line when it comes to education.