Daily Archives: May 22, 2013

Death watch for Delaware H.B.# 23

Hudson

Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Peterson

CoSponsors:

Reps. Dukes, D. Short, Miro, Peterman, Wilson, Baumbach, Bennett, Mitchell, K. Williams; Sens. Hocker, Lavelle, Simpson, Townsend

Introduced on :

01/23/2013

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Synopsis:

This bill requires that all public meetings of the boards of education of traditional public school districts, vo-tech school districts, and public meetings of charter schools’ boards of directors be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the districts’ and charter schools’ websites within seven business days. The recordings will not be considered the official board minutes.


Currently the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Christina School District, and the Capital School District on a voluntary basis approved by their boards of education have been providing the public digital recordings of their board public session meetings via the district’s websites.


The Delaware State Board of Education is required by the State Board of Education to make available within one business day digital recordings of its board meetings on the Delaware Department of Education’s website.

Current Status:

Out of Committee   On   03/27/13

With 13 days of legislative session left (after JFC Budget Markup) H.B.# 23 barely on life support is doomed to death! The speaker of the house with I am sure blessings from Matt Denn and Jack Markell has kept H.B. #23 off the House Agenda for a full house vote! If it even makes it a House Vote there isn’t enough time for Senate Education Committee review and a full Senate Vote.

What next ? Well it will be a 4th of July roll-out of campaigning to keep Lt. Matt Denn from advancing to governor. Also, for Senator Blevins time to retire her. But get ready for some Republican backlash for lack of “will”. Keeping the door closed on greater transparency of public schools shouldn’t be rewarded!

More signs Matt Denn’s political future looks bleak ! Remember this local taxpayers!

Nearly $5 million in technology funding approved for Delaware schools Written by Jonathan Starkey The News Journal

Lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee approved nearly $5 million for new technology in schools today, months after public school superintendents raised an alarm over aging computers and a lack of technology resources.

The additions include $2.25 million for technology block grants, which will be funded through noncompetitive grant applications, and $2.6 million for four-year leases on computers used for state testing. Budget officials said the money will provide for the lease of 16,000 new computers in state schools.

So $2.6 million dollars goes for computer used for state testing. This leave $2.25 million dollars for charter and traditional public schools to share for critical technology upgrades of additions. NOT GOOD!   

The Delaware Chief School Officers Association requested funding in October for technology upgrades and said in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Ann Visalli that a new testing system was placing strains on technology. They also stressed the need for more tech support personnel. The group originally asked for at least $4.5 million in funding and later upped that request to $10 million. 

Visalli acknowledged the funding approved today is “not the amount they wanted, but it’s progress.”

“a new testing system was placing strains on technology”? Are we talking DCAS or the Smarter Balanced Assessment test? The school chiefs needs $10 million dollars in technology aid! So how can we have world class public schools without the needed tools?

So here comes more local referendums to back-fill Markell / Denn failures! Well we’re stuck with Markell for another three years but for Denn not the case!

Why does Delaware charter schools fear school vouchers?

Governor Jack Markell and Lt. Governor Matt Denn appears to working on a backroom deal to seed capital funding for Delaware charter schools. I think the time has come for a pilot school voucher program. 

Well thanks to some private First State Scholarships organization is providing some limited scholarships and working with some private schools.

In 11 other states there are Educational Opportunity Scholarships which allow parents, especially of modest means to search for a school that is a better fit then the traditional, “one size fits all”, that has been the norm for decades.

Why should the taxpayers help build new school buildings for charter schools who submitted charter school applications indicating there was no critical need capital funding? One of the selling points of charters in Delaware was they can do it for less!

Wake-up Matt Denn!

Jason Stanford: Learning from Michelle Rhee’s rise and fall Written  by Jason Stanford

Where Rhee claimed success, the report found that National Assessment of Education Progress “scores showed minimal-to-no improvement for low-income and minority students, and some losses. Moreover, higher scores were due in most cases not to actual improvements for any age group, but to an influx of wealthier students.”

There was no DC miracle. Browbeating students and teachers into raising scores on state tests only makes them better at taking—or faking—state tests, and reforming our schools in hopes of replicating an illusion is a petty crime against humanity. Even George W. Bush was forced to admit there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we’ve long since gotten over the shock that Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire were juiced more than a Florida orange grove. We believe lies at our own peril. It’s time to stop waiting for Superman and focus on the hard work of teaching our children the way we know works.