Daily Archives: August 8, 2013

Should Delaware’s teacher performance ratings be available to parents

In case you didn’t know parents can go online at DE DOE / Educator Data System aka DEEDS and review their teacher profile. DEEDS will provide college degrees, Delaware Credentials, National Credentials and Highly Qualified Status. However, DEEDS does not provide performance rating via DPASII (Delaware Performance Appraisal System). Personally I feel there are many flaws in how Delaware public school teachers are rated. DCAS aka standardize student assessment test is used as part of the teacher appraisal process. I’ve observed much of the data and see nothing factored in the rating in regards to parental involved in the sense of making sure their child is prepared for school each day with all assignments completed. The notion all students are eager to learn and all parents meet their responsibility is nothing more than a fantasy. Though poverty is no excuse to not learn  or for teachers not to apply themselves 100%. However at best, the impact of poverty impedes students ability to learn and a teachers ability to teach. Odds are teachers in schools with lower percentage of poverty will out-perform their counterparts in high poverty schools “at a greater rate”. Social-economical factors do have an impact!

Parents, the best teacher appraisals system is YOU! In experience with my child’s teachers I found teachers are appreciative that they are seen as partners. PTA/PTO sometimes is a turn-off because of the demands of fundraisers. However, PTA/PTO meetings and school events are excellent ways for parents to better engage their child’s teacher.

Parents need to be objective when teachers provide constructive assessment of their child. If there is academic concerns, parents and teachers needs to be partners and supportive each other. Put it this way, we all have a vision of the idea teacher but on the flip-side teachers idea parents are parents who engaged them with support and by being objective. 

Public education reform has become a runaway train with no breaks! In Delaware millions of dollars are being spent on over testing of students, looking for the magic bullet in assessing students and a major witch-hunt in an ambiguous teacher appraisal process that seems more rooted in undermining organized labor to artificially justify privatization of public education. Also, deep-seeded within this business and political inspired agenda is a stepping stone in breaking the back of prevailing wages. The only thing standing in the way of ending prevailing wages is organized labor. Teacher unions in Delaware and across the nation hold the greatest combined power of any trade or profession! Take-down organized teachers the other trades will follow. However, as the business and political agenda progresses there will come a time of major push-back to the point of civil unrest! The Wall Street education reformers and Jack Markell can say it’s all for the kids all the want. However, the reality is, there is a tactful war with labor going on! The only agenda I see organized teachers having is quality pay, benefits and on the job support! Do they need due process? Damn right! Would you trust the government to protect your job?

In every profession there are bad apples from police, military, bus drivers and on and on! Some might call me the bad apple of bloggers and I call Jack Markell the bad apple governor! In a short few yeas he’ll be gone and like with Governor Carper he’ll leave a wake of education destruction. Governor Minner might have been a crafty old politician taking care of herself. However, the education shit was put on her plate and she did her best! Now don’t think I am in love with this lady but she did give us the SEED scholarship, Minner Reading and Math Teachers. Minner did put some extra resources where there they count! In the classroom! Markell cut the Minner Reading and Math Teachers. Minner didn’t play education czar because she was a realist knowing she didn’t have the skill-set and rely on Secretary of Education Woodruff a “seasoned” educator! Markell’s Secretary of Education Murphy taught three years of gym and was an administrators for two years. He was groomed for the Sec of Ed’s job by Rodel! We have people in leadership positions at DE DOE who are trained corporate puppets.

Many people visiting this blog are consider charter school naysayers. However, DE DOE charter school unit has caused more harm to charter schools than negative opinions on blogs. DE DOE lacks serious capacity in effectively approving and providing oversight of Delaware charter schools. Over and over we see newly approved charter school applications coming back for modifications which in most cases requesting reduction in students or grade configuration! If the application and charter school planing by their organizers were thought-out is real world thinking they would need modification request. 

Folks all this shit does relate to teacher performance ratings! We need to end the witch-hunt and move funding being wasted on overkill re: student assessment and injection of bullshit consultants and data mining! Perhaps Governor Markell can sit in on some basic evaluation of incoming kindergarten students and third grade assessment! Perhaps Jack Markell can order a study on parental involvement such as response to teacher and school request for meetings and participation in teacher conference. Perhaps Markell can order a study on student attendance and obvious impact on teacher appraisals.

It comes down to this, I am the town idiot with a GED and a pocketful of college credit that sees an education system imploding upon itself as the Wall Street money grab evolves. Poverty as it relates to education has become a profit center and shame on our righteous so-called civil rights brothers in Wilmington for sitting around with their thumbs up their asses! The say we need to look outside the box to find many solutions in business and education. Perhaps it the people who don’t work within the education box that have the clearest vision and can see all and the connections to the Wall Street / political ponzi scheme! Education has evolved in the one of the largest “industry” in America and the taxpayers are being scammed as the children are being cheated out of resources needed in the “classrooms” ! Education in Delaware was much better when teachers had the right to strike!       

Did Rebecca Taber call it quits re: Markell’s Education Policy Advisor?

Update: Rumor is true “Rebecca Taber, Education Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Office, resignation effective August 2, 2013.”  See Information Item; Personnel 

Let’s assume this rumor is true! My guess Ms. Taber’s replacement would be Lindsey O’mara.  This sucks, Kilroy didn’t even get a chance to apply for the job! I would of advised Markell to cleanup the DE DOE charter school office and stop spoon feeding the State Board of Education.

Arne Duncan grants individual NCLB Waivers to school districts

By , Published: August 6 

The Obama administration will grant waivers to eight California school districts to free them from the requirements of No Child Left Behind, a precedent-setting move that creates a direct relationship between the federal government and local school systems.

It marks the first time that the Obama administration — which has granted waivers to the District of Columbia and 39 states — has opted to exempt individual school districts from the federal education law’s requirements, bypassing state government. The waivers will be in effect for the school year that begins in August.

“We’re going directly to the districts, not to the state, and frankly working directly with districts wasn’t an easy decision,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Tuesday. “We’re not taking this on because it’s simple. We’re taking it on because it’s the right thing to do for more than a million students.”

When will the Republican party wake up and smell the coffee? The United States Department of Education continues to overstep it’s authority. Obviously with granting individual waivers to school districts there must be conditions or otherwise all districts would receive the same waivers. So more federal intrusion! 

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), one of the architects of No Child Left Behind who now considers it outdated, said the move would “provide the opportunity for more than a million students in California to break away from the most rigid requirements of NCLB that do little to ensure that all children are learning.”

Wait does the “D’ in D-calif stands for? Democrat! Miller is of the architects of No Child Left Behind? So why does Geroge Bush get all the blame? Senator Carper (D) and Biden (D) voted yes for HR#1 NCLB December 18, 2001. And yep! Senator Ted Kennedy (D) was a yes vote! Congressman Castle (R) voted yes! Congressman Boehner (R) was the sponsor. According to the text of NCLB this legislation would be funded starting fiscal year 2002 and through fiscal year 2007. Folks the law has expired and so should the funding! Also, there is no verbiage in the legislation giving the U.S. Secretary of Education or the President the power to extend funding or give waivers!  However, like I said, funding was to be through fiscal year 2007. How can you give a wavier to a law that technically is no more?

By LIBBY A. NELSON | 7/19/13 11:37 AM EDT No Child Left Behind overhaul passes through House in 221-207 vote

The chamber approved what amounts to a repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act on a largely partisan 221-207 vote. The Student Success Act would end the federal requirement that schools make “adequate yearly progress,” letting states set their own progress goals instead. It would block the Education Department from encouraging states to commit to common education standards. And it would end requirements that states preserve their own spending levels on education to receive federal dollars. Two core pieces of NCLB remain in place: Testing students in reading, math, and science and tracking the performance of groups of students, such as children with disabilities and students learning English.

The House version of the bill is likely to get no traction in the Senate. Senators are working on their own, less conservative overhaul of No Child Left Behind. And President Obama has already threatened to veto the House bill. Senate education committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has said he would like his version of the bill to hit his chamber’s floor this fall.

So in the meantime as we wait for re-authorization of NCLB aka ESEA Arne Duncan and the president runs their own agenda using NCLB monies which technically should have been gone after fiscal year 2007.

The Republicans have no backbone in challenging the president because they are in on the Wall Street ponzi scheme that moves more money away from real classroom resources and lower class sizes and shifts it to more administration and consultants.

As far as Delaware Republicans, they are in bed with Jack Markell on Race to The Top and Common Core Standards. Seems like federal intrusion is O.K. as long as your Wall Street buddies are getting piece of the $$$ pie. Sprinkle a little $$$$ to local so-called civil rights leaders working in education you’ll have a complete political buy-in. At the end of the day no matter how you cut it, it’s minority children suffering as their parents are being played for fools.

The time had has come to really hold “schools” accountable for student achievement and closing the achievement gap. Yet, waivers are being given out to those schools that failed. One good thing with the waviers is, traditional public schools won’t be force to convert to charter schools for failing to improve after school turning around plans.

When Obama and Markell are out of office the next save public education reform plan will be pushed. The dog continues to chase it’s tail!