Monthly Archives: August 2013

Are student loan defaults the next American financial crisis?

Lower student loan rates got you thinking of co-signing? Think again: CNBC Published: Friday, 9 Aug 2013 | 7:02 PM ET

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed the student loan interest rate compromise into law, reducing the federal student loan rate from 6.8 percent to 3.86 percent, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time for parents to co-sign their children’s loans.

More than 43 percent of student loans are in deferment, according to a TransUnion study. Making matters worse, the rate of unemployment and underemployment for college graduates is at its highest level in 11 years, so deferments and delinquencies are not likely to go down anytime soon.

Student loans are for life until paid in full and are excluded from bankruptcy.

From the White House webpage, A Better Bargain for Students

About 8.8 million undergraduate borrowers will see their rates on new loans drop from 6.8 to 3.86 percent, and about 1.5 million Graduate Unsubsidized Stafford borrowers will see their rates drop on new loans from 6.8 percent to 5.41 percent. Finally, over 1 million Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS borrowers will see their rates on new loans drop from 7.9 percent to 6.41 percent—the first reduction in years.

Why are Parent PLUS loan interest 6.41% and loans to students 3.86%? Answer: Both loans have death clauses. If a parent were to die that loan would be paid and same goes if the student borrower were to die. Also, if the student were to die under a Parent Plus loan the loan for be paid / satisfied. The reality is the student barrow’s life expectancy is longer that their parents. Apparently the financial incentive % would be to have the loan in the students name. However, when a parent cosigns for the student and the student defaults parents are on the hook! If a parent defaults on a Parent Plus loan the student isn’t on the hook.    

Half of new grads are jobless or underemployed; Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs —  confounding their hopes. By HOPE YEN Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

Remember the movie the Graduate ? “Plastics” ! Today it’s STEM!  

While there’s strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor’s degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.

I support STEM programs in our schools. However, we’re in a global economy with the best and brightest foreign students coming to America to fill those STEM jobs. Preference doesn’t go to American citizens, it goes to the best candidates. There will be winners and losers. Sure, STEM jobs may be where it’s at. However, will there be enough STEM jobs to fill the demand re: college graduates?    

The double whammy
“You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” says Harvard economist Richard Freeman, noting the growing risk of a debt bubble with total U.S. student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. “If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college.”

Could going to college via student / parent loans a roll of the dice? Yes going to college is the best choice but perhaps it might make sense to go part-time pay as you go or in Delaware case, attend Delaware Teach via U of D’s Associated (connected) programs.  

How many DSEA members will lower themselves for a Rodel IEducate award?

Celebrating innovation in Delaware schools Cast vote for administrators, educators changing lives Written by Matthew Albright The News Journal

The Rodel Foundation of Delaware announced 15 teachers, principals and other community leaders as finalists for this year’s iEducate Delaware initiative.

The program, implemented last year, asks the public to vote for “champions who work with Delaware’s schoolchildren” and who are “taking risks and making innovative, positive changes on the ground.”

Organizers say they received twice as many submissions for finalists as they did last year. The Rodel Foundation of Delaware is a Wilmington nonprofit organization with a goal of improving Delaware’s education system.

The public is invited to vote for the person they think has made the biggest difference at ieducatedelaware.org. The site includes each finalist’s story along with program details and rules.

Winners will be announced in October at the Vision 2015 conference.

See the photo gallery to learn more about the educators.

Staff writer Nichole Dobo contributed to this report.

Rodel has been at the forefront of the social re-engineering of Delaware’s public schools going back to DSTP which rolled out spring 1998 and you can bet the Rodel clones were part of the business round-table that paid off then Governor Tom Carper to allow them control of the reform movement. DSTP failed but yet the likes of Rodel were rewarded with another shot of trying to get it right!   

http://www.rodelfoundationde.org/who-we-are/mission-history/

In 1999, Bill, Don (Rodel’s co-founder and Bill’s brother) and Susan (director at Rodel Inc. and Bill’s daughter) Budinger, wanting to give back to the community that they called home, decided to address what they believed to be the most important issue for our future: preparing students for a 21st century global economy and a more diverse world.

The result? The creation of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware. And over a decade since then, our founders are still inspiring us to help build Delaware one of the best school systems in the world.

Prior to announcing his bid for Governor, Jack Markell was a member of Rodel’s advisory board and was recipient of major $$$$ political contributions from the founders of Rodel. “Governor” Markell has been nothing but a Rodel Trojan horse allowing Rodel’s Shipper of the Vision Network to be part of the Delaware Race to The Top dream-team that went to Washington D.C. with Judas in tow. Not only did Markell let the fox in the hen-house, Markell gave them the key.

Published in the (Wilmington, Delaware) News Journal April 7, 2008 By Phillip Bannowsky So-called school reform serves corporate ends The stewardship of public education is hard work, which we must not surrender to private interests at odds with community ends.”

Why is the Delaware Department of Education’s Charter School Office a mess and lacks capacity? Because Rodel clones were installed. 

I’ll end the rants however, those local public school union members nominated for this Rodel IEducate award might not have a say in  their nomination but if they win I encourage them not to attend the award event and publicly refuse the award. And if one is so bold to attend this Rodel blow fest, I hope when they walk up to received the award they say, no thank you! 

Those traditional public school teachers willing to accept this Rodel award will be feeding the egos of wrongheaded reformers who see traditional public school teacher unions as the evils of public education. There comes a time to go along to get along but there comes a time to say go fuck yourself! Don’t feed the beast that is waiting to eat you! Don’t join the ranks of Judas! Remember “bell to bell” ? Call this one, Go to Hell Rodel!

Delaware Gov. Markell’s teacher evaluation plans backfires!

Grade marks ‘erosion’ as teachers lose confidence in state evaulation process Changes urged in state evaluation process Written by Matthew Albright The News Journal

  • Growing numbers of Delaware teachers are dissatisfied with the state assessment used to judge their performance, results from a statewide survey show.

  • Respondents gave the system an average grade of “C,” the lowest rating since the assessment began.

  • Three quarters of the surveyed teachers did not think the system should continue in its current form. More than 80 percent of administrators thought the same thing.

  • But many teachers worry the measures don’t account for factors like a student’s family situation, disruptive classmates and other things they can’t control but which can drag down test scores.

There must be a method of weighing students attendance, behavior, ill-prepared for class and lack of parental engagement and certainly this Red Clay policy needs to be addressed, Students in grades 1-8 must pass 50% of their instructional program each year (excluding physical education) to be promoted to the next grade level.” 

In a nutshell, the evaluation system is a mess because at a time when we are reforming academics standards and adding the Common Core Standards we are trying to add a punitive teacher evaluation system. Let’s put kids first and not the business round-table witch-hunt plan to crack the foundation of organized labor. To my conservative visitor, I didn’t use the word union because when we injected that all eyes look at DSEA. Every school district has their local unions and for the most part there is contentment between labor and management. Real reform in regards to teacher evaluation with meat must come from that local level. I’d say give a local school district a little autonomy to put something on the table.

What is insane about Delaware’s / Markell’s plan is The Smarter Balanced Assessment is on the way and score will drop and again our schools and teachers must work through the bugs of another standardized test. We need at best five years of assessment data beyond the pilot period and cut score adjustments to consider being serious about tying student testing scores to teacher punitive evaluations. However, the issue of social promotion must be addressed.

The billions of dollars in this country being funneled to a Wall Street ponzi scheme could be better served lowering class sizes in high poverty schools. By the third-grade or even earlier local school /district assessments identifies students with serious need in academic intervention! Use the state assessment to rank the schools and districts and allow the “local” parents and the community have greater say! But then again, parents need to organize and engage the issues! Let’s start putting some administrators jobs on the line including the supers! They write the game plan for all to follow! They control the $$$$. 

As for Governor Jack Markell, he has made a complete mess of Delaware’s public schools. Markell is the worst governor on public education in Delaware’s history. He is a capitalist not a realist. We have real problems within public education that have nothing to do with organized labor and those societal issues relevant to academic success of children needs to be addressed. Markell’s blueprint for education reform was stuffed in his back-pocket with campaign contributions from the likes of Rodel. Markell couldn’t formulate a classroom lesson plan let alone a plan to reform Delaware’s public education.                 

Red Clay promotion / retention policy sets the bar too low

Red Clay

Promotion, Retention, and Graduation Instruction Policy 7011

Promotion and retention decisions shall follow State law and local
requirements. At the elementary level, students shall be reading on grade level inorder to be promoted.
Grades 1-8
 Students in grades 1-8 must pass 50% of their instructional program each year (excluding physical education) to be promoted to the next grade level.
They must pass English Language Arts or its equivalent, including English as a Second Language (ESL) and bilingual classes designed to develop English proficiency.
Grades 9-12
By state regulation, high school students must pass a specific number of courses each year in the areas of English, mathematics, and social studies and must earn a specific number of credits to be promoted. 

Graduation Requirements, To graduate from a District high school, a student must complete a minimum of 24 credits including four credits in English Language Arts, 4 credits in mathematics, 3 credits in science, 4 credits in social studies, 2 credits in world language, 1 credit in physical education, 0.5 credits in health, 3 credits in a career pathway (visual and performing arts, world language, and/or career technical education) and 2.5 credits in elective courses (visual and performing arts, world language, or career technical education).
In addition, state law requires that students enrolled in grade 10 receive driver education. Students who successfully complete the driver education coursework shall receive 0.25 elective credit.

Through all the education reform raising the bar and stop lying to students and parents Red Clay hasn’t address their Promotion, Retention, and graduation on Policy 7011. 

“At the elementary level, students shall be reading on grade level in order to be promoted.” Lie #1. Then why are students going to the next grade not reading on grade level? How can we hold teachers accountable if students aren’t prepared for a given grade level? I know I’ve ranted about social promotion before but it needs to be addressed!Students in grades 1-8 must pass 50% of their instructional program each year (excluding physical education) to be promoted to the next grade level.” Lie #2. Do you really believe the schools are following this policy?

I know all the social ramifications in regards to social promotion but it’s time to get serious about addressing the problems. We cannot reform public education unless we address social promotion and stop handing out empty high school diplomas. 

Will Joe Biden recycle his 1988 Iowa presidential speech?

Same old song ! 

Delaware Senator Sokola bitch-slaps Delaware Rep. Kowalko

Senator David Sokola has some nerve attacking State Representative John Kowalko in his News Journal hit piece..

Many forget or might not know Senator Sokola is the godfather of DSTP the former standardized student test that was flawed from day! Remember those 3-tiered diplomas grading student based on one test like sides of beef in the supermarket. The Basic Diploma was destined to at- risk struggling minority children. As for speical ed students Sokola took the position those students should take grade-level assessments with limited accommodations. As far as charter schools, Sokola was one of Newark Charters original board members. Rather than support all of public education his personal choice to join the Newark Charter School Board signified the beginning of his bias for charter schools and less support for traditional public schools. Sokola worked in shadows helping Newark Charter secure a conduit loan through the county. Sokola was the stick in the mud holding Delaware back from advancing student assessment to a growth model plan. For the life on me, I don’t understand why Senator Sokola is the Chairman of the Delaware Senate Education Committee. That leadership belongs to a no-bias leader, not one manipulating others to support charter schools. The process at best is skewed!

“Therefore it was troubling for us as Senate Education Committee members to read a recent opinion piece by one of our colleagues entitled “Lawmakers flunk charter reform test.”  

Sokola is referring to state representative Kowalko. Kowalko calls it as he sees it and was right-on! Sokola is bent out of shape because the egg on his face dripped down to the crack of his ass! And you can bet Sokola worked on Rep Hudson to get her to kick H.B. #23 under the bus after passing house education committee. Sokola doesn’t want no parts of recording school board meetings especially for charter’s. 

Senator Sokola is and always has been on the corporate bandwagon that allows the likes of Rodel to have a major say in Delaware public school reform. Pretty sad Dave, business has a greater voice in education reform than parents.

Senator Sokola sits on  the sidelines as DE DOE losses all capacity to effectively approve charter and provide oversight to charter schools. Some charter schools fail because they lack clear transparency and don’t even follow some of the laws supporting transparency. Sokola sees this as growing pains.

Senator Sokola questions his legislative colleague Rep Kowalko is his News Journal hit price and I hope Kowalko is allowed the NJ space to respond! 

The charter school law is a mess because Senator Sokola is a Jack Markell lapdog protecting his campaign corporate investors and special interest! 

Kilroy’s love child strikes gold!

Kilroy’s oldest aka love child and his Mrs. are Lux Divon living among those modern day hippies 🙂 in Austin , TX.  Papa is very impressed with their latest album. Might be some good stuff for next years’s Fire Fly

Renaming Colonial’s Southern Elementary School Connor Elementary School would be a good thing

Schools are important part of our community and lives. Seeing schools names not connected to those who contributed to the betterment of education and community is such a waste. Colonial Southern Elementary School’s name is very impersonal and needs to be renamed. Naming a school after an individual is one of the highest honor a community can give back to those who gave so much. A friend asked me, “who would be a good candidate for such a honor.” I gave it some thought and said, former Senator Robert Connor. But I stepped-back and said, his wife Dori Connor who went on to fill his is senate seat after his passing would also make a good candidate. My friend said. why not rename the school after both Bob and Dori? I was wow! Great idea but can they name a school after two people? I thought about and agreed, sure, the school could be name Connor Elementary School and the school’s history could explain and preserve how the school was renamed.  

Some folks might be critical of naming a school after politicians but Bob and Dori Connor were beyond that! Dori was gifted in the arts (music) and served the Colonial School District as a music teacher and gave private lessons within the community. Bob served nearly three decades and Dori over a decade being elected after Bob’s passing. That’s 40 years of service as an elected officials for this husband and wife. This couple made a positive impacted on the community from the arts. environment, veteran affairs, education, the disabled, healthcare for the aging and nearly all aspects of issues impacting our quality of life.

We as society must take timeout to honor such service and people! Renaming Colonial’s Southern Elementary School to Connor Elementary School would honor this couple who served their faith, community and each other. But more importantly serve as a reminder to the community, the existence of quality of life for all must come from individuals and couples willing to give of themselves and hopefully be an inspiration to others to continue such missions.    

The New Moyer parents fail to take ownership of “their” school! The New Moyer is in quicksand! #NetDE #Edude @dedeptofed @destateboarded @greg_lavelle

New Moyer Academy under scrutiny; Several changes in works at charter school Written by Matthew Albright The News Journal

State education officials say they’ll closely watch the New Moyer Academy charter school’s first few months of the academic year and how it handles new deadlines to decide what action to take with the school, which currently is in violation of its charter.

The New Moyer is in violation of its charter and should be on formal review. The state board requested monthly updates from the Delaware Department of Education an organization that is so fractured it’s becoming irrelevant,

Moyer leaders say they’re up to that scrutiny and they’ll do everything the state expects to come back in compliance with state rules.

The New Moyer had their blueprint for success called a “charter school application” and that application was approved by DE DOE and the State Board of Education. So much for the integrity of Delaware’s charter school approval process and now the oversight process. Now the State Board of Education wants to flex their voice by requesting monthly updates! Hey Hef, how about a real top to bottom state audit? Ask Mrs. Hef what happen to House Bill #23!

Moyer became in violation of its charter when state officials rejected the school’s proposals to lower its required enrollment and overhaul its curriculum. That means the Department of Education could put the school on formal review, leading to a possible school closure, but officials say they prefer working to fix the problems.

If Markell, DE DOE and the State Board of Education looks the other way and not follow the frame work / procedures set in place why bother having a former review process? The reluctance in following the established process is more about not giving the charter school movement another black-eye and nothing to do with protecting and serving the children within the New Moyer.

The plan raises four main concerns:

It says the school’s curriculum is “not coherent”; its ownership of the building isn’t certain enough; too many students are skipping class; and the school is inaccurately reporting problems with discipline.

But not enough to call for a formal review! So much for courage from Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy for doing what’s right for kids! And where is our bride (governor) in waiting Matt Denn? Denn was a no show for House Bill #23 that would have brought real transparency to public sessions of school board meetings and given parents and the public  a better view of what’s going on!

The department is particularly worried about Moyer’s curriculum. It says the school has been “out of compliance” since August of last year, well before it even applied for the changes that were denied.

Moyer wanted to move away from online classes via K12.Inc to a blend that included more real-time teachers face to face with students. It appears Governor Markell sent in Mark Murphy to stop that transition because it would give K12.Inc a big black-eye and would set the stage for serious questions down the road if Delaware wanted to allow online charter schools learning via K12.inc vs bricks and mortar. The founder of K12.inc and Jack Markell are McKinsey clones. See What does Markell and K12.Inc have in common Posted on January 19, 2011 by kilroysdelaware. Also, 2011-2012 Moyer’s dropout rate was 28.4% Posted on July 10, 2013 by kilroysdelaware. Surely Governor Jack Markell is a stock holder in K12.inc a Wall Street listed for profit. Look whats is going on in North Carolina Court hearing next week on K12, Inc., for-profit school looking to open in NC – Could it be Markell is protecting his old buddy and possible his stock portfolio? Murphy resistance to Moyer wanting to move to less online classes could be part of an agenda. However, in Murphy’s support, the New Moyer presented their application which went successfully through the approval process and now decided to deviate from the approved charter school plan.  

Moyer’s original curriculum focused heavily on online instruction. Its new curriculum, implemented this year, uses a “blended model,” where core subjects are taught in a traditional classroom setting, while electives are offered online.

The plan sounds good but the integrity of those governing the New Moyer must be questioned! Was the original application committing to online learning a front to appease Governor Markell re: K12.inc? Personally I might give the New Moyer some space on this change but NO to reduction in approved enrollment and violate them for not meeting required enrollment!

Moyer sought the state’s approval for that change last month, even though it already had implemented it. But the Department of Education refused approval, saying the application didn’t prove the school’s teaching plan was up to snuff.

Let me see, increasing face to face instructional time between students and teachers isn’t up to snuff? Wait!!!!!!! Yikes!!!!! DE DOE is talking about the quality of the schools curriculum and lesson plans that may not be aligned with state standards. What could we used to gage the effectiveness of Moyer’s plan? DCAS ? 

Permanent home

And they continue to worry that Moyer doesn’t have a long-term agreement over ownership of its school building.

Moyer’s lease expires at the end of September. School officials say they’re finishing up negotiations to purchase the building.

Was Moyer charter school building sold in sheriff sale?  Posted on July 10, 2013 by kilroysdelaware Yep is was sold and the New Moyer is not the owner! And looks at this K12 Mafia type loan re: Moyer’s mortgage Posted on July 13, 2013 by kilroysdelaware  “K12 has agreed to finance the mortgage at a rate of 5.2% for 20 years. However if we terminate their contract for another management company the loan becomes payable within 30 days.” However, the New Moyer or K12.inc purchased the building re: sheriff sale. Now I wonder is something is going on in the background with a 3rd party? Perhaps the state AG might want to keep an eye on this one and the state auditor sharpen his pencil that’s unless Governor Markell tells them to stand-down!

But members of the state Board of Education said last month they weren’t convinced that agreement was solid enough to put Moyer on sound financial footing, leading them to reject the school’s application for smaller enrollment.

How could that be, DE DOE is required to have a DE DOE representative on the New Moyer’s state mandated Citizen Budget Oversight Committee. The state board should have delayed their vote and requested a state top to bottom audit.

The state’s plan for Moyer requires the school have a solid agreement ironed out by Aug. 30. School officials have said they should have a deal inked by that time.

Because of Moyer’s disregard for their approved charter we need to see an audit of property transfers and agreements to ensure no conflict of interest or fraud.

In addition, the state is pushing the school to fix problems with attendance. In the 2012-13 school year, Moyer had an attendance rate of 82.3 percent, the letter says.

That’s the lowest in the state and well below the expected rate of 95 percent. It means 92 of the school’s 165 students had 15 or more unexcused absences.

2011-2012 Moyer’s dropout rate was 28.4% The worse in the state. I wonder how they’ll try to fudge the numbers for 2012-2013?

Glenn A. Clarke, Moyer’s principal, said those problems partially are a result of the curriculum changes. Under the school’s original, online-heavy format, students didn’t attend school on Fridays.

“We’re trying to fight that perception among students and are changing that school culture,” Clarke said. “We’ve created a new attendance policy that absolutely will do that.”

Was no school on Fridays plan  part of the approved charter agreement? Audit audit audit ! 

Clarke said the school now will call parents if a student is absent, making sure they know the school expects them to be there for the next school day.

You mean to tell me parents didn’t know their children had off on Fridays and were to do their studies online? Also, does the online curriculum /lesson plan meet state standards? Audit audit audit!

Finally, the state says Moyer has been inaccurately reporting discipline problems.

“During the 2012-13 school year, multiple serious incidents were reported incorrectly, or under-reported,” the letter said. “Additionally, incidents were reported at a lower level of severity than was appropriate for the incident.”

What obstruction of Justice? The DOJ should do an audit and interviews! 

Clarke said he and his staff have spent the summer attending meetings and going over how to report such problems with state experts to make sure they know how the system works.

“We’re making sure we’re perfectly, perfectly clear that we know what needs to be entered into the system,” Clarke said.

New plan to cover your ass?

The state’s plan calls for ongoing scrutiny of the school during the first few months of the coming school year.

Throughout September and October, the Department of Education will monitor implementation of the changed curriculum and attendance and discipline policies. That will include site visits from staff to see the changes in person.

The New Moyer needs a formal review and be put on probation at best! Why wasn’t Pencader afforded the same as Moyer? Once again more proof the Delaware Department of Education lacks the capacity to provide consistent effective oversight of charter schools! The DE DOE charter school office is BROKEN! The Delaware State Board of Education is putting on a good show but fails to recommend real financial audits and review by competent qualified people! The DE DOE charter school office is BROKEN! What good are “frameworks” when DE DOE goes outside the frame to avoid conflict with those charter who fail to adhered to approved charter schools applications?  

Either Secretary of Education cleans house in the DE DOE charter school office or resigns! We need leaders not weak-kneed corporate clueless clones pretending to be educators! Delaware needs an elected secretary of education that are bound to the needs of public education and what’s best for students not a political appointment that relies on a governor with deep-seeded personal agendas that set the state to capitalize on education after life in public office! And shame on Matt Denn for sitting on the sideline with his thumb up his ass. By time 2016 this education mess will be at a major boil! But realistically Matt Denn need not worry because the Delaware Republic Party is anchored in pushing the charter school agenda and that why you see no Republican voice of concern with Moyer and none with Pencader. Debbie threw H.B.#23 under the bus to appease Republican charter concern! 

Life goes on as does the Wall Street ponzi scheme skimming money from classroom needs and shortchanging minority children. Every race has it’s winners and losers and like clockwork it will be poor minorities trapped in an endless circle! Only if we could hear what Dr. King, Hicks Anderson and Norm Lockman would say about all of this reform. I don’t oppose charter schools but at best I feel if they are going to be community schools we need to ensure all monies stay in the classrooms and out of the pockets of those in the Wall Street boardrooms and those lapdogs under the board’s conference table. Like with Pencader, Moyer’s parents don’t see themselves as owners of their public school called the New Moyer! I urge all New Moyer parents to stand-up and demand all public session of the New Moyer’s school board meetings be recorded and put online! If their is nothing to hide then open the window! Parents don’t wait until the last hour to stand and fight at a review meeting that may close your school! Stand now and demand transparency and truth! I am telling you, the writing is on the wall! Now is the time to stand! 

H. J. Krebs Elementary / Jr. High to hold 4th annual alumni reunion 10/12/2013

H. J. Krebs Elementary / Jr. High School was located in Newport Delaware and was closed 1981 as a result of the school desegregation order 1978. More on Delaware school desegregation by Hube @ The Colossus of Rhodey

Krebs was built in 1926 with funding from Henrik Johannes Krebs to honor his 50th wedding anniversary and opened in 1927 

If you attended Krebs school come and join other alumni including some teachers Saturday October 12. 2013 1-4 p.m @ Donald J. Richey Elementary School in the cafeteria. 

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! 

DE State Board of ED online recording 07/18/13 re: Moyer Academy

The review and discussion of Moyer Academy Charter starts at 21:51 minutes on the sound file.

State Board of Education Meeting – Audio – 7/18/2013 Part2

OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!! You all need to listen! You too Publius !