Daily Archives: May 25, 2014

Delaware Rep Scott’s House Bill #355 is nothing more than fool’s gold for school boards

Bill would give schools leeway in raising taxes By Jen Rini Delaware State News  Updated May 24, 2014

House Bill 355 would change the provision in Delaware Code that requires a school district to hold a successful public referendum before its board may approve tax increases to fund non-construction budget expenses.

The bill would allow a school board to raise property taxes up to 3 percent per year without consent of the voters in order to pay for expenses involved with the everyday operation of a school like teacher salaries, textbooks and supplies.

“It’s a politically charged issue,” said bill sponsor, Dover Rep. Darryl Scott, chairman of the House Education Committee.

He plans to introduce the measure next week, but he’s not sure of its legislative traction.

“I’m hopeful to have a productive conversation in committee,” he said.

The only conversation should take place is for Rep Scott to vacate his office now! 

Though he knew the bill was in the works for a few months, Matt Lindell, president of the Capital School Board which encompasses most of the Dover area, is still skeptical that change would be beneficial to local districts.

“While it does provide the board with more taxing authority, I still think the referendum process is the best way to go. It’s the last tax that taxpayers really have the opportunity to vote up and down on,” Mr. Lindell said.

“With a 3-percent increase, that can mean different things to different districts.

Matt if this legislation makes it to law you can better your district and all districts in the state won’t ever see a successful capital funding referendum if they apply this law.

Short-term fixes to operational funding with this legislation might be beneficial but in the long-term we’ll see board members out on their asses at the next board elections after they utilize H.B.# 355.

H.B.#355 is nothing more than Fool’s Gold delivered by an outgoing state legislator! And only fool’s in legislative hall would support it.  

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Congratulations to DE PTA’s Federal Legislative Chair

Delaware’s PTA has come a long way from baking cookies and doing fundraisers! As you can see here Delaware PTA put Red Clay insensitive overambitious special ed inclusion plan in the timeout corner!     

After hours of work, meetings, research, op-eds in the newspaper, bloggers, social media postings, numerous public meetings (and a lot of coffee!), the vote was scheduled for the March School Board meeting. Hundreds of PTA members,dressed in a Red Shirt, attended the meeting. We each went to the micro phone and just said “VOTE NO!” After 2 and half hours of this, there were four proposals. The first one, 6 NOs and 1 YES! The other three did not even get a second to the motion. We did it! We were successful in showing the school board that the plan was inadequate and inappropriate. We were effective in showing the school board that we want families included in the planning and discussions of their children’s schools. We were victorious in making a statement about never underestimating the power of a parent’s voice!

Wow “bloggers” were mentioned! Damn I was a heartbeat away from being famous 🙂 National shout-out to Kilroy would have been amazing! But indeed a shout-out to bloggers was appreciated. Kilroy’s Delaware, Transparent Christina, Children and Educators First And The Seventh Type are like F-16 jet-fighters patrolling the skies. And then there is the amazing Pandora whom many of us owe many thanks! Blogging is a thankless job and having assholes down at legislative hall makes it harder. Legislators like Senator Dave Sokola, Rep. Valerie Longhurst, Rep Darryl and Turncoat Rep Hudson are sticks in the mud when it comes to delivery real transparency parents need. And let’s no forget the asshole Common Core Standards and it’s evil sister The Smarter Balanced Assessment. I hope PTA’s in Delaware and America can beat-back this federally driven local school takeover with Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell as the gatekeeper waving Washington and their Wall Street ed profiteers in. Hopefully DSEA can show the same grit as the PTA. Red Clay’s labor heads cam close to dropping the ball on the inclusion plan! PTA took the ball and drove it into the end-zone for a touchdown!

Delaware PTA has one hell of a job ahead of them helping us purge the the Rodel trash out of Dover! 

Delaware Governor Jack Markell lives in a research bubble to avoid reality #netde #edude

Delaware students celebrate college acceptance Matthew Albright, The News Journal

State officials have pushed hard to get more students enrolled in college. Leaders from Gov. Jack Markell to Secretary of Education Mark Murphy frequently cite research that suggests 60 percent of Delaware jobs will need a post-high school degree by 2018, but only one in five Delawareans currently have one.

Delaware Governor blames his failure to expand Delaware’s economy on a workforce not ready to meet the challenge and needs of industry. 

Jack’s analogy in regards to 50% of college graduates not obtaining jobs in the field of study is because they chose the wrong filed study!  

Jack Markell rants on about STEM however, if “every” students study within the STEM field the pool of applicants would be so large industry would be able to fill their needs via the top 10%. Face it, America went from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy not because of unionized teachers but because politicians pushed deals with countries like China that put American worker at a disadvantage. It doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to work on an assembly-line. Post World War II industrial-might had many on the assembly-line workers without a high school diploma. As far as the erosion of the auto industry to foreign competitors here again politicians allowed for unfair trade deals.

Indeed STEM has it’s merits. However, Jack Markell methodology and push may send students down the wrong road! Markell methodology could create a surplus and face it, even with college graduates those at the top 10% of their class are snagged up like superstars and surely not all students will find jobs in their field. Dog eat dog world and the Chinese has an edge in that respect.

We’re ignoring the fact that those students led down the wrong road of promise end up with no job in their field and even STEM related end up with a lifetime of student loan debt. When it comes to students debt there is more mercy (relief) given to Wall Street bankruptcies than student bankruptcies who get NONE! Same goes for federal parent student loans.  

College is a very important step in a young person’s life but there is an underlying risk and yes great rewards. The best advice to give any student even at the kindergarten level is, be the best you can and always give 100% of yourself. There are many opportunities beyond STEM but the best goal is to end up in the top 10% of the class no matter the field of study. Nothing wrong with being a world-class chef or a $$$ successful waiter/ waitress in a world-class restaurant. It’s all about being your best and the best at what you do.

Parents reading this, ask your child what they want to study in college and support them and lean on them to be the best at it! The last thing you want to say to them is “Governor Markell is saying STEM.”  But for sure there is a demand in the STEM field but Markell methodology underscores the fact that many poor minority children are going under-served in efforts to meet basic standards as funding shift towards STEM. Structurally public education is broken and not because of the unions. Much of the reform efforts are more about breaking unions as a means to reach the ultimate goal in busting prevailing wages. Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment is just another attempt to kick the can down the road. Honestly, if Markell went the road of “STEM” without playing D.C. politics with Delaware’s education we could have focused setting and achieving goals with in the multi-layers of STEM. Markell’s mistake was wrapping all this reform push around STEM. I am lost for words here but, we want to point students in the right direction not drag them. It’s all about being your personal best even for our most neediest students. Self-esteem is the most important and fragile part of our being. Preparing “all” students for the future so-called global economy requires addressing the humanistic needs of young children is an American society where moral and political fabrics that makes us American is unraveling.       

Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs?

Where are the STEM Jobs? In 2012, the US STEM workforce surpassed 7.4 million workers and it is expected to grow significantly through 2018, to an estimated 8.65 million workers. In 2012, accountants and auditors comprised the largest number of STEM-related jobs in the US with over 1.66 million, a number that is projected to increase to 1.78 million by 2016. Currently the manufacturing sector faces a large shortage of employees with STEM skills. Alarmingly, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in spite of current economic conditions. Between 2011 and 2015, an estimated 1.7 million jobs will be created in cloud computing in North America. Another noteworthy increase in STEM jobs has come courtesy of mobile application (“apps”) technology, which has fostered 311,000 jobs in the “app economy.” By 2018, the bulk of STEM jobs will be in Computing (71%) followed by Traditional Engineering (16%), Physical Sciences (7%), Life Sciences (4%) and Mathematics (2%).

We need to do a better job of dissecting STEM to individual needs and careers within!