Monthly Archives: June 2014

DE Sen Lavelle tweets lame-ass excuse for rewarding Gov. Markell re: Flip-flop vote #edude #netde @destateboarded @gop @senate_gops @GOPleader @reince @huffingtonpost @washingtonpost @delawaretoday

Fall DCAS test would essentially be meaningless, would cost money, and therefore be a distraction and be disruptive.

How in the hell can you measure student academic grow without a baseline! Duh remember DSTP ( Dave Sokola Tricked Parent)? Parents, teachers and all stakeholders demanded a growth model test that provided earlier intervention for students!   

DCAS is a Delaware state stand alone assessment based on a growth model! The Smarter Balanced Assessment is a nationalized standardized test driven by the Common Core Standards driven by WASHINGTON aka federal intervention! So you are saying a state driven assessment test is “a distraction and be disruptive.” But a federally hatched assessment isn’t

Greg, I cannot believe you rewarded Jack Markell, Arne Duncan and the president with your kiss-ass vote.

What was the backroom deal Greg? 

You know Greg, I had a lot respect for you and Hudson!  Hudson bails on House Bill #23 legislation that would have added real transparency and you Greg, you just demonstrated why center republicans have no faith in the party. You take care of the Republicans with big fat bank accounts and just ignore the working class Republicans! Yes Greg, there are “working class republicans”. You vote is a slap in the face to real people! 

Election Greg!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe Hudson and Longhurst can us a pool-boy during their upcoming retirement! And then their is Joe M out in Pike Creek aka no show Joe! 

What Smarter Balanced Assessment Means to Education in Delaware

Exceptional Delaware

The Smarter Balanced test will roll-out in the 2014-2015 academic year if passed by the Senate and Governor Markell.  While parents may think this will be a once a year test, they are very wrong.

According to Brian Touchette, the state director for assessment at the Delaware DOE, modified teaching curriculum is in the process of being introduced to help teachers with transition to Smarter Balanced testing.  This could change teaching as we know it.  One of the biggest hurdles to teaching has been the implementation of Common Core standards, and now how teachers educate will be challenged.  Any educator I have talked to has been against Common Core, but they can never admit it publicly for fear of losing their job.  The DOE, Governor Markell, and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy continuously state that educators are behind this, but fear outweighs common sense.

Mr. Touchette gave a presentation at the…

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Delaware Senator Lavelle flip-flops and jams knife in the backs of parents and students #netde #edude @destateboarded @GOP @senate_GOPs @GOPleader @reince

House Bill # 334

This bill provides for the transition of the statewide student assessment system, the Delaware Comprehensive Student Assessment (DCAS), to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System (Smarter). Specifically, the bill removes references to multiple assessments.

Jun 26, 2014 – Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 12 YES 9 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Jun 26, 2014 – Roll Call Rescinded in Senate
Jun 26, 2014 – Defeated by Senate. Votes: Defeated 8 YES 13 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT

Those that flipped from N to Y:
Ennis
Lavelle
McBride
McDowell

Really fucking nice Senator Lavelle!!!!!!!!! So much for the big Republican talk about federal intervention and control of local schools! It really sucks! Rep Hudson goes belly-up on House Bill #23 and you drop to your knees for Dave Suckola. Then there is Hef’s wife Cosponsoring HB#334 ! All the big state board talk Hef pretending you a tough! So what do we have the, the Ying and Yang of Delaware politics? Zero credibility Hef! She just make your job harder! But than again, state board members are nothing but puppets of the governor.

More troubles for the Smarter Balanced Assessment re: Michigan

commomcoremich

Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) Update  | June 25, 2014 |

Governor Snyder signed the School Omnibus Budget Bill on Tuesday.  Included in the budget was a provision that appears to have blocked the implementation of Smarter Balanced for one year by extending the MEAP.

This is obviously a good thing in many ways.  Thanks to your calls and the the hard work of lawmakers against the Common Core, we were able to cause enough of a stir and provoke a delay.

But what happens next is not clear.  Last year at this same time we had a delay in Common Core funding but by fall HCR 11, a meaningless resolution, was gaveled through by voice vote in the Senate restarted implementation.  There still remains the possibility that the “new” MEAP could contain content SBAC content.   So with good reason, we remain skeptical and cautious.

At this time, we are still encouraging parents to opt-out of all assessments and to vote out any lawmakers who support the Common Core. 

A new opt out form will be available later this summer for you to use in the 2014-15 school year.

USDOE Sec of Ed Duncan bitch-slaps Gov. Markell and his DE DOE flying monkeys

What is the next step for special ed? News Journal Our View

The U.S. Department of Education says Delaware is in trouble when it comes to educating students with special needs. The rating of “Needs Intervention” on special education is both embarrassing and an alarm.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Delaware is setting the bar too low for special-education students. Their progress, as measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress test, is too low. This is the first time the federal government has used the test to rank states on the academic progress of special-education students.

Normally I would bitch about the “test” which is bullshit especially when it comes to Special Ed kids. I’ve always felt the IEP is the ruling documentation on Special Ed students progress. Parents are a key player on the IEP team but under the Markell education doctrine parents are being bullied!

Red Clay just went through a war with the community and parents over their misguided inclusion plan where Rep. Hudson, Miro and Ramone were a no show! Hudson pulled the plug on H.B.#23 and thank God though it came back to bite them in the ass, Red Clay recorded their board meetings and even the special meetings on their inclusion plan. There will be an inclusion plan hammered out next year because parents are part of the process. Hudson, Miro and Ramone sits around with their thumbs up their asses and refuse to see how important recording school board meetings is. Yes it does apply to special ed!  Hudson, Miro and Ramone wasn’t there when Special Ed parents and even Special Ed students cried their eyes out asking Red Clay to rethink their plan. However, Rep Kim Williams was there and even Senator Peterson was working hard in the background ( I know this for a fact). Shame on Delaware GOP with all their talk of transparency.

When will the Delaware GOP call for the firing of DE Sec of Ed Murphy? They won’t!

Delaware Rep Lavelle might want to save some finger pointing for Rep Hudson RE: Special Ed report

Feds: Del. ‘needs intervention’ on special edMatthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware is doing such a poor job educating special-needs students that the federal government may need to intervene, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.

Federal officials’ biggest complaint: Delaware is not setting a high bar for those students, letting too many opt out of tests they say provide valuable information about the quality of those students’ education.

There it id, the code ” Opt out” ! The fed is using this Special Ed twist as cover in a counter-offensive to beat-back the nationwide movement to opt out of Common Core Standards’s Smarter Balance ed Assessment. Duncan is worried that if too many parents opt out of state assessment laced with federal intervention it would invalidate Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment

Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, called the results “embarrassing.”

“After all the money and all these changes from Race to the Top, here we have the U.S. Department of Education saying we are one of the three worst states in the country,” Lavelle said. “They are saying we have failed.”

Greg, Rep Hudson is the embarrassment! H.B.#23 would have given even parents of Special Ed students another transparency tool! Also even for herself as attending Red Clay school board meeting is beneath her! where was Miro and Ramone when Red Clay Special ED parents cried out about Red Clay’s inclusion agenda?

Hudson and her mirror-image Valerie Longhusrt need to go and I am calling on parents to help ousted them! Transparency is the key to education reform and Hudson sold us out! Longhurst had a big hand in it with her Dover bitch games. 

hudsonlonghurst

 

Breaking News: Feds Want To Intervene In Delaware Special Education, **Updated**

Exceptional Delaware

According to an article in the Delaware News Journal, the Feds have placed Delaware on a watch list as one of three states to need intervention for special ed students.  This is what I have been saying all along.  Special education in Delaware is severely lacking.  Maybe the powers that be will start to wake up!

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2014/06/24/feds-del-needs-intervention-special-ed/11305993/?sf27702642=%5B%271%27%5D
Updated: The Huffington Post picks up on this story as well: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/24/idea-compliance-2014_n_5524196.html?utm_hp_ref=politics
Updated again: How about timing? When I read this article I was sitting in Governor’s Café in Dover. In the next room, members of the Delaware Department of Education were having a meeting with their summer interns. In fact, the Secretary of Education, Mark Murphy, was walking out as I walked in. The Executive Director for the Board of Education, Donna Johnson, came in late. After I read the article, I spoke to another woman to see if I could speak…

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Why is the Red Clay android app seeking to read confidential information on my phone?

Bobby Jindal calls it correct! Re: Common Core and federal intervention in public schools!

Bobby Jindal: Anti-Washington “rebellion” brewing across country by CBS News

Earlier this week, Jindal signed an executive order to block the use of tests tied to Common Core education standards in his state, a position favored by tea party supporters and conservatives. He said he would continue to fight against the administration’s attempts to implement Common Core.

“The federal government has no role, no right and no place dictating standards in our local schools across these 50 states of the United States of America,” Jindal said.

And where is Delaware State Representative Hudson and Longhurst? Playing pocket pool with Jack Markell! RE: H.B.#334

Jindal used humor in criticizing the Obama administration on several fronts, referencing the Bergdahl prisoner exchange and the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“Are we witnessing right now the most radically, extremely liberal, ideological president of our entire lifetime right here in the United States of America, or are we witnessing the most incompetent president of the United States of America in the history of our lifetimes? You know, it is a difficult question,” he said. “I’ve thought long and hard about it. Here’s the only answer I’ve come up with, and I’m going to quote Secretary Clinton: `What difference does it make?'”

So ironic Jack Markell is the worst governor in Delaware’s history!

Delaware schools to be required to armor-up! Charter schools left out in the dead zone without referendum powers

Update !!! There is an amendment to #347. FURTHER AMEND House Bill No. 347 by striking Section 2 in the its entirety.

SYNOPSIS

This amendment requires the new school construction review by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to be coordinated with the Architectural Accessibility Board. Further, the amendment removes the itemized requirements for bulletproof glass, doors with key locks on both sides, bullet resistant white boards, and panic buttons.

However there is still the fundamental question in regards to charter schools. Surely there will be a unfavorable financial impact!

147th General Assembly

House Bill # 347 w/HA 1

Primary Sponsor:

Jaques

Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Miro & Sen. Poore

CoSponsors:

{ NONE…}

Introduced on :

05/15/2014

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 14 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SCHOOL SAFETY.

Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This bill requires all new school construction or major renovation to include the following features: an intruder alarm, bullet resistant whiteboards, bulletproof glass in entrance areas and interior doors and windows, and doors lockable with keys on both sides. Further, the bill would require all new school construction plans to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Facilities Management Section for compliance with these requirements as well as with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles.

Current Status:

Senate Education Committee   On   06/19/2014

Jun 18, 2014 – Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 41 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT

Ain’t no legislators going to vote no on this one! Unanimous House Vote! Has anyone done a cost analysis on this legislation? Referendums are tough enough to pass without such a radical legislation. Sure no price is too large to pay for safe but I don’t think taxpayers are going to run to the referendum polls. Sucks to say but why not a “School Security Sales Tax”? Surely we’ll still see a unanimous legislative vote!  

Folks we live in a dangerous world and sure let’s do all we can to secure our schools but sad to say, future attacks may be external to the buildings. We need to invest more funding into bully prevention as many of the perpetrators seemed to be on the receiving end of bullying.

Big one here for Publius! What about charter schools? Where will the funding come from? Will the mega charter become a bunker in the sky? Will Red Clay taxpayers fund CSW side of the building? But at the end of the day what about charter schools? being serious here Publius, if a new charter wants to open the building rental or not might be required to comply and if not than that presents a moral issue!

Joe Miro where are your critical thinking skills! What about charter schools! They have no referendums! 

So rather than firing teachers failing Praxis-I just cut their pay 10%! I wonder is that a Judas chip still in play Jack?

Senate Bill # 255   (Budget Bill ) See Page 210; Section 310

Section 310. (a) For this fiscal year, employees who have been issued an initial license and are in a third or fourth year extension due to failure to pass Praxis I shall receive a 10 percent salary reduction. Employees currently on an emergency certificate as a result of being assigned to an area outside the area of certification shall not receive a 10 percent salary reduction. 

When does it end? Why keep teachers who fail Praxis-1? Wait!!! Stop the presses!! If they did that many charter schools would lose teachers! In any event there’s going to be some pissed-off teachers next year when the eagle shits.

Why can’t Praxis-1 be taken in the senior year of college! But yes there are those transitioning out of the private sector into education!

So ironic that Governor Markell is all bent on ensuring students have world class education and yet he doesn’t have the courage to terminate those that can’t meet basic teaching credentials.  

Delaware legislators taking a look at Social Promotion and trips out the gate

147th General Assembly
House Resolution # 23

Primary Sponsor:

Blakey

CoSponsors:

Reps. D. Short, Hudson, Briggs King, Wilson, Bolden, Jaques, Keeley

Introduced on :

05/29/2014

Long Title:

CREATING A TASK FORCE TO STUDY AND PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO SCHOOL RETENTION AND SOCIAL PROMOTION.

Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This Resolution creates a task force to study and provide alternative solutions to school retention and social promotion. The Speaker needs to appoint 2 members to the task force. The members recommended as Task Force participants were provided by the Department of Education. The task force shall report to the General Assembly and Governor by March 1, 2015.

Current Status:

Out of Committee   On   06/04/2014

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force shall consist of the following members:

1. A representative of the Delaware Department of Education, appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Education;

2. Two representatives of the Delaware State Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate;

3. Two representatives of the Delaware State House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

4. One representative of the Delaware Association of School Administrator, appointed by the president of the Delaware Association of School Administrators;

5.  Representatives of the Chief School Officers Association, one from each county, appointed by the president of the Chief School Officers Association;

6. Two teachers appointed by the president of the Delaware State Education Association;

7. A representative of the Delaware State Board of Education, appointed by the President of the Delaware State Board of Education;

8. A representative of the Delaware School Boards Association, appointed by the president of the Delaware School Boards Association; and

9.  A representative of the Charter Schools Network appointed by the president of the Charter Schools Network.

We’ve been down this social promotion conversation road before at Kilroy’s Delaware.

The proposed task force is flawed by excluding community leaders. There should be an extension to include a representative from the Delaware NAACP and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.

The concerns and solution of retention and social promotion do run deep within the community.

It’s easy to blame public school teachers and though Publius views charter school teachers superior to traditional public school teachers the fact remains, charter schools have their equal share of social promotion. But do note, charter schools have the right to ask under-performing students to leave and in many cases via counseling-out sending those students back to the traditional public schools.

I give these legislators a gold star for putting this conversation on the front burner. However, I see Rep. Hudson’s name on this resolution. Kind of ironic that this legislation is H.R.#23 and Hudson’s name is on it! Hudson was sponsor of H.B.#23 that would have required all school districts, votech districts and charter school boards to record the public session of their board meetings. Rep Hudson abandon H.B.#23 because of charter school push back and Rep Longhurst playing her political power-play shit!

I’ll stop the rant here and just say, without community involvement in this task force the results will be just like pissing in the wind. The issue is “social” and without community members involvement it’s just another Rep. Hudson political dog and pony show.

debbieDog

Delaware GOP hands Matt Denn a win! re: another GOP warm body thrown in the AG race!

Republicans find candidate to face Matt DennJonathan Starkey, The News Journal

Delaware Republicans have found a candidate for attorney general, with Ted Kittila, a Wilmington corporate lawyer, announcing he is challenging Lt. Gov. Matt Denn this November to fill the vacancy created by outgoing Attorney General Beau Biden.

Delaware’s Republican Party’s choice for AG is a clear win for Matt Denn!

“An attorney general for the state of Delaware needs to be a really good attorney,” Kittila said. “I do have a passion for making sure that streets are safe. I want to make sure that my children are protected, and I want a sense of fair play to dominate throughout the state of Delaware.”

The rule of thumb is there is no “I” in team work and when one wants to make the streets safe putting his child first and not referencing all children he doesn’t represent a quality candidate.

Don’t get me wrong about Matt Denn, I am pissed that he didn’t offer some push in H.B.#23 and he stands-by waving Jack Markell’s education reform flag. As LT. Governor Matt followed the flawed trend of many before him thinking they must serve as a Vice President to governors who think they are President. Lessons to be learned by Lt. John Carney’s faet after serving Governor Minner. Do remember is was egotistic Jack Markell bucking the Delaware Way by taking Carney to primary. But at the end of the day, John Carney got the golden ring as Congressman.

Matt Denn is a great person and loving husband and father and he often shares that love through some of his blog post and public speaking. The streets and it safety is a concern for all. I am sure Matt Denn has some sharp teeth but I doubt he’ll prioritize which zip codes need to be safe over others. I am sure he’ll take the road of making the streets, school yards, classroom and all public places safe for all children.

Kittila called Denn a “very fine individual. He’s a very fine politician. I think he is focused on politics, and I think that’s terrific. I’m focused on practicing law. That’s what I do on a daily basis.” 

Kittila is a corporate lawyer defending corporations right or wrong. Criminal law is a different beast. Denn did work for Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor and spent two years with Delaware Volunteer Legal Services. “DVLS serves indigent residents throughout the State of Delaware by providing quality, pro bono legal services. We try to ensure that those individuals without financial resources will receive the same access to justice in civil matters as other litigants.”  No matter how you cut it Denn has a better street level vantage point than Kittila.  Personally I’d rather see the AG’s office in the hands of an individual like Ferris Wharton! But that can’t be!

At the end of the day, the Delaware Republican Party had to dig up a warm body to run for AG and Kittila wasn’t at the top of their list. 

I can’t hold Denn accountable to Governor Markell’s federal and corporate takeover of Delaware schools and traditional teachers. It would be like holding Publius accountable for the brain-farts of the Delaware Charter Schools Network and the blunders of Pencader Frank ;). 

Why isn’t Red Clay’s board vote to renew CSW’s charter not part of E-News? Anyhow!

It is recommended that the Red Clay Board of Education renew the Charter for the Charter School of Wilmington for an additional five years, effective June 30th, 2014, and that the Charter School of Wilmington’s student enrollment number remain at a maximum total of 970.

Motion by Catherine H Thompson, second by Kenneth J Rivera.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yes: Faith R Newton, Martin A Wilson Sr, Adriana L Bohm, Michael Piccio, Kenneth J Rivera, Catherine H Thompson, Kenneth R Woods

You can go listen  to the digital recording of this meeting to hear some interesting comments. I love the one where a CSW board member requested a 10 years charter renewal. Of course that idiotic request was denied! Then there was a person raising some discrimination concerns about CSW’s unfair enrollment process. That was ignored 

Looks like Red Clay school board once again is blowing smoke up the public ass when they called for a review of CSW enrollment process.