Monthly Archives: July 2014

State Board Heffernan shows his ass

Part 3 of The Delaware DOE: The Eye of the Hurricane in Special Education #netde #eduDE @usedgov @delaware_gov by Exceptional Delaware

Please real entire post here . The follow comment made during the state board of education meeting by board member Heffernan is interesting.

Heffernan: So that brings up, I wrote this down, sometimes we talk about, I struggle sometimes when we call out districts and sometimes when we don’t, but I know this year, I’ll use Red Clay as an example, they had a vote on whether or not they should implement inclusion plan, right? I don’t understand why, you know, this has been law of the land since the 70′s and now we’re going to vote as to whether or not we should do inclusion. I don’t get that and I don’t understand, you know, we talk about good cop/bad cop thing, I don’t maybe wanna focus on what punishment someone’s gonna get by these things, but I don’t even think we have any punishment to give them, but if we at least do something good, if we have punishment, you know, whatever we should be doing in, you know, 2014 when were voting not to do inclusion, right?

Heff is clueless as to what went on in Red Clay! Hey Heff, so are you saying Red Clay should disregard IDEA and invalidate parents IEP rights? Inclusion shouldn’t be part of a manipulation tactic at IEP meetings “Controlled” by districts and their bias special ed service providers. Heff ask Mrs. Heff what was going through her mind  when voting yes for H.B.#334. FYI Heff, Special Ed student were benched during the Race to The Top Olympics.

Life without Publius is like a beach

image

How does Moyer charter school go from 100% 8th grade promotion to 62% 9th grade promotion?

This data was from school year 2012-2013. 2013-2014 data not available

School Promotion by Grade

 

2012-13

Grade 6

100.0%

Grade 7

100.0%

Grade 8

100.0%

Grade 9

62.2%

Grade 10

85.0%

Grade 11

87.5%

Grade 12

85.0%

Moyer also had a high school dropout rate of 27.1%.

How is this charter school has so much success in grades 6,7 and 8 with 100% of those students meeting promotion requirements and then all turns to crap at the 9th grade level? 37.8 of Moyer’s 9th graders were retained. This equates to a big red flag that goes undressed.

Moyer as you may or not know was taken over by the State of Delaware via DE DOE and put into the hands of K12.Inc management Then two years ago yet another party took over via The New Maurice J Moyer Charter School organization.

The issues with this charter school continues right under the noses of the Delaware State Board of Education. One thing for sure, I am with Steve Newton calling for the state board of education members be an elected position not appointed by the governor. 

Will Delaware Governor Markell open his arms to Palestinian refugees?

117 immigrant children placed in Delaware Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal

Markell, who previously said that Delaware had no facilities that could accommodate children illegally migrating alone to the U.S., also urged lawmakers to “remain mindful that we are called upon to provide for the least of our brothers and sisters.”

He called the U.S. a “nation of immigrants,” saying “the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors fleeing dangerous situations at home does not just affect our border states; it impacts all of us as Americans. Whatever one’s politics, we are a nation of immigrants.”

Delaware charter school renewal process not needed

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Delaware charter school renewal process is not needed and is a “waste”.

The demand on DE DOE and charter  school resources needed during a charter school charter renewal process is a waste of time and is not needed.

Charter schools once approved should be allowed to operate as agreed and with ongoing state monitoring to ensure the charter schools are operating with inthe laws and rules governing them and all public schools. The “data” is there, enrollment and student achievement.

With online transparency for financial reports, board governance re: board agendas, minutes and hopefully audio recordings of board meetings DE DOE has the foundation for monitoring with the ability to use “unannounced” audits.

It make sense to put oversight and announced, unannounced audits and inspection in place to keep schools upright and within the laws and rules that governs them. It makes no sense to give charter schools enough rope to hang themselves via that wonderful autonomy. At the end of the day, children suffer when any school fails and is forced closed.

No, I am not going pro-charter but I do support school choice in which charters are part of that process and I do oppose “entrance” test.

The time has come to get DE DOE out of the authoritarian mindset role and bring them back as proactive partners in education and a center for productive resources. The political power-grip on DE DOE is counterproductive to the real reforms needed to improve our public schools.

So set the parameters in approving charter schools and lay the law down in what’s required as far as transparency and add “financial” penalties for non compliance that progresses towards probation and closure. 

If we’re going to have a renewal process for charter schools where they can be closed why not do the same for traditional public schools?

Is Delaware Department of Ed turning back on charter schools not using state issued P-Cards

It wasn’t all that long ago Delaware Military Academy  was under fire for using personal credit cards rather than state issued P-cards.

It appears our secretary of education relies on the state auditor to be responsible for monitoring charter school finances to ensure they are not using commercial credit-cards not issued via the state P-Cards system.

This is just another example of lack of capacity on DE DOE’s part and reflective of poor administrative leadership on Secretary Murphy’s part.

As many of us agree the failure of children is often traced back to the failure of the adults in their lives. In Delaware, the failure of charter schools are often the failure of the Delaware Department of Education to provide “consistent” ongoing oversight. Their charter school framework has merit but the lack of proactive monitoring is often the downfall of struggling and failing charter schools. In actuality, we don’t need a charter school renewal process, we need an ongoing monitoring system that provides technical assistance to keep the train on the track. The DE DOE blind-eye to charter schools not using the state issued P-card system is just another example of DE DOE just sitting by allowing a controversial event to take place. 

Yikes!!! Office if Civil Rights requesting application data!

From Newark Charter board minutes June 2014

The Delaware Dept. of Education received a request from the Office of Civil Rights requesting demographic data from both choice and charter schools. All Delaware charter schools have been asked to provide data on lottery applicants from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. The Delaware Charter Schools Network is drafting a collective response from the charter schools as this data was not requested on the application in those years.

So whatever happen to the Reach DE DOE test security investigation

Hey Sec Murphy, you know that I know that you know! Is there something you need to tell the public 😉 

Rodel: Results Are Bad So Let’s Spin; See If Anyone Notices

kavips

Here is what Rodel says about this year’s DCAS testing in language….

“Average proficiency has increased from 62% in reading in 2011, to 72% proficiency in reading in 2014…..”

Here is how it should be expressed in the honest truth…. “Sadly, Delaware’s proficiency scores in reading have slid downward over the past three years. Statistically, schools years ending in 2012,2013,2014 have been flat”….

Here are the scores…

Reading:
61-percent in 2010 to 2011
73-percent in 2011 to 2012,
72-percent in 2012, and 2013
72-percent in 2013 to 2014. A increase of nearly 20-percent from 2011….

===

Now here is what Rodel says about this years DCAS testing in Math….

“Average proficiency has increased from 61% in math to 69% proficiency in math in 2014…..”

Here is how it should be expressed in the honest truth.  Over the past three years, DCAS math scores slid downwards by four…

View original post 243 more words

Is modern technology aka the Internet making public school libraries obsolete ?

Will there come a time when our public school libraries become obsolete? I am sure it won’t be long before all students are provided an E-reader and all their textbooks will be digital. The school districts can build a digital library where E-books of all sorts can be shared by students. Yea yea nothing like the feel of a real book in your hands! But we must give some thought to digital school libraries. 

Does Red Clay school board allow drive-thru teacher evaluation?

Don’t corrode teacher evaluation process by Donato Rufo / Letters to The Editor /News Journal

My primary concern today is the school board’s decision to allow for the use of “short observations” (aka walk-throughs) as part of an educator’s performance evaluation. To someone who is not in the field, that means that years of trust and collaboration between school administration and teachers will all be in vain.

Walk-throughs were to be used as both a tool for the collection of various classroom data points, and as a discussion/development catalyst for conversation/growth. By using walk-throughs as an evaluative tool, you corrode the usefulness of the technique and lessen it as the legitimate tool it was created and fostered to be.

I hope the board will reconsider their recent actions.

Donato Rufo

Wilmington

Delaware makes the top 10 list again! This time home foreclosures!

Top foreclosure states June: Delaware

Delaware: 1 in every 892 housing units received a foreclosure filing.

Change in filings from last month: Down 8.27 percent

Nationally: 1 in every 1,228

Top 10 states for foreclosure: June By Stacy Jones • Bankrate.com

Yep Delaware continues to fail under the leadership of Governor Jack Markell! While Jack was too busy playing education czar Delawareans continue to lose their homes. One would think the 2012 election would be slam-dunk for the DE GOP. However. when you have key Republicans such as Sen. Lavelle and Rep. Hudson in bed with the Markell education doctrine no one has the public’s back.

Jack has no problem sleeping at night in the mansion the taxpayers provide him. He doesn’t have a clue how many parents put their heads in their hands and cry at the kitchen table. Jack is sowing his $$$$ seeds for life after public! Two and a half more years of Jack! So sad! 

Jack take the blinders off and take a hard look at the damaged “you” caused!

NJ dances around Markell’s education failure! Kilroy doesn’t !

For test scores, status quo isn’t enough Our View

Blah blah blah!  Read the article if you want! Read here …………. I don’t have the time for it.

Here is my views:

Many of us blame DSEA and local teacher union’s like Red Clay’s for not calling out Jack Markell aka the Delaware Education Czar face to face. Would you walk up to your boss and tell him he is a cluster-F ? Markell holds teacher’s pay and benefits in one hand and an ax it the other daring unions to call him out. But what makes me sick to my stomach is those who are awestruck with being in the presence of Governor Markell wanting their picture taken with him and sharing with the world on social media sites! The unions should extract themselves from the Rodel table and seriously use the energy in find ways to promote parental involvement or rather productive engagement in their child’s education! The success of students depends on the success of parents, teachers and school level administrators working as one.

$119 million dollars went to Delaware Race to The Top efforts and that’s just federal funding and you can bet your ass state and local dollars were being used as back up. Not all those individuals hired with RTTT funding will lose their jobs! Local dollars will back-fill the RTTT void.

The reason the Delaware Republicans haven’t made any political attacks on Governor Markell is because they are united in the charter school expansion. It amazes me how Sen Lavelle can come out and attack Markell on the I-495 bridge man-made blunder but can’t come out and do the same on Markell’s failed education agenda. Damn, Lavelle, Hudson and even Ramone’s “YES” vote to H.B.#334 rewards Governor Markell for his education failures. Then there is Joe Miro a very nice man but damn, no where to be found during the community fight with Red Clay on their Spec Ed / ELL inclusion plan. Rep. Kim Williams and Sen. Karen Peterson had to carry the weight. Red Clay parents and taxpayers have a chance to shake the political foundation of Delaware by elected a third party candidate Delaware State University Professor Steve Newton. Dr. Newton knows the educational landscape of Delaware and the failed reform track extending back to Governor Carper. It’s time to stick a finger in the eye of the left and right status quo! Elect Newton, vote Rep. Hudson (R) and Rep. Longhurst (D) out of office! Both are bad for public education , transparency and ensuring local control. By doing all of this it will shake the political core of Delaware and legislative hall. Sen Lavelle miscalculated the people thinking nobody keeps an eye on legislative votes and legislative proposals. Social media blogs, Facebook and Twitter has the POWER to move information faster then mainstream media like the News Journal and that information is raw whereas the NJ seems to have a goal of covering Governor Markell’s back! Not bashing Jimmy Olsen because it’s his editor drawing red-lines in his work! Gone are the days of freedom of the press within like it was with Al Macitti and Norm Lockman! Years ago the first place the public would go in the News Journal is the obituaries and then to Lockman’s and Macitti’s editorials. 

Education in Delaware has become an industry cashing in on the backs of the poor and sure some blame unions as number one capitalizing on public education. But look very close, millions upon millions of dollars have flowed into our public schools and yet we struggle to reduce class sized even with a class size cap law. Each time there is a movement to reform public education we see expansion of administration locally and state, consultants locally and state and leaders at the Delaware Department of Education what were installed to preserve the political agenda of the Governor. And damn right Steve Newton, state board members should be elected not appointed by the governor. Now with buy-in by the likes of Lavelle, Hudson and sad to say Ramone, any defense of keeping Washington. Wall Street out of local control is near null! And real local control involving parents. community and taxpayers is further eroded. There has been no significant reduction of class sizes. The only gains in teacher positions is expansion of early education. Markell pulled the plug on supporting National Board Certified Teacher program fearing those positive gains would question his love affair with Teach for America and more importantly stagnate proven means of teacher enrichment programs to justify his love affair with Arne Duncan and Wall Street!   

Sure Kilroy it the town idiot and idiots like Publius with pockets full of money can game the system to protect  the white status quo at the cost of minority children. No Publius I am not calling you a racist and I know you aren’t financially capitalizing on public school reform or charter schools. You’ve aligned yourself with the Delaware affluent status quo and blinded to the seeds of racism within. You didn’t take part in the crowd that wore armbands that read, “Save A.I.” re: desegregation order! You were’t part of the crowd that made death threats to members of the desegregation board where some of us had family members participating. You weren’t part of the crowd grass-root crowd the penned the charter school law and then came back to reap profits from what they’ve sown. I respect your right to be “you”. I am pretty sure you weren’t born in Delaware and really know the players. You are second generation charter school reformers wired not to smell the racist lies of the first generation founding fathers of charter schools.  

Kilroy may be considered a revolutionist but far worst it to be labeled a capitalist capitalizing on what one claims as service to the community. Non-profits claim to be volunteers and even paid legislators claiming to be public servants tend to put self-preservation before their mission serving the public.

At the end of the day, Delaware Governor Markell will go down in history as the worst Delaware Governor on public education. Jack you biggest mistake was keeping the blinders on and followed the Rodel educational road-map. I raised the Rodel fear you our 2008 pre-primary phone conversations. You broke that trust not me. I broke ranks with the DE GOP as the chair of the 19th Rep District, member of the state committee and state delegate and “openly” voted for you and Obama. Yet, I continued on in those positions and Terry stoned face wasn’t pleasant. Mother Priscilla wasn’t pleased but new my frustration being a well centered Republican. I left went I was redistrict out. Instead of empowering parents you have alienated them including your sadistic high-jacking of PTA. You politicized an organization that was meant to be a base for empowerment to the consensuses of members. They too have take on a position of putting the blinders on excluding the so-called naysayers aka those refusing to drink the Kool-aid. Sad to say, the voice of parents and community is politically fragmented alienating those who take issue with some of the wrongheaded education reforms even-though they see the need for reform. 

DE Sen Simpson Chairman of SREB voted NO on H.B.#334 and Sen Lavelle voted YES! WTF

Sen. Gary Simpson

Simpson Returns
From Education
Think Tank

One thing Sen. Gary Simpson (R-Milford) has learned during his year as chairman of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Legislative Advisory Council, is that  issues in Delaware are more than likely issues in other states as well.

On the education front, that would include issues such as Common Core State Standards and the ever-increasing cost of higher education, both hot topics at the SREB’s annual conference, held recently in Louisville.

“I think anytime you’re actively involved in a regional working group like this,  you get to see how other states are accomplishing educational goals,” said Sen.  Simpson, whose year as chairman ended with the conclusion of the conference. “You get to see how other areas of the country are focusing on the same problems you’re having. And I think you bring that knowledge back home with you and apply it to legislation and your debate on those issues.”

One of the biggest talking points at the conference was Common Core education standards. As controversial as the topic has become nationwide, Sen. Simpson said it spawned a healthy discussion.

“It’s a tough issue,” he said. “Certainly everyone wants standards to be tough enough that we’re improving our students’ abilities, and that we’re gauging how effective our teachers are in the classroom. But then you’re faced with the question – are those federal standards the same standards we want for our students here in Delaware?”

The Delaware Republican Party has hit rock-bottom in the stupidity department!

Senator Lavelle vote “No” on H.B.#334 and when the motion failed and a re-voted was taken he voted “YES”. H.B.#334 was the legislation that gave DE DOE the green light on Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment which opened the gates of Hell Re: more federal intrusion on local school control. Lavelle is Delaware Senate Minority Whip and Simpson is  Senate Minority Leader. Also, as you can see Sen, Simpson is engage with the education issues via SREB and is Chairman of SREB. Folks Lavelle flip-flopped for a political chip to use during the next legislative session. His vote will punish children and their parents and he’ll have no sense of remorse! 

Senator Lavelle’s political brain-fart is a classic example why the DE GOP is the political “minority” in this state. Damn Greg, you really F’ed up! Big time! Surely, Sen Simpson had to weigh in on the H.B.#334 debate! I guess Lavelle was sitting in his seat scratching his ass! Who knows, maybe Lavelle was playing political footsies with Sen Sokola! And then there is Debbie downer Hudson right besides Lavelle with a Yes vote! And yep Ramone too! Real sad! For a political party bent on keeping Washington out of our local business and lives, the Delaware Republican Party has become an enabler! WTF