Monthly Archives: January 2015

Red Clay continues to lose students to charter schools and Red Clay students gain 59 more seats at Charter School of Wilmington

redcalycharterreport2015

Well here is the lasted report of Red Clay students fleeing Red Clay’s traditional schools. Also as you can see, Red Clay students gain 59 more seats at Charter School Wilmington aka a “Red Clay” school. Earlier this year Charter School of Wilmington’s board of directors made an illegal vote that required a formal charter modification that put Red Clay students last on the enrollment preference. However, Red Clay’s school board aka the charter authorizing authority for Charter School of Wilmington order their board to rescind the “illegal” vote. Sure Red Clay traditional schools lost 59 more students to CSW but the fact remains, CSW was designed by Red Clay to serve Red Clay students FIRST! The Red Clay community needs to keep an eye on CSW board of directors who acted in bad faith! And OMG look at Alonso go !!!   

Yep !! Red Clay’s board does a CYA on questionable meeting at Brandywine PTO meeting

During Red Clay’s regular monthly board meeting held January 27, 2015 the board’s Executive Secretary aka Merv added minutes to be approved from the questionable gathering of the school board at January 7, 2015 Brandywine PTO meeting.  Don’t spill your iced tea Steve! I am just making a recap of the previous posts the illegal board meeting 🙂 LOL! Relax, just joking! However, for the record, Merv did the right thing by adding these minutes and I think the board may be a little more conscious of future meetings of such where the board president Kenny pulled an Obama / Markell, I am the king and I’ll do what I want :).  If we’re ever to regain that so-called local control and free ourselves from tyrant Jack Markell and the overreaching arm of the federal government in public education where even the Delaware GOP seems to support, we the people need to question all actions of the school board who serve at the pleasure of the public. 

Red Clay’s high school student uniform push meets student opposition! Now the question is, do their voices count?

Uniforms Proposed for Dickinson and McKean

Students at Thomas McKean and John Dickinson high schools would be required to wear uniform clothing under a proposal presented to the Red Clay Board of Education at its January 27, 2015 meeting.

Citing improvement in school climates at schools nationwide that have adopted uniform policies, Principals Brian Mattix from McKean and Byron Murphy from Dickinson presented the proposal. (See the full proposal here)

Both schools formed a Uniform Committee several months ago, made up of students, parents and teachers. Surveys at both schools revealed that teachers are highly in favor of uniforms, students were opposed, and parents had a small majority in support of uniforms.

School board members noted that Red Clay has not followed other area districts and adopted a system wide uniform policy, preferring that each school create an individual policy that suits its community.  If approved, most secondary Red Clay schools would have a school uniform policy.

Dickinson’s policy would require students to wear golf or polo style shirts in any color, with Dockers, chino, cargo or suit style pants. McKean’s policy would require students to wear the same style pants but wear shirts in green, blue, grey, white or black. When asked about the colors selected, Mattix said his Uniform Committee would consider amending that rule to allow for any color polo shirt.

“We are not looking to be militant,” said Mattix. “You’ll see that reflective in our policies. We are looking for students to have lots of options that are affordable for families.”

Board members expressed concern whether every family can afford the uniform clothing and that students might be suspended from school for not adhering to the policy. Both schools will establish a clothing bank at their schools, for families that cannot afford the clothing.  Furthermore, these clothing banks would have some uniforms on loan for a student who came to school dressed inappropriately.

Both schools will also encourage the wearing of school spirt wear, which Dickinson Principal Murphy said impressed him when he visited Conrad Schools of Science.   The proposal is scheduled for a vote by the school board at its February meeting.

“Students were opposed”. Does it matter to the school board if high school students aka young adult oppose a uniform policy? “Parents had a small majority in support of uniforms”. Sounds shaky to me!! 

Dickinson Survey 

80 parent surveys completed  45 teacher surveys completed  540 student surveys completed  74% of parents had students who attended a school with a uniform in the past  51% of teachers have worked in a school with a uniform

Looks like about 86% of the “540”  Dickinson students oppose (see slide 11) 

McKean

Surveys Completed  89 Parents  738 Students (91%)  56 Teachers  69% of Parents responded that they felt uniforms would reduce bullying  66% of Parents responded that they felt uniforms would reduce peer pressure  47% of Parents responded that uniforms would make finances more challenging  Many students who initially voted against, have been more agreeable after Open Lunch Forums with the principal

So the survey was skewed by the principal interference after the vote! Why wasn’t his Open Lunch Forums open the the entire committee included involved parents? Were it the results of the 2nd student vote? About 64% of McKean students originally opposed. So the principal worked it to get 51% yes? WFT.

Folks at the end of the day the student’s voices doesn’t matter! And shame on Red Clay’s board for not reprimanding McKean’s principal for interference in an open democratic process?

The school board should vote NO and respect the rights of high school students aka free thinking young adults. Perhaps the next attempt for a high school uniform policy should includes the same uniform policy for teachers!   

Delaware State Rep Mary-Jane Keeley’s H.B. #39 creates a new cross bar hotel

Delaware marijuana decriminalization bill introduced Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal

Under the legislation, those caught smoking marijuana in a public place would still face a criminal, unclassified misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $200 fine and up to five days behind bars.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who knowingly or intentionally uses or consumes up to a personal use quantity of a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance classified in § 4714(d)(19) of this title in a public place, except as otherwise authorized by this chapter, shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and be fined not more than $200 and imprisoned not more than five days.

Counterfeit marijuana? Or wait one minute!!!!!! “4714(d)(19) Any material, compound, combination, mixture, synthetic substitute or preparation which contains any quantity of marijuana or any tetrahydrocannabinols, their salts, isomers or salts of isomers;” OK my bad, I was thrown off by the world “counterfeit”! Poor choice of wording in this section of H.B.#39. Perhaps it should read “or synthetic substitute” classified in 4714(d)(19.). However. looking  at 4714 (d) (26) “Synthetic cannabanoid, which means a substance containing 1 or more of the following chemical compounds “, it might be best to include this section of the law in H.B.#39 as those compounds contain “cannabanoid”.

Personally, I think it may wise to include the AG’s office and a review by law enforcement agencies for their weigh-in before any legislative vote. Then there is the issue of “imprisonment no more than five days”.  I think the $200.00 fine is enough for first offense and the five days be added to second offense followed by five more days for each additional offense there after re: usage in public. Do we have enough jail space re: cross bar hotel for these offenders? The law says, $200.00 “and” imprisonment not more than five days!

I don’t oppose decriminalization of marijuana but caution a legislative vote without a real impact study. Business that do pre-employment and random drug screens need clarification prior to passage of this legislation. I am also very concern that the demand for marijuana will increase with decriminalization creating cash-flow for organized crime involved in the drug trade where street violence is a concern. What I am asking is full clarity of H.B.#39 not just a piece of legislation addressing the nagging social question of  decriminalization and legalization of  marijuana. A big question for Governor Markell, what impact of decriminalization of marijuana have on industry where many created zero tolerance policies confronting usage of marijuana? Many applying for jobs where a pre-employment drug screen are required are excluded for employment because of “trace” amount of marijuana and same goes for random drug screens of current employees. Industry stepped up to protect themselves and yes, worker-comp and insurance liability rates. I wonder if Rep Keeley has the blessing of Delaware employers?      

  

Will Delaware State Legislators be sucked into the next phase of common core re: new school ratings? YEP!

Should Delaware schools get letter grades like kids do? Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware is in the process of developing a new way of reporting school performance on its school accountability “report card.” The new accountability system will be split into two parts.

No Delaware is in the process of supporting another Common Core like push seeded by Arne Duncan. Delaware Liberal and Delaware Way unknowingly exposed an A,B,C,D,F national agenda Posted on by kilroysdelaware.

Once again Delaware state legislators will be baited in to another scheme to push a national agenda that will damage Delaware schools.

The first section includes the measures required by the federal government, including the percentage of students proficient in math and reading on the state standardized test; “college and career readiness” items like SAT scores, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment or trade certifications; and graduation rates.

The second half will include other measures the Department of Education will include based on input from parents and educators, which could include things like school climate surveys, staff attendance, parent attendance at conferences, drop-out rates and progress in closing achievement gaps.

State officials say they want to create a more nuanced system than previous accountability systems like the often-maligned Annual Yearly Progress, which relied mostly on scores on standardized tests.

The Delaware Department of Education over and over demonstrated they lack the capacity to be effective partners in education and for the most part , parents don’t trust DE DOE and knows DE DOE is nothing more than a bunch of Markell political puppets. 

The Department of Education is still working on a design, but officials say one of the chief requirements is that the system needs to be clear and easy for parents to understand.

“This is about providing relevant and transparent information so our families can make the school decisions best for their children,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said in a news release

Let’s start with transparent school board meetings and transparent credit-card expenditures by charter schools! It seems all the decision for “families” are made without families! We had a rating system of Superior, Commendable, Academic Review and Watch. What part of “Superior” confused parents? The change is all about creating a “diversion” to kick the can of failure within the Delaware Department of Education and Markell down the road.

Federal rules require states to include some kind of rating system, and Delaware has gone through several incarnations. In the past, the state had school ratings of “superior,” “commendable” and “academic watch,” and a system that named some schools Partnership Zone schools, some Focus schools, and some Reward and Recognition Schools.

There it is, “federal rules”. 

“I do believe the terminology that has been used over the past 10 years or so has changed numerous times, and it has not always been relevant or understandable,” said Mark Holodick, who is chief of the school chiefs association and who, as superintendent in the Brandywine School District, will see his district and its schools rated. “Moving to a transparent, equitable and fair framework is critical.”

Mark were talking about DE DOE and Arne Duncan! Fair and transparent !!!!!!!!! Get real!

Holodick says it’s important that, whatever formula the state comes up with, it factors in the communities and student populations the schools serve. Inner city schools, where teachers help students battle poverty, hunger, and other problems, should simply be rated “worse” than schools in affluent suburban neighborhoods.

“We know the most challenging work, the most difficult work, is that in our schools with high needs populations, and this framework has to strongly consider that,” Holodick said. “What you don’t want is to have a system that is simply aligned with socio-economic status.”

So D’s and F’s for inner city school and A, B and C for suburban schools. At the end of the day without needs based funding we’ll have new labels with the same underlining problems.

The most recent label state officials have assigned is to six inner-city Wilmington “Priority Schools,” which they have targeted for a turnaround. Many teachers in those schools have complained that state and federal officials continue to place labels that make parents believe schools are failing and demoralize students and staff.

“There seems like there is this constant desire to have some kind of metric to rank and rate,” Jenner said. “And I just don’t see the point.”

Well hello Ms Jenner!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree!!!!!!!!!

Bill Doolittle, president-elect of the state PTA, sits on the working group that is developing the system. He agreed that it would be unwise to judge a school based on a letter grade alone, and emphasized that the report card parents receive would include detailed figures to give parents more information.

“Certainly we want parents to look deeper than just a certain letter,” Doolittle said. “And I think that’s the intent of the overall process here, to give parents more information.”

If you this the letter grading is unwise, why is PTA working with state? Why not just say “NO”. Bill the fucking intent is Markell pushing a national common core everything agenda! What next Bill, the same common method of ranking colleges?? 

Is House Bill #39 creating a profit center and more deaths in Wilmington for illegal marijuana (drug) dealings

Delaware marijuana decriminalization bill introduced Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal

The legislation, House Bill 39, would treat simple possession of the drug, and private use, like a traffic ticket. Selling the drug, and also possessing marijuana with an intent to sell, would remain criminal offenses.

So possession of marijuana under one ounce will be legal but buying it from someone holding more than an ounce will still be a crime. Or wait the buyer won’t be charged, just the seller??

At the end of the day, H.B. #39 will create a market for marijuana and who will be profiting? Honestly if H.B.#39 is some kind of stepping stone to state run marijuana tax and sales then lets just get it done. How many young men are going to die in the new marijuana turf-war? Surely there will be those drug dealers jocking for control whether it be a street corner, neighborhood or city.

Yes perhaps the time has come to address marijuana laws but H.B.#39 is like throwing a pebble in a pond without know the ripple effect! I hope our state legislators stop and analyze full impact of H.B. #39 to send a clear message to employers re: pre-employment and random drug screening. Also, what impact will H.B.#39 have on illegal sales of marijuana?       

So Rep Keeley ! How will H.B. #39 impact employer’s right to randomly test for drugs (marijuana) and pre-employment screening ?

Delaware marijuana decriminalization introduced Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal

Delawareans caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face just civil fines, not a criminal record, under decriminalization legislation introduced Thursday by a Wilmington lawmaker in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Helene Keeley, the south Wilmington Democrat, said state residents should not have trouble getting a job, or finding financial aid for college, simply because they were busted with a small amount of pot.

The legislation, House Bill 39, would treat simple possession of the drug, and private use, like a traffic ticket. Selling the drug, and also possessing marijuana with an intent to sell, would remain criminal offenses.

“There’s definitely a generational shift going on here,” Keeley said in a Thursday interview.

I get and understand the merits of this law but what happens to pre-employment drug screening and zero tolerance random drug testing? Will potential employers get sued for not hiring or firing an employees with “trace” amounts of marijuana? Were are the guidance for employers if this law were to be enacted? 

Delaware Governor Markell’s plan to reduce senior citizens’ discount on local school taxes will have negitive impact on Red Clay’s 02/24/2015 Referundum

State budget: Millions in senior tax breaks cut Jon Offredo, The News Journal

For seniors, the state currently pays up to $500 of a property owner’s school taxes. Under the governor’s proposed budget the state would pay about half of that. Residents 65 and over have to have lived in Delaware for at least three years to qualify for the subsidy.

Read more here …………….

Red Clay Consolidated School District Referendum – February 24, 2015

Governor Markell’s proposed budget socks it to senior citizens by cutting their school tax discount in half! Just another taxman Jack, taxing the people to back-fill his wrongheaded public education agenda. And OMG there he goes again dipping into the transportation trust fund again! 

I just don’t get it, Markell brags about all the new jobs “he” created and how Delaware economy is bouncing back but yet he wants put the tax screw to senior citizens. Markell never came clean on how much the K12.inc contract was re: hiring them to takeover Moyer Charter School the last time he tried to close it !

I am sure Markell’s call for cutting senior citizens’ school tax discount will have a negative impact on Red Clay’s upcoming operational referendum. And folks don’t forget, when Red Clay’s local school tax goes up more money flows to all the charter schools within Red Clay’s boundaries!  

Way to go Governor Markell!  

Delaware Legislators appear to be coming out of self induced coma Re: H.B. #34

148th General Assembly
House Bill # 34

Primary Sponsor:

Spiegelman

Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Jaques & Sen. Simpson & Sen. Lavelle

CoSponsors:

Reps. Outten, Collins, Wilson, Baumbach, Lynn, Matthews, Paradee, K. Williams; Sen. Lawson

Introduced on :

01/28/2015

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This bill will allow a local school district board to delay new or changed rules, regulations, or administrative procedures from becoming effective during a school year once the school year has started. This will allow the rules, regulations, and procedures to be consistent for the whole school year.

Current Status:

House Education Committee   On   01/28/15

The Idiots Who Want To “Educate” Your Child

kavips

Penny Schwinn:  “violence in communities has little impact on a student’s performance in school.”

First Go Here:  Photos of Dead bodies

Now Take this test:  Smarter Balanced Assessment.

The reason the takeover of public schools is being botched by a new catastrophe every new minute.  is because we do not have competent people in positions of authority…

If there is no way any adult could look at this, and then takethis, there is no way a child should ever be expected to do the same….

It’s the test, stupid.  Rating anything by this test is ridiculous, insane, and stupid to boot…  Rating a child by a teacher who knows them from working with them all year?… Now that is where we need to go.

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Senate Bill #24 addresses more concerns with charter schools

148th General Assembly
Senate Bill # 24

Primary Sponsor:

Henry

Additional Sponsor(s):    & Sen. Cloutier & Rep. J. Johnson

CoSponsors:

Rep. Keeley

Introduced on :

01/27/2015

Long Title:

ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOL RENEWALS.

Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This act would ensure that the academic performance of charter schools who are serving low income and minority students are evaluated by the improvements that they have made with their students.

Current Status:

Senate Education Committee   On   01/27/2015

Full text of Legislation:

(in HTML format)

Legis.html

Email this Bill to a friend

Full text of Legislation:

(in MS Word format)

Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Actions History:

Jan 27, 2015 – Assigned to Education Committee in Senate

Delaware Legislators introduces bill #29 re: moratorium on charter schools in the city of Wilmington until June 30, 2017

148th General Assembly
House Bill # 29

Primary Sponsor:

Potter

Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Henry

CoSponsors:

Reps. Bolden, Keeley, Kowalko

Introduced on :

01/27/2015

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS.

Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This bill provides for a moratorium on all new charter schools within the City of Wilmington until June 30, 2017.

Current Status:

House Education Committee   On   01/27/15

Full text of Legislation:

(in HTML format)

Legis.html

Email this Bill to a friend

Full text of Legislation:

(in MS Word format)

Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Actions History:

Jan 27, 2015 – Introduced and Assigned to Education Committee in House

Lame-Duck Jack Markell won’t take action on “Wilmington’s” education recommendations! Just more kicking the can down the road!

Committee: Take Christina, Colonial out of Wilmington Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Wilmington’s school system needs sweeping changes if its children are to escape the poverty and crime threatening their futures, a committee created by Gov. Jack Markell said Monday.

The first mistake was Jack Markell’s involvement! Many of the existing problems are a result of Markell failed education agenda. I ‘ll spare the YouTube video but Markell did acknowledge re-segregation via charter schools and flawed charter admission laws allowing discrimination re: Specific Interest charter admission preferences. The there is the Delaware Department of Education who lack “capacity” for understanding law and part of their mission to provide technical assistance.    

The Wilmington Education Advisory Council’s recommendations would drastically rework how the city’s schools are managed, funded, and operated. They include: 

Removing the Christina and Colonial School Districts from the city

Yea one way to get rid of the amazing board member John Young. Can’t find anyone to beat him at election time, just dissolve the district 🙂  “Christina, especially the Christina School Board, has a reputation for clashing with the state, sometimes attempting to derail state leaders’ plans.” This shows you how fucked up the News Journal is and how it’s bias to Markell.

Placing a hold on the approval of new charter schools until the state can design a comprehensive plan for how they should grow

Well that can be done within 10 days re: legislative action but odds are you won’t see any legislation calling for a moratorium. This would conflict with the states NCLB wavier that allows the option to close a traditional school and reopen as a charter.  

Changing the way schools are funded in Delaware to funnel more resources to high-poverty schools

Easy solution, fund traditional and charter school the same way as votechs. However, there is the capital funding issue funding for “charter corporations”.  

Creating an office of education in Wilmington government to give city officials more say in what happens in schools.

State legislation should be enacted giving Wilmington authority to authorize charter schools and to transfer existing charter schools located in Wilmington as their charter renewals comes due. So which legislator will be brave enough to get this legislation rolling?

We hear all about mayoral control of public schools so why not give Wilmington that mayoral control?

Folks it will take at least three years to see any action on this plan! And certainly you don’t want Markell and his band of Rodel and Teach for America clones involvement. The best thing to do is, enact that law giving the City Wilmington that charter authority, provide preferential choice transportation to Wilmington children to suburban schools especially Red Clay and give the first choice over in-district and out of district choice application coming from suburban students. Give Charter School of Wilmington it’s marching order to vacate Red Clay’s Wilmington Campus to give-way to a traditional high school for city kids.

Waiting Jack Markell to take action is like waiting for Superman who ain’t never coming!

So now where is the candidates for 2016??? Beau Biden seems to be setting his own agenda and refuses to engage these issue. Greg Lavelle, well he showed his true colors supporting Markell’s Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment agenda! I am very disappoint in Greg who I thought was tracking for a real chance! Greg, it ain’t going to happen. Then there is Matt Denn who hit the AG ground running with some great proposals addressing Wilmington education needs in the short-term. If there were an election today Denn would win. Biden has lost his prince stardom luster. Beau isn’t very decisive. Greg really blew it with that H.B. 334 flip-flop vote.

Christina’s attendance zones are particularly strange because it has a non-contiguous “island” in the city’s east side that is not connected to its suburban schools in Newark. Colonial does not operate schools in the city limits, the report points out, but buses them out into the suburbs.

Yo !! Jimmy Olsen, brush up on your Delaware desegregation history! Dividing Wilmington and not addressing the concerns after the passage of The Neighborhood School Act was more about keep the foot on the backs of minorities heads so the pro charter school reformers could have their way. Traditional schools “needed” to fail to justify charter schools just as Conrad “had” to fill-full a promise made to return Conrad High School that was a victim of desegregation order re: closure of certain schools. Bobby knows the promise he made to the Conrad Alumni.  

Face it, Markell isn’t going to make any radical moves and the task-force report will be drooped in the lap of the next governor, most-likely Matt Denn.

Yep !! More shoot-them-up-bang-bang in Wilmington Delaware! Governor Markell lacks action plan!

Three more people shot on Broom St. in Wilmington

In one weekend, six people were shot and one person was killed in shootings in the 200 block of North Broom St. Three more people were shot Sunday afternoon. 1/25/15 DAMIAN GILETTO/The News Journal

And the Twin Poets know it !