Parent Press Conference Went Very Well, Big House Bill 50 News!!!!

Exceptional Delaware 2017

PPC#1

The Parent Press Conference on Delaware Education today went amazingly well!  About 25-30 parents came out, and many of the major Delaware media outlets were on hand as well.  Some parents from up north were unable to make it do a very nasty stomach bug making it’s appearance up there, but there were many familiar and unfamiliar faces there.  I gave an opening speech:

Thank you all for coming out today. My name is Kevin Ohlandt, and I am a proud father of a wonderful 5th grader in the Capital School District. I would like to recognize Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko and Delaware Senator Dave Lawson from the 148th General Assembly for joining us. As well we have State Rep. Kim Williams in the audience today. Both John and Dave are the co-sponsors on House Bill 50, which is the parent opt out bill. This legislation would codfify the…

View original post 1,955 more words

Advertisements

26 responses to “Parent Press Conference Went Very Well, Big House Bill 50 News!!!!

  1. Publius e decere

    I need an air-sickness bag. Apparently those people with the stomach bug realized they needed on too. 🙂

    “25-30 parents came out” (KO)
    “About 20 parents protested …” (TNJ)
    “About seven people who appeard of-age were shown in the crowd photos …” (Publius)

    30 –> 20 –> 7 –> what’s next, “It was a hoax, there was not protest?”

    Riddle me this — if people “aready have the right to opt out” according to kowalko, then why is he wasting the Assembly’s time with a bill to assert a right which people (according to him) already have?

    And riddle me this — if we eliminate testing, how will we even know that there is an “achievement gap” or an “Income gap”? If we don’t teach to commonly-agreed standards (which the test is designed to assess) then what exactly ARE we teaching to?

    Publius

    Like

    • Oh Publius, please stop drinking the Kool-Aid. My numbers are accurate. I was there, you weren’t, nuff said. I was not expecting a huge, swelling crowd. That’s been occurring on Facebook for months silly man! As Kilroy always says, social media is a game changer, and I’ve been on there for a LONG time. I specifically chose this date and this place and that time for one reason: to bring this conversation right on the front steps of the General Assembly. I knew many parents wouldn’t make it, and that’s okay. Many more wanted to come, but for reasons of distance, time of day, or yes, stomach bugs, they were unable to. But look at it this way: I had the minutes and the video recording of the press conference up the very same day! How’s that for transparency? Can certain schools say the same? I can also boast the crowd was five times bigger than the Delaware DOE Kent County accountability survey town hall!

      The reason for the bill is to ensure districts handle opt out with a level of taste and dignity, which many have not.

      I have never said eliminate all testing, but the Smarter Balanced is NOT a good measure of judging the achievement or income gap. If anything, it’s going to widen those gaps even further. But from what I’m hearing from teachers who are grading the interim tests, most children will do poorly on this test.

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      Did you count the videographer, Ped?
      Second question, because I confess that I blinked. Did the needle not move, or did it go all the way ’round and resettle where it was?

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      Were the frightened faces of the elected and the rent seekers peering out of the upper floor windows counted as attendees?

      Like

    • Yes lastDE, they were frightened out of their minds. I heard they had to bring in crisis counselors so they were able to get home safely. Lobbyists had to check their portfolios to make sure they weren’t losing all their money. Even the folks at the DOE across the street were out of their minds with worry. I could have sworn I saw Arne Duncan peeking around the corner muttering “All is lost…”

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      “I could have sworn I saw Arne Duncan peeking around the corner muttering “All is lost…”

      Okay, that’s not bad.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Well, I’m certainly glad that 20 people got off the streets for a few hours.

      Like

  2. lastDEconservative

    Who was that just off camera that spontaneously combusted when Lawson uttered the G-word?

    Like

  3. does this also allow them to opt out of the SAT?

    Like

  4. Thank you to Reps Kowalko and Larson for supporting parents right to choose. It’s the right thing to do and it’s what our country was built upon…freedom. Parents and teachers need to unite to prevent further corporate takeover in our classrooms!

    Like

    • Publius e decere

      Corporate takeover. Right.

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      Lawson. Parents and teachers? Like the PTA? Like Yvonne Johnson in heels PTA? Like “which way is the wind blowing” PTA?

      Sorry, mom, but you demonstrate the reason for the failures. Raise your freedom flag against … wait for it … the Larsons and Kwackos … they are ultimately in charge.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Now I get it — we need to declare our freedom from having to endure Kowalko.

      Like

  5. john kowalko

    Publius
    Stick to promoting your exclusive and elitist publicly funded private school admission policy and declare your freedom from the other 90% of public school children in Delaware’s public education system that I feel responsible to. You’re a very unpleasant little man who refuses to disclose his identity lest the reflections of his personal interest become apparent.
    Representative John Kowalko (no cowardly AKA needed)

    Like

    • Publius e decere

      Let me go empty my drawers — oh wait, let me go toss my cookies.

      I am a proud “Say NO when You KNOW Kowalko” voter.

      Hardly an expression of freedom from, I am expressing a desparately strong advocacy FOR all students. To excel. To challenge themselves. To lay down excuses and start laying down the achievement gauntlet.

      Just like the system did for you in high school. Where was that?

      Publius

      Like

  6. Joanne Christian

    Kevin–You hang in there. It’s lonely going against the grain—and oh being identified! One of my epiphanies of being an adult—many bring their 14 year old selves with them on identifying with an issue. Group think is still huge with “oh ok….do I have to give my name?….can I be anonymous?….I’ll go if you go first”…….et al. Still amazes me. So Kevin–if 20 BRAVE stood there too, on an issue that has only recently swayed populist and in the forefront—you have 600 standing behind them. Easily. But by gosh, you about have to get Bon Jovi there, for them to show their face! Right now, opt out is in foster care…..and to hack a familiar saying….failure is an orphan, and success has many parents. Kevin, you’re doing the hard work of moving the issue from foster care to permanent placement. It will happen. Maybe, not for all standardized testing, but this SBA has got to RIP. Fight the good fight–it is a good one. Why heck, if Pubs has any kids in school, you’re fighting and looking out for them too 🙂 !

    And where was I? Sorry buddy, stuck in Harrington going over “camper orientation” for one of the kids this summer. Hey, the date change blew it! See you at a “next issue” !

    Thanks

    Like

    • Publius e decere

      I would have been there too KO. But I had a prior appointment. When was that meeting, by the way? 🙂

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Actually, Joanne, I am always advoating for kids in school. Mine, KO’s, yours, my neighbors, my ideological opponents’, their kids’ and my neighbors’ kids and my neighbors’ neighbors’ kids, and all other students in the public system. Even Kilroy’s kids (although, full disclosure, “Sir Kilroy” will need some remedial courses in logic and malaprops before he will be ready for a primetime full day of public school in Delaware). And I advocate for EVERY student who wants to be in a good-quality program when it is offered.

      I just think differently (than many blog commenters here) about what these students deserve. And what should be expected.

      No soft low expectations here in Publius’ Elysian Fields. Everyone has a chance. Everyone gets that chance if they put in the effort and the commitment. The district I live in underserves this core of the community. Other nearby districts FAR underserve this same sentiment. We are the Silent Majority. We are of all stripes and creeds/. We vote with our feet, actions and ballots.

      Joane, you and I are not so far apart. I think it is time to find common ground among the factions, and to stop vilifiying schools in high demand who serve highly interested kids who are highly and seriously pushing for the best education they can get. Through freedom of association and accountability for their own efforts.

      Rather than tell these tens of thousand of pejoratively-accused “selective” families and their kids that they are doing something wrong and untoward, INSTEAD tell them and others in their neighborhoods that there is more good stuff where these successes came from IF they can back public schooling systems which the public wants and see this support through, in the elective process.

      Publius

      Like

    • Joanne, I appreciate the comments. The “next issue” will be April 22nd, at the House Education Committee meeting when House Bill 50 will be on the agenda. Every parent who opposes the SBA and wants to opt out their kid, whether they have or haven’t, needs to show up there. The official agenda hasn’t been posted yet, but once it does, I’ll have that time plastered up everywhere.

      You’re absolutely right about the faces behind the crowd. I do most of my “community outreach” on social media, and that’s where the conversation is. I completely understand people don’t have the time, for various reasons, to trek down to Dover. It doesn’t mean they aren’t watching and reading. What I would love to see are the actual opt out numbers to date. I’m sure most schools won’t publicly release that info, but everyday I see more and more parents doing it.

      I think the charters and some schools down in Sussex will be the last frontier to cross this Rubicon in Delaware. I don’t have a problem with ALL standardized testing. If it’s short, and actually helps a student to achieve more in a reasonable amount of time, I’m all for it. But SBA…no, I will never understand it or like it.

      Publius, I respect your opinions believe it or not. I just don’t agree with a lot of them! 😉 We all get our digs in on here, and that’s why we keep coming back. I knew my little press conference would bring the wolves out on here, but I have thick skin (most of the time), so I can dig it.

      Like

  7. Joanne Christian

    PED, Oh, I know we aren’t so far apart. But some of these public education issues have been hijacked by nefarious outfits. Of course, a dedicated charter school to a finite interest, skill, calendar etc., not able to enroll critical mass in a given district is certainly laudible. However, window dressing a charter school and allowing it to market, really nothin’ new….is just plain chicanery. We’d all like “that kid(s)” to go away who disrupts our child’s learning and the classroom, but until the pendulum adjusts–and oh it has to–we have to work within the system. Sure some charters are valid, and doing great and purposeful work. But, what we’re seeing now is the proliferation of “save your own, and get out”….thus delaying the work of some very honest, frank discussions that are needed from the local, state and federal level of the reality of what inclusion, mainstream, IEP, ERISA, and every other acronym that befalls public education is hurting public education. We can’t keep creating silos, and hope…..”just let me get my kids thru this….and let me in…because I want out…..and you have different rules….and…”. There is no locking the door behind you in public education. But there has to be more public trust that mainstream education and schools aren’t walking on eggshells around VERY difficult socially, physically, and intellectually different children, needing and deserving to be educated—but not at the risk of penalizing or alienating a more “typical bell-shaped curve child”. Sure, there is opportunity for all. But we have embraced this crazy notion in education, it’s just wonderful to be diverse—but sacrilege to diverse opportunity. Talent is squandered away. I just want and choose to get mad enough, be brave enough, and hang in there long enough to say……wrong, wrong, wrong. And you are so right….much of this is an elective process. I won’t even go there as far as race, or socioeconomic strata. But PED, you can’t deny the gentrification in public schooling tacitly attached to charters, that a district cannot ever, ever, mitigate if capable, strong, erudite, students, parents and families leave.

    Like

    • Publius e decere

      I think the law envisions that charter schools can be based on innovative programs. OR proven programs. And whichever one the charter school chooses, the legislative intent as it is written in the code says that charter schools provide an alternative in schoolng. I’m pretty that “alternative” can be a school program based on known methods provided that those methods are competently applied and produce results as measured in student outcomes.

      As for your last sentence, I agree that in addition to distributing tax monies to ALL public schools which their residents choose to attend, their other role is to operate schools. In this latter role, shouldn’t they be operating them in a way which atracts their residents? Red Clay seems to be jumping through hoops to do so by authorizing charters, creating magnets, and installing school-within-a-school programs at their attendance-zone schools. They have a net choice-in record. Their SAT scores on average are high versus adjacent districts, and their dropout rates are visibly in decline. I think Red Clay is the example for how local control can be incorporated into a differentiated sysem of schools where there something for everyone within the system. I suppose this success is why the external voices are saying that Red Clay is the only logical district to run the City, notably NOT pointing the same way to Brandywine, Christina or Colonial.

      Publius

      Like

    • kilroysdelaware

      I meet you half way on charters. Though the charter agenda in Red Clay with CSW was driven by affluent whites looking for a free private school that excludes at-risk students, at least Red Clay holds the ground ensuring “their” charter school serves Red Clay students meeting the intelligence test first. We need DE DOE out of the authorizing charter schools.

      Red Clay “currently” doesn’t have the capacity to entertain more schools. And before that happen the funding of public schools need to change shifting responsibility on legislators like votechs. As far as Christina the governors attacks are driven by the fact some CSD board members won’t kiss his ass and don’t buy into his wrongheaded agenda. If Red Clay does better why did the state step in re: three Red Clay Priority Schools? And when parents like in Highlands step up and confront Red Clay on class sizes re: the wavier we have “real” local control where it belongs with parents. Same goes for Red Clay inclusion plan.

      Like

  8. john kowalko

    Dear Jed,
    Shame you didn’t find gold in them there Beverly Hills, guess you’ve found it with your current responsibilities with a certain school. You don’t “know” me at all but I know you and the type of petty, vitriol spewing small-minded person you are. But here’s the conundrum you face. You lecture people and consistently beat a drum that you hope will cause people to look at efforts to provide “all” Delaware public school children with a good education opportunity as a DSEA self-preservation tool. You hope to distract attention from the reality that your support on behalf of a particular school (and type of “public” school system) that you are intimately engaged with will be favorably regarded despite the fact that it is completely lacking in real diversity of any stripe and is molded from a selective and exclusionary practice that is the right of “private” schools and not “public” schools. You hide your identity but fail to appreciate the harm you have caused the charter/corporatist school models when you are ultimately exposed. Even the most ardent supporters of the charter model do not think that the vitriolic, vindictive and unsubstantiated attacks you make on CSD, John Young, Kevin Ohlandt, DSEA and all the tens of thousands of families and children that populate our public schools will do anything other than to muster and succor outrage and resentment against even the most wonderful charters. You disgrace yourself and the position and school you represent.

    Rep. John Kowalko

    Like

    • lastDEconservative

      ” … muster and succor outrage … ”

      The dude’s bringin’ all his big boy phraseology out. Reminds me of the bag lady wearing a “gold” necklace on top of her ragamuffin clothing. A little much, though the same composition.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      I always wondered what made him tick. Mustard on his succotash, that must be the secret.

      Like