Monthly Archives: May 2015

Christina referendum NO voters are NOT cowards. #netDE #eduDE

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The untold courage of Beau Biden now revealed

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As we pray and think about Beau Biden we must think about the courage Beau had keeping his health secret and not yielding to political pressures to discuss it.

Whatever  bucket-list Beau had, he put it aside and went on with his day to day life. But surely he and his family was preparing for the possibility of living life without him. 

Nothing prepares us for the final walk. However, the real courage is in trusting God’s hand reaching out of the light. I am a believer that in darkness there is light and light there is darkness. We must all find a way to stay in that light from our first breath to the last. To me it appears Beau Biden did just that. I was taught we are to celebrate life when there is a birth and also death. Also, if you made a positive difference in just one other person’s life your life had meaning. Obviously Beau Biden left a positive mark on many.

One can only hope Beau’s family and friends can draw from Beau’s courage and go on and touch others in his remembrance. Some of us may have looked upon Beau as prince but now he is a king among kings. He is in a place where all is equal and peace is lasting. Draw from his courage.

The are times a son carries on a father’s legacy and yet there are times the father is ask to carry on a son’s legacy. Stay strong Papa-Joe and keep everyone in the light during these hours of darkness.

Rep Debbie Hudson up to her dirty tricks with H.B 61!

H.B. 61 (Sponsor Rep Hudson) is legislation calling for recording school board meetings and post recording sound files on district and charter school websites. Hudson sponsor H.B. 23 is the last session that was kicked around for two year and died of a desk drawer veto.

I got some inside intel Hudson doesn’t give a shit about H.B. 61 and supports the charter crowed crying about recording their board meetings. Word has it she told the Speak of The House don’t worry about H.B. 61 and could care less about. 

Hudson votes supported Markell’s Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment. So much for the new Republican image!   

Are Red Clay School Board members helping dealing cards below the table? Re: Priority School Teachers

Even Kilroy is smart enough to know many teachers in the designated Priority Schools are bailing and heading to Cooke Elementary and other teacher vacancies associated with moving to Cooke. Seniority teachers are doing the bump game.

As for the teaching positions in the priority schools like Warner, word has it principals are conducting bogus interviews knowing Red Clay admins are hand-picking priority school teachers. The question is, are board members aware this dirty admin poker?

Charter School of Wilmington Leader Dr. Paoli Under Fire In Change.org Petition To Restore Dr. Fleetwood’s Contract

Exceptional Delaware

The ongoing story about Charter School of Wilmington’s leader, Dr. Sam Paoli, continues.  Last week, stories emerged about the leader and his bullying and intimidation towards students.  This caused a great deal of controversy.  Now it is revealed his attitudes are not just isolated to students.  A Change.org petition to renew a very beloved teacher’s contract is currently under way.  Dr. Thomas Fleetwood has been at the school since the beginning, and students are extremely offended his contract was not renewed.

Some students feel Paoli did not renew his contract because Fleetwood challenged Paoli on the bullying and intimidation we are now learning is directed towards anyone who disagrees with him.  I would have to ask this: why is Paoli the sole deciding factor on faculty?  Wouldn’t this be a board decision?  In most schools, it is the boards who make these types of decisions.  A school leader can make…

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Christina Referendum Does Not Pass…Cowards Who Voted No Want Children To Suffer

Exceptional Delaware

The Christina School District referendum did not pass today.  Unofficial results for Newcastle County are showing 5,074 for and 5,968 against.  This is a stunning defeat for the children of this school district.  Those who voted no must see these children as Delaware’s most unwanted children in the state.  It amounted to $4.50 a week for the average citizen.  I feel ashamed to live in Delaware right now.  Red Clay is celebrated like the second coming, but Christina is the unloved stepchild of Wilmington.  Did any of you who voted no ever think about that?  What these children will lose?  You voted NO for the future of our state.  You voted NO for the over 13,000 students in this district.  You voted NO on their ability to get the same equal education other districts get.  Your vote guarantees more jobs will be lost.  And with charters getting shut down left…

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Governor Markell must be all smiles as Christina’s referendums fails

Christina School District residents reject tax increase  Matthew Albright, The News Journal

The referendum was defeated by a vote of 5,968 to 5,074.

Folks it is very possible the stage for a state takeover of a school district has been set. Those who think things are already bad in Cristina but get a grip because, a state takeover will be far worst! 

Delaware’s Governor want-to-be needs the step up their game and engage the public education issues

Lawmakers fighting Markell on education MATTHEW ALBRIGHT AND JONATHAN STARKEY, THE NEWS JOURNAL

Williams and other lawmakers say the fight over Priority Schools, more than any other debate over education, energized opposition among teachers and parents.

Some lawmakers have taken aim at Secretary Murphy in particular.

“We don’t see him day-in, day-out in Legislative Hall, having conversations with us,” Williams said. “I think, unfortunately, people have lost faith in the Department and Secretary Murphy. They’re not willing to just go along with them anymore.”

Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, has filed a bill that would require the Secretary of Education to have at least 10 years’ experience in schools, at least of six of them as a classroom teacher.

That bill aims to address criticism of Murphy, who was a classroom teacher for only three years before climbing the ranks of administration and education nonprofits.

The Delaware State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, voted no confidence in Murphy earlier this year, the first time the organization has taken such a step.

The sooner we purge Sec of Ed Murphy, the sooner we can have an honest conversation about Delaware’s public education.

Those who plan on running for governor in 2016 better start engaging the education conversation and provide us their plans to reverse to course of destruction of traditional schools and charter schools. We need a level playing field across the state with choice options equal to all students. 

Who Delaware school vouchers push DE DOE to do a better job

The reality is there is a perception that all Delaware traditional public schools are failing. But the baseline for assigning failure is the state standardized test. And of course the flip-side is school that do well and outstanding are measured by the same test.

Education data produced under Governor Markell’s administration is severely skewed to a point it is invalid. Markell’s data reveals a 30 year low in the high school dropout rate and a 30 years high is the graduation index. With all this success one must wonder why the need to eliminate DCAS and replace it with The Smarter Balanced Assessment?

Think about this, if traditional public schools weren’t failing there wouldn’t a need for charter schools! Folks there is a Republican grassroots campaign seeded with High-Pockets Pete $$$ to advance school vouchers using H.B. #353 aka Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account that was tabled in Delaware House Education Committee 05/29/2014 soon to be rewritten early 2016. Don’t let the title fool you, we’re talking school vouchers! The first phase will be for high poverty students then expand to all students.

I don’t oppose school vouchers because it would add to school choice! And yep it won’t be received by labor too well! But then again we have labor to thanks for F’ing up public schools and I am not talking $$$ demands. Labor was a visible part pushing for Race to The Top the gateway to the nightmare we have now! Some say Kilroy needs to move on from Race to The Top and what Judas did! Wishful thinking! Those educators acting as Race to The Top cheerleaders own it! 

I wonder how DE DOE would operate within a voucher system? They screwed up the charter school movement producing a charter school framework set out to prematurely approve charter schools and destroy charter school before they open the first year. DE DOE gives new meaning to what is a “cluster-fuck”.

School vouchers are a big debate issue and you’ll be hearing more about them during the upcoming 2016 election cycle. But one thing for sure, students at Moyer and Reach should be getting school vouchers rather than being force back to feeder-school not making AYP. Do remember there are some Moyer students who attended Pencader. So they were screwed twice by charter schools.

In the big picture failing charter schools add to the need for school vouchers and the fix is in that allows charter school fail. The DE DOE CBOC Reps just sit back and don’t question expenditures and the usage of commercial credit cards.  One thing for sure, DE DOE would not survive a top to bottom audit.

    

Don’t reward Governor Jack Markell by turning your back on Christina School District’s Operational Referendum

Christina schools deserve a ‘yes’ vote May 27 : News Journal / Delaware Voice John M. Young

Christina School District is holding an operating referendum on May 27. In Delaware, we rely on the beneficence of our taxpayers to fund the local portion of our children’s education. This includes all children in the district regardless of which public school (charter schools are fully publicly funded schools) they attend, hence the slogan for our campaign: Christina, Charter, Choice: We All Win!

A group of dedicated, tireless, parent volunteers have been e-mailing, calling, meeting, door-knocking, and social media blitzing the general population since the district announced the May 27 referendum. While it is common for many opinions and concerns to be expressed anytime a school district goes out for referendum, in the case of Christina, we have an additional hurdle to overcome. In the mid-2000s we overspent monies and were forced to take a loan out and repay the state: we repaid that loan in 2011. We have little control over how people feel about that, and while we understand those concerns, we focus on the fact that it has been fully resolved for over four years.

What we can control, though, is asking you, directly and sincerely, for your vote. Our schools have continued to deliver great programs and education: award winning dropout prevention at Sarah Pyle Academy, the first public Montessori program in Delaware, the statewide Autism and Deaf programs, award winning music and arts programs, and excellent athletics are just a small part of our continuing commitment to educating our community.

The bottom line is this: costs (energy, supplies, and salaries) rise over time and unless and until the public adds money to the coffers via referendum, eventually these two lines (costs v. flat revenues) will cross. We are at the point, five years since the last referendum, where those lines will cross again this year. This is not about scare tactics regarding what will happen if we fail to pass this referendum: it’s about our most important civic duty: educating our community. Please go to CSDWeAllWin.org and get the facts before you vote. There you will find FAQs and links to multiple social media outlets where we are having a vibrant, direct, and honest discussion about our schools, our families, our taxes, our teachers, our administrators, and most importantly, our students. Join the discussion. Get informed.

Be an informed voter. Then vote. The students of Christina would benefit greatly from your vote on May 27.

John M. Young is a member of the Christina School District Board of Education.

Of all the school districts in the state of Delaware, Christina had the most courage to tell Governor Markell, not so fast with Federal, State and Wall Street overreaching intrusion!

All odds are Markell doesn’t like John Young’s brashness and I say TFB! And Markell won’t lose any sleepover a failed referendum! Odds are he’ll say, serves them right for not kissing my ass! 

At the end of the day, a vote against the referendum  is a vote against Christina’s kids and will empower Governor Markell to privatize Christina School District bringing in the likes of K12.Inc and we seen what K12.Inc did with Moyer!  

Delaware Governor Jack Markell has made a mess of Delaware’s public education. Do you honestly want the Delaware Department of Education taking-over Christina School District?

2016 election is approaching and the Delaware Department of Education is on the eve of implosion! By this time next year many key DE DOE officials will be going, getting out of Dodge before the next governor comes in swinging his ax! Jenny will be back on South Street Philly selling Pretzels and Penny will be heading back to her left-coast charter school. Odds are data bean-counter will be heading back to Vermont just in time to collect the Maple Tree sap! Then there is The Coach! I hear the bells of St Mary’s calling! Perhaps Lillian will hire him to babysit all the Teach For America recruits!  

CSD Parents and community, don’t believe you are punishing CSD adults by voting no! Taking teachers and paraprofessional away via budget cuts HURTS STUDENTS.  

If Christina goes without a successful referendum DE DOE doesn’t have any better resources to address the cuts in education services that are needed.

If Christina parents and community feels they need to change the leadership in the district and the board then DO IT! Seriously! But why did the incumbent board member run unopposed just a few weeks ago? 

Mark Murphy Tries To Come Off Like Markell, But Sounds More Like Little Bo Peep

Exceptional Delaware

In the Dover Post today, four people gave their opinion on opt-out.  Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and Alissa Schubert, a parent and Media Relations for the Delaware Charter School Network were the anti-opt-out folks, while Delaware Senator Dave Lawson and Vice-President for Advocacy for the Delaware PTA, Yvonne Johnson were on the pro-side.

Murphy shied away from saying “Parents aren’t allowed to opt-out, but he did have some of his usual Murphyisms.

“Measuring the progress our children make in school is essential for providing teachers, parents, taxpayers, and leaders throughout the state with honest, objective information about whether they are learning the skills and gaining the knowledge they need to be successful now and in the future…”

“The “smarter” assessments have been designed, tested, and validated according to the highest standards…”

Nice try Mark.  We’ve heard it all before.  And once again, don’t try telling this parent what…

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Freire fever! Inside sources sill calling for probation re: Spec Ed Plan not enrollment #

Freire Charter School Wilmington FORMAL REVIEW INITIAL REPORT CSAC Initial Meeting: May 13, 2015 CSAC Initial Report Published: May 18, 2015

Conclusion

Mr. Blowman asked the CSAC whether there were any additional questions. No questions were raised.

Mr. Blowman noted that Freire was not in compliance with the April 1 enrollment requirement but has since achieved at least 80% enrollment. Due to the increased student enrollment, he was not aware of any specific financial viability concerns. He noted that there was a need for additional information about how the school will serve special education students based on the projected enrollment of that population.

As discussed above, the following specific information was requested by the CSAC:

 A plan detailing how the Freire would meet the needs of the intense and complex special education students; and

 A plan detailing how Freire would serve all special education students, including the staffing levels, plans for providing special education services, plans for providing differentiated instruction, and also meeting all compliance requirements.

See page 3: May 13 enrollment at 93%

He noted that Freire’s enrollment is now in compliance

Kilroy calls it probation in regards to special ed issues. number of current parking spaces are within zoning requirement. Freire is at 93% enrollment Freire is well about 80% enrollment requirement. So no issue there. 

Lynching Freire for Delaware Department of Education’s stupidity makes no sense !

Neighbors to launch legal challenge of charter school JENNA PIZZI, The News Journal

The Midtown Brandywine Neighbors Association’s attorney, Richard Abbott sent a letter to the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections on Monday, saying they are prepared to go to court if the city does not rescind a building permit issued for the building on West 14th Street which is to be the site of Freire Charter School.

Residents contend that their concerns about the placement of the school in their neighborhood were never taken into consideration. The neighbors claim the school is required to apply for a variance to obtain the building permit because they do not have the required number of parking spaces, which would require the city to hold a public hearing on the project.

If Freire’s building location is illegal why did the Delaware Department of education approve Ferire’s charter application? It makes no sense for Freire to spend money needed to educated their students to defend themselves against what is being a Lynching. 

Residents contend that their concerns about the placement of the school in their neighborhood were never taken into consideration. The neighbors claim the school is required to apply for a variance to obtain the building permit because they do not have the required number of parking spaces, which would require the city to hold a public hearing on the project.

Welcome to the club of being excluded from the Markell education agenda! Parents and the community were excluded from the Race to The Top decision, Common Core Standards decision and The Smarter Balanced Assessment Decision. Get over it ! How about suing Jack Markell??   

“It would give the neighbors and the neighborhood itself a really good forum to bring to light the issues,” said Ben Cohen president of the neighborhood association. Cohen said residents are concerned about the influx of traffic that the school would have on the small neighborhood with narrow, tree-lined streets.

Gee I wonder what this community did when Blue Cross was housed in that building!!

At the end of the day Freire’s charter application was reviewed and approved by the Delaware Department of Education. So now DE DOE is asked to pull the charter and require Freire to close?

Back to the charter school argument! I take strong issues with the capacity of DE DOE lead by a band of IDIOTS. Then there is the DE DOE Coach!  

This issues is nothing more than another DE DOE blunder! When will out state legislator should real courage and demand the resignation of Delaware Secretary of Education and is band of charter idiots?

I am not trying to save Freire, I am trying to point out Delaware charter school laws are flawed and the Delaware Department of Education is incompetent! Change charter school , magnet and votech laws to ensure all are equally open to all students without specific interest clauses and “open” lottery process!    

Freire Charter School won’t be ordered closed! Kilroy calls it for probation

Mr. Blowman noted that Freire had not met the requirement that it reach 80% of its total approved enrollment (224 students ) by the April 1 deadline. He noted that the low enrollment number raised concerns about the school’s financial viability at that level. He reviewed the history of Freire’s enrolled student data:

However DE DOE’s report goes on to report as of May 13 enrollment was at 93%. 

He noted that Freire’s enrollment is now in compliance, but noted that if students were to withdraw, that would have a negative impact upon viability. (Blowman)

Well doesn’t that apply to all charter schools? 

Ms. Field Rogers asked if many of the enrolled students were coming from the Christina School District. Ms. Wenell stated that approximately 54% of students currently enrolled came from Christina. Ms. Field Rogers noted that the outcome of Christina’s referendum may affect the amounts sent to charters and suggested that Freire budget conservatively for any local funds from that district. 

“Voting Committee Members of the Charter School Accountability Committee/ Karen Field Rogers, Associate Secretary for Adult Education and School Supports, DDOE”

Did Freire submits the budget on the anticipation that the referendum would be successful? Doubt it! However, if the referendum fails perhaps pissed-off parents may enroll their children in Freire.

Ms. Field Rogers noted that the budget included a loan for school renovations and financing from its their landlord (McConnell Johnson), and asked if Freire also planned to use a line of credit. Dr. Davenport stated that Freire had secured a line of working capital from Barclay’s for $800,000, which can be tapped into during the first year if needed.  

And did Mrs Field Rogers turn a blind-eye when Charlie’s mommy gave his school a personal loan?

Ms. Field Rogers noted that the budget included a loan for school renovations and financing from its their landlord (McConnell Johnson), and asked if Freire also planned to use a line of credit. Dr. Davenport stated that Freire had secured a line of working capital from Barclay’s for $800,000, which can be tapped into during the first year if needed.

“working capital” Sounds like a smart plan! Smart landlord supporting his tenant. Charter School of Wilmington landlord gives them major capital funding free! Kind of like a backdoor donations!

Mr. Blowman asked if there were any foreseeable problems with implementing the approved charter with fidelity at 208 students. Dr. Davenport stated that she did not foresee any problems, even though the school would need to operate in a way that was “leaner and meaner.”

FYI most charter schools operate “leaner and meaner” and from I see Charter School of Wilmington is in deficit spending. Charters are corporations and most start-up corporations are on tight budgets.

Mr. Taylor inquired about the number of special education students currently enrolled, the breakdown between basic, intensive, and complex designations, and whether there were sufficient funds in the revised budget to serve them as needed (Note – Numbers not included in this report pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requirements). Ms. Khieu stated that Freire had budgeted extra funds to serve those students and was confident that it could meet those needs. Dr. Davenport stated that the Freire team was looking into all possible opportunities to serve those students, and would be drawing ideas from their experience operating in Pennsylvania. Mr. Blowman noted that Delaware laws about serving special education students are very different and Dr. Davenport noted Freire’s intent to implement plans that meet Delaware’s legal requirements.

Folks this is indeed a major issue and perhaps borderline civil rights violation under IDEA. Perhaps Freire can model it’s special ed services after Charter School of Wilmington’s model! CSW is the golden goose of charter schools in Delaware.

Mr. Blowman noted that Bill Porter would no longer be the school leader and that those responsibilities would now be fulfilled by Mr. Ramirez and Ms. Wennell. He asked how that change would affect school operations. Dr. Davenport spoke about each person’s experience working in Freire’s Philadelphia schools. Dr. Davenport noted that they would lead operations at the school campus and she would be supporting them as a school leader from “behind the scenes.” Ms. Field Rogers noted that Mr. Porter had received a lot of training and asked how the new school leaders would get the training they needed to open and operate the school. Dr. Davenport noted that she had full confidence in Melanie Reiser, the Director of Operations and Compliance and her “right hand” at Build the Future Education Collaborative. Melanie had attended many of the trainings as well and had been working on the opening process. Dr. Davenport noted that Mr. Porter had not left the Freire organization and would also be available to help and answer questions as needed.

So Porter took a backseat but still is part of Freire.  Don’t see where this would have an negative impact on final decision re: charter review committee.

Conclusion Mr. Blowman asked the CSAC whether there were any additional questions. No questions were raised. Mr. Blowman noted that Freire was not in compliance with the April 1 enrollment requirement but has since achieved at least 80% enrollment. Due to the increased student enrollment, he was not aware of any specific financial viability concerns. He noted that there was a need for additional information about how the school will serve special education students based on the projected enrollment of that population. As discussed above, the following specific information was requested by the CSAC:

 A plan detailing how the Freire would meet the needs of the intense and complex special education students; and

 A plan detailing how Freire would serve all special education students, including the staffing levels, plans for providing special education services, plans for providing differentiated instruction, and also meeting all compliance requirements.

I am calling it, Freire will submit a workable plan.

Folks I take issue with Delaware charter school laws “and” with regulations governing magnet and votech schools. As far a the Freire’s zero tolerance re: behavior, do note “Choice” students in traditional schools can be de-Choiced due to behavior.

Red Clay, “A choice application will not be accepted for a student who has been expelled from the District or another district or charter school until that student is eligible for readmission to the expelling district or charter school. Students who are enrolled in alternative programs may submit applications as appropriate for the next school year under the established guidelines.” 

Red Clay, “A student who fails to meet the academic requirements and attendance requirements of a choice school may not be permitted to return the next school year. Meeting the academic requirements is defined as meeting the District’s standards for promotion to the next grade level.

Red Clay, “A student who violates the Student Code of Conduct, as well as a student who engages in conduct which may result in a recommendation for alternative placement and/or expulsion, may not be permitted to return to the choice school for the following school year.”

As far as Freire, I foresee probation “not” revocation.

Folks remember, I take issues with Delaware’s charter school laws and regulations not the concept of charter schools. The zero tolerance issues appears to be permitted by law. HOWEVER, in my opinion all schools charters, traditional, voteach and magnet schools should all be required to provide alternative placement and / or services for their non criminal disruptive students.