Dan Rich turns a blind-eye to mismanagement of public education dollars and wants to forge ahead with reassessment of properties

Politics could hinder attempts to reform Delaware’s education system By Amy Cherry 

Read entire article here ………………….

One way to fix that, Rich suggested:

“There hasn’t been property reassessment in New Castle County since 1983; there hasn’t been property reassessment in Kent County since 1986; and there hasn’t been property reassessment since 1974,” he said. “And anyone who believes that the value of property along the coast and Sussex County hasn’t changed since 1974, is not paying very much attention to what’s going on.”

Property reassessment would be political suicide in a presidential election year. And it won’t be a magic wand either.

“I don’t know what level of energy there’s going to be to take on tough political battles in 2016, but I’m not sure there’s going to be a way to not wrestle with it in some significant way,” said Herdman.

“I think things like this can be accomplished, but they require leadership, and they require somebody who’s willing to take the hit–because there will be a hit,” GOP Chairman Charlie Copeland said.

He’s proposing a fix that was not included in the Student Success 2025 plan that he said would help fix what he called a “total failure.”

“I bet if a bunch of our students had $15,000 vouchers to go get their education anywhere, there’d be a lot of options, and a lot of schools some of which were internationally competitive that would open up for a lot of those kids that they’re locked out of,” said Copeland.

Over and over we see mismanagement of  charter school credit cards and the lack of criminal charges for the abusers.  Why hasn’t our legislators made it illegal for charter schools and public schools to have commercial credit card that are not in the P-card system of the state? Adding more money to the pot where there needs to be serious overhaul of public funding to public and charter schools is a fools journey.

Why pour more money into a system that every time there’s a new education reform initiative more administration is add and more consultants come selling their garbage? The Delaware Speaker of the House desk-drawer vetoed legislation requiring all traditional,  votech and charter schools to record the public session of their board meetings.

Charlie Copeland’s talk of leadership is a joke! The Delaware Republican Party is so far right it alienates many of their members. Charlie is CEO of a Delaware charter school and when it was in financial stress he couldn’t get a bank loan and had to have a family member front him money for a small interest return.

Rodel pissed away their money on a pipe-dream and now wants to control “more” public education dollars.  

Let’s do it right with one school district per county so we can cut the $$$$$$ fat in over-bloated administrator.  The taxpayers should be required to $$$ back-fill wrongheaded agendas like Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and The Smarter Balanced Assessment. 

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21 responses to “Dan Rich turns a blind-eye to mismanagement of public education dollars and wants to forge ahead with reassessment of properties

  1. lastDEconservative

    Here you say, dear Kilroy,

    “Why pour more money into a system that every time there’s a new education reform initiative more administration is add and more consultants come selling their garbage?”

    But in the post above, you rail,

    “The time has come to demand weight-based funding to more effectively address the needs of all at-risk students white, black and all shades in-between.”

    Therefore, it follows that you ARE demanding that the resources stay fixed, and the willing and/or able must give up some of “theirs” so that the unwilling and/or unable can get more.

    Thanks for the clarification.

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    • Steven Fackenthall

      I never said good teachers don’t make a difference. Experience goes a long way and obviously their experience and degrees go a long way. What I will say, as will any teacher in those buildings, it is difficult and comes with a whole set of challenges that other schools, like your beloved CSW, may not face. No, I don’t believe in forcing those teachers to work in a building where they may not want to be. I believe in those services being provided; therapists, counselors, psychologists, and social-workers. Provide the support so educators want to stay.

      Once again, you can avoid the point of poverty in our schools, but it does little help.

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  2. Dan and Tony of WEIC will tell you right up front that more money is required for the WEIC plan to work. Then they will tell you that the redistricting plan has to be approved by January when the legislative authority expires. There will be no weighted funding law before January. The redistricting will be done on a hurryup basis, but the funding will be slow-walked (if it ever comes).

    The Christina priority schools are already underfunded. As a ballpark guess I think spending per student has to be doubled for our lowest performing schools. Switching them to Red Clay will not change that without an infusion of money from the state targeted to those schools.

    Without prior funding, redistricting will become the biggest bait-and-switch since the Fisker loans. Or the Bloom electric surcharges, take your pick. If you want the plan to be approved, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    In case you didn’t catch it, the legislative authority for DOE to do the redistricting is ONLY for the Red Clay => Christina priority schools takeover. There is no authority for other consolidations.

    How did Brandywine get out of this deal? Why was prosperous Brandywine excluded from the local taxbase for supporting the city schools to be transferred? The WEAC plan explicitly explains that greater district consolidation was rejected because “not politically feasible.’ Right…

    The WEAC plan also explicitly states that Red Clay was chosen because it is charter-friendly. The WEAC plan bakes charters into the solution. But if you have seen the recent PLI vs Proficiency charts, you can see that charters are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

    And make no mistake, the current regime of “Test, Punish, Extinguish” will be the fate of Priority schools.

    At any rate, statewide reassessment is a good idea and should be done immediately.

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    • Publius e decere

      Mike O’s Homework Assignment:
      Read http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/SB+122/$file/legis.html?open
      Read http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2015/09/16/high-poverty-schools-face-teacher-gap/72354402/
      Read http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1745-everyone-is-entitled-to-his-own-opinion-but-not-to
      ———-

      “… the redistricting plan has to be approved by January when the legislative authority expires.”

      To have its plan considered, the WEIC must submit it to SBE by Dec 31 2015. Nothing has to be approved (by anyone) in January. The legislative authority of SBE to redistrict – subject to referendum – is a long-standing legislative authority, but their limited temporary authority to redistrict in NCC —without a referendum — expires March 31 2016. And if SBE approves a change it will still not be put into effect until it gains support from a majority of the General Assembly and after that then the support of the Governor.

      “I think spending per student has to be doubled for our lowest performing schools”

      We don’t know how much spending occurs in those schools today, so “doubling an unknown” is not a helpful suggestion. We do know that some schools suffer from a teacher gap (see News Journal article of this past week). This gap results from “voluntary transfer” actions under union contracts. So let’s focus on the problem – the parties who negotiated the union contracts. There is already plenty of spending per pupil, it needs reallocation.

      “In case you didn’t catch it, the legislative authority for DOE to do the redistricting is ONLY for the Red Clay => Christina priority schools takeover. There is no authority for other consolidations”

      Wrong.

      “How did Brandywine get out of this deal?”

      Well, other than the fact that they have no experience with charters and are vocally opposed to them I suppose that WEAC had its reasons. Still, Brandywine is not completely off the table. But don’t expect the WEIC leadership to act against Brandywine’s parochial interests unless the WEIC leadership changes.

      “At any rate, statewide reassessment is a good idea and should be done immediately”

      Reassessment will happen eventually. It is a complex task to move to a system more reflective of market values without 1. Masking an overall tax increase, and 2. Burdening fixed-income retirees. How exactly would you suggest that WEIC design the process for addressing reassessment? Please spare us a tax-the-rich sop and suggest a viable approach.

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    • Nothing has to be approved (by anyone) in January.

      WEIC must agree and approve its own plan to be submitted before January. Of course the legislature continues to be able to make laws any time they want. But SB 122 Section 3 provides a more comprehensive and expanded set of agreements that go along with the WEIC redistricting – provided WEIC submits a plan consistent with the March 2015 WEAC plan (read: “don’t try to submit a redistricting plan that includes Brandywine”).

      Publius does have a point – there is still the pre-existing process to change boundaries, including Brandywine. But after March 2016 all those provisions of Section 3 expire (not Jan. as I said from memory).

      In the end, Red Clay is going to find itself responsible for a new batch of priority schools with no new funding in sight. The priority schools will enter the “Test, punish, extinguish” treadmill. Some of the students will enter expanded Red Clay charters, and the students the charters don’t want will remain in Priority Schools subject to the “Test, Punish, Extinguish” treadmill.

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    • Steven Fackenthall

      If it weren’t for those darn unions, low-income schools would perform like more affluent schools.

      Go back to the hole you came out of, Publius.

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    • Publius e decere

      Of course Steve misses the point. 80+ % of all dollars spent on public education are spent on compensation and benefits. And the people who decide where (i.e., which schools) this money is spent are the employees themselves through the VT process which is not an intrinsic right but a negotiated privilege along with the steps and lanes which guarantee pay increases without a whiff of performance tie-in. If you would like the districts to decide where the employees work in any given school year then please say so; until the district have a preemptive right to choose, it is the employees (members) who decide where the money is spent and as a logical consequence it is the employees (members) who might be shortchanging the low-income schools. It is interesting that the employees (members) have such a difficult time admitting it.

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    • Steven Fackenthall

      Ahhh. So what you’re saying is.

      1. Educators SHOULDN’T have compensation/benefits plan worthy of their dedication to their students.

      2. Educators SHOULDN’T have negotiated language to have an opportunity to work at a school of their choosing.

      3. If we took all educators from our top schools and switched them out with educators from low-come, results would sky-rocket.

      Since you “feel the pulse” of everything DE, obviously you know the out-dated unit count system dictates how many educators a school receives. By linking teacher pay to that is stupid.

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    • Publius e decere

      Funny that you went there, maybe you have some discomfort with how things work. Or maybe I’m getting too close to the uncomfortable truth and you are desperately trying to pivot. The systems we have in the union contracts was negotiated and it is no surprise as to the outcome. So the responsibility for the outcome belongs to the parties who agreed to this system.

      Employees with a bargaining unit at the district level should be working anywhere in that district where they add the most value. They could have bargaining units at the building level to allow them to stay put. But until then, the district should decide where to deploy them. The district could assign each school a thoughtful mix of experienced and relatively newer employees based on the longevity and ratings and actual student outcomes of each. Or we could go to a more market-based system and give each school the average number of dollars for their units and then let the building leaders participate in a draft-pick system from among the employees.

      What we have now is broken. Employees use the seniority of their experience to get away from low-income schools. As the DOE showed in its report and the New Journal reported as the “teacher gap”. Own it.

      Publius

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    • Steven Fackenthall

      The “gap” isn’t unique to our state. Just like the data from the Smarter Balanced results, or DCAS or any other previous state test, doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t know. Higher the poverty, lower the scores; lower PLI, higher scores. What is uncomfortable is that you, and others on here, continue to place blame upon the hard-working educators who do what they can. Our schools simply don’t have the services needed to do what’s best for students. Simply forcing those teachers to work there…that’s really what’s best for kids?

      You can continue to turn a blind-eye to the situation all you want, but it does very little. Perhaps you should go tutor after-school. HA. They might have to go into lock-down…

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    • Really Publius? You’re going to refer to that god-awful report DOE came out with? Written by the long-lasting teacher-hating speaking about someone who REALLY needs a haircut head of the TLEU over at DOE? Or did they pay a vendor (with obvious biases and ed reform connections up the wazoo) hundreds of thousands of dollars to write something a few people could do with a bottle of rum and a few Google searches? You should get a job at DOE. They would LOVE you there!

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    • Heard you are going to have some free time on your hands very soon Publius! 😉

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    • Publius e decere

      Steve you are not responding to the point. The point being that well-paid teachers who are good at what they do are exactly what we need. But we need to put our best teachers where the need is greatest. Otherwise, what is the point of higher pay for experience and degrees?

      If you really believe that the teacher doesn’t make a difference then maybe you should push for a compensation system which pays everyone the same. I don’t believe it for a minute. A good teacher is worth good pay, but we squander that public investment when the district doesn’t assign them to our highest-needs schools and instead lets the highest paid employees opt out of the highest needs schools where they could deliver the most public value.

      If you want a single-building assignment right, then form a single building bargaining unit. But if you want the numbers which a district bargaining unit can provide, then serve the district’s needs.

      Publius

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  3. Friends,

    Here’s my suggestion for root cause analysis on DE education reform.
    In 1999, then SecEd Iris Metts disregarded the invitation: Baldrige in Education – BIE-IN: Raising Student Achievement; Aligning Research, Rhetoric, and Results.

    Six states were selected – MD, OH, IL, IN, NM, TX – and the past fifteen
    years has proven this systemic change in education, the international gold standard – deployed in 103 countries. Thank-You DuPont for being a founding company.

    Our efforts in Delaware were highlighted in the DOE 2002 annual report.

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  4. How was it determined we need more funding before we know how and where funding is being used in every operating unit by funding category, account code and for each program. Are we spending more per student in our 9-12 grade schools than our K-5 and 6-8?

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  5. >>2. Educators SHOULDN’T have negotiated language to have an opportunity to work at a school of their choosing.

    Let me answer this one with question….Is there an example anywhere in the country, or elsewhere, where forcing a teacher to work in a particular building was successful?

    >>3. If we took all educators from our top schools and switched them out with educators from low-come, results would sky-rocket.

    Let me answer this one too with a couple of questions….don’t all teachers essentially receive the same training, have the same degrees? don’t all teachers essentially have the same professional development? don’t all teachers use essentially the same curriculum across districts?

    We all know what the problem is. Some people are trying to ignore it. But they know the truth, and it’s killing them. The data, their holy data, is overwhelming. Poverty affects learning negatively. Ignore it at your peril. 14 years of data says the same thing. School-wide. District-wide. State-wide. Nation-wide. World-wide. Poverty affects learning negatively.

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    • Publius e decere

      “… don’t all teachers essentially receive the same training, have the same degrees? don’t all teachers essentially have the same professional development? don’t all teachers use essentially the same curriculum across districts? ”

      Don’t we pay some of those “equivalent” teachers $40K per year and other ones $80K per year? (before the value of EPER, benefits, and pensions). If you really believe they are all the same, then why aren’t we paying them the same? We pay for experience and degrees because we believe those things to results in more valuable teachers, so let’s assign that extra value to the highest areas of need.

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  6. “Poverty affects learning negatively. ” Schools can’t change poverty. No matter who is teaching.

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    • lastDEconservative

      Sure they can Art. If only the makers would cough up more of the made for the takers to squand, -er, use for self betterment. And then quit whining about paying the worse price of having their willing and able kids make do with less and be held back below their potential. Simple.

      Like

  7. Friends,

    Here’s the YouTube video; Iredale (NC) Stateville school district transformed their operations…

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    • lastDEconservative

      Man, I’ve been waiting so long to see this! Thanks for posting! Scintillating stuff, these school districts that have found yet another way to mask and package failure.

      Like