How many times and ways does Delaware tell black children “we have failed you”

New test: low-income, minority students still behind Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Delaware students who are minorities, come from low-income families, have disabilities or are learning English all continue to lag their fellow students academically by a wide margin, scores on the state’s tough new Smarter Balanced Assessment show.

All the assessment test going back to 1935  such as the Iowa Test ; “The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), also known as the Iowa Tests or ITBS tests, are standardized tests provided as a service to schools by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. The tests are administered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of the Iowa Statewide Testing Programs, a division of the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP). Developers Everett Franklin Lindquist, Harry Greene, Ernest Horn, Maude McBroom, and Herbert Spitzer first designed and administered the tests, originally named the Iowa Every Pupil Test of Basic Skills, in 1935 as a tool to improve instruction.[1] Over decades, participation expanded and currently nearly all school districts in Iowa participate annually in the program, as do many other school districts across the United States. In a cooperative relationship, participating schools receive ITBS test materials, scoring and reporting services and consultation in the use of ITBS for instructional purposes, and ITP utilizes participation by schools in research and test development.[2] Both the ITBS and Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) were revised in the 2011–2012 school year. They were rebranded the Iowa Assessments.[3][4] In 2016-2017, Iowa Assessments will roll out their new testing program, Next Generation Iowa Assessments,” has come to the same conclusion!!! Black students’ achievement lags behind that of their white peers.

Honestly, I don’t think the achievement of black children will improve  until some black leaders get their heads out of their asses and of the likes of Jack Markell and Rodel.

I might sound cold and insensitive but, WHAT HAS CHANGED in the way of  adding tangible resources to address the achievement gap? We have feel good laws such as Choice Schools, Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Neighborhood Schools and the Class Cap Law and all come with loopholes more punitive to poor black children than white. Choice schools does afford preferential busing for high poverty parents whereas they lack adequate transportation. Charter Schools and Magnet School has admission test that measures intelligence as means of primary requirement. The Neighborhood Schools Law has resulted in new school building for mainly suburban more-affluent whites and still no high school in the city of Wilmington and limited middle school space. Red Clay has no high school OR middle schools in the city of Wilmington. Then there is the Class Size Cap law! Try your best school district and if you can meet the letter of the law look closer and use the loop hole call, wavier!   

Why do Wilmington’s black parents think it’s a good thing to merge Christina’s Wilmington schools into Red Clay? Red Clay has just as many Priority Schools which are state takeover schools where the district still keep but must adhere to state transformation guidelines. The DATA reveals Red Clay ins’t meeting the academic needs of poor minority students  and though Christina may have some lower scores, the facts remains, both are failing to move poor black children and other minorities to minimal achievement standards.

Folks. the time has come to stop the Wall Street cash-in of the backs of poor students and end the bullshit PUNITIVE  state assessment test. Taking any student test and using it as the means to evaluate teachers performance without regards to teacher experience and lack of parental involvement when requested is a social experiment that only serves political and Wall Street agenda.

Folks, we get it ! minority children particularly African-American  males are the furthest behind! We need more teachers and paraprofessionals! We need to end the VT (Voluntary Transfer) process whereas teachers receiving poor evaluations via classroom observations VT out. The only place for many under-performing teachers to VT to is high poverty schools where often there are teacher shortages. Do we pay high-qualified with proven track-records more money to teach in high poverty predominantly African-American? Folks it doesn’t always take more money. It might take ending the Markell / Wall Street teacher witch-hunt! We know high poverty schools under-perform (yes exceptions to the rule). So why not add more teacher and paraprofessional that have proven track records and stop pointing the finger and use a growth model assessment test supported by a school level tool box that provides “adequate” resources  on demand.

To my black brothers and sisters friends; I am white and I know I don’t speak for you! Excuse my unintended ignorance but I’ve questioned why is it rich white millionaire and billionaire men control the education reform of black children with predetermine outcomes (agenda and programs) whereas black parents and leaders are invited to the table after the fact only to help sell the agenda to other parents? And do note, this same tactic applies to all parents including white parents. Our predominantly white led PTA organizations who mean well tends to be the mule selling politically laced education agenda thinking they are valued stakeholders. In Delaware, Governor Markell proved PTA has no value as a stakeholder in his administration. PTA supported parent test opt-out of the corrupt state test whereas Delaware Legislators passed such legislation only to be vetoed by Markell. With the stroke of his veto pen, Markell said , fuck you to parents and the PTA. 

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. The time to “march” is now! I am hear to tell you, merging Christina city schools into Red Clay is a dangerous path. Red Clay lacks capacity in leadership and funding to better meet the needs of minority children. Yes shorter bus-rides for many! However, nothing will change academically when the buses arrive at the schools. Red Clay turned its back on traditional high school and middle school needs of city children yielding to the charter and magnet school demands of the more affluent.  Red Clay buses city high school students to high school further from home rather than A.I. High School the closest high school. Red Clay adds space to A.I. High school to accommodate Choice but failed to give city students “first choice”. Dare Red Clay to bus students from the suburbs to available seats in Red Clay city elementary schools! No Red Clay doesn’t want to unleash the white beast aka more affluent white parents. Red Clay buckles-under and builds new suburban elementary schools with intent to serve predominantly white students. The reason Red Clay doesn’t address the need for middle and high schools in Wilmington is because they “don’t want to fuel re-segregation.” Why? Because they don’t want to stir the pot that might bring back force-busing for white students! Currently its Wilmington minority children being force to ride the bus to Red Clay suburban middle and high schools.

So at the end of the day, how many years and test does it take to reveal black students are being undeserved? How long is long enough? This shit notion, a piece of pie is better than no pie even-though its no an equal piece needs to end!

Remember this, to keep a race of people down one must start with their children particular male children. We’re doing a good job of that in Delaware via a justice system that lets more whites slide and brothers die!

Violence is not the answers but neither is sitting in the corner being spoon-fed by white masters.    

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33 responses to “How many times and ways does Delaware tell black children “we have failed you”

  1. lastDEconservative

    “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.”

    Demanding equitable funding is tiring, juvenile, superficial, thoughtless, and, well, you get the picture.

    An half-ounce of brainpower applied to this premise begs the question of how adding additional fuel to a speeding train that is so far off the tracks as to be nearly invisible on the horizon will do ANYTHING but make it diverge further and faster from where it “should be.”

    How about this? How about we try adding resources to and for the willing and able for a while? Or how about we just keep the proverbial pie slicing EQUAL for all? As it is, the unwilling and/or unable are disproportionally draining fixed resources AWAY from the willing and able — have been for decades — and with no measurable changes in results. Do you realize that is the perfect definition of socialism — equal distribution of misery? And proof that govt is incapable of fixing itself? Like the fish who doesn’t know he lives in water, govt cannot recognize that it is living in its own cocoon, insulated from the real world.

    And remind me again why my willing and/or able child deserves to be punished with diminished resources so that an unwilling and/or unable child can have more? I keep forgetting that part.

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    • lastDEconservative

      Your one statement proves my premise. “The time has come … ”

      If equity is (WAS, HAS BEEN) the answer, why hasn’t the brain trust put it in place long ago? The same lot has been in charge how long, Kilroy? Same question for CC, and the next big thing before that, and the next big thing before that, and so on.

      Why is NOW the time? Hmmm?

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  2. Kilroy,

    This week I attended both the Vision Coalition event and the SBOE mtg.
    to learn more about the Wilmington Schools plan.

    I spoke with UWDE’s Michelle Taylor and e-mail several state leaders,
    with an invitation from the Delaware (state-level) Quality Program since
    we are the starting point for all Quest for Excellence journey.

    SBOE’s NinaLou Bunting asked a critical question to UD’s Dan Rich,
    pushing back to the assertion that Quality Education has not been
    available to poor students and schools.

    May I point out that in 1994, NCCVT was awarded the state-level Baldrige Performance Excellence Award and in 2002 Milford was awarded the Models of Excellence Award by Lt. Gov. John Carney. In 2010,
    Montgomery Cty. Schools, a Baldrige Award recipient helped produce the reference book on the topic of Equality and Equity; Leading with Excellence.

    It appears that, since the majority of DOE employees are simply unaware of this history and UD’s effort may be one of revisionist history. In the
    next few weeks, we’ll learn more about the 4 Education and 11 Health Care
    applicants, with the 100thBaldrige Award recipient announced in November.

    Delaware leaders need to understand the root cause preventing role models and national best practices. The Delaware (state-level) Quality Program
    exists to facilitate continuous improvement and transformation and performance excellence as the quality of life in Delaware depends on
    learning. Delaware needs the Baldrige Performance Excellence
    and Leadership Program.

    Perhaps, I’ll get a response to the invitation sent.

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  3. “I don’t think the achievement of black children will improve until some black leaders get their heads out of the asses of the likes of Jack Markell and Rodel.”

    “We have feel good laws such as…”

    “The Neighborhood Schools Law has…”

    and you keep asking whom has created the problem and you blame everyone but the true culprits. instead in your diatribe you blame…

    “…the time has come to stop the Wall Street cash-in ”

    “Our predominantly white led PTA organizations”

    “in Delaware via a justice system”

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    • lastDEconservative

      Take a bow, Arthur, a well deserved bow.

      Any railing against any person or organization outside of elected officialdom is wrong and stupid. We’ll see if our man comes back as he might logically and say that he meant the blame lies with the elected and the appointees thereof who do not address those with whom he places blame. Oops, did I just give him an out?

      Take another bow, Arthur. Huzzah.

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  4. Publius e decere

    Neighborhood (Shmayborhood) Schools

    72 Del. Laws, c. 287, § 2.;
    § 223 Neighborhood School Plans.
    (a) … the school boards of Brandywine …, Colonial …, Christina …and Red Clay shall develop a Neighborhood School Plan … that assigns every student … to the grade-appropriate school closest to the student’s residence … . Notwithstanding the above, the Plan may assign students to schools based on factors other than geographic distance … if a substantial hardship to a school or school district … exists; provided, that no student shall be assigned to any school on the basis of race and school assignments shall be made without regard to the racial composition of the schools. …

    Oops, looks like Adriana Bohn’s Red Clay override of the Attendance Zone Committee might no be compliant. Oh, and it seems like building new schools at taxpayer expense is a hardship to the district if there are other schools with room.

    (g) Nothing in this section is intended to deny or interfere with a student attending a special education program, an alternative school or a charter school, or electing to attend a school through the enrollment choice program.

    Oh again, looks like anything which interferes with a charter school or a special education program is — well — off limits.

    Looks like the new kids from CSD and COL will be placed into the excess room at existing RC schools. At least the ride is shorter than the ride to Glasgow/Christiana/Newark. Or they might choose into the lotteries for the many charter schools..

    If Dan Rich was serious, he would push Brandywine to join the effort and convert PS DuPont to a city high school which is the original purpose for which the facility (still 70% owned by the state today, only 30% by Brandywine) was built But I don’t think Dan Rich is serious, sadly so.

    (the real) Publius

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  5. The whole idea of an achievement gap is pretty ridiculous.. Translate it to a track event… “Ok.. wealthy white people go on the first gun… after one lap the gun fires a second time to allow the poor black contingent to begin… First people to do 12 laps, win.”..

    No amount of coaching can get someone who enters with a 500 word vocabulary to catch up to another who enters with a 10,000 word vocabulary…While they grow from 500 to 1000, their competitors grow faster than 10,000 to 10,500.

    So the only way to close the achievement gap, EVER, is to halt the advancement of the rich white contingent while the poor black contingent makes up lost ground…

    The idea that testing (our measurer) will help close the gap is as silly as saying the time clock at the track meet will close the gap for us….

    So. Do we purposefully hold back rich whites just to close the achievement gaps? That creates a lot of problems politically (until whites finally become the kicked-around minority and get over-ruled.)

    Or, do we focus on making sure the poor blacks finish the race… The Federal mandated focus on achievement gaps is like focusing on the latter half of the above heat by jeering: “you lost, you lost, why you even racing anymore!”

    That is exactly what measuring achievement gaps do….

    A far better device, is to celebrate all those who cross the finish line, no matter how long it takes. We do this at marathons… We do this at graduations…

    You made it. Hooray….

    Standardized tests really are one of the causes of the achievement gap, not a measure moving us to its solution… The assumption behind the achievement gap that is never spoken, is that it assumes everyone starts at the same beginning. If you as far go back as birth, that is almost true. But reality is that we start at age 5, after one team has a 5 year head start….

    How did we learn back in the olden days? We had a teacher who taught, tested, graded, and then came back to make us understand what our quizzes and tests told them we missed…

    We can do this with poverty schools but our focus needs not be on funding. Because once you limit yourself by holding funding to a certain line, you start your failure curve..

    Instead the solution is to focus on what is needed, and then figure out how to pay for it. The best and most cost effective solution is to have only 11 students per teacher (where limited space there can be 3 teachers to a classroom as long as each teacher has less than eleven kids)… This gives each student a one on one relationship with the person most accountable to making sure they learn. After all, Individualized education works very well on our champions. Swimmers and Gymnasts do it all the time. It also works well on every other human being because learning is both an emotional and logical issue. Having a sincere human being who keeps trying until we “get it”, is the only solid way people decide it is in their best interests to learn what it is that their teacher is teaching…

    We need to do this, not just to narrow the achievement gap, BUT to make sure every poor, ELL, minority, immigrant, or exceptional child gets their maximum worth out of their educational time. If we are serious about bringing up the bottom, we should make sure this ratio occurs in absolutely every k-5 school rated over 50% low income, as well as all 9th grades in schools that are equally less affluent….

    This isn’t hard to do. and if we abolish the idea of using a very expensive standardized test that sucks money away from real education. and use a lot of that money to augment this 11:1 student/teacher ratio…we can actually move forward with the goal of giving every American the opportunity to make anything out of themselves they desire to be…

    It is past time to get serious about stopping standardized tests…Everyone who is not wealthy, white, or on the payroll of an educational non-profit, should be all over this. I can see possibly having perhaps one standardized test in 12th grade as the only one, and using that to say…” ok, …. though you started the race with only 500 word vocabulary… you made it… You succeeded.. You are now officially in the same group as those who started at 10,000 vocabulary. You have met the standard. Congratulations… You should be proud.”

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    • Publius e decere

      Of course the flaw in you diatribe is where you reveal your prejudice of low expectations. Then you blame the (test results) messenger. Yawn.

      “take the test”
      — Publius Delawarius 2015 A.D.

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    • The test measures the advantages you have been given. Closing the achievement gap requires providing the same advantages to all, to the best our our ability. We have not even begun to try.

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    • Your metaphor is pretty bad. It’s more like the black community is in a boat with a hole in the bottom and the politicians keep giving them bigger oats and nicer paint while more people and water sink the boat

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  6. Mike – please explain the advantages “we’ve” been given?

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  7. Are you really that oblivious that you need to ask?

    Check the PLI vs. proficiency charts recently published on DL and Exceptional Delaware. Educational achievement (as we currently measure it) is irrefutably correlated with income level and the enrichment opportunities it can buy.

    Also look at the profiency levels of special ed and ELL students. Special needs and languages (or the lack thereof) are “given” to children.

    We have found the outlines of the achievement gap. Now we need to take responsiblity and find the political will to close it based on the facts we have found. We do not need to invent new justifications and methods for walling ourselves off from the achievement gap.

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    • The question had nothing to do with tests – what advantages have we been given?

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    • Mike o
      Just how can the “state” provide these “advantages “? At some point, the redistributionist in you needs to understand the 800lb gorilla in the room is that for many “disadvantaged”, their disadvantage is capability. That is why they are “disadvantaged”/ impoverished. Most “advantaged” (you know the type: you, people who work, pay their [and others] bills), value education, they demand their kids work, complete assignments and therefore can achieve in school. Now enact your double funding (28k) and what really will that do? Are you prepared to replace all these “disadvantaged” children’s parents because that’s the ONLY way that SOME of them will turn around and just SOME because some just aren’t capable. What to do with the incapable or unwilling is the question you don’t want to address other than spend 28k on their education because you think that that’s everyone else’s “responsibility”. — No it isn’t.

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  8. Food in the cupboard. Books on a shelf. Heat in the house. Do I need to go on?

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    • None of those school provides. Nor should they. Families provide those

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    • Families provide those

      And what if they don’t? Nice assertion, but saying it doesn’t make it so.

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    • Publius e decere

      John: Are you suggesting that property taxes be used to provide familes with home heating and home groceries?.

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    • Ahhh but the schools DO provide those. Breakfast and lunch, even over the summer when school is not in session. The state provides housing subsidies, welfare and additional food stamps. The schools provide heat in the winter to all the students. They provide all the textbooks and a library. In addition they provide laundering services and to a lesser extent ‘responsibility training’ via teachers. So, given they are already providing these, what would more funding provide? Dinner? More counselors to replace absent, irresponsible, unwilling, or incapable parents? Full housing in the school to keep them away from their violent homes? What responsibility is left to the parent who won’t provide for their children? Zuckerberg dropped $100,000,000.00 on Newark, NJ schools and five years later what’s the result? Not a lot academically.

      Mike-What if they don’t? Answer your own question. Given what IS already provided, what or who should provide more? How much more? Double what they are now receiving? 28k? Elite private school tuition? How would it be dispersed? Who would it be taken from? What demands on the “receiving” would you require? A work requirement? What can teachers / educators/ education do more of? Work 10-15 hour days at the same pay? How much of your income, your families’ resources, or your time are you prepared to allow the state to confiscate? 40%? 50%? 60%? At what point are you, the able bodied, now a slave to the state to satisfy the demands of the able bodied noncontributing, able bodied unwilling, or able bodied incapable? Asserting it is someone else’s (state=taxpayers=you/ me) responsibility does not make it so.

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    • Publius e decere

      M Ryder’s question is worth a serious discussion. If we (the society) decide to provide disproportionately-more resources to certain low-poverty schools and the families which attend them, then what should we (the society) expect in return from those schools and families? And how should we measure that accountability? It is a reasonable query.

      Publius

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  9. Treating the symptoms and not the real problem

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    • lastDEconservative

      “Treating the symptoms and not the real problem … ”
      And staying in charge the whole time! It’s remarkable really that the ilk of O. and kavips and pandora and what’s her name, the daughter of the booksellers, all that lot, have managed and controlled this farce so well for so long as to still have the say that continues the spiral down the rabbit hole. How they continue to run fast enough to stay in front of the leading edge of the tsunami they themselves created will ever escape me. Gurgle.

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  10. Publius, your taxes, and I’m assuming you pay taxes, already pay for home heating and groceries of others. Are you not aware of that fact? But no, I wasn’t suggesting that. Someone asked what the advantages of affluence were….I just named a few. I teach children who come to school from a home that has no furniture, from a home that has no heat, from a home that has no food. That is a reality many want to pretend doesn’t exist. It exists, more than most know. To suggest that these are not detrimental to a child’s education is willful ignorance. I won’t argue that with you. If you don’t understand, again, it’s willful.

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  11. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe we need to dump $100,000,000 on Wilmington. But for as long as we ignore the effects of poverty on education, the further we’ll get from the solution. Charter schools for the poor, as has been shown over and over again, do no better (and often more poorly, and are more wasteful) than their public counterparts when their admission policies are in line with admission policies of public schools (i.e. every one is welcome). Charter schools for the affluent do well, generally speaking. Gee, that’s a surprise. What’s the constant? It’s not rocket science.

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    • Publius e decere

      John,

      Sure, I realize the taxes I pay are funding transfer payments. What is your point? Just because I disagree with the use of this inappropriate tax fiat doesn’t mean I don‘t pay my taxes.

      Who is ignoring poverty? Look squarely at your districts — they sign union contracts which allow experienced teachers to opt out of low-income schools based on seniority. Regardless of district needs. Don’t blame the teachers – they are simply following the personal incentives provided by these contracts. Blame the union hacks and the district boards — they agreed to this preemptive bias in the distribution of public tax dollars. Why would elected district boards forfeit their right to set direction on the 80% of all tax dollars which end up in the pay-and-benefits of employees? I don’t think we elected these boards to forfeit nearly all of their discretion. We can do better.

      As you have conceded, even the largesse of $100-million given by tee-shirt-billionaires given to school districts can not make a difference if none of the ossified district premises change. In Delaware we are well-into the upper half of states on expenditures per student so more money is not the immediate nor obvious answer. Spending our monies more efficiently and effectively is a goal to pursue. In defiance of those ossified district premises. As is a goal of tying salaries and pay-increases to proven results.

      Our current system is mostly a Woody Allen farce (most of success is about just showing up). Let’s convert it – with extreme urgency – into a high-performing system which demands results and which pares the detractors and enables the contributors toward high performance. This is our Sputnik moment. Embrace it — and set aside the hoary tilting at windmills.

      Publius

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    • The constant John isn’t the money, it’s the family.

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  12. So stop blaming teachers.

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    • I don’t particularly “blame” teachers but the teacher’s union is part of that equation which works very hard to deflect any accountability in the governor/ DOE/ District/ DSEA coalition. The union is a political mechanism not an educational one. They know there isn’t much that can be done when social/ familial issues are the root problem so instead of fighting that fight, they fight any rational accountability of the profession and put into place a security blanket and schedule that no other profession enjoys.

      The DSEA routinely makes the case, along with other educational advocates like Mike who say they need more money but, as pointed out, the money isn’t the whole problem, so back to my question to Mike; What or how would an influx of massive amounts of money into the educational system really fix a non monetary problem? The real solution is; preventing irresponsible adults/ teenagers from having children they are unwilling or unprepared to “parent”. Any takers on the bet that the government would choose this solution?? No? Then claiming other peoples’ money will solve the achievement gap is folly. Particularly disturbing is the claim it is racially motivated or somehow a racist action by the state or residents to discriminate. It isn’t. It is a social/ cultural (not by race either) issue that is more problematic than money. Boiling it down to a “haves” against the “have nots” is intellectually dishonest. Sure, money could help some in need but it will not solve the cultural problem of low achieving, disengaged, dysfunctional children.

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    • M Ryder, I don’t agree throwing money at schools is the final answer. But if funds were reallocated away from all these companies making mega-bucks off of public education, and not creating the very issues they profit from, that would solve a hell of a lot of problems and issues in education.
      https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/unraveling-the-gordian-knot-around-the-delaware-doe-air-drc-ccsso-sbac/

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  13. M – “It isn’t. It is a social/ cultural (not by race either) issue that is more problematic than money.”

    Best way to reduce poverty and increase educational opportunites for all kids – reduce the number of kids born in lost situations.
    A) If you have 2 or more kids before you turn 25 and are not married to the kids other parent you’re sterilized.
    B) if you are convicted of 2 or more felonies before you are 20 and any of them involve a gun you are sterilized.
    C) If grandmom/pop is raising your kid(s) and you have no interaction with any of them you are sterilized.
    D) If mental issues would restrict you from owning a gun you are sterilized
    E) If you are a hardcore drug addict over the age of 25 you are sterilized.

    the best way to stop the cycle of poverty is TO STOP THE CYCLE.

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  14. Arthur while stopping the cycle of poverty is the ONlY solution but your methods would probably not fly because of these pesky little documents called the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
    For thousands of years (still a huge worldwide issue) people have emigrated from lands that offered no opportunity and a dangerous life to a place with more opportunities. So I propose we find a sparsely populated part of the globe, declare manifest destiny and send our poor to a place to build a new and successful country where they can prosper ….

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  15. LDC, a ten year diminishing aid package. Only paying the initial cost would be short sighted and I am proposing a long term solution.

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