Opt Out Dad Sent to Facebook Jail

Is Facebook censoring an Opt Out parent? Kevin Ohlandt, author of the blog Exceptional Delaware, father of a special needs son, and public education advocate was posting his recent piece, “Th…

Source: Opt Out Dad Sent to Facebook Jail

Maybe teachers should spy on teachers

Sadly the underlying message is, whistle-blowers get blackballed. Snitch on your fellow teacher and you can forget about being a teacher.

 

Should students spy on their teacher?

All our children are now FBI terrorism suspects; Thomas S. Neuberger / News Journal

In January, the FBI announced that it wants to make every high school teacher, administrator and student in America a spy, and report to it, or local state police, suspicious words or activity by any teenager attending our schools.

I wonder what the profile would be for the likely type of student being re: terrorist, Charter school kids😉

Perhaps students should spy ob teachers ? Hey kids get those cell phone videos rolling! 

 

 

When the Charter School Accountability Committee Approved the Five Charter School Modifications Did They Violate the Law?

Williams, Kimberly (LegHall) Tue 3/22/2016 9:12 AM Show all 12 recipients To: Reardon, Allison E (DOJ); Patterson, Gregory B. (DOJ); Denn, Matthew (DOJ); Siegel, Kim (DOJ); Good Morning Allison, do…

Source: When the Charter School Accountability Committee Approved the Five Charter School Modifications Did They Violate the Law?

Looks like a win for Christina

Christina School District

Referendum – March 23, 2016

Unofficial results

For authority to levy additional taxes
Building For additional tax Against additional tax
Total 6,770 6,625

Faith Newton’s opponent goes Elvis! Withdrew!

STATE OF DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS, NEW CASTLE COUNTY OFFICE MAY 10, 2016 SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES & FILING DATES

District “F” expires 2021 – Joseph A. Weeks, Jr. (11-23-15) WITHDRAWN

Faith Newton (1-22-16)

Christina board member John Young calls for referendum support

Not sure if Delaware Online will run this, but I submitted it this weekend. It is a DE Voice piece with 500 word limit.

Christina Referendum: This tax is an investment, not an expense.

500 words. Seems like a short way to communicate such a long story. Wednesday, our district will be seeking an operating tax referendum. I cannot overstate the importance of winning this tax increase. Our students, who come from all over New Castle County, like all students, deserve the very best. Of that, I am sure I would find very little resistance. Our district last passed a referendum in 2010 and in the 6 years since, many of our operational costs have risen: supplies, energy, and transportation: all outside of our classrooms. Our teachers have maintained their amazing professionalism despite no meaningful increases whatsoever. Our principals? The same. Our district administration: far fewer than in 2010. Supplies: a daily fight it seems. We have leaned out as the purchasing power of the monies from the 2010 referendum have diminished.
It has been a meaningful 6 years. Christina has been involved in a few scrapes with the state and has recently established a board policy supporting our parents in the arena of having control of statewide testing for their students while protecting our students from school closures and Education Management Organizations that the Delaware Department of Education was openly advocating for in 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015.

On the other side of all the adult battles and state based concerns is the one constant that never changes: our students. They are the ones we seek to serve. We have plans to improve their experience with a successful referendum: school climate, academic programs, and innovative school choices will all receive an introduction of intellectual energy that will be married to what the community seeks in its schools. I am committed to ensure that all the promises of this successful referendum are faithfully executed. As an elected board member, I will hold the district publicly accountable in public settings for honoring the directions proposed in this referendum. Our students must not suffer another round of devastating cuts that we were forced to impose after losing our referendum attempts last year.

On that score: Christina owes you more: more choice, more achievement, more opportunities, more community, more value, more diversity, and most of all: more transparency across all of those domains. Christina students are amazing. Let’s show them how much we value them and their one shot at an education. Let’s demonstrate that we, as a community, understand that public education is a sacrosanct American institution, controlled locally by virtue of our Constitution’s fierce 10th Amendment. Let’s support that local responsibility with a local investment.

I promise to continue to deploy all available and necessary energy to protecting the institution of our local public schools, and with your help, improve them. This is not a plea to remind you of the possible ramifications of a Christina loss, this is a call to encourage you to do what those before you did FOR you: support our students.

Whew! Four hundred and eighty-seven words.

Here’s ten more: Please vote Yes on the Christina Referendum on March 23rd.

John M. Young

Is Delaware charter schools losing their luster re: modification to “reduce” enrollment

Prestige Academy 

Summary of request – Prestige Academy has applied for a modification to change its grade configuration (eliminate grade 5 and serve grades 6-8), change the number of approved students, and the number of instructional days in the school calendar. The school stated that the request is one part of a broader strategy and series of school-wide actions to improve student performance.

 Student enrollment – The school responded that it currently has 34 student applications for next year. The school indicated that it is recruiting by sharing information about positive things happening at the school, including the new STEM pathways, student supports. The school indicated that they just sent out a large mailing and continue to receive calls from prospective parents interested in visiting the school.

Conclusion: Mr. Blowman asked if there were any additional questions about any section of the application. None were noted. A motion was made and seconded that the Major Modification Application be recommended for approval. All six voting CSAC members voted “yes” in favor of a recommendation for approval.

Delaware Design-Lab

A summary of the request – Delaware Design-Lab High School (“Design-Lab”) has applied for a modification to decrease the school’s authorized enrolment by more than 15%. In school year 2016-17, the authorized enrollment would decrease from 475 to 350 students (26%). The school explained that the Delaware market presented unique recruitment challenges than other Design-Lab locations. Additionally, the board determined that a lower enrollment would have a significant positive impact on the school’s culture and learning environment.

Conclusion Mr. Blowman asked if there were any additional questions about any section of the application. None were noted. A motion was made and seconded that the Major Modification Application be recommended for approval. All five voting CSAC members voted “yes” in favor of a recommendation for approval.

Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security 

A summary of the request – Through its major modification application, the school seeks to reduce its authorized enrollment target by 22% from 480 to 375 students over five years, beginning with a 2016-17 target of 330 students. This year’s enrollment currently stands at 303 and the school is having its strongest financial year. The modification request is doable from a financial and staffing standpoint, and is a cultural “must.” The school has initiated a strategic plan and has changed its policies and procedures. Finally, the school has reviewed data and has determined that the requested enrollment is a more practical reality based upon the school’s location.

 The CSAC Initial Report was issued on January 29, 2016 and did not identify any areas of concern with the application.The applicant did not submit a response to the CSAC Initial Report.

Conclusion: Mr. Blowman asked if there were any additional questions about any section of the application. None were noted. A motion was made and seconded that the Major Modification Application be recommended for approval. All five voting CSAC members voted “yes” in favor of a recommendation for approval.

With such a demand for charter schools you think these charter school wouldn’t be struggling to provide services.  

Historically when charter school request major modification to reduce enrollment there tends to be underlying financial structural weaknesses.

Delaware state legislators turn a bind-eye to the fact charter schools don’t submit to the public a preliminary budget and a final budget annual as traditional public school districts do. And forget about a financial positioning reports! What you see is monthly report that tend to end the year with carryover amount but in actuality there unpaid vendor invoices could carried over into the next fiscal year.

This is from Prestige’s Annual Financial Report Year End June 30, 215 (page 10)

FACTORS EXPECTED TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON FUTURE OPERATIONS The School funding is dependent upon student enrollment. Any decrease in student enrollment can significantly decrease funding. In May 2015, The School came under formal review by Department of Education due its declining enrollment. The School provided a plan to increase enrollment and a budget to show that the school was economically viable at its current enrollment number of 213 students. DOE will continue to monitor The School’s progress over fiscal year 2016. In the event the school is unable to increase enrollment to the School’s chartered enrollment, the School could be subject to revocation of its charter. Enrollment has increased significantly since the School came under formal review and it is Managements belief that enrollment will meet the required number during fiscal year 2016. Management reviews monthly the actual performance against budget to timely respond to any significant variances. In addition, resources will need to be acquired to support program expenses not adequately funded at the federal and state level. In anticipation of these events, the School is taking steps to increase the percentage of funding from nongovernmental resources 

This reinforces my opinion decrease enrollment causes unfavorable financial pressure.

Currently Prestige has 224 student (grades 5-8 with 34 student in grade 5. Make note, last year grade 5 enrollment was 44 student, 10 more.  Also last year there were 79 students in grade 7 whereas this year only 48, 31 less 7th graders. However, I have a suspicion there is a data error in DE DOE’s report. But nevertheless, there out reports raises financial concern in regards to student enrollments. With that being said, look at the numbers, the elimination of grade 5 will cause enrollment to fall below the 200 student enrollment threshold and raise another flag in regards to financial viability. Come on Hef, go read the numbers yourself!   

In my opinion, the state board of education lacks the critical thinking capacity to digest the call for reduction in enrollment isn’t about maximizes the quality of education but more red flags to underlying financial concerns.  

So the DOE Charter School Accountability Committee gives thumbs up on these major charter school modification and odds are the state board will rubberstamp them.  

 

Delaware State Rep. Kowalko proves Christina is a bare-bones re: Admin $$

There have been some very dishonest and disingenuous tactics used by certain groups outside the Christina community to disenfranchise and misinform you, the voting public, and sway you to oppose the welfare of the children in Christina. A pattern has emerged of persistently and falsely stating that the district is swollen with an unnecessarily large bureaucracy. The documented truth is that in recent years Christina has trimmed its administration staff by a huge number and has markedly fewer administrators than districts with smaller student populations and special needs obligations.
As of March 4, 2016 the District had 2,615 Employees, and a total of 84 administrators, the majority of whom are professional leaders of schools and programs. Here is the current list of administrators. “Special Schools” include the statewide programs at Delaware School for the Deaf, Delaware Autism Program, and REACH program for students with severe special needs. “Supervisors” oversee operational areas such as transportation, child nutrition services, financial services, and other services that are tied to students.
As a District, Christina has less Administrators this year than last year. Specifically, they have reduced the Central Office by 6 Administrators, and have 2 Senior Administrative positions authorized and unfilled. Currently they have 65 Administrators paid with a combination of State and Local Unrestricted Funds (Operating Tax). This breaks down as:
Superintendent 1
Assistant Superintendent 1
Director 3
Principal 23
Assistant Principal 24
Supervisor 7
Manager 6
Grand total 65
They also have additional Administrators funded with a combination of Federal Funds, Restricted Local Funds, or 100% State programs. These programs include the Delaware School for the Deaf, the Delaware Autism Program; REACH/ILC Programs; Adult Education; and Parent Early Education Program. This breaks down as:
Special Program Director 2
Special Program Principal 4
Special Program Asst. Principal 8
Special Program Supervisor 5
Grand total 19
You can see from the above (both tables) that the vast number of Administrators (70%) are directly tied to Schools.
These numbers reflect a very efficient and bare bones administrative staff that is absolutely necessary to ensure a quality education for all of our children.
Rep. John Kowalko

King Arthur tries to knock Kilroy of his Christina referendum horse

Arthur

Kilroy has jumped the shark and proved his irrevelence. As a champion of transparency you are advocating for the passing of one of the least transparent referenda in recent history. You trumpet your buddy JY as a great equalizer who just so happened to take down his ‘transparent’ site just as the referendum was getting under way. Your ass kissing of Bob A for all the (shorterm) work he is doing is blackened by the fact they are asking for millions of dollars that they A) wont tell the public what it is used for B) Dont know what they are used for.

Kilroy – you are the new poster child for the Delaware Way – promote your ‘friends’ and dont look behind the curtain.

Come on Arthur put Excalibur back in the stone! The community cries there is no transparency in Christina yet, Christina records their board meeting, put out their financial data for all to see compounded by the state putting out the PC card expenditures  online! WHAT IS NOT TRANSPARENT ? Wait !!

Are you talking about Bob A appointment to acting super? Did someone courage him? Did his appointment bump another potential acting super candidate out?

You and “you do know” I’ve looked Bob in the eye and said “fuck you” over the TFA contract! As far as my history with Bob it goes back 20 year in education and I put his feet to the fire over Title 1. HE DELIVERED ! Prior to Conrad magnet school being publicly announced, Bob and I met and I demanded the current feeder-pattern kids get preferences and that preference still stands! A high power board member tried to nix the bury it! Kim William stepped up to the plate and made sure it was in public view. HOWEVER, its up to parents to play the card! When I insisted a community meeting with some highly involved parents and civil rights leader not be on Bob turf with him stilling behind his desk but rather at my house, he honored that request. Old Ted was flipping saying , we can’t make such “demands” of the super! Well we did and he came! Then there was Title 1 concerns and demands were presented! Bob delivered and my ace in the whole was Ron Houston. Shit, I had support from Washington! 

Not many people know this about Bob and since he said it public I’ll repeat. But for starters Bob grew up two blocks away for where I did. He lived in Woodcrest and I in Bestfield and he knew better than to ride his bike on my neighborhood:). However, Bob loss both his parents before he was out of high schools and some of his loving neighbors ripped him off. Bob made sure his sister got through school and both walked across the college stage receiving diplomas with mom or dad cheering them on!

Bob is hard and can be a hard ass! However, Bob does know some hardships. If someone wants to nail Bod to the wall because of $$ compensation. Fine but let’s do to all the supers! Administrative paid is an issue! So perhaps the school boards through out the state put a cap on administrative pay?

Red Clays admin has been getting raises nearly every year during the recession!

Now back to the referendum! If this referendum doesn’t past Christina will go into financial recovery and a state takeover is likely! But you can bet the farm the state will bring a for profit organization and you did see what happen to Moyer!

If this referendum doesn’t pass extracurricular activities will be cut and will put kids on the street! And extra education programs will be cut!

So of someone has a beef with Bob! Put up for the kids and demand Bob’s removal and demand certain board members  STEP DOWN!

As far as John Young!!! We differ but we know we each have passion for what we do! I am sure he’ll pick apart some of what I wrote. But the friendship is solid!

Christina School District is on near financial life-support and many kids who see sports as possible way out or to college scholarship may have dream shot to hell with program cut! And once again it will be the minorities taken the hardest hit. Can you imagine Newark High School without a football team! Yea Yea!! It will be if you want to play your mommy and daddy has to pay because there is no district money! And again who suffers? Shit is bringing back 82 laid off teachers a crime?? Is lower class sizes a crime!

The stone-throwers out there need to grow some ball and go bitch at a board meeting. I am sure John Young would love for you to look in him in the eye.

So to all you Christina parents and residents! Don’t punish children by withholding your YES vote for the referendum! I am telling you, Christina will $$$ bottom-out and the same idiots who took-over Moyer  will be called it! Markell has a love affair with K12Inc.

        

Christina School district is ready for the future! Vote yes!

How can Christina move forward if many hold it back because of disastrous Wise administration? Yes there is politics in the mist of this however,  extracurricular activities are at stake and path-forward for  education programs.

Like I said before, I’ve went toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye with Bob A when he was super at Red Clay. The process that brought him as acting superintendent could be questioned. However, he is here and he has the skills to make a difference. One thing for sure is, the process for selecting the permanent super better be more transparent. You got a beef with him? Call him! You got a beef with school board get your ass to a board meeting and tell them! I’ll tell you one thing, I have more respect for people who can look me in the eye and state their position.  

Honestly, what Christina has been due to the Wise administration, it like trying to raise the Titanic. What kind of fool would want to be skipper of this ship? The Wise administration sunk Christina deep and it took years to payoff bailout loans.  

One the brightest spots in Christina is a board member named John Young who can hold feet to the fire and board member bold enough to stand alone and expose Governor Markell’s Wall Street education ponzi scheme. We need board member bold enough the question internal and external agendas. The danger is a school board all going in one direction via a political agenda seeded in their superintendent. John Young is a pit-bull and bless him for have the courage to stand up. 

We’re coming down to the bewitching-hour re: referendum! It’s no joke about the possibility of more program cuts like sports and other extracurricular activities and don’t kid yourself, failed referendum = more educational programming cut.

Do we need more kids on the streets whereas they would be better of engaged in extracurricular activities? Do we want more dropouts and students held back a grade? Well that’s what we’ll get with another failed referendum! 

Positive changes have been made in Christina and we need not beat children! I’ll be the first to say, here with go with its for the kids referendum campaign battle cry! And I love the one, just a cup of coffee a day!  Yea we know 82 teachers might be hired back if the referendum passes! Well isn’t that what we need, more teachers and smaller class-sizes? 

So vote yes to keep kids off the street by ensuring sports programs aren’t lost and vote yes for more teachers and better leadership vision.     

Delaware senior school tax discount given a death sentence

Redistricting plan OK’d, headed to State Board  and , The News Journal

Folks all this spells an end to senior citizen school tax discount ! 

Paid leave for state worker while none for the taxpayers?

 Making a case for paid leave in Delaware , The News Journal

Legislation would offer paid leave to state workers following childbirth or adaption

Nothing personal against state worker whom are value assets to the community but if we’re all one community such a law should apply to all. State workers pay less for healthcare , have pension and get healthcare after retirement. Whereas, many workers in the private sector pay out the ass for healthcare, have no pension, get no healthcare after retirement and have no pension.  Such a law should be for all

A bill in the state Legislature would give full-time state workers employed for at least one year 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child under 6 years old. This law would not apply to private sector workers, but would help teachers like Lori.

Wow News Journal you went from legislation would offer paid leave to state worker following childbirth or adaption ( I think NJ meant adoption) to state legislature would give full-time state workers paid leave. What about part-time state workers?

When Mr & Mrs Kilroy “planned” the birth of baby Kilroy they started saving money so that Mrs. Kilroy could take an unpaid 6 weeks off. Mr. Kilroy worked a full-time job up to 60 hours a week an a part-time job about 30 hours a week. Mr. Kilroy work both full time and part part for seven year and there was a time Kilroy attended college at night. State works which include teachers are again valued assets! However, what gives them the right to have such luxuries over those footing the bill?

The 12 weeks would expire one year after birth or adoption. If both parents are state workers, they’d each be eligible for 12 weeks.

Employees would still be able to use accrued sick leave on top of those weeks.

“It’s time for Delaware to lead on leave,” said Rep. Debra Heffernan, D-Edgemoor, the prime sponsor of the legislation.

Wow!!!!!!!!! So if mom and dad are state workers they both can take off 12 weeks at the same time and get paid! Come on Hef ! Tell the Mrs. this is insane.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have expressed a desire to reform paid family leave in the United States and President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget includes more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to create paid leave plans.

2 billion dollars to encourage states to create paid leave plans. Sound like the Race to The Top scam! The feds won’t dictate but will $$$ encourage ! Looks like Hillary and Sanders support all the $$ bells and whistles for fed and state works while fucking the common Joe.

Personally I feel there is room for compromise! If a child is born healthy with no serious medical condition I don’t support this legislation. HOWEVER , if a child is born with a medical condition requiring intensive care, damn right I support it.   

For those of you who want to come in here an rip me because I question this law, I’ll asked why are you defending “full-time” state worker and no all employees state and private workers?  I think it is a disgrace legislatures sees full time state workers as those who are entitled to such benefit.  

Delaware State Board of Ed says , “No public comment before a board vote” WTF

Rep. Williams questions whether Delaware State Board of Education needs to exist By Amy Cherry 10:59pm, March 7, 2016 – Updated 10:44am, March 8, 2016

That’s how State Rep. Kim Williams (D-Newport) described the last two Delaware State Board of Education meetings, which were more crowded than usual due to scheduled votes on the controversial Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s plan.

“She’s entitled to her opinion, of course,” said Donna Johnson, Executive Director of the Delaware State Board of Education. “In terms of chaos, I don’t believe that our board has acted–in any way–that has been chaotic.”

What a dipstick! The board is handpicked by the governor and state board members are his puppets 

Johnson argued the board’s public comment policy is very clear.

“We take public comment on any item at any time except for items in which the board is lawfully required to vote on an established record,” she explained.

Except items the board is to vote on! The public should have the right to speak prior to  any vote! WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? I get it! Maybe Markell is afraid a public comment making sense might snap a board member out of the Markell  hypnosis !

Williams noted otherwise.

“They were going behind closed doors; they were taking a break in the middle of all of this discussion and going into the backroom, and the public didn’t have access–we don’t know what was discussed,” alleged Williams.

Johnson fired back.

“We are allowed to take breaks during a meeting,” she said. “If a member of the board consults their attorney for legal advice on some procedure– that might be something that was done.

BULLSHIT ! They take break because they can’t look the public in the eye!