Tag Archives: accountability

Delaware Governor Markell draws the line in the sand for Merv and Freeman re: Priority Schools

Markell: ‘Won’t hesitate’ on priority schools Matthew Albright, The News Journal

Gov. Jack Markell says he would prefer not to close the six so-called “priority schools” in the City of Wilmington, or give them to a charter or other outside manager. But he won’t hesitate to do so if the Red Clay and Christian school districts can’t work out an agreement with the Department of Education.

“We’re in conversations now with both districts, and I hope those conversations produce good results,” Markell said. “But if it doesn’t, I will be in a position where I have to make a choice, and I won’t hesitate to make it.”

Markell addressed the controversy over the state’s Priority Schools proposal in a speech during the Conference on Education, an event hosted by the Vision Coalition of Delaware, a group of education, nonprofit and business leaders seeking to create world-class schools in Delaware.  

You know, I was on the fence re: right thing to do! However, I urge both Red Clay and Christina’s school boards and union leaders to say no to any Priority Schools MOU.

I think at best the Rodel’s sideshow called DE DOE should put the cards on the table to help secure the MOU. If NOT firing all teachers and requiring them to reapply is nonnegotiable then Governor Markell needs to let us know! Why go through all the bullshit in an alternative plan where the districts ask teachers to sign commitments to adhere to school model DE DOE request if it’s nonnegotiable. As far as the $160,000.00 for the school leader of these schools, totally insane!  

Governor Markell know damn well DE DOE does not have the capacity to effectively takeover six traditional public schools or even let a charter organization operate those schools. Moyer Academy is prime example of failure on DE DOE’s part! DE DOE is far from being proactive and stuck in a rut of being reactive! Markell’s playing the dictator card shouldn’t tolerated.

Public school located in Wilmington need a long-term solution that will require condensing the four traditional school districts within into two within the next three year than one within the next five years. Also, the expansion of charter schools in the city of Wilmington needs to be done in a way as not to negatively impacting existing traditional and yes even existing charter schools located in the city

The Markell educational band-aid approach is more about keeping his bullshit smokescreen in place until he leaves office. And you can bet once he is gone he’ll boast about how tough he got with public school teachers and leaders. If these six Wilmington Red Clay and Christina school were taken over, would their be a unified school board representing all six? Wilmington community leaders (the ones who aren’t circling Markell on their $$$ knees) should demand to see Markell’s takeover plan in the event it may happen. Does he have such a plan? If not, why is he going into this blindly? 

Perhaps by saying no to little Napoleon Markell it’s a good thing that will force legislative action to set the foundation for a long overdue Wilmington school district and the return of Wilmington High School to it’s rightful owners. Where are the laws allowing the governor to reach into local school taxes via a takeover? Furthermore, such a move will set the stage to end referendums and place the burden of raising school taxes on the local legislators. 

DE DOE would have their hands full with legal issues such as existing school / building contacts with service vendors including utilities. Transportation issues, labor contracts and much more! Then there is the issues of securing local school tax revenues! Folks by time Markell figures-out all of the takeover process his ass will be out-of-office. Would he really drop this mess in the lap of Governor Matt Denn? ( face folks, Matt Denn wins in 2016! That’s a given)

Dear Mr. Matthews and you amazing public traditional school teachers who don’t pick and chose your students, I am telling you, you are at the crossroad of a point of no return and setting the stage for complete corporate takeover of our public school system. You said, to the no strike clause presented under Governor DuPont for guaranteed due process and now that guarantee is null and void under a Priority Schools MOU presented by Markell. Governor Markell claims he is showing courage for his stance and I urge you to do the same! However, Markell may say yes to a district rebuttal whereas all teachers won’t be fired not even one! Hopefully he does! However, yes I know victory for his plan re: his MOU or a takeover of these schools would mean honest good effective teachers will lose their jobs. But is will cause a major political backlash that most-likely require legislative intervention! The new generation of teachers are emerging as the baby-boomer era teachers retire. Union leaders and members have to make a tough choice in rolling the dice! This Washington inspired Trojan Horse full of Wall Street Ponzi schemes most be stopped at the gates of Red Clay and Christina! Governor Markell is an enabler in this political dance and blaming the “system” for the damaged caused by him is disheartening. Standing up to Markell now will shake the political core of Delaware and have current legislators and want-to-be legislators scrambling for cover.      

Governor Markell isn’t fool enough to push the red-button that will cause major damage to the Delaware Demarcate rule! Or is he? I hope our state legislators demand Markell’s blueprint for taking-over these sex schools including financial impact before Markell pushed the red-button. Also, I think we’re at the defining moment in seeing what kind of leaders Freeman and Merv really are! They need to fire-back in the media in response to Markell’s political cat and mouse game using the bias media to his advantage. But as you can see, Merv hides behind his PIO. Folks public traditional education is at war and we need warriors and courage to say no to the likes of Markell carrying the Rodel education plan in his $$$ back pocket! As far as the other labor / trades in Delaware, you’re next as the foundation for ending prevailing wages are in the cross-hairs with the next wave of corporate takeover agents hide in the trenches!  Breaking the backs of the teachers union the most powerful labor union in the state and country is the first stepping stone to ending prevailing wages. FYI Jack Markell is a member of the Delaware Political Star Chamber and you can bet your ass he is thicker than thieves with Pete and re-Pete.               

Delaware Rep Kowalko give DE Sec of Ed a public spanking OUCH! @Washingtonpost @huffingtonpost #edude #netde #neatoday @destateboarded @dedeptofed @WDEL @delawareonline @TNJ_malbright

There is a repugnant odor emanating from Dover and DOE that is intended to mask the failures of all parties complicit in this conspiracy to give “more” taxpayer money to the corporate and non-profit speculators that are infesting public education with bureaucratic expansions and wasteful spending that does not reach the classrooms (eg $100 million in RTTT grants to consultants and panhandling non-educator groups that spring up like weeds in your garden)

Mr. Murphy, you are manipulating the facts and distorting the truth when you state that there has been “any” collaboration between the parties. You are implying that your department is offering “new resources” to these inner-city schools when you know damn well that you are offering pennies when dollars are needed and even these pennies are not intended too nor will they ever reach the children/classrooms. You proclaim that offers of support are being rejected when your blatant attempt to takeover schools is not an offer of support but a propaganda message intended to distract desperate families and city leaders by roiling the seas of anger against dedicated teachers, administrators and locally elected (obviously not your circumstance) board members. You state, “our system failed to provide low-income and minority children access to high quality education”. No! No!, Secretary Murphy, your system has failed to provide adequate resources and has, in fact, eliminated critical programs from public school by not replacing (or at least fighting to replace) funding cuts totaling over $30 million per year. Perhaps most offensive was your statement to wit: “For our young men of color, it is especially dire. They are more likely to be spending their days in jail than they are in a job,” Murphy said. “Collectively, we as a community can do a much better job for and with our children.” is an insult to the collective conscience of those (read: every teacher and administrator in all public schools that accept this challenge every day of their lives) who are trying to do a better job for “our children”. Maybe it is time for you to move on Mr. Murphy for the good of “our children”

Representative John Kowalko

Breaking News!!! Charter School of Wilmington’s board approved changes in admissions putting Red Clay students at the bottom #netde #edude

My E-mail to Red Clay admin and school board on October 6, 2014 one day before CSW’s vote

Per CSW’s 10/07/2014 board agenda, there is a plan changing the admission preference order putting Red Clay students applicants “last”. Red Clay school board is the charter authorizing agent and CSW actions in my opinion is in violation of the charter agreement.

Current preference order:
A. Students who have specific-interest in CSW’s methods, philosophy or educational focus
B. Students residing within the Red Clay School District
C. Siblings of students enrolled in CSW
D. Children of CSW permanent Employees 

and proposed changes:
For discussion and action to revise the order of Admissions Preferences in the Student Admissions Policy. The proposed revised order of preferences is:
A. Students who have specific-interest in CSW’s methods, philosophy or
educational focus
B. Children of CSW permanent Employees
C. Siblings of students enrolled in CSW
D. Students residing within the Red Clay School District

Not good folks!!!!

I followed up with Red Clay admins and CSW’s board did vote and made changes in preference order. Red Clay had a representative on hand at the board meeting, Sam Golder and per district communications to me, “Our legal counsel reviewed the regulations to make sure CSW was in their right to make the change and determined that they were.”

My response back to Red Clay officials:

“I see CSW’s action as being modification of their charter with Red Clay. Yes, they are within the scope of the Delaware Charter school law. However, Red Clay is the authorizing charter authority and oversight body. Please forward me a copy of your communications to the Red Clay school board informing them of CSW action prior to taking it. As impact, is degrades freshman opportunities for children of Red Clay families. I would be highly disappointed to find out one or more or all Red Clay board members supported CSW’s call for such modification. School Board members are bound by their oath of office and if agreements were made by board members outside legal meetings then they are in clear violation of their oath of office. Our Red Clay school board is the governing body of Red Clay.”

Delaware teacher calling out DE Dept of ED re: teacher evaluation

Three cheers for Mike Matthews for staying true to his blogging roots. Matthews, older and wiser and now shaving puts it all out there re: DPAS, DCAS and RTTT. And someone will need to tie him down when Delaware hits the switch on the Smarter Balanced Assessment set to replace DCAS and further alienates local school board control.

Mr. Matthews needs to stop blaming the Delaware Department of Education and take his fight to Delaware Education Czar aka Delaware Governor Jack Markell. But don’t get me wrong, I agree DE DOE lacks capacity but that level of capacity is gauged by what the governor allows.

As far as Race to The Top a federal grant not law, Delaware must comply with the RTTT agreement which is a four-year contract. But by time Delaware really gets into implementing teacher accountability the RTTT contract will be expired. Mike Matthews highlights something way beyond teacher accountability and doesn’t go deep enough as to the impact on students. Listen to his comments, due to lack of computers it’s near impossible for all student in one district to take the same test even if given in the same month ( he didn’t say like that but suggest the test window is so wide because of needed computers) Also, some students will be tested on material they haven’t been taught in contrast to those who would take the DCAS towards the end of May. Remember DCAS is a growth model test to assist students and teacher but once again the push from the Wall Street ponzi scheme its also the means to hold teacher accountable. We all acknowledge NCLB and DSTP was flawed and don’t blame the unions for designing those educational Frankensteins. Unions had to suck it up and be team-players sometimes called stakeholders.

Mike Matthews represents the newest generation of teachers that will be pressured by change brought about by the failed NCLB and DSTP. Mike’s generation is more adapt to use technology and creatively than any generation before him. We have so many bright people like Mike willing to be public school teachers because they have passion and creativity. I suggest those who view his video plea for help best take noticed. Do we really need a bunch of pre-wired Stepford wives as teachers? Or do we want creative teachers teaching individuals not widgets.

Transparent Christina has it covered as does The Mind of Mr. Matthews 

Don’t you think Delaware’s charter school board members should live in Delaware? #netDE

I am reviewing Delaware’s Gateway Labs School (charter school) request to the Delaware Department of Education to delay adding 1st and 2nd grades agreed to per original charter school agreement and noticed Gateway’s board of directors chair lives in Pennsylvania.  At first I thought it was a business address but did a White Page search and indications are address it a residence listing board members names and apparent family members.

Personally, I feel board members of Delaware public schools be residents of the state of Delaware. I know charter schools aren’t school districts so at least be a resident of Delaware. Publius will jump in here and call me a charter school naysayer and charters are “corporations”. He’ll play that card but coming crying for capital funding saying, charters are “public schools”. The reason schools like Pencader are failing from the governance end is because people like Publius protects failure fearing that if one charter falls they all will! That isn’t the case and not what those of us who support school choice and the charter school option is all about. We need to set the parameters of all public school governance and accountability and transparency regulations to avoid a major crisis down the road, like with Pencader. The Delaware Department of Education lacks the capacity needed to be an effective charter school authorizing and oversight agents. Also, Gateways request to delay adding 1st and 2nd grade should be denied. They made an agreement and their failure to deliver reveals concerns for the foundation of school governance.