Despite what colostomy-bagged Republicans think in Congress, most of America still has to function daily. Thank goodness it does.

Educational professionals across the nation sighed a giant collective sigh of relief.

The order will offer deportation reprieves and working papers to undocumented parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or have legal residency here and who have lived in the United States for at least five years…

In 2012, children with at least one undocumented immigrant parent accounted for nearly 7 percent of U.S. students in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to a Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project report released this week. Based on 2012 Census data, that’s more than 3.8 million students.

“There’s has been a great deal of psychological uncertainty that makes it very hard for (those) students to fully feel secure,” That is now gone.

it’s going to create a sense of security for families that will allow students to focus on their schoolwork; and not worry about losing mom or dad.

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a sweeping overhaul to the country’s immigration laws, garnering votes from 14 Republicans. But the Republican-led House never took up the proposal, largely due to a minuscule and vocal group of conservatives who are Grand Dragons of the Klu Klux Klan within the GOP caucus and who oppose any pathway to citizenship.

(Public schools that they are required to provide all children with equal access to education at the elementary and secondary levels, regardless of their own, or their parents’ or guardians’ citizenship or immigration status. )

It’s important to emphasize how essential educators will be in this process; it is our hope that educators around the country will see the enormous potential they now have.”

  • Charters come into their area
  • Common Core gets taught
  • Smarter Balanced Assessments are used to rate teachers, schools, and students.

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Our poor children.

“I am disturbed anyone could be against a president willing to take action.  Imagine if FDR did nothing about Pearl Harbor… The American system of government is designed to have laws created by the legislative branch, and have those very same laws faithfully executed by the chief executive. On this, Congress has flat out failed in their obligation. An Immigration bill did clear the Senate’s hurdle, but was never brought onto the floor of the House, where all knew there were enough moderate Republicans and Democrats willing to pass it.. All Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, should be dangerously concerned about each Conservative’s blatant disregard of his oath of office. They swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to do so, by voting up or down upon our most necessary laws inside both halls of our Congress. Our broken immigration system compromises our national security and hampers our economy. This issue, like Pearl Harbor, must be addressed. If the Republicans in Congress are incapable of addressing it, and by law, the President most certainly is allowed to do some things to alleviate the problem, than not doing so would be a dereliction of that President’s duty.  As an American citizen, I am proud the president’s action tonight has moved us forward in a direction first proposed by Ronald Reagan in 1984.  This President acted as would a Ronald Reagan. Congress did not act!  Their inaction puts America in danger, and  gave the president no prudent choice other than doing what he did.  If anyone deserves to be impeached, it should be Conservative Republicans… “

Amnesty is what has made America different from all other nations… Our willingness to use it liberally is credited for rebuilding the world after the minions of Germany and Japan had destroyed it.

Amnesty is what glued the United States back together after brother fought brother in the Civil War. Sure you can keep your guns and horses said Ulysses S. Grant.  Just give us your word you won’t fight the United States of America again.

Amnesty takes place across America every Sunday after the football rivalries have been settled for one week.  The losers forgive the winners and everyone moves on.

Amnesty is why we established reservations.  We took native American’s land, but we gave them amnesty for trying to kill us for it.

Amnesty is how America of the 19th Century welcomed new labor coming across two oceans because jobs were available here.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

So says the Statue of Liberty, that beckon of freedom so many hateful people point to whenever they utter the words freedom….

Not to mention the ugly side of amnesty that has kept Republicans and conservatives out of jail.

The amnesty for poisoning 300,000 West Virginian’s drinking water.

The amnesty for lying about the safety of derivatives, when you were actually placing your bets that they would fail.

The amnesty for destroying the biosphere of 1000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico,  because the Vice President of the United States used to be the chairman of your oil company.

The amnesty for causing fracking quakes in Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

The amnesty for blowing up a Texas town with an uninspected fertilizer plant.

The amnesty for banks loaning out mortgages they knew would be underwater, and then they could rebuy them at pennies on the dollar.

Every American has at least five cases in their life, when they were offered amnesty over something they did, either as a kid, a young adult, a mature adult, or elderly adult….

Amnesty is America… WE, THE PEOPLE, would not be here on this planet if it were not for amnesty….

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Imagine if our pilgrims, had been massacred at Plymouth?  Imagine if Jamestown was not rediscovered by resupplying sailing ships similar to the disappearing colonies of Roanoke and Lewes. Even more so, imagine if all those immigrants hitting Ellis Island were deported?  After all, none of them had prearranged visas. Imagine if all the Japanese held in concentration camps, were shot? After all, they WERE the same race that bombed Pearl Harbor in a very sneaky attack, one that was not sporting at all.

Amnesty IS America… If there is any one single factor that makes Americans worthy of being considered for a manifest destiny, it is the fact that we were known as righteous and decent people who were very practical in making decisions.  We did not let grudges color our judgment even after we’d just got done killing each other…

It is ironical that those who are most evangelical among our members, are the most virulent against amnesty, and are acting equally against the word of their own God.

“But I say to you who here, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

Our Christian friends who say “NO AMNESTY”; are not Christians.  They are agents of the devil.

“Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites (Republicans), as it is written, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And He said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”  Mark 7:6-9

It is unlikely the American tradition of full amnesty will be put into effect tonight…. We, as a nation, should be sad. If we are ever to reserve our place as the nation above all nations, … it should be full amnesty that we see….

We would not be here at all, but for full amnesty once begotten to us by men apparently much wiser than our leaders are today..

kavips:

This has been reblogged to death, but it is so important that if one new reader actually stumbles upon it here, it is well worth the time. We have all known about the little pieces; but this is the first time in recent memory that all the little pieces have been woven together in a tapestry of overwhelming proportions… It’s time to go to war for our children.

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

Dr. Paul Herdman  and Governor Markell have a long history in Delaware in the 21st Century.  Their collaborations have resulted in the biggest changes to education the state has seen in decades.  Name any education change since Markell became Governor, and Rodel’s been a part of it.  And they are making a lot of money off these changes!

As part of my blog, I find out information about education in our state, and recently Rodel had their latest Vision conference where they focused on personalized learning, with a whole education reform agenda yet to be revealed to the mass public, sponsored by a company called 2Revolutions.  Rodel has a long history in the world of corporate education reform.  But what if I told you they aren’t doing it for the love of education and students, but pure profit?

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You may have awakened this morning to news that the bill to curb the NSA failed to win its filibuster margin of 60 and proceed forward…

Do not be dissuaded. This is probably a good thing.  It was watered down considerably to get enough Republican votes to pass.

The good news, is that without renewal, in the next Republican Congress, it will expire if nothing is done to re-pass it.  And everyone knows, it is far easier for Republicans to vote “no” against weakening our defense against terrorism, than it is to vote “yes” to putting every American’s deepest private thoughts and spoken words on speaker phone.

The parts of the reauthorized Patriot Act which were interpreted to allow for the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden last year, expire midnight of June 1st of next year, if no action to reauthorize them is taken….

Had this bill been passed last night, they would have remained intact far longer.  As it is, next Spring there will not be enough votes in the House or Senate to pass a new Patriot Act based on the shake up that occurred in both houses this past election.

On the closure of two schools.

This is to what we agreed when we elected George W. Bush to the presidency…  He said that “no child should be left behind.”   That means “no child”. If a school could not meet the standards set, it should be closed and those students sent to one that does meet such standards….

Politics has punted the ball for 14 years, and now, 2014 we’ve reached the end of sudden death overtime. There is no time to punt.  Game over.  These were the rules, upon which WE, THE PEOPLE, all agreed….

Darn shame no one thought of special-ed students back then.

Even though everyone in the back of their heads knew that if something is wrong with a person’s brain, something preventing them from performing on the level set for those who have no trouble building neurons and synapses, there was no way they could ever meet the intellectual standards set.

So, it made great sense to separate them from mainstream schools.  Cull out those who have no hope of getting 1550 on their SAT, get them out of ones schools to increase those schools averages, then point to those raised averages to show that educational reform (at least under that principal) was working because: “gee, look at the increase in average test scores!”

Plus it made great sense to parents, who long ago accepted the reality that their one child would not graduate medical school with honors,  would not be one of societies’ greatest achievers, and therefore, needed an environment where they could proceed on their own individual level, with great coaching and celebrate every milestone their limited capacity would allow them to cross.

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What doesn’t make sense is having these schools uphold a standard that should not be upheld in the first place.

First item of business then will be to remove schools specializing in challenged students from being held accountable to standards set too high…  It is like failing a first grader because they can’t jump a 6 foot high jump bar…

This was an oversight in the “No Child Left Behind” act… Because of that oversight, the solution now is to close these schools which despite great teachers, great administrators, and great students in every way other than their scores on the DCAS (Smarter Balanced starts this year), create embarrassing scores that are lowest in the state for the simple reason we aggregated all our lowest standardized tested students and put them in one school to help them.

If you re-spread those low scores across many schools, the tiny dip in new averages those students create, will not be enough to drop their new schools into a failure zone, and therefore the state’s report card then shows no F’s.

Which is what is being done:.. to eliminate “bad” schools those “bad” students are being diluted with enough good students across the state to keep the grade “averages” up.  (Like legally allowing the dumping of arsenic into a river as long as the parts per million don’t reach a certain level. Bit if you get one of those parts, it is still just as toxic).

It’s a human tragedy if that now moved student will be overwhelmed and grow inward, shut down, and simply give up.  But what the heck, it never shows up on the overall state’s grade…. so all schools look like they are doing great!

That is all that is going on here.  The real solution is to recognize this reality, and to absolve these types of schools who specialize in the teaching of those students (who for reasons beyond anyone’s control), will never rise up to meet the standards set from the “No Child Left Behind Act”…

Therefore, these two solutions need to go forward simultaneously.  (a) Legislation absolving certain schools from state standards (essentially putting “‘waiver status designation” into the hands of state legislators (accountable to we, the people) and not the Secretary of the DOE); and (b) a court case filed, similar to that of REACH, decrying the promotion of discrimination against disabled special-ed students by this action (because they are indeed being forced to matriculate into an inferior education, based solely upon their disabilities)….

These two schools should stay open and be commended for the service they provide society. Not closed because of some oversight 14 years ago that did not disclude them at that time.

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(Lower Keystone Pipeline Rupture; Mayflower, Arkansas) EPA

Death and money. The two things that really move politics forward.  If something will kill you, it is possible to get a law passed to rectify it.   The Environmental Protection Agency came about because people were dying… enough people dying so it became hard to elect people who said, “what the heck if people die; it costs money for billionaires to protect people from hazards.”

Instead people who stated: “this will kill us; I’ll stop it immediately” were elected as the alternative, which today, … is why we have clean air and clean water.

The only other thing besides death that can move things through legislative halls is money.  And since people won’t die from Keystone as they would from breathing in toxic air spewing across Newark out of a giant TDC smokestack, the money angle has more of a pull.

There are a lot of argument out there both for and against the Keystone Pipeline. However the principal brainstormed idea behind the Keystone pipeline, is to raise your gas prices.  For those who don’t know, the current glut in the price of oil is being caused by the emirates of the Persian Gulf dumping oil at very low prices onto the international market.  Their motive, taken straight from John Rockefeller I, is to drive out their competition which is us.  After we give up, after we throw up our hands and stop fracking, they again have the monopoly and with the price war over, their price bounces up a dollar per gallon and guess who is stuck?  They can get  a barrel out of the ground for under $25 dollars.  It averages out to $75 in the US today… So if they can get the price under $75 a barrel, then people will switch to cheaper foreign oil, and the frackers close up shop….

Except there is this giant pool of very dirty liquid tar in Alberta.  Stuff that burns with gross black smoke, but can be refined into automotive fuel and much of it is owned by the Koch Bros through various unrelated companies.

This oil will not sell well in America due to its filth and residue, but other nations do not have such scruples.   The oil can go out either of two ways.  One is across Canada to the Pacific; the other is across the US to Houston, Texas.  The Canadian route is an environmental nightmare and Canadians are environmental sticklers over their pristine wilderness.

But conservatives in control of the Congress make the US route far more attractive.  If a giant oil spill were to occur destroying the aquifers of millions of Americans as well as those of millions of cows, pigs, corn, and soy; there is a very good chance Mitch McConnell’s Senate and John Boehner’s House will pass a gigantic tax break to reimburse the Koch billionaires for any or all of their spilled oil…

Keystone II will raise your gas price at the pump.

The best way to describe how, is to imagine that your family has an oil well out back attached to a refinery…. You just back your car up and fill’er’up…. Pretty cheap…  Now imagine your spouse, decides to make some money so they sell 10% to this client, 25% to that client, 35% to that client’s neighbor and the sells three shares of 10% on the open market…

You never stop hearing how smart they were for selling those rights and making all that money…. (Did you do the math? Add the percents?)  You will find that you have no rights to your oil… You now need to buy it on the open market!…  And the price is much more than when you could back your truck right under a tank and fill’er’up!

If we have rights to 100 million barrels of oil, which we can tap later at our leisure, and suddenly with a pipeline, have zero rights unless we too buy it at the world price, we are going to pay more for gas….

Which is what everyone wants…. except those who aren’t making billions of dollars.

For those who want to argue that America will use the oil first, and not import it, answer this question:  why would any fool sell something cheap when he can get a lot more for it from somewhere else?

All the oil is intended to be imported.  We know this because when legislation was brought on the floor of Congress, requiring some of the oil in the Keystone pipeline to be designated solely for domestic consumption,  every single Republican voted against it….

They want you to pay more for gas because: you are not their boss; rich billionaires are.  Unless you can makes some people start dying, the money is going to win this one……

Murphy and Markell, as well as Arne Duncun and other reformers (News Journal yaddi-yadda crowd) often pull out the China card when promoting their very single minded method of success..

Successful children are ones who meet a certain bar set by a certain person on a certain test.

What anyone else may deem to be successful, such as playing a Bach virtuoso at age 5, is not considered successful   Figuring out this, to get over a bar set 1550 on the SAT, is…

It would be wise to look at the Chinese system before copying it.  For over a thousand years, Chinese emperors used the imperial exam system keju to select government officials. When the great empire was shattered by Western powers in the 19th century, keju was blamed for China’s failure to cultivate the creative and diverse talents needed for modernization. It was officially ended in 1905….

It’s spirit lives on in today’s gaokao (think insurance).

it is practically the only way for upward social mobility, gaokao wields as much power as keju. It orients all aspects of education at all levels toward preparing for the exam. As a result, the modern day education system in China remains a test-prep machine as it was in the days of keju.

In summation, the teaching to the test that occurred for 1000 years of Chinese civilization failed to achieve anything close to the science of those Western strangers who’d sailed their ships right up their rivers and hand cannons aimed at the imperial palace.

Yet they still use it today. The modern-day Chinese test-prep education has the distinction of producing the best test-takers in the world. Which in turn causes it’s own problems.

A.  One study shows that fewer than 10% of Chinese graduates would be qualified to work in a foreign company in occupations such as engineering, finance and accounting.

B.  Corruption such as bribery, cheating and other forms of fraud intended to boost test results has been rampant in the past as well as today.

C.   Stress, anxiety, poor physical health and a lack of social and practical life skills are well-known characteristics of Chinese students.

D.   Its education system stifles creativity, suppresses individuality and induces conformity by forcing all children to compete for better test outcomes in a narrow set of subjects.

E.  Testing rewards those who are willing and able to give the right answers in the right way as demanded by the authority, while eliminating those who are unwilling or unable, but who may be talented in other areas.

F.  It fosters the spirit of compliance. It also results in impoverished educational experiences by forcing schools and teachers to teach to the test.

G.  Parents, too, are forced to narrow their children’s education experience to improve their children’s test performance.

H.   Children are deprived of all opportunities to explore their interests and find their passion.

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But China, unlike Markell and Murphy, is aware of the problems of testing and is trying to do things to correct the reliance of standard tests to determine a person’s value…

The changes being made in China are the exact opposite of what Murphy seeks to implement here in Delaware… Where is China is trying very hard to emulate the United States’ educational system, our leaders are trying to take us back to the flawed policies from which the Chinese are running away!!!

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The Chinese took these steps.

1. The Ministry of Education issued the order to ban testing for grades one through three. (Delaware is increasing the difficulty and numbers of tests to K-3 in order to acclimate them to the test before it gets taken in third grade.  Again, everything revolves around teaching the taking of a test.)

2.  For grades four and up, standardized testing is only allowed once per year for three subjects (Chinese, math and foreign language). (In Delaware, the NCAE, PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP tests, pre -Smarter Balance Assessments, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment are all taken within 180 days.)

3.   Tests cannot be used to admit students during the compulsory education stage.  (Delaware will hold back all 4 grader and all 8th graders who do not pass the test).

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As we have already seen in America, high stakes testing has already led to high stakes erasures and high stakes cheating. It is inevitable. if ones child will not advance, there are many ways a million dollars in the right hand can help that child instantly pass any standardized test. We are setting up a society where only the top test scorers will achieve top positions and only those able to afford to pay for these top test scores, (under the table of course) will go onward.

That is the foundation China was set upon.  Not the foundation given to us by OUR founding fathers.  The imperial exam system did a perfect job in cultivating obedient and homogeneous intellectuals, who contributed to China’s continuous pre-eminence as an agricultural empire.

There is much we can indeed learn from China.  And that starts with not taking the test too seriously and with keeping those things in place here which the Chinese are now trying to emulate, because their system does not have it.

China wants to have the same kind of creative and entrepreneurial talents America desires for the future. It is doing so by minimizing testing, because it has learned that testing and standardization do not help with, and more likely hurt, the development of creative and entrepreneurial talents. This is the Chinese lesson that America can learn.

Six schools in Wilmington were given close to $1 million each over 5 years and put on a priority list.

Some people say the $1 million is a good thing…

However simultaneous to this attempt,  there will be a considerable number of charter schools going into Wilmington.

Next year, 2015-2016 Frere school expects to take on close to 356 students.  According to their application, their predicted budget will be funded to the tune of $2,083,200 in state funds, and for the first year $1,246,224 from neighboring districts… (RED CLAY and CHRISTINA).

So, apparently based on scattered test results we have failing schools, and are investing roughly $5 million into those two districts to make them right.  Yet with this one school alone across the exact same span of time, we are taking over $7,061,936 out of those two districts in “School District Local Fund Transfers”…

There is also another brand new charter school coming into the city next year. Great Oaks School is budgeted to take out during its first year, $879,299 in local fund transfers. Across the same  5 year time frame as these priority schools,  Great Oaks will suck out $6,262,170….

So where we had a great press conference announcing $5 million dollars were going to help poor little black kids get an education in inner city Wilmington and the News Journal on cue came out singing “Hail to the Chief, Hail to Our Saviour”; the policies put in place by our hailed Chief, our hailed savior,…. sucked $13,324,106 out of the very budgets providing all other funds for those six schools!

Over the next 5 years based on just these two charter school alone,  a net loss of $8 million will occur to these two districts, most of it coming from inner city Wilmington…. And at least 8 more charters are on the way and unless you do something political, will be operational in the same general area as these schools.

So while Christina and Red Clay frantically race the clock to put in a plan on how they will pull these inner city schools out of priority status over the next 5 years… I do wonder if in their plans, whether they are planning for a combined loss of $30 million dollars over the span of these same five years? If their plans do not account for the loss of charter pupil expense, they aren’t realistic plans.

“No big deal if these schools fail,” says this administration… “Only poor black people live there…..”

Charter schools should be funded solely by line items in a state budget and no funds should  transfer from public to private, attached to each student attending charter schools… Only then, will all our children get a real crack at opportunity to better their lives.

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