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Today is School Board Elections…Polls are open 10-8… If anyone is sponsored by Markell or Rodell or RTTT or WSFS, don’t vote for them.. If anyone is sponsored by DSEA, they are on the students side. They are safe.
So go out and vote like a goat… Be… B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-D
The internet will be abuzz with posts shortly. The excitement was great. No one knew if it would pass. It did.
Melanie _____.______. Smith (lol) Girl you did it. Hats off to a rather well crafted bill designed to make it through. You earned your bottle of wine tonight.
Bryan Townsend is amazing.. A Patrick Henry when it comes to what is just. I kept seeing Tony Deluca in that position, knowing full well we would have an entirely different outcome had it been so.
Patty Blevins as should be, worked the background brilliantly. Knowing what must take place to do these things, she gets a shout, because the quiet ones, are the ones you have to watch… It takes a lot of structure to put on a pageant such as this…
Clothier, Marshall and Bushweiller had tough choices.. out of a thousand voices in their ear, they chose to hear the right ones. We are so small standing next to them.
Karen Peterson rocked the house. “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage” certainly seems like it would apply to Senator Venables. That dude has some work to do…..
In this hearing and vote, it becomes very clear. If you look straight into the heart of America, each and all the values we grew up under, the Democrats embody.
The evil that also lies in America, is Republican to the core… Never in my lifetime did I expect to see people use God to promote bigotry. For as the vote was failing, as the house of sticks was crumbling around them, as they worked themselves into a fever pitch to make one last gasp to undo the damage, the clear, unadulterated hatred, the pure crystal of evil burned from underneath their skin. Hatred. Hatred at all these people was their fuel.
I now know what those brave souls walking across the bridge at Selma saw in the eyes looking back. I now know what those women in children sleeping in Wounded Knee saw when their tents were slashed open. I now know what those female slaves in Alabama saw in their overseer’s eyes… I now know what every Southern black African American man saw, when he heard the phrase… Boy, better move a long now, you know you don’t belong here.”
Because I saw it staring back at me on the floor of the Delaware Senate. It was in each of those Republican’s eyes as they got up and tried to embarrass, put down, demonize an innocent group of people they deemed inferior, beneath them, slovenly, trash. It was in the eyes of every fake pastor or priest to got up to twist God’s word in such a way as to demean the very one whose words they praise on Sunday.
This is the undercurrent of America we don’t like to talk about. This is the sewage that come with building a society. This is America’s most horrible accomplishment. The underbelly of our just laws and our freedom to say or do what we please. There are people who only gain worth by putting others down, and because they are Americans, they have every right to do so. Prejudice will continue.
Seeing it in person was unnerving. Seeing it for real made one sick. We have a real problem in our country, One that must be put down like a poisonous snake… Sure we can live with it. But one day it will bite us, or even worse. Our children….
But today, we beat them. Like George Wallace in the schoolyard doorway, they showed America the stinkin oafs they truly are….
The only reason they voted no… was to fuel their hate. Delaware and America can and need to do much better…
And lastly. Bethany Hall- Long….. Oh my… it takes great courage to stand up to one’s enemies… It takes even greater courage… to stand up to one’s friends….
I have to go now. I cannot fight back the tears…
The problem behind Common Core, or as Mike O rightfully calls the misuse of Common Core, is that all we have are rumors. If the rumors are true we have a disaster in the making. Well, the rumors are true and the test that was turned in to a British Paper (excellent move) proves it.
According to the newspaper that has seen the test,
It’s full of long, dense, off-the-wall nonfiction passages on making wind tunnels, soil formation and studying whales. There are two short stories, both set overseas. And there’s a vague selection from a poem about loneliness that students must interpret before choosing among four answers that contain two arguably correct selections.
Students got 90 minutes to complete the 32-page test, which contained 42 questions based on six written passages.
The News asked testing experts, teachers and parents to analyze the test, which state and city education officials have kept under lock and key. Everyone who saw it was left dumbfounded by the killer questions.
“You might as well just put ‘failure to students’ at the top of the exam,” said Tracy Woodall, a stay-at-home mom whose son is a fifth-grader at Public School 1 in the Bronx. “There’s no way they’re going to pass this.”
The questions on the fifth-grade reading test, designed to test comprehension, were enough to stump a city high-school teacher who reviewed it.
“Have these students had an opportunity to build up to that complexity? The answer is no,” said the teacher, who asked for anonymity for fear of getting sacked. “This test is coming at them like an anvil to their face.”
Aaron Pallas, a testing expert at Columbia University, ran the new fifth-grade exam though a computer analysis program and found that it was actually calibrated for the “middle of sixth grade.” Numerous families boycotted the new exams, and the national teachers union boss called for a moratorium on consequences from the high-stakes tests until they’re better-understood.
We are killing education in America by purposefully making the test so they make children fail, and then use that to fire teachers and close schools because their test results are so poor.
Newtown affected us all. This time is different. We want something done.
What Newtown showed us, as well as Aurora, and all the shootings before and since, is that too little effort is going on to prevent the wrong people from getting their hands on guns…
That’s all. Just not enough effort.
With just a little more work, a tiny bit more of a push,, we could have already had a system in place long ago that possibly could have prevented Newtown from happening….
Oh yes. We have devised a system. One that works. If a crime is committed, we can identify the weapon that caused it. When we find that object, we can cross reference it and find who it’s owner is, and who the previous owner was at that… We will know when it was made, and from there we know where it was originally shipped. And through following those trails to where they lead, we can find the criminal himself.
We use this system for cars. We also require the insurance of those cars so that when damage does occur someone pays for it right away and peoples lives can continue. And if someone with a record involving repeated accidents applies, they don’t drive; they get turned down.
It works almost perfectly.
So, why not do the same for guns?
Simply because right now a small fragment wants to cause trouble. These are individualists who think that a society of no rules is best. Unfortunately, that works less perfect than a society which does have rules.
Other than that, there is no reason not to register guns. Here is what could happen if we registered every gun in the nation.
We could track the owner of a gun by the marks on the bullet. Someone fires a gun up into the air? We know who did it. Off to jail.
When a criminal is captured and his gun confiscated,… The person who gave that gun is now in trouble too. This should cut down on fewer guns which will be given to criminals by people they call their best friends…..
Currently anyone can walk in and buy guns in some US shops with zero questions asked. Weapons from these shops are almost exclusively the ones killing our friends and neighbors; not the guns locked up in the gun case in some farmer’s bedroom. Forcing everyone to undergo a background check before getting their hands on a weapon, lets us know ahead of time whether the future purchaser’s guns have repeatedly been involve in committing previous crimes. Duh. This is plain good sense.
92 per cent of Americans want every gun registered by having it go through a solid background check. By coincidence, 8% of the Americans population are criminals….. Go figure.
It is wrong for one person out of a hundred to hold the other 99 hostage to get what he wants. We call people like that terrorists. Unrealistic expectations upheld by unreal means…
Now is the time to call your state Senator in Delaware…. You know the gun nuts are doing it and threatening to kill their legislators if they don’t allow guns… You don’t have to threaten anyone. Just say….
“Hi, I support 100% background checks on every single gun purpose. After all, I get checked out every time I open an account or buy a car. What’s the difference? The only people who would object to having mandatory background checks are probably the ones who should not be allowed to own guns anyways.. I know I wouldn’t mind..This is just good sense that we allow good people to have guns and bad people to not…….”
Call the Senate here… (302) 744-4129
Then come back to the internet and use this map to find your own particular Senator.. When you click onto your district, you see a balloon pop up with your Senator’s name and district number. There will be in small type, these words… more info ….
Click onto more info, and presto! Everything you need to know about your Senator pops up… including his/her phone number….
Pick up the phone, (It will probably get a message but that is expected), tell them who your are, what street you live on, what your neighborhood is called, and then tell them you want a universal background check for guns that treats everyone equally. All people must get checked out before they buy a gun… and that is it! You’re done…
But, … if you also have something you need help with in your neighborhood or to complain about, now is a great time since you got their ear, to mention it. Then give your number and they will call you back….
Most of these people are really great human beings who are there to make your’s and your neighbor’s lives better. They are not some haughty lords over all. Most likely you will be pleased with the experience and believe it or not, you have done what this great nation was built to do…. Use citizen input to run the show; not the other way around!
Eli Broad — the CPA-trained-billionaire-businessman-turned-public-education-reformer — informed Diane Ravitch, a distinguished education expert, about what needs to be done to education in America. . According to Ravitch, “We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools.”
According to Slate quoting Vanity Fair, Eli Broad boasted back in 2006 that he “plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state’s legislature.” He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the superintendent.
Eli Broad trains Superintendents. Christina School District has been the unfortunate beneficiary of his largess. Joe Wise, followed by Lillian Lowery, followed by Marcia Lyles, all are from Eli’s School of Superintendencies….Dr. Joe Wise was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy as a Fellow (2003), and serves on the Broad Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Although Broad Superintendents come in highly qualified, they often leave disgracefully. Joe Wise, may have been one of the first. Recently, across this nation many Broad Superintendents have been let go. All trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district. Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island, as well as these others from before: Arnold “Woody” Carter (class or 2002), formerly of the Capistrano Unified School District; Thandiwee Peebles,( class of 2002), formerly of the Minneapolis Public School District; and John Q. Porter (class of 2006), formerly of the Oklahoma City Public School District.
Ms. Lillian Lowery (class of 2004), Wise's replacement after supposedly cleaning up Joe Wise's disaster, was put in charge of all Delaware's schools, and now, is in charge of Maryland's. Broad's influence has touched every Delaware Student… and is about to touch all those of Maryland.
Our current head of the Department of Education, Mark Murphy, hails from a group NLNS funded by Eli Broad
If this was a good thing, it would be good.
So, what is the Broad influence?
Here is one take. It is one of the three influencers of education. Along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton's, it exerts a powerful influence, good or bad. It calls itself a venture philanthropy, as in venture capitalist. Meaning it invests in philanthropy expecting to yield a return on its investment. As an example, it can fund a study that says computers will help inner city kids learn, then sell those recommended computers to that school district.
Here is how it infiltrates a school district. Christina School District to be exact…
The Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is then highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.
For instance, an element might be:
- The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
- The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
- An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
- Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience
The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy “investing in a disruptive force.” To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.
The Broad Foundation has spent nearly $400 million on its mission of “transforming urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.”
That sounds nice. So let us look closer….
The signature effort of the Broad Foundation is its investment in its training programs…The Broad Superintendents Academy runs a training program held during six weekends over ten months, after which graduates are placed in large districts as superintendents. Those accepted into the program (“Broad Fellows”) are not required to have a background in-education; many come instead from careers in the military, business, or government. Tuition and travel expenses for participants are paid for by the Broad Center, which also sometimes covers a share of the graduates’ salaries when they are appointed into district leadership positions. The foundation’s website boasts that 43 percent of all large urban superintendent openings were filled by Broad Academy graduates in 2009.
The Broad Superintendents Academy’s weekend training course provides an “alternative” certification process which has come to supplant or override the typical regulations in many states that require that individuals have years of experience as a teacher and principal before being installed as a school district superintendents….
The Broad Residency in Urban Education is a two-year program, during which individuals with MBAs, JDs, etc. in the early stages of their careers are placed in high-level managerial positions in school districts, charter management organizations, or state and federal departments of education. The Broad Center subsidizes approximately 33 percent of each Resident’s salary.
The Broad Foundation founded the New York City Leadership Academy, which trains individuals to serve as principals in the city public schools, several of whose graduates have been accused of financial misconduct, as well as arbitrary and dictatorial treatment of teachers, students and parents. This was recently featured by Delaware’s WDDE reporting on Reshid Walker who is training in Cape Henelopen under the Delaware Leadership Project. DLP is an alternate certification program that this year is preparing six candidates to work as principals or assistant principals at public schools serving high-risk students in Delaware. Alternate Certification means it sidesteps requirements that a principal has to have stepped foot inside a school before. Through four days a week of on-the-job training, and no certification from an accredited college or university, he will soon be in command of your child’s education.
The Broad Institute for School Boards provides three training programs for elected school board members and non-Broad-trained superintendents conducted in partnership with the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS). The Institute trains new board members at a one-week summer residential setting…The Broad Foundation underwrites 80 percent of all program costs through a grant to CRSS.
The Broad Foundation also supports a broad range of pro-charter school advocacy groups, as well as alternative training programs for non-educators who want to work as teachers and principals (Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools). In addition, the foundation offers free diagnostic “audits” to school districts, along with recommendations aligned with its policy preferences. It produces a number of guides and toolkits for school districts, including a “School Closure Guide,” based on the experiences of Broad-trained administrators involved in closing schools in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle…..
Closing public schools to open opportunities for charters seems to be it’s prime directive. Although not officially enshrined as such, it does seem to be the consistent pattern of each of its graduates.
The foundation provided start-up funding for Parent Revolution (formerly the Los Angeles Parent Union), the group which developed the “Parent Trigger” legislation, designed to encourage the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Broad has also has given large amounts of money to Education Reform Now, a pro-charter school advocacy organization…
Eli Broad has said he “expects to be a major contributor” to Students First, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s organization that advocates for the expansion of charters, vouchers, and an end to seniority protections for teachers. The pro-Rhee biography, The Bee Eater, was subsidized by the Broad Foundation as is mentioned on the book jacket.
Of course, there are campaign contributions (you will need to type in Broad, Eli) to facilitate the corporatizing of education… A quick look certifies that his coverage is a who’s who across party lines in Congress. Obviously there will be support for Charters streaming down from the top lines of government.
Ok, so how does all of this affect Delaware’s public school’s families?….
One of the tenets of his philosophy taught to his graduates, is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.
A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. A long laundry list of Broad Supertendants run out of town can be found here, near the bottom. But you can get an idea of what to expect, from just this one: Robert Bobb (class of 2005), the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, recently sent layoff notices to every one of the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all its teachers, and said that nearly a third of the district’s schools would be closed or turned over to private charter operators. At a recent town hall which Bobb had called so he could go over his plan, angry students, parents, and teachers drove him from the meeting. He was escorted out by his six bodyguards….
Disruption and chaos indeed…..
Delaware is fortunate to have a large parenting network of watch dogs who communicate well with legislators. Whereas the Christina District has had a rough go with Broad graduates, the rest of the state has so far been unscathed…..
Without the oversight being provided by parents and teachers watchdog organizations, the fate of Delaware’s students might be that of Philadelphia, Chicago, or Detroit.
if you are a parent or know one, you probably feel this way as well. Parents Across America considers Broad’s influence to be inherently undemocratic, as it disenfranchises parents and other stakeholders in an effort to privatize our public schools and imposes corporate-style policies without our consent. We strongly oppose allowing our nation’s education policy to be driven by billionaires who have no education expertise, who do not send their own children to public schools, and whose particular biases and policy preferences are damaging our children’s ability to receive a quality education.
In fact, this entire philosophy of forcing change upon children, strikes every parent as coming from those types of people we all run across, … who hate children…. “Someone smack that kid who’s crying.”
Amen And Amen.
Here is a copy of Markell’s State of the State speech. i wanted to take his speech and break it down, piece by piece, and analyze it.
Bear with me. If your are following along or wrote this speech, I am only concerning myself with the part under the headline: A Great Economy Demands Great Schools…
The impetus seems to be on: providing a world class education…. That sounds great and when I heard it first, I cheered it on. But now if you pressed me I couldn’t define it. How does one determine a world class level for education? Especially nations where many different languages are spoken? Some nations require many languages in their curriculum. They succeed but at a cost to high math scores. Some nations do well on math scores. They fail on creativity and ethics. We will soon be competing with the world for jobs. So do we model our education on Finland? On India? On China? or do we stick with Belgium, Netherlands, England, France and Switzerland? Or do we use the methods of Brazil?
Anyone who has traveled globally knows exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many methods being used across the globe, that using the term “world class education”, could describe situations different as the interior of Mali and downtown Sydney….
So then before beginning, we must ask for a clearer definition of “world class”…
Let’s make this about the children, not the adults. For my part, I speak on this issue not only as a governor, but as a father. When it comes to decisions about education, our kids deserve our total focus and commitment.
Now here is the biggest bone of contention right now. Based on feedback from a) parents, b) teachers, c) administrators, and d) students, these new changes we are undertaking are not helping children. They are putting them further behind.
Now I don’t mean to be nasty or put anyone down. There was a lot of evidence presented to us that implied a “get tough” attitude on poor schools improved test scores. But instead, the reality was not what we were told. One of the great examples that led to this program being rolled out nationwide, was the success of Atlanta’s inner city. We were told a miracle had taken place. Inner city children were rapidly learning. Alas, .. we were fooled, there was just widespread cheating going on. They didn’t learn anything after all.
Michelle Rhee has been campaigning for cracking down on inner city schools. But allegations of cheating occurred during her reign as controller of DC’s schools. Test scores that climbed magnificently, while the children have no idea how to do the problems when the meet them again in the next grade.
Texas was the granddaddy of them all. The great scores of Texas’s inner city youth, so great they compelled the “leave no child behind ” mandate across America (look at Texas we were told), whose many parts were reincorporated into Race to The Top.– all those great scores were faked. Texas dropped on knowledge vis a vis with other states despite higher test scores. We were given false results and the whole nation pursued a program that did not work the first time, or the second….
It appears that none of these programs actually do what is wanted: which is to help the children.
And what does work? Human relationships. A love bond between teacher and student. A teacher teaches her best because that is what she was born to do. A child learns his best, because he wants the teacher to be proud of them.
Can we put that into an institutionalized setting? I don’t know. But I think most baby boomers had that growing up. So, it can be done, but how to return to that setting in todays modern time, will take some experimentation…
Built upon four cornerstones that stand on their own:
• Improving student readiness by holding them to high standards.
• Effectively using student data to drive classroom results.
• Ensuring teacher quality.
• Turning around persistently low-performing schools.
Holding students to higher standards. The worst possible thing one can do to a child, is force him to give up. Raising standards without raising the curve, does exactly that. An A student who strives to keep up his grade average, gives up when all he gets are C’s. What’s the point. A C student who dutifully studies to keep a passing grade, gives up when all he gets are F’s… In both cases they were doing all they could do. Society considers them good students. But the same test they took last year, is now graded higher. If one got a 5 at a score of 900, now it takes 950 to get the same. If one got a 3 at the score of 750, now it takes an 800 to achieve the same….
This in no way helps students. All it does is demoralize those who get shuffled downward by the curb.
We just had Delaware Women fall out of the final 16. We are all proud. But what if we arbitrarily changed the rules? What if we said, the final 8 will be determined not by whom was beaten by whom, but by the total number of baskets their team shot across the entire tournament. Suddenly a team that scored in the 80′s instead of the 50′s, goes forward, even though they’d been beaten in the first round by a team with fewer tournament points. Suddenly Delaware’s great run means very little. We are a loser like everyone else. “Oh, you should have tried harder to make baskets” they all say. I wonder who returns back to their home court with their heads high. I wonder who tries harder the next year. I wonder which teams recruit only guards with very high three point kill rates?
Higher standards do not work. They just mean fewer people can reach them. The do nothing for the top few elite who will be above 950 anyways. They ruin lives for everyone else… Higher standards on tests hurt our children. There is nothing wrong with what we are teaching now. The problem is that we are not teaching what we are teaching well enough so those on the bottom get it. Teaching even more, will do nothing to elevate the bottom. It will do nothing to put more into the top. All it will do, is make children think they are failures and give up….
Second. Using student data to drive classroom results. There have been cartoons this year showing students taking tests and the administrators joking that firing the teachers and just testing every school day could save them money. There is some sense to using technology to help students. However, theoretically, if tests are given 2 hours each day, how much instruction does that bite into? 10 hours a week? 40 hours a month? 360 hours a year? That last total is the equivalent at a 6 hour day, of 60 days spent taking tests. Remember, we are only talking about 2 hours a day, which in High School, is pretty accurate. Under which scenario does one learn new things better? During instruction? Or taking tests… ummm a? b? c? or d? On the other hand, the new software integrating parents, students, and teachers on the same page as grades get posted on a daily basis, is a godsend. Putting parents into the mix is rather helpful in creating a positive learning experience for each child.
Third. Ensuring teacher quality. This is a noble goal. But one of the great mysteries of Ancient Greece was that the Spartans who were rigorously disciplined and toughened to the highest order, almost always lost to the Athenians who were dilettantes in comparison. Imposing structure erases creativity. There is a tendency among government types to make all state employees into solders. That means drill Sergent techniques; it means battlefield toughening. In a military application, those techniques are necessary because in battle the mind gets blown; training has to take over. The only equivalent in a class room to such an experience, is if a student puts a gun to a teacher’s head… Our techniques are jeopardizing the sole proven tactic of transferring knowledge. A positive bond between teacher and student…. an understanding that success depends solely on the amount of knowledge downloaded from one to the other.
Here is where our education is facing its biggest problem… We are using the wrong tests to determine if a teacher should stay or go. We are putting teachers into a spot where they must cheat or fail. Since all up the ladder are accountable for the results that teacher brings, they do not insist with too much effort, that cheating does not occur. The best way to have a measurment of a student’s progress, is to remove teacher accountability from the testing. If a teacher keeps her job anyways, she does not have to cheat to get good results. Our results are accurate as to what a student knows or does not know. Of course, once we know exactly what a student does not know, we can rectify it.
Getting rid of all standardized testing is not the answer. Removing job safety concerns from these tests, is the answer. Ontario has done this. The tests are tools, opening a window into the soul of each child, and a teacher can then, fill in the blanks that got missed somewhere down the line…. Ontario, is probably the best in North America, to show real growth in their children across the board.
Turning around low performing schools. This is easy to do… Logically, focus on what works. A loving teacher and student relationship. To achieve that in a higher need school, you need more teachers. The ideal number would be eleven students for one teacher. If using the test scores, we were able to group students based off their scores into groups of eleven, so the average deviation between scores was 50 or 100 points, great headway could be made. For example in a grade of two hundred twenty students, twenty teachers would be needed. Using the bell curve the lowest eleven would be in one class, the second lowest eleven in another, as well as the highest eleven in another class, the second highest eleven in another, and so on. Those in the middle on the cusp of the curve, would probably be within one or two points of each other. But the beauty is that classes would be homogenized around their standard ability. A teacher wouldn’t be answering a top students question, when the person right next to him, had no clue what was even asked. They also wouldn’t cover a basic idea, thirty times until the student gets it, boring the top student next to him into giving up….
Testing is not the answer. Testing is a tool. Teachers are the answer. Teachers are not tools….
A student who can barely read or do math, does not need to be guessing at a physics problem far above his level. Likewise, for a physics student to answer a question of what is 2 +2 =__, is equally a wasted effort…. And this is where we err. Thinking that tests and corporate programs we buy into, can make that low performing student, suddenly get excited by a physics problem far above his grade level, and suddenly decided to become a math whiz. Reality fails to work that way….
But it is not enough to set high standards. Our students have to meet them. To do so, Delaware will use its rich data system and new assessment to support decision-making in the classroom. Good use of the data will make teachers and schools more effective. Parents and students will be able to use this information to demand that schools deliver.
Exactly what I said. But don’t use it to get rid of teachers or all we will get is teaching to the test and more cheating. The kids will learn how to take tests; not learn anything about the subject matter.
To that end, we will work with our institutions of higher education to establish teacher residency programs. We will develop a pipeline for strong principals by establishing leadership preparation programs. And we must better compensate teachers who produce results in our most challenging schools.
This sounds good and I find no fault with it’s aims. However your compensation packages are not effective. Being corporate hounds, monetary incentives are the first motivator one thinks of. I did the same. However, interaction with teachers, students and parents, has led me to believe there are better rewards. Teachers did not sign up to teach as a career for money. In public schools, I don’t think you can find one who is there to get rich. Talk to any teacher, and once they trust you, you understand they are there because they love to teach… THAT is what moves them. THAT is what moved each of our mentors that stick out from our early educational days. They love to teach. So the best way to motivate teachers is not with compensation, but, in making them teach even better by giving them more resources than they have now.
And the best way to get teachers to teach better is to limit their classes to 11 students… Whoever can achieve that goal first, will be the top educator in the world. Business will flock to that location just to absorb the talent of that labor pool…
If we are serious about education, we need to invest in more teachers, more schools, more infrastructure, and get our class sizes down to 11 students per teacher….
Only then, when every student doesn’t want to let either their peers or their teacher down, will we begin the resurrection of our educational system.
But, some people still don’t get it.
“We are requiring that new teachers show appropriate levels of student growth before receiving tenure. In addition, we have adopted a robust evaluation system under which teachers whose students do not show satisfactory levels of growth cannot be rated “effective.” Teachers whose students do show satisfactory levels of growth cannot be rated “ineffective.” We will also improve teacher preparation programs by linking teacher performance to the schools from which they graduated.”
It is still all about the test. This has to change….
But having world class schools does not alone ensure that all our children will get a world-class education. For that, we need an increase in parent’s engagement with their children’s education.
Parents need to realize the tests are hurting their kids. Across America this season, as tests are being rolled out in state after state, it is the parents who vote, who are asking their legislators the tough question. How does this test help my kid? When asked, the legislators agree with them that tests don’t.
Education has gotten worse since we went to standardized testing. Parents in Delaware need to increase their engagement with Delaware’s legislators and appeal to Governor Markell with their concerns.
My concern started because a little girl who loved English last year, who is in Common Core this year, says this year she has learned absolutely nothing… Nothing new.
When you think of the great United States of America and all the hopes, dreams, and visions it once held…. that is just so sad. So sad.
It is time to sanction gay marriage. Gay marriage is different from civil unions. Gay marriage means much more. Someone who is gay, who can now be married for life is finally an equal citizen. Without that certainty the rest of their rights are meaningless….
“Oh, we’ve got nothing against gays!. You are equal to the rest of us, except, snicker, snicker, when YOU marry, we will give it a lower second class status and call it a civil union.”
Until Gay Marriage is made legal gays are only second class citizens….
It is interesting that very conservative parents of gay children, see it with open eyes… “Yeah, why can’t they get married?” Senator Portman who was flirted with as Romney’s running mate, and the odious Dick Cheney are both in favor of gay marriage. They credit their openness to learning from their children… every parent wants their child to be happy.
As a nation we’ve been here before. Blacks were given freedom by the Federal government, but local governments who disagreed, would not allow them to marry whites. Obviously the signal being sent was no, they weren’t equal after all. Mexicans in the West, legal and forced to be accepted so by whites, had to deal with local laws disallowing mixed marriages… After all, they “really” weren’t equal, not even close?.” American Indians, even though there were many interracial lifelong monogamous sexual unions during the exploration of our frontier, those unions were banned by laws intent on maintaining the purity of the Caucasian race, “Indians, equal with the white man? Get real!”…
All these laws have fallen away, shredded by common sense and common decency. It it easy to label a group with which we have no connection, as a “they” and say “they” are different, allowing it to be “ok” to treat “them” with disdain……
It is when “they” become part of “us” and we finally realize that treating “them” with disrespect is exactly the same as “us” being disrespectfully treated; we certainly would find that to be unfair. …
It is upon that realization, that discrimination against them… finally becomes unfair….
Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are pretty clear… all humans are equal at birth… and once we widen our perception of what is human, we are forced by our beliefs to accept them into our family as well….
Hard as it was for the South, we finally accepted that slaves were human beings, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their owners….
Hard as it was for mankind, we finally accepted that women were human too, and therefore agreed they should be afforded the same protection as their “owners”….
We later had to revisit the treatment of those whose ancestry derived out of our former African slaves, even to the point of guaranteeing them by law, actually making it punishable to treat them with disrespect, in order to drive home this point to Southerners, that…. all people are created equal….
Any baby born within our borders becomes a citizen. Whether its parents are or not… They were born here; they are equal to the rest of us… We allow any baby to grow up and marry any other baby who grew up here, unless they are gay.
The overwhelmingly majority of our culture has recently come to the realization that people who are gay, are created that way. They can change it no more easily than one can molt the color of their skin, or alter the slant of their eyes, or raise or lower their cheek bones… That is how God makes them…..
For anyone to vote no against Gay marriage in Delaware’s General Assembly, they will have to first imagine themselves in a Twilight world, one where genes gave dominance to gays, and heterosexuals occurred rather rarely… Being one of those heterosexuals, who had deeply fallen in love with someone of another gender, would you, a Delaware Representative, settle for only having civil unions for you and your heterosexual spouse, when all the gays around you were getting married and raising families?
Their gay clergy would spout: “Oh, you are one of those… We can’t let you marry….”
If you CAN’T IN GOOD CONSCIOUS agree that you yourself should be discriminated against because you happen to be heterosexual in a gay world, something you were born with and couldn’t change, then you cannot vote AGAINST gay marriage when it comes up for a vote with any good conscious.
Voting against gay marriage, carries the same moral price as did the voting against the freeing of slaves, as did the voting against allowing women to vote, as did the voting against letting blacks finally be allowed to succeed….
Now, since all of those are so much woven into the fabric of our society, we forget today that back then there were people who actually argued vociferously against allowing these citizens to become equal members of our society… it was just like people argue against gay marriage today.
They arguing were wrong then. Those same people doing it to gays, are wrong now….
Settling for Civil Unions instead of marriage is a slap in the face. It has only one point and that it to say: ”Oh, you aren’t as good as us, and never will be.”
Each time in our nation’s past, it took the will of strong people to overcome the strong wills of weak people…. Delaware needs to allow gay marriage, simply because not doing so is the morally wrong thing to do…. Those crying against it with self thought-up platitudes, will come around eventually after the deal is done and the battle is over…
They have to!… One can only argue against what is right, … for so long.
We knew this but it is now being published… and so it is in the news.
The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…
Just as plate tectonics and Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.
Texas is now what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..
If West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain; If it snowed 12 times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.
So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina. Longer growing seasons, some winters with no snow, hot summers…
However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat. An anomaly so to speak and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….
With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized… Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.
Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water. Call it our icy shower effect….
Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….
Chart Courtesy of NOAA
So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast. Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.
Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all…. Oh, the rising seas? There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?
Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013. With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….
I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port. He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan. In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…
In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero. In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….
Capitalists always need a villian. But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal. Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …
People in Texas, do not understand unions. They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less.. In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph. go elsewhere….
The second culprit (after the “truth”), was our office of economic development. We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick. They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up… Again, that was because everything was done in secret. Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning, Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…
Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower. (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them).. Of course. It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….
And Julius did blow that whistle. . Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder. Gradually the sound registered on others ears….
Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3. Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found. Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….
There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe, stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.
There will come a time when a better deal will arrive. Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad. Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….
When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement…. For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth… He didn’t lie. He didn’t connive, He didn’t threaten….
That was done by our office of economic development. Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth. He told the truth to anyone who would listen. He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….
And that is why, he deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year. I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….
You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.
It was “the truth”. The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….
If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river. We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion. We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves. We will keep the union just as it is; Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part…. We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….
Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…
This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive. Then it erred on Bloom Energy. Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port….. Someone rushed in with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.
That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….
If you are like me traveling through this interchange is exciting since with every commute, and nightly lane closure, something new and different has been erected.
It has gotten hard with all the complexity, to visualize just where each bridge and ramp will lead…
Hope this helps… It does make one proud of Delaware, … “where roads get thought out first…..”