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Obama just fired the acting director of the IRS… This person was not even part of the IRS when allegedly this Tea Party business occurred. He became director just after last year’s election. He found out about the problem at the same time as did us, And Obama fired him. Wow.
For you see, nothing really wrong was done. The group who were looking at Tea Party applications have a job to do..
The exact purpose of the IRS office in question IS to look at political groups. Specifically, to weed out purely political groups that promote or oppose candidates from obtaining a tax status that’s supposed to go to nonprofit educational organizations. The crime of the IRS agents in Cincinnati? They were doing their job.
But the targeting! Why wasn’t Think Progress or George Saros targeted to?
It came up at exactly the time the office was getting flooded with a bunch of hastily prepared applications spewing from the Tea Party’s messy birth. The edict went out expressly because the office was being flooded with a bunch of hastily prepared, clearly political, applications all using very similar terms. In fact, the entire group of IRS employees in question was created to address the influx of possibly political applications……
Behind all this are the staggering numbers. Out of thousands of applications, only a handful were rejected. You know what happens while a nonprofit organization is waiting to get this approval? They get to operate as a nonprofit organization. The harm caused by this action is exactly zero….
Which is why we are only hearing about it now. Some of these could have been shut down, possibly throwing the election towards a Democrat, but they weren’t…
These are agents doing their job. They responded to an unusual influx of groups with political language in their applications all going after a designation that excludes groups that carry out many political actions.
The only scandal here is that this is being reported as if the IRS did something wrong in injecting itself into politics. The law requires that the IRS inject itself into politics. Don’t like it? Change the law. Don’t attack the people trying to enforce it.
And now, the acting director is fired….Just like that. over something that took place over which he no control, no input, and no knowledge….. and wasn’t even in charge when it happened…… That person has retired.
Now I’ll tell you why it was the right thing for Obama to do… “the fact of the matter is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity.”
That is why it was done. It was not done for the past. It was not done for the present. It was done because without doing it, the IRS would always be tainted with the memory.
Americans would ask,… are they looking at me? Are they doing it now? Things would grind to a halt. But after today, i seriously doubt that anyone in the office is going to say… “let use all this power to demonize our opposition?” I know that were I to get audited or have dealings with the IRS, I would know it wasn’t because of what I am. It was because something I did probably wasn’t kosher…. Upon opening that letter of dread, my reaction is now…” oh, I did that?” instead of …”they’re out to get me, see?”
How do I know this? Because someone who happened to be the IRS director at the wrong time this news let out, was made accountable…. No one is going to do it again….
This is why Obama is so great. I remember George HW Bush sticking with LA police commissioner Gates, who without doubt, was running a racially intimidating police force. Not acting on that cost him the election.. Firing innocent people who do a good job, is not easy. It is especially hard when one fires someone to save the ship, even though that person has no guilt, no accountability, but is in the wrong place at the wrong time..
Bad as it was, it had to be done to save the accountability and honor of the United States of America. We’ve heard from Delaware Politics and national Tea Party candidates how corrupt the Democrats and Obama are. In one swift move, what we Democrats always knew is now proven. Obama don’t stand for that.
You can go to bed now. Our country is in safe hands… Honesty has taken the upper hand.
Of course you forgot… It’s a school board election…
But because of the corporate attempt to stock our school boards, this is one necessary vote.
Unless you LOVE corporations running your kids into a hole in the ground… you need to vote Minnehan in Christina School district.
For other districts go here…
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
Bottom line in all cases I think everyone here would agree, is that we do what is best for the children. In certain cases in which you may find yourself in, a charter school scenario seems better to achieve that, than that situation’s public school alternative.
I guess the opposing point to your argument, would be that instead of allowing charter schools to siphon funds away from public school systems, hard changes are now needed to be implemented inside the public schools. Raise the revenue, invest in quality, and make the public school system move itself forward to do what is best for the children.
Then, the charter’s group counter-argument to THAT…, is: that is exactly what existed before charter schools were brought in! What you suggest didn’t happen then! Instead as situations got worse, administrators were told to deal with it; use good judgment. Charters are what brought in the necessary competition and now therefore they are responsible for today reforming public schools.
The retort for THAT, would be of what I spoke before: that too many mouths at the trough make thin pigs. No one benefits from too many hungry mouths fighting over too scarce resources…
And that is where this argument seems to lie. Am I seeing our differences now as question of perspective? Sort of like from where one is looking, sort of determines how one sees this problem?
Let me elaborate. charter supporters speak of charters making positive inroads on children lucky enough to attend their schools … So from the perspective of those particular kids (our number one priority) the charter moving in and siphoning resources from a neighborhood dying entity, is a very good thing… Seen from that perspective I’ll agree….
However,… as a society one has to have the broad approach. One has to look for the Ying that corresponds to the Yang… In this case, that Ying would be…. what is happening to those children NOT being put into a charter school?
The answer is….. drumroll…… that they are doing worse then when public schools alone ruled the educational fiefdom. And shockingly, students at charter schools seem across the whole to be doing worse than when public schools alone ruled the educational landscape as well….
And this is where we have to be careful… we can say, look at this Charter… see how well it is doing?
But we must first know … is it doing well comparatively because it is teaching superlatively, or because the students it takes in were originally more highly motivated to succeed in the first place? Had those same students been in public schools, would they now be boosting the public school’s results upward?
So from a theoretical perspective, it appears that the only sane way to determine whether charters have a positive or a negative impact upon societal education as a whole, is to use the numerical data to see how well students are responding now.
Doing so is a lot more complicated than this upcoming explanation, but using a simpler model will allow me to communicate it more easily. … Think if we were to give each student a number based on whether they graduated or not, and make those numbers either a +1 for graduating, or a -1 for not…. and then add up all of an entire city’s students, we would have a number for that district. We could then compare that number with numbers of the past, and also have the future come back to compare with us…
If with Charter schools in the equation, our success (graduation) number for ALL combined Public and Charter students is lower than it was before the time that Charters came in, then despite lots of individual success stories, the concept of starting charters is over the total system, … disruptive… On the other hand, if with Charters our comprehensive success (graduation) number is higher than it was before Charters came in……. then thank heavens, someone brought in charter schools…..
Does that make sense? If we took all of Delaware and compared all the numbers of students who meet the graduation standards before Charter Schools came in to disrupt, and compared that with all the numbers of students who meet the graduations standards now, … we would see, flat out, if that disruption was a positive one, or a negative one! Is that clearer?
I think what has always quantified the difference in perspective between the two camps,… charter versus non-charter, is that one side is adding the negative numbers into the equation, and the other side is strictly only looking at the positive spectrum…
As in positive: … “look this kid was failing but now in a charter he is graduating… Isn’t that great”. Versus,“look over here, these two kids are dropping out of public school while one person graduates from a charter, that’s a combined score of a negative one… We should switch priorities, fund public education and then at least, should the charter wither and fail, we’d have a score of a positive one at the very least. Positive three if the kid in the charter succeeds!”
And if I’m a good writer, I’ve led you right to the solution that should be forming in your mind right now as you read this… The real solution is to refund education, period; allowing for both the successful existing charters to continue, and for adequately funding public education to provide increased opportunities to close the gaps still existing among our students. Remember again, our goal is our children.
Public education thrived post second World War! Only when the tax revolt began and people even considered lowering property taxes and cutting spending, did quality levels of education start declining. We once had a very robust educational system… How can we tell? Our nation today is the byproduct of that intergenerational system stretching beginning and end across the 20th Century.
But somewhere in the 80′s we began to make a conscious choice as a society that we would benefit more if we gave the wealthy more wealth and gave public education and other things… less..
Somewhere in the past we as a society made a conscious choice to allow our nation’s leaders to put less money into education, and keep more for themselves and their friends…. ( of course in fairness, we thought we were going to get some of it too…. Psyche!)
And the longer and longer I look at today’s educational problem and all the millions of pieces that need to be glued back together, the more and more I come to the inevitable conclusion that we simply really need to take that money back, invest it where it should have been all along, and still, keep that same fire in our bellies which we have now, and make education fun again so that great things can happen…..
Just like it probably did for each and every one of us… After all, we’re reading blogs for heaven’s sakes… Where on earth did THAT curiosity come from? Does that make us all sort of weird? lol.
I’d never thought I’d write that. How could anyone in their right mind be against raising teacher’s standards… After all it is our kids we are talking about who will suffer….
Exactly, Passing SB 51 with S/A 1 Amendment attached, will cause our kids to suffer. That’s how I can write that. Otherwise I’d be full force behind this bill just as was every senator who voted for it….
You ask, how can raising standards on teachers, hurt our children?
I will ask you back; ”How would you like to take your brand new car you just purchased to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop and have him work it over? How could that possibly hurt your car?”
Basically that’s what this law does for education. It is as if we passed a law for cars that said every new car purchased had to be re-certified by Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop. The entire premise on this auto legislation lies in this one single question: gee, who is Joe?
If Joe is someone who is the world’s best mechanic, factory trained by every car manufactured, a man or woman who can analyze myriads of problems by just with listening with a fine-tuned ear, then maybe this bill could possibly be ok. But if Joe has no knowledge of electronic computers, but learned his mechanics back in the days of steel and oil, and is a complete loss when he sees a car with no distributer cap, then taking your car that runs perfectly to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop, can damage your car pretty darn bad.
And THAT is the problem with SB 51… We don’t know who Joe is….
What we do know, is that our car is purring perfectly, heck we just bought it, everything was tuned at the factory. Since it is straight from the factory, it is running very well, no play in the wheel, clean car smell, all items are working, and even our factory tells us to make sure we take it back to a “factory approved shop” for all repairs in order not to void the warranty…. But our government is making us take it to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop.… And we still don’t know who Joe is?
And we are not too enthralled by all the junk cars piled up in its back lot…….
That is what is wrong with SB 51….
Our great educational training program that is functioning very well, is going to be tested and inspected by someone who doesn’t know crap…
That should scare the hell out of every single parent….
The educational system of America over the last 13 years has been disrupted. Good teachers have been fired, to be replaced with bad ones. Students used to read literature, and now they are handed “packets” and read test questions. Schools that have been opened for a century, have been closed…. The educational system is in disarray; a disarry that appears to have been forced down from the top.
We’ve all been there… The new boss walks in, and yells “things are going to be different now”. Some are excited, some are afraid, but this boss is out of control… He arbitrarily fires, can’t hire fast enough, and the business breaks down. It becomes broken. He came into fix, and it got put… into a fix. So he storms out, blaming all those left for his need to make an exit. And then everyone is asked to put it back together, and they do, then the next boss is hired… If you work in America, you’re guaranteed to have been through this scenario.
We are going to do that with teachers? Who’s this guy, Joe again? Is this test going to be made by the same ones that lowered Delaware’s results? Is this test going to be like those 5th grader tests loaded with 7th grade questions using letters a,b,c in algebraic math?
As that car owner, we have the best educational system bar none. Delaware educators have among toughest standards in the country. Counting every school, even the most stringent Ivy League schools, the University of Delaware is ranked 37th in the nation. That’s ahead of Rutgers, Temple, and even Boston University. Delaware State University is solid Tier 2 school.
Currently in Delaware’s educational programs, only one third make it through the tough gauntlet into teaching. All students graduating from UD, DSU, and WU have passed Praxis I and II; have logged hundreds of hours of observation and additional hundreds more hours of supervised teaching under the watchful eye of master teachers in our public schools. Compared to the standards even 10 years ago, new Delaware teachers graduated by these universities are the best prepared to enter the classroom in our history.
Delaware should be pretty damn proud. Instead we appear to be on the verge of committing a rash act full of unintended consequences. Our head is in the sand. Ok, the argument may go…. “If we’re so good, what possiblE harm can befall us if we take our new baby to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop?
Apart from the fact that we do not know who “Joe” is or will be when we get there, there are these reasons. The changes in SB 51/SA-1 actually lower some credentialing standards rather than raise them [see the section on now accepting Composite Scores].
Currently all Delaware student teachers take the Praxis One and the Praxis Two. No pass, no teach. These are the factory cars in the educational equation. There are composed by NCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This is a very solid organization. If you go to their website right now, you will see that they pre-published their accreditation standards for public view and comments. They also dropped Wesley College’s accreditation for not living up to the standards.
This bill would replace these standards with ones created by the Delaware Department of Education. Returning to the Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop analogy, one has to wonder how a 3 year Phys Ed elementary teacher, can do better than a national organization that accredits schools.
Delaware has the 37th BEST teacher school ranked in the nation. And after this bill is passed, we are going to completely gut our entire program out of all we do so well, and have a 3 year elementary Physical Education Teacher rebuild our entire program from scratch….. One who has never gone through the RTTT testing he inflicts on others? One who quite questionably doesn’t meet the minimum 5 year requirement necessary to be a DOE?
It’s in the bill. that is what it says.
Would we let someone who has never been a doctor create the state’s medical certification program? Would we let a non-lawyer create the state’s Bar exam? Would we let a manager of McDonalds create our state’s nutritional guidelines?
With this administration and this Senate, I really don’t know. We just might, based on what I’m seeing right before me!
So, you are saying you would really take your BMW, Rolls, or Cadillac to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop to be certified to drive it in Delaware? Wouldn’t you be afraid he’d mess it up, especially since it is working rather well right now? Ranked 37th!..
I can hear “Joe” now… “What are all these damn stupid wires for. (Rip,rip,rip) My old Model T never had this crap”…
It’s our kids. We can’t rush this, and this bill has been rushed far too fast through the Senate. The House needs to slow down and debate this one…
We can’t afford to lose our 37th top spot in the nation for which we worked so hard and so long to get….. We got to stop this bill that will make our cars all go to “Joe’s” .
Courtesy of Top Hits of The Seventies
“Here are the guts of SB 51… The cuts are in one color, and the add ons are in another….
” …has achieved a passing score on both a content-readiness exam and a performance assessment as specified by the Department no later than July 1, 2015,” Added.
, except that this provision shall not apply to applicants seeking an initial license to teach in a core content area. For the purposes of this section, “core content area” means any subject area tested by the state assessment system, including Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. ”Added
”an initial license may be issued to an applicant who meets all other requirements for initial licensure except for passage of the PRAXIS I exam, provided that the applicant must pass PRAXIS I within the period of time from the date of hire to the end of the next, consecutive fiscal year. If proof of passage of PRAXIS I has not been provided during the time period specified, the initial license will be suspended unless the superintendent of the school district submits to the Secretary of Education a written request for a 1-year extension. The request must also document the effectiveness of the applicant.” Cut
An applicant seeking an initial license to teaching the secondary content area of Math Mathematics or English/Language Arts must also meet the achieve a passing score on the corresponding section of Praxis I. The Department may also require that an applicant achieve a passing score on both a content-readiness exam and performance assessment. The assessments and the passing scores shall be approved by the Department, and shall be developed or identified in collaboration with Delaware educators. ” added.
” This requirement shall apply to all applicants teaching special education in a core content area, as defined in § 1210 of this title, in secondary schools” added.
The Department shall recognize a professional status certificate or standard certificate that is otherwise valid if issued prior to August 31, 2003. The Department shall also recognize a limited standard certificate or a temporary certificate issued prior to August 31, 2003, provided that the educator successfully completes the requirements set forth in the limited standard certificate or the temporary certificate.” cut.
And this entire passage was added….
Subchapter VIII. Education Preparation Programs
§ 1280. Educator Preparation Program Approval.
(a) Consistent with § 122 of this title, no individual, public or private educational association, corporation, or institution, including any institution of post-secondary education, shall offer an educator preparation program for the training of educators to be licensed in this State without first having procured the assent of the Department for the offering of such programs. A program approval process based on standards adopted pursuant to this section must be established for educator preparation approval programs, phased in according to timelines determined by the Department, and fully implemented for such programs in the State. Each program shall be approved by the Department based upon significant, objective, and quantifiable performance measures.
(b) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous entry requirements as prerequisites for admission into the program. At a minimum, each program shall require applicants to:
(1) Have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a grade point average in the top 50th percentile for coursework completed during the most recent two years of the applicant’s general education, whether secondary or post-secondary; or
(2) Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including the ability to read, write, and compute, by achieving a minimum score on a standardized test normed to the general college-bound population, as approved by the Department.
Each educator preparation program may waive these admissions requirements for up to 10% of the students admitted. Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students admitted under such a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate competencies to successfully meet requirements for certification.
(c) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall incorporate the following:
(1) A clinical residency component, supervised by high quality educators, as defined by the Department. The clinical residency shall consist of at least ten weeks of full-time student teaching. Clinical experiences shall also be interwoven throughout and aligned with program curriculum.
(2) Instruction for prospective elementary school teachers on research-based strategies for childhood literacy and age-appropriate mathematics content;
(3) Ongoing evaluation of students, consisting of no less than an annual evaluation, aligned to the statewide educator evaluation system;
(d) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous exit requirements, which shall include but not be limited to achievement of passing scores on both a content-readiness exam and a performance assessment.
(e) Education preparation programs administered by institutions of higher education shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates. At a minimum, such data shall measure performance and effectiveness of program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public.
(f) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.” Added.
Section 3. The effective date of this Act shall be July 1, 2014.
Here is the bill in full….
And here is the Delaware code for that same passage as it stand now, before any changes get wrought…..
Ok, done… Sounds good right? Well for most it does. But… some of us have inquiring minds. and since there are no National Enquirers on newstands this time of night, these changes here will have to be the object that absorb our attentions….
At first glance it appears that before one could still teach first and take the Praxis later. Now one must take the Praxis first, period. My problem with this is that if a super-great student teacher trains in one school, and that school is aware of an upcoming vacancy and really wants that teacher to fill it, they can’t until the Praxis is first taken. Now one doesn’t walk in to take the Praxis, … or do they? One has to wait, like we did back when we took our SAT’s, until the test is being offered. That means this school which had a great chance at acquiring an awesome teacher, one they knew and wanted, must hire someone else who is a complete stranger to them, and who may not have as good of qualifications as did their own student teacher who they hoped could get that job. Under the old bill, she could have worked and taken the test when it was offered. Now, she can’t. An amendment could solve this!
Secondly. It appears that the old bill grandfathered anyone who has a certificate from before August 2003. With a stroke of a pen, those are no longer valid. I see some issues here. I see a home economics teacher, who is impossible to replace (who learns home economics in college anymore?) now at age 63 having to take todays recertification exams. As a normal human being, I can barely remember most of my education because I don’t use it. Today I pride myself on still being able to figure out my kids algebra. Woo Hoo! Back in class our exam was to start from scratch and prove Einsteins theory of General Relativity; I can’t even begin to start it now…. Forgive me for being cynical here, but this just looks like a vehicle to remove someone before retirement sets in. At most, a person in this capacity has been teaching for 10 years. If you didn’t fire them in ten years because they were so good, you are planning on firing them now? Is it because they make too much and you can hire someone cheaper? Is it because if you remove them before retirement, you can cut back on the pensions they have saved up? I don’t know this so I’m asking, but do we make Doctors take their MCAT’s over again in their old age? We don’t? Why not? They are dealing with life and death. What if they made a mistake and gave us 40 milligrams because they added 2.0 plus 2.o and missed the decimal points, giving us 40? We don’t test them for a reason. Because they know more already than the tests can check. And why don’t we make lawyers take their LSAT’s over again? Our OWN Attorney General had to take his Delaware Bar exam 3 times before he squeaked in over the 154 benchmark. He’s our Attorney General for heavens sakes!!! Surely we should test HIM once a term maybe? If he’s good, he should whiz through it… Hell, give him the Delaware Bar right now and let’s pull him if he doesn’t get a passing score… After all, if he can’t muster it, he shouldn’t practice law, ..right? I don’t know this so I’m asking… So why don’t we test lawyers, like we are going to do teachers?
Because its just plain stupid that is why. You test those to determine who gets in, and once they get in, their time needs to be spent on the tasks at hand, not focused on retaking test they’ve already taken…. Requiring ongoing multiple tests is as sensible as selling your stock and buying it back yourself just to say you don’t have any old stock… It’s costing you a lot in commissions to do so.
Passage of this bill allows for the removal of tenured teachers who after teaching all this time, can’t pass the exam….. Something none of us could do, no matter how successful we are in our current careers. By the way. Did Mark Murphy have to pass a competency test as would these teachers, before he took office? Let’s give him the Praxis today and make his position dependent upon its passage. If he fails to accept the challenge, then obviously, there is something wrong in this bill. Although set in talk of raising standards, there belies intent behind this bill to arbitrarily remove people the Department does not like…
Again, an amendment grandfathering this group, similar to the one before, can solve this problem.
Thirdly… and forgive me for going into this, but flat out… this is vague. ”Each program shall be approved by the Department based upon significant, objective, and quantifiable performance measures.” And that’s it. No explanation. What are or will be the performance measures? As Steve points out, we have considerable measures currently in place. We receive excellent teachers from our current crop of schools. So what exactly will be the significant, objective, and quantifiable measures? ( Playing devils advocate here, but the language is so vague, it could apply) Do you have to be white? Do you have to be a woman? Do you have to be willing to work for $15,000 a year? Do you have to be willing to work with no pension? So how are you going to rate Del Tech’s teaching, Del State’s teaching, UDel’s teaching any differently than you do now? If someone comes from Harvard, how do you measure that, without telling us how you are measuring that? We used to have to measure intelligence at the polls to vote. We thought is was funny to ask a white boy who was the president of the United States, and a black boy what the square root of 32 was to the 4th decimal place… yes, it created lots of laughter. But that is exactly what this legislation is creating. An impartial, willy-nilly, capricious standard that can let some through the door, and close it on others… Where is the standard? If we don’t have it, why are we voting on something we haven’t seen? Who here would sign a contract with a bank that was blank? (Good thing I switched that around; that was going to be a Wilmington Trust jibe)…
Fourth, and again forgive me for asking, but what is the reasoning behind passing super high standards … then creating a back door so 10% of those below standard can walk in and join the party? Isn’t that an exercise of futility? The result is going to give you exactly the same results one has now. Today 90% are 3.0 and above; 10 percent are just under. Perhaps quantifying it could be their excuse… That’s the way it is so we’ll put it in writing. Or maybe its trying to set a minimum so at some point in the future, generations not yet born, will not be tempted to go to 80/20 or 70/30 ratios. Still, it just seems futile. Of course we all know what happened was the original standard got offered, then the 10% was added to insure the objections raised were met, but still, the final piece now lacks credibility. It was as if we said, “ok, you must follow the no text rulings, no texting or hand held phones… Except 10% of you will be allowed. No problem for you.” As an old corporate dog once advise me: “If you’re going to make a ruling you can’t enforce, don’t make it. It gives you personally only one option, and that is to lose.”
Fifth: As noted by Steve, Delaware already utilizes far more than ten weeks of student teaching this bill requires. By dropping the levels required to just 10 weeks, Delaware student teachers will be overqualified and should easily get jobs here in this state. Is this lowering of the requirement to allow us to recruit and bring in cheaper teachers from other parts of the country, parts whose educational departments are perhaps not as thorough as is Delaware in its requirement for teachers? I do know in some states, teachers tell their students that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. Is this an attempt to whisk “those kind” into Delaware? .. Our standards are already higher than that, so why are we lowering them while pretending it is raising the bar higher? Do we need to start warning our children to beware of teachers who talk with funny accents?
Sixthly: What do you mean when you say this: Instruction for prospective elementary school teachers on research-based strategies for childhood literacy and age-appropriate mathematics content. Excuse me for asking, but “whose” research will you use? I’m sure you are well aware that the now accepted failure, No Child Left Behind, was attempted at all because of faulty research. I’m sure you are well aware, the the school voucher program pushed forward in some states is failing desperately because it too, was based on faulty research. I’m sure that you are well aware, that the entire charter school program is failing across this nation, and taking all its children down with it…. was based on faulty research… So when you say research-based strategies, the hair sort of goes up on the back of my head… Uh oh. As every single working teacher will tell you, each year there is a new, proven, brand-new strategy that will finally, finally magically transform all students into a model classroom,…. and each year afterwards, … there is a new, proven brand-new strategy to replace it… All costing the state millions of dollars to implement I should add. And furthermore, each time there is a top personnel change there is also a new research-based strategy to go along with it. And as you know, each strategy takes up weeks of a teacher’s time they could spend with students, and if there was any redeeming value in that strategy, it is only discovered in the final weeks of the year, but alas it is too late. Next year there will be a new strategy and teachers get to start all over. And as reports of the tests come filtering back, there are multiple issues of where 7th grade material ends up being on 5th grade tests. Who is determining the age appropriateness of the mathematics? Surely not the same people who are making the test? And while I have your attention… what really is the point of putting a question on a test that no one taking it has been trained to answer? Why give a student who has passed algebra and trig and geometry and done well mind you, a Galileo equation? As adults, none of us are tested on things we should not know? I mean would we really put complicated questions of Ugandan history on Beau Biden’s Bar Review that he must pass to pursue a career? Of course not… That is torture. To do so would just be mean and nothing else. So why are we torturing little children?
Again, there is no definition of standards. What are they? Can they be misused like almost the exact wording was put in law back during the Southern Segregational Era? Do you know how many research strategies their are? Google gives you 56,700,000 in under a second. There have been at least 10 used in every school over the last 10 years… So out of all of them, which one is right? Isn’t that an extremely arbitrary decision?
Seventh: As has been frequently pointed out, we currently have standard that must be met to teach. They are rather difficult to achieve. Most schools have a final exam. After four years of college it is nice to get a score to see where you stand. And heaven forbid, if beer was your major and you failed to meet the standard of the college on its final exam, you couldn’t represent that college as alumni. No problem there. But I’m curious, how one expects to discern the educational aptitude of teachers coming from a variety of locations, like George Fox University, or the University of Central Arkansas, or Concord University, or Everglades University, or Franklin Pierce University? Sure they pass their tests, they got their degree, but can they even be close to as good as someone coming from a much more difficult regimen at a Delawarean university or college? So we say No to someone to entering college got a 1400 combined on their SAT, because they didn’t pass Delaware’s stringent test, and say yes to someone from Everglades University, who entered college with a combined SAT of 1000, and was taught the test and passed it with a high score. How does that benefit children?
That question could be fixed with an amendment requiring the GRE to be part of the assessment. Otherwise, this action is pointless because of so many standards nationwide.
Eighth. And here is the crucial point. After graduating the bar of success or failure will be data collected from testing students. When a new teacher joins a district, where do you think they will be placed? In the best classrooms with the best students? Or in the classes after every current teacher has been given the opportunity to move up, that are left? Obviously the latter. So a great teacher, one who would teach suburban students amazingly, finds themselves in a classroom of students whose lifetime ambition is to get a good rep in what was once Gander Hill, but is now the Howard Young Correctional Center… ”I’m sorry miss, but your scores are embarrassing. You can’t work in Delaware anymore.” Likewise a teacher who doesn’t give a damn, who luckily is in a great environment, gets raises year after year. Tests do not measure students accurately, so using them to fire teachers is just plain wrong. If you’ve read this far… you had good teachers. None of them were tested into the ground like we are doing to ours today. What? How can that be? How on earth can you have great education, one that make America into a world power, without testing 3 times a year, and again, many times between that? How can it be?….
Obviously it was. And in the real world, that alone would put an end to this policy of testing ad nauseum.
But we don’t live in a real world anymore, do we? It seems not.
Ninth. And there is one important thing that is missing. How much will this cost? Any estimates? Who will get the contracts? Pearson? ETS? College Board? The ACE? Someone’s getting wealthy… But how much will this cost, and will that be supported by a tax upon the wealthy to pay for it, or will it be culled from existing programs now doing a great job today?
These issues need to be addressed before the House passes the bill…. As i said at the beginning, it all sounds nice… “higher standards for teachers? Sure, why not?” But then, a year later…. “What! They fired Ms. Jones! Are they effin’ crazy? She’s the best teacher in this school!” and two years later, … “Mr. Principal: your scores are down. You failed.” Then at three years later: “ladies and gentlemen, we are closing this school.”
Perhaps it’s time to look at bills closely before passing them unanimously.
I can remember very academic arguments with David Anderson way back when as we each sought to determine for the next twenty years, how property rights should be divided up ethically and morally….
One view is that libertarianism should be the rule. Do what you want as long as no one gets hurt.
The other view was that society should rule. We are getting hurt so we now have to dictate what you can do….
Funny thing is, we were both arguing the same thing, except from two different ends…
People should be allowed to do what they wish as long as others are not hurt, When others feel hurt, there needs to be an arbiter or judge who looks at both sides before siding against the property owner. I think that makes sense….
We see in West, Texas what happens when people like Delaware’s own Christian Hudson and Mark Baker get their way. Anything goes. Everyone else be damned…
In the town of West, Texas a fertilizer plant exploded across the street from a school, one block away from a nursing home, and two blocks from an emergency services building.
This is what zoning is in place to prevent. It also prevents too much runoff, to much commercialization, too much traffic, too much sewage, too many stoplights, too much congestion, and too much time out of our lives. And when things go horribly wrong, like a corporate entity like Christian Hudson or Mark Baker, cuts a corner or two like a fertilizer plant did in West, Texas…. BOOM! We’re all dead.
Some of you have lived in Delaware more than ten years… You fondly remember the excitement building up in your car as you raced through the forests that lay between Lewes and Rehoboth. Good zoning could have left them an still created the business that provides the tax base now.
But good zoning was cast aside for misplaced words like “freedom” and “liberty” and “property rights” …. Those have there place, but not in zoning situations. There at least, some type of thought process should ahve played a part, instead of knee-jerking when either Christian or Mark jerked the chain.
You probably don’t need good zoning in the tundra of Alaska or the Yukon. But you do need it in Delaware.
It is time to start shouting down the nincompoops in Sussex County who have only a three word vocabulary when the show up at County meetings: liberty, freedom, and property rights….
The rest of us have rights too, and we are far greater in number than those three people who created the logjam that begins south of Federal Route 9.
Next time someone wants to take away your liberty, your freedom, and your happiness by wanting more and more for themselves… tell them to go to hell…
Jeff Christopher followers stage a show of force to give Sussex County an idea what will happen once a sheriff gets full power to make arrests base on his arbitrary judgment.
All three of his followers think this is what America needs more of.