It comes with a caveat.  To succeed he must return to his liberal roots. The ones he ran on in 2008 and before.  I often hear newcomers praise Matt Denn and in the same breath curse Jack Markell. They probably do not know that at one time they were like butt-buddies in philosophy and direction. Both early supporters of Blue Water Wind over the evil Delmarva Power. (only 8 years ago). Both were against the Death Penalty.  Both were for extending rights to Gays. Both were for helping the little guy. Both were against Charters. And both were against man made Global warming, and those corporate extremists who made it happen.  Both were pro-business but it had to be ethical business. neither supported being for business so it could continue its unethical business practices…. Both were pro-FOIA, opening government to the scrutiny of its citizenry. Both were against Thurm Adams and his desk drawer veto.

it’s funny when newcomers try to take the current Markell back through his role as Treasurer as proof of his evil ways. For he wasn’t evil back then at all.  He was a champion for reform, so much so that he challenged and won the governorship over the Democratic Party’s pre-chosen candidate, John Carney, who was seen as less the progressive.

It’s funny what a few years can do.

But Markell’s track record puts him in very good position to be a leading progressive candidate if he were to try. What better argument against Conservative counter punches could be made than this?

When I was governor and ran a state, I tried exactly what you propose…and it didn’t work.. What would have worked better would have been this:  and then list progressive policy….

Still skeptical?  Try these then make up your own…..

“When I was governor I tried cutting back on state spending by attempting to cut to my state employees salaries by 8% and my legislature held it to a 2% decrease.  One would think that such a streamlining of expense would decrease taxation and cause businesses to move in and create growth. Instead, as the state’s largest employer those cuts had a 1.6% multiplier aggravating the economic damage.  Fewer revenues then expected were generated the next year because it hurt those who lived on those earning government salaries as well. With hindsight, the proper approach would have been to keep them the salaries continuous, and to apply a tax on the top echelon who survived the depression rather well, and  use that new revenue as the funding for the existing government…. As the economy improved, taxes could be lightened…  That would have worked faster than the conservative approach I took.”

When I was governor I pushed Common Core hard.  I led the nation in its implementation, though held off on being the first to use the test. I still believe some things in Common Core are good for society but with hindsight, I would divorce Common Core tests from being used as the sole ranking of teachers and schools. We found that no matter how hard we pushed accelerated learning, that having one standard set high for all, was defeating.  A lower standard set for all works better because there is some realistic chance for all to achieve it.  Those on the bottom CAN become proficient with lots of hard work. We found that even our best teachers in our worst schools still gave us the worst scores in our state. We found that mediocre teachers in our best classes still had the best scores.  In essence we found no correlation between test scores and quality of teaching.  All test scores do we found, is measure the quality of prenatal and infant care. With hindsight, I would say that to do well for our students, all of our students, we need to focus mostly on increasing the human element of education, and particularly in schools of high risk, where the poverty level is over 50% of the student body, we must guarantee an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, insist that it happens and willingly pay for its expense.

When I was governor I tried wooing companies into my state with bribes.  I offered no taxes. state loans. even support fees tacked to citizens electricity bills.  This was done primarily to develop jobs which were much needed in my state. With hindsight I would have focused more on making sure economic demand remained high instead of trying to get new business to come in.  If the demand had stayed at pre-depression levels, jobs would have stayed and remained  Instead we gambles on a few temporary jobs involving construction and then when they evaporated we were left continuing to pay the costs, which even today drag down the economy.

When I was governor, we had a automobile plant close up and a possible buyer for it needing some money up front to purchase it.  We helped them but they went bankrupt.  We lost our loans which we thought were guaranteed to be refunded from sale of its assets.  Turns out corporate raiders were ahead of us in line.  That points out a discrepancy in law needing adjusted.  There is no way private investors putting up money at risk, fully knowing the risk, get first dibs of return over a government who puts up the people’s money to benefit its people.  That was just plain wrong and an inexperienced candidate will fall into the same trap as did I. I know ahead of time it does not work.

When I was governor I tried to put in a toxic power plane in the middle of our college town.  i thought that any reason to create jobs was reason enough.  We tried very hard to engineer the town council and the electorate in order to get proper votes and we succeeded there. However the university walked away from the deal and the deal died.  With hindsight, I would not put in a dirty power plant just for jobs.  Oil, gas, and coal are done. There are always other options and anything that destroys the atmosphere and our climate, though helpful in the short run, cost far more in the long run than other cleaner alternatives.  In truth we misjudged the sophistication of our electorate and their ability to counter our claims with scientific fact, which turned the population against us.  The answer I can tell you to America’s future energy is in pursuing the clean energy options and by increasing their efficiency, we lower the cost per kilowatt. Any other way just does not work.

When I was governor I tried getting rid of our Port which is run by the state, by selling it to a private company Kinder Morgan. i thought we had negotiated a very good deal guaranteeing wages at current level for 3 years, and keeping everyone employed the same length of time.  However, anytime one privatizes something that is state owned, it is an economic loss to the surrounding area.  Private companies hire less than state because they run more efficiently. However, that also means less income and less tax pours into the city.  With hindsight, I have learned that privatization is good if the public receives a benefit from better efficiency.  But that it is bad, if the service being privatized is something that belongs to all, or requires constant upkeep and maintenance, in which case state ownership is better than private.  When our state legislature passed legislation making them the final arbiter of decision, my client pulled out of the deal and the port is doing fine still under state control.  I’m here to tell you that privatization of public works only benefits those who buy the operation at a low cost…. There is a reason they were originally state run and that is they are there to serve you first.

When I was governor i tried to weaken our environmental policy in order to bring in jobs.  Some companies were used to not having to comply to environmental regulations and they were the only ones who seemed interested in our properties. So we catered to them.   We were able to hide most environmental problems and get approval by most local governments.  But with hindsight, I would argue now for the other extreme. Protect the environment at all costs.  We can always pass on jobs. They are temporal; they rise and fall. But damage to the environment is almost generational, lasting as long as humans are alive. There are always new jobs being created; every day something new is created. But environmental damage is very harmful and lasts a long, long time, It continues doing its damage long after whatever company that caused it has folded and those jobs are now three states away….   I have learned by being governor that the most important thing we have is our environment and that never should we let temporary jobs blind us to the loss of many future jobs because of our polluted lifestyle..


As a Presidential candidate these arguments would be hard to bust with theoreticals.  Nothing works as well as saying I tried that, it doesn’t work.  it would also focus the argument on policy instead of personal traits, something our media is scared to do.

The combination of a sharp younger looking candidate saying the right things people are dying to hear, would do well for our current governor if he ran as a liberal in 2016… And if he rigged the Delaware primary to be on January 2nd, ahead of all others, he would be the leader for a while with three delegates.

I know many are skeptical. But seeing Markell in action readily shows he can be presidential material. but only if he runs now, and only if he uses his mistakes to burst the bubbles always painted for Democrats by their Republican opponents.  He plays a room well.  He only gets in trouble by those outside the room who don’t appreciate what he is doing.  If he just return to his own roots, and ditch the pro-business persona he has taken on, he could go far, possibly being offered the Vice Presidency on a winning ticket if he just would be more liberal.

The very reasons his detractors are calling for his head, would make him a great leader if he was only on the right side of the issues for a change…..

A quick read through the feed tells one quickly that our fore-fathers died in vain.  Corporatization of our government is now complete.

  • We see that all questions asked of the new Secretary of Education must be screened days before being asked…
  • We see that Delaware is devising a system to punish parents who use their constitutional right to opt out.
  • We see that legislative-sanctioned working groups are all but ignored when they develop ideas of their own instead of rubber-stamping corporate handouts.
  • We see that the only way charters can survive is with a very expensive state funded life-support system… Yet they continue to keep being implemented and failing, and implemented, and failing, and implemented and failing, and implemented and failing, and implemented and failing, and implemented and failing. So then even more resources get allocated.
  • We see now that Charter School applications are asking for the Smarter Balanced Assessment score (it was only taken once) to determine if a child may be admitted. We see that opting out, a constitutional prerogative, is being used as a threat and penalized.,
  • We see that the Joint Sunset Committee is now looking at trying to rein in a runaway Department of Education that has gone rogue. implementing its own policy to protect its own, without proper legislative approval.
  • We see that the Delaware Department of Education blows off repeated legislative attempts at seeking information.

Together all this means that the people are not in charge anymore…. Period.   We, the People no longer have a say in our own small state government…  We’ve been corporatised exactly as were the British Colonies… from which you may remember, we revolted.

And this has all happened since 2012.

Corporatization is bad, and it is winning.

In his first education speech in 7 years, Bill Gates did not back down.  His two prong offense continue to be teacher effectiveness and common academic standards—even as both initiatives have sparked a turbulent transformation in the nation’s schools and become deeply politicized…..

Due to the timing of the speech, it quickly became apparent that the one person responsible for making these policy across the nation, was complete unmentioned in the speech… Arne Duncun.

He spread the foundation’s work faster and more thoroughly than could ever any foundation alone…

As a listener, I am grateful for the speech because it illuminated the flaw of reason in the Gate’s foundation’s otherwise hard to resist argument.

For who among us ever wants children to not get educated when they have spend 12 years in school?  We all want results and we know that to educate children well we do need decent teachers to do it.

Since 1999, the Gates Foundation has spent about $4 billion on K-12 education since 1999, including $90 million on educational standards and $980 million on teacher effectiveness and supports

Gates said that he believes that he is “working on the right problem.” That problem, he said, is teachers who are unprepared, unsupported and ineffective – especially in low-income schools….

Despite the friendly handpicked audience, among educational experts in attendance serious doubts were expressed over his claim that focusing solely on teacher quality would guarantee 80% of students being rated proficiently in ELA and Math by the Common Core tests as they currently stand.

Gates said that evidence shows that a good teacher could dramatically improve learning, and argued that top-quality teachers “would completely close the income inequity of learning in the entire country” if they were in place for three years nationwide.

We could also if we put our collective national mind to it,  roast coffee beans on Jupiter’s moon Io.

(One sees he has come catching up to do since his last speech 8 years ago.)

In a subtle shift in the teacher evaluation debate, Gates seemed careful not to use language that has provoked teacher backlash against the reform movement. He never spoke of a need to fire “bad” teachers, and he said that test scores, while a “key outcome,” were only one way to measure teacher quality…

“The area we need to invest the most in is the idea of classroom observation,” followed by constructive feedback, said Gates. “I never met a teacher who said, ‘Yeah I got those test scores and now I know what I need to change.’

Unfortunately, listening to the debate over this subject, you might think that we’re forced to choose between two extremes: either using test scores exclusively to determine a teacher’s evaluation, or not using them at all. That’s a false choice. In fact, states are trying to figure out how to balance test scores with observations, student feedback, and other factors. No state uses them for more than 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. Eight don’t require test scores at all, and everyone else is somewhere in the middle.

In my view, test scores should be one part of the mix. But we also need to make sure that every evaluation system is transparent, makes sense to teachers, and is embraced by teachers.

Gates mentions in a recent study, researchers at Harvard University gave teachers video cameras and allowed them to record as many lessons as they wanted, and choose the ones to send to the principal to discuss. The study found that when you put teachers in charge of deciding which lessons to seek feedback on, it redefines the power dynamic between them and their principals. The teachers are leading the discussion, and they focus it on what they want to improve.

“Even worse, for many teachers, feedback isn’t even tied to helping them improve. When the only purpose of an evaluation system is to decide who gets hired and who gets fired, it makes teachers more guarded, and less likely to embrace new ideas. That approach doesn’t strengthen good teaching—it strangles it.

Every teacher has the right to ask of every evaluation: “How will this help me get better?” That needs to be the first purpose of every effort to evaluate a teacher.”

The progress we have seen so far is fragile. In places where feedback and improvement systems are well designed, they’re generating excitement, and teachers are embracing them. But in places where the systems hold teachers accountable without giving them the support they need to improve—those systems are provoking resentment and distrust. Teachers are rejecting them, and students are losing out on the opportunity to make big gains in achievement.

Will the districts and states with the most effective systems keep those systems in place? Will their best practices be adopted throughout the country? Or will we retreat from these reforms, and go back to a time when all teachers are forced to make their way up the learning line on their own?  

The future of our students hangs on the answer. And the answer depends on all of us.

That answer is to cut the cord tying teachers’ performance evaluation from their students’ test scores….. and use the tests solely for evaluating student progress and helping students achieve..

Near the end he specifically signals out Jack Markell and our former superintendent Mark Murphy……

If you’re a governor or state chief, I urge you to take a hard look at whether your system is giving teachers the support they need. Here’s a three-part test you can apply:

  • First: Is your system balanced? Are you using multiple measures that reflect the complexity of teaching? ( No, we are not..)
  • Second: Is it trustworthy? Are you using valid, accurate data that teachers will embrace?  (No we are not…)
  • And third: Is your system focused on improvement? Are you using evaluation to help teachers learn—or simply as an exercise in compliance?  (No, we are not…..)

This is exactly the opposite of what our DOE, Earl Jacques, Dave Sokola, and Jack Markell each have stressed for Delaware…. Those four (based on all their public statements) seem only intent on crushing public schools to allow mega-charter corporations their small toe-hold entry into this state.

Their approach is hurting parents, students, teachers, schools, colleges, careers, and districts.  Opting out is the only solution parents currently have.

The problem with inner-city education everywhere is too much need for too few resources.

Though rather common-sensical when stated so bluntly, it has taken America 50+ years to reach this point.  Our slowness comes from the dichotomy of realism.  Science tells us that when born, most for our brains are 99.9% identical. (Occasionally an environmental effect or gene flip can impede one before birth, but missing that, all people if placed in the same environment can perform at very close levels of performance through out their lives). However reality of what enters a school system at age 5, presents an entirely different perspective.  We see children of affluence entering at very high levels of recordable intelligence, and children of lower affluence when compared to those of high, look just plain dumb.

That appearance of dumbness comes primarily from their inability to express their thoughts (ELA), as well as their lack of a broadened world perspective.

It is a rare person among us who enjoys seeing this dichotomy.  We all wish it would get fixed…

If children were businesses, here is how we’d fix them.  We would create an insurance fund.  Calamities do befall us all at random moments, often with catastrophic consequences.  In order not to ruin companies, an idea evolved that if all parties would pay into a fund as their “insurance” they would not lose everything. That fund would reimburse a business if calamity struck them.  The assessment for that fund would be affordable to all, written into the costs of what they sold, and thusly, calamities could be economically handled.

Bussing was a clumsy attempt at emulating this system.  We shut down an inner city’s district and made four suburban districts split up the costs incurred by those inner city children.  We moved children out to where affluent people lived….

With hindsight, it has become apparent that perhaps moving the money in would create less hassle than moving the children out.

Talk of making New Castle County one single school district has been another ongoing attempt to address this issue. The prime idea being that all revenue collected from Talleyville to N. Smyrna would be such a huge pool, students within that geographical boundary could all get proper funding… The suburban money could be averaged out to something that was more equitable to students in Wilmington.

But politically,… schools are a local community issue and parents in urban Wilmington have little concern over the needs of exceptional students on the Maryland-Delaware boundary, and Greenville doesn’t really care that much about people in Port Penn. So having one district handling all decisions, especially those non-financial ones which would now be decided from far-far away, never took off.

Which brings us to the insurance model…

Just as each business runs itself however way it wishes, each district will continue to do the same.  No change from how they are now. But each school system pays funds per student they have that go into an insurance fund which gets used to fix calamities in education..

Those calamities would be priority-type schools in areas in areas where there is no seed to cultivate blooms.  In a priority school one must buy the seed, as well as tend to its cultivation….  In more affluent districts that seed money is primarily handled by the parents of each child. They teach the basics like alphabet, numbers to twenty, and colors. But in priority schools, where everyone enters at the bottom level, there is no seed to speak of. Teachers have to start where affluent children have been learning since birth.  Teaching the 26 letters. Applying phonetics to each of those symbols, basic numerical philosophy (counting), as well as names of colors.

Obviously this would require more teachers.  One can’t say “read this book tonight and we’ll discuss tomorrow”. One needs more personalized attention when one is supposed to teach the book, but instead has to simultaneously teach a child how to read at the same time.

Which is why to achieve success in a priority school (which if correctly titled would be any school that has 50% or more of its students listed as low income), one MUST have an 11:1 student teacher ratio.

If one is currently at a 33:1 student teacher ratio then obviously, one needs to hire 2 more teachers just for that one class… Which at $40,000 a teacher, is not cheap. But necessary.

When one is trying to stretch budgets, having one teacher disappear to save $40,000 is the simplest solution. However, it dooms those far-behind children who would readily learn in an 11:1 environment but not in a 22:1 or 33:1 classroom

The reason today we have such problems with inner city education is that across the careers of most of our students, adequate funding for the 11:1 ratio was not available.

But if we had an insurance fund that was culled from all districts, which could be applied to hire additional personnel in poverty schools, that issue would disappear.

Today there are multiple problems with inner city education. We can only tackle them one by one.  This idea would take care of one of those problems.

SB 79 was put forth as a protection of student data.  Everyone voted for it because who would want child predators to have access to children’s data?….. it passed 17-4 in the Senate.(Lavelle, Pettyjohn, Lopez, Richardson scoring the no votes) and passed 40-0 in the House.

They were tricked.

An amendment was offered. SS1. Ostensibly to change typos.  “deleting certain definitions; and (9) correcting minor typographical errors.” –– Synopsis. 

What was not seen were these few words…. “The Act is substituted for Senate Bill No. 79 and differs from Senate Bill No. 79 by (1) creating a new chapter in Title 14 of the Delaware Code creating the “Student Data Privacy Protection Act”; (2) deleting provisions addressing data security and privacy responsibilities of the Department of Education in favor of establishing the Student Data Privacy Task Force to study and report on those issues as part of a comprehensive evaluation of student data privacy and security within the State’s public education system;

Did you catch that?

The provisions addressing data security and privacy responsibilities currently in code, are deleted immediately, whereas a task force chokes along at turtle’s pace to discuss and develop appropriate safeguards for child privacy. This creates a time gap where data can be shared to anyone with impunity.

A normal policy would be to set up a task force designed to make changes and after voting those recommendations, the new law takes over. The old law continues intact until the new one takes hold. Instead, this bill (SS!)  gets rid of the “protections” immediately. and sets up a task force to determine what protections our children need. By then, all data has been downloaded to corporate data banks….. It is as if we just let convicted convicts out of prison while investigating human rights abuses alleged to have taken place upon them..

So currently there is no entity guarding your child’s data.

Below is who paid lobbyists to write and push this bill…. Google.  Delaware Business Roundtable, Amazon, Microsoft Corporation, Verizon, Delaware Charter Network,

Here is what is in the bill.

Nothing in this subsection prohibits an operator from using or sharing aggregate student data or de-identified student data

for: The development and improvement of the operator’s Internet website, online or cloud computing service, online application, or mobile application, or other educational Internet websites, online or cloud computing services, online applications, or mobile applications.

The words “or other” means your students info is available to anyone.

for: to demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator’s products or services, including their marketing.

Your child’s data can be freely given to marketers.

The provisions of Section 1 of this Act do not apply to projects relating to the privacy and security of student data approved prior to the effective date of this Act...under the Department of Education’s data governance regulation, § 294, Title 14 of the Delaware Administrative Code, in existence on the effective date of this Act.

This act does not apply to old regulations it just got rid of.

Section 1 of this Act becomes effective on August 1 the first full year following the Act’s enactment into law. Sections 2 through 4 of this Act become effective upon the Act’s enactment into law.

There you have it… Section 1 outlines the general privacy planks of the bill it replaced which are not in effect until one full year after signing.

Section 2: which annuls all previous protections in Title 14 and is effective immediately.

Section 3: establishment of a task force can begin immediately while no protections are in place.

Section 4: establishes that if any part of the act is later deemed unconstitutional or replaced by the General Assembly, the rest of the bill still remains intact. In other words, it is severable.  This is in effect now.

Bottom line: your child’s data is already out there in cyber land, thanks to Dave Sokola and Earl Jacques among others.

So how could the General Assembly have been so completely duped?  Even the educational watchdogs? Rather easy actually.  One has to read the bill with the specific intent of figuring how it will be abused, in order to see it…  Since we know the sponsors Sokola and Jacques.  We know there had to be something evil in this bill and so we looked at it long and hard to find out how it was constructed and that clued us in where the violation was.

But in the General Assembly, if a trusted official tells you an amendment replaces typos, you tend to believe it. You skim the bill and see that it replaces existing policy. it establishes a task force, it protects children’s data from going to marketers, and you vote for it…

What you missed was in the timing, how there would be a gap between opening the gate and closing it…  Very clever actually. And all of them were fooled.

So sorry parents.  Pedophiles (among others) now have your child’s data.

Here are the lobbyists so you can recognized their names when they publish op-ed pieces defending their actions…

  • Christopher V. DiPietro
  • Rebecca Byrd
  • Robert L. Byrd
  • Kimberly B. Gomes
  • Jordan Seemans
  • Rhett Ruggerio
  • Melissa Hopkins
  • Cheryl Heik
  • Rhett Ruggerio
  • Kim Willson
  • Jeremy Kudon
  • Scott Ward
  • Deborah Hamilton
  • Paul Herdman
  • Ron Barnes

It appears the prime motive behind this bill is to allow charter access to explicit private specific data files on public school children so they can be hand-picked, culled, marketed to, and manipulated into signing onto charter schools.

That motive would explain this best. But due to the broad nature of this bill it also now allows pedophiles with enough money to buy reports,, the same exact same access to your child’s data at least for this one year.

You may have missed how busy this day was. It was a red letter day for Delaware education.

I would like to direct your attention to information about today.

Accountability Framework Working Group Update Interesting Meeting

Breaking News: Delaware DOE Wants To Add Charters To Priority & Focus Status In ESEA Waiver Request

Big Mouth Strikes Again: What Did Earl Jacques Say This Time To Diss Parents?

And finally….

State Board of Education: “Poverty Is Not An Excuse…It Is Not Destiny”

Reading through all of these one understands just how much change has taken place in Delaware’s educational field that was not approved by Delawareans… In fact, most of us are solidly against it.   But by handpicking working groups, by having the state board dismiss or add whatever it wants, and by giving the DOE the right to make up whatever it wants with no oversight by anyone, certain agendas have now been set in stone….

But like the Emperor’s New Clothes, the ruse is based on a sham….

That sham is the new upcoming school rating.

It is sort of like a credit score but for schools.  As you know, you may try to always keep up your good credit score, but if some entity can benefit from your scores’ lowering, there is really nothing you can do… That payment mailed last month, didn’t arrive until the day after it was late, and your surcharge and note to a credit scoring company was unfortunately already sent.

Now credit scores are beneficial for banks wishing to credibly loan money.. But should they also determine more than your driving record of what you pay for automobile insurance?  (They do)… Legitimate entities like banks may need to know how well you pay back what you borrow.  But should employers also be able to cut out every applicant for a new position whose score is below their preset level?  (They do).

The idea behind linking all these necessary life functions to your credit score, was to make you scared and try very hard to keep it as high as you possibly can… Which means banks will get their money.

The original idea pushed in the survey just last year over the stoplight rating of schools, was that knowing how a school performed would help take some of the trial and error parents experience as they try to find the right school for their child…. What the above articles now show us, is that this is going to be used as a whip to flagellate public schools.

  • Opt out percentages…. will count against your score.
  • Charters if allowed in… will now be able to win all the reward prize money because they get to handpick their students and public schools don’t.
  • Everything  in this score depends on how every student does on this one single Smarter Balanced test.
  • Poverty is being dismissed as the prime factor in a student’s score; blame is being shifted on teachers by the State Board of Insolence…..
  • Charters are being rushed into existence bankrolled by large charter operators, despite embarrassing local operations.

This is the agenda of the scored school rating;  to make people do what this administration wants… What this administration appears to want, is to have everyone who is affluent do well on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  And put everyone who doesn’t, in cheap-ass charters.

And this narrow agenda is bad for Delaware’s education overall.  Because charters do take lots of money from public schools and put it directly in the wealthy’s private pockets.  Charters hurt the 4 students remaining in public schools more than they help the one who jumps to charter.

Charters do not teach as well as do public schools… We know this in Delaware because under the past DCAS public schools out-taught charters across the board.  The DCAS tested all children at the beginning of the year, and then in the middle, and if they weren’t passing at that time, they retook it at year’s end. From studying those results one can quickly see that public schools actually taught more (had more improvement) than did charters…. But some charters scores were higher than everyone else’s, simply because they hand-picked the top affluent students from the four districts around them.

The current test, Smarter Balanced Assessment, only illustrates the end score… No one even cares if a teacher took on a class that couldn’t read and got them all up to the third grade level…. She will always be a failure because her school had only 16% whose knowledge was two grades in advance of their age: (the newest definition of “proficient“.  If one is in 3rd Grade, their child is now tested at the 5th grade level and if passing, deemed as “proficient”.

The fix is in.  That jumps readily from reading the posted links above.  Here are clues.

  • The State Board will ignore all recommendations made by the task force and instead do what the Governor insists.
  • Out of all 62 Delawares representative elected officials, 52 sided to allow opt-out to be punitive-free. Yet it is held up by a veto until the Board quickly passes new penalties for opting out…
  • The State Board is ignoring all evidence of poverty’s influence on student learning.  It is assuming that teachers in one year can adjust for 8 years of educational neglect.  It will fire those teachers who can’t in someway make those scores magically better.
  • Earl Jacques said all fvckin’ parents are stupid ho’s because hes so smart and they dare disagree with him…
  • No one likes the system but are being told they have to follow it because of the……… “Feds”…….  This is balony btw, Most other states will not go the extremes this governor is pushing this state to go, and none of those states will have negative reactions from the feds for not being as reactionary as is Delaware.  This new agenda here is being driven solely by corporate investors, and those governors who are minions of that select group, are the only ones pushing it as hard as we… which means it is us and New York, home of Wall Street.

So even though quite possibly only 1% of Delawareans support using the Smarter Balanced Assessments to rate all of Delaware’s schools, as well as punish schools who parents are smart like New Yorkers and protect their children by opting them out,  this policy is still going forward solely from is inertia and from being pushed by moles, hidden and visible, as well as stealthy emerging from secret meetings behind closed doors.

Can you say fix?

So what needs to be done to stop the train wreak from happening?

As anyone who has every watched old Westerns either on TV or the movies knows, to stop a runaway train, you have to shut down the engine.

And what is driving all this blooey is the Smarter Balanced Assessment…   If we shut down the Smarter Balanced Assessment, then like the train, education will be saved….

The easiest way to shut down the Smarter Balanced Assessment is for our legislature to do these things.

All DOE policy changes regarding testing of Delaware’s students must be voted on by the full General Assembly and pass both houses and be signed by the Governor.

The state of Delaware will not fund the Smarter Balanced Assessment after this upcoming school year.

The State of Delaware will create it’s own test.  First gather a task group consisting solely of teachers to come up with good tests per grade levels. then sell it to an overseer board made up of business, colleges, and educational interests (but no educational corporations), then redo the recommendations handed back down, then with the overseer’s approval, send it to the state DOE to vote up or down on using that test.

Every parent has it as their constitutional obligation to opt their child out of this test.  This test is purposefully testing your child on material they do not know in order to close down your child’s school.

We already have no confidence votes by teachers and by administrators and by district boards of education… What is needed now is the vote of no-confidence by every Delawarean parent….

Your opting out your child is a direct challenge to this administration which blindsided you by putting this program in place, and opting out does two things. It protects your child from this horrendous test;  it makes a statement that you, a parent, do not wish to participate in a competition, where the fix is already in…..

In WWII while a lot of people were involved in our efforts to fight back the Japanese and German advances, all sucking up a large portion of our collective national effort, a small hand of men and women close to President Franklin D. Roosevelt were tasked with the  problem of deciding where to take the world when the enemy was defeated and we won.

They are the ones who outlined the plans, wrote the circulated bills, became the think tanks of their time, to outline a plan that would tend to stop all world wars and promote peace and prosperity… They succeeded rather well.

This was exactly what was not done in Iraq.  Once we won, the administration in charge at that time suddenly found itself in control of  a captured country, and only then asked what will we do next.  Simply comparing the two end results should make the most ardent spur-of-the moment actor, see the true benefit of pre-planning.

So with the war on education now at least beginning to feel less and less intensity from each new attack on public schools, now while it is time long before reaching the end result, we should have a few bright people map out the future of American education so that after the “corporates” get thrown out, we are not left with a desolate and damaged vacuum with no existing plan to fill it…

Our future goal should be to effectively use new technology so we achieve solid results.

The first decision:  is what do we need children to know?  Common Core for all its good press and bad results touches only the tiniest fraction of learning.. micro slices of both ELA and Math.

Reading is separate from ELA. Because unlike ELA, reading is important.   Reading is the key to opening doors. In America every educated American needs to be able to read English.. Today we don’t need to learn big words or sentence structure.  We need to understand ideas and know how to express them.  There is no one “right” way to construct a sentence anymore but through trial and error students can find out what is effective.

Reading is how ideas from one person are passed to another; what good is Google if you can’t read?   Since little or none of our progeny have trouble understanding Google, we must have be doing something right.

Math is necessary. it organizes our mind, our lives and society at large.  But how much math do we instill?  Obviously the four sectors and fractions, integers, and use of formulas… Graphing would be helpful as well.

But todays math skills when used in the real world for everyday activities, usually revolve around money, something rather important and everyone should be aware enough to know whether or not they are ripped off or getting a bargain.

Writing is important as well.  One needs to communicate to those they cannot see. So how to express ones thoughts on a page is important to teach.

But missing from today’s Smarter Balanced Assessments intensely focused curriculum, is our teaching of Social Studies. This is our world in regards to people.   A very important part of our species’ makeup, how human interaction across the past created the world of today, needs to be known at least by every American citizen.  Unfortunately we have here in America, elements of society that are embarrassed by certain elements of their own history.  Religions don’t want the questionable aspects of their religion exposed.  Political parties don’t want the truth of their mistakes and duplicity to dim the bright eyes of their newest followers. And as a result, our convoluted social studies quickly lose children’s attention because all they are allowed to see of it, really makes no sense…

Also missing is any emphasis of hands-on science topics.  These represent teaching our children about all the rest of the world which is non-human. It too is a political minefield because everyone wants only their version of science to be taught, so their own other teachings do not get challenged by young inquiring minds.

Bottom line is that both politics and money have failed our students across the board.

The first item of business should be focused on keeping those influences away from our children.  Not teaching evolution is just as harmful as not teaching about Muslims.  In fact, one of the biggest problems today is that we do have fierce battles over teaching these two topics because no one knows anything about those two topics, especially those arguing on our televisions.  If they knew more about both, there would be agreements, not arguments;  Compromise would make perfect sense. But instead we get people who are told incorrectly how dangerous these two teachings are, and out of self preservation, create fierce arguments concocted out of nothing.

Second is to note that teaching is a very human endeavor. Where the Smarter Balanced Assessment jumped the rails is that it tried to go around this element.  In fact, do away with it.  But that is not how we are wired.  A teacher who knows their student is the best assessment process to determine whether their student knows the material, not an algorithm.

In fact, as new educational models get tested that remove teachers and replace them with online programs, it becomes clearly obvious that just as adults don’t do what they aren’t nagged about, neither do kids.  Often overlooked in the political efforts to fund free community colleges is the fact that only 20% of them graduate.  Sending more there for free would not suddenly benefit society.. The reason for that low rate of success is because a community college is not a community in itself.  A person exits their normal life, goes to class and reinserts themselves back into normalcy upon coming home.. But community colleges which actively foster a community with meet-and-greets, arts, plays, musical events, social interactions, all tend to have high graduation rates.  People are social animals.

Furthermore educational programs taught by computer, also have low completion rates. Far lower than classes having forced human interaction.  To combat this successfully, what some community schools have done is flipped the classes to where the instruction is now given online at home, and class now involves a real professor who is there to help and show students how to do their homework.  Proving that all-cyber schools are dreams because humans have not adapted to learning that way yet.  Humans need human interaction to learn.

So in our upcoming new world, it is pretty obvious what we need.  A stripped down curriculum upon which every person knows.. This is not a government curriculum. It’s what we have already, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication. reading and writing, social studies and science

And we need teachers to teach. Make classes interesting so students have no choice but to become interested.   No one learns what what they don’t want to learn.

We should probably take this a step further in detail.  We need an 11:1 student teacher ratio in all schools below 50% poverty from k-5… and in 9th grade.

Each teacher is responsible to make sure their 11 students do the best they can.. Those with top students have the same agenda as those with special-ed students but you won’t get identical results on their tests. You could probably develop a test which could, but we know even that is waste of time.  We now know anything that takes time away from teaching is “false education reform” because all education comes from human to human contact and anything that interrupts that, sets education behind.

We also know that money is not the magic bullet.  We know that in dirt floor huts, with eighty year old primers, that education occurs in Africa that rivals that in Wilmington Charter School.  it is done because with an 11:1 teacher student ratio the will to want to learn is fanned, not extinguished.

That is not to say that we can teach without money.  We have more than 11 students in each village and we need to pay more than a couple of farm animals to keep a teacher on the payroll.  But the only thing worth its salt that teaches, is human beings trained to teach.. That needs to be the sole dispensary of all extra cash if we ever hope to achieve the  educational greatness those involved in the future will demand.

The reason we don’t have it; is because the large investors cannot make huge profits off of teachers simply doing their job.

So an 11:1 student teacher ratio needs to be engraved in stone.

Everything else flows from that one ideal..

  • We will need more money so we should tax the 1% to pay for that.
  • We can’t have charters taking funds and wasting it on piss-poor results, so we need to eliminate the current plan that funds charters by leeching money out of their public feeder schools; period.
  • We can’t have a shortage of teachers and still do this so we have to immediately stop holding teachers accountable to test scores which are really just poverty indicators, not learning gauges.

And we need to realize every child is different. So the prime movers of education need to dismiss the idea of having everyone learn one set of faked cardboard standards  making them all carbon copies of the same, and instead focus on as many possible avenues which we can steer children down as it becomes apparent they possibly could have talents in those areas…  Cutting art classes to boost English learning just gives the Chinese all future jobs requiring artistic talent; which is a lot.  Cutting music classes to boost Math learning just gives the Europeans all future jobs requiring some musical knowledge; which is a lot.

Bottom line is that corporate power took advantage of the Republican Depression to attack public education… Just like the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Rim.  As people woke up they fought back and now we are reaching equilibrium. We need to make sure as we retake lost ground that we put in place this 11:1 student teacher ratio and wire our entire system to fund its continuity.

hurricane oct 1

Let’s hope it blows all charters away…..

Just looking at yesterday’s news is enough probable cause….  

Perhaps it hasn’t been made clear with all the scandals breaking minute by minute from inside the charter school’s network… One would rightly get the impression that our entire educational system if not government has run amok…

To be clear; that is not so.  It is only 4 people in gatekeeper positions who either let legislation go forward or not, which are creating this gigantic mess.  just 4 people….

Governor Jack Markell  — vetoed HB 50 , the most popular legislation overwhelmingly passed by a bipartisan legislative vote to allow opt-out.

Secretary Murphy — now leaving and whose villainous leadership vacuum here will now be filled by Gov. Markell hand picked appointee Penny Schwinn.

8th Senatorial District Senator Dave Sokola:  who bottled up HB 186  (a bill mandating public audits on Charter Schools) from going onto the Senate Floor for a vote. Also Sponsored SB 51.

27th Representative Earl Jacques   Was unceremoniously put in John Kowalko’s seat as chair of the House Education Committee and has since held up all responsible financial legislation aimed at holding charter accountable to taxpayers funding… Also sponsored HB 165 which now allows the state to subsidize private owners of charter schools with less accountability than have public schools.

Most of our legislature and public officials are deeply concerned about the horrid policies now crushing schools, students, teachers, and parents.  Yet based on our system which allows individuals to decide what pieces of legislation they shall be allowed to vote,…. nothing happens.

4 people… Remember that the next time you go off on generalities… it is not a problem where everything is fvcked up… It is a problem where 4 certain people are making everything fvcked up…


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