In yesterday’s meeting with the “P-20”, a group of twenty who have met to decide long term educational goals since around 2004, the three biggest future problems were as follows….
- implementing a teacher evaluation system that takes into account student performance…
- Implementing Common Core standards.
- dealing with push-back from the teacher’s union.
A. The teachers union last week sent a letter to the General Assembly requesting no ties between evaluations and student testing.
B. The teachers union last week sent a message to the Department of Education that they vote no-confidence in this administration’s handling of Common Core.
C. Duh, obviously it has to be the teacher’s union’s fault.
What was totally missing from this presentation is that there is currently a divide across this state that is far bigger than a few thousand teachers… That divide is the same one captured in this Slate article . That divide is between the 1% and the 99%….
Detractors of both Common Core and high stakes testing, have connected the two to improving the investment portfolio’s of the top 1%. Likewise, both Common Core and high stakes testing have been equally been shown to be connected to policies keeping the 99% down and “under control”….
That perspective was totally missing in this presentation of the goals of Delaware’s education…
It is both innate knowledge and common sense, that if Delaware seriously wants to continue its educational improvement, it needs to direct its resources to the direct cause of the problem, and not be more concerned with who gets to touch the extra generated revenue…
That problem is how do you provide a good education to people who are so poor, they aren’t safe when they go home, they don’t eat when they go home, they don’t sleep through the night when they go home, they don’t have parental discipline or guidance when they go home…?
For as stipends and honorary awards divvied out to our state’s elite schools well show…. educating our rich white (or Asian) kids, is not our problem. They get the best quality education that money can buy….. I don’t need to reference this; this is a well known fact whose evidence is parleyed by all the “rich” educational reformers putting abstract thoughts into words.
Our poor white kids, and poor Asian kids, and poor every other kid, are the ones holding us back…. When compared to states across this nation, the rich states do better, and the poor states do worse… In light of this fact punching us in our face, Markell tells the wealthy investors (that is what they really are) we need to crack down on unions…. And to those on the outside looking in, the reason Markell gives that we need to do so,… is because they aren’t accepting the “official” party line that spending more money on hardware, software, testing schedules, data explainers, and filling corporate pockets with taxpayers money, is benefiting our poor children who can’t eat, can’t sleep, because their lives are in danger the minute we let them off the bus….
Markell’s problem and answer, is that he needs to pivot. If he truly wants to be the “educational governor” he needs to do what every sail boat captain has ever done when the wind changes. He needs to tack against the prevailing wind to get where he wants to go….
That direction is obvious…
Stop placating wealthy investors whose motives have now been exposed as NOT being philanthropic, but mercenary. The wind has shifted against anything benefiting the top 1% at the expense of the 99%…. Those days are gone. There is zero political capital in pursuing such.
What Markell needs to do, is to use his connections with the business world and develop something cutting edge, which allows a safe harbor at societies’ expense for those children to learn, despite the gigantic obstacles Reaganomics has dealt them.
We have outlined the direction he needs to take, but will here do so again….
- Work towards a 11:1 student teacher ratio in all schools k-5 and for 9th grade, which have over a 50% reduced lunch population.
- Tax the top 1% additionally to pay for the investment in human capital to make this possible. It should not be covered by referendum politics.
- Stop siphoning public funds into private hands by putting a moratorium on Charter Schools.
- Make existing Charter Schools overseen by their geographical district from which they derive their students as is done in the Red Clay District. This provides parent’s control over unlimited expansion which currently is detrimental to every student still left attending public schools.
- Fund each Charter School by a line item in each year’s state’s budget, and not by having a district’s property assessment’s money follow the pupil from public over to private school. If Charter Schools become too rich an item for our poor state to afford, they too should have to suffer the same consequences as does everyone else whose income is derived from state funding.
- Grow the State’s labor force drawing from those most destitute to actually attack poverty itself. Tax the 1% to hire up to 3000 people to simply walk up our riverbeds to track, pinpoint, and clean up all sources of pollution… ($105 million yearly investment which all gets pumped directly smack back into our economy)…
The winds have changed. When they do, only the stupid always do what they’ve always done to always get what they’ve always got… We didn’t elect stupid.