The title was originated by Jacob’s Loving Father.  He should get all the glory if any comes from it. Because it is very pertinent to what is transpiring right now.  There is a growing list.. Fisker, Bloom, Kinder Morgan, AIR, TDC, ESP Solutions, and bills, SB51, HB165, HB334 that were done in secret and then sprung with an immediate decision supposedly needing to be made RIGHT NOW when all that appears to be available, is the one solution being offered on the table…

Basically here in Delaware, we have government by edict.

Delaware is in a unique position because of the current regulatory framework that provides for the establishment of the state’s Partnership Zone. The regulation defines an approach for turning around persistently low-achieving schools that combines authority with flexibility, and that promotes rapid reform within a collective bargaining environment. This authority allows the state to intervene in its persistently-low achieving schools. The regulation that provides for this framework defines the processes an LEA must take upon the selection of a school assigned to the Partnership Zone. The regulation was in place prior to the RTTT application. The Partnership Zone is a critical component of the ongoing work to identify what works and what will have the most profound effect on improving outcomes for these schools…”

Did you get that?  The whole entire purpose of a Partnership Zone is to incite “rapid reform within a collective bargaining environment.”  

The reason a reading of the text tell us this is the sole purpose, is that a) there is no other purpose spelled out, and b) this process is outlined to be predefined by regulation (law)…. and no other process is…..

Later this same is specified as thus:

“As noted in the regulation there are specific requirements, time lines, and agreements that must be in place for the PZ schools. First, the regulations give the State the ability to select persistently low achieving schools for turnaround; second, for these selected schools, the State has to sign off on the LEA’s choice of one of the four School Improvement Grant (SIG)intervention models including: School Closure Model, Restart Model, Turnaround Model and Transformational Model; the LEA must secure an agreement with the local bargaining unit for sufficient operational and staffing flexibility for the model to be implemented successfully; fourth,if the LEA and collective bargaining unit cannot agree, the Secretary of Education can break a stalemate and choose whichever side has the strongest plan for reform.”

It will be Christina’s and Red Clay’s responsibility to break the unions, and if they don’t, or can’t, then Mark Murphy can simply decide in favor of whomever he wants… Bottom line:  unions don’t matter.

One would assume, there should be other parts… like student teacher ratios, like funding  providing for these changes, like increased meal plans for those who can only eat at school..  Things necessary for education to become better.  But look.  They simply are not there.  The only thing one finds is that unions have to abide by these regulations whether they chose to do so with the LEAs Christina or Red Clay, or through the Secretary himself…

That is what this takeover is about.

Bust the union….. and little else……   Don’t take my word…  Read for yourself… 

Reading this is kind of strange.  Why would union busting be the only thing featured in taking over a Partnership Zone?  Especially when teachers unions are the good guys and the DOE is the bad guy?  My assumption can only be that this was originally written for a certain audience.  I can remember its passage vaguely and it was contested, but I assume this bizarre anti-union legislative clause was honed that way to steer over some Republican votes required for its passage in a previous union favoring Senate…

To understand how this was orchestrated, one needs to go to the Title 14, Chapter 103 of the Delaware Code.

7.3.1 Develop and implement a Corrective Action Plan for the school that should be closely aligned with the areas in which the school failed to make AYP and that includes at least one of the following, if permitted by State law: Extend the school year or school day for the school: Significantly decrease management authority at school level; Appoint outside expert to advise school on its progress toward making AYP based on its school plan; Restructure internal organizational structure of school; Replace school staff relevant to failure to achieve AYP; or Adopt and fully implement new curriculum including providing appropriate professional development for all relevant staff that is based on scientifically based research and offers substantial promise of improving educational achievement for low-achieving students.

These are in Delaware’s title 14, and as you can see, there are six reasons.  In the ESEA flexibility request, there is one, which appears to bust the union.

In the next section of  Delaware Title 14, Chapter 103, we see the specific mention of collective bargaining, among many others…

7.3.2 In addition, districts and charter schools shall examine and include one or more of the following items in their Corrective Action Plan as they deem appropriate, if permitted by State law. Districts and charter schools may use federal, state or local funding, if permitted by State and Federal law to implement these initiatives: Institute flexible funding at school level to the extent authorized by applicable law; Provide performance incentives for teachers and principals based in significant part on student achievement; Renegotiate collective bargaining agreements to permit hiring without regard to seniority; Decrease class size; Implement comprehensive instructional reform, including improved instructional program and differentiated instruction; Make changes to scheduling to increase learning time for students and maximize collaboration time for teachers – consider extended learning time, modified or block scheduling; and Increase community-oriented supports, create partnerships with community services programs providing assistance to students outside of school hours, and implement a community-based school model, by which the school would partner with community groups in utilizing school facility to provide extended services to students and the community, which may include permitting student activities at the school after the end of the school day and offering services and support to parents.

One can see that Markell’s speech mirrored this page.

Restructuring according to Delaware Code will follow like this…

7.5.1 For district schools, reopening the school as a public charter school;

7.5.2 Entering a contract with a private management company approved by the Department to operate the school;

7.5.3 Closing the school

7.5.4 Replacing all or most of the school staff (which may include, but may not be limited to, replacing the principal) who are relevant to the school’s failure to make AYP; or

7.5.5 Implementing a major restructuring of the school’s governance arrangement that makes fundamental reforms, such as significant changes in the school’s staffing and governance and longer school days, to improve student academic achievement in the school and that has substantial promise of enabling the school to make AYP. Whether or not a particular school is showing growth on the DOE Achievement Metric shall be a significant factor in the determination of what type of major restructuring is required pursuant to this provision.

And currently, here is where we are with the partnership schools announced a week ago….

Again, from Title 14, chapter 103.

7.6.1 Districts with a Partnership Zone school and Partnership Zone charter schools shall enter a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) between the Department and the district or the charter school. The Partnership Zone MOU shall include the following provisions: Selection of one of the models outlined in section 7.6.2; Provisions for regular oversight of the Partnership Zone school by the Department or its designee; For schools at which a collective bargaining agreement governs its employees, a further agreement between and among the district or charter school, the collective bargaining unit, and the Department addressing those subjects, if any, that may inhibit the schools’ successful implementation of its model, including but not limited to: Limitations on hiring, reassigning and transferring covered employees into and out of the Partnership Zone school, such as seniority limitations; The methodology for determining which teachers will be transferred or reassigned as part of the model; Work rules relating to the educational calendar and scheduling of instructional time and non-instructional time, Instructional reform; Professional development requirements and other specialized training; Retention and employment incentives, including performance incentives for effective teachers and principals; and Any other subject required by these regulations to be addressed in the Partnership Zone school’s selected model.

Bim, Bam, Ka, Shooom.

By making a school into a PZ zone school, all union activity in those schools is completely obliterated.   Not good.

These doors get opened….

  • No planning periods. Use your home time.
  • No extra pay for masters or doctorates.  Everyone gets paid a base and those who excel get a small bonus.
  • At-will firing.  Teachers can be fired at will.
  • No lunch periods. Teachers must do lunch hall duty.
  • Firings if student test scores do not climb unbelievably.
  • Non confidentiality agreements; legal action for revealing the upcoming atrocities which will  transpire in school.

If one thinks this is about raising student test scores, one must ask:  if one fires experienced teachers, makes them miserable, makes them work harder for less, fires them at will over invented infractions, and then uses Kelly substitutes to do all the teaching, explain how this benefits the students learning process?


They can’t.

That is how you know this is politically motivated to bust the teachers union.  Period…  Nice disguise…  But no.  If it doesn’t help kids and is designed to mutilate teachers…. that is what it is there for…..