Over the November holidays some focus has shifted. We probably need to bring things back around.
Here is where we are:
A) Priority. Only 50 days (including the extension) or less than 1200 hours remain to design two MOUs for two districts that meet DOE approval and keep 6 priority schools public; otherwise closures will turn them over to charters (KIPP) which perform no better than do our worst public schools.
B) Over 480 new Charter seats open next year inside the two districts affected by the future closure of 6 schools. Yearly, this additionally siphons another $1.6 million of per-pupil-funding out of those two districts and puts your tax money into private hands at no gain to you. (That giant sucking sound you hear….)
C) A Charter School which is devoted to the betterment of special ed. children has been targeted for closure based solely on their test scores and absolutely nothing else. Everyone knows special ed children cannot do as well as their counterparts through no fault of their own. The resulting lawsuit against the Delaware DOE needs to go all the way to the US Supreme Court. The entire underpinnings of this nation’s democracy are at stake. It is un-American to doom children to failure based on a genetic anomaly.
D) All children who have special needs will no longer pass solely on their IEP’s. As per executive order of the federal Secretary of Education (who by Congress is forbidden to interfere with local districts), their existing IEP’s have been reduced to garbage and they too will need to be assessed and meet the same standardization as is everyone else, (even though all know before-hand the inevitable outcome over such a futile gesture). Bottom line. Special-needs children won’t pass.
E) The poorly written Smarter Balanced Assessment will begin to fail 70% of Delaware’s children beginning this spring, to simply prove the point that if you can make a test a lot harder, more students will fail.
F) The above-mentioned tests begin in April so the OPT-OUT movement needs to shift into high gear. All of Delaware’s parents across all 19 school districts, need to understand the important benefit of opting out of this test, no matter what any authority says otherwise… Those authorities have their own agenda and that agenda is NOT the betterment of your kid’s education….