You may remember… Only two states were accepted in the first Race to The Top Competition… Delaware..*yay* and  Tennessee.   Same agenda. Same connections to the Governor’s Association and Chiefs For Change… Same influences, etc…

Let me tell you where Tennessee is now…

In three weeks, they start their school year… yes, August 3rd.   This past year they instituted a non-renewal policy that said if you’re scores were not above standard, your contract would not be renewed… AND you would be marked as ineligible for rehire. 

(Someone thought the threat of firing would cause scores to rise.)

One of their larger districts is undergoing some pain right now…

The Metro- Nashville Public School system is experiencing a teacher shortage… 

  • So far, 320 new teachers have been hired- 42 are TFA ( which is the maxamim limit of them which MNPS is allowed to hire)
  • The average # of new teachers hired each year (based upon the last 5 years) is 574
  • 19% of schools will have new principals
  • Currently, MNPS needs to hire 189 new teachers before school starts in three weeks
  • MNPS still needs to hire 7 principals.
  • There are 74  (out of 153) schools with major teacher vacancies
  • The top needs are: Exceptional Ed (22), Math (19), English Learners (10) and Spanish (9)
  • Just 21 (15 working) days to the start of school.

 

Obviously the strict discipline enforced on teachers has made the upcoming year to be one of survival; not excellence…. Just keeping open the doors will be a challenge, heaven help the test scores of 2017…

Also keep in mind that many of those teachers whose contracts were not renewed, were once considered excellent teachers before we started using Common Core’s tests.  from the district’s website:

  • Sixty-one percent of MNPS teachers hold a master’s degree or higher and 99.75 percent are highly qualified in at least one subject area

That 0.25 % not qualified matches up with the TFA candidates…..

Which proves as all have said, the folly of putting all education’s blame on teachers… Now, you have no teachers so what are you going to do?

Well the MNPS plans to contract out to a computer teaching service for its classes having no bodies in front of it… as well as wave all certification requirements for anyone willing to stand up in front of a class.

Yes.

NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS…………………………………………………………………………..

This isn’t happening in Delaware.

Why?

Mostly because of you, who objected to insanity and would not be silenced… Though corporate money could buy out Earl Jacques, corporate money could buy out Dave Sokola, it could not buy out parents, it could not buy out teachers, and it could not tamper with the communication system set up between them…..

As a historian I am prone to look for those important moments and speculate had they gone differently, what the new outcome would be… I know that is a weakness of mine. But saying so, if one were to ask this historian where Delaware avoided the train wreak its sister is now going through, I would have to point to the pivot as being John Young of Christina’s Board of Education…

Keep in mind we are a small state.  The Metro-Nashville school district alone has 80,000 students.  That is two thirds the size of our entire state school system and they are but one district.  Therefore each citizen here has a larger percentage of a voice in their government than do almost everyone else.

We also do not have a television station all turn to for local news. There is a definite knowledge gap which most smart people have found is best adequately filled through the blogosphere.  Our blogosphere has more investigative reporters then the entire state’s news conglomeration of radio stations and newspapers combined…

As a result of all of this, here it was hard to only give “one side” of the story (though Dave Sokola certainly tried). The other story got out, sometimes too late to change legislation, but not to late to now hold those perpetrators who pushed it, accountable for the damage they have caused Delaware’s children in lost opportunities…

(Remember how our educational measurements soared, up until they hit the Common Core legislation these crooks pushed through?)

With all those kept in mind, it was John Young who pointed the direction long before anyone else publicly, that corporate schemes were behind this new “push” for improving education…  I confess, I remember glossing over Kilroy’s exclamations of Markell’s Wall Street connections with glazed eye before John passed on an illuminating tidbit on what was wrong with American education…

What struck me in that video was how on a map, it was very obvious that the diagnosis of ADHD in children starts in Oklahoma and grows exponentially as it heads to the east Coast.  Pretty much mirroring the graph for average amounts of extra disposable income after necessary expenses have been met on a state by state basis….

That and the failure Common Core was having among children who were in the test classes for it… Failures as high as 85% in those test classes, which the DOE still as yet has not divulged. These failures included some of the previous years’ top students… Something was seriously wrong.

Bottom line, Delaware did not go down the path as did Tennessee because the people exerted enough pressure here to slow the process and force the inclusion of parents, teachers, and “active” administrators in the formulation of policy….

No, we still do not have a perfect solution… we still need to fight on… But in all glaring truth, we also do not have Tennessee…..

And that, is a victory for truth, justice, and the will of the American people…. We should be proud of ourselves for what we stopped…. and we should tip our hats to John Young in congratulatory thanks for first sounding the alarm which mobilized us into action….

In a great measure due to him, we are much better than Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

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