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As background information, here is the link and below is the copy of the SEC report citing David Marvin currently of Delaware’s Cash Management Board, and fining his firm M & P, $976,000 dollars…

Here is Celia’s account of last years inside dealing, targeting Marvin as the prime whiner in the infamous Cash Management Board pushback… It just dawned on me that Marvin probably handles investments for Markell and Blevins. Which would if true, provide clarity to the mechanizations that took place this past year.

Since the 15 year expiration is about or has already hit, (it was difficult to find), I am posting the entire judgment here, so it will last, if the SEC eliminates it off-line…. Without Further Ado….

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940
Release No. 1841 / September 30, 1999

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING
File No. 3-10072

 

In the Matter of

MARVIN & PALMER ASSOCIATES, INC.,
DAVID F. MARVIN,
MACTHOM ASSOCIATES, INC. and
THOMAS E. DUBIS

ORDER INSTITUTING PUBLIC PROCEEDDINGS, MAKING FINDINGS, IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS, AND ISSUING CEASE-AND-DESIST ORDER

 

I.

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate and in the public interest to institute public administrative proceedings pursuant to Sections 203(e), (f) and (k) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), against Marvin & Palmer Associates, Inc. (“M&P”), David F. Marvin (“Marvin”), MacThom Associates, Inc. (“MacThom”) and Thomas E. Dubis (“Dubis”)(collectively “Respondents”).

 

In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, each of the Respondents has submitted an Offer of Settlement (“Offer”) to the Commission, which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the Commission or in which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings contained herein, except for the jurisdiction of the Commission over them and over the subject matter of this proceeding, which is admitted, Respondents consent to the issuance of this Order Instituting Public Proceedings, Making Findings, Imposing Remedial Sanctions, and Issuing Cease-and-Desist Order (“Order”) and to the entry of the findings, cease-and-desist order, and remedial sanctions set forth below.

 

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that proceedings pursuant to Sections 203(e), (f) and (k) of the Advisers Act be, and hereby are, instituted.

 

II.

 

On the basis of this Order and the Offers submitted by the Respondents, the Commission makes the following findings:

 

RESPONDENTS

 

A.Marvin & Palmer Associates, Inc., incorporated and located in Wilmington, Delaware, has been registered with the Commission as an investment adviser since August 1986. As of March 11, 1999, M&P had approximately 62 clients and $7.6 billion in assets under management. M&P’s clients are primarily large institutional investors.

 

B.David F. Marvin, age 58, resides in Delaware and is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and 50 percent owner of M&P. Marvin is the largest shareholder of M&P and is responsible for the overall management of the firm.

 

C.MacThom Associates, Inc., located in Kent, Ohio, was formed in 1996 and is wholly owned and operated by Thomas E. Dubis. The firm was ostensibly formed for the purpose of providing research services to M&P. At no time has MacThom been registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer or an investment adviser.

 

D.Thomas E. Dubis, age 58, resides in Kent, Ohio.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

E.This proceeding involves the failure of M&P, a registered investment adviser, to disclose to its clients its use of at least $920,000 in soft dollars derived from a directed brokerage arrangement with a registered broker-dealer (“Broker”) in violation of provisions of the Advisers Act. The term “soft dollars” generally describes an arrangement whereby an investment adviser uses commission credits generated by securities trades executed in advisory client accounts to pay for research, brokerage, or other products, services, or expenses.

 

THE SOFT DOLLAR ARRANGEMENT

 

F.Since 1991, M&P has maintained a soft dollar arrangement with the Broker. Pursuant to the arrangement, M&P receives $.50 in soft dollar credits for each $1.00 in brokerage commissions directed to the Broker.

 

G.In February 1996, at Marvin’s behest, M&P directed the Broker to begin paying invoices submitted by MacThom, ostensibly for research performed by MacThom for M&P. In fact, MacThom conducted only a small amount of research, with a total value of $63,000 during the relevant time period. Most of the soft dollar payments were used by MacThom to compensate Dubis, MacThom’s principal and a close friend of Marvin, as well as the family of a deceased business associate and friend of Marvin, for their efforts in making introductions and referrals to M&P in its early years. From February 1996 through August 1998, the Broker paid $920,000 to MacThom, and MacThom and Dubis paid $635,000 of this amount to this family. With the exception of the research valued at $63,000, the payments to MacThom provided no benefit to the clients of M&P whose commissions generated the soft dollars used to make the payments.

 

M&P’S FAILURE TO DISCLOSE THE SOFT DOLLAR ARRANGEMENT

 

H.Neither the existence nor the terms of the soft dollar arrangement were disclosed to M&P’s clients in their advisory contracts or otherwise. Furthermore, M&P failed to amend its Form ADV after directing the Broker to begin paying invoices from MacThom and the arrangement was never disclosed in M&P’s Form ADV in effect between February 1996 and July 1998, the period during which the arrangement was in effect.

 

I.M&P failed to disclose the types of products and services it received pursuant to its soft dollar arrangement in response to Item 12 of Part II of the Form ADV, which requires registered investment advisers to describe the factors considered in selecting brokers, including the products, research and services obtained, and any procedures used to direct client transactions to a particular broker in return for products or services.

 

J.From February 1996 to July 1998, M&P’s Form ADV reflected a “no” answer in response to Part II Item 13.A., which asked whether the adviser “receives some economic benefit (including commissions, equipment or non-research services) from a non-client in connection with giving advice to clients.” In view of its soft dollar arrangement with the Broker, and the uses to which the payments were put, this response was false.

 

K.During the period in which the arrangement was in effect, M&P amended its Form ADV on at least eight occasions. Marvin reviewed and signed all but one of M&P’s Forms ADV and amendments filed with the Commission.

 

III.

 

LEGAL ANALYSIS

 

A.An investment adviser has a duty to disclose to clients all material information which might incline an investment adviser consciously or unconsciously to render advice which is not disinterested. SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc., 375 U.S. 180, 191-92 (1963). A fact is material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable investor would consider it important. Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224, 231-32 (1988).

 

B.Soft dollar arrangements are material because of the potential conflict of interest arising from an adviser’s receipt of some benefit in exchange for directing brokerage on behalf of client accounts. See Kingsley, Jennison, McNulty & Morse, Inc., 55 SEC Docket 2434, 2441 (Dec. 23, 1993);Interpretive Release Concerning the Scope of Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Exchange Act Release No. 23170, 35 SEC Docket 905, 909 (Apr. 23, 1986) (“1986 Soft Dollar Release“).

 

C.Moreover, disclosure of soft dollar arrangements is specifically required by Form ADV.1 See Oakwood Counselors, Inc., Advisers Act Release No. 1614, 63 SEC Docket 2485 (Feb. 10, 1997); S Squared Technology Corp., Advisers Act Release No. 1575, 62 SEC Docket 1560 (August 7, 1996). Form ADV embodies mandatory disclosure requirements to ensure that material information regarding brokerage placement practices and policies are disclosed to investors. See Investment Adviser Requirements Concerning Disclosure, Recordkeeping, Applications for Registration and Annual Filings, Advisers Act Release No. 664 (Jan. 30, 1979); Disclosure of Brokerage Placement Practices By Certain Regulated Investment Companies and Certain Other Issuers, Advisers Act Release No. 665 (Jan. 30, 1979) (“1979 Soft Dollar Release“).

 

D.Items 12 and 13, and Schedule F, of Part II of Form ADV require registrants to disclose soft dollar arrangements with broker-dealers. For investment advisers who have discretionary authority to select the broker-dealers to be used to execute trades in client accounts, Item 12.B. requires a description of the factors considered in selecting brokers and determining the reasonableness of their commissions. Further, Item 12.B. requires advisers to describe the “products, research and services” given to the adviser or related persons, if the value of such “products, research and services” is a factor in selecting broker-dealers.2 Item 13 requires an investment adviser to disclose and describe any arrangement whereby it either receives an economic benefit from a non-client in connection with giving advice to clients or directly or indirectly compensates any person for client referrals.3 These disclosure requirements are designed to “assist clients in determining whether to hire an adviser or continue a contract with an adviser, and permit them to evaluate any conflicts of interest inherent in the adviser’s arrangements for allocating brokerage.” Kingsley, 55 SEC Docket at 2441-42; See S Squared, Advisers Act Release No. 1575, 62 SEC Docket 1560.

 

VIOLATIONS OF SECTIONS 206(1) AND 206(2) OF THE ADVISERS ACT

 

E.Sections 206(1) and (2) prohibit an investment adviser from employing any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud clients or from engaging in any transaction, practice or course of business that operates as a fraud on clients. Sections 206(1) and (2) establish a fiduciary duty for investment advisers to act for the benefit of their clients. Transamerica Mortgage Advisers, Inc. v. Lewis, 444 U.S. 11, 17 (1979). An investment adviser’s failure to disclose its soft dollar practices violates Sections 206(1) and 206(2). Renaissance Capital Advisors, Inc., Advisers Act Release No. 1688, 1997 SEC LEXIS 2643 (Dec. 22, 1997) (Sections 206(1) and 206(2));Oakwood, Advisers Act Release No. 1614, 63 SEC Docket 2485 (Sections 206(1) and 206(2)); S Squared, Advisers Act Release No. 1575, 62 SEC Docket 1560 (Section 206(2)). Scienter is an element of a Section 206(1) violation. Steadman v. SEC, 603 F.2d 1126, 1134 (5th Cir. 1979). Proof of scienter is not required to establish a violation of Section 206(2). SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc., 375 U.S. at 195.

 

F.M&P willfully violated Sections 206(1) and (2) by making materially false statements and omissions in M&P’s Form ADV and by failing otherwise to disclose to its clients that M&P was using soft dollar credits to pay non-research expenses.

 

G.Marvin willfully aided and abetted and caused M&P’s violations of Sections 206(1) and (2) by knowingly or recklessly making materially false and omissive statements in M&P’s Form ADV and by failing otherwise to disclose to M&P’s clients that M&P was using soft dollar credits to pay non-research expenses.

 

H.MacThom and Dubis caused M&P’s violations of Sections 206(1) and (2) by knowingly participating in a course of conduct which they knew or should have known was a violation of M&P’s fiduciary duty to its clients.

 

I.As a result of the conduct of M&P, Marvin, MacThom and Dubis, M&P and MacThom were unjustly enriched by $857,000.

 

VIOLATIONS OF SECTION 207 OF THE ADVISERS ACT

 

J.Section 207 of the Advisers Act makes it unlawful for any person willfully to make any untrue statement of material fact in any registration application or report filed with the Commission or willfully to omit to state in any such application or report any material fact required to be stated therein.4 A person violates Section 207 by filing false amendments to Form ADV. Stanley Peter Kerry, Advisers Act Release No. 1550, 61 SEC Docket 431 (January 25, 1996).

 

K.M&P’s “no” answer to Item 13.A. in its Form ADV in effect from February 1996 forward was false. M&P was in fact receiving an economic benefit from Broker, a non-client, in the form of soft dollar credits and payments to MacThom for M&P’s benefit. M&P’s response to Item 12.B. in its Form ADV in effect from February 1996 was misleading in that the response failed to disclose that M&P was receiving non-research services from Broker in return for directing client brokerage.

 

L.M&P’s omissions and false and misleading disclosures regarding its soft dollar arrangement were material.

 

M.M&P and Marvin willfully violated Section 207 in that they made untrue statements of material fact in M&P’s Form ADV and failed to disclose in M&P’s Form ADV the existence of the soft dollar arrangement and the non-research services received from the Broker.

 

IV.

 

Based on the foregoing the Commission finds that:

 

A.M&P willfully violated Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 207 of the Advisers Act.

 

B.Marvin willfully violated Section 207 of the Advisers Act and willfully aided and abetted and caused M&P’s violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.

 

C.MacThom and Dubis caused M&P’s violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.

 

V.

 

In view of the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate to accept the Respondents’ Offers of Settlement.

 

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

 

A.M&P shall be, and hereby is, censured;

 

B.M&P shall cease and desist from committing or causing any violation and any future violation of Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 207 of the Advisers Act;

 

C.M&P and MacThom shall, jointly and severally, within 30 days of the entry of this Order, pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest in the total amount of $976,980 to the United States Treasury. Such payment shall be: (A) made by United States postal money order, certified check, bank cashier’s check or bank money order; (B) made payable to the Securities and Exchange Commission; (C) hand-delivered or mailed to the Comptroller, Securities and Exchange Commission, Operations Center, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Stop 0-3, VA 22312; and (D) submitted under cover letter that identifies M&P and MacThom as Respondents in these proceedings, and the file number of these proceedings, a copy of which cover letter and money order or check shall be sent to Ronald C. Long, District Administrator, Philadelphia District Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 1120E, Philadelphia, PA 19106;

 

D.M&P shall, within 30 days of the entry of this Order, pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $50,000 to the United States Treasury. Such payment shall be: (A) made by United States postal money order, certified check, bank cashier’s check or bank money order; (B) made payable to the Securities and Exchange Commission; (C) hand-delivered or mailed to the Comptroller, Securities and Exchange Commission, Operations Center, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Stop 0-3, VA 22312; and (D) submitted under cover letter that identifies M&P as a Respondent in these proceedings, and the file number of these proceedings, a copy of which cover letter and money order or check shall be sent to Ronald C. Long, District Administrator, Philadelphia District Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 1120E, Philadelphia, PA 19106;

 

E.M&P shall comply with its undertakings as specified in its Offer of Settlement to perform and implement the following:

 

1.Within 60 days of the entry of this Order, M&P will revise its procedures manual to include a section setting forth policies and procedures regarding soft dollar arrangements with broker-dealers. Included in these procedures will be the requirement that all soft dollar arrangements be approved by in-house counsel employed at M&P. M&P will hold a mandatory meeting with its employees to review policies and procedures including those relating to soft dollar arrangements. Attendance at the meeting will be recorded and a copy maintained in the files of M&P.

 

2.Within 30 days of the entry of this Order, M&P will file with the Commission and provide each of its advisory clients an amended Form ADV disclosing all material terms of any soft dollar arrangement it has with any broker-dealer;

 

3.Within 30 days of the entry of this Order, M&P will provide a copy of this Order to all of its current clients;

 

4.Within 60 days of the entry of this Order, M&P will file an affidavit with the Commission’s staff, addressed to the attention of the District Administrator of the Commission’s Philadelphia District Office, 601 Walnut Street. Suite 1120E, Philadelphia, PA 19106, setting forth the details of its compliance with the undertakings set forth in subparagraphs E.1., 2. and 3. above;

 

5.For a period of one year after the entry of this Order, M&P will provide a copy of this Order to all of its prospective clients;

 

6.One year from the entry of this Order, M&P will file an affidavit with the staff of the Commission certifying its compliance with subparagraph E.5. above.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:

 

F. Marvin shall be, and hereby is, censured;

 

G.Marvin shall cease and desist from committing or causing any violation and any future violation of Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 207 of the Advisers Act;

 

H.Marvin shall, within 30 days of the entry of this Order, pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $25,000 to the United States Treasury. Such payment shall be: (A) made by United States postal money order, certified check, bank cashier’s check or bank money order; (B) made payable to the Securities and Exchange Commission; (C) hand-delivered or mailed to the Comptroller, Securities and Exchange Commission, Operations Center, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Stop 0-3, VA 22312; and (D) submitted under cover letter that identifies Marvin as a Respondent in these proceedings, and the file number of these proceedings, a copy of which cover letter and money order or check shall be sent to Ronald C. Long, District Administrator, Philadelphia District Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 1120E, Philadelphia, PA 19106;

 

I.MacThom and Dubis shall cease and desist from causing any violation and any future violation of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.

 

By the Commission.

Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary

 


 

FOOTNOTES

 

1 The “safe harbor” provided by Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) does not excuse an investment adviser from these disclosure obligations. The safe harbor protects an investment adviser only from charges of breach of fiduciary duty for failing to obtain the lowest available commission rate where the amount of commission is reasonable in relation to the value of brokerage and research services provided. 1986 Soft Dollar Release, 35 SEC Docket at 907.
2 See 1986 Soft Dollar Release, 35 SEC Docket at 909. There is a presumption that receipt of non-research and non-brokerage products or services, except where nominally valued, is a factor in the selection of brokers. 1979 Soft Dollar Release at n.6.
3 The 1986 Soft Dollar Release noted the relevance of Form ADV, Part II, Item 13 to soft dollar disclosure. 35 SEC Docket at 909 n.32.
4 Section 204 of the Advisers Act and Rule 204-1 thereunder require periodic filing and amendment of Forms ADV by investment advisers. Pursuant to Rule 204-1(d), a Form ADV or an amendment thereto is a “report” within the meaning of Section 207.

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/ia-1841.htm

 


 

Modified:10/01/1999

 

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CBS puts the price tag at $1.5 million per vote… That is probably exaggerated and where that might have been the actual initial expense were one to account for all the high priced hours, acquired document fees, parking, etc for the information collected in the first vote, it would be safe to assume that most of the subsequent votes all draw from that original document…. and the expense would be less.

As all know by now, Obamacare helps we, the people, and in doing so costs the private insurance companies a little more in profit unearned. That essentially is what this whole battle is over.  If the private insurance companies had from the get-go, said they were gung-ho into Obamacare, none of this controversy would have occurred at all. …

So according to CBS, the grand total, with 50 attempts to repeal, is now at $75 million of your dollars completely wasted over nothing…   We still have Obamacare. The money was spent.  It was therefore spent on nothing and Republicans in the House, are the ones solely responsible. Someone needs to be accountable for spending the exact same money when they knew very well it was to wasted and could go no  further…. over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

(Yeah, it’s 50)

So when you legitimately complain that nothing is getting done to help you the public citizen, consider this:  what $75 million would otherwise buy….

$150,000 jobs…. 500 per year

$75,000  jobs….  1000 per year

$50,000 jobs….   1500 per year

$35,000 jobs…    2142 per year

Fixed pot hole…..  250,000 at the high in estimate of ($300 per pothole)

Brand new high schools…. 3 3/4

Elementary schools…. 10

Rounds of ammunition…. 255 million

Roman Abramovich’s home …. 1

M1 Abrams tanks…..  8.74 tanks

Spent on Marijuana Prohibition….. 1.36 days

SNAP Benefits….. 8 hours 14 minutes worth

Operating a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier….. 70 days, 21 hours,

Amount applied to Protecting Endangered Species…..  3 years and 3 months

Speakers of the House…..  360 of them. (Vice Presidents too)

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Bottom line. We could have gotten a much better deal for the money spent.  Everyone knew it was being spent on absolutely nothing.  Yet Republicans spent every penny anyway…  Remember this the next time they yelp about Keynesians spending government money on useless projects…

This was just a pure sad waste of your money. No ifs, No buts. No do overs…

It is up to you to hold the Republican Party accountable; the main stream media won’t…..  Just wait until the next time some one dares complain about Obamacare in front of you…!

If this information were to ever get out, it alone could cause the House to turn blue in 2014……..

How sad. This is what legislators have to do to get publicity…..

Delaware 147th General Assembly     House Bill # 156

“allow package stores to open at 8:00 a.m., instead of 9:00 a.m. on days other than Sundays”.

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09/06/2012 Co., Inc., Standard Distributing 100 South Mews Dr., New Castle, DE 19720 Individual Data Conversion $200.00 Sokola For Senate

10/19/2012 of Delaware, LLC, United Distributors PO Box 10370, Wilmington, DE 19850 Individual Data Conversion $500.00 Sokola For Senate

10/22/2012 & Spirits of Delaware, Southern Wine PO Box 10887, Wilmington, DE 19850 Individual Data Conversion $300.00 Sokola For Senate

11/05/2012 Co., Inc., Standard Distributing 100 South Mews Dr., New Castle, DE 19720 Individual Data Conversion $500.00 Sokola For Senate

11/05/2012 Co., Inc., Standard Distributing 100 South Mews Dr., New Castle, DE 19720 Individual Data Conversion ($100.00) Sokola For Senate

11/05/2012 Inc., N.K.S. Distributors, Box 758, New Castle, DE 19720 Individual Data Conversion $200.00 Sokola For Senate

01/02/2012 Busch, Anheuser 250 Park Avenue, New York, NY Individual Data Conversion $200.00 Hudson Campaign Committee

10/15/2012 of Delaware, LLC, United Distributors P.O. Box 10370, Wilmington, DE 19850 Individual Data Conversion $300.00 Hudson Campaign Committee

2/19/2012 Anheuser Busch One Busch Place 202-7, St. Louis, MO PAC Committee Data Conversion $200.00 Hudson Campaign Committee

Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

Bruce Ennis put forth a bill (SR8) requesting Delaware go forward with formally supporting Glass Steagall re-implementation by the US Congress.

Bryan Townsend kind of came out against it. Here is Nancy’s copy of his emailed response to her.

One must understand all legislative members in Delaware are somewhat compromised. We are a banking state. In the words of Gov. Howard Dean, MD. himself… ” Any candidate who challenges Wall Street’s status quo is going to come under an avalanche of hateful attack ads this year –“

So there is considerable reason not to be an ardent Delaware fan of the return in 2013 of Glass Steagall….. One must give the courageous Bruce Ennis a plug for being one.

But it makes so much sense. There are times in our life when one can willingly chose a very risky path of action which will occupy 100% of ones attention, as in driving a mountain road along the cliffs in Montenegro at over 100 km/h. Or, we can choose to put ourselves into a safety bubble, such as cruise control on a major interstate highway, and relax and enjoy the other things in life, since all our effort is not involved on monitoring what otherwise could become a life or death scenario.

I have read Mr. Townsend’s statement and it is accurate. However my criticism is that it deals with banks. His and our responsibility is to the people whose money is in those banks. And who are on the hook when those banks fail.

The FDIC insures deposits now up to $250,000. It should not be responsible for funds placed in hedge funds, As Elizabeth Warren accurately stated:

Banking should be boring. Savings accounts, checking accounts — the things that you and I rely on every day — should be safe from the sort of high-risk activities that broke our economy.

If we are going to insure the people’s money, it should be kept in safe investments. What point have we in insuring by default hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking services. When the same institutions that take huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.

The funds for checking and savings accounts of America’s families and businesses, should not be handed over to the London Whale. If a crash occurs, and the money is safe, then the losses are only on paper. But when yours and my monies are in Bangledesh, China, or Antarctica on some risky get-rich scheme, and fail… our tax money needs not be thrown away because our American Banks were involved.

Banks cried the economy was safe enough for the repeal of Glass Steagall.. History showed them wrong. Even the most vibrant time of economic growth ever seen in America (92-00), could not prevent the collapse 9 years later after 8 years of Republican control..

The only way to keep citizens money safe, is to insure it. We are lucky we have a rich nation which can do that. We barely survived the financial collapse of late 2008. Our employment numbers still show the cost.

Yes, one can take the bank’s side and say things were different in 1932 than they are in 2013. But doing so, puts one in contrast with what is best for We, the people. The simple solution is to make it clear to all, that the FDIC will only insure safe investments used for checking and savings accounts. For risky investments banks are on their own. For them a bank must use other funds it can easily afford to lose if it wants to play at the crap table… It should not be throwing our money away because it assumes the taxpayers will simply replace their losses for free.

We should not be in the business of arguing what or what not banks should or should not do. They can do that within whatever parameters we choose to give them. However our concern is simply over how much we should insure. The new Glass Steagall Act of 2013 will make that clear.

A bill was placed on the docket to change Delaware Law.  It was supposed to slip through the last minute when no one was watching.    That is Blevins SB 151 regarding the Treasury…   Since it was a surprise, a lot of hoopla as been thrown  in the fire by pundits reacting to the impact of first impressions.   In their defense that was all they had to go on…

Due to time constraints this investigation will take a series of small steps, probably spread across Delaware’s official blog circuit, with help from Starkey of the News Journal

But to back up the word coup in my title,  I first want to show you how the original language was written then show you how it looked with the changes after SB 151.  Of course this was stated as necessary to keep the state treasure in line, a ploy that El Som and Cassandra seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

First the original bill:

For those who follow along (you all are great) here is the passage number  Title 29; 2716(a)(2)

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(1) Require as a condition to any deposit of such funds in any state or national bank or savings and loan institution that such deposits be continuously and fully secured by direct general obligations of or obligations the payment of the principal and interest on which are unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America or other suitable obligations as determined by the Board;

(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis; and

(3) Require that temporary clearing accounts as well as major disbursement accounts be established in a bank or banks whose principal office is located within the State.

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That was the original piece of legislation.  Patty’s bill seeks to amend the section 2 of that piece, the embolden area.  From SB 151…

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(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis as defined by the Board.; It shall be the responsibility of the Board to approve the selection of each of the said financial institutions by a majority vote of the members of the Board. The Board, by a majority vote of its members, shall be responsible for setting the policy as to the allocation between short and long term investments and the allocation of funds to the respective financial institutions selected through the open and competitive process; and

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Notice a “lot” of new language. In the synopsis this was sold as a clarification of the responsibilities of the board and the trimming of the responsibilities of the Treasurer. Instead, in what is now typical Markell modus of operandi, this if more of a surreptitious law-change than a clarification.

Previously the directive was this should be done in on an open and competitive basis. The previous directive specifically states this further down: 2716 (e)(1)

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The investment of money belonging to the State shall be made by the State Treasurer in accordance with policies established by the Board and subject to the terms, conditions and other matters, including the designation of permissible investments relating to the investment of the money belonging to the State,

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It is obvious to all that the existing law separates the Treasurer specifically out from all other board members when it comes to the investment of the state’s finances.

And that was really all existing code says in regards to the investment portfolio of the state’s money.

But, the new law, the one proposed by Blevins titled SB 151, makes HUGE changes. Now the board must make that decision. The board which according to Title 29; 2716(c)(4):

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The Board shall meet as often as shall be necessary to properly discharge its duties; provided, however, that the Board shall meet at least 2 times annually; and provided further, that the State Treasurer or the Chairperson of the Board shall be authorized to call special meetings of the Board.

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and 2716 (c)(2)

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a quorum of 5 members shall be necessary to hold a meeting of the Board.

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and 2716 (d)(5)

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The use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing is authorized for use in conducting meetings of the Cash Management Policy Board.

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Even now under existing policy only 3 people out of nine, if they time their conference-call correctly, can decide the future investment strategy of this state. Patty Blevin’s law would now give those three people (whomever they might be) unprecedented power and remove the current oversight of the only elected official responsible to the public.

“Coup” is the proper term for it.

Today is School Board Elections…Polls are open 10-8…  If anyone is sponsored by Markell or Rodell or RTTT or WSFS, don’t vote for them.. If anyone is sponsored by DSEA, they are on the students side. They are safe.

So go out and vote like a goat… Be…  B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-D

“Here are the guts of SB 51… The cuts are in one color, and the add ons are in another….

” …has achieved a passing score on both a content-readiness exam and a performance assessment as specified by the Department no later than July 1, 2015,” Added.

, except that this provision shall not apply to applicants seeking an initial license to teach in a core content area. For the purposes of this section, “core content area” means any subject area tested by the state assessment system, including Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.  “Added

 “an initial license may be issued to an applicant who meets all other requirements for initial licensure except for passage of the PRAXIS I exam, provided that the applicant must pass PRAXIS I within the period of time from the date of hire to the end of the next, consecutive fiscal year. If proof of passage of PRAXIS I has not been provided during the time period specified, the initial license will be suspended unless the superintendent of the school district submits to the Secretary of Education a written request for a 1-year extension. The request must also document the effectiveness of the applicant.”  Cut

 An applicant seeking an initial license to teaching the secondary content area of Math Mathematics or English/Language Arts must also meet the achieve a passing score on the corresponding section of Praxis I. The Department may also require that an applicant achieve a passing score on both a content-readiness exam and performance assessment. The assessments and the passing scores shall be approved by the Department, and shall be developed or identified in collaboration with Delaware educators. ” added.

” This requirement shall apply to all applicants teaching special education in a core content area, as defined in § 1210 of this title, in secondary schools”  added.

The Department shall recognize a professional status certificate or standard certificate that is otherwise valid if issued prior to August 31, 2003. The Department shall also recognize a limited standard certificate or a temporary certificate issued prior to August 31, 2003, provided that the educator successfully completes the requirements set forth in the limited standard certificate or the temporary certificate.” cut.

And this entire passage was added….

Subchapter VIII. Education Preparation Programs

§ 1280. Educator Preparation Program Approval.

(a) Consistent with § 122 of this title, no individual, public or private educational association, corporation, or institution, including any institution of post-secondary education, shall offer an educator preparation program for the training of educators to be licensed in this State without first having procured the assent of the Department for the offering of such programs. A program approval process based on standards adopted pursuant to this section must be established for educator preparation approval programs, phased in according to timelines determined by the Department, and fully implemented for such programs in the State. Each program shall be approved by the Department based upon significant, objective, and quantifiable performance measures.

(b) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous entry requirements as prerequisites for admission into the program. At a minimum, each program shall require applicants to:

(1) Have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a grade point average in the top 50th percentile for coursework completed during the most recent two years of the applicant’s general education, whether secondary or post-secondary; or

(2) Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, including the ability to read, write, and compute, by achieving a minimum score on a standardized test normed to the general college-bound population, as approved by the Department.

Each educator preparation program may waive these admissions requirements for up to 10% of the students admitted. Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students admitted under such a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate competencies to successfully meet requirements for certification.

(c) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall incorporate the following:

(1) A clinical residency component, supervised by high quality educators, as defined by the Department. The clinical residency shall consist of at least ten weeks of full-time student teaching. Clinical experiences shall also be interwoven throughout and aligned with program curriculum.

(2) Instruction for prospective elementary school teachers on research-based strategies for childhood literacy and age-appropriate mathematics content;

(3) Ongoing evaluation of students, consisting of no less than an annual evaluation, aligned to the statewide educator evaluation system;

(d) Each teacher preparation program approved by the Department shall establish rigorous exit requirements, which shall include but not be limited to achievement of passing scores on both a content-readiness exam and a performance assessment.

(e) Education preparation programs administered by institutions of higher education shall collaborate with the Department to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates. At a minimum, such data shall measure performance and effectiveness of program graduates by student achievement. The effectiveness of each graduate shall be reported for a period of 5 years following graduation for each graduate who is employed as an educator in the State. Data shall be reported on an annual basis. The Department shall make such data available to the public.

(f) The Department shall promulgate rules and regulations governing educator preparation programs pursuant to this subchapter in collaboration with Delaware educators.”  Added.

Section 3. The effective date of this Act shall be July 1, 2014.

Here is the bill in full….

And here is the Delaware code for that same passage as it stand now, before any changes get wrought…..

Ok, done… Sounds good right?  Well for most it does.  But… some of us have inquiring minds. and since there are no National Enquirers on newstands this time of night, these changes here will have to be the object that absorb our attentions….

For example…

At first glance it appears that before one could still teach first and take the Praxis later.  Now one must take the Praxis first, period.  My problem with this is that if a super-great student teacher trains in one school, and that school is aware of an upcoming vacancy and really wants that teacher to fill it, they can’t until the Praxis is first taken.  Now one doesn’t walk in to take the Praxis, … or do they?  One has to wait, like we did back when we took our SAT’s, until the test is being offered.  That means this school which had a great chance at acquiring an awesome teacher, one they knew and wanted, must hire someone else who is a complete stranger to them, and who may not have as good of qualifications as did their own student teacher who they hoped could get that job.  Under the old bill, she could have worked and taken the test when it was offered.  Now, she can’t.  An amendment could solve this!

Secondly.  It appears that the old bill grandfathered anyone who has a certificate from before August 2003.  With a stroke of a pen, those are no longer valid.  I see some issues here.  I see a home economics teacher, who is impossible to replace (who learns home economics in college anymore?)  now at age 63 having to take todays recertification exams.  As a normal human being, I can barely remember most of my education because I don’t use it.  Today I pride myself on still being able to figure out my kids algebra. Woo Hoo!  Back in class our exam was to start from scratch and prove Einsteins theory of General Relativity; I can’t even begin to start it now….  Forgive me for being cynical here, but this just looks like a vehicle to remove someone before retirement sets in.   At most, a person in this capacity has been teaching for 10 years.  If you didn’t fire them in ten years because they were so good, you are planning on firing them now?  Is it because they make too much and you can hire someone cheaper?  Is it because if you remove them before retirement, you can cut back on the pensions they have saved up?  I don’t know this so I’m asking, but do we make Doctors take their MCAT’s over again in their old age?  We don’t?  Why not?  They are dealing with life and death.  What if they made a mistake and gave us 40 milligrams because they added 2.0 plus 2.o and missed the decimal points, giving us 40?  We don’t test them for a reason.  Because they know more already than the tests can check.  And why don’t we make lawyers take their LSAT’s over again?  Our OWN Attorney General had to take his Delaware Bar exam 3 times before he squeaked in over  the 154 benchmark.  He’s our Attorney General for heavens sakes!!!  Surely we should test HIM once a term maybe?  If he’s good, he should whiz through it… Hell, give him the Delaware Bar right now and let’s pull him if he doesn’t get a passing score… After all, if he can’t muster it, he shouldn’t practice law, ..right?  I don’t know this so I’m asking… So why don’t we test lawyers, like we are going to do teachers?

Because its just plain stupid that is why.  You test those to determine who gets in, and once they get in, their time needs to be spent on the tasks at hand, not focused on retaking test they’ve already taken….  Requiring ongoing multiple tests is as sensible as selling your stock and buying it back yourself just to say you don’t have any old stock… It’s  costing you a lot  in commissions to do so.

Passage of this bill allows for the removal of tenured teachers who after teaching all this time, can’t pass the exam…..  Something none of us could do, no matter how successful we are in our current careers.  By the way.  Did Mark Murphy have to pass a competency test as would these teachers,  before he took office?   Let’s give him the Praxis today and make his position dependent upon its passage.  If he fails to accept the challenge, then obviously, there is something wrong in this bill.  Although set in talk of raising standards,  there belies intent behind this bill to arbitrarily remove people the Department does not like…

Again, an amendment grandfathering this group, similar to the one before, can solve this problem.

Thirdly… and forgive me for going into this, but flat out… this is vague.  “Each program shall be approved by the Department based upon significant, objective, and quantifiable performance measures.”  And that’s it.  No explanation.  What are or will be the performance measures?  As Steve points out, we have considerable measures currently in place.  We receive excellent teachers from our current crop of schools. So what exactly will be the significant, objective, and quantifiable measures? ( Playing devils advocate here, but the language is so vague, it could apply)  Do you have to be white?  Do you have to be a woman?  Do you have to be willing to work for $15,000 a year?  Do you have to be willing to work with no pension?   So how are you going to rate Del Tech’s teaching, Del State’s teaching, UDel’s teaching any differently than you do now?  If someone comes from Harvard,  how do you measure that, without telling us how you are measuring that?  We used to have to measure intelligence at the polls to vote. We thought is was funny to ask a white boy who was the president of the United States, and a black boy what the square root of 32 was to the 4th decimal place…  yes, it created lots of laughter.  But that is exactly what this legislation is creating.  An impartial, willy-nilly, capricious standard that can let some through the door, and close it on others…  Where is the standard?  If we don’t have it, why are we voting on something we haven’t seen?  Who here would sign a contract with a bank that was blank?  (Good thing I switched that around; that was going to be a Wilmington Trust jibe)…

Fourth, and again forgive me for asking, but what is the reasoning behind passing super high standards … then creating a back door so 10% of those below standard can walk in and join the party?   Isn’t that an exercise of futility?  The result is going to give you exactly the same results one has now.  Today 90% are 3.0 and above; 10 percent are just under.  Perhaps quantifying it could be their excuse… That’s the way it is so we’ll put it in writing.  Or maybe its trying to set a minimum so at some point in the future, generations not yet born, will not be tempted to go to 80/20 or 70/30 ratios.   Still, it just seems futile.  Of course we all know what happened was the original standard got offered, then the 10% was added to insure the objections raised were met, but still, the final piece now lacks credibility.  It was as if we said, “ok, you must follow the no text rulings, no texting or hand held phones… Except 10% of you will be allowed.  No problem for you.”  As an old corporate dog once advise me:  “If you’re going to make a ruling you can’t enforce, don’t make it.  It gives you personally only one option, and that is to lose.”

Fifth:  As noted by Steve, Delaware already utilizes far more than ten weeks of student teaching this bill requires.  By dropping the levels required to just 10 weeks, Delaware student teachers will be overqualified and should easily get jobs here in this state.  Is this lowering of the requirement to allow us to recruit and bring in cheaper teachers from other parts of the country, parts whose educational departments are perhaps not as thorough as is Delaware in its requirement for teachers?   I do know in some states, teachers tell their students that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time.  Is this an attempt to whisk “those kind” into Delaware? ..  Our standards are already higher than that, so why are we lowering them while pretending it is raising the bar higher?  Do we need to start warning our children to beware of teachers who talk with funny accents?

Sixthly:  What do you mean when you say this:   Instruction for prospective elementary school teachers on research-based strategies for childhood literacy and age-appropriate mathematics content.   Excuse me for asking, but “whose” research will you use?  I’m sure you are well aware that the now accepted failure, No Child Left Behind, was attempted at all because of faulty research.  I’m sure you are well aware, the the school voucher program pushed forward in some states is failing desperately because it too, was based on faulty research.  I’m sure that you are well aware, that the entire charter school program is failing across this nation, and taking all its children down with it…. was based on faulty research…  So when you say research-based strategies, the hair sort of goes up on the back of my head… Uh oh.  As every single working teacher will tell you, each year there is a new, proven,  brand-new strategy that will finally, finally magically transform all students into a model classroom,…. and each year afterwards, … there is a new, proven brand-new strategy to replace it… All costing the state millions of dollars to implement I should add.  And furthermore, each time there is a top personnel change there is also a new research-based strategy to go along with it.  And as you know, each strategy takes up weeks of a teacher’s time they could spend with students, and if there was any redeeming value in that strategy, it is only discovered in the final weeks of the year, but alas it is too late.  Next year there will be a new strategy and teachers get to start all over.   And as reports of the tests come filtering back, there are multiple issues of where 7th grade material ends up being on 5th grade tests.  Who is determining the age appropriateness of the mathematics?  Surely not the same people who are making the test?  And while I have your attention… what really is the point of putting a question on a test that no one taking it has been trained to answer?   Why give a student who has passed algebra and trig and geometry and done well mind you, a Galileo equation?   As adults, none of us are tested on things we should not know? I mean would we really put complicated questions of Ugandan history on Beau Biden’s Bar Review that he must pass to pursue a career?  Of course not… That is torture.  To do so would just be mean and nothing else.  So why are we torturing little children?

Again, there is no definition of standards. What are they?  Can they be misused like almost the exact wording was put in law back during the Southern Segregational Era?   Do you know how many research strategies their are?   Google gives you 56,700,000 in under a second.  There have been at least 10 used in every school over the last 10 years…  So out of all of them, which one is right?  Isn’t that an extremely arbitrary decision?

Seventh:  As has been frequently pointed out, we currently have standard that must be met to teach.  They are rather difficult to achieve.  Most schools have a final exam. After four years of college it is nice to get a score to see where you stand.  And heaven forbid, if beer was your major and you failed to meet the standard of the college on its final exam, you couldn’t represent that college as alumni.  No problem there.  But I’m curious, how one expects to discern the educational aptitude of  teachers coming from a variety of locations,  like George Fox University, or the University of Central Arkansas, or Concord University, or Everglades University, or Franklin Pierce University?  Sure they pass their tests, they got their degree, but can they even be close to as good as someone coming from  a much more difficult regimen at a Delawarean university or college?   So we say No to someone to entering college got a 1400 combined on their SAT, because they didn’t pass Delaware’s stringent test, and say yes to someone from Everglades University, who entered college with a combined SAT of 1000, and was taught the test and passed it with a high score.  How does that benefit children?

That question could be fixed with an amendment requiring the GRE to be part of the assessment.  Otherwise, this action is pointless because of so many standards nationwide.

Eighth.  And here is the crucial point.   After graduating the bar of success or failure will be data collected from testing students. When a new teacher joins a district, where do you think they will be placed?  In the best classrooms with the best students?  Or in the classes after every current teacher has been given the opportunity to move up, that are left?  Obviously the latter.  So a great teacher, one who would teach suburban students amazingly, finds themselves in a classroom of students whose lifetime ambition is to get a good rep in what was once Gander Hill, but is now the Howard Young Correctional Center…  “I’m sorry miss, but your scores are embarrassing. You can’t work in Delaware anymore.”  Likewise a teacher who doesn’t give a damn, who luckily is in a great environment, gets raises year after year.   Tests do not measure students accurately, so using them to fire teachers is just plain wrong.  If you’ve read this far… you had good teachers.  None of them were tested into the ground like we are doing to ours today.  What?  How can that be?  How on earth can you have great education, one that make America into a world power, without testing 3 times a year, and again, many times between that?  How can it be?….

Obviously it was.  And in the real world, that alone would put an end to this policy of testing ad nauseum.

But we don’t live in a real world anymore, do we?  It seems not.

Ninth.  And there is one important thing that is missing.  How much will this cost?  Any estimates?  Who will get the contracts? Pearson?  ETS?  College Board? The ACE?  Someone’s getting wealthy…  But how much will this cost, and will that be supported by a tax upon the wealthy to pay for it, or will it be culled from existing programs now doing a great job today?

These issues need to be addressed before the House passes the bill….  As i said at the beginning, it all sounds nice… “higher standards for teachers?  Sure, why not?”   But then, a year later…. “What!  They fired Ms. Jones!  Are they effin’ crazy?  She’s the best teacher in this school!”  and two years later, … “Mr. Principal:  your scores are down. You failed.”  Then at three years later: “ladies and gentlemen, we are closing this school.”

Perhaps it’s time to look at bills closely before passing them unanimously.

Oh My Gosh!  They Fell Short In The Senate!!!!

The background check, which would have prevented a lot of killers from getting guns, actually passed by a majority vote in the Senate. 54- 46….

Unfortunately Republicans (who if they had soul it would be owned by the NRA), instead invoked a 60 count vote. Remember the Kuwait War? That was supported by a vote of 52-47… More Senators support background checks than voted to go to war against Saddam Hussein the first time…. And we went to war.

So even though a majority of Senators were overwhelmingly in favor as is over 90% of Americans for making it harder for murderers to acquire guns, Republicans forced the bill to fail, so every criminal can now get guns far more easier than before….

Republicans voted for criminals.. Democrats are against them…

Every Republican who is against background checks needs punched in the face… Just without warning, say “damn you” and try to pop their nose…

Now, now, now… Don’t do it in anger… Do it because you love them. You are popping some sense into them, nothing more…

One of these days they will thank you for it….

“Oh, man, I don’t know what was wrong with me… I was like in a trance. Right was wrong, Wrong was right, It was like I was hypnotized, like I’d been drugged, I had to support hardened criminals even though I really, really, deep down knew it was wrong against God, Country, and my fellow citizens….

Thank you so much friend, for popping me back to reality….”

Seriously, if I were as messed up as these knuckleheads, who think kids of Newtown are nothing but collateral damage for their right to shoot whomever they wish, …. i would want punched in the head as well…

So do them a favor. If you see a Republican who supports gun rights, make their lip bleed; it’s their answer to a prayer….. Since you can’t beat them up in social media, just pile on. If every time they crow, hundreds to thousands of people call them out, it is almost as good as getting punched in the face. I know a lot of us hate to be negative in social media. But this is for Citizens and Country, damn it. You have to call out 2nd Amendment Rightists for what they are: aiders and abettors of criminal activity….

Trust me, as soon as they wake up, you’ll be their new best friend….. ❤

I agree with you. If we’re going to tie teacher’s salaries/job security to tests, the only two choices are massive test prep/teaching to the test (which is still no guarantee of higher scores) or cheating. When people’s livelihoods depend on high test scores, which they have no direct control over, they’re going to do what it takes because they have to survive.

The error is not something we can pull out of the tests.  The tests are designed to differentiate between schools.

For example, if School A gets every answer correct on a standardized test, and School B gets every answer correct on the same test, which school is the better?

Therefore, the tests have to be hard so not all the questions are answered correct.  Now if school A gets 60% correct and School B gets 59.5% correct, we can say School A is slightly better than School. B.

Using these very difficult tests to evaluate our students is just unfair.  They are not designed for that purpose. Instead, tests which consist of all the requirements they need to know, should be given and easily passed.

To make a teacher’s job depend upon such a test, which truly as everyone knows is an event they have no control over, dooms American education to these two things:

One, either the test becomes the sole focus of all education, and the tests are not currently being used for that purpose,   or.

Cheating is done, and all administrators look the other way….

There is no other alternative.  Teaching broad based knowledge like we had has children, where we were allowed to ask questions, where the teacher can go off tangents if “a bird flies into the room”, where there is a bond between teacher and student built upon trust and respect, … may educate our children to where they need to be,… while getting the teacher fired…..

I’m not saying get rid of the tests.  We have the systems in place; they are a great evaluative tool. As one example, they can pinpoint out groups of students who are strong in all math skills except for division… We can now fix it.

But let us divorce using these tools meant for another purpose; let us stop using them to become the sole reason we fire unionized tenured teachers….

We need to divorce all teachers performance from being evaluated from these tests… Let’s get back to teaching the things that are really important..