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Taking a page from the Republican play book, where one takes an event, finds the worst possible thing in it, and harps on that one thing ad nauseum.

So it is with the Newark Riots.

In an embarrassing glitch of sensational journalism, that could only have one purpose, elevate charters to appear better than public schools, Newark High was portrayed as having a giant riot requiring 4,000,000 policemen to come in from neighboring states to break it up…

Instead. Two gangs. 11 people, were fighting each other… and… no one was hurt.

Caught in the exaggeration of 4,000,000 cops coming in to handle the riot, the News Journal continues to drill down on it today…

You have already seen the NHS student letter written to the News Journal… The newspaper lied; a student calls them on it… Pretty sad when someone too young to vote has infinately more credibility THAN THE ONLY DAILY NEWSPAPER IN THE STATE…

“But it can’t be ignored that officers of the law were prevented from performing their sworn duty – which included protecting the rowdy onlookers. Their parents and guardians should be made aware of their role and some measure of responsibility and punishment needs to be considered”..

Can someone bitch-slap them for me?

It was 7 am… The students have just gotten off their buses and are headed to class… the halls are 15 feet wide. All students must pass the A cafeteria. There are over 1,500 students… No student is going to walk by people fighting in the hall… They stop. 1,500 students stop behind them…. The police who come last have to maneuver through 1500 students to get to the fight…..

Imagine police trying to crash through the waiting line to get inside Space Mountain?

There is nowhere in the original report of any mention where students intentionally were trying to keep police from getting to the fights. In fact, 99.9% of the students were on the police’s side of this. Arrest the bums and get them out! But there was nowhere to move.

Here is how a more responsible news organization reported the event….

“”They found a large crowd, as you can imagine at 7 a.m. in the high school, in the hallways at that location and multiple individuals were fighting,” he said.

And here is exactly how the News Journal reported it on Monday….

“The school staff handled it, but while officers were there several other fights broke out in the C and D hallway where officers found several hundred kids gathered, impeding their access to the ones fighting and [officers] called for assistance,” he said.

“Impeding” as in being stuck in the middle; not interlocking arms in protest to prevent passage of law enforcement!

And here is how the News Journal spins that story, and this comes from the editorial board itself…..

“It’s necessary to reinforce the value of respect for law-enforcement servants, who have sworn to protect the very students who interfered with their obligation to keep them safe. Those interlopers helped extend the brawls, and as a result, should be held equally responsible by school officials and city police.”

This is the textbook definition of “liable”. Falsehoods perpetuated by a commercial media. It is past time for a class action lawsuit against the News Journal over its damage done against every student in our public schools… If one takes the enrollment of last year from across the state… 133,369 and figures that they’ve done $1,000 damage per student (college remedial classes to undo Common Core), the minimum of the class action suit should begin at $133,369,000… This is the amount for what the News Journal should be sued over this defamation; it owes Delaware’s children for its past deceit and for choosing to not report facts going on inside the Delaware Department of Education, as they truly were…..

When it comes to education in Delaware and the News Journal editorial board…. you are always being lied to….. Either they are too lazy to check out a story; too rich to care, or are working solely off an agenda to elevate charters (which all know are worse than public schools) by denigrating public ed

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I wish I’d gotten to this earlier.  But listing to El Som and Al Mascitti on WDEL this morning, a light bulb went off over the conversation of the Bank Of America Building turnover to a charter school… Those aren’t free…

Every General Assembly bill with money involved must have a fiscal note attached.  I’d looked over it before and once was almost going to make a post over “Gee, What Could Cost $351,857 That Would Break Down Consistently Across The Next Three Years.”  Well you know what I was thinking:  this was an arbitrary slush fund being buried supposedly with “minor repairs” attached to its checkbook which could be used however it is to be wished….

Then in a completely unrelated verbal conversation taking place last summer, this statement got thrown out… “What’s the rent for putting in that charter school?”   “Umm, just 55K over a million, across three years…”

On a hunch… and it could be coincidence….

3 years  X  $351,857  =  $1,055,571..….

This entire charter bill is a smokescreen to get the state to put up 1.5 million for a connected someone’s Private School…  It has nothing to do with School Lunches. It has nothing to do with new charters. It has nothing to do with closing bad schools.  It has nothing to do with anything really, except get people to talk about the other…. so this $1.5 million for “a friend of ours” gets done….

Now let me be perfectly clear.  The money, now that we know why it is being rammed through, now that we know for exactly “WHO” it is being rammed through, is inconsequential…

What is unconscionable,  is that every single solitary student remaining in the entire web of the state of Delaware’s public school system, currently one of the finest in the nation,  must suffer, so “SOMEONE” gets their $1.5 million slid over to them in secret…….

That borders the definition of evil…..

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

I’d never thought I’d write that.  How could anyone in their right mind be against raising teacher’s standards… After all it is our kids we are talking about who will suffer….

Exactly,  Passing SB 51 with S/A 1 Amendment attached, will cause our kids to suffer. That’s how I can write that. Otherwise I’d be full force behind this bill just as was every senator who voted for it….

You ask, how can raising standards on teachers, hurt our children?

I will ask you back;  “How would you like to take your brand new car you just purchased to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop and have him work it over? How could that possibly hurt your car?”

Basically that’s what this law does for education. It is as if we passed a law for cars that said every new car purchased had to be re-certified by Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop.  The entire premise on this auto legislation lies in this one single question: gee, who is Joe?

If Joe is someone who is the world’s best mechanic, factory trained by every car manufactured, a man or woman who can analyze myriads of problems by just with listening with a fine-tuned ear, then maybe this bill could possibly be ok.  But if Joe has no knowledge of electronic computers, but learned his mechanics back in the days of steel and oil, and is a complete loss when he sees a car with no distributer cap,  then taking your car that runs perfectly to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop, can damage your car pretty darn bad.

And THAT is the problem with SB 51…  We don’t know who Joe is….

What we do know, is that our car is purring perfectly, heck we just bought it, everything was tuned at the factory.  Since it is straight from the factory, it is running very well,  no play in the wheel, clean car smell, all items are working, and even our factory tells us to make sure we take it back to a “factory approved shop” for all repairs in order not to void the warranty….  But our government is making us take it to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop.… And we still don’t know who Joe is?

And we are not too enthralled by all the junk cars piled up in its back lot…….

That is what is wrong with SB 51….

Our great educational  training program that is functioning very well, is going to be tested and inspected by someone who doesn’t know crap…

That should scare the hell out of every single parent….

The educational system of America over the last 13 years has been disrupted. Good teachers have been fired, to be replaced with bad ones.  Students used to read literature, and now they are handed “packets” and read test questions. Schools that have been opened for a century,  have been closed…. The educational system is in disarray; a disarry that appears to have been forced down from the top.

We’ve all been there… The new boss walks in, and yells “things are going to be different now”.  Some are excited, some are afraid, but this boss is out of control… He arbitrarily fires, can’t hire fast enough, and the  business breaks down.  It becomes broken.  He came into fix, and it got put… into a fix.  So he storms out, blaming all those left for his need to make an exit.  And then everyone is asked to put it back together, and they do, then the next boss is hired…  If you work in America, you’re guaranteed to have  been through this scenario.

We are going to do that with teachers?  Who’s this guy, Joe again?  Is this test going to be made by the same ones that lowered Delaware’s results?  Is this test going to be like those 5th grader tests loaded with 7th grade questions using letters a,b,c in algebraic math?

As that car owner, we have the best educational system bar none.  Delaware educators have among toughest standards in the country. Counting every school, even the most stringent Ivy League schools, the University of Delaware is ranked 37th in the nation. That’s ahead of  Rutgers, Temple, and even Boston University. Delaware State University is solid Tier 2 school.

Currently in Delaware’s educational programs, only one third make it through the tough gauntlet into teaching. All students graduating from UD, DSU, and WU have passed Praxis I and II; have logged hundreds of hours of observation and additional hundreds more hours of supervised teaching under the watchful eye of master teachers in our public schools. Compared to the standards even 10 years ago, new Delaware teachers graduated by these universities are the best prepared to enter the classroom in our history.

Delaware should be pretty damn proud. Instead we appear to be on the verge of committing a rash act full of unintended consequences. Our head is in the sand. Ok, the argument may go…. “If we’re so good, what possiblE harm can befall us if we take our new baby to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop?

Apart from the fact that we do not know who “Joe” is or will be when we get there, there are these reasons. The changes in SB 51/SA-1 actually lower some credentialing standards rather than raise them [see the section on now accepting Composite Scores].

Currently all Delaware student teachers take the Praxis One and the Praxis Two. No pass, no teach. These are the factory cars in the educational equation. There are composed by NCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This is a very solid organization. If you go to their website right now, you will see that they pre-published their accreditation standards for public view and comments. They also dropped Wesley College’s accreditation for not living up to the standards.

This bill would replace these standards with ones created by the Delaware Department of Education. Returning to the Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop analogy, one has to wonder how a 3 year Phys Ed elementary teacher, can do better than a national organization that accredits schools.

Delaware has the 37th BEST teacher school ranked in the nation. And after this bill is passed, we are going to completely gut our entire program out of all we do so well, and have a 3 year elementary Physical Education Teacher rebuild our entire program from scratch….. One who has never gone through the RTTT testing he inflicts on others? One who quite questionably doesn’t meet the minimum 5 year requirement necessary to be a DOE?

It’s in the bill. that is what it says.

Would we let someone who has never been a doctor create the state’s medical certification program? Would we let a non-lawyer create the state’s Bar exam? Would we let a manager of McDonalds create our state’s nutritional guidelines?

With this administration and this Senate, I really don’t know. We just might, based on what I’m seeing right before me!

So, you are saying you would really take your BMW, Rolls, or Cadillac to Joe The Mechanic’s Auto Shop to be certified to drive it in Delaware? Wouldn’t you be afraid he’d mess it up, especially since it is working rather well right now? Ranked 37th!..

I can hear “Joe” now… “What are all these damn stupid wires for. (Rip,rip,rip) My old Model T never had this crap”…

It’s our kids. We can’t rush this, and this bill has been rushed far too fast through the Senate. The House needs to slow down and debate this one…

We can’t afford to lose our 37th top spot in the nation for which we worked so hard and so long to get….. We got to stop this bill that will make our cars all go to “Joe’s” .

True Story.

A parent called her child’s principal and referred to an IEP page which states that a child CAN refuse testing. The parent went on to say that she feels that this test serves no instructional purpose except to punish schools, teachers and disabled children. Any test that her child has to take should serve the purpose of developing appropriate IEP goals which will help her child acquire the skills needed to eventually master an appropriate curriculum that will enable her child acquire a high school diploma. The parent then stated that on the day of the testing, the child will refuse to take the examination……

The Principal immediately called my colleague (an data-reading trainer) down to the office and threw up his hands. Upset, the Principal said that if bunches of parents were to request this, the school’s annual yearly progress will be destroyed if his number of untested children dipped below 95%. He moaned that the school was at the cusp of being closed and that it was obvious that this parent was too stupid to write this letter herself. Someone had to have helped advise her. The principal wanted my colleague to spy around the lounge and find out which teacher could have helped this parent and this principal would make sure criminal charges would certainly be brought. The principal confided to my colleague that the letter was sent to “legal” and the “Network”.

This resulted in a quickly-called conference call between the legal department of the (New York) Department of Education and the special education administrator of this school’s Child First Network (or should we call it Child Last). According to my colleague, the special education administrator said to just ignore the letter. The network person said that disabled child is too stupid to understand why she would be refusing and could easily be ignored. The lawyer for Tweed said parents cannot opt out according to state law. She said that the parent stating that the child will refuse testing is equivalent to opting out because the child’s justification for refusal derives from the parent and not the child. After about a half hour of banter, these administrator, principal and lawyer decided that if the child refuses, the Principal should suspend the child and the administration of children’s services should be called so the parent can be charged with educational neglect. Finally, the testing coordinator, who was part of this conference call, meekly added, “What if the parent seeks out a professional advocate and commences legal action?” The DOE lawyer said not to worry because such parents are too stupid to do this……

This Kafka-isk experience STEMS from this one factor: putting the test first.  In fact, even with a quick read, one can see that from the top all the way down, everyone involved in this vignette, is focused on the test….

*And I thought education was about learning*.

If you need any more convincing that our educational system is failing us, this story should be enough to persuade you that scores on these made-up tests tehd to be the only thing that matters… Your son or daughter, doesn’t matter…Nor do teachers. Nor do principals. Nor do Parents….

So you ask what was the outcome?

They told the Principal that he should lay down the law. He was to tell the parent that when the child shows up for testing, the assessment would be given. If the child refuses to take the test, the child will be sent to a guidance counselor and any missed part of the assessment would be administered during a make-up day. They admonished the principal not to worry about any legal action, because if the parent went that route, it would take time and by then the child haven taken the assessment would be a fait accompli….

This is the atmosphere that has invaded our schools since the beginning of the RTTT and the Rodel’s Foundations advent into Delaware’s education… Not even No Child Left Behind was this bad, because the corporations were not a part of the deal.  Not even Carper’s testing program got to this point, where scores closed schools, fired teachers, demoted administrators, and made billions for investors getting state monies to STEM the bleeding….

Someone forgot the children. Should one parents correct assessment truly cause this much trouble?

Only if the test is the only thing that matter.

This is old news actually.  It closed the 25th of February after being open for a month.  Originally it was to be open for two weeks, then with a lack of participation, was extended for two weeks more.

To understand education in Delaware you need to see the results here….

Originally the anticipated rate was 50%.  Some of us encouraged more to participate,  in order to get a fuller picture of what problems were being faced with the corporatization of Delaware’s school system.  Otherwise known as the “Pay To Learn Plan”…(PTLP)..

6025 out of 10731 educators completed the survey.  That is over the target by 10 percent.

There was another contingent of educators that was encouraging teachers not to take the test.  It was a trust issue, and to be valid, if the results were changed from negative, and switched over to that of supporting by those now with access to the raw data,  a favorable outlook could then be presented without it really being true.  Having a majority appear to sign on to something done in secret, and no one really knows if the data is accurate,  could be damaging to our students if the data were not trustworthy and true…

Granted, this manipulation is easily done in a digital age…

However, some of us realized that if the concerns of our teachers were not met, our children were doomed.  We understood that the test could be manipulated to show wrong data.  There existed this  option where if the data was being  manipulated, we were damned if we did, and damned if we didn’t.

Tennessee is undergoing terrible times right now.  They rushed into the RTTT with Republican Legislatures and a Republican Governor, and immediately unions were dissolved.   Although now its structure is in place with testing out the gazoo, they are in dire straits to fill teaching positions that are rapidly being vacated by disillusioned educators heading out for other states.

Tennessee’s  children will now suffer worse with RTTT than had their state not opted to Race To The Top.

That is why, only a true representation of teacher’s views toward the handling of the imposition of Common Core, (this race to scrap our entire current public educational system and instituting a brand new corporate one),  could lead us away from Tennessee’s fate.

It was the only defense against having Tennessee’s trauma inflicted upon us.

If they choose to manipulate the data, our children are doomed as well.  If they don’t, and our surveys are taken to heart, and teachers have a role at the table, and the administrators listen to them for once, our children will probably get the best possible education available.

However not filling the survey out as a protest,  I believe, left an avenue that not taken, could never bring the possibility of positive results….

Anyways, …. here are just some of the participation rates…

Christina  47.13%

Red Clay  56.50%

Brandywine  64.82%

Cape Henlopen   40.00%

Colonial  66.76%

Capital  73.50%

Every parent should go on site, click on their district and it expands so they can get a read-out of each and every school.   I would then encourage you to have a dialogue with their teacher to find out in depth why they chose to go the way they did.  Remember, whether a teacher went for it or against, it as with the child’s welfare first at heart…  The one thing that is not at issue is every teacher’s care and concern for every child…  What is important is that you, the parent, has a buy-in to this new educational system by sharing your concerns with your child’s teacher..

There is no good or bad here;  there is only progress, … and that is something all will agree is necessary to have…

As the survey comes to a close, I was thinking of some of John’s comments and suddenly another idea hit.

That idea was borrowed from last night’s state of the union speech.   In it our Commander in Chief argued that victims of guns need a vote.   It could go plus or minus he said, but at least we had accountability.  Those voting for guns over children, could then be campaigned against for making that choice.  If their districts agreed with their vote, well then their districts agreed with their vote….

But the point is that a vote must be taken.

The alternative to that is what we have now.  Speeches,  speeches, speeches, blog posts, blog posts, blog posts.

Thousands of individuals with ideas about guns, …. but no record.  Nothing is getting done because no one knows where everyone stands.   Are we on the edge of victory?  No one knows.  Are we close so we can win the next time with just a little more work?  No one knows.  Are we so far away from achieving our goals, that every word we spend is completely wasted?  Again,… No one knows.

It is kind of the same with teachers.  Those of us connected hear grumbling from inside every school… We don’t hear from those who are silent.   Many of us don’t express our opinions because we don’t want to ruffle personal feathers of those with which we are forced to work beside.

Just how many teachers like the improvements in the race to the top?  Again, we do not know.  How many teachers see some improvement but some problems?  Again, we do not know.  How many teachers see this program as hurting their students?  Again, we do not know…..

That is what concerns me.

Am I being duped by all the negative press I read about Common Core?  I actually may be.  For as I think about it, all I read are probably 25 individuals opinions, and the publications they happen to feature…   So am I making assumptions here?  Where is my factual data that supports me when I proclaim that the corporate involvement in the  educational process is not working;  corporate is a negative to teachers who are a positive?

Where is the data?

John is proposing that teachers sit this out, and all should look because he makes valid points.   He says silence speaks volumes too….

It doesn’t.  As we see with guns it just mushes things up more.   The NRA forced the Republican Congress to ban all research that might show gun violence kills people. All silence does is make this to be obvious:  “ok, some people don’t like it (why we don’t know) and they stirred up a lot of fear so we still, have no data to determine where we want to go.  We might as well continue our current pathway because we have no data to tell us otherwise…”

That is why  this survey is important.  If it was a resounding no,  a huge vote of disapproval, as would an assault ban passed in Congress be read against the NRA,  everything would instantly move on…

Our kids need us to move on.

But what if  they lie about our surveys some ask and change our no’s to yes’s?  Anything is possible.  Which is why one should also send the DSEA a  note explaining how one voted.  The DSEA can then challenge the survey if  corrupted with hard data, further implicating and damaging the Department of Education if they so tried to corrupt the results….

Bottom line, just like those victims of gun shootings,  our school kids need a vote.  We need to know in just days, where we stand.

If every teacher voted a resounding no,  then changes would finally get made.  But it has to be a lot of teachers voting for that to be the case.

Not filling out the survey sets us up for charges,  just like I make at the NRA,  that you are too scared of  the outcome because you KNOW  you are on the wrong side of the issue here….

Not voting is a “stall” tactic.  It is exactly the same as the House Republicans never putting a Senate Bill against Assault Weapons up for a vote, because then their Republican Party will have to answer to their districts voters,  exactly why they voted as they did.

We need votes. Fill the survey, please.

In case you didn’t see a previous post, I stumbled into this controversy by accident. Since then, I have found that common core is striking a lot of nerves. In fact there is a divide splitting America’s educational system in two. I’m being blunt and non political. It is split between those who love children, and those who love a cause….

What I’ve found is that those who love children, primarily teachers, parents, and some administrators, are finding the new Common Core Standards are confusing, dumbing down, and making our kids hate learning. Those who are lost in this cause, call these damages collateral, and point to the theoretical good that could occur if this trend is pursued more harshly…. To this those who love children are saying “stop”; you are hurting them. Those in love with the cause, are saying, “hurt is good; no pain, no gain.”

And that is the overview of the common core controversy as I see it right now. That pretty well sums it up, right?

In no order here is stuff going on right now. Keep in mind, what you here is between those who love children, and those who love a cause.

Aspen Colorado, a Gate’s supported school written in the WSJ, can’t keep teacher more than 4 years, and scores once touted as rising, are now falling.

Alabama
last week announced it was withdrawing from the two consortia developing tests aligned with the common core.

Utah withdrew from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium last year,

In Indiana, a Republican member of the Senate education committee, introduced legislation that would require the state to drop the common standards. Mr. Schneider said that the standards are inferior to Indiana’s prior academic-content standards, and that the common core has frustrated legislators because it was adopted behind a “veil of secrecy” and without good estimates of its financial costs.

Legislators previously desperate for federal cash attached to the standards, he said, are “just becoming alerted to what’s going on.

Seattle Teachers boycott the state testing.

And in Texas was recently formed. The Mothers Against Drunk Testing.

There you go. Just some. As you can see, it is not overpaid union teachers who are the only ones up in arms against Common Core…. It is parents, mostly leading the charge….

So why are these parents getting in the way of the cause to make our education world class? What is wrong with them?

Perhaps they love their kids a little more than they love the cause?

This is a dilemma. A red letter day for educators everywhere….

I get this call, paraphrased it went like this.

Hello,

My son was just issued a warning that he had missed more than Christina’s required days of school(5). No longer am I, their parent, allowed to excuse them for being sick with a note from myself; he must now have a note from the doctor. We are one of those with no insurance, so you know how much that would cost us! There is nothing permanently wrong with my child; just over the fall, he woke up too sick (fever with sniffles) to go to school in our opinion, and we kept him home to get well, as well as not contaminate others. Usually the next day he was fine, and quite able to catch up on missed work and with this pattern he has kept his grades up well. Today, he sent a message home he was coughing up blood, and came home, announced he had the flu, and went to bed and is coughing now. I can’t send him to school tomorrow; I have no money till payday next Monday. What can I do? Why do they have that stupid rule anyway? That’s barely one sick day a month, so far, and there are 7 months left!

So that is what started this investigation.

First the Christina Code of Conduct to verify the story….. Remember this is based on state law, to which they have to comply. However, in the state code I did not see this limit on 5 excused absences requiring further documentation. I am hoping a comment can direct me there?

The fines were rather severe, particularly to families in financial dire straits which would probably include 99% of Christina’s district.

First offense: fine of $25 to $300 or imprisonment for up to 10 days or both
Second offense: fine of $50 to $500 or imprisonment for up to 20 days or both
Third offense: fine of $230 to $1,150 or imprisonment for up to 30 days or both

It it my reading that these would only be used as a last resort. But the point I am making, is that the choice between a) sending a sick child to school; b) going to a doctor and paying 50% of one weeks salary to get a written excuse, and c) court settlement, fines, and imprisonment, choice a) is going to win every time.

And that is just plain wrong….

Now I actually remember why this was put in place. Schools were incapable of monitoring children who didn’t show up. Parents were legislatively held responsible. If a parent is going to jail for not insuring their child is in school, there is a better chance than not, that the child will show up in school.. I get that. However what is appalling is that there is no safety valve, one allowing good students who get sick, to stay home with their parent’s permission…..

It gets worse.

This flu is reported to be one of the deadliest in our lives. We appear to be on the cusp of a real pandemic. This is not the normal flu. This is one like the 1918 one. You have to read it to appreciate it’s extent….

Just a quick search. Three dead in Vermont. 2 dead Orange County. 2 dead in Sacramento. 8 in Oklahoma. 9 in South Dakota. Fifteen dead in Indiana. 18 in Massachusetts. In Minnesota as of today, 27 people are dead, out of 400 infected. Making the death rate 6.7%. The flu of 1918 worldwide in a time of no modern medicine, killed at estimated a 10%-20% level. The normal level is 0.1%. Put in shock and awe language, that means there is a 6700 greater chance you will die from this flu, than any of the past in our lifetimes….

If this sounds uncharacteristically shocking, it is because I’m just finding out the figures now… Last week, we incurred 801 deaths from influenza and pneumonia (they work hand in hand so both are included). the CDC is probably processing a future warning right now.

The CDC is reporting that the week before 12/29/12, 2961 persons tested positive for flu. The next week, 801 died. If there is any correlation between the numbers, that means a death rate of 27.05%… That is too high to believe, but it should be enough to sound the alarm… We are in the middle of a crises.

Because looking on the surface, out of roughly 3000 cases of flu, 800 died…. I don’t want to get too distracted upon the argument of just how bad this is looking, just want acceptance that is is bad…

If you look for national data on this right now, through the internet engines, it hasn’t been compiled yet. This is just the first attempt to make sense of the raw data being reported by the CDC. For us in Delaware, this just appeared out of no where over Christmas break…. I don’t think anyone has looked at this nationally on the scale required yet. We have flu’s every year. In truth, the only reason I would be delving through it today, is because or the random request I mentioned at the top of this post….

Looking At The Historical Peaks This One Will Dwarf All Others
Courtesy of CDC FluView.

And that doesn’t yet include the data from this past January 5th week.

Here is kavips recommendation on what should be done.

A) The requirement for a doctor’s note for each absence needs a temporary abatement based on the virulent nature of this flu. One doctors note for a duration of absences needs to be sufficient.

B) All parents in the district and in the state, need an email blast alerting them to the extreme danger of this flu, which states that if a child is sick or exhibiting symptoms, he is required to stay home to stop the spreading contamination. It would be kind to mention that grace will be extended to all absences over this time, simply to put parents afraid of legal ramifications at ease and prevent them from being too scared to comply with the order.

C) If a school gets below 80% attendance level, it needs to close for a week. We don’t need to teach something, and teach it again, and teach it again, and teach is again as the surviving students filter back into class. That is a waste of resources.

D) Recommend use of hand sanitizer whenever possible, at home, work, or school.

E) Warning that flu shots are a state priority, and should be mandatory considering the high rate of death this time. Those not having one, need one now.

To help our administration out, I’ll point to this option in the state code regarding relaxing regulations in the schools.

Title 14, Chapter 16.

The Department of Education shall have the authority to waive or suspend provisions of the Delaware Code in the implementation of programs authorized under this chapter; provided however, that such waiver or suspension of a provision of the Code shall not result in an increased financial obligation to the State. The Department of Education is also authorized to waive or suspend its rules and regulations in order to maximize the projected impact of programs authorized under this chapter. The State Board shall be advised of any waiver of a regulation it must promulgate or approve, and may deny such waiver within 30 days or by the next regularly scheduled meeting, whichever is earlier, of the waiver’s approval by the Department.

(This was from another Chapter other than that previously quoted on attendance, but it shows the precedent and legal standing for exercising extraordinary measures in extraordinary times.)

As I alluded to, this is all coming so fast. It is as if trying to cross the street and peaking around a parked truck and seeing death in the form of a truck barreling down right on top of you. It’s a little unnerving.

To really understand Christmas, you need to be in the Third World, hot climate, where Christianity doesn’t exist. Life is just a normal day. Their religion’s calling out prayer, markets bustling as always, and you are working too…. Somewhere during that day, if you are an American, it hits you. Wow, its the 25th.. This is Christmas.

And so it was. No one knew who Jesus was. The Bible says that in his own way, God announced it. But if you were living in Bethlehem roughly 2000 years ago, it would be like what you see here before you today. Life as normal. Just like every other day…

And that is the beauty of Christmas. In your town, today, the child of the second coming could be born. You would never know. And that offers a clue to how God works… He works things in his own way….

And somehow, it works out…. Against all odds of the dice being thrown in multiple odds, it always lands the right way when it is needed…

After all your calls home, you report for duty in the hospital where you work, and from a room a newborn cries out. The question hits you. What if in two thousand years, everyone shall know his name? At first you scoff, he’s just another mid-eastern baby. But then, so was Jesus…..

It happened just like this… THAT is the mystery of Christmas…