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I stated in a comment that if one took Newark Charter and Wilmington Charter and put them back under Christina’s watch and care, they would have the highest scores in the state….

I now want to test that hypothesis to see how correct that statement was…

Here is the data we used.

Newark Charter has 2140 students.
Charter School of Wilmington has 972 students.

The entire Christina District lists 15,553.

Average Proficiency Scores for Newark Charter in ELA were 95%.. (That means 95% were tested as proficient.)

(Rats! No data) For now will have to fake Wilmington Charters’. Tack in with 99%, they’re smarter than Newark.

Christina District averaged at 39%.

So to figure the cumulative weighted theoretical for all combined, our equation would look something like this…..
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15553 (39) + 2140 (95) + 972 (99)   =   X/ (15553+2140+972) or X/18635 = Average Score

606567  +  203330  +  96228  =  906125/18635  =   48.62

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48.62 would be Christina School Districts cumulative ELA score if there were no charters to siphon of top students and the district was then tested as a whole….  How does that compare?

It would be statistically tied with 7 other schools for spot 9 ….. (courtesy of Exceptional Delaware)

Those others which would be tied with Christina would be Capital, Colonial, Seaford, Woodbridge, Milford, and Red Clay (hmmm. which would drop lower by losing Wilm Charter.).

None of which give away the bulk of their top students as does Christina….

When people (some think Dave Sokola is an alien; just ask Sigourney Weaver) scoff and say Christina is failing as a district and that these charters are there only because the public schools can’t teach a bag of beans, it would be very appropriate to remind them that 1) beans are inanimate and have no brains, and 2) it is only because Christina has to give up its top students to charters, that it scores average so low in comparison.  In other words it is doing as well as both of the other inner city districts (Red Clay and Colonial) as well as the poorer districts down south.  It is definitely not failing as a district.

This is like blaming someone for running a slow race after you cut off their leg… Sew the leg back on, and there is NO problem…

This again, is one more piece of daily mounting evidence as to why Delaware needs to remove Charter Schools from the entire state’s education system  The whole “education is failing scenario” has been a gross misrepresentation.  All they did as to just move smart people around to raise some schools scores, and lower others, that’s all.

“Let’s take those smart one and put them here… and lets leave the impoverished ones right there…”

Then,

“Holy Crayola!!! Look how bad this district is doing!!!… such low scores!!!.  We have to take it over (and put our friends in to run each school at \$160,000 a pop..)!!!”

Crime is relative. Stealing land from native Americans was not a crime. Exhorting registered Delawarean businesses to pay back interest on unclaimed property that didn’t exist, was not a crime.

So this guy walks onto a subway car with a friend and there were 4 other late night riders on board…

He pulls a gun and robs the 4 passengers between stops. Then he give the money to his friend and runs….

As his friend goes up the escalator, a cop grabs him at the top and makes an arrest. The friend says, I did nothing wrong, Sir, someone just gave it to me…..

Moral of story.

The four passengers represent students in public school.
The friend represents charter schools.
The gun belongs to the STATE….

Did a crime happen or no? Parents with students in Newark Charter, want you think no crime happened here. In the lottery of life, someone just gave them money. People in the DOE want you to think no crime happened here. Dave Sokola, Earl Jaques, and Jack Markell want you to think no crime happened here…

So how do four passengers have all their stuff unloaded off of them, and everyone says no crime occurs?

Because all crime is relative…..

Remember this.

As you view the results posted saying how Common Core has improved our teaching over the past year between the first taking and second taking of the tests…. these tests are graded on a curve…

One cannot compare one year’s test to another because the curve is set each new year to show a different result..

In plain language, this means the level of proficiency is NOT set by the number of right answers…. but is set by how your right number of answers compare to everyone else…

I have seen nothing regarding the cut scores setting remaining consistent between 2015 and 2016. Being changed by the committee overseeing them,  results in better scores (although we can see they were not set much better)…

This was predicted when we first debated Common Core and the Smarter Balanced. It has now come to pass.

Secondly.

If this overall program were working, we should have seen far greater positive results than what we did. There are political reasons as well as financial reasons for this slow improvement… (If you show too much improvement too fast, no one will invest to gain greater improvement..)

Showing one or two percentages of people doing better is not glowing results. Not after two full years of teaching to the test…

The real result is how these same children will do on the next NAEP, the nation’s report card. Overall in both Delaware and the nation, ever since Common Core was affected, those scores (which since the 80’s had always climbed), have gone down…

If you brag about increased Smarter Scores, yet your real report card score goes down, you are no better than those teachers denigrated as passing people into the next grade who failed to meet the expectation…

In conclusion, all of this is completely meaningless. The scores show us nothing for they are arbitrarily made up. The tests show us nothing because they too are made up. The grading shows us nothing because it is made up… Only the NAEP shows us anything now, because it is a test not curved which has been consistent for years… If it shows improvement then this program is indeed working; if it doesn’t, then we need to pull the plug and return to what once worked so well.

What we DO have (since these tests do not show us anything) is a big waste of money… Make that a huge waste of money…. Money that could have been spent on???

Something like an 11:1 student teacher ratio in all schools over 50% poverty levels….

So do not be persuaded by appeals that improvement is at hand.. For the data included has some rather darkening and troubling implications… The Science and Social Studies DCAS scores have dropped consistently since Common Core was invented and put into practice…

Our Delaware kids ARE becoming dumber and dumber..Our solitary focus on math and ENGLISH has eclipsed time for civics and science. Everyone knows how to understand and speak English, even if they don’t know what an indecent participle is. But science and social studies are the determiner of an ignorant society or a knowledgeable one.. Delaware is becoming more and more ignorant the more we embrace Common Core… readily seen because those two scores are not arbitrarily set on a curve; they are based on the number of right and wrong answers. More Delawareans are getting the answers wrong consistently every year since Common Core was enacted.

Our English(reading) scores have gone down over his administrations (due to test change).
Our Math scores have gone down over his administration (due to test change).
Our Social Studies scores have gone down over his administration.
Our Science scores have gone down over his administration….
Our NAEP scores have gone down over his administration….

How can that be called a success?

# Vergara Ruling Overturned by State Appeals Court….

A California appeals court, reversing a trial court’s ruling in the landmark Vergara case, has found that California’s job-protection laws for teachers do not in fact violate the state constitution’s equal protection guarantee.

The appeals court ruled April 14 that the plaintiffs in the Vergara case had failed to prove sufficiently that the state’s teacher-employment laws, including tenure and termination provisions, “inevitably cause a certain group of students to receive an education inferior to the education received by other students.”

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Exactly what those of us who read the transcripts all said… We called it a kangeroo court because it decided it decision based on shots called down to it, and not on the evidence put before the court.  There was no way the evidence pointed to that decision.

This is good news.   In the national test-case for unions, Unions have been declared legal and can stand stronger now……

A similar case to Vergara was  just filed in Minnesotaand this decision may put a knife in it early up there.

Why do we not have a bill put forward right now that excises the Smarter Balanced Assessment out from our state education policy?

The following states do have bills working in their state legislatures which would return parts of their educational curriculums back to before Common Core

ALABAMA

The state school board folded Common Core into the state’s College and Career Ready Standards for public schools and has been defending the decision ever since.

Legislators introduced bills in 2013 and 2014 to repeal the standards. The repeal movement drew support from tea party groups, but Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, a Republican, blocked the bills with the support of one of the state’s most powerful business groups, the Business Council of Alabama.

By Phillip Rawls.

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The state did not adopt Common Core, although several Alaska school districts did. Deputy Education Commissioner Les Morse said those districts will be held accountable for ensuring that student learning is in line with the state standards in English, language arts and reading that were adopted in 2012. The state standards have some similarities with Common Core.

By Becky Bohrer.

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ARIZONA

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer has tried to defuse criticism about the Common Core standards by issuing an executive order renaming them as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,” and reaffirming that Arizona is acting independently from the federal government.

A legislative effort to kill the standards failed this spring.

By Bob Christie.

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ARKANSAS

The Arkansas Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in 2010, with an effective date of this fall. The Legislature endorsed the board’s decision during its 2011 regular session.

A few teachers, parents and national groups asked legislators last year to repeal the standards, and a state lawmaker this year attempted to bring up a bill to delay their imposition for three years. Neither effort gained traction.

By Kelly P. Kissel.

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CALIFORNIA

Most California schools are expected to begin basing instruction on the Common Core standards during the coming school year. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrat-controlled Legislature have allocated more than \$1.2 billion, about \$200 per student, for school districts to spend on teacher training, materials and technology over two years.

California is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium that is developing online tests in math and language based on the Common Core. The state has resisted the department’s call for teacher evaluations to be based in part on standardized test results.

By Lisa Leff.

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As in many states, the Common Core standards have prompted opposition in Colorado from some conservatives.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature rejected a proposal that would have ordered a yearlong delay for new statewide tests while the standards were reviewed. Colorado is part of a multistate testing consortium, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and students are set to take the PARCC test this school year.

By Kristen Wyatt.

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CONNECTICUT

In June, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy committed spending an additional \$15 million to continue launching Common Core in the state’s public schools. That includes \$10 million in borrowing for new school technology, one of the recommendations of a task force created by Malloy in March after teachers and education professionals raised concerns about whether schools were prepared for incorporating the new standards.

While some of Connecticut’s public school districts have begun using the new Common Core standards, others have lagged behind. The issue has become a political one for Malloy, who faces re-election. Both his Republican challenger and a potential petitioning candidate have criticized the rollout of Common Core.

By Susan Haigh.

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DELAWARE

The state is moving forward as Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, a former co-chairman of the Common Core standards initiative, works to dispel notions that they are a federal initiative aimed at the states.

In the spring, students in grades three to eight, and 11th grade will take the new Smarter Balanced assessments in English and mathematics that are tied to Common Core. State education officials have agreed to a one-year delay, subject to federal approval, in using the test results in teacher evaluations. The delay takes into account concerns of the Delaware State Education Association, the teachers’ union.

By Randall Chase.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

District of Columbia public schools began implementing the standards voluntarily in 2010. School leaders are making one major concession: Teachers won’t be evaluated based on their students’ performance on new, Common Core-aligned standardized tests this school year.

That decision made news because the district has moved aggressively to align teacher evaluations with student test scores. The Education Department was initially critical of the policy change, saying it represented a slowdown of the District’s school-reform efforts. Hundreds of District teachers have been fired after receiving poor evaluations, while the top performers have received bonuses.

By Ben Nuckols.

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FLORIDA

Florida officials tweaked the standards among a growing backlash. Beginning the fall, the “Florida standards” will be used in state classrooms.

While some have asked GOP Gov. Rick Scott and legislators to jettison the standards, high-ranking Republicans have tried to tamp down the controversy in other ways.

For example, legislators passed a measure that repealed more than 30 mentions of Common Core that were placed into state law just a year ago. Scott initially backed Common Core standards. But after complaints from grassroots conservative groups and activists, he called for public hearings and set the groundwork for the state to pull out of a consortium developing a national test to see if school children are meeting the new standards.

By Gary Fineout

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GEORGIA

Some Republican lawmakers have pushed bills for two years opting out of Common Core, which are supported by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, backed by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and former Gov. Sonny Perdue who co-chaired the governors group that created the standards.

Republicans who control the Legislature compromised by forming a study committee to review the standards’ origins. Georgia dropped out of a national consortium developing tests in line with Common Core in July 2013, saying it was too expensive. The state signed a contract this summer with CTB/McGraw-Hill to develop its own exam that students are scheduled to take during the coming school year.

By Kathleen Foody.

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HAWAII

Hawaii’s Department of Education is asking the public to review test questions aligned to Hawaii Common Core standards and help recommend achievement levels for grade-level proficiency.

Beginning next spring, students will take new Common Core-aligned assessments that will replace the Hawaii State Assessment.

By Jennifer Kelleher.

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IDAHO

There’s been growing opposition to Common Core in Idaho, with calls for reconsideration, even repeal, in the three years since the standards were adopted. But schools are slowly moving forward to put them in place, including the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams.

So far, efforts to repeal the standards have failed. As the November election approaches, both the Republican and Democratic candidates for state superintendent have said they will work to improve implementing the standards but have not said they must be repealed.

By Kimberlee Kruesi.

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ILLINOIS

Illinois started to adopt the Common Core standards in 2010, and fully implemented them last school year. Next spring, the PARCC tests linked to Common Core standards will be used in school districts across the state.

The tests will be given to students in grades three to eight, but only partially rolled out in high school because the state board of education had its budget request for assessments cut by \$10 million. The ACT exam has been a state mandated assessment for high school juniors in recent years and doubles as a college entrance exam.

By Kerry Lester

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INDIANA

Indiana formally ended its participation in Common Core this past spring, when Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a measure pushed by conservative Republicans. But a key change in the legislation, mandating that any Indiana standards qualify for federal funding, spurred the bill’s original author, state Sen. Scott Schneider, a Republican, to withdraw his support.

The state Board of Education approved new education standards in April, a rare moment of agreement between Pence and Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz. But the new standards drew criticism from conservatives and tea partyers who said they were too similar to the Common Core requirements.

By Tom Lobianco.

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IOWA

Many of the Common Core components have been blended into Iowa’s statewide standards, known as the Iowa Core.

Conservatives in Iowa have attacked the Common Core, but efforts to change the state program have not been successful. But GOP Gov. Terry Branstad last year signed an executive order clarifying that the state would continue to maintain control over education standards and testing, not the federal government.

By Catherine Lucey.

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KANSAS

The state Board of Education adopted the Common Core reading and math standards in 2010, but in recent years they have been attacked by conservative Republicans, who say they’re too expensive. Earlier this year, the state Senate attached a provision to an education funding bill that would have blocked their implementation, but it was dropped in the final version of the bill.

The board is moving ahead with developing student tests tied to the standards.

By John Hanna.

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KENTUCKY

In Kentucky, state lawmakers passed a bill in 2009 that set more rigorous academic standards, new assessments and a new accountability system. Kentucky followed up a year later by adopting Common Core and then in 2013 next-generation science standards. The new standards are known as the Kentucky Core Academic Standards.

Teachers first taught the new English/language arts and math standards in the 2011-12 school year. Students began testing on those new standards that same year.

By Bruce Shreiner.

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LOUISIANA

GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, a one-time Common Core supporter and a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has sued the Obama administration, accusing Washington of illegally manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.

Lawmakers this year rejected several attempts to strip Common Core from classrooms and a majority of the education board voted to continue using the standards.

Jindal suspended contracts that the state Department of Education planned to use to buy testing material aligned with the standards. The education superintendent, John White, and education board leaders say the governor overstepped his legal authority, and they sued.

A state district judge has since said the governor’s actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students and he lifted Jindal’s suspension of the contracts. The decision allows White to move ahead with Common Core-tied testing plans until a full trial is held later over the legality of Jindal’s executive orders against the standards.

At the same time, 17 state lawmakers who oppose the standards have lodged their own legal challenge, but lost their first round in court.

By Melinda Deslatte.

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MAINE

Two groups opposed to the reading, writing and math benchmarks are trying to collect enough signatures to trigger a statewide vote in 2015 to repeal them.

Maine Education Commissioner James Rier says he spends much of his time fielding calls from people with a misunderstanding of the standards, adopted in 2011 in Maine. The state is now assembling a team of educators and businesspeople to look at updating the standards for math and English language arts, he said. Any changes would have to be approved by the Legislature.

By David Sharp.

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MARYLAND

Maryland schools began implementing the standards in reading and math two school years ago, and will begin using the PARCC test during the upcoming school year.

In this year’s legislative session, Maryland lawmakers voted by large margins to address some issues that have arisen with Common Core in the state. For example, test scores won’t be used in teacher and principal evaluations for at least the next two years. In addition, a workgroup including teachers and parents will be formed to improve implementation.

By Brian Witte.

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MASSACHUSETTS

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in July 2010, and they became part of the state curriculum the following year. The state is also in the middle of a two-year trial of the PARCC.

The new standards are being challenged by a grassroots group, known as the Common Core Forum, which argues the state’s standards should not be dropped and replaced. The group of parents, teachers and local elected officials has called for repeal of the new standards and more transparency from the state.

By Michael Melia.

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MICHIGAN

In Michigan, the 2014-15 school year was supposed to be the first in which students would take exams developed by the Smarter Balanced consortium. But lawmakers balked, despite last year ultimately letting the state continue spending dollars implementing the standards after vigorous debate.

Legislators later directed the state not to administer the Smarter Balanced test this coming academic year. Instead, it must develop Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests that align with Common Core. The new assessment is to be given starting in the spring of 2016.

By David Eggert.

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MINNESOTA

Minnesota has adopted only the English and language arts standards portions of Common Core but augmented them with more rigorous content developed close to home. The state had already redrawn its math standards.

Rather than joining the national testing groups related to Common Core, Minnesota went with its own assessments.

By Brian Bakst.

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MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi schools are supposed to be fully teaching based on the standards this year, and Mississippi plans to use the PARCC tests for most of its state standardized testing beginning this spring.

Attempts were made earlier this year by some lawmakers to roll back the state’s implementation of Common Core, but those proposals failed by wide margins.

But Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has called Common Core a “failed program” and said he expected lawmakers to address the standards in the 2015 legislative session. State Superintendent Carey Wright has pushed back against Bryant, saying his description of Common Core is a “gross mischaracterization” and saying students “deserve the opportunity to perform to higher expectations.”

By Jeff Amy.

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MISSOURI

Public schools in Missouri have transitioned to the standards, but a new state law backed by opponents could get rid of them.

In July, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed a measure passed by the Republican-led Legislature that creates task forces of parents and educators to develop new state standards for English, math, science and history to be implemented during the 2016-2017 school year.

By David Lieb.

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MONTANA

Montana students for the first time will take a test linked to the standards. There was a trial of the test last spring.

Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Denise Juneau said some schools are behind in curriculum development, teacher training and acquiring textbooks or other equipment to teach to the new standards. The 2013 Legislature rejected proposals to allocate money for training and equipment, and state Sen. Roger Webb has submitted a bill request for the 2015 session to bar any funding for the standards.

By Matt Volz.

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Nebraska has not adopted the standards, and uses state standards developed by teachers, said Betty VanDeventer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. By law, they’re reviewed once every five years.

A study commissioned by the department last year found that Nebraska’s language arts standards are as tough as those of Common Core and more demanding in some areas. The study said Nebraska’s math standards cover most of the national Common Core content. Some material is introduced in later grades, but the study said it’s often presented in greater depth.

By Grant Schulte.

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Opponents have spoken out against the standards at state school board and interim legislative meetings, and coalesced into a group called Stop Common Core Nevada. Some are working with lawmakers in hopes of introducing a bill next year to repeal the measures.

Meanwhile the Nevada Board of Education now refers to the Common Core name as the Nevada Academic Content Standards, and the state superintendent has launched a communications initiative called Nevada Ready to inform parents and the public about the new standards. The Wynn Family Foundation, funded by casino mogul and state school board president Elaine Wynn, has provided \$200,000 to the public relations campaign.

By Michelle Rindels.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

Local school boards are not required to adopt the Common Core standards, even though they have been endorsed by the state Board of Education. But state assessment tests, which students will begin taking next spring, must be aligned to the standards.

The Legislature defeated several bills this spring aimed at ending or scaling back the state’s involvement in the standards.

By Holly Ramer.

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NEW JERSEY

New Jersey is moving ahead. Beginning with the coming school year, schools will be required to use PARCC tests to measure how well students are learning the curriculum.

The Democrat-dominated Legislature wanted to delay consequences of those tests for at least two years until a review of the standards could be completed. That would have meant that the tests could not have been used as part of teacher evaluations.

In a compromise, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, took executive action that said the exams will count for teachers’ grades, but they’ll be given lower weight over the first two years. He also established a commission to review the effectiveness of student testing.

By Geoff Mulvihill

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NEW MEXICO

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration has been a strong advocate of the Common Core standards, and students in grade three to 11 will take online tests aligned to the standards for the first time this spring.

The standards have been phased in, and teachers in all grades during the last school year, 2013-2014, were to have integrated Common Core into their classroom curriculum. There has been no push in the Democratic-controlled Legislature to back away from the standards.

By Barry Massey.

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NEW YORK

Dissatisfaction with Common Core and the tests based on them led thousands of New York parents to “opt out” of the 2014 exams, and state lawmakers approved a measure last month that delays the use of the test results in some teacher evaluations.

The Common Core has become an issue in the New York governor’s race. Rob Astorino, the Republican who aims to unseat incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo, is seeking to capitalize on opposition to the standards by putting a “Stop Common Core” party on the November ballot. If enough people sign petitions for the party, Democrats and independents who oppose the Common Core could use the ballot line to vote for Astorino without voting Republican.

By Karen Matthews.

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NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation in July to rewrite Common Core, creating a commission to come up with new reading and math standards.

Common Core will be in place in the state until the new standards are created and implemented. The commission can choose to integrate parts of the current Common Core into the new standards.

By Katelyn Ferral.

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NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota adopted Common Core standards in 2011, and began to fully implement them during the 2013-14 school year. Assessments based on the new standards will start for all students next spring.

North Dakota lawmakers have remained mostly silent on the new standards.

By James MacPherson

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OHIO

Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House are beginning a push to repeal Common Core learning standards by year’s end, citing widespread discontent they say they’re hearing from parents, teachers and communities.

It’s unclear whether the bill could pass. Districts already are well on their way to implementing the standards, which have the backing of a diverse coalition of Ohio groups including teachers’ unions, superintendents, the Urban League and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

By Julie Carr Smyth.

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OKLAHOMA

Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican who strongly supported Common Core as head of the National Governors Association, reversed course this year and signed into law a repeal of the standards.

In response, the federal government on Thursday did not renew the state’s waiver involving stringent requirements in the No Child Left Behind law. The move stripped Oklahoma’s power to decide how to spend \$29 million in education dollars. The Obama administration said the state no longer could demonstrate that its school standards were preparing students for college and careers.

Education officials estimate that about 70 percent of Oklahoma’s more than 500 school districts already had integrated the Common Core standards into their textbooks, teaching methods or curriculum. Now, districts are being directed to return to the Priority Academic Student Skills, or PASS standards, that were in place in 2010, until the state develops its own new standards. That process is expected to take up to two years.

By Sean Murphy.

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OREGON

Eighty percent of Oregon teachers who responded to a statewide survey this spring said what’s being taught in their school aligns with the skilled required by Common Core.

But there has been grumbling.

Dennis Richardson, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, said he opposes Common Core. Meanwhile, Portland Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, asked the state to delay using Common Core-aligned testing to evaluate teachers, students, school districts and individual schools. State education officials have asked the Education Department to grant a one-year delay in using results from the new, Common Core-aligned assessments as part of a teacher’s evaluation.

By Steven DuBois.

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PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania’s version, known as Pennsylvania Core Standards, took effect in March.

They were developed in part by examining the national Common Core but are not identical. At least one state lawmaker is attempting to get them repealed, and others have spoken out against them.

By Mark Scolforo.

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RHODE ISLAND

The Common Core standards have been in place since the start of the 2013-2014 school year, and students will take the first assessments aligned with them next spring. The state is using the PARCC.

The state’s largest teachers union, National Education Association Rhode Island, has criticized the Common Core standards — including the pace of implementation — and what it considers an overemphasis on standardized tests. During debate over use of another test as a high school graduation requirement, state lawmakers generally expressed support for the standards and the alignment of the curriculum with the PARCC test.

By Erika Niedowski.

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SOUTH CAROLINA

A South Carolina law signed May 30 requires new standards to replace Common Core by the time students walk into classrooms in August 2015. Meanwhile, full implementation of Common Core, to include aligned testing, continues as planned this school year.

Many legislators saw the new law as a way to satisfy the opposition by essentially stepping up a review that would have occurred anyway, expecting little to change. Leaders of the state Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee — the two groups that must approve any changes — said there’s no time to start from scratch.

But Superintendent Mick Zais, a Republican who didn’t seek a second term, insists there is and that there will be no simple editing of Common Core. An agreed-to timeline calls for the new standards to receive final approval in March.

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SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota began to fully implement the standards during the 2013-2014 school year.

A number of bills seeking to scrap the Common Core standards failed during the 2014 Legislature. Lawmakers, however, approved a bill that would delay the adoption of multistate standards in any other subjects until after July 2016. GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill in March.

By Regina Garcia Cano.

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TENNESSEE

During the last Tennessee General Assembly, lawmakers proposed several measures to do away with the state’s Common Core standards. All of them failed.

But lawmakers voted to delay the testing associated with Common Core for one year. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam reluctantly signed the measure. He said the standards are needed to better prepare students for college and the workforce and play a role in attempt to raise the state’s high school graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by the year 2025.

By Lucas L. Johnson II.

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TEXAS

Texas refused to adopt Common Core, instead mandating curriculum standards known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, though as much as two-thirds of the state’s math standards are thought to overlap with Common Core requirements.

Conservatives continue to worry about Common Core seeping into Texas classrooms, so much so that the Legislature in 2013 passed a law expressly forbidding school districts from using it as part of lesson plans. Then, in June, Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the front-runner in November’s governor’s race, issued an opinion reiterating that schools using Common Core standards “in any way” would violate that law.

By Will Weissert.

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UTAH

Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has defended the state’s Common Core standards, which are generally referred to as Utah Core or Utah Core Standards.

But after protests and swelling complaints from conservative activists, Herbert has asked the state attorney general’s office to review the adoption of the standards and to report the level of control Utah and local districts and schools have over curriculum. He also asked education experts to review how well the standards will prepare students for success and established a website where parents and others can leave comments about the standards.

Utah passed a law two years ago that requires the state to abandon any agreements or contracts if Utah’s control of standards or curriculum is ceded to the federal government. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed and Herbert signed a measure creating a standards review committee.

By Michelle Price.

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VERMONT

Common Core was introduced to Vermont educators in 2010 and this year schools are expected to have their curriculum fully aligned with the standards.

The agency has heard about pockets of parents who are upset. But Pat Fitzsimmons, the Common Core implementation coordinator for the state’s Agency of Education, says there’s been misinformation. She said some opponents are upset about the Smarter Balanced Assessment, to be given in 2015, and have concerns about technology involved and protecting student data.

By Lisa Rathke.

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VIRGINIA

Virginia refused to participate in the national Common Core system, instead deciding in 2010 to strengthen its own Standards of Learning.

The state introduced new standardized math tests in 2012 and more rigorous reading, writing and science assessments in 2013. The state is reducing the number of standardized exams that middle and elementary school students have to take from 22 to 17.

In addition, state Secretary of Education Anne Holton has appointed a 20-member committee to study the Standards of Learning and make recommendations to the Virginia Board of Education and the General Assembly on ways to improve SOL tests and student growth measures, and encourage innovative teaching.

By John Raby.

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WASHINGTON

Washington state adopted the new Common Core standards for math and English in 2011 and began using them in its public schools the following school year. During the coming school year, tests aligned to the standards will be used instead of the previous state-developed system.

Washington teachers and their union have expressed concern about both the new education standards and the new tests, saying they need more time to get used to the new program before they are judged on how well their students are doing. The Legislature decided not to require test scores to be part of the teachers’ evaluations, resulting in the state’s loss of its waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Law.

By Donna Blankinship

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WEST VIRGINIA

In 2010, the West Virginia Board of Education approved Common Core state standards for math and English, customizing the content specifically for the state’s students. More than 100 teachers developed the content standards aimed at giving teachers more focus and flexibility while preparing students to be college and career ready.

The transition must be complete in all grades by this fall, but the state is allowing counties to determine how to adopt the changes.

By John Raby.

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WISCONSIN

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 presidential candidate facing re-election this year, has called for repeal of the standards, a move opposed by his Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, Mary Burke.

Repeal also is opposed by the nonpartisan state superintendent of schools, who argues changing course now after spending millions of dollars to implement the Common Core the past four years would send Wisconsin schools into chaos. Testing tied to the standards will begin this spring.

By Scott Bauer.

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WYOMING

Some Wyoming school districts have implemented the standards, which were adopted in 2012, but critics have been persistent in speaking out against them.

A bill to repeal the standards in Wyoming failed to get enough votes for consideration in last winter’s legislative session. Under state law, the standards will be up for review again in 2017.

By Bob Moen.

(Sometimes the best part is writing the title, 🙂 )

By now we know how Ferguson, Missouri leaned on the indigent black population to exhort money to pay its bills so it could continue to live high off the hog…  That is what this new School District Alignment will do for Wilmington’s inner city schools.

The ultimate aim is to allow large mega-state charters, friends of Markell and investors, run Wilmington’s school system.

Here is how it works.  These  6 schools are deemed failing schools due to their scores.  A new leader is installed and given a hefty salary.  These leaders are already known and loyal to the cause…  These leaders all fail, collect their money, and retire to the good life, probably in some school system down in Florida…  They leave the six schools in shambles.

These schools are switched to Charters.  The charters get to select their students either directly or by stacking up those eligible for entrance into the lottery.  The good students flock to the charters and those scores are shown to improve.  The losers matriculate over to the public school system, which now has even a harder time to raise its overall score, because all the smart people are gone.  These schools drop for that reason and are cited as failures and turned over to charters.  These bottom level charters perform no better, but by then, no one cares.  Money is already flowing from public coffers into private pockets. The reason those schools failed is due to poverty, they then say.

Here is why this will not work.  In a comparison, we showed exactly how much better these schools were run compared to charters.  Public schools teach better across all income levels than do charters.  Simply put, they have more depth.  To use a basketball metaphor, little Butler can make a strong challenge if lucky enough to connect all its pieces, but it can never beat a University of Kentucky which has a larger selection of candidates who are almost as good as the top squad of little Butler…

So there is no way, in a fair competition that a charter school can ever outperform a public school.  Therefore they have to cheat.  They have to keep the good, and get rid of low scoring students; the advantage they have that public schools do not.

When this program was unveiled, Governor Markell said:  “LOOK AT BOSTON…”   So I did.

I figured the teachers union would have already researched it and I was right.  This was pulled from their report:  “Charter School Success or Selective Out-Migration of Low Achievers? Effects of Enrollment Management on Student Achievement.”

Despite claims that charter school lotteries give all potential students an equal chance to attend, the enrollment data do not reflect the diversity of students in the Boston Public Schools. This was especially true in the award winning charters up there, just as it is here with Wilmington Charter and Newark Charter…

• Virtually no limited English proficient students.
• Lower percentages of special education students than the Boston Public Schools. Of the special education students enrolled in BCRS, there were:

– Almost exclusively special education students with mild learning disabilities whose needs are addressed through full inclusion in regular education classrooms.

– Virtually no students with moderate learning disabilities whose needs are addressed through partial inclusion in regular education classrooms and instruction in substantially separate classrooms.

– Virtually no special education students with severe learning disabilities whose learning needs are met in substantially separate classrooms.

All of which pull down scores considerably….  How considerably?

Special ed students often test in the 100 range where proficiency is established at the 700 point range…  If you have 20% of your students in the 100 point range, here is how it stacks up:

100 + 100 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 = 5800/10 or a 580 average…

Now with only 10% and then 0% scores in the 100 range…..

• 100 + 700+ 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 = 6400/10 or a 640 average…
• 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 = 7000/10 or a 700 average.

The number of low performers makes a difference. Which is why it is silly to compare schools that are not identical and say, one is better than the other when the EXACT OPPOSITE IS JUST AS LIKELY TO BE TRUE…

Both Kuumba and Wilmington’s Thomas Edison Charter School were touted as examples that charter schools could perform in the inner city better than public schools…

Kuumba has a 5.7% Special Education rate…. or 1 out of 20….  Thomas Edison has  6.8%…. In comparison, the schools being closed and switched over to charters have the following: 14.7%; 19.0%; 9.5%; 15.4%; 14.0%; 11.5%…

Using the same method above and comparing the averages of the two extremes… Kuumba (5%) and Bayard (20%),

(100 + 700)/2 + 700+ 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 = 670 average

100 + 100 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 + 700 = 580 average…

The first is Kuumba; the second is Bayard… The only difference in this illustration is the percentage of special ed students who we assumed would score in the hundreds which is infinitely better than had they never gone to school at all…

We would need access to private personal data to determine what is equally important, which would be the extent of each student’s disabilities. If someone has a mild disability, they may still be working off an IEP but with accommodations can score as well as regular students.  If all of Kuumba’s disabled were of such high caliber, that would not pull down the scores… Since public schools have to accept everyone, if a child had brain cancer as was missing parts of his hardware, his score would pull down the lower levels.  A zero would have great impact on the total scoring…

Since the cut score for proficiency is set in the 600’s, Kuumba would list at 95% proficiency and Bayard would be listed as below proficiency and put on a remedial plan, a plan which is doomed to continue to fail, unless the new \$160,000/year leader kicks out those special students who dropped his score…

The school failure rate is all math.  The recent push for Red Clay to mainstream all their special-ed students, would also directly drop Red Clay’s overall average scores and that of course, opens it up to be used to ram in Charters (which in turn will siphon the better students and let the bottom drop out entirely).

Another piece of evidence being withheld is how many of these students now below standard, but would have been C students, and not D or F students under a system less Draconian than today’s. (Such as back when we went to school.)  The proficiency level is cut to around a B+ level. All those high school students in the 80’s and 90’s who came out with a B- or C averages, went to the University of Delaware and have professional jobs now, were not a failure then, but would be considered one now… because the cut level of what is deemed acceptable is now raised….

Now there is another troubling issue from Boston’s study:

How many of Charter School students actually graduate?   In Boston a charter school boasted that 99% of its students went on into college…  They only counted who was remaining.  They did not count out those who they kicked out or who dropped out…  Over the course of time, the majority of students who have “won” the lottery and gained admission to these charter schools leave and for the most part are not replaced by students on the waiting list.

In the first six graduating classes of the school boasting a 99% rate, no more than 136 students out of 367 entering students completed the curriculum.  At this rate, only 37 percent of students entering have been accepted in four-year colleges.. This score is no different from that of urban schools.. And is certainly worse than the public school system at large….

Imagine if you had only one senior left and he went to college, you could still state that 100% of your seniors went to college compared to 56% of public schools…  This is equivalent to the hype being given in regards to charter schools…

This is why this has to be fought… Not for those lucky enough to win the lottery; but for all of those in a pool 4 times greater who get left behind because those who know the governor, can afford lobbyists, now get to make money running charter schools and bill the government for all expenses…

That is why this is equivalent to the Fergusonization of Wilmington’s little black children.  The landlords, the wealthy, the connected, will all take the money currently directly going into education, and the little black children will be bused from closing school to closing school with worsening conditions at each successive one.

It is a rather nice get-rich scheme, and inner city students are the collateral damage…. The only obstacle is if public opinion interferes.

But… there IS something every citizen can do.  Opt out of the test.  Don’t let your child be tested, and then there is no contrived test score showing how well or how poor ones school did… Plus, no legislator will stand up and say to his voters, “you are wrong, you don’t know what you are doing”…. Instead, those legislators will point the finger at Markell and Murphy and say, “you lied to us, YOU don’t know what you are doing”….

If that can happen, this Fergusonization, can be stopped….

Opt out and save Wilmington’s schools and save their children.