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It takes a little sleuthing to figure out what happened.

In a nutshell the game was up when Manuel Alfaro, who was the executive director of assessment design and development at the College Board went online at Linkdin and posted some cryptic messages.  Over time this was his story.

Coleman brought him in a month after his takeover of  SAT by Common Core. Coleman to meet test deadlines simply transferred Common Core’s material over to the SAT data base and had hired Alfaro to create a fake research and development operation to get around copyright laws… Basically his job was to make it look like it was not stolen.

The test was published and distributed before being proof read.  Proof readers were eventually hired but after the test had been sent out… The May 2016 test was this test, it is the one Juniors took in Delaware to determine… whatever…  Small problems in this test were wrong answers marked as right ones, or no correct answer available among the 5 options. Bigger problems involved the “fake” questions now regularly inserted in such tests which do not count towards the score and are only there to test their quality for use in future tests.  These inserted questions were so difficult and time consuming, they prevented students from finishing the test.  Hence the scores of May 2016 will be lower than years past.

However Alfaro though he lived through it, does not have the tests. Therefore he was appealing to several states including Delaware, to use the transparency clauses in their contracts to bypass the College Board’s proprietary restrictions and have them find the questions, answers, and details to back up what he lived through…

His computer has been confiscated by the FBI.  Now, because of this court case, a gag order has been levied upon him and all involved and all relevant documents have been put under court seal.

Simultaneous to this, Reuters is reporting on an East Asian cheating scandal involving the SAT and PSAT  Apparently there is only a small pool of questions which many firms-for-hire to boost scores, already have.  They teach the questions and answers and their customers score very high on these tests.  Sourced out of East Asia Reuters was given 400 of the current questions from an outside source and sent copies of them to the College Board to confirm they were legit.  The College Board pleaded with them not to publish these actual questions and answers since they were the only questions in use this school year.

Bottom line: anyone looking for reassurance that the SAT is a better test under Coleman will be very disappointed.

As Reuters says… the test has never been worse….

“200 hundred items were sent to the Content Advisory Committee for review. Their feedback was scathing. One committee member wrote an 11-page document letting the College Board know that these were the worst items he had ever seen. In the past, he had not seen the worst items because they were rejected due to poor item statistics. In fact, the usual 15-20 percent of the items that are pretested and are rejected due to poor performance, were on the May 2016 test used to hold students and teachers accountable.”

Charter schools shall be eligible for public funds under procedures established by this section….

The Department of Education (not the district) shall annually calculate the local cost per student expended by each school district for each type of student for the year immediately preceding based on the formula set forth in subsection (e) of this section…

subsection (e)

Local cost per student as used in this section shall be calculated as follows:

Total Local Operating Expenditure in Preceding Fiscal Year’s Total Division I Units, minus Spec School Units Number of Pupils per Unit

Where:

Total Local Operating Sum of all expenditures (Expenditure in from local sources) minus (Preceding FY local expenditures for tuition) minus (local expenditures for debt service) minus (local expenditures for Minor Capital Improvement) minus (local cafeteria expenditures) minus (any other local expenditures deemed by the Secretary of Education to be inappropriate for inclusion for the purpose of this chapter).

Breaking it down,  the Total Local Operating Cost, is the sum of all a district’s expenditures

minus its expenditures for tuition (meaning students who left the district and took their money with them)… Obviously these could not be counted towards the cost of those students remaining….

minus any expenditures for debt… No one accounts for debt as a cost of doing business.  I don’t care if you are a restaurant, a movie theater, or Chemoirs.  Debt cost is added after all expenses of doing business have been calculated.  Then with those profits, you pay off debt.   Debt cost can have nothing to do with per student cost otherwise taking on debt suddenly makes it look like you are spending wildly on each student.

minus Minor Capital Improvements … Fixing a roof or installing a new air conditioner cannot be directly related to the cost per student.  Imagine if it were, how student costs would rapidly fluctuate yearly and between districts or even in the same fiscal year… Older districts would be stuck with unbearably high costs, newer districts enjoying much lower.

minus Local Cafeteria expenditures….

minus any other expenditure deemed by the Secretary to be inappropriate for inclusion…

So if any wrongdoing has occurred, it is directly attributable to the Secretary of Education…   He is in charge of determining each district’s cost per student, and IF there are any other expenditures which need excluded from the cost per student, he makes the decision…

So are we going to lynch Mark Murphy now?  You’re a little late…

Now that you too have seen the law, this statement Earl Jaques included in his mysterious email which tags a line of Sokola’s, is odd.

“The Christina District increased that line from under $700 thousand to about $9.2 million since 2011, and has not asked the Secretary for approval of the increased exemptions. “ —Sokola

Seeing how only the Secretary can make any adjustment to the formula and how only the Secretary can determine the cost per student, it is difficult to think Dave Sokola knows what he is talking about….  How could they increase that line when only the Secretary handles “that line”?

Rather odd from someone who wrote the legislation.

If Christina were holding back money, it would be at the behest of a former Secretary of Education’s decision, not the Christina School Board themselves…

So any attempt to blame Christina District is not going anywhere.  They are blameless. Don’t take my word for it. Read Title 14: *(509)…. Perhaps Sokola and Meece should take time to commiserate together and spend their time singing the …. “509 Blues”…. (in Title 14, that is)…

Out of Delaware’s total 136,027 students, 11,865 go to charter schools, 124,162 continue in public education… (8.72%) (btw Red Clay’s charters not included since Red Clay is the authorizer)

That little 9% siphons a money better spent in public schools. Costs in 2016.

ACADEMIA ANTONIA ALONSO 1,232 Payments $3,524,608.63

ACADEMY OF DOVER CHARTER SCHL 1,374 Payments $3,628,701.16

CAMPUS COMMUNITY SCHOOL 2,425 Payments $4,558,838.47

DE COLLEGE PREPARATORY ACADEMY 1,364 Payments $2,351,143.15

DELAWARE DESIGN-LAB HS 1,282 Payments $2,410,480.42

EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL 1,144 Payments $2,757,920.69

EAST SIDE CHARTER SCHOOL 3,060 Payments $7,426,823.05

FAMILY FOUNDATIONS ACADEMY 2,613 Payments $8,846,337.76

FIRST STATE MONTESSORI ACADEMY 1,388 Payments $3,794,639.93

FREIRE CHARTER SCHOOL 1,354 Payments $2,958,912.10

GATEWAY LAB SCHOOL 1,749 Payments $4,556,773.53

GREAT OAKS CHARTER SCHOOL 751 Payments $3,229,356.48

KUUMBA ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL 1,995 Payments $8,058,005.38

LAS AMERICAS ASPIRA 3,549 Payments $7,931,013.77

MAPLETON CHARTER SCHOOL AT WHI 2 Payments $1,736.86

MAURICE J. MOYER ACADEMY 50 Payments $112,524.40

MOT CHARTER SCHOOL 4,510 Payments $11,355,105.68

NEWARK CHARTER SCHOOL 3,958 Payments $26,599,416.25

ODYSSEY CHARTER 3,161 Payments $13,048,335.82

POSITIVE OUTCOMES CHARTER SCHL 1,746 Payments $3,118,502.54

PRESTIGE ACADEMY 1,427 Payments $3,687,431.41

PROVIDENCE CREEK ACAD CHTR SCH 3,351 Payments $7,414,681.73

REACH ACADEMY FOR GIRLS 37 Payments $233,814.90

SUSSEX ACADEMY OF ARTS SCIENCE 2,336 Payments $6,422,637.21

THE DELAWARE MET 870 Payments $2,100,835.55

THOMAS A EDISON CHARTER SCHOOL 2,790 Payments $9,237,268.52

All told, roughly $149,365,845.39 was spent on non-Red Clay Charters… which taught only 11,865 students. On gross cost, that amounts to $12,588 a student…. Without charters and all else being equal, that same money when spread across the balance of those left in public schools, is a lost benefit of $1202 or rounded down, $1200 loss per student remaining in public schools… (Total benefit to a class of 20 would be $24,000).

So in a future court case by the ACLU over the unconstitutionality of charter schools in Delaware, when asked to prove harm backing their claim, here it is… Charter Schools take $1200 away from each student remaining in public schools…

Now some people think that since money follows a child that those schools with fewer students need less. Unfortunately no. The costs to those schools losing students to charters remain the same. Utility costs don’t change because you have fewer students; teaching costs don’t change because you have fewer students. Maintenance costs don’t change because you have fewer students. In fact, no costs get eliminated because you have fewer students. What does happen is all those fixed costs go up as a percentage of total revenue coming in. So there is less discretionary income available for students… You have to cut things like football, sports, music, arts, and all those things that are more important than books in any school.

Likewise, the charters on a shoe string budget are also running at levels of no frills with none of the above. A whole generation loses big time.

And for what gain? Only one of those schools met proficiency levels… Roughly 2000 students…

WE are going through all this pain of hurting 134,000 students just to hit our goals for 2200.

This is why, Charter Schools need to be eliminated from Delaware. Or with enough political will, they can still be allowed to stay, but only if they are fully funded by line items in the state budget, and public schools return to being fully funded by their localities.

The problem is not so much with the harm Charters do to their own students… It is what they do to everyone else…. And upon surveying the damage done so far, it is past time everyone not hired or associated with the CHARTER SCHOOLS NETWORK, stands up and says… NO MORE……

That’s a broad brush… but you can’t really pick and choose when you start a debate.. Those delineations with exceptions can come later… There are still possible solutions allowing us to save Charters as a program, and yes, they will cost more… But it’s just money assessed and spent; it’s not the ruin of people’s lives which is the unseen cost of allowing Delaware’s Charter to continue……

Charter School proponents insist they have the freedom and right to tap into the public schools financial stream… In a way they are not unlike those who discovered cheap desert land bordering the Colorado River, bought it for a song, then diverted the river water to irrigate crops where none had ever been before….

In the original small amounts there was nothing wrong with it… There was plenty to be shared. But as more and more start tapping the mighty Colorado, it becomes less mighty.. in fact, it dries up hundreds of miles before reaching it’s outlet, denying all those downstream the water they once had…

This is what Charters do to public schools. Their only rational for it is this: we know those in power and so they let us do it…

Charter schools do not teach better than public schools. They do not perform better than public schools. They seem to be worse than public schools.

No, it is only power and their fleecing of it, which allows them to exist at all. If you were a legislator and got treated royally by rich charter supporters, maybe have a BBQ, some expensive liquor, hobnob with celebrities a little, there would be a good tendency to give back something in return to people who “gave” to you…

Thus Delaware through Dave Sokola, got charter schools. They were almost died out a year ago, because as mentioned above, they don’t work at teaching our children what they need to know. But then, the potential for huge charter firms to enter Delaware, firms which educate for profit, opened new opportunities to get wealthy off the backs of children. Suddenly existing charter supporters, those enriching themselves off the public stream, had large financial backing to be able to corral our legislators as well as the support of a think tank to invent face-saving platitudes about being pro charter. The big firms see the potential to buy out the little and use their river access to flood vast levels of the interior, but also shriveling the river to almost nothing….

So now, not later, is the time to KILL charters.

They have zero redeeming value.

Furthermore they continue Afro-American and Hispanic segregation in public schools. The NAACP’s proposed moratorium, cites increased segregation, high rates of suspensions and expulsions for black students, fiscal mismanagement, and poor oversight in charter schools as reasons to hit pause on the sector’s growth…..

Just as we made fundamental changes to our public educational system to allow charters in the first place (they were illegal originally); we can also make fundamental changes to disallow charters in second place. All it takes is the stroke of a pen…

The sooner that is done, then more financial waters flow through our public schools and since those educate the gross majority of our kids, it is there we can best impact the betterment of our national education…..

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…..
========================================================================

15553 (39) + 2140 (95) + 972 (99)   =   X/ (15553+2140+972) or X/18635 = Average Score

606567  +  203330  +  96228  =  906125/18635  =   48.62

======================================================================

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)

District Scores SBAC 2016

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..)!!!”

 

 

Amazingly, there still continues to be some confusion, as I’m sure back during the Reconstruction Era when white supremacists first insisted that black voters take some type of “smarts” test before entering the voting booth, there was confusion among many Afro Americans at that time who thought having tests of knowledge was indeed a good idea…

History proved who was right; and who were wrong.  When you give someone trying to keep your race down, the tools to do so, they will use them and your race will be kept down.

That is why it is hard for many of us in educational circles to understand how any Afro-American can be in favor of using the Smarter Balanced Assessment to grade their child…

Because unlike 1890 when literacy tests were begun, today all have information on what these tests are… 

Let me show you a picture of racism in 2016….Draft ELA targets

This is Delaware’s official ELA target.  (Click image to enlarge.)

Whites have to grow from 61.5 to 80.8… a total of 19.3 points….

Asians have to grow from 77.1 to 88.5…..a total of 11.4 points…..

Blacks have to grow from  35.8 to 67.9….a total of  32.1 points…..

Hispanics have to grow from 39.0 to 69.5… a total of 30.5 points…..

Low incomes have to grow from 34.2 to 67.1…. a total of 32.9 points…

Disabilities…. have to grow from 19.3 to 59.6…. a total of 40.3 points…

=====

Pure racism. Fully endorsed by the KKK…. Hear them now?   “YEAH!!!!  That’s what we’re talkin’ about…..”

(Don’t blame me; I’m not even the messenger…This is from the DOE website…)

 

Draft Math Targets

This is Delaware’s target.  (Click image to enlarge.)

Whites have to grow from 49.2 to 74.6… a total of 25.4 points….

Asians have to grow from 70.7 to 85.4…..a total of 14.7 points…..

Blacks have to grow from 22.0 to 61.0….a total of  39.0 points…..

Hispanics have to grow from 28.6 to 64.3… a total of 38.7 points…..

Low incomes have to grow from 23.8 to 61.9…. a total of 38.1 points…

Disabilities…. have to grow from 15.0 to 57.5…. a total of 42.5 points.

 

Can anyone tell me how this is any different than guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar?  Whites have to show a 51.6% improvement… Blacks have to show a 177% improvement… Might as well label blacks as disabled: 283%

What is being said here, disguised as an attempt to elevate blacksscores, is that they have to jump through a different hoop than the rest of us… why?  Skin color, of course…..

No ifs. No buts. No ands…

There are proven ways to raise the results of our lowest scoring children. Corporate types flat out do not want the right answer proven to be effective over and over and over again..  I have covered it so many times, it is pointless to do it again. But for now, rest assured.  This way, shown above?….  Leads us nowhere…..

Except to make the KKK very happy….. 🙂   Can you hear them?

“Hooray, Hooray,  Blacks will be second class citizens again.. Whoopee!  Toast!  Celebrate!  Yeah, Greg Lavelle* and all the other supporters of the Smarter Balanced Assessment!!!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!”

 

 

 

District $ Per Student

Courtesy of Edweek.org

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.”

===

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.

If you didn’t first see the legal expert’s video go here and then come back….

It is not a warning, but just a reality check as to what “could” happen you you as a parent if you allow your child to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment…

Moving forward now, here is what that new legislation should address.

Whereas behavioral, class attendance, class performance and traditional forms of data like grades have been collected, now there is greater interest in collecting metadata which is information about how a child is interacting with the program, interacting with the software, data which is highly marketable and a lot of companies are scrambling to obtain that data. They are looking at it to assess school products, to assess teachers’ teaching methods, and to assess a child’s future in order to open and close doors long before a child reaches the hallway those doors are on.

The question hereto unasked, unsolved and unanswered, is how are we going to structure that access to data…  so it is fair to children, to parents, to teachers, to schools….

The worst-case-scenario is abuse of these to harm children.. instances where they are improperly tracked and improperly labeled and improperly sent down wrong pathways they shouldn’t be sent.

All because of bad data practices….

Before going forward, we need to have “good” data practices implemented and have teeth in the law so even bad people will want to do good…

Necessary to this is a blanket protection on ALL data acquired on a child… All data is unavailable to anyone outside those directly involved. The scope of protection…. has to be very broad….

Next step is to establish very clear use restrictions…. as in what can this data be used for?… Make it open and shut… “Can this data be used by Skippy Peanut Butter?”  “Let us check the clear use restrictions.”  “No, it does not allow transference of data to Skippy Peanut Butter”….  Open and shut.

Then we need to add a flexible option, so educated parents can choose to “opt in” on having other sources of information disseminated about their child…  It becomes the parent’s choice whether their child’s data can be used and to whom those additional users may be.

And finally to all of these there should be added some type of repercussions, which are strong enough to make violating any of these tenants, financially risky.

Currently there is none. Nada.  The only restriction is in FERPA  The Federal government can withhold money from a school district if there is a violation of FERPA. In the 41 years of FERPA, that has never happened. If a school district violates your child’s privacy, if the State violates your child’s privacy, if a vendor violates your child’s privacy, as a parent, you have no private right of action.

In this environment, your child’s data once acquired, is available to all. John Carney can even acquire a list of marginal students and call their parents to get their votes.  Everything is wide open.

As a society we often venture into new territory first, learning as we go.  The first cars didn’t have brakes because you just previously told the horse to slow down; the thought did not cross their inventor’s minds until racing down the road. When we went into Iraq, we didn’t have a plan on how to govern once we took over.  Dick Cheney didn’t think of it. We’d just take it and suck out their oil.

Today, we don’t let just anyone drive. They have to demonstrate they know how. Likewise today we don’t let anyone set up and operation room and extract live organs. They have to prove they are capable in knowledge and ability.

Therefore we really shouldn’t allow the Smarter Balanced to go forward until we fix these problems it leaves in its wake. Should we?

Here is the approach which should be taken. WE need a figurehead bill put up that WHEREAS’s all the facts listed above, to preface a bill advocating the immediate eradication of the Smarter Balanced for security reasons, as our one test in Delaware. This won’t pass nor is it intended to.. It’s purpose is to create a lightning rod for all educational wonks on both sides to focus their attention upon. Despite a probable prognosis for failure, the full-press  floor fight for its passage should be passionate, since that is what drives public scrutiny and shapes public opinion.

Then invisibly, under the radar, 4 new bills need to be quietly slipped through, addressing the plugging of each of the 4 holes illuminated above…  Bill 1) We need state blanket protection of all data. Bill 2) We need to determine exactly who, what, where that data will be allowed to go. Bill 3) We need to allow parents the right to “opt in” into allowing further data to be disseminated. And finally Bill 4) we need some type of gigantic bankruptcy-causing-punitive-damage and jail for anyone violating a child’s privacy without the express permission of his parents.

By then (if our crystal ball is correct) the Smarter Balanced will most likely have been replaced with another test (unless it scores a magnificent save this year) and the above protections will be in place long before any new test (if any at all), materializes…

 

There is now no protection of children’s privacy and therefore by implication, their parents’ privacy…

As a parent if anyone violates your child’s privacy, such as putting your child’s data on a porn site, you the parent have no private rite-of- action….

We cannot emphasize it more clearly… Opt Out Your Child Today…….